Why Men Pull Away and How to Deal with it

Why Men Pull Away

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.

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.

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.

Disclaimer:

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, Click this link below.

http://commitment-control.com/

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

Renee the feminine woman

 

438 Comments

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  • Freya

    Reply Reply April 11, 2014

    Three of the last five times I’ve entered thefemininewoman.com into my phone porn pictures come up – you have a bug. There is no contact email to report this just faqs….

    • Simstar

      Reply Reply April 22, 2014

      Well lucky you, I’ve got to search for those pics….lol

  • Stephanie

    Reply Reply April 2, 2014

    I met this guy online. I’ve been on 6 dates with him, stayed round his twice and he even gave me flowers valentines day and told me he liked me! He’s got his own buisness so I know he can be busy but recently he’s become really distant. So I rang him and asked him where I stood with him, he said he hadnt given it much thought, he said he doesn’t mind if I date others as long as I don’t rub it in his face, he’s just come out of a long term relationship so he got loads of stuff that he would like to do but he said he was happy to see how things go! Since then I haven’t heard from him, if I do it’s me texting him, and after a few msgs he becomes distant again. My last message to him was if he’s about this week let me know and we can meet and catch up and his reply was will do trouble! Have I scared him or is he not interested?

  • jennifer

    Reply Reply March 25, 2014

    Jennifer

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  • Kat

    Reply Reply March 23, 2014

    Hy Renee!

    First, Thank you very much for the article! Was exactly what I needed.

    I learn new things from your every article, and it helps me be a more Strong Woman, and to understand men better.

    Well my situation kinda goes like this

    I have this person in my life, on and off I can say and we are sort of friends wit benefits.

    Last month including this, I have had some pretty challenging times in my life, but not only, there were good times too.

    Same in his life. During this time, we catched things up but didn`t had a lot of time to be together like other times ( I had to move, other issues so on )

    He had periods like this before, dissapearing acts and so on, but we got together and worked it out.

    Few days ago we met after some time, both having been through some shi**y times but didn`t give the Anger onto one another, which I thought was really sweet

    We had this time where we didn`t even had that much sexual healing haha ! like other times, but talked a lot, and bonded as friends ..

    We were suppossed to keep in touch through social media, but I haven`t heard from him for a coupple of days. I sent him 2 messages saying “Hope all is well, I gave you an add , cya”

    But I came here to this article because my mind is going crazy and yes I feel worried and all sort of things, including “wht happened, what have I done etc”

    Don`t know, maybe he has other things problems, and so do I. He needs his space I guess, but it`s hard to cope with this without going crazy haha, thats the first impulse !

    I`m glad I found this article, I will focus on me and live my life. If he comes back, that`s ok , if not I`m glad for the time we shared together

    Though I find it odd that after we gotten close and talked more than other times, he does this dissapearing act. Too much closeness ? Maybe

    I like him, and I felt this too much too lately and I`ve been through this before, and things got..well crazy, like we were on a rollercoaster. The more attached we become, the more vulnerable you get ..

    and I guess we all react in different ways. we`re not perfect.

    Thanks for the article !! again, and not only this one. :)

    Kat

  • Vana

    Reply Reply March 18, 2014

    I allowed my recent man his freedom. He went out and got another women and married her. Men on relationships cannot have their full freedom, there are too many sluts out there waiting to pounce. If a man wants his freedom, he should stay away from relationships. Men must choose. They cannot have both freedom and relationships. Being alone is not a death sentence and will spare other women much heartache.

    • Roxanne

      Reply Reply April 1, 2014

      A year and a half ago I had read a similar article about giving the man you are with space if he needs it. Although it was hard to do I did my best. Sometimes he would initiate fights with me which would leave me dumbfounded because they would start over nothing and I would leave his house and try to make sense out of what had just happened. One day after one of those episodes I was driving home when it dawned on me that he had been texting on his phone a few minutes prior to starting the fight we had just had and as I thought about some of the previous ones I remembered he had been on the phone texting before as well. A few days later I received a text that made no sense to me it said “what happened to you the other day.. I missed talking to you and seeing you.” I confronted him about who the text was to and he said just a friend, whats the big deal? I left his house and stopped at the store and low and behold ran right into a neighbor lady from across the street from him and she was drunk. So I stopped to chat with her. I started slowly easing into asking her about my man and had she seen any other women with him and ladies she spilled the entire story out about him and a friend of hers that he had been seeing and having sex with behind my back for a whole year.I promised because she asked for me not to tell that she told me and I thanked her and left the store and felt a weight off me because suddenly everything that didn’t make sense did finally make sense to me. And I didn’t need to confront him because the next day I went to his house around the time his neighbor said the other girl would show up and guess what? Bingo… He wouldn’t come to the door and his mom answered the door and I asked whose car was in front of their house she said it was a neighbors and I told her I didn’t believe that and she said I was making things up in my head. the woman whom I thought was my friend after 1 1/2 years, and that her son was taking a nap and didn’t want to see me right then. So I left but just down around the corner where I could see his house still and here comes the girl and her and my man were arguing and she got in her car and left. I was going to stop her and pull her out of her car and let her have it because his neighbor said she knew he was with me and she kept pursuing him anyways. But I let her pass by me and went to his house, he even ran in the front door when he saw me pulling up and I walked to the door and told him I never wanted to see him ever again because he was nothing but a liar and cheater. Moral of my story is yes sometimes a man does need space but when that space becomes unlimited and too often don’t close your eyes for a second because in that second some men with turn that needing space into needing their cake and eating it too…

    • alissa

      Reply Reply April 18, 2014

      you sound insecure girl
      sluts waiting to pounce?? LOL a guy is gonna do wtf a guy wanna do, if he does that, then isn’t he also a slut??

  • Elena

    Reply Reply March 15, 2014

    So I’ve been seeing this man for the past nine months; we’ve known each other most of our adult lives. Both of us are divorced; dated each other seven years ago for two years. Our relationship was on/off again throughout this two-year period. We both went our separate ways because he kept doing the disappearing acts and was unwilling to commit to me. I have loved this man most of my adult life; but for some reason he would leave me for a month and come back acting like everything was A-Okay. This time its different; he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and seems to be withdrawing even more from me. I assumed I was the only one whom he confided in when he was first diagnosed. I was there when he had the surgery right along with two other consoling females; which was a tremendous shock to me! I withdrew myself from the heirloom for a month; he calls me up to say he loved me and wanted me to be there for him through this ordeal. Of course he told me all the right things I wanted to hear. There is very little sex involved since the surgery. I have been faithful to this man and now all of a sudden he’s doing the disappearing act again. I can’t truthfully say that he’s being with other women; yet I can’t help but think that this is probably what’s happening. On the other hand, he does make calls and visit to see what I’ve been up to once every two weeks. I’m trying to understand that his male ego might have been crushed; but I don’t know how or what to feel about this situation. You would think a mature man should know what he wants after a second chance to do it all over again. Regardless of circumstances surrounding his slow recovery; I still choose to love him and want to marry him someday if possible. I just know that if he can’t be mature enough to talk about his feelings; then our relationship cannot survive. It’s dejavu all over again!

  • Sally

    Reply Reply March 14, 2014

    I don’t say this enough in general and was pointed out by someone wise before *thanks Renee*

    Thank-you for this article and just writing these articles. You don’t know how much of a lifesaver they are and how much suffering you’ve saved me from.

    One article you wrote saying whoever focuses on the relationship will see its flaw more often than not. That’s a feminine brain’s job, it focuses on relationship and closeness..

    So whenever my man pulls away, it’s really hard and I actually had a bad day today (hormones, stress, and then him acting all away…) just not the best combination. It’s like that feeling where you want to see him but you know it’s not a good time for you to see him.

    It’s even harder when it is a long distance relationship (more than 1/3 a world away)when he pulls away, the feeling is atrocious… Another article you wrote how men just don’t understand how hurt we feel when they pull away their outward affection, it IS very true… They don’t understand….

    I don’t know if this is right or wrong but I just did (you can call it impulsive or not) but I just texted him saying I know you’ve been busy with business trip and school and you probably don’t get to have your “me-time” to feel free and yourself… you should just take a rest from everything including me because let’s be honest here…I want my man to enjoy his freedom and the ability to just be himself so that when he comes back he comes back happily and ready to walk life with me. Anywhooo have a good day and if anything is up just text or call me…

    I’m more of a person who when she says it she will do it. If she keeps it inward, she is less likely to do it.

    Ahhh I’m sorry, my comment was supposed to be short. I just wanted to express how thankful I am to read your article… I guess now that I get emotional or feeling like so, I should react right a way and look for another outlet. I read your articles and I feel better and more at eased I suppose. I still feel happier when we talk and skype..

    Update later :)

    Thanks Renee. I mean it.

  • getting him back

    Reply Reply March 10, 2014

    What’s up, constantly i used to check webpage posts here early in the morning,
    for the reason that i like to find out more and more.

  • Mo12

    Reply Reply March 2, 2014

    Im A Teen & My Boyfriend Is 1year and 9months older than me , we recently had a argument over something so stupid I forgot , the day we had an argument we broke up he took me out of his instagram bio unfriended me on Facebook and stalked my twitter for what I had to say about our break up , we had an argument at night and he cried which made me cry and talked About our feelings and got back together , I added him back on Facebook and put him back in my instagram bio and deleted all the bad tweets I made he didnt do the same tho which makes me feel like he doesn’t care and it hurts me , he doesnt even call me anymore which hurts worser , replies to me less and I feel unwanted I want to tell him this but I just dont know how to or I’m just scared of his reply I feel I’m all attached to us and he doesnt care at all I love my boyfriend I really do but im not understanding him Right now he says we bearly talk about anything but he barley talkes to me when he texts me he always says lol killing our conversation which makes me want to just slap him .can you please help me understand the problem : /

  • rada

    Reply Reply March 2, 2014

    Im A Teen & My Boyfriend Is 1year and 9months older than me , we recently had a argument over something so stupid I forgot , the day we had an argument we broke up he took me out of his instagram bio unfriended me on Facebook and stalked my twitter for what I had to say about our break up , we had an argument at night and he cried which made me cry and talked About our feelings and got back together , I added him back on Facebook and put him back in y instagram

  • Betty

    Reply Reply February 26, 2014

    Thanks soo much .

  • Claudia

    Reply Reply February 19, 2014

    This Metaphor may strike you as odd, but i have a little puppy and all he wants to do is kiss me and cuddle me and be with me. I find this wonderful, he is so cute and lovable and happens to be a rescue puppy, however on the flip side there are moments when i am in need of just being on my own and that i would interpret his affection as not the immediate needs i was seeking at the time. i would prefer to read,go for a walk, a jog, talk on the phone and in order to really lap this need up i would like to do it by myself. It doesn’t mean that i love my little puppy less it just means that in order to re-group i need to take some time out. This is the same with my man. In the beginning i would try to force or control the situation, shorten the time he was by himself, seek immediate responses and it only made resentment grow. Now i choose not to take it personally, i see my girlfriends, catch up on some personal things in between and i have faith and belief in the authenticity of his feelings towards me that he will connect with me when he feels it is the right time.

