Home Featured A Letter to Emotionally Unavailable Men

A Letter to Emotionally Unavailable Men


emotionally unavailable men

Hey you:

This is a break up letter. I could probably end right here, but I’m not going to.

As I write this, I can smell your cologne, and I am wearing your socks. I find it hard to type this letter without missing you, but it’s insane to miss something that isn’t yours.  After all, we were never ‘official.’

I know it’s messed up to end things on Valentine’s Day, but let’s be real;  we both know you prefer it. Holidays make you nervous. Valentine’s Day feels forced, and so I do this for you as well as me. I’m saving you from another V-day where you show up empty-handed, or you throw a crumpled card on my bed before we…

I’m saving us both the embarrassment.

Just so we’re clear, this isn’t the kind of break up where I spit racial slurs and try to make you cry. If you could have been any different, you would’ve been. I’m not entirely convinced we’re born knowing how to love, and if we are, I think that shit gets forgotten before we’re two.  The first time our cries go unanswered or someone forgets to change our diaper, we make a shift from love into survival. We learn how to stiffen our upper lip and how to coax love out of others. We learn who we have to be to get what we desire. We connect in certain ways —  in safe ways, in small ways. We narrow ourselves to find and keep the affection of others.

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And the f*cked up part is it works.

How can I expect you to love me in a way you haven’t learned?  Can I require you be available when life shows you it’s unnecessary? Can I expect you to shift into love when surviving has served you well?

The answer is no. So we’re done.

Today I realize that I hope you die you may survive, but you won’t be happy if you can’t embrace real love, and I’m not talking about bullshit love either. I’m talking about the kind of love that explodes all over you when when you touch it. The kind of love that might gut you — that requires you gut yourself. We have to let love gut us otherwise we’re just existing. You and I were just pretending. We never gutted ourselves. We may have gutted each other. Mostly, we were languishing, passing time, and playing small. We’re playing Call of Duty, taking bullets beside each other, without ever building intimacy or trust.

I won’t ask you why you couldn’t love me the way I needed. I’ll bite my lip instead asking why you couldn’t commit to me. I won’t ask you if it’s my hair or my uneven completion. I won’t ask because I already know the truth. The truth , like the absolute truth, is that I picked you so I wouldn’t have to really be in love. I picked you because I’m f*cked up and emotionally unavailable too.

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I said it. Now you’re off the hook.

Yes. I cried in front of you, and I said “I love you” first. I begged you to be my boyfriend and sent frantic texts in the middle of the night, but that doesn’t mean I was available. It just means I can throw tantrums better than you. Truth be told, I was caught up in the chase, but I know I picked you because I wasn’t ready.  Crying and emoting doesn’t make me “healthier” than you. There’s more to emotional maturity than sobbing into my iPhone. If I take the drama and longing out of every interaction, I’m left with the fact that I am very much alone.

Your abandonment just highlights what I already know: I’m  alone with my insecurities and fears. That, my love, is scary as f*ck. Even when you were next to me, I was by myself; but with you there, at least I was distracted. In my mind, you were the cause of everything I fear. I’ve tethered myself to you in an effort to avoid my pain. As long as you can’t love me, I have proof that there are no good men, I am unworthy, and I’ll have to settle for less.  You become the reason I feel “all black men are piles of shit.” You become the reason “I have to keep my guard up.” You become the reason I’ll be able to tell the next man “ I’ve been hurt before.” You become the latest in a long line of men to be “the reason I’m guarded and can’t really trust.” I said these things to you, and if we don’t break up, I’ll keep saying them until you leave me. And I’ll go looking for another you.

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See, contrary to what I’ve said, you didn’t lead me on. You didn’t confuse me, or reject me; you weren’t even that convincing. I picked you to give my fear and doubt a home. I needed your neurosis to give my demons form. You were the boogie man and the monster in my closet. But you were never the love of my life.

I’m not saying you’re not an asshole — just irrelevant.

I break up with you and know that beyond you, there is me. And beyond me, there is love. And in the realm of real love, everything is possible. I release you from all responsibility for my emotions, and I apologize for putting them on you. They are my own, they are beautiful, and must be cherished. I apologize for trying to give you custody of my heart. The DNA results are in. My heart belongs to me. I am  hereby responsible for my emotions and my vagina heart. I cannot ask you to value what I devalue in myself.

