Why men pull away is something almost every woman has asked herself at some point. There are many reasons why men pull away, but the main one is he is doubting the long term of the relationship or perhaps he is deciding if in fact he wants a relationship with you or not.
Men are more likely to pull away at the 3, 6 and 11 month mark.
At 3 months, he knows he is heading for a relationship if the two of you are spending a lot of time together.
At 6 months, he is pretty much in a relationship if he is actively still doing the pursuing.
At 11 months, he knows most women expect a full commitment at this marker and the pressure is on.
There are a few basic fears most men have in relationships. They fear loss of freedom and they fear you will try to change them and their life. They also fear that you will change.
Another thing that crosses most of the minds of men who pull away is that he may never have sex with another woman other than you for the rest of his life. How you respond and handle these fears when a man pulls away could very well determine the path of his choice. To stay or go.
What Not to do When He Pulls Away
When your man pulls away or says he needs space, you first instinct is to find a way to draw him back. Most women resort to words in attempts to do this.
They may ask him “what’s wrong?”. They may begin to question him if it’s her or not or what did she do wrong. She begins to seek answers. This is probably about the worst thing you can do.
If he is questioning the relationship and loss of his freedom to begin with, this just reinforces to him the best answer may be to continue to pull away or end the relationship.
When men pull away, they are processing. Your interference in this tells him in a way that you really don’t trust him to make his own decisions. It also paints you in an unflattering light known as needy.
Less is more when a man pulls away. Don’t try to offer him too much reassurance or comfort. That’s something his mother will do.
The fact is when a man pulls away or becomes distant, it feels uncomfortable. While you don’t want to pressure him during this time, nor do you want to offer him positive reinforcement for behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable.
To chase after him when he retreats or when it feels as if he is pulling away,tells him he is also very responsible for your happiness. If he is already questioning the relationship, you can bet he is thinking of his responsibility to you.
Being responsible for your happiness adds to this weight on him already. It may push him to decide he doesn’t want this responsibility.
I know it’s hard, but for now, keep your mouth as shut as possible. Men rarely want to talk about feelings and if you push him to do this before he is ready, often he may just tell you something like “be patient with me” in order to buy some time while he makes up his mind.
Rarely will he tell you how he really feels at this point. If you want him to open up, read the article below. Men open up when they feel safe to do so.
What to do when He Pulls Away
You are probably wondering what to do when he pulls away if talking to him won’t work. The best thing you can do is let him.
Perhaps you are old enough to remember the song by 38 special called “Hold on Loosely”. The lyrics are “hold and loosely and don’t let go. If you cling to tightly, your gonna lose control”. Nothing could be closer to the truth.
Think of the boy running on the playground. He keeps running as long as you chase, but stop chasing, he looks over his shoulder, takes notice and stops running. Remember this wisdom if and when he pulls away.
Let’s hope that if this does happen to you, he pulls away, that you haven’t made him the center of your Universe and that you have kept your friends and other interest.
When he pulls away, get busy. Do other things, let him have his space. Give him time to process. I don’t mean sit and be at his mercy though. At some point something will have to be done if he doesn’t make a move back in your direction, but that covered in the article below.
What this tells him is that you are capable of being happy or carrying on with or without him and it takes some of the pressure off and makes him feel safer.
The ability to give a man his space speaks volumes of your own confidence and confidence is a turn on. It also tells him perhaps he doesn’t have the hold on you he thought he had. It offers up a challenge. Men do love a challenge. It’s a way of turning the tables.
Why should he hold all the power in the relationship? The power should be balanced and this action helps put it into a balance so to speak. It tells him he doesn’t have the full dictatorship of the relationship.
Another thing of giving him his space without chasing after him accomplishes is this. It shows you have self control. This is very very attractive to men and it’s a quality that most look for when looking for a long term relationship.
He wants to know you can hold you on and not fall apart. If you whine and plead with him to tell you what’s wrong, it’s a loss of self control. Not good. He may see you as a drama queen as opposed to the controlled woman he wants by his side for the long haul.
Also when you give him his space when he pulls away, after some time, he may begin to crave the connection again. This is when he will move in your direction and be open and willing to talk about why he pulled away. Push him before he is ready and you won’t get the truth.
So what do you do when he pulls away? Let him, and go on about your life in the meantime.
Men that Blow Hot and Cold
Oh the men that blow hot and cold. This is the man that pulls away often, not just once while deciding if he wants to take you to the next level. This is the man that is calling often one week and the next he falls of the face of the earth.
These hot and cold men feel great to be with when they are hot, but when the arctic winds blow, you feel lost and isolated from him.
The crazy thing women do with these men that is so detrimental to the relationship is take the reins when he goes cold. If they haven’t heard from him they text or call him, often with and excuse or to complain about his behavior.
This in essence if you continue with this pattern tells him it’s okay to be hot and cold because you won’t leave, you will just whine a little bit.
Men learned as toddlers that a tongue lashing from mom did not mean she didn’t love them. So by falling into this reaching out to him in Antarctica, you are reinforcing this behavior.
If you are with a man who does this repeatedly, it’s time to make a stand. A stand that tells him that you want and deserve more and that you aim to get it, if not with him, then perhaps another.
This is when words followed by actions can be implemented. Note though that words without actions to back them are useless. If you threaten to do one thing, then don’t ever do it, it’s like spitting in the wind.
