Yes, emotionally unavailable men do miss their partner.
But as you may know from your own experience, getting him to feel or admit that he misses you, can feel like an endless uphill struggle.
It’s something my fiancée Karolina used to complain about A LOT with me, especially during our breakups…
Because guess what?
I used to be an extremely emotionally unavailable man too.
That’s why I want to talk about this difficult topic with you, because whether it’s about discovering the traits of emotionally unavailable men, noticing the signs that he misses you or if he’ll ever wake up to what he’s lost…
All of these things matter to not only understanding your position and value in his life, but will also answer the question of how you fix emotional distance in a relationship.
(if that’s something you still want)
And that’s exactly what we’ll cover in this post, by sharing some of Karolina’s and my story with you and how you can apply the lessons we learned to your own life.
What Are the Traits of an Emotionally Unavailable Man?
You may think you’re alone with your emotionally unavailable guy, but us men are, unfortunately, not as original as you might think.
A lot of us carry very similar emotional baggage from our pasts that we’re too afraid to unpack and face.
And this has a DEEP negative impact on our relationships.
So let’s first start with identifying 5 signs of emotional detachment in men that you might recognize from your own relationship:
1. He Has a Hard Time Committing to You
Whether it’s about long-term future plans or the often dreaded ‘What are we?’ question.
Anything Karolina would say that would suggest commitment to our relationship would scare the living hell out of me!
Now, the exact reason behind that, is a longer conversation.
But in short, it’s driven by a deeply seated fear of abandonment.
So I would stay emotionally detached in an effort to AVOID the dreadful outcome of the relationship not working out.
And as you might have experienced yourself, his fear then creates the very outcome he’s TRYING TO AVOID.
Which in turn makes him think that having his emotional guard up is justified and reinforces it.
And It sucks!
For both of you.
2. He Gives You Mixed Messages
To make matters even more confusing for Karolina, after struggling with commitment, I would then say or do things that made her feel appreciated and that I was serious.
Like randomly texting her that I miss her…
So naturally she was all: “Which IS IT then????”
These kinds of mixed messages tie back to the fact that I myself was unaware of my attachment towards her.
So if you’re wondering how to tell if a guy is confused about his feelings for you, it’s likely a sign that he’s just emotionally lost and unavailable.
3. He Often Judges Your Emotions as ‘Overreacting’
I was raised in an environment that vehemently shamed the expression of emotions or needs.
When this is your standard in your formative years, it becomes your ‘normal’.
And also plays a big part in what causes emotional detachment.
This means that when Karolina was emotional about something, the only way I could react to what she said was in the SAME WAY my parents treated me.
Which was to diminish, ignore and judge her expressing her emotions as ‘overreacting’.
When there was too big of an emotional load on me and I didn’t know how to cope with it, the solution was simple:
If you know this behavior from your own relationship, then you’ll have seen him bury himself in work, binge the latest Netflix series, be on his phone for hours on end or any other form of withdrawal to escape the crushing load of scary emotions.
5. He Doesn’t Notice That He’s Emotionally Unavailable
Lastly, but no less important, is that he’s likely UNAWARE of the fact he is emotionally unavailable.
As mentioned, to me it was the standard (or lack thereof) that was set in my childhood, that led me to being blind to emotional needs.
In the same way, many people go through their own lives being taught that their emotions are invalid, non-existent, stupid, etc.
Overtime, these lies become ingrained, and you accept them as truths.
THIS is what causes emotional unavailability and is what you’ll experience as some traits, which put a giant wrench in the gears of what could otherwise be a happy relationship.
So these are 5 traits of emotionally unavailable men to help you know what you’re dealing with.
Next, let’s talk about the, often cryptic, ways in which he might be telling you that he misses you.
5 Signs An Emotionally Unavailable Man Misses You
The problem with emotionally detached men is that they make it INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT to read them and know what’s going on inside their heads and hearts.
So if your relationship is going through a tumultuous time or you guys broke up and there’s little contact, here are signs to help you know that he actually misses you.
1. He’s Let You Into His Life
Even though Karolina and I hit some big roadblocks in our relationship due to me being emotionally distant…
I did actually involve and let her into my life.
So if your (ex)partner has introduced you to his friends, his family or made you feel at home when you were at his place, then these are ways in which he’s talking through his actions rather than words.
(Because words might involve scary emotions.)
A man who does this, has placed enough trust and value in his partner to let her into his life this much, which makes you someone he definitely cares about and misses.
