Is he gone forever? Will he ever come back to me? Have I done something wrong?
These are just a few of the questions running through every woman’s head when her partner starts pulling away.
If you’ve had a similar experience, you probably wonder why something like that happened to your seemingly perfect relationship. And the fact that you can’t do much to change things makes it even more frustrating.
So, what’s the deal? Why has your loving partner started acting distant all of a sudden, and is he ever coming back? Is this a sign that he is cheating on you?
We put together a list that might explain why your man is acting cold and how to get things back to normal.
Why do guys pull away, and what to do about it?
He has a lot on his plate
According to popular psychology, men and women tend to solve problems differently. While most women cope with a difficult situation by discussing it with their friends or partners, men prefer to deal with things internally.
Maybe he just has a lot on his plate and is not ready to be vocal about what’s bothering him. It’s not that he doesn’t care. He probably doesn’t want you to see him scared or worried.
It’s in men’s nature to be the problem-solvers and protectors. Give him some space, and once he comes up with a solution to whatever has been bothering him, he will come back to you ready to discuss things.
He’s not sure of his feelings anymore
A common reason why men pull away is their feelings. Relationships tend to move fast and burn even faster when two people click. And this can be quite a scary scenario, especially if a guy is unsure whether what he is feeling is real or not.
Starting a serious relationship opens an entirely new chapter in life. You’ll start spending time together, going out on few dates, enjoying activities, or even planning the future. But is it real love or just infatuation?
He might need space to work out his true feelings, but once he is sure his love is real, he’ll let down his guard.
He thinks you are no longer the woman he fell in love with
People change, and that’s a fact. But is it for the better or worse? Have you started taking each other for granted?
If your long-time partner has begun withdrawing, maybe he thinks you have changed to the point he no longer recognizes you. It can be a change in character he doesn’t like or approve of. Maybe you have developed traits that make you feel or sound like a completely different woman than the one he fell in love with.
Looks can also play a part in it. It’s not that men only look for a pretty face, but you must understand that appearance is very important to some people, and that’s alright.
If you want to get your partner back, show him what he liked about you when you first started dating. Juggle his memory, and he will realize you are the same woman he found irresistible years ago.
Things are moving too fast for him
You found each other, and it looks like you are the perfect match. You spend hours on the phone and send text messages every spare minute. Everyone important in your life knows about your new partner, and you are already talking about moving in together.
Everything seems to be going perfectly, but suddenly, he starts pulling away. Many women blame it on themselves when this happens, thinking they have been too pushy or clingy.
In reality, your guy is not having doubts about whether you are girlfriend material. He is afraid of how fast things are going and the intensity of your relationship.
He needs some time alone to figure out his priorities
When your partner starts pulling away, it can be a big deal for both of you, but it doesn’t always mean the relationship is over. People acquire new goals and strive for a better life, so change isn’t necessarily bad. Maybe your partner just needs some time alone to sort his thoughts out.
But if we are sincere, he may find out that you are no longer a priority in his life, and he wants to focus his time and energy on something else. Whichever comes to be true, please give him space to think if you want him back.
If you were meant to be, he would choose you over anything else, but things will work out just fine, even if he doesn’t.
He’s emotionally unavailable
The push-and-pull happens with men who fear emotional commitment. Pulling away is something they often do. But instead of blaming it on your partner, blame it on biology.
It’s in women’s nature to be in touch with their feelings, which is not the case with most men. We just think differently and feel deeply. To understand what an emotionally unavailable man wants in a relationship, you must learn to communicate in a way that will help him process his emotions.
No one says it’s going to be easy, but if this is your guy, it’s worth the effort.
He doesn’t think he deserves love and happiness
We all have a past and often carry that baggage into a new relationship.
Historically, men have always been taught to hide their feelings and tough them out. But just like women, men can come out of past relationships scarred, damaged, and practically with no confidence. Some guys have such low self-esteem that they can’t fathom why you’d want them in your life.
