FYI: Being ‘Emotionally Detached’ Is NOT A GOOD Quality To Have

She's so independent she can have dinner for two - alone..

“Rather reserved and that always makes matters the worst/
cause I go on about my business and not act like it hurts/
but wait…/
it’s to the point I gotta ask myself/
why the f-ck is it so easy to detach myself/
maybe it aint you/
just something I lack myself/

but if these wounds are self inflicted I can patch myself…”

Those lyrics above from Joe Budden’s “Ordinary Love Part 1” have been going through my mind virtually all day because it speaks to me very deeply, and I would bet it speaks to many of you out there, ESPECIALLY those of you who chose to click on this article and read it. As anyone who has been single for many years knows very clearly, being emotionally detached is a necessary skill needed to navigate the dating scene and make sure you come out mentally sane and in tact. Hell, if you were out there getting overly attached to every man, woman or Chaz Bono you meet, you would quickly find yourself distraught, heartbroken, pessimistic, and regretful, and the truth is, not everyone you come into contact with on the dating scene even DESERVES to feel your emotions. But it’s that same dating “skill” that is a relationship-killer because being emotionally detached can become a monster too big for even YOU to control.

Now first let me differentiate between being emotionally detached and emotionally unavailable because they are TWO slightly separate things. Being emotionally unavailable means that you overtly CHOSE to keep your emotions in a box separate FAR out of the reach of anyone you are dating, BUT you can give them that box at anytime you choose to. Being emotionally DETACHED means that you now have an inherent ability to psychologically justify WHY someone ain’t worth your damn time, except it’s less of an OVERT choice and more of a simple reality. For example:

An emotionally unavailable man can tell a girl he’s dating that he’s not ready to settle down or commit, and then he subsequently chooses to not do actions, or say words that can potentially lead him down relationship road because he just doesn’t want to go there with her, right now.

An emotionally detached man will date a girl he likes and maybe even do relationship-type things, and be content with her, but will do so as a measure of going through the paces. He doesn’t tell her he’s not ready for a relationship because he doesn’t care about hiding and internalizing his feelings because the scary fact is, he doesn’t have any to hide.

Emotionally detached people exist in our community all around us, and the worst part is they are the hardest to detect on a surface level. See, emotionally unavailable people usually make a concerted POINT to let EVERYONE know their emotions are locked away in a vault. Ever see some chick CONSTANTLY update her Facebook status to some BS like “I don’t need a man in my life because it’s all about getting this money and making me happy about me” and you’re like “Jesus Christ b*tch, I got it when you posted that everyday for the last 11 months!” Or you see lame dudes walking around with T-Shirts saying “F*^K H0ES – GET $$$” and you just wanna ask him, “Who hurt YOU?”

Hopefully for not TOO long or else they will DETACH

The fact is THOSE people actually WANT to be loved, they are usually just too p*ssy to say so, so they build up this alpha-personality to hide the fact that they have a BIG-ASS box of emotions they really WISH they could give to someone else. But emotionally detached people are scary because not sharing emotion goes from being a simple choice to a standard way of living – and when it hits THAT point, it becomes a liability much more than an asset when you find someone BOX-worthy. in fact, I know more than a few men and women who are so use to being emotionally un-involved that when they finally WANTED to use them, accessing their emotions in a tangible way for their new partner became a HUGE barrier.

My point is essentially this: I don’t see anything wrong with being selectively emotionally unavailable, but just let me warn you about becoming emotionally DETACHED – because attaching yourself all over again is hard as HELL.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.


  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    10/28/2011 at 3:27 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, Would Any Of You Define Yourself As Being Emotionally Detached Or Unavailable? Have You Dated Someone Who Was Either Of The Two..?

    • Anonymous

      01/19/2012 at 10:14 PM

      Crap, I've had an inkling lately that I may have a problem. After reading this, I'm officially freaked out. Went through a couple really difficult break ups, was "emotionally unavailable" for a while where I openly disliked men and was a skeptic and pessimist while I was getting over the emotional trauma. That was almost 2 years ago. Still single. Now when I date, I feel nothing. I mean NOTHING. Even with great guys that have a lot going for them. NOTHING. Kept telling myself it was because "he wasn't the right one", but I think I was just trying to justify my actions. What am I supposed to do now? I so desperately want to love again, but it's like I don't know how anymore. Sad realization.

