13 Signs She’s an Emotionally Unavailable Woman

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We can be emotionally unavailable and difficult to deal with for several reasons.  For many of us, it is simply a rest stop on the speedway of life.

We find ways to power through painful circumstances, suppress the pain, and heal so that we can return to functioning from a healthy perspective.

And while being emotionally unavailable is not gender-specific, each process our emotions in varying ways. Men tend to compartmentalize things more so than women.  

A higher percentage of men will bottle things up inside until they hit a boiling point and then react, usually in an unhealthy way.  

Women tend to communicate their feelings, but can be all over the place emotionally when upset. If our emotions were a plate of food, a woman's plate would look like mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, and fried chicken piled on top of each other.  

Men would have the same food, but the mashed potatoes, corn, and chicken wouldn’t touch, and the gravy would be in a separate dish.

Even more specifically, we are all wired to handle our emotions uniquely. However, various environments, a myriad of circumstances, and our emotional and intellectual makeup contribute to our emotional availability.

So, in a world where women share their emotions more freely and are usually more empathetic, it is saddening when a woman is emotionally unavailable.

What Does It Mean to be Emotionally Unavailable? 

When someone is emotionally unavailable, they don’t respond to your emotional cues or the emotional needs you may have.

Additionally, emotionally unavailable people avoid close emotional connections with others.  They will also have difficulty expressing themselves when emotions are high. 

Emotionally unavailable individuals are non-responsive to the emotions others express.  Because they aren't comfortable with the feelings, they have within themselves and how to process them. 

Why is Being Emotionally Available a Bad Thing?

There is a big misconception in society that men are always the ones who are emotionally unavailable. 

Women usually open up and share their concerns with men, which can feel like talking to a brick wall. Men and women often connect and check many boxes physically but aren’t on the same emotional wavelength.   

As a result, the woman in the relationship feels unheard and that her feelings and concerns aren’t important to the man in her life. 

This leads to a huge disconnect between the two, irreconcilable differences, unfaithfulness within the relationship, and a nasty departing of ways.  

If not healed, she will approach relationships with a glass-half-empty perspective.

However, women can also be emotionally unavailable. They struggle to reveal their true feelings to others in their lives. 

Because she is unclear about the way she feels, she comes across as confusing and unpredictable, and it is shown in her actions. 

My brother once dated an emotionally unavailable woman. They looked like the perfect couple together and appeared to get along well. But when it came to commitment, she vacillated back and forward.

 She withdrew from him when he tried to express his feelings and sought to be more devoted to her. 

As he decided to take a step back, she would reel him back in.  When he embraced her again, she pushed him back once more. 

Finally, her emotional well-being took its toll on my brother, and he decided to walk away from the relationship.    

Emotionally unavailable women struggle to understand or be honest with themselves and the source of their instability. 

So they aren't much help when others seek them for comfort amid highly emotional and painful times. These women have pain within them that is left unprocessed and unhealed. 

The woman my brother dated had not processed her late husband's death, and my brother was the first guy she fell for since her husband's passing. 

So, she had trouble committing to him and clearly wasn’t ready to be in a serious relationship. 

It wasn't until she was honest with herself and worked to process those feelings that she explained herself to my brother and apologized.  Now they are good friends. 

Figuratively speaking, emotionally unavailable women don't come out of their emotional hideaways very easily. Only when they want to. Until then, you can knock, but more than likely, you can't come in. 

Also, being emotionally unavailable is detrimental to relationships because it’s like running a marathon with concrete shoes on. You feel like you’re putting forth extra effort but getting nowhere. 

You want to be there for others in a way you aren’t easily capable of. And when co-workers and family need emotional support, you cannot keep up with the demands those relationships bring.

13 Signs She's an Emotionally Unavailable Woman

1. She shows no empathy for your feelings.

She will turn off her feelings and give little to no interest in your emotional needs.  She simply lacks the ability to share the same sentiments as you or put herself in your shoes. 

It doesn't mean she doesn't care about you and has your best interest at heart, but she cannot identify your needs and help you work through them because she hasn't found a way to work through her own. 

It's like you are both traveling down a road in separate cars.  Her car keeps stalling out and having issues, so she cannot help you with your car problems. 

2. She distances herself when you come to her with a problem.

When you seek comfort from an emotionally unavailable woman, she will find a way to get out of the conversation. 

If she sticks around, she will make light of your problems or change the subject of discussion altogether.  She will also avoid deep topics and prefers to keep things light.  

Reminds me of a co-worker I once had. 

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When emotionally unavailable, she will send you flirty texts, make small talk one day, and then ghost you the next.  

She heard about the passing of my aunt and showed great sympathy for my situation. 

But when I began to speak of my close relationship with my aunt and the details of our last moments together, my co-worker walked away mid-sentence and seemed visibly shaken. 

When we spoke again later, and I asked if she was okay, she changed the subject.  It was apparent then that she had something going on within her that made her unwilling to freely discuss what I was going through.

3. She avoids being in a committed relationship.

As I mentioned in my brother's relationship, an emotionally unavailable woman will avoid commitment like an infectious disease. 

You can push for a deeper connection but will continue hitting a wall.  And don't ask for an explanation of her feelings because you'll never get one. At least one that isn't confusing and leaves you even more disappointed. 

When you try to move on from a relationship with her, she will reach out and show flashes of what you once desired in the relationship. 

She will give you lots of attention, and you will feel like things will finally progress.  But she will pull away again, over and over. 

She will break plans with you without an explanation, leaving you to wonder what you have done or said wrong. 

But you didn't do anything at all.  She is starting to feel something for you, but for reasons she is afraid to admit, she won’t commit.

4. She’s afraid to be intimate with you.

One of the biggest misconceptions when speaking to an emotionally unavailable woman is that she doesn't trust you. 