I was once with a hot and cold man. We had been together in bliss for months and all of a sudden he would begin to pull away. Once, okay, I get that, but again and then again? No, I don’t get that.
He was short on the phone at times when he called and as a woman, my gut was screaming to me that something was wrong. He was going to dump me. Turns out I was right. One night during the call I didn’t ask him, I just made an observation. Something like “You shortened phone calls are making me feel as if something is wrong”. Then I went silent which is the hard part and waited for him to respond. He said “It’s just been a rough week”. Sorry ladies but a rough week isn’t an excuse to be rude. I asked him “So a rough week is why you are being short with me?” Silent again, wait for the reply. Then it all came out.
He didn’t know if he wanted to be in a relationship. We all know when we hear that it means he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with me.
My reply: I understand and appreciate that you are being honest with me. That means a lot and I know it wasn’t easy to say. However, I really want a man who is present in my life without doubts. If that isn’t you, I will respect that. I can’t and won’t sit on the fence. It doesn’t feel good to me so I suggest you take all the time you need, but for now, this is pretty much over for me if it doesn’t feel good. Silence again. He didn’t know what to say. I ended the call and considered us broken up and cut the contact.
My words backed by my actions showed him I thought more of myself than to just sit idly hoping he would come around. I am valuable. He came back seeking reconciliation about a month later by the way. It’s about long term satisfaction, not instant gratification.
So ladies if you are with one of those men that blow hot and cold, you don’t have to take it. You do have a choice in how you handle this behavior. Choose wisely.
Read another article: Can A Marriage Counselor Really Save Your Marriage?
He is Distant All of a Sudden
What does it mean when your man becomes distant all of a sudden? Perhaps his calls or texts are less frequent, or maybe he cuts them short. He isn’t as engaging in conversation or maybe you feel no sense of urgency to spend time with you all of a sudden. If this is just happened all of a sudden, no need to panic just yet.
Men really do compartmentalize. What is troubling him possibly has nothing at all to do with you. No need to jump to the negative conclusion and assume it’s about you when in fact, it may not be at all. We women have these projectors running in our heads often. We also want to fix things. There is a good chance though, just because he is suddenly distant, nothing is broken.
I can’t tell you how many times my projector has worked overtime for nothing. I have witnessed this in others over and over again as well. When your man becomes distant all of a sudden, for now do nothing. Let it ride, trust him. When we badger and ask them what is wrong, often we just push them further away.
I remember my boyfriend one night was really quiet. He usually wanted to see me on most nights, but this night, he called and got off the phone very quickly, with no mention of any plans at all. I could have questioned him, but I didn’t. I have learned the hard way, that usually it’s not about me, but something else.
So, the next day, same thing. I wait it out. 3 days later, he shows up at my door and I am thinking, oh boy, he is here to dump me. Turns out that was not the case at all. He has some legal issues he was dealing with and he was scared to share them with me for fear I would judge him and leave. He showed up on my door step to be honest with me. To lay it on the line. He wanted us to go to the next level, but knew he had to be upfront with his baggage from his past.
He told me that by me not pressuring him, I had actually helped him to trust me even more. He was happy I didn’t turn into a drama queen or emotional wreck by his pulling away. You see I choose to trust him and his judgement, even though it did make me a bit uncomfortable. Had I reacted differently, the outcome might not be so positive.
If I had been a drama queen and insisted on knowing what was wrong, it would have put more pressure on him. Not only would he have had his legal issues to worry about, but he would have to be worried about me and my well being also.
So next time he is suddenly distant, wait it out for a while. Don’t stress too much unless this is a constant reoccurring thing. Trust that your man can solve his problems on his own. Think long term satisfaction of the relationship, not about your instant gratification.
When He Says He Needs Space
When he says he needs his space, what does that exactly mean? Does it mean he wants to break up? Doe he need time to give more attention to his life or work? Usually when a man says he needs his space, he needs his space away from you. There is something in the relationship that isn’t sitting right with him.
Some men use the need space line as a way to let you down easy. They have decided that they don’t want to continue with the relationship and they are hoping you will just end it for them and save them the trouble of being the bad guy. Sad but true. Still you wonder why he would want to end it and why not just tell you he wants to end it instead of saying “he needs space”.
The main reason though that a guy feels he needs space is because he is sensing that you are ahead of him in the relationship of more invested. Perhaps you have giving him most of your time, are always available and he feels he is fast becoming the center of your Universe. This is scary for not only a man but for any human being that is emotionally pretty healthy.
When he starts to feel you are depending on him for a level of your well being, he feels you may begin to or already have set up expectations. Maybe you expect him to call everyday, maybe you expect him to spend most of his free time with you. Maybe you expect him to always greet you with terms of endearment. Regardless, a man has to give to you because he wants to and if he feels it is expected, it just won’t be the same for him.
When a man tells you he needs space, he is telling you to slow down. He is telling you to not depend on him. He is hoping you won’t fall apart when he asks for it. If he says he needs space, give it to him, and get busy with your life. If he doesn’t come back around in a week or so, you have your answer and you know which of these reasons he needs his space.
This is why it is so important to pace the relationship and not begin to invest your everything into a man too soon. It will back fire on you and he will begin to feel smothered or trapped. Take more responsibility for your own happiness. Men love happy women.