What To Do With Unavailable Men

Written by Christian Carter |  14 Comments
Emotionally Unavailable Men

I’m going to tell you something that most men wouldn’t want me to let you in on as a woman. It’s the “inside scoop” on men.

It’s the kind of stuff that could help you to instantly identify a good guy from an “unavailable” dead-end of a man.

Actually, you could use this to avoid the pain and frustration of getting mixed up with the wrong guy – or figure out EXACTLY what to do if you end up in a difficult situation with one.

So let me ask you…

How well do you really understand men?

Or more specifically, how much do you know about how they honestly think, feel and communicate with women?

Do you know all the things that are going on when a guy’s doing that male “withdrawal thing”?

And do you know what the best thing is to about it?

Well, I’ve got a CONFESSION for you about men. But something crazy is going to happen when I tell you. A lot of single men are going to get PISSED OFF at me.


Because their “DARK SECRET” is going to be exposed to the people they want to keep it from most – women like you. So what’s the secret?

The secret I’m talking about is the one that all single, selfish, unavailable and emotionally disconnected men don’t want you to know about. And that goes doubly for those men who have no real intention of building a lasting and loving future with a woman, but get deeply involved anyways just for the short term emotional, social and physical “benefits”.

Know the kind of guys I’m talking about?

Guys who at first seem like great catches…

But something else is going on beneath the surface and your GUT FEELINGS tell you that something is “off”. And in the back of your mind you have that small questioning voice… but you just can’t put your finger on what’s wrong, so you don’t say anything and you stick it in the back of your mind where it keeps bugging you.

Then later you find out you were right. The truth is, your intuition and your unconscious mind give you these “gut feelings” as a kind of gift. But you know what?

There’s a DANGER to it. Lots of women make the mistake of instantly acting on their intuition without thinking through how to communicate to a man what they’re thinking and feeling. So instead of their intuition with men making they’re love-life better, it ends up making their experience with men WORSE and causing more tension and turmoil.

Talk about counterintuitive.

Quite literally. But the fact is, some women don’t even like the idea of changing the way that they communicate with a man. For them, it makes them feel like they’re compromising themselves or their emotional experience by catering to what the man’s perspective. The reality is, it’s in their best interest and for their own benefit to think this way.

Unfortunately, they don’t see it that way.

What a huge mistake.

Don’t bet on men to “get” what you’re thinking and feeling, just because it makes sense to YOU. If you’re assuming that a man gets all the same things about dating, relationships and communication that you get, you’ve got another thing coming…

Communication is simply the response that you get, not what you’re trying to say.


Here’s something FASCINATING to think about: what if a guy wasn’t capable of telling you the truth about himself and how he really feels about you deep down inside?

I’m talking about his “relationship oriented” feelings here. And what if even HE didn’t know what the heck was going on inside his own mind?

How could you know where he was at or trust anything that he was telling you about his feelings and intentions with you in the LONG TERM.

What would you do then?

How would you know what to think about what he told you he was feeling?

Alright… enough beating around the bush.

Here’s my confession and what I’m getting at:

If you haven’t figured it out by now, lots of men have a SERIOUS PROBLEM with telling women THE TRUTH about HOW THEY FEEL. Not with the simple stuff, but with the important things that can mean the difference between a broken lasting commitment or a painful dead-end relationship or fling.

Let me explain…

I’m not saying that men have trouble telling women the truth about what they feel or think “in the moment”. That’s easy. Men can be unusually expressive in those more “intimate” or physical moments with a woman. That’s not what I’m getting at here.

What I am saying is that lots of men have little or no hope of being able to openly tell a woman how they feel or what they want IN THE LONG TERM. It’s an “emotional language” that some men just don’t think or speak.

I’ll get to why this is later. But first, have you ever noticed that with some men, the only thing they’re really SURE about emotionally and in the long term is that THEY AREN’T SURE about the long term!?


How frustrating, right?

