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Thread: Why do men pull away?

  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Why do men pull away?

    Is it true that men pull away when they begin to start having feelings or begin to fall in love with a woman? I have heard this from several sources. The alternative explanation could be that the man just isn’t that into the woman or has changed his mind about her. But how does one know if their man needs space or just isn’t feeling it anymore? I have actually posted a couple times about this guy, but the slow pace of the relationship has left me feeling confused since all my past relationships have started pretty hot and heavy.

    I feel this way with the guy I have been dating since January. Things have been going slow, but we have been consistently seeing each other about once a week although with little talking in between. He is a busy professional, and things have been especially rough this past month since he has been busy organizing a conference for this coming weekend.

    The last few times we have seen each other he has started to bring up questions about us, although we have not had the exclusivity talk. He has asked several times what I feel when I am with him, what I think about relationships in general, and has sort of jokingly referred to me as his girlfriend.

    Yet I feel like he asks these questions and then becomes so distant! Instead of stepping it up, sometimes I feel like he is taking a step back. It really seems like a contradiction to me and confuses me so much. This past week he has been especially distant, and has not sent me a message or e-mailed me at all. I sent him an e-mail, and his response was slightly cold.

    Is this whole pulling away phase normal?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    i am in this situation and he is reallly distant! I think the best thing to do is to talk about it because if not, you will always think about it! I know its hard because ive been trying to initiate and go up to him and i fear being seeing as too much but you have to do it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    It is possible that he likes you, but is trying not to come off too strong so that he doesn't scare you away. (In response to you saying about how he was jokingly referring to you as his girlfriend and asking about the relationship.)

    You say this week he has been pretty distant, but you also said that he is also organizing a conference. I think that could be why he is distant. His mind probably is focused on the conference.

    The email might sound cold because he might have a one track mind, like myself. Also you can only get a very small amount of information from written words alone as 90% or so of communication is nonverbal.

    It is very possible that he isn't trying to be distant, that maybe his mind is mainly being focused on his work right now. I wouldn't be too worried about it.

  4. #4
    Silver Member woodc5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I've never pulled away from someone because I've started to like them. I have unintentionally pulled away due to an extremely busy schedule. This was actually very recent. I liked her and spent time with her, but when I couldn't for a week, she began asking me whether or not I actually liked her and basically needed reassurance... on numerous occasions. That pushed me away and I had to end it with her because it came off to me as extremely needy with how often she was doing it. I'd let him come to you and see what happens.

  5. #5
    Ms Darcy
    Platinum Member Ms Darcy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    United States
    Hey there -

    Relationship counselors, including John Gray of "Mars and Venus" fame, calls this the Uncertainty Stage. Here are some of his thoughts on it:

    "Stage two of dating, called uncertainty, is the time to begin focusing on one person and on the possibilities that may lie ahead with this person. The goal of this phase is to figure out if you want to be in an exclusive relationship with your new mate.

    Unfortunately, many singles do not recognize this as a necessary stage and mistakenly assume that if they are not certain, this must not be the right person for them. They unknowingly sabotage the potential for having a great relationship before it even gets off the ground.

    Men and women both make mistakes during this stage that ruin their chances of creating a real relationship. These mistakes are the cause of a lot of unnecessary hurt and pain between partners. Questions like, "Why hasn't he called me?" "How often should you go out with one person if you're not sure where it's going?" "Should we have sex before we're in a real 'relationship'?" and finally, "Why is his profile active on our dating site when he says he wants to date me?"

    Some of the most common mistakes men and women make are:
    In stage two, women tend to sabotage relationships in the following ways:

    •She pursues too much.
    •She panics and assumes that she has done something wrong.
    •She feels obligated or pressured to give too much- emotionally, mentally & physically!
    In the uncertainty stage, when a woman doesn't understand where a man is coming from, she may panic. She may wonder why he is no longer coming on strong like in the attraction stage. This is the exact point where a woman has to completely resist the urge to pursue him. She has to give him the space to pull away so that he will become even more interested in her.