2. He Helps You Where He Can
Despite his emotional limitations, he’ll do what he can to help with things he actually CAN DO.
I may have been emotionally unavailable, but I often made gestures that clearly communicated that I was interested in Karolina and wanted her in my life.
Even after our breakups.
Whether it was helping out with an assignment, checking in on her when she was sick or the classic, carrying heavy things for her.
So distant men find OTHER WAYS to communicate that they value and miss you, typically by helping where they can.
3. He Makes Some Effort to Change
Despite all the exhausting and heartbreaking arguments we had about emotional distance, I always TRIED.
I made conscious efforts to be more available and talk about my past and why I struggled with emotional attachments.
One of the ways to tell if an emotionally unavailable man loves you, is if he has made these kinds of efforts (as small as they may be!) know that this is a definite sign he’ll miss you!
4. He’s Been Vulnerable With You
As we talked about, the reason many men are emotionally unavailable is that they are terrified of being abandoned and rejected again.
They’ve been taught that their emotions are not valid and don’t exist.
So if he’s been vulnerable with you, by showing his ‘softer side’ through words, texts or even just facial expressions, then it’s another sign he’ll miss you terribly.
Because no emotionally unavailable man willingly displays vulnerability unless you’ve successfully earned his trust.
5. He Calls or Texts You
When men are having second thoughts or are trying to move on, they’ll resist contacting you.
So if he makes an effort to text or call you, maybe ‘Just wanted to see how you’re doing?’ or ask something like ‘What’s new?’
Then he most certainly is thinking about you and misses you.
Expressing your love and appreciation for your boyfriend or husband is far more important than you think!
When you’re in a relationship with someone, people tend to assume that their partner knows what they are thinking or feeling.
But this mostly could not be further from the truth!
Deep down, we’re all insecure and riddled with self-doubt…
That’s why it’s so important to tell him how much you love him!
It will make your boyfriend or husband feel valued and appreciated. It will also encourage him to return the gesture and express his feelings for you, which in turn will make you feel more secure in the relationship.
When Should You Tell Your Boyfriend You Love Him?
The answer to this question is very simple: you should tell your boyfriend you love him whenever you feel like it.
In case it’s not possible because one of you is busy or currently unavailable, it’s best to wait for the moment when you can be sure you have his attention and that he will be able to receive what you’re trying to communicate to him.
Alternatively, you can always send him a text or leave him a little note he can open and read whenever he is ready.
This way, you don’t have to worry about the timing being right.
When to Tell Your Boyfriend You Love Him for the First Time
Telling your boyfriend you love him for the first time can be very vulnerable. That’s why it’s important not to rush it and to only do it when it feels right.
For example, I told my boyfriend (now fiancée) that I loved him while we were snuggling in bed.
It was a very special moment, a memory of which gives me warm fuzzy feelings up until this day…
I did it about three months into our relationship.
But there are no fixed rules here…
On average, research has found that men wait about three months to say ‘I love you’ for the first time, while women tend to need five months before their first love confession.
What to Do if You Want to Tell Him You Love Him, but You’re Scared
If you want to tell your boyfriend that you love him, but you’re scared, then maybe you’re simply not ready to do it yet.
Expressing feelings comes naturally to some people, while others struggle with it. I used to have a much harder time expressing my appreciation too, so I get how scary it can feel to show vulnerability and put yourself out there in this way!
If you feel like you could do with some support when it comes to this kind of struggle, you might find the help you need in a coaching call.
Here we will listen to you about your fears and blocks, and give you strategies on how to approach them and what to do to overcome them.
We will also give you tips on how to be more confident and doubt yourself less.
Breakups almost never feel like a definite end of a relationship.
When you’re together with someone, you inevitably become attached and develop a connection and that’s something that can’t just vanish from one moment onto the next.
If your boyfriend recently broke up with you, or you were the one to break up but regret it, know that this feeling you likely have: that things are not over yet, is right!
It takes months if not years to truly let go and move on. And through all that time a window of opportunity for reconciliation and fixing things often remains open.
My boyfriend and co-author of this blog broke up with me three times in the first years of our relationship. After every one of these breakups we ended up getting back together in about a month. And I know from all of you guys just how common these kinds of situations are!
Couples break up but things don’t end there. They keep on texting, seeing each other and either things fizzle out slowly or they end up getting back together.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of signs to help you know if your ex secretly wants you back and is waiting for you to make the next move.
