Why Men Pull Away and How to Deal with it

Why Men Pull Away and How to Deal with it

Why Do Men Pull Away From You & The Relationship?

Men withdraw from the relationship; they pull away. It’s what happens.

Women do it sometimes, too – but with men; usually, they are only either going deeper in to the relationship with you; or they’re moving away; to do things that make them feel like men.

And, when he pulls away; to you – it hurts. You get angry. Sad. You feel unloved. You no longer feel like that princess or that goddess that perhaps he once treated you as. (Click to download my “Goddess Report”) 

So, why do men pull away in relationships and what to do when men pull away?

What is intuitive to a man in a relationship is not what is intuitive to a woman

The problem here is that men and women are hardwired completely differently. As women, we tend to think, value and believe certain things that are different to what a man would tend to think, value and believe.

See, what’s intuitive to us women, can be completely foreign to men. I was speaking to my fiancee David the other week, and he brought something up that was like an absolute “Ah-HAH” or a breakthrough for him, but to me as a woman, that breakthrough that he had was …almost commonsense. It was something that was obviously intuitive for me, but it wasn’t for him.

I was all like ‘have you been living under a rock?’ and he was like: ‘what are you talking about?’

Yet, if I was to go to my girlfriends and bring that particular thing up; they’d get it. in a heartbeat.

And the reverse is also true, what is intuitive to a man, can be completely foreign to us as women.

See my post Understanding Men: 5 Insights Into Men to Ease Your Worries

How to get a man to commit more of his time, attention and exclusivity and marriage

So if you want a man to commit more of his time, presence, attention and love, or even exclusivity and marriage, then make sure you tune in to the knowledge and action steps I’m about to give you.

If you don’t learn the concepts and ideas that I will share with you, then your man may just take you for granted even more, you won’t feel very special in your relationship if you have one, and you’ll really struggle to get his attention.

I know that most of us women have wondered: ‘why does a man withdraw?!’

‘Why does he just seem to disappear like that?!’

‘Why hasn’t he called for so long?’

‘What, am I invisible now?’

‘What’s going on?’

‘Is it me? Is it my body? Have I done something to upset him?’

And most women have struggled with this problem. In fact, it’s most likely ALL women. And it seems like a phenomenon that is impossible to understand, and it may be causing you a lot of suffering, but here’s the key:

It doesn’t have to.

A man withdrawing from the relationship doesn’t have to cause you suffering.

From my experience working with women, I have discovered that most women really fail to have the deep connection, passion and love they really want with their man because of the lack of understanding about why men withdraw, and the meaning they give it when their man withdraws.

But all of your problems really come from a lack of understanding of men.

So today, I’m going to give you the understanding to be able to deal with a man withdrawing. If you don’t understand it, and you DON’T know how to deal with it, it could lead to your man withdrawing even more, it could lead to your man resenting you, and of course, in the worst case scenario, it could lead to break up or divorce.
If you know how to deal with it, your relationship will run much more smoothly for you, and even better – you’ll be able to inspire your man to commit even more of his attention and time to you. You’ll be able to achieve true happiness in your relationship, and have your man adore you at a level most women only dream of.

See my post on how to talk to a man so he won’t pull away or go cold.

Quiz: Am I dating a commitment friendly man? Find out here.

So, Why do Men Pull Away from the Relationship?

To help you understand why, let me ask you a few questions:

How would you feel if you were around a man who was highly emotional? For example: he was able to cry at the drop of a hat, and feel all “lovey-dovey” with you almost every day? He is so emotional that he melts like butter. Imagine him being incredibly relaxed and wanting to talk and connect with you all the time.

How would you feel around a man like this?

You may think ‘oh my goodness – I would LOVE if my man would do this!’

Yes, you may – for a couple of days at best. But eventually, whether you like it or not – you would start to feel a little uneasy, a little uncomfortable, and you’ll start to lose attraction for him. And sometimes you may even be a bit confused or disgusted by him.

You don’t want a man who’s more emotional than you, now do you?

He’s Not a Woman!!!

Why do you think you lose attraction for him?