    • brad

      01/28/2012 at 12:19 PM

      yes im detached i have been for years i dont know why its justinvolentary i could never really speak my mind unless i was talking to someone of the same intillect


    10/28/2011 at 9:41 AM

    I was married for most of my twenties and when I got divorced and was newly single it damn near traumatised me to find out how reserved one has to be …. without some unavailability , as the article states, one comes off as too needy and regardless of whether that is accurate or not its human nature to shy away from neediness ….. so no im not an emotionally unavailable personnality but I have trained myself to be in order to foster good relationships with the opposite sex…… for emotional detachment…..that is scary and Ive run into many men like that….thinking at first that theyre just unavailable and then having the horrific realisation that ….no….they just dont have any feeling AT ALL…..weird to say the least

  3. Guest

    10/28/2011 at 10:43 AM

    I co-sign with this whole entire post, it's sooo true! Good job Lincoln.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      10/29/2011 at 4:53 AM

      Thanks Guest

  4. ChloeRayne516

    10/28/2011 at 11:44 AM

    Love the way you broke this down!!

    "Emotionally detached people exist in our community all around us, and the worst part is they are the hardest to detect on a surface level."

    TRUTH -ALL-DAY.COM!!! and the definition as you stated above is exactly why it's hard to detect, because EDP can ride that euphoric wave right along with you to BooVille NO PROBLEM but when it's over it can leave you wondering if that person ever loved/cared about you in the 1st place because no matter how or what they may have conveyed to you either through actions or their words during the time you were together — the fact of the matter is deep down IT WASN'T REALLY REAL FOR THEM. I ain't gonna say which one I am though.

    • Jason Howe

      10/28/2011 at 4:42 PM

      The quote is on, no one would suspect how detached I can be at times. Sometimes I swear I loved someone, but why did the loss hit me with the effect of losing a dollar store mitten? I don't know…

      • lincolnanthonyblades

        10/29/2011 at 4:54 AM


        I Know The Feeling Though..

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      10/29/2011 at 4:55 AM

      Real Talk…

      The Best Quote I Have Heard About Emotionally Detached People Is That They Don't Believe In The Infinite Love Or Relationships And See Relationships As Things That Come And Go

      • Rhea Newton

        10/30/2011 at 7:08 PM

        Linc, I don't think it's wrong to see a relationship as something that comes and eventually goes away. I think it's more the reality of our world. How many long-term relationships do you see around you that are successful (by which I mean, both individuals within the relationship are happy, after the 10-year mark)? If it's detachment to see reality, I acknowledge myself as detached.

  5. gtman811

    10/28/2011 at 12:30 PM

    I think both types of people find that their love life is difficult because instead of going with the flow, they hold back and those who could have been the one are felt picking up the pieces and possibly turn into one of those types of people……like the zombie movies, one bite or scratch thing. I believe the Emotionally Detached dont even know what they are. Its some type of psychological thing on their part and its much deeper than a bad break-up…………

    I definitely dont believe those who claimed they are Emotionally Detached, they are usually the sofest ones, scared to feel loved and give love. I think if you know that you are doing this, then you can stop it. I have friends like this and they dont even see it, even if you tell them and it goes pass the dating scene, even their friends and family feel their coldness. This is a borderline sociopath, which can exist in presence of co-workers, family members, etc. They dont have to be serial killers and messed to be a sociopath……

    So, I think its people fronting, scared to open up. But I do agree with this post that it can become a pattern and turn into part of their psyche if not careful.

    • ChellzBellzzz

      10/28/2011 at 3:18 PM

      Wrote my comment below before reading this..