1. He Left His Things at Your Place and Isn’t in a Hurry to Pick Them Up
When a guy breaks up, women generally expect that he really means it. That’s why they are then often baffled when he then leaves many of his things at their place for weeks or even months after the breakup.
Sometimes this can even include really important personal items like documents, spare keys etc. But it can also be smaller, less important stuff like clothes or electric toothbrushes…
So if you still have your ex’s stuff lying around at your place know it’s not because he just forgot about it.
He is leaving it there on purpose because it gives him a sense of ‘emotional security’ to have things still connecting you two, as though you were still together in some way.
It’s a definite sign that he isn’t over you yet and is waiting for you to see where you really stand and what you’ll do.
2. He Still Has Your Things at His Place and Isn’t Trying to Give Them Back
Much like in the case of him leaving his stuff at your place, him keeping your things isn’t accidental.
It’s not that he just forgot about them or just doesn’t care to arrange to give them all back.
To him, keeping your stuff is even more of a ‘security’! Not only does it give him the feeling of having a connection with you, but it’s also a guarantee that he’ll get to see you at least once again.
Him holding onto your stuff is a sure sign that he is waiting for you and secretly wants you back but wont straight up admit it!
3. He Keeps on Texting or Calling You as Though You Were Still Together
This is another classic behaviour so many of you have told me about: a guy breaks up with you but then continues acting as though you were still together.
This might mean regular texting and phone calls or even arranging to see you or go on dates with you.
This was actually the case with Gabriel and me too! The third time he broke up with me on a Sunday and then on Monday afternoon I received a text from him saying: “Wanna meet up for a coffee?”
But when you text your ex and he replies within the same minute, it’s a sure sign your ex has been thinking of you, missing you and waiting for you to reach out to him.
Also he is clearly really eager to keep the conversation going.
5. He Keeps You Updated on What’s New in His Life
Being together with someone means having a person to share all the important moments in life with. All the small and big victories as well as defeats.
Most people who break up don’t actually understand the consequences of it when they are doing it.
They’re blind to abandonment and rejection they themselves are inflicting and then act accordingly.
So, if your ex keeps on updating you on everything that’s happening in his life, even though he might be the dumper, in these moments he wants you back.
It’s a sign he still needs you and because of it is likely waiting for you to make a move and get him back.
6. He Isn’t Dating Anyone New
One of the most baffling and infuriating moments in my life happened two weeks after Gabriel and I broke up for the first time…
His reasons for wanting to break up back then was because he wasn’t ready to settle down and wanted to experience love and life.
I was obviously heartbroken but accepted where he was at and went on a two week sailing holiday.
I came back dreading that he will already be with some other girl…
But to my surprise, he did not see anyone while I was away, he said he was taking a break from dating for the time being.
If a guy broke up with you supposedly because he fell out of love or didn’t care about you as much as you cared about him but he isn’t trying to move on and date anybody new, it’s a sign that he is likely still hung up on you.
He is likely battling some attachment/commitment issues and is waiting for you to help him break out of them.
7. He Texts or Calls Late at Night
People often judge drunk calls or booty calls but the thing is, alcohol lowers our inhibitions. When we’re drunk we often go after things we want but wouldn’t have the courage to try when we’re sober.
The same is true about being lonely and horny late at night…
If your ex drunk texts you or gives you a booty call, know it’s a sign he is missing you at that very moment.
It’s an indicator that at least part of him is still waiting for you and secretly wanting you back.
8. He Tells You He Misses You
Have you ever had your ex say to you: “I miss you” and felt like he can’t possibly mean it, because if he did he wouldn’t have broken up with you in the first place?
The thing about breakups is that they never really are straightforward.
More often than not, the dumper is only doing it as a last resort to communicate that something really isn’t working for him in the relationship.
They’re not actually wanting to break up.
They want you to get them and possibly stop doing something that’s really hurting them.
Unfortunately, his rejection hurts A LOT too.
So much so, that when an ex who dumped you says that he misses you, you might just discard it as though it meant nothing.
However, him saying something like this to you is pretty much straightforward admitting that: he is waiting for you and wanting to fix things so that you two can get back together.
9. He Talks to Others About You
Couples who have been together for many years can sometimes have trouble communicating without fighting. When a relationship reaches this stage, breaking-up often seems like the only option to escape the cycle of endless hurtful fights.
However, it doesn’t help with resolving anything.
People are desperate to find solutions to things that hurt them and can find creative ways of doing so. Some of our coaching clients have utilised this hack: communicating through friends.