  • Nikki

    Reply Reply February 18, 2014

    I’m glad I’m not alone with this situation. Before this happened, I had been talking to this guy for about 10 months. When we first started talking (by text only), everything was good. He pursued me, asking me if I was in a relationship. At the time I wasn’t and then I asked him if he had someone and he said he didn’t. He told me he was hoping I would be his girlfriend. For weeks we continued talking until our first date, which was great! We went out again two weeks later, a date that started midday until late that night. We spent hours talking about any and everything. During that time, he told me he wasn’t really looking for a relationship but we could see where things would lead to. He told me his reasons for that was that he was in the process of buying his first home and was under a lot of stress and wanted to give me his undivided attention if we were in a full relationship. I respected that. So for weeks we texted each other with sweet good morning texts, and little flirty texts throughout the day. One day, we ended up having sex. Afterwards, I assumed he would stop talking to me, but he still did. Weeks later, though, he pulled away (after he moved and settled in his new home). I was hurt, but I just hoped he would come back and he did. We he came back, we continued texting everyday until we had sex again. He didn’t pull back after that. We talked for months,leading up to Christmas. That weekend, he asked me to spend the night at his house, which I did. Again, I was afraid if he would stop talking to me. After our weekend, he did the regular good morning text, but nothing else. And that’s all I’ve gotten from him since then. At one point I did initiate a text, and got a semi dry response. Throughout these months together we’ve texted daily even on weekends, but now it’s just good morning texts during the work week and nothing else. I’m really hurt because i’m starting to feel like he’s using me. I’m also feeling like he’s with someone else. I’m just sick of all these games that men play.

  • Rose

    Reply Reply February 16, 2014

    Thank you so much for sharing this. My eyes have opened and I am so grateful for your wisdom and knowledge. Thank you!

  • Kat

    Reply Reply February 9, 2014

    I was ready to give up on my 10 year relationship because of this pulling away. It has been driving me insane. I really thought it was me, or him being an ass!! He loves me, I have no doubt, he cooks and cleans and touches my leg, holds my hand, he is amazing, but this I could not handle, now I have a new perspective on things. Thankyou Thankyou, I will put this to good use, first I have to go chat to him, because he has been sat trying to figure out ‘his problem’…. DAM! <3

  • Meryl

    Reply Reply February 6, 2014

    I have a situation that I don’t completely understand either and not sure if I am making a big deal over nothing or what. About 2 months ago I was in ny and this man contacted me from I was on, because it places you as a local wherever you are. I did not meet him then and explained I lived in fl. 2 weeks later we started communicating via phone. About Christmas he took his ad off the site he claimed that he was bored or annoyed by it. I thought it odd but he kept contacting me, liking my pics on Facebook and comments. We talked of him coming for a visit but he got very busy due to job change. Then the contact dewindled, I got him to realize with out telling it it bothered me. He told me he needed time, his divorce is still fresh only a yr old even the marriage was bad long before. He started up again calling and texting, sexual banter and all. Something felt off when he stopped showing interest in coming to fl. So my friend had me bluff him and tell him I coming to ny in March amd we can meet. He says he is excited and can’t wait to zkiss me , etc. however for the last 4 weeks he has not liked 1 pic on my page, I keep mentioning facetiming and he says soon, he will tell me “note” or goodnight where as he was telling sweeter things than before, he hasn’t told me he’s thinking about me even though we are speaking regularly I feel it not as deep. Am I over reacting? Can I ask him his expectations of this, or how do I find out if he dating up there without asking?

  • clara

    Reply Reply February 3, 2014

    I’m in a situation right now that I don’t entirely understand. My boyfriend of a little more than a year recently told me that he wanted a break from communicating over the next few weeks. Although he says he doesn’t want to break up and that he still loves me, he said that he no longer felt emotionally present in our relationship and thought that time apart might help him feel more invested. I’m mostly confused because just a few weeks ago we were incredibly happy, and were potentially making plans for the future. I am giving him the time that he has requested with no contact (2 weeks) but I am freaking out inside — to me, it sounds like he is no longer in love with me and I don’t see how time apart will fix that. Do you have any advice/words of wisdom? Are things totally over?

    • Adele

      Reply Reply February 4, 2014

      My advice as a woman who has been through a few relationships (some with assholes) is to leave it alone. If he wants space then give him that. Don’t abuse yourself by allowing him to take you for granted. Just remove yourself from his life and act as of the relationship is over. I have hung on to a stale relationship before and the pain was a lot worse than if I had just let it go early on.

    • Lau_ra

      Reply Reply February 4, 2014

      Pulling away after more than a year for whole several weeks period? Don’t want to sound like bad news, however, the practice has proven that if you start hearing things like “I need a break in order to think about us”, “we will talk next week”, after you’ve been together for quite a while, its a sign of an end.
      Imho, Adele has given the right advice. Waiting around for someone who seems unsure is never a good idea, as usually you just end up waiting for a guy when he is already sure that you understand he is not coming back (even when he didn’t bother to communicate it in a proper manner).

    • Vanessa

      Reply Reply February 4, 2014

      I personally do not agree with the previous comments that he wants to just end it and for you to move on. Been in a relationship for 5 years. When he would get insecure sometimes he’d play a game where he’d start a fight, or find a reason to ‘want space’. He’d of course keep in touch with me, checking up to see what I’m up to because he wasn’t breaking up with me, or wanting a break, he just wanted space. Eventually after he sorted through his feelings, or whatever, he’d come back and be like ‘Sooo what have you been up to?’ and I’d just be upfront and tell him that if he needs to sort through his feelings he just needs to tell me rather than make up some excuse or start a lame fight. After the first time, he’s gotten better and better and will just say he wants to play video games, or watch a show, rather than spend time with me, when we usually would. Honestly, if he just wanted to break up with you, he would. So either he’s a douche and stringing you along, and this is not a healthy emotional thing that he’s just very poor at communicating (like most men are), or he really just is scared, needs time. I mean the year mark is BIG! I mean, he could have been thinking about settling down with you, and got freaked out, and is making excuses. I wouldn’t sit there obsessing, but girl, if in 2.5 weeks, maybe give it three, you hear NOTHING from him, like he is not checking up on you, and is actions wise, saying he doesn’t give a crap about your life a part from his, THEN move on. Actions speak louder than the “I need time”. My bf would always border line stalk me when he had to sort through his emotions lol. It was soooo cute! Now we’ve matured past that and he just deals :P.

  • Sarah

    Reply Reply January 17, 2014

    Hi renee,

    The man i have been dating for a while pulls away quite often;usually after a date or time spent together where we get really close). I have used your advice alot of times now and give him his space and it works! I really try so hard to understand him all the time and I do feel like he is starting to trust me slowly (he has expressed to me his fear of getting hurt again and his trust issues)

    He has pulled away again, however Im quite sure the reason now is because the mother of his child is not allowing him to see his child. I know how much this hurts him and I am so worried about him. I want to be here for him and I want him to talk to me about it rather than suppressing his anger and sadness. He has talked to me about it before but then he will change the subject, and i can see it is because he is starting to get upset when he talks about it.

    Im so worried about him and i dont know if at this stage the right thing to do is give him space? or should i send a few texts here and there letting him know that i hope he is ok etc, – although i am worried that doing this will mak him feel smothered

    Thanks and hope you can help :)

    • Jolie

      Reply Reply February 2, 2014

      I understand what you are saying about why men pull away. I certainly see it my own relationship of almost four years. I have learned to let him go and have his space. However, I have a real challenge being “mentally there” when he returns. I miss him when he withdraws so I withdraw myself to get through those times. I am thrilled when he returns but it is hard to instantly be ready with open arms. I sometimes feel likr I’m supposed to be a light switch that can instantly turn off and on. He is a great guy and we enjoy our relationship but it has become more challenging over time. We have discussed this many many times and he will do well for a time then back to normal. I feel disposable and sometimes ignored. I would LOVE to hear you thoughts. Ty!!!!

      • jessica

        Reply Reply February 20, 2014

        Jolie, Felt like I was reading something I wrote! Been married over 8 years and it is only getting worse.. why should us women be the ones to make the men comfortable? 2 people in a relationship.. both need to make an effort to understand one another.. IMO

  • nettieboop

    Reply Reply January 15, 2014

    I just found this and it has helped so much. Now… to put it into practice.

    I met the guy of my dreams 9 months ago today. We’ve both been through some very difficult relationships – both been left and cheated on, etc. We thought we’d finally found each other. I always joked about us being old together and that I would have to be the one to die first in old age because I would miss him too much. The whole relationship was so lovely. We always held hands. We spoke every day throughout the day, all day. He always said he loved me, xoxo’s, bought me little love tokens, etc. It was sweet. 5 weeks ago, his father who’d been suffering from lung cancer (whom he had a very severed relationship with due to abandonment when he was a kid, but my ex was trying his best to be there)took a turn for the worst. I suggested that he go over there as quickly as possible, as he might not have a chance to say goodbye otherwise. He did and he helped his father the last week of his life. He saw his dad suffer a great deal, but he never got what he wanted, that resolution. His dad. He called me throughout, with updates, to unload, etc. He wanted to come home for a couple of days (his dad lives in another state) for some ‘normalcy’ before heading back to deal with the aftermath. He really wanted to come straight to me before he headed to his own house. He asked me to go with him and his son to the funeral, etc. for support and I went, in a heartbeat. It was difficult. I saw him start to shut down. His relationship with his step and half brothers is chaotic, but family nonetheless. After the funeral we headed back home, where Christmas awaited us 3 days from then. It was more chaos, it was busy, it was a whirlwind of having to do last minute shopping, wrapping, hosting dinner, etc. 3 days after Christmas he decided very impulsively to quit smoking. He warned that he’d probably be a not so nice person for the next few weeks. Between Christmas and New Year’s he became more distant, detached, numb, sad…A couple days later I noticed that our online communication was a little different, not as warm, etc. That night I asked him if everything was ok, if he wanted space to himself that weekend, I was more than happy not to go to his place for the weekend if he just wanted to be by himself. He said he had a lot things in his head, a lot of things were coming up. I had him call me to clarify a few other cryptic things he said in text and he just said it, with no hesitation…I don’t think my heart feels as strongly as yours does for mine. I’ve tried so hard to feel ‘passionately in love’ with you but that should just happen on its own. (I WAS IN SHOCK) He doesn’t feel ‘in love’ with me. He thinks I’m amazing, caring, supportive, the most amazing woman he’s ever met but he can’t feel that ‘passionately in love’ piece that he once felt. (Who does after nine months???) I asked how long he’d been feeling this way and he said 4-5 weeks (basically 1 week before his dad took a turn for the worst.) That was that. He’s shut the door. The person I once knew is gone. What I’m hearing does not match what he was like. At all. He bought me a vintage typewriter for Christmas (I’d once said it would be fun to have so that I could type him love letters) that he carefully researched. 4 weeks prior had bought me a sterling silver antique spoon that was stamped “I love you more than coffee”. 5 weeks prior had said in a text “When are you coming over? Feels like I haven’t seen you in forever. I had a bad dream that you broke up with me and I woke up all sad.” See what I mean??? I just doesn’t make sense. But he just turned that switch off. He told his neighbor that he thought I was amazing but didn’t want to screw up my life. He also said that I could be the perfect woman for him but he honestly didn’t feel ‘in love’ and no once could force him to feel that. I’m so confused. I’m so HURT and SHOCKED. I miss him like crazy.

