3 Signs Someone Is Emotionally Unavailable

Interview: Dr. Colleen Cira, Psy.D.

Dr. Colleen Cira is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in Women and Trauma, and has worked with hundreds of people struggling with their relationships and maladaptive relationship patterns, including emotional unavailability.

What Dr. Cira can say in an interview about
Emotional Unavailability:

Being in a relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable can be a painful experience. Here are three signs that indicate someone is emotionally unavailable:

1) Inconsistent communication. When someone is genuinely ready for a relationship, they aren’t going to play games. They are going to be honest and direct, they will make an effort to see you and they will expect you to do the same. So when someone is being inconsistent in any number of ways: taking forever to respond to you at one point, but immediately replies at another point; being vague about their level of commitment to you and the relationship; seeming to avoid certain topics, etc, something is up. Gently confront them about their inconsistencies, from a place of genuine curiosity, but if they can’t/won’t acknowledge what’s going on and talk to you about it, move on.

2) When someone is not walking their talk. It’s often easy to get caught up in a moment and say lovely kind things they know you want to hear. But that IS the easy part. The difficult part and far more important part is following through. So if someone says they are going to call you and then don’t, that’s a problem. If someone says they care about you tremendously, but then don’t behave as though that’s true, that’s a problem. When someone is really interested in you and wants to give a relationship with you a real shot, their words AND their behavior should align.

3) They directly express their ambivalence about you and/or the relationship. This may sound obvious, but needs to be said, and here’s why: When we’re looking for a partner, it’s easy to see only the things that we want to see. So all of us, at some point or another, are likely to dismiss a red flag or warning sign simply because we REALLY want this to work out. But Maya Angelou said it best: When people show you who they are, BELIEVE THEM. Don’t make excuses for people and don’t give people a million chances. If they tell you through their words or their behavior that they aren’t ready, take that seriously and get out.


Available for Interviews: Dr. Colleen Cira, Psy.D.

Dr. Colleen Cira received both her Master’s and Doctorate from The Illinois School of Professional Psychology and is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the State of Illinois.  She’s the Founder and Executive Director of Cira Center for Behavioral Health, PC, a boutique group practice specializing in Women and Trauma with locations in Chicago and Oak Park.

She was named one of the “Top 100 Women in Chicago Making a Difference,” by Today’s Chicago Woman. Dr. Cira is a trauma and anxiety expert, clinical supervisor, writer, speaker, consultant, activist, wife, and Mommy to two little ones.

Jo Allison
PR Managing Editor
Success In Media, Inc.

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