Figuring out why men pull away is so much easier if deep down, you know that you’ve been in denial.
I used to be more scared of being physically alone than I was scared of ending up with someone who made me feel more alone than my self-hatred did.
And because I approached dating with a “grateful for any crumb” mentality, I continued to bet on potential instead of act on red flags.
I would convince myself that he was amazing; that I was in this great relationship and that we had this once-in-a-lifetime connection (despite my intuition knowing better). My fear of being alone made me turn a blind eye to lies, inconsistencies, cheating, and broken promises. Even gaslighting and other forms of emotional abuse were tolerated and excused.
This fear also made very avoidant. Especially when it came to the devaluing and gaslighting that I was doing to myself. All I knew how to do in relationships was settle, tolerate, and give at the expense of my dignity.
By continuing to act from a place of:
It was impossible for me to have any kind of care for my mental health. Soon, I lost all respect for myself. And when you don’t have any self-respect, what’s the point in prioritizing mental health that you don’t ever think you’ll be good enough to attain? (the same can be said for physical health).
I would then wonder why he was pulling away when I had done nothing but give everything.
My dating life became a humiliating nightmare and I was always the victim. This victim mentality fueled more bad decisions that always ended in investigatory obsession instead of Happily Ever After.
As far as wanting to know why men pull away, there were other instances that now, looking back, were a no brainer.
I would finally meet a good guy who was the complete opposite of the ones above. But because I still had unresolved issues with abandonment, trust, and crippling insecurity… I would sabotage the relationship.
Everything brought a reaction out of me. I wanted control over everyone and everything because I had no control over how worthless I felt.
These instances above are not what I am referring to in this post.
This post is about figuring out why men pull away when you both have a great, seemingly healthy, and progressively serious thing going.
You can’t get enough of each other. The vibe is good and there aren’t any red flags that you’ve noticed so far.
And then one day… it’s no longer the same.
He’s turned cold. It feels like he’s miles away even when he’s right next to you.
His energy has shifted for no reason at all and you start to panic.
Why does this happen?
Why do men pull away when things are going great and just starting to get serious?
Read this slowly and remember it. Write it down if you need to…
Nothing ignites obsession, self-sabotage, and self-blame more than getting rejected when your self-esteem is nonexistent.
You become obsessed with getting answers.
Every article online says:
“Maybe he just doesn’t want to be in a relationship.”
“He might be a player.”
“He’s stressed out about something.”
“You fell in love too easily.”
“There are communication issues.”
“He might be gay.”
“You were needy and he felt suffocated.”
But you know that none of this applies and you haven’t seen any red flags so far. It’s impossible to think that him pulling away has nothing to do with you but you’ve been playing it so cool. This time was so much different than all the others.
How can this be happening?
He doesn’t respond to your texts and calls as quickly as he used to. It would almost be easier if he was being directly disrespectful because this passive ambiguity is killing you. The change in his energy hurts more than blatant disrespect ever could and you can’t help but assume that you did something to cause this.
Bottom line: *even if* you did something to cause him to pull away, the fact that you were that close, had that good of a thing going, and he’s pulling away without giving you one shred of communication…
This is a huge red flag and a massive turn off.
It’s selfish, it’s emotionally unintelligent, and if there’s that much of a handbrake when it comes to communication… a mutual, reciprocal, and mature relationship will never be a possibility.
Yes, you may have done something to cause him to pause, but the decision to not communicate is on him. (this applies to women as well. I have definitely behaved like this in the past and hurt really good people).
Here are the two main reasons why men pull away when everything seems to be going well…
1. This isn’t about playing the field or dating multiple people while he’s dating you. It’s about still being hung up on someone else and not realizing it until he got involved with you.
As far as why men pull away, a lot of the time it’s because while his feelings for you are growing, his heart is conflicted. I have definitely been there and it was never about doing anything calculated and malicious. It was a mixture of avoidance, a lack of self-awareness, and also, making a genuine effort to healthily move on.
Unfortunately, sometimes it takes getting involved with someone else to realize how conflicted and unresolved our feelings really are.
This may be with an ex or with someone he was dating before you. It’s a tough situation and I’m not exonerating anyone here – just trying to shed light on something that I have been on both the giving and the receiving end of.
Whenever I did this in the past, it was never because I didn’t like the guy I was with. I really did like and respect him and I really did NOT want to play games. But when I realized how hung up I still was, I would disrespect him by backing off (or even ghosting) instead of communicating.
I was emotionally immature, scared, ashamed, and avoidant. I didn’t like who I was. The thought of losing him and hurting him the way I had been hurt in the past was too much to face.
I was also, extremely selfish.
I wanted to pull back a bit while I figured my feelings out. I couldn’t deal with losing him but I also couldn’t deal with it getting any more serious. And all the while, I wasn’t communicating any of this to someone who was not only deserving of the truth but that I genuinely cared about.
No matter how much I cared and how in limbo I was though, all I had to offer were crumbs. I was a total contradictory joke.
2. Another reason why men pull away: control.
He pulls away just when things are starting to get more serious because he knows that this is how he can get more control.
He wants to know that he has all of you (because he’s so insecure and is most likely, working out childhood trauma that we all have) but can’t give you all of him (because he knows that he’d have to commit and do things that are not within his emotional range). So, whenever you want to calmly talk or respectfully hint about the relationship progressing, he overreacts and recoils.
When he does that, you react and then unjustly blame yourself. You are triggered by a painful history that is now repeating itself.
You then work twice as hard to prove that you are understanding of his concerns and wanting to “take it slow.” His last relationship traumatized him, his Grandmother just died, he just got fired, his dog has anxiety or whatever the reason may be, there you are accommodating at the expense of yourself and your sanity, every time. The problem with this is that he gets all of the benefits of you being a committed girlfriend (because you’re working so hard to prove yourself) without any commitment on his end.
Again, a lot of this can happen subconsciously and there is no use explaining it to a man (or woman) who is that triggered, lame, emotionally stunted, and incapable of introspection.
Sometimes, him pulling away is the first red flag that you’re exposed to. But just because it’s the first, that doesn’t make the shade of red any lighter or easier to look past.
At the very least, you deserve someone who has enough respect for themselves (and for you) to explain why they need to take a step back.
If they can’t, they are giving you a gift. They’re literally proving to you that they do not have the emotional intelligence to be in the kind of relationship you deserve.
+ If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with me here.