      I don't agree, becoming emotionally detached in one's dating life isn't nearly the same as being emotionally detached from life or deserving of the label "sociopath". Just as Linc stated up top, emotional detachment usually results from the seemingly endless routine of looking for Mr/Mrs. Right. Just like anything else, if you do it long enough autopilot (emotional detachment) just kicks in.

      • lincolnanthonyblades

        10/29/2011 at 4:56 AM


  6. ChellzBellzzz

    10/28/2011 at 3:08 PM

    You can be so emotionally detached …you don't even know it …until you're single again, thinking "Damn, what happened?"… *not speaking from personal experience at all*

  7. Jason Howe

    10/28/2011 at 4:40 PM

    Dude I don't know. Sometimes I'm the dream man, sometimes I'm the average dude looking for happiness… yet, I'm sometimes I come off like Dexter Morgan… and that can be during the same week. :-(

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      10/29/2011 at 4:57 AM

      I Feel You On The Dexter Morgan Thing

  8. Rhea Newton

    10/30/2011 at 7:13 PM

    I feel like bursting into India Arie's "Ready for Love" for some reason after reading this. I disagree with your definitions of both emotional detachment and emotional unavailability. I think being unavailable is worse than detached. It's probably only semantics, but in my head, if someone is detached, they're just waiting for an opportunity to re-attach. When one makes the decision to become unavailable, that's a whole other story. An unavailable me is a Rhea who is not going to allow anyone into my heart/mind/circle, no matter what. I've been both, at different times.

  9. Anonymoose

    02/25/2012 at 4:09 AM

    I've been friends with this guy for over 20 years now. Typical conversation: "Hey, Jim – I just won $1000.00!" – Jim: (awkward pause of about 10 seconds) "Okay…". Hey, Jim – the wife's pregnant!" – Jim: (awkward pause of about 10 seconds) "Uh-huh…". I'm usually excited when one of my friends has good news – Jim NEVER is. It's like he's half asleep. Yesterday, I called to tell him we're moving back home, after 3 years in another state. Jim: (completely out-of-the-blue) "Uh, God spoke clearly that we are not to help you or any of our friends". Now I'M the one going, "Okay…". There are times when Jim is funny and outgoing – deep inside this shell lurks a great sense of humor – and a High IQ. Then just as quickly, it's like he emotionally shuts down. I'm not sure what to make of it.

    • kell

      11/27/2012 at 9:02 AM

      I hear you – Ive been in this situation first 2 months, then a 2 month break, then 2months again, when together its intense, and yet emotional promises are empty. Enormous IQ and ego, Ive deducted he is a narcissitic sociopath – look it up, sounds exactly the same

  10. tina

    11/15/2012 at 9:30 AM

    I have been single for over four years and i have noticed about myself that i will meet a guy and we will conversate for a while and go out on a date a few times. i find out i like him and end up having sex with him and if its good i may have sex with him a few more times and then lose interest in him and move on…. has anyone experienced this and how do i solve this issue.

  11. Alice

    01/07/2013 at 9:23 PM

    Being emotionally detached is a good call in situations where you dont want to be involved with other people or certain people.

  12. Angie

    03/20/2013 at 6:27 PM

    Being emotionally detached from a person(s) is to allow them to be whatever they
    are meant to be on their life journey in a positive or negative sense. It is to set your
    own healthy emotional boundaries to live your own life an not to be affected by
    the other person(s) choices. It choosing not to be responsible for their life or outcomes
    rather loving and caring from a healthy distance both physically and mentally without blame.

  13. whatkindofgod

    03/23/2013 at 5:07 PM

    I was in and out of purely physical relationships for a long while and naturally built defences against emotions and all that stuff. That lifestyle ended a few years ago and ive grown up a bit and had a few serious meaningful relationships since, problem is i didn't feel anything when they broke it off. Currently in a relationship now with a girl i really like and i find it difficult to care for her when were apart, im not cheating on her, i find that abominable, but i find it difficult to express.

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  15. megan

    06/04/2014 at 9:05 PM

    How can one fix this issue?

  16. not pc

    09/08/2014 at 11:18 PM

    My my. Am I the only one who actually likes this? Emotions are illogical and lead to doing things you later regret when that emotion is no longer present.