She may be avoiding intimacy with you because she lacks the emotional capacity to be vulnerable with you. She may use the excuse that she is “not that into you,” but really, she's fearful of getting too close. 

My friend Sarah was that way. She would date a guy briefly, and when he started to fall for her, or she would fall for him, and he sought intimacy, she would break it off. 

Especially if there was talk about their future together. Sarah would always find reasons to break up with the guy.

5. She still has feelings for her ex.

She won't let you in emotionally when she still carries a torch for her ex. It's like seeing an empty seat beside someone at the movies, and you look to occupy that seat. 

But the person you're attempting to sit by tells you the chair is spoken for, and you cannot sit there. 

She may also stay in consistent communication with her ex and will even meet up with him from time to time.  If you suspect she still has feelings for her ex, watch her demeanor when she mentions them in conversation.

6. She doesn’t want you to have a relationship with her friends or family.

An emotionally unavailable woman knows she is letting you deeper within when you meet those closest to her. 

The implications of meeting her family and friends give the impression of longevity in the relationship, and it frightens her.

She will often tell you that you don't need to meet them at this time, her family is hard to get along with, etc. 

Unfortunately, Jessica was like this with her boyfriend, Steve. I was the person who introduced her to Steve and saw right off the bat that he was crazy about her, and she seemed to care deeply for him too. 

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You are going out of your way to be thoughtful and considerate, yet the relationship feels one-sided. 

But when her family flew into town for a week, she discouraged Steve from visiting by describing her parents as nosy, old-fashioned, and one to ask prying questions. 

She also said they usually embarrass her, and if he came, it would make her feel really uncomfortable and possibly ruin the trip for them all.  

Jessica later told me she didn't want to give Steve the wrong idea about the relationship.  She enjoyed his company and companionship but felt a deeper commitment, and meeting family was a line she was not ready to cross.

7.  She is not ready to label the relationship you two have.  

You and your girlfriend have been dating for a while and have been through a lot together. 

You call her your girlfriend, but she is irritated by it and asks that you not define the relationship.  This is a sign she is emotionally unavailable. 

She will also introduce you to others as her friend rather than her boyfriend.  Many guys are upset when this happens, accusing her of being ashamed of him. 

But in reality, she is afraid of the responsibility that comes with the label or doesn't want a serious boyfriend.

8. Inconsistent texts.

When emotionally unavailable, she will send you flirty texts, make small talk one day, and then ghost you the next.  

After going unresponsive to you for some time, she will text you again out of the blue as if nothing ever happened.  She will deflect and change the subject when you ask for an explanation.

9. She has a pattern of instability from past relationships.

Suppose you look at the past relationships of a woman and she has a habit of dating the same type of guy who is a user or player. 

In that case, she is likely an emotionally unstable woman.   She is used to unhealthy relationships, so it will take patience and consistency to get her to fully open up to you and see you for the great guy you are. 

 She may date you because she is lonely, but she is used to the pattern of dating the wrong guy, and it's hard to break.

Lesley, a lady from my job, seemed to date the same types of creeps.  Each of them were liars, cheaters, and verbally abusive. Then a few months ago, she met a great guy. 

Still, he had to jump through a few hoops because Lesley wasn’t emotionally available.  

He brought her flowers, took her to nice dinners, and often checked her car to ensure it operated properly. 

Yet, she continually tried to find fault in him and everything he did for her because she hadn't properly healed from the hurts in the past.

10. You put forth all the effort.

She is showing you that she is emotionally unavailable when you are the one who calls, texts, and makes dates. You are going out of your way to be thoughtful and considerate, yet the relationship feels one-sided. 

Take a moment to consider if you remember birthdays and anniversaries, and she seems unphased and unremorseful when she fails to remember those important dates and moments the two of you shared.    

11. All she wants is physical intimacy. 

She will not be emotionally available to you when all she wants from you is sex. You try to have meaningful conversations to know her better or plan romantic outings; all she wants to do is stay in and roll in the sheets. 

It may seem fun for a while, but when you start to have feeling for her, she will either ask to keep things strictly physical or push you away.

12. She doesn’t like to talk much about herself.

She doesn’t want to be vulnerable with you and let you in because she's emotionally unavailable. You can spend an evening discussing your family, job, past experiences, and old relationships. 

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You try to have meaningful conversations to know her better or plan romantic outings; all she wants to do is stay in and roll in the sheets. 

However, when it comes to her life, she will change the subject back to you or seek to abort the conversation altogether.

13. You feel needy and clingy.

The way she ignores your text, avoids your calls, and seems irritated when you stop by to see her could indicate her emotional state. 

You ask her if everything is going okay and make yourself available to talk if she needs someone to talk to; however, she insists she is fine, and nothing is wrong. 

So, you begin to feel like you are being clingy or needy when in actuality, you are trying to be a loving and supportive partner, but she is emotionally unavailable.

Final Thoughts on Signs She's an Emotionally Unavailable Woman

Just because a woman is emotionally unavailable doesn’t make her a bad person. In fact, being emotionally unavailable could be any of us at any given time. 

The best way to get a woman to open up to you, in that frame of mind, is to be patient and understanding towards her feelings. 

Don’t have a fragile male ego but penetrate those high walls she has placed around her heart to avoid heartbreak. It takes much effort, but your kindness and compassion may be the prescription needed to help her heal from a painful past.

Show her you are a different and good person, unlike any hurtful person she has encountered. Be emotionally available to her and let her see that you have no intentions of abandoning her.  Just maybe you can gain her trust and soon, her heart. 

If it doesn't work, that's okay, too, because someone who will value the effort and be open to you on an emotional level will come along.

And if you're looking for more articles about relationships, be sure to check out these blog posts:

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