When the the person we’re smitten over suddenly pulls away and we don’t know the reason why it can be confusing. And sometimes it hurts just as much as an actual breakup does. Both men and women are guilty of pulling away in relationships, although the reasons why men pull away are vastly different than women.
“For better or worse, men aren’t taught to deal with their emotions,” says dating coach, Hunt Ethridge. “Doing nothing or ghosting is easier for them than having a frank discussion. Since men aren’t as emotional with each other, they don’t know how to do it with women.”
So what does it mean when the men we’ve fallen for start to pull away without an explanation? Here are some reasons why men pull away:
He wants space.
You’ve been hanging out together A LOT, you text and talk all the time, and suddenly, he’s less responsive and available. According to dating coach and founder of Sexy Confidence, Adam LoDolce, that could mean it’s too much too soon.
“People have a tendency to jump in quick when they first meet someone and once the initial honeymoon period ends, sometimes a man is wondering, ‘How did I get in so deep?’ Then he backs off,” he said.
If you think it’s space your man is after, the best thing to do is give it to him. Don’t try and close the space by being too clingy.
There’s another woman.
The most frequent reason why men pull away is due to the presence of another woman. If you’re not exclusive, he could be dating around and getting closer to another woman.
“Most men enjoy having options and will date around before settling on one woman,” said psychologist and relationship coach, Dr. Carmen Harra. “Commonly, when they do embark on a real relationship, they will cut off the other woman or women they were seeing.”
He’s not ready to commit.
It doesn’t matter how well the relationship is going, sometimes when things are progressing as they should and it’s getting more serious, the man will freak out a little.
“He may suddenly see his whole life paved out before him and this can be very disconcerting for a guy,” explained Ethridge. Especially for a guy who isn’t ready to commit.
“As nice and sweet as a man may come across, you can’t know what’s going on in his head or his life,” Harra added. “A man may say he wants a real relationship yet be utterly terrified of commitment when it comes down to it.”
In other words, his intentions DON’T match his actions.
He’d rather avoid confrontation.
It doesn’t just happen in romantic relationships, but in all types of relationships. Many times, people will distance themselves as a way of avoiding confrontation. And for why men pull away in relationships, Harra said that simply avoiding someone is far easier for men than being honest and telling their date they’ve lost interest.
“A man might prefer to take this route if he no longer wants to continue dating a woman rather than be blunt and risk hurting her feelings,” she said.
He’s turned off.
Whether it’s a bad habit, sexual fetish, or perhaps a viewpoint we don’t agree with, we all hold certain deal breakers that we just can’t see past. If a man pulls away out of nowhere, it often means he’s come to a conclusion about a woman that downright turns him off. An overly jealous woman or a woman who constantly picks fights, for example.
“Men flee from women who bring them undue stress,” said Harra. “Many men prefer to turn their back on a woman who shows signs of being too emotional because they don’t want to deal with the crying and fussing if they suggest a break or breakup.”
There’s not too much a woman can do if a man has definitely decided to pull away. While it hurts and can be confusing, his actions don’t necessarily mean he is looking for a break or a breakup.
Harra advised women who may be experiencing this right now to remain in the present and don’t get too carried away too soon.
“Protect yourself in the sense of remaining alert, realistic, and logical,” she said. After all, time is the ultimate test.
Most importantly don’t take it personally. Many times, the reason why men pull away is because he isn’t even sure what he wants. And if he isn’t sure he wants you, then he doesn’t deserve you anyway.