It’s because you no longer feel polarized by him…

It’s because you won’t be feeling his masculine energy. So as a result, you may feel like you’re in a relationship with one of your girlfriends! You don’t want your man to be like one of your girlfriends!

In fact, the reason you were attracted to a man in the first place was largely to do with the masculine energy he gave out. His presence, his strength, intelligence, his sense of humor, his potential to be a good provider, etc….this is all happening naturally, sometimes without you being aware of it.

What we women really want deep down is to be in a relationship with a MAN – but because of the society we live in – none of us are taught how to understand the opposite sex! We want to be in a relationship with a man, but when a man acts differently than we do, we get all hurt, confused and worried.

But here’s the truth of why men withdraw: It’s because they want to feel like, and be a man.

How interesting! :)

When a man is engaged with you emotionally, he may truly enjoy it and see it as a beautiful gift, but after some time (usually a shorter period than us women would like), he has to withdraw back in to his own space.

The reason men seem to pull away is because the emotional attachment feels like a burden to them. At least when that attachment is consuming energy that he could otherwise put towards his purpose and his mission or to feeling the freedom that makes him feel like a man.

By all means – most men are happy to be in a loved-up world with us for a time, but they have to get out of it also, in order to accomplish their mission.

A lot of women assume that men feel the same kind of feelings that we do – men do have emotions too of course, and they feel emotions in the same intensity as women, but they don’t feel them in the same exact way that we do.

Us women drawing men in to the world of emotionality can sometimes cause them to feel like they’re losing their freedom, making a man unable to work, to focus, and to experience his masculine energy.

As women, we are used to the chaos that is life – we have emotional roller-coasters, mood swings, and we get down or overly happy for periods of time.

This kind of emotionality, I mean the kind of emotions that us women feel on a day-today basis just feel very unnatural to a man.

The Science Behind why a Man Withdraws…

In fact there’s a lot of research and a lot of scientific evidence behind this idea that when men get too attached, they feel uncomfortable and uneasy.

You see as men bond with women, this increases a hormone called Oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that lowers a woman’s stress levels, but in men, it actually has the effect of lowering his testosterone, which can actually RAISE his stress levels. So, too much bonding causes men to start feeling uncomfortable.

Think about when you’re in a relationship and you feel kind of suffocated…That’s the stress levels going up from too much closeness.
This too much closeness happens much sooner for men than for women when it comes to emotional bonding.

What happens is, as men get closer, things are going well, the Oxytocin levels go up, they start bonding…. Then men will tend to want to pull away in order to rebuild their testosterone levels.

At that point this creates a lot of confusion for women, where they often will say things like, “why are you pulling away? Why didn’t you call? What’s going on?”

“Do you not LOVE me anymore?”

See my post on why he pulls away…

What Men Really Want from You

See what men want to experience most is freedom. Often, if a man is telling you that he’s not ready to commit, what he’s really saying is that he’s afraid of being drawn in to you – he’s attracted by you – but he feels like it’s going to put restraints on his freedom or make him feel like he’s not able to have his own life.

So, with this understanding now, I want you to go away, and the next time you feel him withdrawing, just stop. Instead of feeling like his withdrawal from you is something to fear, think of his need for freedom as a gift to you. Because he is being a man. And that is one of the reasons you were attracted to him in the first place.

It’s time you realized (as counter-intuitive as it is to us women) that a man’s need for freedom is only a threat to us IF we don’t WANT him to have his freedom.
The more you fear his need for freedom, the more I want you to remember that this is your chance to bring you and your man closer, to make your man more attracted to you, and more committed to you.

Next time he withdraws, here’s what you can do.

1)       Leave him alone. Let him be. Don’t question him. However, before you do this, I want you to remember that the point is not to just leave him and let him be. The point is to give him his freedom whilst still loving him and being open to him. He still needs your care and love, but give him the space of being a man. After all you wouldn’t like it very much if he wasn’t much of a man!

2)      And when he does comes back to the relationship, receive him openly with love. This doesn’t make you a loser, it doesn’t make you’re a woman who is being used by her man. It means you care about him enough to give him his freedom, and at the same time, not withdraw your love.

