Share A while back I asked this question on my Facebook wall: What are the most common signs in your experience? I got some great responses, and I asked a similar question to women in my private community. I geek out on this subject because I was a very emotionally unavailable man for over a decade. And it caused me a TON of pain and failures in my relationships. Most often his denying behavior looks like defensiveness. I also denied that I had any issues that needed to be worked on.
I never took responsibility and most often blamed my girlfriends for the way I was feeling. He says one thing, then contradicts that later in his actions or words. Later, this can show up as him insisting on arrangements that are one-sided. A bit like incongruence, but here he constantly changes what he wants and what he will offer.
Perhaps he shows up big at first, then pulls away after a few months or years. He may be hot for her one week, only to have little interest a few days later. He is keenly interested in one kind of intimacy, but avoids another. This means he can be physically affectionate and want sex especially on his terms but stops short at expressing his emotions or his attachment. He can also talk a big game and declare his undying love and devotion, but then avoid physical intimacy.
I did this one with every woman I dated. The older a man gets, the more he hates this about himself, and he often stays stuck by staying in the relationship, but giving very little. At a certain point in the relationship, often early on, he begins to distance. For him, distancing is a habit.
It feels like his primary relationship is with his phone or his computer, not you. He pulls away or shuts down. He is slow to return texts. After disconnecting, this is where he disengages from the relationship. He no longer puts his resources time, energy, money into nurturing the relationship. Here he stops initiating calls, emails, texts, sex, and conversations about deeper things.
Another clue can be voluntary changes in routine and habits that result in less connection. For example, consistently making plans with others on his normal date night with you, without setting an alternative time with you.
Not only the relationship and your feelings, but your life, work, family, aspirations, etc. He shows little interest in your life together, from household issues to vacation or weekend plans. His default setting is defensiveness and he makes the relationship challenges about you, then you end up being overly responsible for how the relationship turns out. Imagine how the women I dated felt. So, now we have a portrait of this guy. Thus, underneath all of these behaviors lie unconscious motives that serve to keep him safe in his comfort zone.
So, if you can relate to this and are with a man like this, he needs your help, starting with a gentle kick in the ass.