Even though it’s not the most effective way of communication, it’s better than nothing.
So if your mutual friends have been telling you that your ex has been talking or complaining to them about you, know that this isn’t accidental. He meant for you to get this message!
Chances are this is the only way he can currently try to reach out to you. He might be so hurt and bitter that he simply can’t do it directly.
Even though this might be infuriating (because he seemingly could just tell you these things himself) it’s a sign that he is thinking about you and waiting for you to do something to fix things.
How to Get Him to Openly Want You Back
It’s all well and good to read the signs that he is waiting for you and to know that he secretly wants you back but that’s just the first part of getting out of this tricky situation.
Reversing a breakup can take anything from one simple text in some cases to weeks or even months of long conversations and rebuilding trust.
How do you become a better girlfriend? I used to ask myself this question in the past a lot too.
There is so much pressure on us women to look perfect, be perfectly kind, considerate, caring etc…
But at the same, I’ve made this observation over and over again (and I’m sure you did too):
There are women out there who act like total b****s sometimes, yet they have their partners follow them around like a puppy…
So what is it that men really want from their girlfriends?
Does your boyfriend want you to be gentle, kind and caring? Or does he want you to be strong, confident and challenge him every now and then?
The answer to these questions is likely a bit of both….
Some concepts are easier to understand by painting out their opposite. That’s why to get you to fully understand what men really want in relationships and how to become a better girlfriend, I’m going to start off by defining everything that you want to avoid being.
What is a Bad Girlfriend?
When my boyfriend, Gabriel and I got together, it was my first serious relationship. Because of that I wasn’t sure how relationships really worked which led me to doubt myself and wonder whether I was being a bad girlfriend.
If you too are doubting how good of a girlfriend you really are, these points are bound to put you at ease.
1. A Bad Girlfriend is Dishonest
Nobody (man or woman) ever wants to be lied to and betrayed.
It is hard to bring up difficult topics in a relationship sometimes. But when you’re intentionally hiding things you’re risking destroying your partner’s trust.
It’s ok to lie about liking your partner’s new shirt just to make him happy, but cheating, lying and hiding important things definitely make a bad girlfriend (or boyfriend for that matter).
2. A Bad Girlfriend Is Entirely Self Absorbed
A certain degree of selfishness is perfectly normal and healthy to have in a relationship.
But a woman who ONLY ever thinks about herself is bound to be a pretty terrible girlfriend.
3. A Bad Girlfriend Is Manipulative
Much like when it comes to being lied to, no one ever wants to be manipulated into things.
Never asking for what you want and trying to force your partner into giving it to you by scheming and manipulating always inevitably backfires.
It’s also something that makes a bad girlfriend.
4. A Bad Girlfriend Is Cruel
Wanting to intentionally hurt somebody should not be something anyone ever does, period.
Cruelty damages relationships often beyond repair.
The best way to snap out of it is to embrace the fact that we are all both: pretty bad girlfriends (at times) and amazing girlfriends too!
We are all human, we make mistakes.
Nobody is perfect.
At the same time, we often try to do our best and are kind and caring.
The ultimate trick to becoming a better girlfriend is to try to minimize the bad and to boost all the good behaviors.
1. Make an Effort to Be More Honest and Open
Honesty is one of the big qualities that makes a good girlfriend. Yet being completely honest is often something that is easier said than done.
Being honest can be difficult…
It forces you to reveal your true feelings and face relationship problems.
Hiding things that could potentially trigger a fight can seem like the better and more reasonable solution in many situations.
This kind of attitude always backfires in the long run though.
Even though honesty can trigger arguments sometimes, it also removes emotional barriers in your relationship and will bring you and your boyfriend closer together. This in turn, will make him trust you more.
One of the most important ways you can be a better girlfriend is to keep less secrets from your partner and try to be more honest with him instead.
2. Try to Be More Considerate
Happy relationships are all about compromise, right?
Or is compromise just another word for ‘Settling for things you don’t want’?
Always giving in and doing things your boyfriend’s way will inevitably make you bitter and resentful.
At the same time, you being the one who decides and controls EVERYTHING will have the same effect on him.
It can be tricky to find the right balance between being considerate of boyfriends wants and needs, and not sacrificing what you want for him.
Different couples are often on different sides of the scale when it comes to this.
Sometimes it’s the man who is sacrificing himself more. Sometimes it’s the woman.