Disclaimer: receiving a man openly with love doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be happy or pretend that you are NOT hurt. It just means that you aren’t ‘closed off’ to him, punishing him for his pulling away. You can tell him you feel hurt, and this could still be loving him because you are open to him.

On the other hand – there are men who are simply selfish. Most men, when they are in a relationship, DO care – they just don’t understand how their actions hurt YOU. And if you simply PUNISH him rather than at least remain open to him; he’s not going to get the “hint” even thought you’re trying to give him the hint.

So, whether a man is selfish or simply being a male is a whole other topic, which is perhaps for a separate article in itself.

3)      Part 2 (above) is going to prove to be the hardest of all. It’s not in a woman’s DNA to form a connection and then go empty from that connection for days…..we tend to feel hurt, mistrustful and insecure.

So IF step 2 is stressing you out, remember this important step (no.3). ask yourself:

“do I really want to be in a relationship with another woman? Or do I want to be in a relationship with a MAN?”

Because as much as him withdrawing drives you crazy – he simply doesn’t feel and interpret the withdrawal the way YOU do. To him, he’s just doing his thing. It’s no different than him grabbing a drink of water when he’s thirsty. And would you stop loving him if he was to grab a drink of water? I think not.

So when he withdraws, and then comes back, and you act all snooty and withdraw your love, he’ll be thinking: ‘what?! What have I done?! I did nothing!’ – and it’s not because he doesn’t care. It’s because he’s a man. And what’s intuitive to him is not what’s intuitive to you as a woman. Remember that.


Most Women Out there Simply Don’t Give Freedom to Their Men.

In fact, not only that, most women don’t understand what mistakes the are making on a daily basis that are actually pushing a man further and further away.

Look, here’s the thing. If you want your man to fully commit his attention and time to you, whether that’s in the form of love, time presence, resources or even exclusivity and marriage, you must help him feel like a man rather than constantly stripping that feeling and freedom away from him.

You see, once a man has the gift of feeling like a man, then he’s going to truly come back to the relationship stronger with more to offer you.

And if you want to get more of an understanding of men and inspire him to commit fully (and emotionally) to you, first complete our short quiz on “Am I dating a commitment friendly man?”

And also take some time and register for our free Commitment Masterclass. Click here for the registration page. 

Alright, please leave a comment below and share with us your personal experiences and what you’ve learned. :)




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  • Foxy

    Reply Reply October 17, 2014

    Wow, such sad stories in here. It breaks my heart to see women hurt and feel alienated and lonely when they are supposed to be in a relationship with a guy. Ladies, let me tell you: I am a counselor, and I listen to people all day talk about their problems, and I see their suffering, and although it is true that men and women are different, we all have been encultured in this society to have totally ridiculous and unrealistic expectations from our relationships. Step one, be whole be yourself. No man will ever complete you, there are no two halves, and if you feel that way, you will always be longing and hurting to feel whole. You are all you need. Have friends, have fun, have hobbies, passion for activities that you like, be excited about your life, and don’t worry about being in a relationship. Step two, one you find a guy, go slow, very slow, and get to know him. Get to know his dreams, goals, values, and desires. If you can’t do this, move on. He is not relationship material. Step three, be open to enjoy companionship, fun, and other activities of your choice with him, but guard your heart, because not all men deserve it. (sorry, I am telling you what I know from experience, and so do many of you) He must be worthy of your precious time and of your gifts, whatever they might be. A man who loves you and cares about you and your happiness and well being is not going to sacrifice you and step over your emotional needs just because his space is more important. When a guy cares about you, you are his space, you count, and he does not want to jeopardize that. Last but not least, love yourself. Put yourself first and take care of you. I am not talking about arrogant petulance, capriciousness, and brattiness. You are not 5 years old, you are a woman, so have dignity, kindness, compassion, but for yourself first. Stay calm and in control of your emotions, but express yourself and don’t be afraid to say how you feel, just do it gently and in control. And remember: you don’t need a guy to be happy, but it’s ok to want him.