Have you ever been talking with a guy about where things were headed in the relationship, and when it came to the moment where he was supposed to share how he felt, he coughed up one of those stupid “standard male responses”?

You know, one of those responses where you could swear he must have read it in some dumb bachelors’ handbook about how to avoid settling down with a woman.

Maybe he used one those famous one-liners like,

“I’m just not ready to settle down.”

“It’s not you, it’s me.”

“I’m feeling pressured.”

The worst one of these has to be when a guy doesn’t say ANYTHING AT ALL and leaves it entirely up to the woman to communicate about the relationship and the future. And to add insult to injury, once the woman starts “the talk”, he turns it around on her and acts like she’s “hassling” him or being overly-emotional, just because she brought it up.

Know what I’m talking about?

Unfortunately, if you’ve ever talked to a living, breathing man in your life, then you probably get it.

I call guys like this “Resistant Men”.

They resist getting in-tune with their feelings and emotions. They resist a woman’s more natural ability and desire to communicate about feelings and emotions. And they resist the idea that they might be tragically out of touch with their feelings or what they want when it comes to women, dating and relationships.

The worst part is that they can become MORE RESISTANT and LESS OPEN even though a woman is trying to communicate and connect with them. But “Resistant” men are often EXPERTS at PRETENDING that they’ve got their emotional life “together”.

And guess what else?

I’d group a large percentage of the single, successful, motivated men out there into the “Resistant” category.

Translation = odds are you’ll need to learn how to deal with this at some point if you’re going to find a guy and build a lasting relationship that works for both of you.


I’ve got to address something important here. I don’t think that it’s “wrong” for a guy to think and feel like a single bachelor in his life.

It’s Ok if he’s not interested in finding a relationship, love and a commitment. Just like I don’t think it’s “wrong” for a woman to feel or think this way either. But where I see a lot of problems come up is when men aren’t AWARE, honest or up-front with a woman about being in this place in their life. That’s why Resistant Men are the worst kind of ignorant people. They’re the worst because they actually don’t know what they don’t know. (Huh?)

In other words, they can’t even see or understand the things that they don’t know about themselves. They are completely UNCONSCIOUS about it.

Scary stuff when it comes to being a good long term partner for a woman, where being conscious, aware and “available” to communicate about these things is CRITICAL.

But how do I know about all this stuff?

Well… because I was the Resistant Man in my past. Yeah, that’s right. I’ve been in that emotionally weird, distant, uncertain and withdrawing place and I was unconsciously scared off from woman by any close and continuous emotional attachment and commitment.

(I know, slap me around later for having been one of these guys!)

I also know all about Resistant Men because I’ve known and still know TONS of men who are this way with women in their lives, and I get to talk to them and hear where they’re at from an insider’s guy-to-guy perspective.

But here’s THE STRANGEST PART: lots of men like to think that it’s “normal” to be this way.


Well, here’s my short “social-psychology” explanation for this… Maintaining a certain “emotional distance” makes it easier for a man to feel strong and confident. By avoiding a whole new range of personal and emotional experiences that he isn’t sure where it will lead him, he can keep more CONTROL in his life. The truth is, men fear a loss of control or power more than almost anything else.

So for lots of men, the less “involved” or “invested” they are in anything, the more they can maintain a confident, predictable “tough” male attitude. That’s part of the reason why lots of men out there avoid new, lasting emotional experiences. Especially when it comes to women.

But it’s almost like an “unspoken truth” for some men that being this way and staying relatively unattached and uninvolved with women gives them a (false) sense of strength, confidence and most of all control of their emotions. And I’m not even touching on the developmental, biological and evolutionary reasons why men can be this way.

Imagine this…

There’s a woman who is completely CONSCIOUS and in touch with her feelings and what she wants. She’s been thinking and communicating her whole life in a way that involves knowing how she feels and telling other people.

Now imagine she meets a guy and she wants to talk and share things on this level him.

Now imagine that he’s one of these Resistant Men.

What does he do in this situation?