Depending on the situation in your relationship, in order to become a better girlfriend you might need to be more considerate towards what your boyfriend wants and needs.
But if he is the one who is calling most of the shots and you often end up sacrificing what you want for him, then maybe you need to be more considerate towards yourself.
In this case, being more selfish is actually what would make you a better girlfriend.
3. Communicate as Much as You Can
Much like with honesty, communication is something you can never have enough of in a relationship.
Yet, it’s also something most couples struggle with too.
It is often easier to just imply things and hope that your partner will get the hint… But doing this unfortunately, often leaves the other person feeling a bit manipulated.
We all resort to manipulation sometimes (often without fully realising we’re doing it).
We throw tantrums for an effect, storm off in the hopes that he will come chasing after you or give silent treatment to show how hurt we are about something.
Unfortunately, all these kinds of manipulative behaviors are destructive. So much so, that they can even drive a man away.
One of the most important ways you can become a better girlfriend is to make an effort to try to manipulate him less and communicate more openly instead.
This way, not only you are much more likely to actually get more of what you want from your boyfriend, but will also make room for him to express things more openly too.
It’s one of the most powerful and effective ways to improve a relationship and also to be an amazing girlfriend.
4. Try to Be More Kind and Caring
People rarely think of themselves as cruel. Yet we can often be incredibly hard on ourselves.
I used to think things like: ‘why am I so lazy?’, ‘why can’t I just get this done?’, ‘why am I being so difficult about this’ etc.
The thing about being tough on oneself is that it is borderline cruelty.
Moreover, we relate to the ones closest to us the same way we relate to ourselves.
So if you’re being unreasonably hard on yourself, chances are you’re just as unreasonably hard on your boyfriend too.
Everybody has their flaws and limits. At the same time, we mostly try to do our best and life can be really difficult at times.
The only way to become a more kind and caring girlfriend is by becoming more patient, understanding and kinder towards yourself first.
Less toughness and more kindness can work wonders for you and your relationship.
It’s also what you should strive towards in order to be a better girlfriend.
This kind of exchange always feels very nurturing to both sides.
Being more receptive and less dismissive of your boyfriend’s thoughts and feelings is the last big way you can be a better girlfriend.
How Do I Start Being a Better Girlfriend
When it comes to starting with new things, in my experience, it always works out best to begin with what feels easiest and most straightforward.
Implementing any of the above mentioned steps is bound to help you out in becoming a better girlfriend.
Relationships are complicated. Loving someone is never easy!
All couples fight, face unforeseen challenges, make mistakes.
The first years of my relationship with Gabriel were extremely tumultuous. I knew he was very special to me. Yet, at the same time, we had problems and would sometimes feel like maybe we’re just too different to even make it work.
I often blamed myself. I felt like maybe I’m just not good enough to make a man want to commit to being with me.
The truth is. Nobody ever taught me how to do relationships.
Being a good girlfriend is not something you’re born with, it’s a skill.
And skills can be learnt.
Being good in relationships is extremely rewarding, as it brings you and your boyfriend closer physically and emotionally.
It took Gabriel and me years to figure out our problems. We were stuck in endless fights and even broke up a few times. But eventually we figured it out!
Now we teach others how to do relationships the right way.
We used all our knowledge and experiences and put together an online course: Rebuild Your Relationship to help women transform their love lives.
Here we will give you step by step guides complete with phrases you can use to become a better girlfriend.
You’ll learn all the typical mistakes and pitfalls women fall into in relationships and how to avoid them.
We’ll also give you tools on how to get him to love and appreciate you more, so that you won’t have to doubt yourself anymore!
So know that it’s NOT just you who needs constant validation.
It’s men, it’s women, and it’s everybody to a greater or lesser extent.
Now, as for how to ask your partner for reassurance while maintaining your dignity.
As previously mentioned, you can of course just ask for it.
In addition, there are specific ways to ask for reassurance that guarantee you get it and make you feel empowered while doing so.
Since this challenge was such a big part of my own and Karolina’s struggle in our relationship, we were sure to specifically add how exactly to get the validation and reassurance you need in our Rebuild Your Relationship course.
We designed it especially for women and in it, we show you the exact phrases to use to get what you need from your man.
We also teach you how to build confidence so that down the line, you rarely even need reassurance because you will feel secure in your relationship.
We always believed that relationships should be FUN and uplifting! And we were obsessed with finding real-world practical solutions for our relationship problems. Today we help others do the same with our blog.