Why an Emotionally Unavailable Man Keeps Coming Back

I’ve read a lot of articles in recent years highlighting the behaviors of narcissists and sociopaths in relationships. Most of them read the same: man romances girl, girl falls for him, man decides he doesn’t want the relationship after all, man hurts girl, girl gets over it, man comes back…and so on. Hopefully, at some point the girl realizes that this is a dysfunctional relationship and it’s just going to go on like this, ad nauseam.

One of the things that really struck me however, is how many writers and advice columnists condemn the behavior of the man as evil, narcissistic or cruel, and basically tell the girl to beware of the predator. A girl might saying something like, “I was stupid back then and I fell for all of his lies.”

But what I find confusing is when these articles group together narcissists, bad guys, players and “emotionally unavailable” men all in the same category of pure evil.

I think it’s important to understand why men behave the way they do, even if their motivations are hurtful or vain. Knowing this, that is, knowing what really motivates these guys and why they think the way they do, is a better protection for you.

Thinking that most guys are dogs or evil or dishonest because they’re raging sex machines is not a protection. Being overly cautious and guarded against all men, thinking they could betray you, is also not a protection. If anything, it will affect the honest communication that you do have with men.

The best solution is to understand that narcissistic men and emotionally unavailable men are two different animals. Narcissistic and sadistic guys are emotionally unavailable, true, but not all emotionally unavailable men are narcissistic or cruel-hearted.

Let’s discuss four reasons why emotionally unavailable men are the way they are and why they keep coming back, even when you try to forget them.

1. He has serious baggage and he is refusing to deal with it.

Obviously, the kind thing to do would be to work on his issues first and then go out looking for a serious relationship. But emotionally unavailable men are IN DENIAL that they have these issues. They think they’ve progressed when they haven’t. Or they are completely oblivious about their emotional distance. They may be simulating emotional attachment without ever actually feeling it.

Usually this happens because someone betrayed his trust, whether that was his ex-girlfriend or even his mother. He can’t come to terms with that and accept it. He can’t process the pain. That’s why he keeps “trying again” to work things out but keeps hitting the same roadblocks.

This guy would rather hurt you, if he must, rather than risk getting hurt himself – in the same way that traumatized him.

This puts all the pressure on you to resist – even when he “tries” and thinks he’s ready to change. If he hasn’t faced the ISSUES that make him this way, he hasn’t healed at all.

2. He is immature…either because he’s young and foolish (as we all can be) or he’s an older man who’s become a perpetual teenager.

It’s understandable when young men are immature and not long-term focused in their relationships. They’re new. They’re curious. They don’t want to settle down, but want to play the field and test their chemistry with a variety of partners.

What’s confusing is when a man grows up and yet chooses to stay that way – forever young and unfocused. Unlike the previous example, this fellow is very much aware that he’s not progressing. But he’s okay with that. He may be a lifelong bachelor, at least until his circumstances drastically change.

However, it’s interesting to note that these forever young type guys typically chase after girls who are COMPARABLY confused and not making any progress in life. They chase after women who may want to grow up and settle down, but who are clearly NOT making any serious effort to change.

If he keeps coming back to you after a breakup, he either envies you (and the progress you’ve actually made in life) OR he’s coming back to you because you still haven’t made any progress in life – like him. He is attracted to women who share a similar lifestyle as himself.

The best way to avoid his trap? Change your own life and start making progress on your own. Before long, you won’t have much in common with him.

3. He is chronically, miserable insecure.

At the heart of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is insecurity. Now that doesn’t mean that all insecure guys have NPD. But the symptoms or “signs” that you’re dating an insecure and emotionally unavailable man are usually the same as NPD. He falls in love quickly and intensifies the relationship and then falls out of love with a shocking lack of attachment.

Insecure guys need to feel victorious in a relationship. He outgrew you, not the other way around. He ego demands that he leave before someone leaves him. Then he pursues another girl (preferably someone with low self-esteem) and starts the process all over again.

At the heart of this behavior, is constant dread of being “not good enough” and to receive constant love from a variety of conquests.

That’s why his desire to win you back (and discard you again) will always be tempting to him, because his ego demands constant attention.

If his behavior is extremely hurtful (especially in his need to punish you) then he may have NPD or APD. But even if he doesn’t, insecure guys will never change in relationships until they realize the problem – which is their insecurity and how it affects every decision they make in life.

4. He may love you but he’s more afraid of losing control.

Most guys actually fall in this category – commitment-phobic but not necessarily ego-driven. In this case, he loves you (which explains why he keeps coming back) but can’t get over his fear of commitment, or more to the point, his fear of being vulnerable.

Why? Because some guys associate commitment and vulnerability with a complete loss of freedom and independence. This is particularly common among men who are insecure or weak-minded in general. Men who are strong-minded and confident generally don’t fear losing their independence. They know what they want and seek out partners who are their equals.

Men who seek more control are afraid to lose what little freedom they have. They need that sense of control to function. If they sense a woman is pushing too hard, they will frequently jump ship.

If they come back to you, it’s probably because they really do want you, they want to commit, and yet their fear of vulnerability won’t let them progress in the relationship. They love the idea of you but can’t seem to fit you into their lifestyle. It’s sad…and more often than not, it doesn’t end happily. You get jerked around and he continues to run away.

Rather than be consumed by negativity, try to remember this: all of these guys have issues and it’s NEVER about you. You were there, you were attractive and they made an effort to connect with you.

But in the end, they were not ready for a real commitment. That’s all it is. Don’t let emotionally unavailable men have power over you by hating them, blaming them for your unhappiness or crying over them – when in fact, everything that happened was exactly what they wanted.

Be strong and realize that relationships are only possible if two people make a serious and genuine effort to connect. That’s what you should be searching for and that’s what will make you happy.

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Talk soon,

Matthew Coast

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About The Author

Matthew Coast

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