Emotionally Unavailable vs. Emotionally Unintelligent


Someone once asked me how they can tell if they’re emotionally available and ready to be in a relationship. I told them that they’ll know when they’re ready, and that when they are, they won’t even question it. I’ve written many articles on emotional unavailability, because it’s somewhat of a big issue in the dating scene. But it seems to be an even bigger issue in the online dating scene. Many times people get confused as to what the difference is between being emotionally unavailable and emotionally unintelligent. There’s a big difference between the two, and I hope to explain some of them in this article.

Emotionally Unavailable:

When someone is emotionally unavailable, they’re unable to connect with someone on an emotional level. They’re unable to open up their heart, not willing to risk getting their feelings hurt. As well, they’re not truly willing or open to falling in love. They’re simply afraid to fall in love.The reason is usually because of previous heartache or wounds, because they’re not over a past relationship, or because they fear things not working out. They’re scared of experiencing heartache, pain, and they perceive situations not working out as failure.

Someone who’s emotionally unavailable might also be commitment phobic, but not always. But many times, the two issues go hand in hand. When someone is emotionally unavailable, they usually need to recognize their issue, and then they need to be willing to heal, and give themselves time to work through their emotional walls or barriers that they’ve built. The only way for someone to fall in love is to let down their guard and become vulnerable enough to risk getting hurt.

Emotionally Unintelligent:

When someone is emotionally unintelligent, they might actually be emotionally available. But usually, there’s still an underlying missing piece. They can’t comprehend emotions to the extent that they should be able to. Whether it’s because of the lack of experience or maturity, they simply can’t connect on a deep emotional level. Sometimes this even goes for understanding facial expressions, and why someone appears to be happy, unhappy, sad, or angry, etc. As well, being emotionally unintelligent means that someone simply can’t understand reasons to different emotions or fully grasp why someone might feel certain ways.

Although an emotionally unintelligent person can still be emotionally available and open to love, they might never be able to fully “get it” or “get you” for that matter. For the most part, they usually won’t know what the right thing to say is. As well, they might fail to comprehend appropriate vs. inappropriate timing of saying things. It can leave others frustrated at times. It’s preferable that this type of person finds a partner who’s patient and loving. Someone who will bear with them, and even better, one who will hold their hand, and try and help them understand at a pace that’s comfortable for them.

One last thing…

Both of these types of people are not preferably the best candidates for someone who has an open heart, and feels everything in life with great passion and intensity. It’s important to recognize the signs of these types of people so that you’ll be aware, and can make a wise decision for yourself as to whether or not to proceed in dating them. When someone is emotionally unavailable, I wouldn’t recommend dating them at all. But, when someone is emotionally unintelligent, it’s almost as if their growth in life needs to be developed more on an emotional level, if possible, and it can be quite challenging to their partner. However, they’re still datable if you ask me.

However, it might be somewhat challenging if you’re the impatient type. It takes a lot of patience when dealing with an emotionally unintelligent person or the type of person who’s emotional development is on a different level than your own. We all develop at different paces in life, and it’s important to keep that in mind. If you decide to date someone who’s emotionally on a different level than you, but you truly love them, things can still work out if you’re willing to work at it. But, you should go at their pace and be understanding. You should remember to stay patient, and never, and I mean never put the other person down because of how they are. They’re not stupid. They’re just not at the same level as you as far as emotional intelligence. Be kind to your partner. Show and express your love to them through your words and your actions. It can only help to speed up the process of their emotional development.

Anne Cohen
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