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Back in September, I wrote a blog post on how to deal with a partner who has put on the brakes – i.e. you met, things moved forward, then after a few months, he or she suddenly wigged out and said, “I’m not ready for this.” Today, I want to talk about the partner (usually a guy) who has never taken his foot OFF the brakes. The one who keeps you at arm’s length.

The Emotionally Unavailable Guy.

Those of you who’ve read It’s Not Him, It’s YOU know about Mr. EU. He’s the guy who has some reason he can’t proceed with a relationship the way other men can because he’s:



  • Still getting over a breakup
  • Still getting over a divorce
  • Focusing on his career
  • Got “a lot going on” in his life
  • Still hurting over his parents’ divorce when he was twelve

He won’t get too close. He’ll always keep you wondering if things are going anywhere. He’ll wonder why you want to know where things are going, then make you feel like you’re a needy, marriage-obsessed chick for wanting your relationship to go somewhere.

I see some version of this scenario on a regular basis, whether it’s the divorced guy, the “I’ve been burned” guy, or the “I’m old and stuck in my ways” guy. In relationships, men want a lot of the same things you and I want (a partner who’s attractive, intelligent, kind, etc), but there is one thing they want most: to be accepted for who they are. This is no different with the EU guy, and EU guys will seek women who will accept them and their limitations. The question is, do you want to be one of these women?

Many times, women answer a resounding “NO!” to this question. Yet, many women do accept EU men. They put up with what they aren’t getting, not wanting to put more pressure on a guy and whatever his problems are. They make excuses for him. They think about what’s best for him, rather than also considering what’s best for her. They wait it out, hoping it will change. Sometimes it does; but most of the time, it doesn’t. And when these women really start to feel the pain of what they’re not getting, they start asking painful questions: does he care about me? Is he interested in me? Does he love me? Is he just waiting for someone better to come along? Is he “just not that into me?” Am I the problem? These are natural questions to ask.

But they are also the WRONG QUESTIONS TO ASK.

Here are the right ones:

  • Am I getting what I need from this situation? (Hint: if you often ask yourself this question, then the answer is likely “no.”)
  • How long am I willing to see what happens with this guy? (Put a time limit on it. If things don’t change, then bye bye.)

You can stay with an EU man if you’re truly willing to accept his limitations. But if you want more, then don’t waste time in these relationships. Move on.