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’.
So if your partner gets defensive when you tell him how you feel, consider it a trait of an emotionally reclusive man with an emotionally oppressed backstory.
4. He Regularly Withdraws or Goes Into Hiding
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.
Karolina actually wrote a really helpful post on this: Why Men Pull Away and How to Get Them to Stop Doing It.
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.
There are of course additional ways in which a man will express that he loves you, which you don’t want to miss.
Will He Ever Realize What He Lost?
If you and your man broke up, then you can be left with many doubts and questions.
One of which is whether emotionally unavailable men ever regret losing you and if it’s possible that he will come back?
I’ll tell you from my own experience and understanding that I have today…
…that I deeply regret the breakups with Karolina.
And that I honestly wouldn’t know what I would have done without her, if she’d moved on at the time.
But the sad truth is that because of being conditioned to be emotionally detached, we often DON’T EVEN realize we’re feeling all these things!
And puts both you and him in a painful situation…
It’s like you want to share all the love you have for each other, but there’s a BIG stupid glass wall keeping you apart!
So you might be wondering, what are the signs he will come back? Or how do you make him realize what he lost?
The cold, hard fact is that an emotionally unavailable man often doesn’t realize he’s made a mistake until it’s too late…
The wake-up call doesn’t HIT THEM until you’ve truly moved on.
And some unfortunately chose to remain emotionally isolated their entire lives…
BUT I don’t want you to lose hope just yet!
Let’s talk about how you can try to CONNECT with him.
How Do You Connect With an Emotionally Unavailable Man?
We’ve talked about the 5 traits of emotionally unavailable men, the 5 signs that he misses you, and whether he’ll realize what he’s lost.
So how do you win an emotionally unavailable man?
I won’t lie to you, it’s difficult!
Karolina can attest to how nerve wracking it was with me, (but I also might just be particularly stubborn!)
But it IS DOABLE.
So in case you’re wondering whether emotional detachment is permanent, no IT IS NOT!
But in order to get through to him, you need to equip yourself with a couple of things:
Yeah, I know, cliché isn’t it?
But it’s true!
And yes, waiting sucks, especially if you’ve already been waiting for SO LONG!
But if you lose too much patience and push him, he’ll only use it as evidence to justify keeping himself emotionally hostage.
So do what you can, to remain understanding of his internal struggle with feelings and support him on his journey to gradually opening up.
We like to emphasize that every relationship problem has layers (yes, just like an onion) and you need to patiently peel away at them, one at a time, to get to the root cause.
And if you’re at your patience limit, take a break and give him space the right way, so there is no distance being created.
Earn His Trust
If he’s ever going to get over his emotional unavailability, he’s going to need someone who he knows to count on.
If you’re the brave soul willing to go on this trip with him, you’ve already earned my respect.
And one of the best ways to bring him closer, is to build trust with him.
Again, just like with an onion, there are many layers of trust you can build, so don’t think of it as a one off, but as an ongoing process.
And the more you earn his trust, the more he’ll finally become emotionally available.
Learn His Story
Just like I’ve shared some of my story and journey with you, your partner will have his own story to tell.
It’s likely buried in a lot of shame and past secrets that he himself might not even properly remember!
But an important part of his healing process to become emotionally available for you will come from gradually trusting you with his story.
In his story, the root cause that’s driving his emotional detachment will become apparent and can be resolved.
This is actually something we talk a lot about in our Rebuild Your Relationship course.
In it, we explain why relationship problems, like emotional unavailability, happen and go into detail about how to connect with him in a way that opens him up, instead of triggering his defenses.
This way he can feel safe to trust you with his feelings and you can finally have the emotional intimacy you deserve.
Karolina and I have also written plenty of blog posts you guys can check out, including a post you might find helpful: How to Get an Emotionally Unavailable Man to Open Up
I hope this article gave you some clarity and insight.
If you have any thoughts or questions you’d like to share, just leave them in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you.