  • adrika

    Reply Reply January 13, 2014

    Hi
    I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for about 2 years
    now,we are in a long distance relationship for the last 6 months. Until the
    last 2 months it was all good in fact he even spoke about our future and
    how he can’the the wait for us to live together. When i had visited him he
    even made me meet his family.But then 2 months back he told me he is not
    sure then a week latter he said he is not even sure what he feels or me.
    Which got me really irritate and we got into a fight, he kept telling me
    he doesn’t know why things have changed for him.Finally i asked him if he
    wants to breakup first he was not sure then latter called me in an hr and
    told me that he doesn’t want to breakup a relationship like this.So since
    then we continue talking but things have changed he is not that emotionally
    connected anymore,there is no spark. Though he still does make an effort to
    call and text. We haven’t met for about 4 months now, plus he is starting
    his own business so is under a lot of stress. Can this be the reason for
    his sudden change?? And what can i do in this situation.

  • Gloria

    Reply Reply January 8, 2014

    So…Renee, your opinion women’s priority is always relationship(man), and men’s it is something else, whatever it is(doesn’t really matter, the point is his relationship ISN’T). And, well I believe you(cause you proved many times you know what are you talking about and are definitley better of some relationship “experts”).

    So, I actually agree with you that is true, but the difference is I don’t think that is something that is OK and easy for accept.

    I mean really, am I the only one who is bothered by the fact men don’t think of us the same amount of the time as we think about them? and don’t take us and relationship as serious and important as we do?

    Shouldn’t it be in relationship two people who care about each other EQUALLY, and value their relationship EQUALLY? and don’t say now that they do, because if mine priority is he, and his is his job or his “purpose”, than I am the one who love more and care more.

    I doubt for woman is good to feels she loves his man more than he loves her!

  • N

    Reply Reply January 7, 2014

    I have to be honest here, I don’t think that coddling men and waiting around for someone who Just Isn’t Interested is the way to handle a relationship. I think if one person is hesitating, it should be called off. Clearly, no, they aren’t ready, and then yes, they will need space. So cut them off from contact. Move on. Find someone better. Or find yourself, that’s the best!

    I don’t know how my opinion will really be taken though, since my partner calls me every day, tells me how he is feeling, and sincerely understands my emotions when I explain them to him. I must be dating a woman, and clearly, this article is geared for women who want to date men who don’t have human emotions, or respect for their partners.

    I would also like to see your scientific basis for oxytocin making men pull away from their partners. Every bit of research I have done points toward testosterone being decreased by STRESS levels, and oxytocin decreases cortisol production. (But by your logic, hey, less balls-angry men running around the world punching holes in the walls because their damn woman won’t stop calling to ask why they haven’t come home in four weeks is probably a good thing.)

    • Gloria

      Reply Reply January 8, 2014

      I totally agree with you!

      • ARae

        Reply Reply February 10, 2014

        N… you did make me laugh!

    • T

      Reply Reply March 19, 2014

      Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • cath

    Reply Reply December 18, 2013

    This is a great article, thankyou! It totally makes sense. How does one manage this dynamic when living with your man?

  • Shannon

    Reply Reply November 21, 2013

    so what do I just ignore him till he starts talking to me again? I don’t get it. what if I stop talking to him and he thinks I’m just done with him?

    • Lisa

      Reply Reply November 21, 2013

      Hi Shannon,

      I wouldn’t ignore him. Just don’t contact him first. But if he contacts you, talk to him like nothing is wrong. He’ll feel welcomed back by you and won’t pull away any further. However, if he goes a week or so, I’d let him go. You can do better than that. =)

    • Anna

      Reply Reply November 22, 2013

      Hi Shannon,
      I think it’s a common misconception that men will “forget” about us if we do not repeatedly contact him. That’s how a lot of women behave (though not me, because I am more introverted & find it emotionally taxing when women call me all the time), but he’s a man & doesn’t prioritise relationships like we do. It doesn’t men he doesn’t care though. In your case I would wait until he contacts you next & when he does, act like he’s done nothing wrong. (Because he hasn’t… Haven’t you dropped off the face of the earth before & then contacted a friend & was relieved that she was not mad at you for not talking for so long because you were busy?) the poster above gives you good advice, but as for waiting a week & giving up, I think it depends on how long you’ve known each other & under what context… And as a general principle I do not operate on “rules” like one week this, or if he doesn’t reply that… I rely on my internal feelings instead. good luck!

      • Helan

        Reply Reply January 6, 2014

        Youre so wise, my boyfriend hasnt been speaking to me after I pissed him off I have apologised and stuff he still hasnt messaged or called I messaged him messages like “How are you? Goood im great” as if nothing is wrong you know. But he still hasnt spoken its been four days im freaking out. Im scared. I hope he is still commited

  • Brenda

    Reply Reply November 17, 2013

    Really? Give men all the freedom they want? This is the biggest crock I have ever read. If you are in a relationship with a man for 8 months to a year, he doesn’t need his space. He is a player, and is not ready to settle down. That is one of the biggest lies in the game. I NEED MY SPACE. Bullshit. If a man loves you, he wants you by his side. He doesn’t want any space in between you. Everyone must know their limits. If you give someone enough rope, they will hang themselves. If a man truly loves you, there are no games to be played. He wants his space to see other people. What do you think he is doing? Sitting home on the sofa watching Jeopardy?

    • issokay

      Reply Reply November 17, 2013

      Hahaha… @brenda you obviously are a young girl who hasn’t seen anything yet. Wait until you experiene ruaway men like say 10 times you will learn to give men our space. Funny how people hate men without knowing our challenges as mortal people too……I wonder why a person would like to suffocate a fellow person in the name of a relationship. Thank you author.

      • Jennifer

        Reply Reply November 18, 2013

        I don’t know, Brenda. That’s sounds a little smothering. There’s nothing wrong with spending time together, but sometimes a little breathing room is nice, for men and for women.

        A man does need some space sometimes, to rebuild testosterone levels (and to miss the woman in his life). That’s how relationships grow. At least that is my experience. I’m 44 and I’ve been in my share of relationships. And not all men are players. There is a good guy out there for you, Brenda. (and yes, my guy does sit on the sofa. Not watching Jeopardy, but American Dad, or whatever funny show is on, lol). Best wishes to you!

    • marie

      Reply Reply November 27, 2013

      But Brenda, sometimes breathing room is necessary for a relationship. Yes, it gets a little hurtful for us ladies when the guys need a little space, but you don’t want your man to feel smothered. Be patient.

      • gloria

        Reply Reply December 14, 2013

        yes marie, but why is always woman the one who suffer? they can do whatever they want because they are men and that’s the way they are, and we must ‘be patient’, swallow our pride and WAITING for him to be ready. that is just NOT FAIR.
        and after all that living with the fact his freedom will be MORE IMPORTANT than you. Like that is not enough, there will always be his desire to be with other women, no matter how much he ‘loves’ you.

        yes men can love but not in the way to give themselves FULLY, like we can.

    • Lau_ra

      Reply Reply January 15, 2014

      To all of the clueless ladies out there: actually, Brenda wasn’t saying a man has to spend every waking minute of his with you. I totally agree with her that a man doesn’t serve you a huge place of BS called “my space in need” if he is truly interested, as he rarely prefers alone time rather than time with a woman he’s into. Yes, he needs several days apart at times, if people just started dating, however if people are already in a relationship (or are dating long enough to decide whether to get exclusive) and he vanishes for days or weeks, makes everything and everyone else a priority, just not you, needing his space definitely is just an excuse.

  • Natalie

    Reply Reply November 11, 2013

    Hi Ladies,

    This article is great, but I find I’m in a similar situation with very different outcomes with my man. We’ve been dating for 7 years and were recently married this August. I had a spell of 5 years or so consumed by means goals as work in my field is difficult to come by. I had focused on house wife duties well before I was a wife, we’ve been living together for 5 years. So our relationship suffered as I thought things would work themselves out on their own. Now that I’ve matured enough to realize I need more in my life than just the things I’ve surrounded myself with, including my man, I’m seeing a counselor and am currently rebuilding my identity and my life goals. What strength my man has to stay by my side through it all!!!

    But now times are changing, he’s frustrated with work having not met any of his own goals to work for himself, his dreams feel out of reach, and he’s depressed. When I let him know that I’m there for him and that if there’s anything I can do to help please tell me, I get the earful that he’s told me 100 times what he needs and I’ve forgotten 100 times what that is and he refuses to ever tell me again. So not only do I have to fight this guilt and figure it out alone as he pushes me away, but I am still trying to be a strong and confident woman while he’s content to whine about his conditions and isn’t working to change them, as if I were his cure. Maybe I am, maybe I’m missing the big picture and what he needs doesn’t come naturally to me thus I always do the wrong thing by offering tough love or give advise of which from time to time he’s asked for. And we’re surrounded by friends struggling with work and managing lives and relationships, he has lots to tell them to work it out, but does none of those for himself.

    What should I do?! I feel like giving him distance only makes him feel abandoned, he doesn’t invest any time to show me he loves me and always asks why I love him. He refuses to see a counselor himself. He’s a cynic by nature, a genius in his understanding, alpha male, has had one career pursuit since he was 8, and frankly I don’t feel like I’m a strong enough or exciting enough woman for him. My interests are spread across the board and the few things we’ve had in common have grown weak and I feel like he’s growing weaker and weaker! Where did my conqueror go?! And how do I get him back?

    I’ve been following your blog and newsletters for the last 3 weeks and it’s encouraged me like you wouldn’t believe. I know I can get myself together as that’s my main goal: to be a strong woman with strong convictions and passions in life and for life. How can I lift my man up to stand with me?

    • Jennifer

      Reply Reply November 11, 2013

      Hi Natalie,

      This is completely unrelated to the article, but just reading your comment, I have to ask if the two of you have ever read the book, (or preferably watched the movie) “The Secret”? I highly recommend. As far as reaching goals and dreams, and also with your relationship, I believe it could really help!

      Jennifer

  • KaraMia

    Reply Reply November 6, 2013

    Hi ladies,

    After reading comments and advice from those who blog here, I felt I should share my situation and see what you ladies advise.