At first he’ll try and “talk the talk” with her. He’ll share his growing feelings, his ATTRACTION and his excitement to be with her. And for the woman, this will make it genuinely feel like he’s got it together in this “emotional” department and that he gets it. But a little while down the road if things are going well, it’s time for him to go to the next level of communication with the woman.

Guess what happens?

It’s a shock and a surprise to the woman that this doesn’t start to happen. At all!

But the woman here is in touch with her feelings and starting to share her growing attachment and connection. So then she asks they guy what he’s feeling.


So she asks him again, trying to get the connection back that seems to be slowly fading away. And then the guy gets a little frustrated and he starts to do something FASCINATING. He actually starts to DENY that there isn’t the kind of connection that they used to feel with each other.

**degree of defensiveness = degree of guilt**

And he also doesn’t see that they aren’t talking about much anymore, or that any of this is anything important. Then he tries to distract from the topic by saying things to her like,

“You’re making a big deal out of nothing.”

Or, “Stop acting hysterical.”

Or, “You’re being overly sensitive and emotional.”

The sad truth is that Resistant Men who are trying to develop something more “serious” with a woman CAN’T or WON’T ADMIT that they need help and guidance from someone who’s smarter and more experienced when it comes to communicating about these things.

Someone like a smart woman.

And what happens next is something I’ve watched that has led hundreds of women I’ve known or talk to into frustrating, painful, “going nowhere” situations with a man:

The woman. either consciously or unconsciously, starts to try and “compensate” for the Resistant Man.

This usually starts by her trying to make up for she thinks is wrong with him around both of their feelings and the future of their relationship.

And here’s where things go from BAD TO WORSE…

The woman makes it her RESPONSIBILITY and BURDEN to “carry” the emotional aspects of the relationship and keep it alive.

Talk about a sure-fire way to be unhappy and frustrated. Don’t get me wrong… the woman’s intention is great, but the approach is DEAD WRONG!

Repeat after me:


End of story. What you see is what you get.

So why do lots of women try anyways?

The way I see it, there are 2 deep psychological reasons why women will try and “compensate” for Resistant Men, even though it will never “fix” things or make them happy:

1. It was just the way they were raised to deal with men like this and they don’t know any other way.

2. Because they FEAR LOSING THE MAN and being ALONE more than they fear of being in an unhappy and unfulfilling relationship.

This second reason is the one I see going on most of the time I see women compensating, but sometimes the first or both can be true.

The thing is, fear of loss has a terrible way of controlling things…

It can control your thinking.

It can control your judgment.

And it can control your behavior.


Because it makes you willing to do ANYTHING to avoid losing what you want to keep… And that’s where some women get hung up and end up accepting or tolerating all kinds of dumb behavior from Resistant Men. Compensating for a man’s weaknesses and shortcomings is a long term recipe for unhappiness.

If you’ve got to try and can’t help yourself from going down this road, remember that there’s not too many good strategies for doing it. Resistant Men don’t know it, but they need you to LEAD THEM to become aware of and “fix” their own emotional and commitment issues…

You can do it, but it’s an uphill battle all the way. The most important thing to avoid is the IMPOSSIBLE process of trying to “convince” a man to change for you.

Instead, learn to avoid Resistant Men in the first place, and if you do get involved with one, you need to figure out the things you can do to make it HIS RESPONSIBILITY to “fix” himself.

In my eBook, Catch Him & Keep Him, I talk about exact steps any woman can take to identify a Resistant Man from the start. I also talk about the things that smart women do find great guys, and how move quickly with a man to where they want to be in connecting with a man and developing something long term – if that’s what they’re after.

It will help you get back in the drivers seat with your love-life.

And if you’re not on my no-cost newsletter, feel free to go here and get in on it.
Thanks for reading and until next time, best of luck in life and love.

Your Friend,
Christian Carter

Christian Carter is a leading advisor to women on dating, relationships, connection and love. An expert in psychology, communication and behavior, Christian Carter has developed foundational concepts that help women understand men, dating and relationships. Visit Christian's official website, by clicking here.


