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5 Ways to Approach a Woman Who Is Emotionally Unavailable
At some point, you will likely meet a woman who seems emotionally distant. She's single, but she doesn't seem available. She might seem altogether unemotional or may simply seem to lack any warm emotions for you in particular. No matter what you do, you are left with the impression that you will never find a way into her heart.
When you run into a woman who seems emotionally unavailable, you have two choices:
- you can take her cue and ignore your impulse to try to win her over, or
- you can try to find a way to help her get to know you better, in the hopes that a relationship will bud from there.
If you're going with the latter option, then keep reading.
1. Be Aloof
Aloofness can be a hard characteristic to pull off, especially if you are emotionally attached to the outcome. Some will see it as being a jerk or acting apathetic, but that's not really what being aloof is about.
The idea is that this woman is probably very used to getting a lot of attention, so if you add yourself to the crowd of people swooning over her, then you're also automatically taking yourself off her radar. She wants someone who will intrigue her and do something different from the rest. She's already got plenty of flatterers and probably plenty of jerks in her life, so you'll need to be that one special person who is neither obsessed nor jerky. You need to be calm, cool, and aloof.
You can practice being aloof by not giving her any undue attention and by toning down the attention that is due to her. Don't blow her off or ignore her (that's just rude), but simply don't make her your first priority. When she comes into a room, don't stop doing what you're doing. When she's near you, resist the urge to turn towards and focus only on her. If she starts up a conversation, listen and respond, but don't try too hard to maintain the dialogue and keep it going. Just be more relaxed and detached in your expectations and don't try to control the outcome.
2. Spread the Charm Around
Flirting is a special kind of friendly behavior. When you flirt with someone, you give them your full attention, at least for a moment. You let them feel a little bit special because you are giving them that full attention.
The trick to flirting with an emotionally distant person is to make sure that you are flirting with everyone in the room, men and women alike. Your goal isn't to overdo it or to accidentally attract someone else (so do be careful and courteous)—your goal is to show that you can be charming (and are!) on a regular basis.
This tip works so well because many emotionally distant woman are the type who want to chase rather than be chased. So by flirting with others in the room, you give her the opportunity to chase you.
You don't have to be an extrovert to be charming. . . you just have to be interested. This list of getting-to-know-you questions might help.
3. Become Her Friend
What is a true friend? Someone that we can act naturally around. Someone we don't have to show off for. Someone that we can rely on and that we can open up to. A true friend is a person we trust.
If you thought the first two approaches were difficult, adding this one to the mix will be a lot harder, but being a true friend will win over an emotionally distant woman a lot sooner than any other method.
Her distance might be the way she protects herself. Many emotionally distant women have been hurt in their past relationships. She might be seeking a good companion, someone who can do more than just satisfy her carnal urges. Someone who can be a true friend.
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If you can prove yourself to be friendship material, then you can get in the door. From there, it's up to you. You'll want to let her get to know you better slowly and naturally. Try inviting a bunch of your mutual friends to a party and include her. Or when you know she'll be there, show up with a small group of friends. Get creative about finding ways to hang out with her in a friendly way, but don't force it or cross over into the stalker realm.
Don't worry that friendship will keep you locked in the friend zone, because it certainly won't. Friendship is a necessary first step.
4. Be Open and Honest About Who You Really Are
I know this can be complicated when you are purposefully trying to be aloof and universally charming when you'd really rather be fawning over her and following her like a shadow. But you need to be calm and collected around her to give her the chance to get to know the real you.
As mentioned before, it's possible and even probable that she's been burned before, probably by someone she thought was a good person. Maybe she put her trust into someone who turned out to be untrustworthy. By showing her your true self (your hopes, dreams, flaws, fears, etc.) and being real with her, you will assuage her fears of being fooled again and find a way to get her to let down her guard.
If you don't know how to be yourself, these 7 tips for how to not care what people think and be yourself might help.
5. Don't Say "Yes"
It's a basic rule in business that also applies to dating. NEVER say yes to the first offer. If you can help it, try to avoid saying yes to even the second offer, but hint that another offer might get your attention.
This works particularly well with emotionally distant women, especially when they already know that they've got at least a little bit of your attention. If she is used to being the center of attention, she will be intrigued and it will make you seem more appealing. If you agree with everything she says and does, if you are putty in her hands, then you're too easy and she'll probably be done with you in an instant.