    We really are more alike than we are different, isn’t it true? I found myself sharing the same feelings many of the other ladies shared when the men distance themselves or pull away. I also recognize that this “pulling away” is a common thing among men too.

    Well, here goes… I’ve been seeing a nice man for about 1.5 months now. He approached me at an online dating site and after a few emails back and forth, gave me his number and then we soon went on a first date. First date went well and he kept saying things like “you’re nice”, “you’re beautiful” and then he asked me how old I am, though my age was posted on my profile. I told him I’m 52, and that it is classified information! lol…He said that I look at least 15 years younger and asked me how do I keep the wrinkles away (he’s 53 and he does have wrinkles, but the kind outdoorsy guys have so I think it’s sexy and rugged). Anyway, we began seeing each other regular. He would start my day with a “good morning” text and we’d see each other at least 2x a week and have frequent phone calls together in between. Nice right?

    About 3 weeks into our seeing each other, I took him to a very cool partie a wealthy friend of mine threw in NYC at a beautiful tri-level artist’s loft, with beautiful people of every age and color. He really dug the scene and fit right in, meeting a few of my good friends and we kissed on the rooftop and it was really romantic. That night for the first time I went to his house (I don’t allow guys into my apartment anymore and I told him so – because I react strongly to the absence of their presence when things don’t work out). We got intimate, but didn’t have intercourse. I was concerned because I’m a Christian woman and have been abstinent for almost 3 years, but it did feel good to be kissing and holding someone again. I felt it was a little weird that he lived in the same house he and his wife used to share and where he raised his kids because when I divorced I couldn’t wait to leave our house and all those memories. He seems to me to be a little lost in all that space and surrounded by all the ghosts of a family past, you know? Kind of sad, really but he said he doesn’t know where else he would go.

    He is always thoughtful and has the kind of food, wine, snacks, etc. on hand that I like. He is thoughtful and a sweet, quiet kind of gruff guy with a powerful energy and strength that you have to get closer to him to notice. He reminds me of that saying “still waters run deep”. He is a consumate gentleman, always makes me know I am being escorted when we are out and never lets me pay for anything, though I always have my own money.

    He shares my faith in God and though a Catholic, does listen to me about what I’m learning about God’s grace and how He doesn’t want us to be weighed down with guilt and condemnation – he has a teachable heart. So far, he’s been dropping me off on Sundays and we go to worship separately, but this past Friday, Nov 1st he picked me up to go see Joseph Prince preach at NJ Prudential Center. This was a big event – a praise and worship service 20,000 strong, our first together. I was excited and happy to share this with him, but when he picked me up I noticed his shirt was wrinkled and he looked like he didn’t even try to make himself look nice for our date like he usually does. I bought him a Heattech shirt from Uniqlo for his birthday, which he’d spent with his family. He freaked out and said I shouldn’t have brought him anything, but it wasn’t all that a big deal to me I do the same for friends and family. He hugged me when we got out the truck and said that I shouldn’t buy him things because “I like you woman, but I’m not 100% sure yet” which kind of bugged me, but I let it slide. We went in arm in arm and enjoyed the service.

    Now, I brought an overnight bag, presuming that I would stay over his house and we would spend Saturday together, but on the way home, he said he had to be up at 6am and that I wouldn’t be coming to his house. He said he had to be on Long Island for something and that he preferred I not ask what it was about. I said “OK, no problem”, but I really felt like I wanted to crawl into my overnight bag and disappear. I got quiet and he asked me if I was OK and I said “of course” and he said “no you’re not, I know you” which also bugged me.

    When we got to my house, he opened the present after much complaining again I shouldn’t have brought him anything. I mean it was a $20 shirt, not a diamond watch! Anyway, he liked it and thanked me. As I was leaving to go in the house, he came round the other side and asked me if I wanted to go with him in the morning, but I’d have to be up at 6am, I said “no you know I like to sleep in on weekends and besides wouldn’t 3 be a crowd on your date?” He laughed, but didn’t realize I was serious. I felt he was playing with me since he already said he didn’t want me to ask him what he had to do, so now you ask me to go with you? Please.

    Later, when he got home, he sent me a text complaining b/c I didn’t ask him to call me when he got home safe, as I always do. He said, “I am texting you anyway, I’m home safe” I texted back that I must have been distracted by the sudden change of plans and of course I’m glad he’s home safe.

    After not hearing a thing from him all day and half the night, at 10pm he texts me, “Are you OK?” I ignored him. Next morning he sent another text “Is everything OK with you?” I ignored him. Then a few hours later he texted “Ok, so now you don’t want to talk to me?” I texted him back “I felt you needed some space” I called him, no answer, so I texted him “call me when you are free.”

    He called me the next day and I told him I felt that maybe he didn’t like me so much anymore and that I felt embarassed about bringing my overnight bag too. I told him he was acting grumpy and distant and I thought he must need some space. Well he told me that he does like me a lot, but that he has a lot of things going on right now and that he does need space. That he can’t make me happy if he’s not happy. He said his grown kids were bugging him and there were problems at work because someone had stolen a lot of money and projects were being delayed at a bad time of year. He said maybe we can go to a movie later this week, to which I replied “Well you let me know and if I’m free, would love to”.

    After the call I sent him a text saying that I was worried about him and that if he just wanted to talk about anything, he could call me, I’m a good listener and that I hoped we were above all else, friends.

    He texted me back “Thank you very much. Just take care of you”

    So…what’s your take on this ladies? I really am a one-man kind of woman and it took me 3 years to even find a man I wanted to spend as much time with, so I’m cool not running right out to find another to date. Being honest, I am a tall, fit, very attractive woman who doesn’t look her age and can pull much younger men, though not really interested in dating them. I’m smart, confident in who I am as a child of God, involved with my church, my community, my friends and my life. I decided I will not text or contact him and that if he reaches out he will have to give me at least a day or two notice because I have a life and don’t jump for any man. But honestly, if he waits more than a week or two, I’ll have moved on emotionally and will not be so responsive to him anymore. I feel a little compromised because I let him touch me intimately, though no penetration, and we’ve seen each other naked. I slept with him in his bed and now I feel I did too much too soon. btw, he is an Italian native with US citizenship, who is extremely close to his family (his mother is still alive and lives near him) and I am an African American woman of mixed race, who loves my family but is pretty much independently living away from them.

    I know this is like War n Peace, thanks for reading and I’m excited to hear your thoughts :)

    Kara

    • Jennifer

      Reply Reply November 7, 2013

      Hi Kara,
      I read your entire comment. =) I’d like to give you my opinion, and keep in mind, it’s just my opinion.

      It may be true that the two of you moved a little fast (and I don’t mean intimately), but as far as the relationship goes. You said it had been a month and a half. That being said, I don’t see anything wrong with getting serious quickly as long as you’re both going the same speed, and it’s mutual.

      He seems like he really likes you, and cares a lot about you. But he’s obviously been burned in the past, so he is cautious with his feelings. That’s not unusual. And it’s not a bad thing. It means he really cares for you and is afraid deep down he’ll be hurt. But keep in mind most men don’t want to talk about their feelings and their fears so don’t try to force him to talk about it.

      It seems like he got a little scared when you two got extremely close, and pulled back a tiny bit. But your reaction probably scared him a bit more. (you kind of freaked out…mildly. You got your feelings hurt and pouted, then ignored him.)That can be a red flag for a guy. The way we react when they pull back a bit tells them how we might act if it were something more serious.

      I don’t think it’s anything that can’t be smoothed over, though. Instead of acting coy with him and ignoring him, just be genuinely understanding and loving when something like that happens. You can sweetly let him know your feelings are hurt, as long as you’re not placing blame on him. If you let him pull away a little without reacting (pouting, ignoring), then he will come back more into you than before.

      At least that is my experience. (and I guarantee he did NOT have another date!) If he says he has family, work, etc, going on then believe him. Always trust him unless he gives you a real reason not to.

      Anyway, I hope I’ve helped, Kara. I wish you all the luck, and that everything works out. (OH and one more thing! He is Catholic, and was raised to be VERY loyal to that religion. He is also close to his Catholic mother, so respect that. It will be hard for her to accept you because they don’t believe in divorce, and because you are not Catholic). But that is a whole different topic that will come up after the two of you are more established.

      Best of wishes!

      • KaraMia

        Reply Reply November 7, 2013

        Hi Jennifer,

        Thanks for your patience to read all I posted and your response. I agree with your opinion and suggestions, some of which have already happened (telling him how I felt like maybe he didn’t like me so much anymore, that I felt he needed some space (which he agreed was true) and that he could contact me just to talk if he needed to). I think we’re good and I know if I’m thinking of him, he must be thinking of me too. It’s been 3 days now since our last contact with no calls or texts since then. I checked my phone text history with him and found that we have gone 5 days without sending texts during the course of our time together, so no biggie, right? I’ve been thinking about going to my profile on the site we met and adding some new photos, what do you think? I generally don’t go out to the site because it shows the last time you visited on your profile and I think he does check my profile to see if I’m going on there. I don’t want him to think I’m looking around so soon, but then again, I have seen that he visits the site during the course of our time together so…

        I didn’t mention that after a bout with prostate cancer a few years ago, he has to take meds to “perform”. That’s one reason I felt “safe” to get intimate with him and I’m also wondering if that’s one reason he’s pulling away too? It doesn’t bother me, but I know men are sensitive about these things and I am a fit, vibrant woman so maybe that’s part of it too…

        He is a Catholic yes, but he is divorced four years now, so I guess his family accepted it and would accept my divorce too. But as you said, that’s a whole nother topic to deal with if and when we should continue.

        Many thanks again for your perspective and advice :)

        Take good care,
        Kara

      • KaraMia

        Reply Reply November 7, 2013

        Hi Jennifer,

        I forgot to mention that last week my little Yorkie died after I’d had him for so long. I was heartbroken. He was SO attentive, calling and texting me every day to just see if I was OK and offering to come pick me up so I wouldn’t be alone. I was crying a lot and felt like I didn’t want to get too emotional around him, so I declined his offer.

        I did tell him that I noticed his care and concern and that I liked it and him. That’s another reason I was so bowled over by his pulling away the following week! I felt like he would be glad to see me and would want “cuddle time” to comfort me after losing my pet.

        Oh well…guess I was wrong on that one!

        Kara

      • KaraMia

        Reply Reply November 7, 2013

        Hi Jennifer,

        I forgot to mention that last week my little Yorkie died after I’d had him for so long. I was heartbroken. He was SO attentive, calling and texting me every day to just see if I was OK and offering to come pick me up so I wouldn’t be alone. He said he would have just popped by my house, but respected my choice about not having guys over. I was crying a lot and felt like I didn’t want to get too emotional around him, so I declined his offer, but he was checking after me every day and night!

        I told him I noticed his care and concern and that I liked it and him. That’s another reason I was so bowled over by his pulling away the following week! I felt like he would be glad to see me and would want “cuddle time” to comfort me after losing my pet.

        Oh well…guess I was wrong on that one!