    The worst thing a woman can do is call a man and interrogate him about his feelings toward her and the relationship. Her communication with him needs to remain friendly and positive, even if she is feeling like she's being ignored or has done something to cause him to temporarily stay away.

    Perhaps the most common way to sabotage a relationship in stage two is for a woman to give too much, too soon, sexually. When a man's interest wanes, a woman may hope that she can regain his interest by fulfilling all of his desires. A woman can best move through the stage of uncertainty if she can enjoy a man's advances without feeling obligated. It is vitally important that a woman have a healthy attitude, good self-esteem, and be able to be flattered by his attention rather then compromise her position by trying to please him.

    In stage two, men tend to sabotage relationships in the following ways:

    •He believes that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence - meaning that there are other female possibilities that may make him happier than the woman he is dating.
    •He doesn't test to see if he can make her happy - and doesn't create experiences where he can prove to himself that the woman he's dating isn't difficult or worse: high maintenance!
    •He starts wondering what's in it for him.
    This is the time for a man to put away the perfect picture he has in his mind for a mate. He will certainly sabotage the possibility a relationship if he is saying to himself: "I like her but she is not what I thought I wanted." Even though she makes him happy! If he were to delve a little deeper into what is in front of him, he would give himself the opportunity to feel a special connection with his partner.

    In stage two, a man must repeatedly test and experience the idea that he has the power to make this one special woman happy. He needs to be the one who provides on dates - doing all of the little things that will elicit a happy response from her.

    This is not the time to focus on what his needs are or to question whether or not she can give him what he wants. The man who makes the mistake of focusing on his own needs in stage two is likely to miss the perfect woman for him. He should never make her feel guilty for not spending more time with him. Persistence is good, but it must be done in a non-demanding manner.

    Even though this stage is fraught with questioning, doubts and insecurities, it is possible to move through the uncertainty without blowing the possibility of becoming exclusive. True, the initial excitement of attraction may have worn off, but this is the perfect time for both sexes to become more deeply interested in each other. Questioning is natural as a relationship gets off the ground - tread lightly through this stage and you will set yourself up for greater things to come."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    its really nice to see how people think so deep about relationship,
    fantabulous article....

  7. #7
    Platinum Member Day_Walker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    I think that all you have to determine is that if his "pulling away" is a result of his upcoming conference or if he is losing interest in you. That is what you have to figure out and youre just going to have to make an educated guess on that.

  8. #8
    Gold Member Sim54's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Day_Walker [Register to see the link]
    I think that all you have to determine is that if his "pulling away" is a result of his upcoming conference or if he is losing interest in you. That is what you have to figure out and youre just going to have to make an educated guess on that.
    I don't think it matters why he's doing it, all that matters is that you have the same response. In fact, it's the same response ALWAYS to a man pulling away. Simply put, when someone pulls away, it's because they want space, so, give it to them. The moment you chase a guy or girl who is pulling away, you destroy the space they've just created, so they will step back again, to re make that space, so if you step into it, they do it again, and again. My ex did it, and it drove me crazy!

    If he steps back, then step back too, that way the space get's big quickly, and he won't go so far.
    Make some plans with your friends, get on with your life, show him you don't need him and that it doesn't bother you that he needs space.

    You'll know soon enough if he is just taking a breather or not interested.
    If he comes back, he's interested.

    If this goes on TOO long, then by all means talk to him about it, but bring it up in a non judgmental way, that makes it safe to express how he feels.

    Good luck.

  9. 04-05-2011, 06:11 PM

  10. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    And women don't pull away, right?

  11. #10
    Blue Spiral
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    I sometimes wonder if this is a perception thing. In the beginning of a relationship, both parties are distant...but if one party grows closer, and the other doesn't, it could seem like the second party is pulling away. I think there's a lot of projection early on--you imagine the person to be like you, and as you gradually find out they aren't, it's like they're "changing." The other person never changed, but our perception of them did, and then reality gradually sets in.

    That's how it's been for me, anyway. I always remain in the same "position," but I get accused of becoming distant or withdrawing, as they find out that they can't change me and/or the extra layers they imagined aren't actually there.


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