Do you feel like you are not comfortable or even vulnerable sharing your emotions or feelings with your partner? Do you constantly reflect back to your past relationships to your current one? Do you feel like you cannot connect with your partner on a more intimate level?
You may not realize it, but you might be emotionally unavailable.
But what is emotional availability? It is when you allow yourself to be open, communicate your feelings, emotions or thoughts, intimacy and deep conversations with your partner. You should feel an emotional connection with your partner to have a healthy relationship.
For instance, you are comfortable showing vulnerability in front of your partner when you share your emotions about a certain topic, or about your relationship with them. You are able to effectively respond back to your partner’s emotions (which means you are a good listener). You are reliable; your partner trusts you as you are consistent with your support and transparency. You are able to regulate your emotions; you are able to project your emotions in a respectful way.
What are the reasons that you might be emotionally unavailable?
The first reason would be relating to your childhood attachment with your parents or primary caregivers. Not receiving affection, validation, always being criticized, or minimal emotional support from your parents or primary caregivers can lead to being emotionally unavailable in the future. You may not realize how this obstacle can play a major role in being emotionally available later on.
The second reason is how your past relationships can be affecting your current relationship. You will constantly compare your past to your present to protect yourself from getting hurt. You do everything in your power to not let yourself be in a vulnerable position of sharing emotions or deep thoughts. You are emotionally unavailable the moment you start to compare your relationships.
Going from emotionally unavailable to available is a challenge, and you have to take small steps in this process. Some tips on being emotionally available:
- You are aware and acknowledge the fact you are emotionally unavailable
- Figure out what is the reason for the unavailability from your past and addressing the problem to make yourself more available emotionally
- Communicate your thoughts or emotions with your partner; be transparent
- Do not forget to be kind to yourself, and do not rush through the process
You can get a consultation from one of our therapists at Couples Counseling Center, and do a deep analysis on becoming emotionally available.