Byrdie – We Asked Therapists to Explain Why We Attract Emotionally Unavailable People

Why We Attract Emotionally Unavailable People

Whether you’re currently single or in a loving partnership, it’s hard to deny that the modern dating world is full of considerable difficulties. Dating apps have emphasized digital connections, and ghosting has become an easy out in place of an actual breakup. In many ways, this can be said to have lowered our sense of responsibility to treat others with kindness and consideration. Considering these factors, if you’re one of the millions braving the online dating trenches, you have probably encountered an emotionally unavailable partner at some point.

In thinking about the past few relationships (or even situationships) you’ve been in, were those partners open about their feelings for you or their feelings in general? Did they make it clear what their commitment to you was? Did they make a proper effort to be consistent with date nights, texting, or calling you regularly? If the answer to these is “no,” you might want to evaluate the potentially toxic cycle in which you may have found yourself. Attracting emotionally unavailable people, while a tough issue to confront, can majorly affect our emotional health.

If you’ve found yourself connecting with people in this category repeatedly, it may be time to check in with yourself. Ahead, experts break down why we attract emotionally unavailable people and how to move on from those cycles.

Why Are Some People Emotionally Unavailable? 

Emotional unavailability is usually a sign someone isn’t in the healthiest place to date others. But, you might be wondering, what makes a person emotionally unavailable?

“A partner might be emotionally unavailable for many reasons. They may have recently ended a serious relationship, they’re afraid of getting hurt and avoid deep relationships, or they struggle to be vulnerable and show their emotions with others, allowing themselves only to have superficial relationships,” says licensed clinical psychologist Jaci Lopez Witmer, Psy.D. “They could also be in a serious relationship, partnership, or marriage, such as an open relationship where their emotional availability is reserved for their primary partner. Or, they could be cheating on their primary partner by entering into a secret relationship in which they cannot be emotionally present.” 

Why Do You Attract Emotionally Unavailable People? 

Finding yourself in a cycle of attracting avoidant, emotionally unavailable partners doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It tends to arise from our earliest relationships and their psychological effects on our development.

To read the reasoning Dr. Emily believes we attract emotionally unavailable partners, you can find the rest of the article at

You might also enjoy

Welcome Back