        Kara

        • Jennifer

          Reply Reply November 7, 2013

          Yes, I would definitely let him comfort you during your grief. He extended, so take him up on it. If anything, it might bring the two of you closer. It’s endearing to a man to see a woman feel that kind of genuine emotion. (oh and I read also that you haven’t texted in 5 days. I don’t think it would hurt to send him a quick, open-ended text to say hello. “hi, just wanted to see how you are. I’m feeling like I could use a cuddle”.) Lol, or something like that. If he doesn’t respond, he may need more time. But don’t give him too much! I personally wouldn’t get back on the dating site, or he may think you’re out looking. Just my opinion. Best of wishes to you, and I’m so sorry about your little Yorkie! =(

    • genevieve

      Reply Reply January 13, 2014

      Hi Kara.
      To me, he seems like he’s mature enough to know he’s not ready to jump into a relationship. Sounds like he needs time to work on other aspects of his life right now. The good thing is, he’s aware of it and was honest with you.

      so i agree totally with the way you are handling it. There’s not much you can do unless or until he makes it known that he’s ready. Meanwhile, it’s probably a good idea to at least go on a date once in awhile. You sound like a pretty confident and happy person, though. Eventually you will find someone who is perfect for you!!

      (for the record, i’m 49 and have been thru more than a few relationships and learned more than a few things ;-)

      Good Luck!!!

      Gen

  • Jennifer

    Reply Reply November 4, 2013

    I agree 100% with this article. It took me years to learn this. I’m currently in a relationship with a very loving, wonderful man. (I’m 44 and he’s 48) He adores me, and my children. We’ve known each other 9 years, but have been together for just under a year. We are in love with each other and will probably be married next summer. He definitely pulls away for a day or so after we’ve had a very close, loving, special weekend together. We love spending time together, but each time we get even closer emotionally, he’ll take at least a day to himself. I just let him be, all the while going on about life as normal. I don’t treat him any differently. I don’t call or text him. (I always have let him contact me first, so I don’t do things any differently). And he always comes back stronger and more in love than before. So I agree with this article. The part about rebuilding his testosterone levels makes sense. Thanks for writing this!

  • Tower

    Reply Reply November 2, 2013

    I am 45, and to my experience, they will always pull away. They will always leave you no matter how feminine and radiant and happy and emotional you are. Because they make up their decision to marry with their mind not with their gut instinct. Yes, attraction works well with feminine women, but it’s not enough. He must want a family BEFORE he starts relationship with you. If he doesn’t make up his mind yet, you can do whatever, he will withdraw and break up with you when you show your affection and readiness for committed relationship. It won’t hurt him and he won’t understand that it hurts you. I have had all kinds of Relationships in my life, men fall fast and hard with femininity and they even proposed me early based on the gut instinct. But the brain will switch on eventually and here is where fairy tale and reality fight each other. Guess, who win?

    • Anna

      Reply Reply November 23, 2013

      Well according to renowned French Psychologist & market researcher Clotaire Repaille, “The Reptilian (brain) always wins.” Because it’s our survival instinct. Underneath it all, at the basest level, we are animals who are programmed to survive & reproduce. So, a man needs a woman to reproduce. He NEEDS us. And he’s programmed to protect us and our babies. So, if we can access this programming (and we all can because we all have it), he will stay with us forever. Yes, men need their independence to be good hunters in order to survive, but sooner or later, they will need us to reproduce, and to feel safe. Believe it or not, the sex that we have together (men & women) makes them feel safe. The trick is getting them (and us) monogamous for life. Because we as animals aren’t always monogamous. Well we can do this, I believe, by triggering all his subconscious attraction triggers in a mate. A while back when I was single, I analysed all my most heated past relationships & figured out what my subconscious attraction triggers were. A few months later I met my man who has them all, and I always wondered why he felt different than the rest and why I never wanted to leave him… Essentially… he was what my Reptilian brain wanted. The brain that developed when we were children & our first imprint of a man. Our first imprint of Prince Charming. And he is it. As always, “the Reptilian always wins.”

  • Cheesecakegoddess

    Reply Reply October 31, 2013

    So this really bugged me. I saw an updated comment form a Dr. Max, and couldn’t find the comment to respond to directly. But basically she said her husband left her becuase she was unable to have children. FIRSTLY ladies, if you are with a guy who bounces on you because you are unable to have children, DO NOT TAKE HIM BACK! He NEVER LOVED YOU! No real man loves his woman solely for the prospect of children. While it is in our nature to want to reproduce or just have children in general, there are plenty of options. The person you are with should love you for you first and foremost, and not for any benefits they can gain while being with you, such as: marriage, free health care if your partner can put you on their plan, babies, tax reductions, sharing rent and living expenses in general, money being shared in general…etc. I think I’ve made my point clear. If my bf was found to be infertile and I desprately wanted children, him and I would simply adopt, or get fur babies. I mean seriously, you need to love, and truly love, the person you are with for them, otherwise little things like that will ruin your relationship. YES, I am a woman I feel being infertile a ‘little’ thing that couples should be able to work through. This is coming from someone who is with a soldier. Honestly, think about the pain of not being with that person, and you can get over most hickups. Dishonesty, cheating, negative manipulation, and abuse are some examples that I will say you should NOT let go and move on form your partner if they display those things to you, because they DO NOT LOVE YOU! I don’t care how much you want to tell yourself “It was just this one time, they didn’t mean to hurt me.”. Honestly, you are a choice. You ALWAYS do. And if the person you love chooses to hurt you so deeply, in such a manner that you cannot trust them agian, you feel unloved, etc. think about how you feel, and if you find that you do NOT feel loved. Move on. People have their good and bad qualities, but I’m talking the big stuff. TO me, if my bf left me because I was found to be infertile, I’d be like “Well, I guess you never loved me, like I love you.” and I’d never take him back, no matter how much pain I’d suffer, because being with someone who I’d always feel unloved by, would just destroy me completely. Anywho, that’s just my long winded opinion and rant on what Dr. Max had to say.

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  • Kat

    Reply Reply October 29, 2013

    After 5.5 years together, my man withdrew very suddenly after I went on a short two-week trip to Europe. Everything was humming along, we had talked marriage, children, and he had even looked at engagement rings back in June. When I got back from my trip in early August, he seemed different…withdrawn, a bit of a jerk, and distant. When I talked to him about it after two weeks of this bizarre behaviour, he said that he just didn’t feel the same about the relationship. We tried counselling, and I tried to give him space to figure things out, but he continued to need time to himself, either by going on long walks by himself, or staying out really late. Eventually, after six weeks of this, he said that he just needed to be alone, broke up with me, and moved out of our apartment a week later. I really tried to give him space, but perhaps it wasn’t enough…

  • Lori P

    Reply Reply October 23, 2013

    How about I cut a man off and see how long it lasts…

  • Lori P

    Reply Reply October 23, 2013

    Sorry, but this sounds like men acting like selfish children. Why do women have to carry the relationship? Men can just mentally leave the relationship and we’re just suppose to understand? Suppose to be there when IT’S GOOD FOR HIM and just go with the flow. This is why I really question how relationships work.

  • Terri

    Reply Reply October 18, 2013

    I’ve been in a relationship with a man for 4 months. He is 50, I am 47..His wife of 20 years died earlier this year after a lengthy battle with cancer… We clicked immediately. We have so much in common, we love the same things, our kids click, it was / is perfect. He told me he feels guilty because his feelings for me are so strong it makes him question if he loved her enough.We laugh, enjoy the same activities, have fun together etc.. Suddenly after a great weekend,and his declaring he was falling deeper everyday for me, and telling me he felt that our relationship was mandated, and meant to be, he blindsides me and tells me he needs time to get his head together, his feelings aren’t as strong as he wants them to be, he doesnt know who he is and he cant figure himself out if he has to focus on us…Where did this come from…He asked me to give him time to straighten some things out and I have not heard from him in over 24 hours and for the last 4 months we talk and txt everyday…Why do men clam up when they need space, what should i do, I am brokenhearted..He said he was scared to death of making a commmittment to me, should I give him his space or move on, how do I know how to fix it when he suddnly is shutting me out…I’m so confused..

  • Sandra81

    Reply Reply October 15, 2013

    Well, my dear ladies, I’m in quite a similar situation.
    There is this guy whom I met almost 1 year ago, and we instantly clicked, but just as friends, and a nice friendship followed. Although it was long-distance, we would chat every day, he was very supportive when I broke up with my ex, and when my grandad passed away, earlier this year. In short, a great guy and a good friend, who always managed to put a smile on my face. Towards the beginning of this summer, though, our conversations have started to become more and more flirty every day, and I could feel interest growing on both sides. However, knowing him well as a friend, I knew that he was not looking for serious relationships in general. But I decided to give it a go anyway, at least for a short-term fling, whilst keeping my feet on the ground. ;) 10 days ago, I finally managed to visit him and spent 2 days at his house. As I expected, things happened. :P But we didn’t go all the way, although we were not very far. He thinks I’m a good girl, and “going all the way” would complicate things, and he is not ready. Fair enough! But mutual attraction is indeed very strong, as we couldn’t keep our hands off each other and mental complicity is also very present. I felt like his body was saying yes, but his brain said no. We talked a lot about our relationship and relationships in general, we agreed that none of us has bigger expectations, and that we’ll carry on as friends. Which I’m completely fine with: I know he’s not serious relationship material (he’s 23, and I’m a few years older :P ), and to me it was also a crazy escapade, which may or may not happen again in the future. However, with all the discussions and clarifications, I still feel he’s not as communicative as he used to be, since my departure. I haven’t heard from him in 4-5 days, and it’s quite a lot, compared to past patterns. I feel romantically detached, but I would be very sad if I lost the friendship. :/ Any advice?

  • Linda

    Reply Reply October 11, 2013

    This is so totally right on Renee!

    I have been having this on/off relationship with a high school friend for about 3 years now. The attraction is so high, yet we have not actually taken it to an intimate level (physically- emotionally we have and like you said, that’s when he withdraws). Since being single for about 6 months now, he has been back in my life, albeit a long distance phone/chat relationship. Like I said, he has had this thing of getting into an intimate conversation with me, and then just disappearing for a few weeks or better. Poof! No explanation. The funny thing is, in the back of my mind, I never fully went into the female thing of thinking the worst about it and have always been with open arms to receive him when he comes back around. Very recently I was thinking that I would just move on; that he wasn’t relationship material.

    He contacted me tonight to tell me that he would be coming to my area for work this weekend for a week and wants to spend time with me. I told him I was scared, but he didn’t ask why, so I didn’t tell him that it was because I was afraid to invest myself in someone who was so on again off again.

    Thanks so much for this insight. I see him and the situation in a completely different light and now feel completely free to go deeper into a relationship with him. I’ll let you know how it unfolds….