Unfortunately, the deeper your bond runs, the bigger the chances your guy pulls away. He is simply insecure and uses distance as a defense mechanism.
Your sex life is dull and predictable
You used to have a passionate, steamy sex life, and now you are barely intimate.
Men need sex; no man would ever turn down action under the sheets with the woman he loves. But maybe you have both become ‘lazy’ in bed. Predictability is passion’s worst enemy!
However, nothing is lost, at least not if you put some effort into the art of seduction.
Men are all about visuals. Put on something more revealing, send him a steamy pic or two, and spice it up with sexting…
Show your man how much you desire him, and he will warm up to you in no time.
You spend every waking minute together
It doesn’t mean it’s his fault or yours if your partner starts pulling away. Maybe the relationship is making him frustrated, especially if he feels he doesn’t have time for anything or anyone else but you.
There is nothing to talk about; you already know about whatever happens. Plus, Netflix & Chill gets old after a while. Nothing gets you excited anymore.
Just like women, men, too, need time for their own interests, their friends, family, hobbies, or anything else that makes their day-to-day life.
Whenever you feel he is withdrawing or acting cold, give him a reason to miss you. Make yourself less available and give him space to breathe. After all, people appreciate more what they can’t get too easily.
He feels there’s no emotional connection
Not every love will be grand and sweep you off your feet. Some relationships take time to become serious and grow into something deeper. However, some guys seem not to have the time for it. They want the fireworks right here, right now.
It’s not about looks, brains, or even how good you are in bed. It’s more about how they feel around you. Do you make them like themselves a little bit better because of you?
If you are dating such a guy and he starts pulling away, maybe it’s better just to let him go because you can’t fake or force an emotional connection. You either have it or you don’t.
The relationship is too easy
Many couples get along well and make it look easy, but “too easy” feels suspicious, especially in a brand-new amazing relationship.
It can go two ways, either no one cares enough, or someone is too accommodating, and usually, that’s the woman. Her self-worth and self-esteem are so low that she would accept everything and anything just to keep her man around. And this is the biggest mistake you can make.
Men are hunters by nature. They like the challenge of going after their “pray,” and they won’t back down until they get what they want. If being with you becomes “too easy,” he’ll start losing interest and pulling away.
He doesn’t feel man enough
Most males prefer to be the “alpha” in the relationship – the one who wears the pants.
Men can’t stand when people tell them that their wife/girlfriend has them on a leash. Comments like that are a hard blow to their ego, and they may pull away, mainly because they want to prove that they will do just fine without their “better half.”
Maybe you should loosen your grip if you want your man back. Don’t nag him if you notice he is withdrawing. Let him miss you, and he will probably come back a better man.
He needs to recharge
Have you heard of the “man cave”?
This place is much more than the basement where your guy keeps his gaming setup and hangs out with his buddies. That is his safe haven and a place where he retrieves to “recharge his masculinity.”
Relationships make men drop their guard, and they tend to pull away when something like that happens. Most men who get deep in their feelings don’t see themselves as masculine enough. They simply don’t recognize themselves as they’re behaving in this lovey-dovey manner and need a few days on their own to replenish their manliness.
His feelings scare him
If you’re left wondering why guys pull away and come back, the answer may be this simple – fear. They are afraid of their intense feelings and how deep they are.
Love, especially the one that moves faster than a hurricane, catches men off-guard. If casual sex was all he was hoping for, but here you are, moving in together two months later, it can have that scary effect that makes men pull away.
However, the precise moment he realizes you are a high-value woman who knows how to love him the right way, he’ll come back knocking on your door.
He’s scared to get hurt
Men suffer from heartbreak just the way women do. They are just much better at toughing it out and hiding their feelings.
Pulling away is one of the common signs a guy is scared of having his heart broken. If he was in a loving, committed relationship that ended badly, he might distance himself before he risks being hurt again.
But there is no room for panic, especially if you haven’t given him a reason to doubt your love or intentions. Give him some time to process his feelings; there is a good chance this can grow into a healthy relationship.