Doing a thing called "intermittent reinforcement" where you learn how to resist the urge to crank the heat and keep it full blast might work for you.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2011 PermissionGiver
ezekiel48857 from Nigeria on July 18, 2018:
Finding true love has never been easy not only for women. but including men because most women claims to love you but truly never did. I'm single and searching for the love of my life.
PermissionGiver (author) from Lake Stevens on May 17, 2013:
I don't know that I would necessarily suggest that being 'shy' makes you 'emotionally distant' @Jennifer. 'Shy' is more or less the idea of being a bit slow to open up, but I know of many women who are shy, but not the least bit distant. They just like to dip their toes in the water and get used to the temperature before they jump in =)
That being said, the 'shying away from society' definitely fits part of the broadness of being 'emotionally distant' and I hope you know (or know now) that I don't believe for an instant that there is anything "wrong" with being emotionally distant or with needing more introspective time to consider your next move. It's just another way to be. This hub was simply an attempt to help men that are attracted to woman who are or appear to be emotionally distant.
With that being said, I am curious to ask if you have consider the potential that you might be what's known as an "Empath"? It's fairly easy to recognize, especially if you used to be the type of person who loved being amongst trusted friends and family, or if you used to enjoy going out (with or without alcohol/drugs). Answer these questions for yourself (if you want to):
1. When in a room of more than 3 people, do I feel overwhelmed, like I have a dozen emotions all fighting to take over my brain and body?
2. Does the thought of going out into social settings make me want to curl up and cover my head at the thought of all the noise, chaos and emotions involved in those types of activities?
3. Do I feel most comfortable around people whom I recognize to normally be 'calm', happy and honest?
If you answered yes to those questions, chances are you're likely to be an empath, and the reason I wanted to help you discover that, is because it can feel like hell going through all of that, not recognizing that you're not alone at all and that you can get yourself back and become the person you used to love to share with the world.
If you recognize the signs of empathism in yourself and you want to know more, feel free to message me or find me on facebook as "Bema Self". I'd be happy to chat with ya about it. =)
PermissionGiver (author) from Lake Stevens on May 17, 2013:
@Val, thank you so much for your comment! With hubs like these, it is SOOOOO nice to hear from men who have been able to use the information to better their lives in one way or another. And as you clearly recognized, part of this hubs intention was to help men spot a woman who might need more time and attention than a man is necessarily prepared to give.
I might not agree with some of your verbage, though I totally understand what you're saying. Personally, I think it's a bit broad to categorize 'all' emotionally distant women as 'screwed up' or 'emotionally handicapped', as those are rather generic terms which only cover a small portion of woman who have their reasons for being emotionally distant. Sometimes we're distant because we're screwed up from time, nature and nurture. Other times, it could be simply a means of a good offense to men who are either not prepared to give the time and attention we need, or whom are not really seeking the same form of deep connection with us that we want with them.
All of that rambling aside, my advice to any man who is on the radar of a woman who appears to be emotionally distant, is to be objective, honest and quick. Basically, you want to be the opposite of what I described in this hub.
Be objective in the sense that you need to consider whether this woman is truly "screwed up" by your definition of the phrase, or if she only 'appears' to be that way in certain situations. If you're looking for a meaningful relationship in your life, a woman who appears to be distant on the outside, might just be holding out for her prince charming (which could be you, ya never know!). Or she could be so far emotionally stunted for one reason or another that you do want to run for the hills (unless you like that sort of woman). Either way, objectivity is the only way to find out. You're already doing much of that by seeking information from others who have been where you are now (or where 7 months ago at least).
Once you are sure that you're not attracted to this woman, for whatever reason (no one needs to validate your choice, it's up to you alone), then it's important to be honest and quick about it. A woman who appears to be emotionally distant or whom clearly carries much emotional 'baggage', is often more in need of love and significance in her life than a woman who is more secure with herself. And if she is reaching beyond her "barrier" to get your attention, she probably sees certain compatibilities between the two of you that would make you an 'ideal' partner. She may be right or she may be way off, but it's obvious that she is attracted to you and if you are not, you need to tell her ASAP. The longer you wait, the more her imagination will bond her to you, especially if she is the type of gal who has a natural 'huntress' instinct and likes a good chase.
So once you know that you are not attracted to her, do the opposite of what's in this article. Do not be aloof! Instead, be calm and straightforward. Let her know that while you are flattered by her attraction towards you, that you are not prepared to offer her a meaningful relationship and that you would like her to stop 'advancing' on you. Now, just so that you're not taken off guard, most woman, emotionally healthy or otherwise, will be slightly embarrassed to be called out like that, and she will definitely feel rejected, even if she wasn't really trying to get your attention that much. Her reaction could include argumentativeness, speechlessness, rudeness or sometimes even a few tears. Don't be afraid of any of this, but do be empathetic (not necessarily sympathetic! Know the difference).