    • jim

      Reply Reply October 18, 2014

      Such a selfish comment. It’s all about the woman’s needs. Never about what the man needs. Nowonder he is likely to get drained.

  • Dina

    Reply Reply October 3, 2014

    This does bring up the super important point that both partners need to still have their own, enjoyable lives outside of each other. It’s extremely important for women to still pursue her passions, hobbies, and hang out with her girlfriends.

    However, a man that is truly ready to commit and wants real love won’t be an enigma and there won’t be SUCH a push and pull. Yes, a little…but not that much. A woman can feel comfortable giving him his space because he’s made it so clear that he’s committed to her. Some of the comments on here sound like situations where the man is just not ready to commit. In that case there is nothing a woman can do about that but find a man that is ready.

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    will see Kratos airborne. She has appeared in a number of magazines as a bikini model,
    is often being invited to cool parties and is always being ‘hit on’ by guys.
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    something Gatsby never admits.

  • Jan

    Reply Reply September 10, 2014

    Thanks, Renée!
    This was one of that “ah-ha!” moments you ever talk about!
    I was feeling bad, lonely and completely lost after my man started to withdraw after we spent 10 days all together on what was supposed to be a romantic trip to Paris.
    I just couldn’t understand WHY the hell he was withdrawing just on our most intimate and closest moment! And it was driving me crazy…
    Of course I did some mistakes and, yes, I blamed him sometimes… And he was completely lost as well! lol
    Seeing it now sounds really funny! Like we were really from completely different planets trying to communicate in different languages! kkk
    While reading your text I could see him so clearly in each sentence! And, finally, it made sense to me how the completely in love man I’ve met in Paris became someone so distant and still keep saying that he loves me! And also why he can truly love me and still say that “he is not ready to commit”, when actually he already is committing! :)
    Thank God I work embarked and he traveled with his kids, then we took a week apart, without any communication, what allowed him to have his space and avoided me to make more mistakes! :P hahaha
    My next step will be to start the “Commitment Control” course. Can’t wait till I can start it!
    Kisses and hughs,
    Jan :* <3

  • GL

    Reply Reply August 14, 2014

    My guy has a small kid and I am doing all it takes to not make demands. He has expressed to me that he needs ample space to figure some things out in his life, but we are in an exclusive relationship. It’s been 4 months of some crazy push and pull and back and forth, and I think we finally made it to a good place. He told me early this week he would have his kid all week, and man do I miss him. He said he misses me too. So now I am just trying to be patient and let him have his space, see when he comes to me. I did throw it out there that I wanted to see him, he didn’t respond, so I won’t bug him…I hope I get to seem him soon, it’s been a few days and I can’t get enough of him!


    Reply Reply August 7, 2014

    I met dis guy at my job delivery products last year n we went out on a date n keep date for two months n he ask me to move n with him n I did things were goin great I no he had some issues goin on abt his divorce me as a good person I stand by his side thru the whole thing as he got his divorce over things was still great with us as the months go by he start goin out like he use to w the guys its was ok n too he start coming home w phone number from female when hang out w guys so ask him who is that female number u got he come back w dis sorry respond oh I be telling them abt party we have n I say really man he it anit like that n I tell him why he can’t go out w the guys and stop give ur number out I say to him u n a relationship n thats is disrespectful he say no thats not so we been together for a year n two month and he still doin dis getting number he get upset with cause I come at him abt that n now he been acting distance from me n tell we need space n say the reasons he talk to those female cause there’s no drama n augment n he tell me that he his sefl he still trying to get over his divorce all thingd they being thro and have not had the time get over it n I told him momths back dont let dis get for so now want me to get my own place he said he not puting me like that take my time to get money right …

  • Kally

    Reply Reply August 3, 2014

    We only went out a month but had great connection on every topic. No sex yet. A couple of passionate kisses then I received an email saying he is not at a good point in his life for a relationship because he is too busy. I understand the time needed for his mission/purpose and I am okay with that. I don’t understand why he ended things instead of just taking space to himself. He is the most amazing man in so many ways. It will be difficult to find one that compares. His values, his demeaner, his sense of humor, his many talents and skills, his gentle way of taking control of situations. Wonderful man. Tough to get over. I don’t know if there is any way I could even try to salvage things between us since he pretty much ended it.