He is afraid to commit to you
There are plenty of men out there who dread the idea of being in a monogamous relationship. They simply don’t see themselves tied to a one and only woman. Maybe they feel too young to settle down. Or maybe they want the excitement a new love brings but aren’t into what comes next.
Unfortunately, having commitment issues is one of the common reasons why men pull away. Men are afraid of commitment for many reasons, from not being able to imagine spending their life with only one woman to protecting their hearts from being broken.
But, if you’ve been together for years, he never took the relationship to the next level, and he has started withdrawing, your guy is most likely afraid to commit to you.
If this phase lasts for what seems to you forever, maybe it’s time to have a conversation just to be sure where you are standing.
He doesn’t want to let go of his independence
That’s right, a lot of men start pulling away at the first sign of losing their freedom. To them, being in a long-term relationship means they must give up on their freedoms and all the perks that come with single life.
That is when most men withdraw in an attempt to cling to their freedom for as long as possible, or even maybe forever.
It is especially the case with guys who had no intention of being in a serious relationship but ran into someone awesome nonetheless. Now, he might be showing interest in you and enjoying your company, but he might be longing for the days when no strings were attached.
He’s scared to lose his identity
Before becoming your partner, he led a single man’s life, at least for a while. Assuming that he enjoyed his singlehood, he probably built some sort of identity around that particular relationship status. In other words, he had habits and hobbies he enjoyed and people he met regularly.
Now that you are in his life, he needs to abandon a single guy’s identity and reinvent himself, which is reason enough to start pulling away. There is a good chance his old life was his comfort zone, and the idea of leaving the comfort of his singlehood may cause him to reconsider being in a committed relationship.
He’s not that into you
Sorry to break it to you, but if a guy pulls away, he might not be into you as much as you thought he was. And that’s alright. It happens. The heart wants what it wants, and you can’t force a man to fall in love with you.
Most guys are not great at communicating or even understanding their feelings. Unfortunately, this often leads to heartache and unmet expectations.
If your gut feeling tells you something is off, that’s probably because it is. Chemistry is hard to fake, and a woman knows when a man is genuinely interested in her.
He can’t stand your complaining
There is one common truth — everyone hates nagging. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you complain too much; the two of you simply communicate in different ways. Women are from Venus, and Men are from Mars, right?
but constant complaining makes them feel like they can never do anything right, so they act cold and pull away. Try to understand your partner’s position, especially if he openly tells you that you need to cut down on the nagging.
He is going through a midlife crisis
Men who go through a midlife crisis can seem withdrawn and act cold toward you. They are aware that they are no longer in their prime and feel the need to reinvent themselves. During this period, men become insecure about their bodies, performance in bed, shape, and fitness.
The best thing you can do is give him your full support and pretty much pretend nothing is going on.
He wants to end the relationship
When a man figures out he no longer wants to stay in this relationship, he will start pulling away from you.
No matter how hard it is, there is a chance he is just not that into you anymore. As we already said, people change. If he feels you are not meant to be, and fights are common in your relationship, he may cool off completely. And if that’s the case, there’s nothing you can do except ask him what’s going on.
Why do men pull away even when they’re into you?
Men pull away when they start having feelings for you because they are afraid of getting hurt. They use withdrawal as a defense mechanism to steer clear of heartache.
There are plenty of reasons why a man would act that way. Some of these guys carry baggage from their childhood, and others have been emotionally scarred by an ex-partner. Another group of men who pull away is those who fear scaring a good woman away by coming on too strong.
Almost every relationship expert would advise men to stay mysterious and reserved. The same goes for “playing it cool” and not appearing to be too hungry for a woman’s attention.
Believe it or not, both men and women enjoy this cat-and-mouse chase, running high on intoxicating emotions and magnetic attraction. But once things start getting too real, and they are already neglecting their friends and naming future children because of you, men begin pulling away.
Many guys have already been burned more than once in relationships that move faster than the speed of light, so they learned to withdraw to protect their hearts.
