10 Common Reasons Why Men Pull Away & How You Can Stop It

If you know why he is distancing himself, you may be able to bridge the gap between you two.

Reviewed by Hemali Adhiya, ICF Certified Relationship Coach Hemali Adhiya Hemali AdhiyaICF Certified Relationship Coach facebook_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , BSc Shatabdi Bhattacharya BSc linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years
Fact-checked by , BSc Reshma Latif BSc linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years

It can be devastating to see your man become withdrawn from you and not know what went wrong and where. But, fret not. We have found the 10 most common reasons why men pull away from a relationship. The vigor that used to be there in the initial stages of the relationship often fades away after spending more time with one another. Your partner meets you less, they show less affection and care dips. Signs like these raise many questions in a woman about their partner’s commitment to making the relationship work. There is no specific answer to this behavior of men as different relationships have different background stories.

A man can pull the plug due to many reasons. Instead of jumping to conclusions, you should discuss the issue with your partner. Understand what your man is going through and try to think from their perspective. Sometimes, it may all turn out to be baseless insecurity. This article lists ten reasons why men pull away and how you can deal with it. Continue reading to know more.

Signs A Guy Is Pulling Away

Man looking away from a woman
Image: Shutterstock

When a guy starts pulling away from a relationship, it can be subtle or quite noticeable. Here are some signs to look out for:

Decreased Communication: Less frequent and shorter responses from someone who used to communicate regularly can indicate that they are pulling away.

Less Availability: If he frequently makes excuses without trying to reschedule plans, it could be a sign that he is distancing himself from the relationship.

Emotional Withdrawal: If he becomes less willing to share his thoughts or feelings, he may be stepping back emotionally. This can manifest as indifference or a lack of empathy.

Physical Distance: A decrease in physical intimacy can signify that a guy is pulling away from the relationship. He may avoid closeness or spending time together.

Address warning signs in your relationship by communicating openly with your partner. Learn more about why men pull away in the next section.

10 Common Reasons Why Men Pull Away

Well, here is no single and straightforward answer to the question of why men pull away. Yet, we have tried to list out some common reasons, hoping at least one of them will help you figure out the answer to your situation. However, keep in mind that all men are different, and each relationship is different. Remember to keep an open mind and think objectively while learning about what makes men pull away.

1. He Is Afraid Of His Feelings For You

Just like you feel this is the best relationship you have ever had, he may feel the same. However, similar feelings do not guarantee that he can express it the same way as you do. Maybe this is the first time he is experiencing such intense feelings for someone, and this scares him. He might be scared of the fact that he will disappoint you or doubtful if he is ready to commit. Being afraid of feelings and love is the number one reason men pull away.

2. He Feels He Is Being Pressured To Do Something

Men take great pride in their ability to make their own decisions and not be answerable to anyone, especially their partners and family. If he feels he is being pressured to do something like commit before he is ready, start a family, etc., he might start pulling away. You may feel like you are not pressurizing him, but unconsciously your actions might betray you. It could also be the pressure from other external factors like incessant questions from his family or unintentional jokes cracked by his friends. The best solution to this problem is to sit down together and have healthy and open communication. Assure him that you are ready to give him all the space and time he needs to make a decision.

3. He Is Being Put In The Spot Frequently

Do not make him choose. It is extremely unfair to have to choose between yourself and your partner. Just like everyone has a right to exercise their free will and the right to make an independent decision, similarly, your man is also entitled to indulge in his own interests. Something as simple as you constantly nagging him to spend less time with friends and more time with you can be difficult to deal with. It is possible that you both are right, but instead of attacking him and being defensive, try to have a healthy discussion where both of you get an equal opportunity to voice your opinions. Do not put him in the spot frequently, do not make him choose between you and others, and you will be free from the constant worry of why men pull away.

4. He Is Burdened With Past Trauma And Disappointments

Wife comforting and supporting disappointed husband
Image: Shutterstock

Men find it extremely difficult to talk about their past trauma and history of disappointments. As their partner, you will have to create a safe space for him to be vulnerable and talk about his past. Let him feel it is completely acceptable to talk about his vulnerabilities and insecurities. Often, men do not openly share about their past, letting their fear of disappointment drive their present. This is one of the reasons why men pull away. Assure your man that he shares a safe space with you in which he can talk about anything and everything.

