This article appeared originally in The Huffington Post.
Have you heard of the Emotionally Unavailable Man (EUM)?
I’ve been informed that this term is useful for spotting the physically and spiritually unavailable men, and is not necessarily gender-specific (also applies to females).
Here are seven possible signs the person you’re seeing is emotional unavailable:
- Hasn’t actually bought you any present – You may have bought him this or that thoughtful present that might support his well-being or health in some form e.g. book, vitamins, or supplements etc. He, on the other hand, has never actually bought you anything. Buying you a meal before sex, or buying a particular brand of rice or hand (based on your preference) doesn’t actually count because it is a by-the-way thing, and he’s going to partake of most of it anyway.
- Never introduces you to his family or friends – He never volunteers any information about his family or friends unless you share about your family and friends (it’s called making conversation). Or he would only talk about them when you ask him specific questions about them (it’s called answering questions). You know for a fact that he’s never mentioned you to them. You don’t feel he has any desire to introduce to any of them – ever.
- Cannot put a label to your relationship – You’ve asked and both of you can’t agree on what type of relationship this is. Some of the options thrown around included: “friends with benefits”, “booty call”, “f-buddy”, “fling”, “casual”, “exploring” etc. If it’s gone on for more than six months, don’t hold your breath about the ambiguous nature changing anytime soon.
- Always takes off after sex – While he may not leap out of bed immediately after sex, he does excuse himself as soon as humanly possible after sex. The niceness before sex dissipates as quickly as your last wave of orgasm, and you wonder where the guy who was pounding into you moments ago went.
- No mention of the “L” word – He has never said he loves you. Don’t confuse loving behavior as love. He could just be a physically loving person. Or a nice person who is just into you for the moment, yet not actually into you. If you’ve declared your feelings and his own reaction was “That’s nice”, he’s a EUM!
- Doesn’t talk about a future with you – He doesn’t talk about any long-term plans, or having a life with you. In fact, he revealed he has no long-term goals of his own – and even if he came up with one since you last asked, he’s not telling. Don’t confuse this with making plans with you for the weekend – at his place for dinner before sex.
- Growing sense of emptiness – Even during the point of orgasm, you don’t get the heart-opening and soul-merging feeling that comes from two people who are in love with each other being in union. Instead you have a growing sense of dissatisfaction after each encounter with him. You feel unfulfilled, empty, and used. Don’t lie to yourself that it’s ok and things will change. They may not.
In writing this piece, of course, I understand that there are people who like, enjoy and are empowered about in being in casual relationships. There is no judgment here. Do with or to your body whatever makes you happy – until it doesn’t. Not everything that makes you happy is beneficial. Then do something else that does make you happy and fulfilled. That’s my main message.
Take care of yourself. Treat yourself as more precious than diamond – because there is only one of you – even if your EUM doesn’t.
About Dr. Martha Tara Lee
Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee decided to take it upon herself to right this societal injustice in 2007. She set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality, then launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.
She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and is currently pursuing her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling. In practice for more than seven years, she is the only certified sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.
Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network. She has published two books: Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, and Orgasmic Yoga.
Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.