To summarize: When you want to 'run for the hills', make sure you tell her as soon as you're sure, that you're honestly not interested or prepared to offer her what she really needs. Good luck! =)
PermissionGiver (author) from Lake Stevens on May 17, 2013:
Sorry it's been so long for me to reply everyone! First, I want to thank EVERYONE for your comments. They only enrich this hub for those who will soon read it.
@DarkestDelight - Thank you for joining hubpages. I'm not sure if you did so just to comment on this article, but somehow it still feels great to be one of the few hubbers you choose to read and comment on. I hope you'll come back and write some articles about your perspectives of relationships and mental health challenges of men and women. Mine is not the only experience or knowledge out there, and the world can only be helped when more people share.
That being said, it would seem to me that your comment clearly illustrates the points I made in this hub, especially with the flare of insult you so clearly felt from a hub meant to help the opposite sex.
Yes, 'most' women are in fact more social acute than 'most' men. Keeping that in mind, 'most' does not mean 'all', which means there are plenty of women (and men alike) who are certainly considered 'emotionally distant'. Also, it might be helpful to know that this hub was inspired by a question asked by another hubber, which I believe is linked to this hub. If it weren't for that, this hub probably would've been called, "How to recognize and interact with women who appear to be emotionally distant" or "How to understand more about the interworkings of women who are slightly unstable." lol
To reiterate, this hub was written in response to a question asked. I answered in the best way I could, using the same verbage used by the querrent. They wanted to know how to make a connection with a woman in their life that seemed to be emotionally distant, and that in itself is the very reason this hub was written for men who have found a woman who appears to be emotionally distant to THEM. What appears to be one way on the outside, may not be the true form on the inside, but seeking information about the outside is the first step to really getting to know someone on the inside. I've received plenty of messages about his article, along with the few fine comments everyone has left here and it seems to me that this hub has helped plenty of folks start the journey. It certainly doesn't cover everything, but it was never meant to. It was simply designed to answer the question and get the rest of the conversation started.
Yes, 'most' women do want a man to just be himself with her, or at least they believe they do (hence why in the hub I did not suggest any lying or true deception and even made sure that a man reading this knows that he needs to be honest from the start). It's taken years of learning behavioral psychology, going through my own experiences and studying the lives and choices of other women around the world for me to understand that what we 'think' we want and what we really want, can sometime be two different things, especially since most modern women are not that 'in tune' with their subconscious, which holds their TRUE needs. And since this hub pertains to men who've found women that appear to be emotionally distant, I focused on women who are emotionally distant because: A) They are playing hard to get, B) They are bitter from past relationships and/or C) They are naturally 'thick skinned'.
In most cases when a man finds a woman who appears to be emotionally distant, either she is emotionally distant or she is using that characteristic as a courting tactic. Men, as much as we love them, are not usually that great at interpreting subtle hints or even blunt tactics that women often employ to get their attention, and sometimes they need a hand in recognizing what to do (hence the hub).
When it comes to women who are playing hard to get, bittersweet from previous relationship or naturally shy, a guy has a better chance of attracting her attention in a meaningful way, by not trying to be the loudest and most obnoxious man in the room, by relaxing and not bringing the world's attention down on the woman's shoulders and by playing a bit hard to get himself. Aloofness, cautious approaches and a lack of force on the end of commitment, all fit into ways of doing those things, and were the best ways I could think to describe the situation to the widest range of readers possible without writing a book about it. =)
To answer your last question, YES. It certainly is reasonable for a woman to become emotionally distant after years of sour relationships, leering and jagged perspectives of the men in their lives. That is often, though not always, part of the trigger of such behavior patterns. That being said, women who are emotionally distant, still wish (often more than other woman) to be loved. In fact, many of them dawn the 'armor' of distance in an attempt to find a man who isn't afraid to go the distance and overcome her challenges, tests and expectations. These tips will help a guy get a foot in the door with a woman who on the outside seems distant and sometimes emotionless, but who might be a complete treasure once you break down her barriers and she lets you inside. You never know really.
And on that same line of thought, most of the demographic of men who would seek out a hub like this, are doing their best not to be notched on the post as another jerk who only wants to leer at her or get into her pants. They honestly want to be able to connect with what they see as a beautiful woman with more to offer the world than she thinks she is letting on.