Happy V-Day, assh*ole love. We’re done.



  1. Most people, not just men, are emotionally unavailable. Most have hard time letting go of the facade, charade, guise of who we pretend to be for the outside world. Just as the author says 'we learn who we have to be to get what we desire' for our careers, school, life in general and we bring this same fakery into what should be our most intimate and personal relationship…unfortunate

  2. Could it be that some of a man’s emotional unavailability is actually projected insecurities from a woman? That’s the take I got from my first read. That fact notwithstanding, I have been the unavailable man. If not careful, it’s easy to slip back into that way of feeling and thinking.

    Great read.

  3. Good post and interesting perspective. But enough about alladat. I would just like the author to expound on this one line…to bring..umm…more clarity, lol:

    " I’m talking about the kind of love that explodes all over you when when you touch it."

    Happy Valentine's Day, y'all 🙂

  4. If this isnt just the most beautiful depiction of the turmoil within my heart!!!
    happy V-day and all the best in learning to accept and cherish YOU

  5. I think the reason I don’t believe in the concept of emotional unavailable people is likely because I’ve never been emotionally available. I just don’t have it in me. I had to read this post to realize that too. I tend to love mentally and physically but never emotionally.


    1. Wait, maybe I'm reading you wrong. It looks like you basically stated that you're emotionally unavailable, so how do you not believe in the concept? I don't understand…

      1. He's saying he has never been able to look at himself as emotional unavailable because he has never actually been in love emotionally.

        It's like a blind man who thinks he's white. He's able to convince himself that he is white because he has no way of proving otherwise till one day his blindness is cured and he sees that he is black.

        At least that's what I think lol

        1. That makes sense. I hope that's what he meant, cause I don't have the slightest idea what else it could be LOL

    1. I agree becuase ive been “involved” with a guy like that and its hard but im drawn to him because i know what it feels like. However this letter is making me think its time to let go

    1. "We settle for the love we think we deserve." Not always so.
      Many times people go after the love they thing they deserve, but they end up with and "settle for" the best they can get at that moment in time.

      1. HMMMMMM…..the best they can get at that moment in time….been there….done that not going back!! I like I like!!

  6. "The truth , like the absolute truth, is that I picked you so I wouldn’t have to really be in love"
    ***waves church fan, rocks back & forth*

  7. Oh! This makes me sad! It's a good first step to recognize your own brokenness, to admit you have a problem. But after that you *have to* believe that a power greater than yourself *will* restore you. Otherwise you're left in a real , but unbearably miserable place emotionally/mentally. Truth without hope is the pits. Perhaps even worse than denial.

    Great post though. Very cathartic.
    My recent post Are You OK With Your BF Frequenting Strip Clubs?

  8. *Wipes Tears* i can RELATE to this letter!!!! this is so deep i mean i can goooo onnnnn about several points in this letter that was made, awesome points. but this letter actually had me crying. like my soul has been tarnished!!! Really!!! i mean this is what im going through! i mean to surreal but this is my conformation, letting know that today, 2/14 its time to let go and love me!!!! thanks SMB for article, this is why i love yall sooooo much!!!! btw happy Valentines Day!!!! lol

  9. Hmmm, great letter. But see, the thing with the emotionally unavailable guy/ girl is………… well, I doubt they're going to read this letter. I'm thinking as far as the first sentence, MAYBE. It's long as hell and calls highly to emotions. They are not here for that.

    "Just so we’re clear, this isn’t the kind of break up where I spit racial slurs and try to make you cry." Racial slurs? The hell????

  10. shoutout to the OP for being real about the situation and not trying to place blame on external forces when the problem lies within. respect! i hope you are able to resolve your internal issues then go forth & prosper in life.

  11. I read the title of the article, but didn't think it would be about what I was going through. Only difference is, he wasn't white and I never said "I love you". But yes, I did pick him because I knew I didn't like him and he was safe. It's just strange to see someone else verbalize my feelings and experiences. Oh and I not angry at him so there were no "assholes" involved. But in order for me to move on, I had to block his calls and texts. Thank God for Sprint!

