When I ask women, “What is the top trait that you want in a man?” many of them say they want a man who is emotionally available.
Maybe, like me, you’ve wondered, “What does that even mean?” Great question!
Emotional availability happens on a couple levels: It happens on the readiness level, meaning he is available and ready--to give his heart away and commit to a specific woman. That’s one type of emotional availability.
The second type of emotional availability happens on the communication level meaning that he can share his feelings and emotions with you. Not that he would be like your best girlfriend, able to talk for hours about his feelings as MOST men are not wired this way, but that he can—when needed—connect with his feelings and when he feels safe, share his feelings with you.
Desiring a man who is emotionally available on both the readiness and communication levels is a good thing—as it’s important for the health of a long-term committed relationship.
Two people who cannot connect emotionally is just a relationship between two strangers, and that just isn’t any fun. Being able to connect emotionally is what makes a relationship juicy and life-giving, as we were all created to be seen.
So, good news! If you’re like many of the women I coach who are looking for an emotionally available man, this episode will bring a lot of clarity and help you recognize a man who will be able to connect with you on that oh-so-good emotional level.
Being emotionally available is on a spectrum for most people which means that some guys will be on one end and more comfortable communicating their emotions, while others will be on the other. However, most men are less comfortable discussing their innermost thoughts than women.
Generally, men in the Western World are not raised to be emotional. When looking for a partner and developing a serious relationship, you need to find a man with whom you can emotionally connect. And, as a woman, you can invite a man to be more emotionally available to you. (I’ll be sharing more about this in the next episode, so come back and check that out!)
Is he emotionally available?
If a man is present with you when he is with you, that’s a good sign. He can look you in the eye and isn’t looking around the room for someone more interesting.
An emotionally available man is comfortable talking about his feelings and can communicate how he feels without being defensive. (No one is perfect, but you’re looking for a man who generally has these traits.)
The third point to evaluate whether he's emotionally available is if he's willing to talk about his thoughts and how he wants the relationship to proceed rather than simply going along with what you want. However, if a woman is dominating, or if a man perceives her to be controlling and he is docile, this can be a very difficult mix and he may not share how he feels.
Inviting A Man to Share His Feelings
One of the nicest things a woman can do is encourage a man to discuss his feelings or opinions while being non-controlling. Many men will not bring up their feelings or share how they feel if they believe they will be judged and blasted. Make room in the relationship for grace and open spaces for him to express his emotions.
An emotionally available man will not waste your time with half-hearted promises or passive-aggressive words. This brings me to the fourth point: when he's upfront and honest with you, this is one of the best qualities to look for in an emotionally open man.
Next, a man won’t make it all about him. When a guy is emotionally available, he will inquire about your life. And he isn't always all about himself, and this indicates that he is interested in learning more about you. Additionally, he will share about himself. This is also a good sign of being emotionally available.
The seventh indicator that he is emotionally open is that he prioritizes spending time with you. If he goes out of his way to spend time with you and expresses interest those are both good signs that he is emotionally available and interested in developing a connection with you. (Note, love bombers can come across as very attentive, so don’t use his interest and desire to spend time with you as the only criteria for choosing him. For more info on love bombing, check out this video on love bombing.)
If he wants to know what you're doing on weekends and in your spare time and doesn't bring up his ex-wives, those are also good signs that he is emotionally available.
A man who is emotionally open to a relationship with you will allow you time and space to think about what he has said about how he feels about you. He won’t make you feel rushed. He will not want to hurry or force you into the connection. A man who cares about you will wait for you.
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