Alternatively, there are plenty of men who are seeking a woman who does not have any of these challenges, and they really just want to be able to recognize the difference between a potential partner who needs more attention and time than they are willing or able to give.
I'm more than willing to help out in all of these situations, which is why I offered what I could in this hub. If you feel differently, I highly suggest you write about it. Your comment is graciously appreciated, but when it comes to complaints or disagreements I always feel it's best to clearly explain them in your own hub, so that others can benefit from what you have experienced and what you feel would be the right approach. =)
Jennifer on May 07, 2013:
I have always been emotionally shy. Meaning daydreaming even around social circles. When I would drink and smoke always covering my inner emotions. Now that I don't drink and smoke the cigs sober and happy but became even more shy. The only time I focus is at work and church. As society has become more violent the more I shy away. Introverts are sometimes border to block emotions are might just be thinking. Nothing wrong with that. Yes some women are logical. I am.
Val on October 02, 2012:
I do so agree with darkestdelight’s notion above. And thank you for this article. I’ve been researching this topic for two days now, as I am currently being singled out by an aloof woman. I was shocked to recognise the very exact, to the T, behaviours that you outlined above in her conduct, the moment I enter the room. I do not fall for screwed-up, emotionally handicapped people, in fact I am repelled by them. Thank you for helping me to get more clarity on the situation. It only served to marry me to the decision to run for the hills -- and find a real, nurturing woman.
darkestdelight on July 11, 2012:
I just thought that a lot of this is misconceived.
Most women are not emotionally distant.
Women usually have a greater social acuity than men, are friendlier, and really just want men to be men and act normal.
Turn your nose up at her and be aloof ? wtf !
Ignore her and chat up other women ? wtf x2 !
Be her friend ? (Well maybe she doesn't want a Pen Pal ? Maybe she wants a special lover to tell how special she makes him feel ?)
Women get guys leering at them everyday, eyeballing them, or just making life more uncomfortable for them, is it isn't reasonable that they become "emotionally distant" ?
PermissionGiver (author) from Lake Stevens on May 14, 2012:
I hope so! Or at least, I hope no one is afraid to ask question here if my hub didn't answer all their questions =)
mwwa on May 13, 2012:
true true. hopefully they apply the advice and dont give up!
PermissionGiver (author) from Lake Stevens on May 13, 2012:
Yes, that is kind of funny. I think women are just a bit more self aware of themselves though, cause we seek info about ourselves, whereas men probably just browse this article real quick with not comments, lol
mwwa on May 12, 2012:
Great article and great advice!! Funny how only women are commenting though :)
PermissionGiver (author) from Lake Stevens on March 26, 2012:
Sometimes the first step to growth is simply the acknowledgment that we need to grow ;)
Mary from Washington on March 25, 2012:
I suppose it could be different if I found the power to let it be. I have considered that quite earnestly. Perhaps I am so skittish that I sabotage myself. I have certainly considered that! I know that I am terribly distrustful and nervous when a relationship begins to heat up. I get that "deer in the headlights... RUN!" thing going through my brain and I follow my flight instinct. Too bad. There are some great men out there. I think your point about being a friend is a super good one. The one relationship I enjoyed since my divorce was with a really, really good friend. He showed himself to be kind, consistent, down to earth, and steady. I felt secure and protected with him. The odd thing is that I shoved him away all the while screaming on the inside, "DON"T!!!!" I knew he was a very good man but something inside of me trembled when he did nice things for me. I wondered what it would end up costing me and what he would do to me because I needed help. Truth is, he would have done nothing mean. He knew my marriage had been rough but he had no idea how rough. I think if I had been more upfront with my inside pain and my past it would have helped him to understand why I trembled when he was nice. hat is something to think about should I ever risked it again. I hope I do take the risk again. It would be nice to meet a kind man.
PermissionGiver (author) from Lake Stevens on March 25, 2012:
It could be different if you really wanted it to be =)
Tiffany on March 25, 2012:
this is so me :((( i hate it i wish i were different.
Mary from Washington on August 13, 2011:
That is so true!!! I am afraid I am one of those emotionally distant women you write so eloquently of. I don't mean to be but that red flag of distrust rears its ugly head and I find myself pulling away from great guys. The one mn who is capturing my heart has been my true friend for 4 years now. the going is slow but maybe it will be worth it when all is said an done. You gave great advice.