5. He Is Finding It Difficult To Live Up To Your Expectations

It is a basic human tendency to want the best in life. You may want the best partner and the best relationship. However, you should also keep in mind that it is an unrealistic expectation and nobody is perfect. Expecting your partner to fulfill these expectations would be unfair to both him and your relationship. If you are wondering why men pull away and what to do about it, work on your expectations from him. If it would have been the other way around and your partner had set unrealistic expectations for you, you also would have felt trapped and suffocated in the relationship.

6. He Is Not Comfortable With Expressing His Love

A lot of couples fight, with one being accused of not loving the other. However, this is not always the case. Many people find it difficult to express their feelings, especially men. In the present patriarchal system, most young boys grow up thinking they will be ridiculed if they acknowledge or express their emotions. They are consciously taught not to be expressive and vocal about how they truly feel. Therefore, if your man is doing the same, try to understand the place he is coming from. Talk to him about this and give him time to mend the situation. Do not rush him or constantly nag him as it can give him more of a reason to pull away.

7. He Thinks You Will Leave Him

As mentioned above, some men do have trouble expressing their true feelings and expressing the same. Sometimes these troubles can stem from abandonment issues. A person who has abandonment issues lives in constant fear that a person important to them will leave them, and they will be left behind to pick up the pieces. If your partner is also experiencing the same, he may be having a hard time accepting the fact that you will always be there for him. In this case, you will have to work extra hard to make him resolve his issues and accept your presence in his life.

Adam, a blogger, highlights fundamental differences and a few unhealthy tendencies between him and his partner, such as pulling away from each other. He reflects, “They actually make us both feel less safe in the relationship and less secure. She feels less safe because she feels I’m clinging to her. I feel less safe because I’m afraid she’ll run and drop my heart. So, this is something else we both need to work on (i).”

8. There Is A Lack Of Communication In Your Relationship

Clear and healthy communication is necessary in all relationships. It is also a challenge many relationships face because the degree of communication varies in men and women. Women are often seen giving subtle hints, while men believe in stating things explicitly. This forwardness is often not appreciated by partners. Many couples fight over comments one believes were too explicit. These fights can then discourage men from speaking their mind, which then creates more problems. Lack of communication, hence, can be a reason why men pull away. However, this can be easily fixed with candid conversations and some sincere effort.

protip_icon Quick Tip
A man may also pull away from a relationship when he is not being appreciated enough for his efforts to make things work.

9. He Is Stressed In His Professional Life

Man's work stress is affecting his relationship
Image: Shutterstock

Maybe you are overthinking about why men pull away when they are falling in love. Maybe he is just acting distant because he is stressed about something at work and needs some space. Both men and women react to stress differently. Just because you relieve stress by talking about it with others, your partner might not do the same. Respect his desire of wanting some personal space, and things will fall back in place automatically.

10. The Love Is Simply Fading

Man pulling away as his love is fading
Image: Shutterstock

If you have been with a man for a long time and he is starting to pull away suddenly, and you can think of no reasonable explanation, it could be that his love for you is fading. Women often complain about how men confuse lust with love. Maybe the physical intensity with which you started the relationship has waned, which made him realize his true feelings for you. It may hurt in the beginning, but in the long run, it is what’s best for you. You would not want to be in a relationship with someone whose feelings for you are so temporary but rather forge a connection based on trust and intimacy. This is especially true for women who wonder why men pull away after sex.

Now that you have a fair idea about why he might be pulling away, let’s talk about how to deal with it.

What To Do When He Pulls Away

It must feel horrible when you see your partner pulling away from you and getting distant from you. It may feel like rejection and leave you feeling unwanted and unloved. However, do not stress about this and give yourself and the relationship time to recover. Here are some tips you can follow when he is pulling away from you:

1. Play It Cool

It is easier said than done. When you see the man you love pulling away from you, you may start freaking out and try to pull him towards you. However, resist this urge and play it cool. Give him space and time to evaluate his love for you and willingness to invest in the relationship. Do not nag him. Let him come to terms with his feelings.

2. Give Him Space But Not The Silent Treatment

He might not show it, but he does need your support. You will have to strike the right balance between being there for him and giving him space. Give him all the space he needs, but that does not mean you have to stop all kinds of communication with him. Do not give him the silent treatment and make him question the relationship. Let him process his feelings and be there for him as and when required.