Men also pull away because of their commitment issues or because there is something else going on in their life that requires their undivided attention.
Yes, people can be too busy to stay in a long-term relationship, as one requires a lot of work and dedication. But whatever it is that’s made him suddenly pull away; it’s hard not to take it personally, especially when you’ve done nothing to encourage such behavior.
Pulling away is even somewhat acceptable in the early stages of a relationship. However, it’s an entirely different ball game when men become distant later in the relationship. Again, reasons for withdrawing can be many, but one of the most common ones is yearning for independence and freedom.
Men are known for losing interest when a relationship becomes too demanding. They kind of feel backed into a corner. All that “me becoming us” emotional bonding seems like they are losing their identity and sense of self. That powerful trigger makes a guy push away a high-value woman.
On the other hand, unlike the guys who can’t seem to find a girl because of their high standards, there are the guys who date every girl that shows any interest in them.
But later, when this casual fling grows into a serious relationship and the mystery starts melting away, men often realize this is not what they signed up for. These are not the qualities they were looking for in a partner, and they again begin to pull away.
Why do they come back after pulling away?
Men return to their women for many reasons, but these are the most common ones:
He regrets his decision
After the initial taste of freedom, men often realize that grass is not always greener on the other side. They may also realize they could have tried harder and given the relationship one more chance.
He couldn’t find a woman as good as you
He starts dating again and realizes that the shortcomings that made him leave you are nothing compared to what he sees in all these other women.
He blames himself for breaking your heart
Men truly despise breaking a woman’s heart, especially if she loved them. The guilt may drive him back to you, though it may not always be because of love.
What should you do?
Watching your man withdraw is a painful experience, maybe even worse than going through a breakup because you can’t know what’s happening in his head. So is there something you can do when your partner starts pulling away? Is there a way to stop him from distancing himself from you?
Here are a few great ways to deal with such a situation.
Stop obsessing about it
The thought of your man pulling away after engaging in such loving and passionate relationship dynamics is enough to cause stress, pain, and frustration. I know you may feel lost and confused, but the worst thing you can do in such a situation is to allow your own feelings to take over. Now is the time to stay composed and focus on something that makes you happy. Maybe work on your self-love and self-care. Whether he comes back or moves on, he’ll realize and appreciate the level of maturity it took to handle his withdrawal.
Resist the urge to ask him what’s wrong
Put yourself in his shoes. What’s worse than having to deal with a challenging situation? Well, being given the third degree about what’s going on. So, take a step back from your relationship. Allow him to notice your absence and start missing you. It will allow him to relax, make the first step, and approach you again.
Stay kind and positive
Maintaining a positive attitude when a man pulls away is important. Now, you are probably thinking, why should you be the one to keep smiling and acting happy? Remember that this is the man you love, so keep an open heart and an open mind. There is a good chance you are not the reason why he is withdrawing.
Give him all the space he needs
Honestly, just give him space. If he is already feeling lost in this relationship, space is all he needs from you. That doesn’t mean you should cut all contact. Just keep your distance while he figures out his emotions. A man pulls away when confused and needs to clear his head.
Treat him the same
No, I’m not talking about giving him a taste of his own medicine. Quite the opposite. Stick to the ways you treated him before he started pulling away. Stay consistent with how you communicate and express your love without smothering your man. Just be your usual self, like nothing’s going on.
When everything else fails, resort to counseling. There is nothing wrong with seeking professional help. When you are stuck on repeat with all the negative thoughts running through your head, a relationship expert can give you a completely different perspective of why your guy pulls away. Don’t be surprised when you realize that a guy’s withdrawal usually has nothing to do with you.
Final thoughts on why guys pull away and then come back
If you genuinely believe that the guy is worth it for you to put in the effort, give him space.
Maybe he needs to be apart from you to get things straight in his mind and realize how much he needs you. Men process things differently.
Suggest some changes to make your relationship more comfortable for him. Be patient, and he will come back to you at some point.