    • Nana

      Reply Reply October 12, 2013

      He sounds like he is playing you honestly. You don’t have a relationship for him to pull from–it’s all not in person. Is he just getting over a break up? How old is he? Are you sure he isn’t married? This sounds a bit concerning than the other posts below– How far are you all from one another? Is there a chance he may move back to the town you are in? That would help some to be able to more clearly access him.

  • Aj

    Reply Reply October 10, 2013

    One word for this article: Super!

  • Samantha

    Reply Reply October 9, 2013

    Hello everybody,
    I am in a five year relationship with a guy who I really love. On our 3rd yr he asked me to live together but the circumstances didn’t help at that time due to renovations that should be made. Finally this June everything was ready and I packed my things and moved there. He started finding excuses for not moving in. He was coming most of the days and slept with me though. The previous week left for a tournament with his team for a week and on Sunday when he returned he told me that does not want to move in with me at this point because something holds him back.. He doesn’t want to break up with me because he loves me and I am very important to him but at this point he feels pressured.
    I am so confused. Should I just end it and move on? I am 39 yrs and he is 43yr and our relationship was always very open; each one of us having enough time for ourselves. You know he was the first guy who I really trusted after a long period of time and our relationship grew slowly into a mature, trusting, loving relationship. Everything seemed to be more than good. Ok we had our fights and our misunderstanding but who doesn’t. We even made plans for a baby..
    I have already told him that I thank him for his honesty and I understand how difficult would have been for him to admit it. That we should take our time to evaluate the situation and our real wants and needs. He started saying “no we’ll discuss it” etc. but I said to him to take time to think.Today for instance when he asked me what I want us to do after my work I told him that I would go to the gym and then meet a friend of mine and I would call him afterwards. I also told him that I thought as a better idea to not meet until he feels that our relationship is not creating him pressure and I am not something like an obligation to him. Ok he said, I havent thought it like that anyway.
    I just want us to be happy, you know. I can not feel angry with him but it hurts too much. All the expectations and the dreams just hurt too much.
    How can I handle this? Is this the best way or I should just leave?

    Thank you for your time.

    • Anna

      Reply Reply October 9, 2013

      Hey Samantha, a similar situation happened to me before. I would ask myself first: “Does he really care about me?” I mean, “does he see me as his one & only? Does he show signs that I’m the only one he wants & he shows in other ways that he is commited to me?” If you believe he truly cares about you, then maybe he pulled away because he doesn’t feel good about himself. Or he’s having a personal problem. Or he’s in a stage of his life where he doesn’t know where he is going, and if he doesn’t know this, there is no way he would know where you fit in right now. This has happened to me before, I learned that it wasn’t about me. You are thinking right now that he’s doing it because he has second thoughts about you, or that he doesn’t want you anymore. I would consider the possibility that he just might not feel so good about his future or himself right now and wants to get things together before he can make room for you in his intimate life. Because right now, there might not even be room for him in there. Think of how you feel when you get invited to a party and you feel bloated, ugly, explosion of acne that day. Would you still want to go to the party or do you want to stay in your room and be by yourself? Imagine that he could be feeling something like that. It’s apparently a very real phenomenon for men not to show up in the relationship, and to pull back when they don’t feel good about themselves or their future. When they feel like they have an explosion of acne on their face & a party invite. So I wouldn’t leave. I would carefully ask him how’s he’s been doing.

    • Alicia

      Reply Reply October 9, 2013

      I was in a similar (in some ways) situation with my boyfriend. I said, “This is making me question our relationship. I’m wondering if I should start dating other guys. I don’t want to…I guess I would still date you too…”

      I don’t think you should break up with him because you don’t want to. But you desire to have a child before you’re too old. He’s backing away. This is the appropriate time for you to attempt to meet someone else who would be willing to commit.

      It’s worth seeing how he responds: He might take a fit. He might say to go ahead and date others. He might decide to commit and have the child. But you need to advocate for yourself. First of all, he won’t respect you nor take your desires seriously if you don’t. And second of all, you need to pursue what it is you desire one way or the other.

      • ourglass

        Reply Reply October 10, 2013

        hello darling…..you need to move on to be honest and do you….sounds like to me….he is confused…..he should have put a ring on it by now….at least not marriage.5 years is too long without engagement…and if your living with him and having sex with him i see why he has not put a ring on it…..you want committment leave him…and see what happens if he comes back with a ring….then you will no if he doesnt…he wasnt meant for u in the beginning…honestly..speaking keep it moving …u want committment you have too take the stand…get some standards sweetheart….or you will find yourself 10 years into a livein boyfriend girlfriend status..im just keeping it real with u…..ask steve harvey……many blessings

    • Samantha

      Reply Reply October 11, 2013

      Thank you all so much for your support!

      It feels good to share my feelings and my troubled mind and you gave me a lot to think about! At this point, I am not ready to leave and put an end to our relationship. But I started doing things for me, finding myself who, I admit, had put aside for a while, gave us space to do whatever we want and we will see how it will turn up.

      Today is the first day that I feel positive that I am on the right track. I do not know where this will lead me but I am not hasty. I am now the player of my own game and I will enjoy the ride!

  • Kirsty

    Reply Reply October 9, 2013

    My boyfriend is a nice guy. But I’m the one that’s mean and horrible. We had a few hiccups. He would leave love notes saying let’s stop arguing saying he would like to buy a ring soon. But I became bitter as I found a text in his phone from other girls. But he still wanted to work things out even though I was so hot and cold. Now he’s had enough. About two weeks ago he left and said he can’t be bothered with the hassle. I don’t blame him. I turned all clingy crying constant always telling him I love him. Trying to cuddle into him at night but he isn’t interested. He won’t spend time with me. Blunt on texts. He left for a night and came home the next day but was still horrible. I asked him if we can go back to normal the loving us. He says to give it time but he still doesn’t have the time for me. I don’t want to push him to the limit to move out. But I’m worried if I give him space he will be happy and leave. Or if I try be too nice he will leave. I don’t know what he wants from me. The main thing is he is still living with me but I don’t know how to give him his space while we are together but also prove I will not be the grumpy nagging girlfriend anymore.

    • Alicia

      Reply Reply October 9, 2013

      Here’s what I would do if I were in your position. First, I’d be happy he was still there. Then I would sleep separate from him. I wouldn’t say why unless he asks. If he asks I would say that you aren’t angry, you just need to protect yourself emotionally while he’s still upset with you. I wouldn’t talk to him at all except what is really necessary, like details that come up from living together. Leave him completely alone and do as absolutely much as you can with friends, and alone, like on the computer, tv, phone, books.

      The fact that he hasn’t left means he’s as sad as you are about all this and wants it back the way it was as badly as you do. He needs his space to stop feeling horrible about you. The more you ignore him and distract yourself away from him the more he’ll be able to relax, forget all the bad and begin to start hoping for happy moments with you again.

      Leave sex completely alone for now. I’m not sure what you should do if he approaches you sexually (although I doubt he will) but if he does you might say you’re not ready till you know just how made up you two are.

  • Danielle

    Reply Reply October 7, 2013

    I have been in a serious relationship with a guy off and on for a year. We had recently gotten back together over two months ago. We dated for a month and then he decided he wanted to move in with me as I just bought a house. The first month living together was great we spent all our time together and he payed attention to me.

    Now three months later he goes out 4-5 nights out of the week and never text or calls me while he is out. He spends all his money going out or on himself. He never takes me out, helps with bills or helps around the house. He goes to work during the week and never texts me throughout the day. I always text him and he sometimes doesn’t even text me back. He just doesn’t treat me like he cares about me or considers my feelings. I had confronted him to express that I was hurt and felt rejected by him. I also told him it was hard to juggle all the bills, work and house upkeep with no help. He explained to me there is always something I have to complain about. He says he loved me and if he didn’t love me he wouldn’t be with me. He would leave as he “has other options”. He tells me he is with me as I take care of him and he trusts me. He wants to be with me but “have/live his life”.

    I give him his space, don’t ask him for anything and rarely text him so I don’t chase him away. When we are together he ignores me, texts or is on his phone. I understand giving someone their independence and space which I do without question, so why does he still pull away or not provide any love, affection or the slightest attention to me for that matter? I am head over heels for this man but I am not happy so I am stuck on what to do, please help.

    • Alicia

      Reply Reply October 7, 2013

      He has absolutely no respect for you as you have none for yourself. I am feeling contempt for you as I read what you say. I don’t say this to be cruel because I feel bad for feeling this way but it’s an instinctive reaction to what you’re saying. What scares me is that you can read your own words and not be outraged, not see the simple truth.

      I have to assume that you were treated with no regard, no concern and no love while you were growing up and that’s why you accept that treatment now. I don’t recommend therapy. It’s too impersonal and ineffectual. I suggest you get to a place of worship, I personally recommend a church that teaches about Jesus and isn’t into extra things like tongues and all that. Make an appointment with pastor/priest/rabbi and ask them for help finding yourself so you can throw this man out (you may have to go to court, fill out an eviction form, then allow him to stay another month) and so that you can tolerate the loneliness until you find a man that loves you in deed not just word and whom you love in return.

    • N

      Reply Reply January 7, 2014

      Sweetheart, your man is an asshat. Leave him and cut your losses.

      Seriously, threatening to leave you because he has “other options”? That’s emotional manipulation. He’s using you for your house. Kick him out immediately (if he’s not signed on the lease or paying you rent, you have no legal obligation to keep him around) and tell him to go pursue those options, because you don’t have time or money to take care of someone who does not respect you.

  • Evie

    Reply Reply October 2, 2013

    After an 18 year relationship my boyfriend announced that an old girlfriend from his past that he had apparently been very fond of called him. He came over and sadly told me that after 8 or 9 conversations by phone he was beginning to have feelings for her again. Keep in mind that she had rejected him 18 years ago after a few dates. However, now she had quit her job and moved to Florida to live near her aging mother. I knew my boyfriend had commitment problems when it came to marriage, but we had a great relationship even though we did not live together. we were together often. As a matter of fact, we were there for each other through his parents illness, and any time one of us were sick, we were there for each other. We never fought, and rarely had serious disagreements. He was generous, loving and really a great friend and lover. we had couple friends thar we did things with that we both enjoyed. The marriage thing was our big issue. Our friends could not understand why we did not get married. I never brought it up after our first two years together, because I knew he was adamantly against marriage. His wife had left him for another man, and I don’t think he ever got over it. When he broke the news that he was going to visit this woman, I was devastated. However, he would see me at the gym where we worked out and ask me to,lunch….Mr Friendly, as if nothing had happen. I went once, but turned down his second invitation. I did end up calllling him to get some items out of my garage that belong to him. I finally got angry, and told him how all this had hurt me. You see, he kept a telephone connection with this woman probably many times over the years we dated. He was obsessed with the fact that she rejected him when he was so crazy about her. You could call it a long held fantasy that I was not aware of. The sad part of this breakup is that he is 65 years old and I am 70.Although, I do look young for my age, I am left with a tough choice. I can stay alone the rest of my life, or keep a look out for a widower who is interested in an older woman. MY advice to you young women. Don’t stay in a relationship longer than 2 years with a man that does not commit no matter how great he is. My guy was a really sweet, loving man with this one.major flaw, and I held on because I loved him and mistakenly thought he would always be there for me. Once this woman surfaced again and called him, he forgot all about the love, companionship, and history we had to chase this fantasy. It will be interesting to see how it turns out, but for me I am moving on as best I can. It’s only been two months since our breakup, but I ‘ve had a very painful lesson to learn, but I have also started dating casually again.