  1. t says:

    Thank You

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  2. scarlett says:

    Why can’t I buy your book from a bookstore.. please find a publisher..

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  3. Burned says:

    Christian – you said you used to be an EUM. What did you do to change that & why? I have heard these types of guys don’t change.

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  4. Jessica says:

    thanks so much!!!!

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  5. whitewidow says:

    There is equally as many woman that should be avoided as there is men… Its important to accept that it goes both way. yes, definitely avoid men that do not want a relationship with you. A “resistant” man is more aptly described as a man that does not want to be with you… Just move on to greener pastures.
    Men do not need to be changed by woman so they are suitable for relationships. This need to change us infuriates the more intelligent men, and its a general turn off. If you have that big of a problem with a man and the way he is, find someone else. You must learn to accept men as they are. If you cannot accept them then they are the wrong man for you.
    the door swings both ways between the sexes. Men have tremendous obstacles to overcome while looking for viable relationships also with woman.

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  6. Elaine says:

    I have been dating an unavailable man for six years. Your site as been a real eye opener. I have love and hated him at the same time. I realise now that I have to work on myself. I have been dumped so many times I cant count them. Only this last time I have ended the ‘friendship ‘as he would say. He is Itailian, I should have known better. Well on I must move for my own sanitity. Let him go on to his womenising ways, I deserve better. I am so depleted and mentally and physically. exhausted, I got to look after myself now.

    I am 55 years of age and very attractive and slim. He is 69 this year and short bald and not very attractive, but ugly men who make women laugh get the women. I cant fight for him anymore. Your views please. Fab website, I have emailed to loads of my single women friends. Thank you

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  7. Preston says:

    I certainly agree with the article here, but one thing that should not be overlooked, and something I have found women sometimes have a tendency to do, along with “trying to change a man,” is setting their sites on a guy and not letting him go when he IS resistant. For some men resistance does in fact mean maintaining that level of confidence and perceived control or power in their lives, and some men would just much rather stay single. Because humans are wired for social behavior there is an inherent desire to be with the opposite sex. That shouldn’t be confused however with being “involved” in a relationship. I am not ashamed to admit that I am the resistant type. I do date, but I maintain a level of resistance to ensure that relationships only stay at a very basic level. I have no desire for a serious commitment to anyone and when I have made mention of this during several “flings” with women it never seems to register. It is strictly my opinion that there is a contingency of women who are predisposed to the idea of “what a woman wants a woman gets.” The reality is that while I understand that women desire relationships (more or less) for a variety of reasons, there needs to be some mention given to the fact that what women want isn’t necessarily always attainable. I am a well educated, (considered) attractive man around 40 years old who has become very successful in my life thus far. Certainly, on the surface this would lead most ordinary people to believe that I am marketable to a nice like-oriented woman, or any woman for that matter. I consider myself to have a lot of admirable personality characteristics that many women are attracted to, but there is a “club” of men out there, of which I can say I am a member who stand with our backs against the wall refusing to share anything of ourselves with an interested woman. Our response to many of their advances may be nothing more than a casual conversation, but perhaps in a mixture of personal accountability regarding self-promises, stubbornness, or even, for some, a fear of commitment, we may purposely shut ourselves down at the first sign of taking any steps toward reciprocating a “relationship-driven” interest. I certainly feel apologetic toward the many very nice women I have met, but I committed to remaining single for life when I was in my middle 20s and nobody is going to either force me to change nor remotely cause any pause for consideration in my thinking. The bottom line, and the point that I’m trying to make here is that as much as women try sometimes to get what they want, there does come a point where, as the article explains, you have to walk away and look elsewhere. There is nothing wrong with staying single, whether you are a man or a woman. What troubles me most is that there are far too many people in this world who invest far too much time in thinking being a bachelor is an act of selfishness or that it expresses some sort of incompetence in socializing, or that even THEY can get a man to change his ways. I can’t tell you how many times a friend or a family member has taken up a “cause” of some kind to get me to date and be in a relationship. After all of these years I still here from friends, “you’ll find someone…” Relationships are a choice not an act of divinity, regardless of what folks will say. We make conscious choices to engage ourselves in relationships as much as we make the choices to have them and end them at our personal discretion.

