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5 Signs Your Partner Is Emotionally Unavailable

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Everyone deserves to feel seen, heard, understood, and valued. In romantic relationships, those feelings are especially important. When you choose to be with one partner, you should be able to lean on each other. You should receive and provide support, and that requires being emotionally available. 

Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. 

Having an emotionally unavailable partner can lead to a variety of issues in your relationship. Not only could it impact your confidence and sense of self-worth, but it’s also likely to lead to greater conflicts and a lack of communication. 

It’s not always easy to spot an emotionally unavailable partner because you might think you’re doing something wrong. Or, you might think it’s just their personality. However, recognizing the signs can help you realize that you’re not getting what you need from the relationship.

1. There’s a Consistent Distance

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you at least have a hunch or curiosity about your partner being emotionally unavailable. For many people, the first sign is feeling a distance within the relationship. 

Do you find it hard to connect with your partner? Do they seem to keep things in your relationship at a surface level rather than digging deeper into emotions? Maybe you feel like they’re not even really present with you, even when you’re right next to each other. 

Don’t ignore this feeling — it’s often a sign that they’re emotionally unavailable and might not have any interest in changing. 

2. You Feel Alone

Ideally, when you’re in a relationship, you don’t feel like you have to walk through life alone. You’ll have a partner by your side. While that doesn’t mean you’re never physically alone, you should feel supported. Your feelings should be heard, no matter what. 

When that isn’t happening, it can quickly feel like you’re not in a relationship at all, and that’s a very lonely place to be when you expect your partner to listen and understand.

couple walking on beach holding hands

3. A Lack of Support

Maybe your partner does listen to you — or, you think they do. But, a healthy relationship needs to go beyond that. They need to support you. That doesn’t mean they agree with everything you say and do. 

It does mean, however, that they should make your emotions, opinions, and ideas feel seen and heard. If you’re excited or passionate about something, it’s okay to expect your partner to be by your side and support you through those ideas. If they’re not, or they seem indifferent to your needs, wants, and emotions, consider it a red flag.

4. They Don’t Display Emotions

One of the most obvious signs of an emotionally unavailable partner is someone who has a tough time expressing their emotions. 

We all want the Hallmark movie kind of love. But, expecting your partner to shout how much they love you and shower you with affection every second of the day isn’t realistic. However, if they never seem to show affection or tell you directly how much they care or even how they feel, they’re likely emotionally closed off. 

Everyone deserves to hear they are loved in a relationship. It helps you feel valued for who you are. When that doesn’t happen, it can take a huge toll on your self-esteem.

5. There Is No Effort

Finally, if your partner doesn’t put forth any effort to secure the relationship or cause it to move forward, it’s a sign of emotional unavailability. 

Relationships go through ups and downs internally and externally. Partners are meant to work together on relationship journeys, so they can grow as a couple. If your partner isn’t willing to put in that work and has no interest in growth, it could be emotional unavailability holding them back. 

If you recognize these signs in your own relationship, it’s not necessarily an easy pill to swallow. But, it might be time to make a decision when it comes to the kind of relationship you want, and the kind of person you want to be with. 

Reach out to learn more about couples therapy and if it is the right fit for your current situation.

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Green Heart Therapy provides in-person psychotherapy for adults, teens, and children in Los Angeles and online therapy across California.