    • Alicia

      Reply Reply October 2, 2013

      Evie,

      I’m very sorry this happened to you and it’s terrible, but I don’t agree with your assessment. I was married 30 years, widowed by a drunk driver. Single 3 1/2 years, now dating for a year. He’s 55, I’m 59. He’s terrified of marriage. We don’t talk about it much but I believe that his attitude is, “Why ruin a good relationship with marriage”.

      If I lose him for any reason I will rejoice in the time I’ve had with him. A huge number of marriages end in divorce. I believe and hope he’ll stay with me but marriage wouldn’t make it guaranteed.

      I may yet bring up marriage again, but I don’t want to propose, even in a veiled way.

      As it is, I’m going to lose him sooner rather than later; we’re not young. He will die and I will be widowed a second time. I’m just glad that if I will be taking care of a man in his dying time that it will be someone who gave me such good loving.

  • Shay

    Reply Reply October 1, 2013

    Wow, good article. It makes sense to me

  • kristen

    Reply Reply September 21, 2013

    I’ve read many of the articles on this site, and I enjoy the fresh approach to relationships. I believe lots of advice I hear, read, etc is based on me acting more masculine, demanding more, and not putting up with anything. Of course, this has left me single (and often bitter) through much of my 20s and now into my 30s! I’m ready to try something else! Compassion for men is a good place to start :).

    I’ve been in my current relationship for 2 years. We moved in together a year ago–maybe a bit too soon for both of us, but I was spending every night at his place & rent is expensive…so here I am! Since we are living together, he doesn’t withdraw with contact–we’re pretty much in contact 24/7.

    There is still a very specific time/way he withdraws from me, though, and to me–it’s the scariest part of our relationship. Anytime I’m disappointed in him or voice concern/hurt/annoyance–or we do something too coupley, like act lovey dovey at a friend’s wedding (even though he always initiates this)–he withdraws…not physically so much, he just starts saying dramatic things “I don’t know if I want this,” or “maybe I’m not meant for this.” Now these things send me into a MAJOR panic–and then I immediately get angry & threaten, and want to run out, and want to break up, etc. But within 8 hours, he is back to normal & everything is fine again. He never apologizes or even really acknowledges what we went through, he’ll just start talking about our future–trips we’ll go on, etc–or make a big purchase for us–things that solidify the relationship.

    In many of these arguments/withdrawals, I say “If you want to leave, you are free to.” And he never leaves, although I truly believe if he didn’t want to be with me (based on past experiences with guys)–he would go.

    But I must say, it leaves me feeling insecure & questioning the quality of the relationship. And it seems like such a pattern–in some ways that’s good because I freak out LESS every time it happens.

    I would much rather his withdrawal be just needing some alone time, or needing to hang out with the guys or something that doesn’t involve him questioning our relationship. Is there something I’m doing in my communication with him–when I verbalize disappointment about something he does for example,–that’s causing this (and can I prevent it?).

  • Alicia

    Reply Reply September 10, 2013

    So I’m a very affectionate woman in a relationship with a man who said early on, “I didn’t grow up with any affection. I’m afraid I’m not going to be affectionate enough for you”. The best answer I could give was, “You should have told me that before you got me to fall in love with you!”. I’ve also told him, “While you’re not as affectionate as I, I find you to be quite affectionate”. It’s an overstatement but I felt it couldn’t hurt to represent him to himself that way.

    So I just lather him with affection. I’m sure he finds it overwhelming. I was feeling really sad about how unresponsive he was. I gave it some thought…

    Tonight when I got to his house for dinner I waited for him to come to me for a hug. While I helped him make dinner I didn’t make small talk and allowed long silences. I thought about how desperate I was for non-stop physical contact and puzzled over it.

    After a rather quiet dinner I said I was going to clear the table and he said, “No” and pulled me onto his lap. We sat there cuddling for awhile and then he wanted to look at a map with me on his lap, so, okay, we looked at this old map of a neighboring state, cuddling all the while.

    It’s hard for me, he’s so low key. If I just calm down and don’t always fill in the gaps he’ll come to me.

    • Deb

      Reply Reply September 20, 2013

      Smart move Alicia ! With me, I would grab a cuddle anyway ! I have found lots of times that men tell you who they are all the time. ie:

      “I play football on a Saturday”
      “I’m an emotional brick”
      “I’m looking to get married”
      “I just want sex with no strings”
      “I’m not good with affection and cuddles but I’ll buy you stuff”

      They all come on strong at the beginning, sometimes its overwhelming and scary because women want to suss the guy out first and that takes longer !

      It sounds like you have a good outcome. You wait, he comes, then bingo – all is well ! Keep it up x

  • Ingrid

    Reply Reply September 10, 2013

    Hi awesome article. Sometimes my husband is so tired from work and I forget his job is very stressful, he is a physician and some nights he just wants to get home eat watch news then talk a bit give me kisses and fall asleep, and I want to talk cuddle on the couch things like that. i was feeling down and a bit unloved but after reading this article I feel relief and realize we are wired totally diferent and thats ok. I love him

  • Nina

    Reply Reply September 9, 2013

    Okay so I’ve been seeing this guy for a couple of months. At first he wanted to know everything about me and would call/text all the time. I met his close friends and some family members and than all of a sudden he started to pull away. Now we have slept together and we both agreed to soon and that we would take things slow and see where things go. And I have been to his place about two and a half week ago and we were laughing and joking and slept in the same bed but nothing happened (and that’s okay). I don’t text him a lot maybe once a week nothing earth shattering just ” good morning. have a great day” and he always responses. So I thought I haven’t seen him since that night we hung out 2 1/2 weeks ago so I asked him if he’d like to watch a football game with me this Sunday and he didn’t respond. I knew I had pushed it so I sent a text and said “I know I am pushing you so I will stop pursuing you all together. If you want to try then you can take it from here”. Boy did I get a response with in a minute or two. And this is what his text said ” Good morning. I’m sorry for not responding sooner…long day yesterday. Wishing you a happy day and a great week!!!!”. So all I text back was Thx. I’m done texting him, if he wants this relationship to go somewhere then he’s going to have to make the first move. And hopefully I will be successful like some of these other women have been. I hope…

  • rere

    Reply Reply September 9, 2013

    well,, i was in a good relation with a guy at work, i took my annual vacation for 15 days and not heard a single call from him all that time
    when i went back work he didn’t even mention it, i thought i did something wrong, so i asked him is everything OK and here was the mistake, i felt he pulled much more,so i just decided to let go of him, i don’t wanna get hurt again, i already had lot of bad relations before, I feel stronger while taking this decision, eventually im gonna be OK.

    • Nina

      Reply Reply September 9, 2013

      I hope things work out for you. It can be very freeing to take things into your own hands even when it breaks your heart. I wish you nothing but the best.

  • Maria

    Reply Reply August 22, 2013

    My ex he ignored my call and text for two weeks and I decide to gi to his house … once I got there I saw him walking passe me with a very young girl holding hands and carry pizza and wine , two before he declared his love to me , and to all his friends how much he loved me and how amazing woman I was to all his family and friend , from the date I saw him handy handy with another girl till now never heard from him , so not aleways when they withdraw from you mean they need space … mean they are seeing someone else :( broke my heart

  • Alicia

    Reply Reply August 22, 2013

    Also, I don’t call or text my guy first. I know this is controversial. But he calls me 1-3 times a day and I think it’s because I don’t call him. Very occasionally he doesn’t call and I don’t make any reference to it at all. I want him to call because he wants to not because I expect it.

    • Anna

      Reply Reply August 22, 2013

      I like this idea!! Although I abhor “rules of dating” because I believe you should do what you feel, this strategy’s been working with me so far! No calling or texting first! Well done.
      My analysis of the situation:
      - It’s instinctual for us as women to call, text, text again when we don’t have a response. When he pulls away, we want to chase him. Having a rule that states not to text him first (unless it’s about some scheduling concern or something essential) breaks our natural instinctive response, that can be detrimental.
      - Texting or calling or emailing many times without getting a reply from him creates a BAD ASSOCIATION with him and leads us women to go crazy for his attention. It makes us feel HURT. I just got out of a whirlwind session of intense HURT that occurred when my man pulled away. Looking back on it, I felt like I was a different person, driven crazy, and out control. More so, I HURT so BADLY. If I just don’t text him first, I won’t have to go through this pain.

      All in all… I really don’t want to do this, but I need to. I know I can’t control myself when he doesn’t text back & he pulls away. The safest way is to not text first. And because of that, he’s been texting me first, AND calling me AND pulling the relationship forward!! Just because I didn’t text first! And it all happened in a day. I was thinking of calling him today. I didn’t. He called me. I was thinking of texting him back, for closure, I didn’t, he texted me. And he even asked me to exercise with him on a regular basis! We used to do that when we first started dating… then we stopped. Now he wants to start again. REGULAR! He’s starting to commit. I’d better not text. I really hate to do it but… I just don’t want to hurt like that again. It was awful. I’m dealing with a very complicated, flawed man.

    • Anna

      Reply Reply August 22, 2013

      Most of the time, I feel ok. And secure, and calling him/texting him first is not a problem. Then out of the blue he stops responding. I know it’s because he’s busy at work, or he’s going through some insecurities, or issues… and he doesn’t feel like a man. And I’m happy to do my own thing, or go to cook him dinner (it makes him feel loved). That’s when I go dancing, or hang out with my girlfriends. But then, after a month or so of neglect and him choosing work over me…. my cup runs empty. I don’t understand. I’ve made him happy every time we were together, I’ve given him at least 8/10 experiences… but he continues to neglect me, because he’s insecure about his position, & doesn’t feel like a man. The better I treat him, the worse he feels, and he withdraws. And it hurts me SO much. At times like these, it’s better NOT to text or call him first. But the problem is, I don’t know when my feminine well will be empty. Renee teaches us – not to do anything based on fear – and not texting/calling first is based on fear… and she also teaches us that we CANNOT be used up… I know this logically, but if only my subconscious would believe it, because the HURT I felt these past months was real. Not texting first made me feel safe for once. I needed that. And I guess it gave him the space he needed to feel like a man so he came back to me. But… when the line is crossed between sanity and insanity for me is not noticable… and then I become desperate for attention without even noticing it. Long story short…

      I know not texting/calling first is rubbish, because it’s driven by fear but… man did it work for me this time. THANK THE LORD/GOD/UNIVERSE/ULTIMATE CREATOR. Man, I feel good. I feel like the text queen. I finally feel important. Hmm. Maybe what I really needed all along was not love but significance? Or both?