    I honestly don't care about any of this. Without religion I would have killed myself a long time ago. Not that I haven't tried. How can you care about anything outside of your control? It's just a set up for the anger and sadness. This cycle causes you to cling even more to your object of care.

    I'm glad I had my solo and rejection filled childhood. If I didn't I'd be like them. They don't even realize how selfish they are for becoming a slave to their objects of happiness. How easy they are to manipulate like puppets once I know their joy. How easy it is to not feel sorry for them when someone else manipulates them right in front of me.

    Yes. I am just an emotionless utility to them. My value is equivalent to how often and easily they gain happiness from me. I am not stupid. I don't hate them, just their emotions. I watch. They only notice me when they want that object. I am invisible otherwise. It used to hurt so much to constantly see people ignore me until I was necessary.

    I couldn't even kill myself because I feared my creator would send me to hell. So, I decided kill myself but, leave the vessel behind. I completely ignore any thought about what I want. My plan is to become a slave to my faith until death. That way I can still help them ensuring my place in heaven and at the same time not care at all.

    So, you can label me and poke at my lifestyle all you want. I don't care. You will be burning in hell as I sit with the master in the afterlife because I actually did something with my life and didn't devote it to being a slave to my selfish desires. Have a nice day.

  17. josh

    09/10/2014 at 6:57 PM

    Not sure how religion played into this, but you're relationship with god; projecting your own selfishness onto others, for the sake that you will be able to secure a place for your own self next to the master as clearly expressed in that last sentence. I also think god would want you to spread love and not fear.

    Because that is what everything boils down to. You are either open to things and express love, to allow sadness and even being afraid into your heart without rejection. And then you must allow the same in letting it go, and recognizing these two qualities are the same. Because if you try to control it, keep something hidden for too long then that is fear.
    External stimuli, like people, present them to us because its proof that we are alive. What's the point of living if you can't feel? To shut everything down is the same as death, isn't it. t
    Ive been…whatever you wanna call it, it doesnt matter for a very long time. It didnt come to me that it was a choice till a while later. I made the choice. time. I let my heart be broken. I let her in. I allowed it. But for some reason, the feeling of this pain I didn't let it go. I didn't allow it because my heart in this state gave me meaning, made me feel alive. Until like the monster it was, control got the best of me.
    So I shut down further. And I was very unhappy. No. I wasn't even unhappy because I knew happiness couldn't ever be contained. … And just like that. I realized I was allowing myself to feel this pain, way way back in there. My heart was still going wasn't it?
    This is all a delusion. Whether to be too attached or disattached. A wise man chooses neither. Its a balancing trick. Like riding a bike. You become too attached, lean over this way, too out of it, lean back the other way. Keep moving. Keep that balance. With enough practice, you won't even have to think about it. .

    • tiffani

      01/28/2015 at 2:01 PM

      Well done Josh..
      Every thing you said was right on point,very moving and makes me feel hopeful(-:

  18. juliusminor

    11/21/2014 at 10:07 PM

    I love being emotionally detached because when a relationship is over, "it's not a loss but an opportunity"…

    • tiffani

      01/28/2015 at 2:12 PM

      That's so selfish! what so you can destroy someone elses life! Is that your opportunity in mind ? Its People like you that so far beyond the point of no return mentally and morally that you should just be forgotten about in society.

  19. guest

    01/15/2015 at 5:05 PM

    Express feelings as they come naturally these are the most fulfulling relationships, to suppress emotions detached/unavailable whatever is just a waste of life and time, if you gonna love someone love them hard and strong, otherwise leave them alone.

    • tiffani

      01/28/2015 at 2:16 PM

      I agree with you,this is real,love it to the to the core.

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  22. kim

    07/03/2015 at 12:52 PM

    I think I'm emotionally detached emotionally unavailable cuz I lost every woman that I loved and now that I'm in a relationship with a woman I can't get close 2 her n her daughter cause I'm scared of getting hurt n feeling that pain again

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