However, it’s important to find a way to make space for your partner’s feelings at all times, because an ability to give when it’s hardest to do so is testiment to good character. An emotionally unavailable man can’t grasp this concept.
But it’s not completely his fault that he lacks empathy. And science is proof of that.
Cognitive scientist Simon Baron-Cohen recently made the discovery that a lack of empathy is associated with the male brain. The more typically “male” the brain, the more likely the person is to systemize than to empathize. In fact, Baron-Cohen calls an autistic brain an exaggerated male brain. (Women can also have a more “male” than “female” brain; it’s not just about gender.)
Knowing there’s scientific proof to some of the men’s emotional limitations can help you stop taking a man’s lack of compassion for your feelings personally. I’m not suggesting you ignore questioning whether your man is emotionally unavailable because that’s not healthy for you or your love life.
However, understanding that some people are biologically limited when it comes to empathy can help you remove your self-worth from his reactions and responses. Too often we wrap our sense of confidence in a man’s ability to love us the way we need him to.
Just because modern science links the male brain to a lack of empathy, it doesn’t mean that other factors don’t come into play that can make men compassionate beings. Good parenting, healthy role models and a quality education can make a man born with a very “male” brain into a caring and understanding person.
Many men are extremely available to women’s’ feelings and needs, and are able to do so during even the most heated of arguments; a lot of men are more empathetic than many women.
It’s important that you find a man who has a level of empathy that makes you feel loved and understood. This level varies from person to person. But I will say that most women need some emotional security.
We need to feel that our feelings matter, and we need to know that we are respected. You are responsible for your actions and for communicating your needs maturely, honestly and clearly. You are responsible for respecting your partner’s feelings and needs, even if he’s not as verbally expressive as you are. You are responsible for giving a man space if he needs it or to accept that a relationship is over if he ends it.
But you don’t have to accept being told things like, “You’re too needy. You’re too emotional. You’re too much!”
You may have insecurities and you may feel that you are emotional “too much” in the way you respond and react to a man’s lack of empathy, but in a relationship with an emotionally available, compassionate man, you would not act so uncontained.
You would not cry, scream, emotionally shut down, or compulsively call and nag him. It’s your responsibility to take care of yourself and find the relationship that makes you feel calm, secure, grounded, happy, loved and heard.