3. Get Professional Help

Couple seeking professional help
Image: Shutterstock

If you think it is getting difficult for you to handle this single-handedly, do not shy away from seeking professional support. There is usually a lot of taboo associated with seeking relationship counseling, but there is nothing wrong with it. A relationship expert can help a great deal in recognizing the root cause of your problems and how they can be solved. If your partner agrees, you can also seek couples therapy.

4. Keep Yourself Busy

Your partner and your relationship are not your entire life. You must have your professional life, interests, hobbies, family, friends, etc. Engage in things that make you happy and be at peace with yourself. These simple activities can be greatly therapeutic and allow you to look at your relationship from a completely new perspective. Remember, you are a woman of worth and have an identity of yourself. Refuse to be defined merely by the absence or presence of a man in your life.

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It is recommended to shift your focus from thoughts of getting him back to ideas of your own aspirations and self-growth. This shift can also contribute to your mental well-being and self-esteem.

5. Communicate With Each Other

Couple sitting and communicating with each other
Image: IStock

After you have completed the first step, i.e., giving him space, it is now time to move on to the next step, which is talking to each other. The space you gave him earlier would have helped him clear his mind and take into consideration his feelings for you. Once you ensure he is in a better place and willing to talk, sit down and pour it all out. Do not shy away from difficult conversations. Talk about how both of you feel and why. Remember not to get defensive or attacking through your words. Accommodate and critically analyze all his points, and give him time to do the same.

Infographic: Understanding Your Man Better

Men are from Mars; women are from Venus – or so the saying goes. That said, understanding each other can be a challenge and may often lead to rifts in the relationship. If not addressed, these may even cause the relationship to fall apart. If you are in a similar situation, there are a few things you can keep in mind to improve your relationship. Check out the following infographic to learn more.

understand your man better (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

It is important to give your partner and yourself the space you both deserve. To understand why men pull away, you need to have a healthy conversation with him so he can explain to you the reason. Instead of jumping to conclusions and troubling yourself with assumptions, talk it out with him. There is nothing that you cannot solve in a relationship with a healthy conversation. Be patient with him and let him heal if he needs to. Let him be in a better place in his life, and you should also focus on creating a healthier relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to text him if he pulls away?

Reason your concerns and point out his behavior that is bothering you. Also, have a calm approach and give him some time to respond to your texts.

Will pulling away bring him closer?

Yes, in many instances, pulling away may bring him closer. If you distance yourself more than you need, there are high chances that he will try to connect with you more often and may want you more.

How long should I wait when a man pulls away?

The pull away period can last for a few days to years, or might not end at all. It’s best to give him some space and gradually discuss your concerns with him. If you continue to notice the symptoms of withdrawal often being repeated, or your relationship turning sour, it’s best to stop waiting and start focusing on yourself and prioritize your needs.

Why do guys come on strong and then pull away?

They might feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your feelings, or are afraid of commitment. They might even think that you two are no longer compatible or have started seeing someone else. However, to understand the exact reason behind the range of their unusual behavior, calmly express your concerns about their behavior, and try understanding where it is coming from.

What are some signs that a man is not really interested in a relationship and is just pulling away?

A man is not really interested in you if he is emotionally unavailable. Other indicators are if he cuts down on communication, does not make eye contact while speaking to you, or does not share personal stuff like he used to earlier in the relationship.

Key Takeaways

  • If your man seems to be less invested in your relationship with time, care, and efforts, he might be trying to pull himself away for a bit.
  • While it may happen when you get too clingy, possessive, or demanding, it could be due to his personal challenges and insecurities as well.
  • An open communication and giving him some breathing space and time would help put things back in perspective.
why men pull away_illustration

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Discover the crucial steps to take when your partner starts pulling away or acting distant. This video helps you uncover the secrets to reconnecting and reigniting the flame in your relationship. Don’t miss out!

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Hemali Adhiya

Hemali AdhiyaICF Certified Relationship Coach

Hemali is an ICF-Certified ACC Level Life Coach with 3 years of experience in relationship, marriage, and grief coaching. Her sessions aim to bring about transformation in her clients’ lives, perspectives, and relationships.

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