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  8. Hedi says:

    I really enjoy reading the articles. I do agree with these facts. it’s great.

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  9. Sarah says:

    I appreciate the article and identify with it. I also really enjoyed Preston’s take on it. I am hardwired to want a long term committed relationship so it did not dawn on me that not all people want that. I would think, maybe I haven’t met the “right” guy and conversely maybe I’m just not the “right” girl for him, but one day he will meet her and want to get married etc. Ha! Those are cooping statements. It feels like a rejection when a perfectly suitable mate who seems compatible in so many ways is not interested in more than a casual relationship. Once you realize that it truly is not personal and can accept that every person has a completely different perspective on what they are looking for in a relationship your “resistance” meter will kick into high gear! You will start to notice the people who are not on the same page and can take it for what it is. As women I think we confuse chivalry, sweet talk and being treated well by the man we are dating as a green light for a ring, a house and some kids. The truth is there are men who know how to treat a lady like a lady even if they are not interested in the ring, house and kids. The best way to see know if you have met a “resistant” man early on is to pay attention to the littlest of little red flags and ask the hard questions upfront. Then you will know and you can move on to finding someone who wants what you want.

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  10. kamila says:

    What Preston says should be carved in stone. Agree completely. K.

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  11. Anna says:

    so what about showing your emotionally unavailable man this article?

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  12. stephanie says:

    Preston, no wonder why you have this problem of women wanting you, you sound like a great guy.

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  13. Laura says:

    @ Preston,

    That is an interesting perspective. However, I see a few holes in your logic…one of them is major and that’s the one I’d like to address. If we never let down our walls to be vulnerable with others and if we never share our inner world with someone else, we never really experience love. CS Lewis said, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

    That quote is as true as anything I’ve ever read. I have seen it happen time and again to men…good men who have been burned by past experiences with women…and the walls go up because they are uncertain how trust again. It is certainly easier to maintain independence as a solution, and maybe even desirable for many, but, not productive. Not really. To love is the greatest thing. Anything less is unadulterated selfishness. Who aspires to that??

    My suggestion? If someone is important to you, just try to open up. Remember, the opposite of love isn’t hate…it’s indifference. At least if you hate someone you give a care whether they live or die. However, to have someone wonderful in your life and never let them in and never even show that you care…those are the kinds of actions that cut the very life out of the souls of people. I think people should be loved. At the end of the day, we all need to be loved as a fundamental part of our survival.

    Move on you say? Move on we women shall. But, I aspire to be a life-giver. I desire to be known for my love, not my selfishness. Pray you, what do you aspire to be known for?

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  14. PJ says:

    I always thought my boyfriend had walls around him from an emotionless upbringing and from previous hurts. I kept thinking if I was just patient, I’d be able to scale that wall. When I seek confirmation of his feelings for me, he would be visible uncomfortable. He’d say, can’t you tell that I ‘care deeply’ for you based on my actions? I’d would tell him that I needed the words sometimes and was always looking for some signs or words that would help me feel safe and secure in the 3 year relationship. His response was always something like “Don’t I treat you well? Don’t I show you by being there for you that I care deeply for you?” I have moved beyond patience now and the feelings I have are starting to fade in the absense of nourishment. Talks of a future are usually answered with “I don’t know what the next years will bring”. Okay, I get it…. moving on then. But wait, when they see you letting go, they give you just enough ‘emotion’ to keep you on the hook. What is that? Resistant Man? All this time trying to scale a wall that has no intention of ever coming down, is keeping us all unavailable to the next person, who might not be an EUM.

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