1. I know I have a girl/boyfriend…somewhere…I think…
A huge red flag for a girl or guy who’s emotionally unavailable is that you can never reach them and they are never there for you. Every time you call it goes straight to voicemail. It’s like Mr. Big said on Sex and the City that one time he was dating some famous/very important person: “She can reach me but I can’t get her. Ever!” Except chances are your boyfriend isn’t a celebrity and he’s just being unavailable just because he’s “busy” or “working.” You can always make time for the things you really care about. But sometimes your partner might behave this way not because they’re trying to do you any harm, and maybe s/he doesn’t even realize their behavior is hurting you. It could just be in their personality, something they need to work on. In all cases, though, you should tell her or him how you feel. I’m speaking from experience, having been an emotionally unavailable male and losing the love of my life in the process. My fellow humans, don’t make my mistake.
2. You are friends with all of their friends but they’ve never met any of yours.
The thing about relationships is that they are supposed to be a two-way street, not a one-way. When you’re dating an emotionally unavailable person it often seems like you’re trying to walk against the traffic down a one-way street, rather than having room for you both to move down the sidewalk together. Sometimes your boyfriend or girlfriend might have debilitating social anxiety, like I do sometimes, and is actually afraid to meet your friends because your friends have so much sway in how you think about your lover. Or maybe s/he’s just an asshole who doesn’t have time for you and your life, and if that’s the case: SHUT IT DOWN.
3. They never ask you about you *and* you have no idea what they’re up to.
This is either a trait of unbridled narcissism or emotional unavailability, perhaps both? When you’re dating someone who not only doesn’t ask about you but who also doesn’t seem to know what you’re up to on a day-to-day level, well then it’s time to reassess the situation. If your friends have to ask you, “How’s _________” and the only thing you can say is “I have no idea,” then, hmm. It could just be poor communication between the two of you, or at the very worst it could be something more serious. This is why communication is always key. Don’t wait on an emotionally unavailable person to bring stuff up because they will not. Confront them about their ways, not in an antagonizing manner, and not as a way of saying “Hey, I’m dumping you!” Do it to get a conversation going, to be adults and put things on the table. If s/he starts going all apeshit because you brought this up, or if she or he gets angry at you for trying to fix problems you’re having with the relationship: SHUT IT DOWN.
4. They are hesitant to put a label on your relationship.
You know what? People get wishy-washy from time-to-time, and sometimes folks aren’t sure what they want. Often people really do need time to think about the things they want and need out of life, and the beauty of life is that those things can change unexpectedly. But if you’re dating someone and s/he is slow with saying “This is my boy/girlfriend,” and if their Facebook status says that “It’s complicated” with you (are people still saying this?), well then it’s time you hit the road. No one wants to date someone who’s afraid to proudly and singularly say THIS IS MY BOY/GIRLFRIEND.
5. You are feeling out of control emotionally.
We stay in relationships with people who drive us crazy emotionally because deep down we really do love them, and we see the best side of them, and we want to give them a chance. But sometimes a chance becomes chance after chance after chance, and you find yourself going absolutely bananas about the status of your relationship with this person you love so dearly and deeply, but who is never there for you. You start to buy into the excuses, you accept the lack of communication. Why? Because you love them. But at a certain point, if you don’t start tackling these issues head-on and if you don’t start seeing some improvements, you’re going to drive yourself mad and the only way out will be to remove yourself as quickly as possible. If you really love someone you should be willing to work thorough your problems, and I mean really work through them, not just talk about them from time to time. And if all fails: SHUT IT DOWN. It doesn’t necessarily mean you love them any less. It just means you love you more.