  • man

    Reply Reply July 24, 2014

    Too many years in marriage to a woman…i think she was a woman…i was stripped of my manhood. After being separated and divorced for a few years, i am finally starting to regain my manhood. I have had many short relationships with women since…and i mean short…each have caused me to withdraw and never return. I see the same manhood stripping behavior so present in society today.

    I have observed many women that want one thing from a man…an over abundance of emotionality. I educate these women about men…their NORMAL healthy behavior…and most do not have any respect for manhood. The women that I have observed have been divorced many times or are single and never married in their mid 40s. One of which wants to find a man that treats her like her father does…similar to my ex wife. I indicated that it may be best to marry their father then. It is almost like they are little kids…so unatractive. It is safe to say that these women including my ex wife do not deserve a good man.

    • Taryn

      Reply Reply August 21, 2014

      I feel ya :/ I try to listen to my husband n see where he’s coming from. I’m one woman who gas no desire to breed so that’s getting off pretty easy!

    • Foxy

      Reply Reply October 17, 2014

      Sounds like you don’t like women.

  • Rita

    Reply Reply July 14, 2014

    Love it. You have hit it right on the nail Renee. I always thought the ways of men and women were different and u have made it pretty clear. What a healthy and refreshing way u have of looking at things,thank you!

  • mcharm

    Reply Reply July 12, 2014

    I have never understood something more than what you are telling me now. am the chief of with holding love when my man pulls away. I get angry and wonder what I’ve done. My ex used to tell me I should never hold sex as a weapon, my goodness never thought about it.
    Thanks, very insightful.

  • Nina

    Reply Reply July 11, 2014

    @Paranoid- if it’s too soon for him to be needing “me time,” then it’s too soon for either of you to be in love. Chill.

  • Paranoid?

    Reply Reply July 6, 2014

    My boyfriend and I have been together almost a year. We’ve spent a lot of time together. Both of us have been hurt in the past (a lot!). We started off slowly, as friends (although we’ve known each other a long time as work acquaintances). Things have been going well. We have a lot in common and I thought we were doing really well. Then, this past Friday after a dinner date, I got the sense he was a little “distant”. I kept asking him if he was okay and he assured me he was. Our bye wasn’t that great but we didn’t fight or argue or anything like that. I just left feeling something was “off”. The next morning I got an email from him with a link to an article he said might help to explain what phase he was going through right now. It was from eHarmony and explained how to stop a man from withdrawing. I felt ok about it. Talked to my mother who’s been married to my dad for almost 50 years and she said that men do go through those phases. Well, a man at work today asked me how my relationship was going and as I talked to him, he said he thinks this is “something else”, that’s it’s too early for my boyfriend to need “me time”. Great. Now I’m paranoid that my boyfriend has met someone else or is thinking about breaking up with me. I really don’t want to become paranoid but now my heart aches at the thought. I’m not trying to dive deep into denial, I’m for the truth. My heart and gut tells me that everything is ok, that he still loves me and that he just needs some time to himself right now. But that guy at work has me doing the worst case scenario thing. Am I delusional?

    • Jesse

      Reply Reply July 23, 2014

      That guy at work is likely interested in putting doubt in your head–for whatever reason (he likes you, he does it for fun, he likes giving advice….who knows?) But why in the world would you discuss such a private issue with someone (especially a man) at work? Would your partner approve? To me, that’s a betrayal of confidence–like gossip. You may want answers desperately, but don’t betray his trust to get them. The answers are likely wrong anyway. Love always trusts. Yes, trusting can lead to hurt; but you can’t love without it, and there is no need to borrow trouble when it likely does not exist. If trouble comes tomorrow, experience it then. There is nothing you can do today to stop it, so why try and maybe cause the very thing you were afraid of?

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