A Marriage and Family Therapist Answers Relationship Questions!

Playing How to Spot Someone Who Is Emotionally Unavailable

Marriage and family therapist Kiaundra Jackson joins The Doctors to answer viewer’s relationship questions. Chanelle is in the audience and wants to know, how do you spot someone who is emotionally unavailable? She says she was dating a guy who did all the right things, and all of his actions made it seem like he wanted a relationship. Then, a few months in, he told her he never wanted anything more than some fun!

Dr. Jackson says if this is a pattern, Chanelle may want to do some internal work. Is there some reason she is attracting men who are like this? “People always want to look for red flags, but sometimes you need to look for those yellow ones. The ones that pop up, that are a little questionable, you may want to slow down, be cautious a little bit and observe a little bit. But at the same time, you know those yellow flags may turn into red ones,” explains Dr. Jackson.

Watch: How to End a 'Bad Boy' Attraction

Dr. Jackson says it is also so important in the beginning to state your intentions if you are looking for a committed relationship. Similarly, you should ask the question of your date. What are your plans? What are you looking for? 

Chanelle says she didn’t directly ask this because she didn’t want to scare him off or seem too intense. ER physician Dr. Travis Stork agrees you may freak a man out if you say early on, “Where do you see this going?” but saying something like, “I’m in the phase of my life where I’m ready for a relationship, are you?” should allow you to pick up on if he is ready to move to the next phase. 

The next question is from Becca on Twitter who wants to know what to do about her boyfriend being selfish in bed. Dr. Jackson explains relationships are all about reciprocity and compromise. If a relationship is one-sided, then it’s really not a relationship at all! However, it is important to acknowledge that people love differently, and not everything has to be about sex. 

Similar to dating, Dr. Jackson says to make your intentions known and state your desires. If you want something more or less in bed, say it! She says while this conversation can be rough, you have to be candid. Dr. Travis jumps in and advises women to never overtly tell their men that they are bad in bed! “He’ll never recover!” OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landry advises Becca to coach her boyfriend in a way that he doesn’t know he’s being coached.

Lastly, Kevin sends a message on Twitter asking if having an online relationship is considered cheating if you are not doing anything physical. The audience members all shout out “Yes!” Dr. Jackson agrees that if you’re in a committed relationship and find yourself looking for some type of emotional connection outside of your relationship, that’s a huge red flag. She says cheating doesn’t always have to just be about sex.

“I always say that if you’re in a healthy relationship, if you can’t do it or say it in front of your significant other, you probably shouldn’t be doing it or saying it at all,” says Dr. Nita. Dr. Travis wants to know if it gets to this point where your significant other is having an emotional relationship with someone else online, should you throw in the towel?

Dr. Jackson says she advises couples to exhaust all avenues to fix their relationship before throwing in the towel. “You don’t want to get into or end a relationship with all of these ‘should have, could have, would have’s’,” Dr. Jackson says. 

Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon has one more question for Dr. Jackson. In this world of online dating, does she have any advice for when you meet someone face-to-face from a dating site?

Dr. Jackson says safety is first and foremost important. She says to make sure you are comfortable with this person and don’t put yourself in compromising situations. Also, just live your best life! She says people should take advantage of all of these new tools to meet people. She has a ton of couples who have met online and they are definitely working out!