  12. Wow this was great absolutely great…….it shows how we can think we are somewhere but not really there……..smh

  13. I've already posted to Facebook. I love this letter, and more women need to speak their own truth. Your truth speaks to what you need and what's in your heart, melted and liquid on the floor. Not broken by every lover you have ever had.
    Your truth is the lessons you have learned and how you have matured over the years and through the pain. Pain can be growth, but only if you take it to heart and come out the other side. You can be in the same place multiple times in your life, this is not good. You should be moving away from the same experiences and moving toward new experiences, where you can learn more and be more.

  14. This article hit home with me. I had to own up to what I caused to take place in my own life, make the changes and start anew.

  15. I've been on a quest to learn the meaning of "emotionally unavailable"; I'm kinda slow with certain notions. This'll go in my brain bucket.

    On a serious note: I, a guy, can relate to several of the points here. Prior to realizing that these are people issues, I was involved in the gender-based blame game. If anyone has a recipe for becoming emotionally available, I'll listen. Seriously.

  16. So , what happens after you admit that you were magnifying your insecurities? What are the next steps? Is there a followup post?

  17. I'm late with this comment, but what the hell….

    Now see….this ish right here is the truth. The awakening. The moment when an individual finally builds up the courage to look directly into the mirror and see themselves for who they are, consequently becoming completely cognizant of their fcukedupedness, and taking responsibility for it. Self liberation.
    If only more people were brave enough to look at their internal reflection instead of projecting their shortcomings on love and insecurities upon unsuspecting partners, rationalizing the ensuing gender blaming for a bruised heart they were unwilling to give in the first place. Chasing unavailability is real. So much so that it is tangible. Tangible enough that you can feel it….the emotions at least.

    Speaking from a male perspective, I have witnessed my fare share of women's countless pursuit of pretentious love, while being completely unavailable themselves. At the demise of the relationship, the scapegoat for its failure lies in the man's lap and his inability to love and all future angst towards men is rationalized (according to certain women of course). Never once taking an honest look at oneself to see they [women] were just as unavailable as the men they sought. I can't speak on behalf of women, but I am sure they can attest to being the unsuspecting recipients of pretentious love from certain men as well. I'm sure this phenomenon occurs on both sides of the coin, although I'm leaning towards this being more common amongst the fairer sex. My reason is as follows:

    Its not so much about deserving more, its about coming to the realization that he/she didn't want more to begin with. Perhaps society is to blame for conditioning people (primarily women) to pursue relationships, even when they clearly aren't ready. Its one thing to want something. Its another to feel like you should want something.

    Conceptually, this brings to mind a post I penned some time ago titled, "Lost on Love: The Art of Loving Selfishly"

    Anyway, kudos to the author. This was a well written post and honestly, a d@mn good one.

    Mr. SoBo
    My recent post ‘Django’ Unchained, Republicans Unchanged: Politics as Usual

  18. OMG…this is such bullshit and unnecessary drama! Everyone who attracts emotionally unavailable people is not emotionally unavailable! Sometimes those personalities attract one another in order to help the emotionally unavailable person to evolve. In that case, the emotionally available person teaches by example through nurturing and validating the emotions of the other. Just because you attract a f’d person does not mean you’re an f’d up person. For goodness sakes people!

  19. And another thing…bandwagon jumpers are easily led. If massah didn’t beat me on Wednesday, I won’t know what day it is. Now, all of a sudden a bunch of you realize you’re emotionally unavailable and the only thing that convinced you of it is this poorly written and vague article. Stop being so eager to consign and do some serious introspection first. However, I will say, if you stay in a relationship with an emotionally unavailable person, well…chances are, there is something off about you. But again, attracting something to you does not mean that thing is true of you.

  20. The letter was hilarious. However I don't believe your emotionally unavailable just bc you have ended up with guys like that. I think you are becoming aware of the red flags and realizing the type of men to avoid that will only let you down. If you become emotionally unavl to them..that is awesome:). Good luck on your journey to self-awareness to becoming happy and fulfilled and not putting up with bs.


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