  • Alicia

    Reply Reply August 22, 2013

    I’m getting so sick of the stupid comments on here. Y’all have totally missed Renee’s message. It’s simple: men need space within a relationship. If he asks you to go away for awhile then DATE OTHER GUYS. Space is not, “go away”.

  • Anna

    Reply Reply August 22, 2013

    I actually think that a woman can handle a man pulling away if she feels like a woman. There are many ways to feel like a woman (that is also explained in your goddess report). But sometimes, the woman’s cup is empty, and no matter how much she tries to get it filled from sources other than the relationship (because the man has pulled away and cannot fulfill), she cannot feel like a woman, and so she cannot handle a man pulling away. How significant does she feel in the relationship? 0. How loved does she feel? 0. How much Variety and spontaneity does he provide? 0. How certain is she that he will stick around? 8. So………. what is a girl to do? When he pulls away, 3/4 of those needs are not met. And if she doesn’t feel like a woman, how the HELL is she going to make him feel like a man? Sometimes only HE can fill her up. And when he can’t….. everyone suffers. I would leave but…. something inside me tells me, and has always told me that he is The One. Sometimes I really want to leave & wish I could do that. But I know deep inside he’s not doing this to hurt me. I’d leave if I knew he were.

    • Anna

      Reply Reply August 22, 2013

      Ok, I lied. The love & connection I feel is -1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000000
      Sometimes I think: If only he would do something that showed he truly didn’t care for me. If only he’d do something to hurt me. So I can leave.

    • Anna

      Reply Reply August 22, 2013

      Maybe I’ll do a TR 90-day challenge. I’ve got nothing to lose anyway.

  • Dami

    Reply Reply August 6, 2013

    I have been seeing a man for over a year and most of the time he has been struggling financially. I really love him but I know he can’t have a serious relationship until he is stable. I feel like I should have just left it alone but I care about him a lot. He pulled away a lot and I followed the advice here and it did help, and it’s probably why we even lasted this long, but I feel like I’m just waiting for his situation to change and I really don’t want to wait, I have too much pride to be on the shelf. I allowed us to break up this week. It hurts but of he knows I’m not happy, there’s no point in hanging around. I can tell he cares but he can’t go into a relationship with no job or money. It sucks because I feel like he is such a good hearted person. I feel like there should be an article on this site about when to walk away. Sometimes you just have to leave well enough alone.

    • Anna C

      Reply Reply August 7, 2013

      Hi Dami,

      I am elated because I know exactly how you feel! And I am not alone!!! My man loves me and I love him more than anyone else but he can’t commit fully to the relationship because he cannot provide. He’s not financially able. We hardly ever go out on dates because he can’t afford it. He’s constantly telling me to leave him and marry someone else. He even says he’ll never get married and he isn’t worthy of a woman. I wonder if you can relate. I often wonder if I should leave him because we are never getting closer and he won’t rven let me leave my stuff at his place. Though he’s very loyal and caring and deep inside I know I don’t want to leave him but part of me gets so angry when he does this. Maybe an article about this situation would help us. But in the meantime I just go over what renée srwrites and keep the faith that it will work out when he gets money.

      • Dami

        Reply Reply August 7, 2013

        That’s brave of you. I myself got too scared that I was wasting my time. My man is looking for work. I’m sure he will find something. But loving him and not having him be able to be fully present is too painful. I let him go. I still love him, but he is just not ready. I have to protect my sanity, if he wants to come back when he is ready, I would likely take him back. But he feels me as a distraction from his purpose. I honestly believe that I’m doing him more of a favor by backing off, freeing him to focus. And also freeing myself from unnecessary stress. Love doesn’t mean sacrificing your needs. Compromise, yes, but sacrificing your happiness, No.
        If your man is telling you to leave, I would listen. If he knows you are unhappy but staying anyway in the hopes that he would change, he is not going to value you even when he does get a job. At least, that is what I believe. I don’t believe in being a martyr for love. When I brought up commitment with my now ex-lover, he got really frustrated, lashed out, and said some things that hurt. I don’t take abuse from a man under any circumstance so I argued with him until he was fed up and done. I love him but I can’t be disrespected. I’m glad I brought it up, now I have a good reason to back off. Now I don’t have to worry about it anymore. If the man in your life is saying he does not want to be with you right now, I would say to accept it, cry it out and let go. Isn’t your sanity and happiness important to you?

        • Dami

          Reply Reply August 7, 2013

          And I’m just saying this because I went through something similar, and I know how frustrating it is. But it’s your choice and im certainly not an expert, so of course make your own choice. But you want the man you love to love you back and respect you. Tolerating abuse and mistreatment doesn’t make him respect you. And yes, I love this website, but I haven’t seen an article on here that talks abiut that. But I know Renee said she loved her husband when he had no money and when he had finally made it. I feel the same way, that I loved that guy just for who he is and not for his finances. In your situation I would say to listen to the experts like Remee but for me, I just can’t right now, and Renee, PLEASE write an article on how to handle a man who is going through unemployment or financial difficulties.

        • Anna C

          Reply Reply August 7, 2013

          Yes I do agree it would be great if Renée could write an article about men going through financial issues.
          For me, it’s not like he is disrespecting me or treating me badly, he just can’t give me the level of commitment I need right now. In a way I feel single while in a relationship.
          To me, the choice is : be with the one I love or be married. And I’d rather be with the one I love. It sucks it really does, but my main deciding factor is: would I be happier with or without him? And I choose with. Anyways, if I left him I wouldn’t date anyone else anyway. I would be alone. But it still sucks sometimes.
          What I do is stay with him because I love him but go around like single but not dating anyone. Like I travel alone take classes alone and don’t spend much time with him
          Renee what should we do?

        • Anna

          Reply Reply August 7, 2013

          Ok now that I left work I can explain more. It might have seemed like I’m only with my man to be with someone. That’s not the case- for me it’s either be with him or be with no one. I just can’t be with anyone else. And I don’t want to be. I know right now he’s always busy with his business and he only sees me on the weekends mostly and he can’t afford to take me out or travel with me (and I can’t afford to take him with me all the time) but if he can’t take me out he cooks for me or shows me a movie he downloaded or Takes me to see the sunset. Yet he keeps on telling me that he can’t get married. I know it’s because he needs to feel empty and worthy. When he told me I should leave him for the hundredth time, I said: if you knew you wanted to be alone why did you ask me out in the first place? Why did you sleep with me and why did you ask me to move in with you? He is so strange sometimes. We’ve been dating forever and I think when I make more money I’m going to move into the flat right next to him to mess with his mind lol

      • Dami

        Reply Reply August 8, 2013

        In reply to your last post, I would say guys usually come around when you stop caring so much. So if you still want him then this article is good for that. Relax and don’t confront him over it. Just chill, relax and keep doing what you’re doing. I think ill take my own advice as well. There’s no point in stressing over what you can’t control. Stop worrying about everything and the future. That would probably solve more than half of the relationship problems. Stressing someone out with demands just makes things worse. When I’m relaxed and happy, love comes easily. But when I’m stressed and anxious, it just pushes people away. I’m tired of reading books and just like you I don’t feel like dating anyone, aside from my man. Me being stressed and stressing him out has hurt our friendship. I’m tired of being this wound up person. I don’t wanna mess up my health or anyone else’s.

        • Anna

          Reply Reply August 9, 2013

          Dami, I think you are absolutely right about how being calm and easy attracts love to you and being anxious repels love. Also, I believe you are correct when you say that our men probably feel us as a distraction from his purpose. I get that. I mean love him, and I won’t leave him, but I know that he doesn’t have the capacity right now to give me all his presence, and that is why he asks me to leave. But I might be kind of “leaving” in a way by giving him space to do his business and not demanding too much, while I do my own thing and follow my own interests. But I’m not leaving him in the sense that he feels he still “owns” me and we “own” each other. If you know what I mean. So right now, even though I would like a close and committed relationship with his full presence, but I’m fine with having his full presence in short spurts while he figures out his mission. I mean, just lying next to him at night is fine for me and makes me happy. I don’t expect much because I understand where he’s coming from. But later, when he finds his purpose, I’d hope that things will fall into place like they should. So that’s why I don’t leave him. And anyway, I don’t really have the urge to reproduce so I don’t have a biological clock ticking or anything. I don’t really have a timeline to get married, but I just know I want it with him someday.
          I still think this topic of financial success and men is worth exploring.

        • Anna

          Reply Reply August 9, 2013

          I mean in the meantime I am studying psychology (my secret dream even though I am in Business) and dance, and martial arts & yoga, and enjoying spending full days watching stupid shows I know he wouldn’t care for, and traveling to countries I always wanted to visit without waiting for him to save up or plan with me. It’s like… I have love, but I don’t have to deal with all the burdens of doing things with another person. Though sometimes, I want him with me, most of the time, I’m happy because I know that when he is ready, I would have done and explored most of the things I always wanted to explore.

  • Amy

    Reply Reply July 25, 2013

    My husband just wants me to go away and never come back!
    We’ve been married for 45years and he and I live in two different worlds.
    He won’t associate with me on any level. He hates sex and me also, we only had sex once in all these years. He eats, sleeps in his garage he built, previously he lived in the basement since the day after our wedding. So he is not at all taken any interest in me at all, I was stupid enough to stay with heartless ugly person. But to be honest I have no where to go, but now that he lives his life in the garage things in my life have settled down. I’ve had the locks changed on all the doors so I feel safer. I don’t believe he would hurt me or any one in fact, but it just feels better that the house is secure from him. I’m just so sad that things never worked out, I’m so much older (mid 60) and now its close to the end and the need for some one is greater. I guess I don’t want to be alone any more.

    • camilla

      Reply Reply August 2, 2013

      I read this and I am so sorry that you have suffered all of these years. Don’t blame yourself. You did the best you could. Now it sounds like you are ready for change. It’s a start and its never too late.

    • Bumblebee

      Reply Reply August 28, 2013

      Amy,

      I think he may have a mental or social disorder. Or perhaps he is gay. Sounds like you both need counseling (separately). I would highly recommend it. Do this for yourself, and perhaps make the suggestion to him, and move along with your life for your own sake.

  • Lisa

    Reply Reply July 16, 2013

    Renee –

    I appreciate what you share. I also read that you never read your emails, but read the blog comments more. So, I’m going to leave my comment on here.
    Can you please look over your blogs for spelling/grammatical errors? It’s disappointing to read a very thoughtful article, but then see a lot of spelling errors and such. Just trying to help.

    Thanks!

  • kate b

    Reply Reply July 12, 2013

    This is good advice,,but what if youre man dosent understand why hes doing this and thinks its you. I know this as have experienced this before….but my man says hes feeling the need to pull away but dosent know why, he seems to think its because we are not right. He is going through lots of stress he may loose his job,,,,he is going through a divorce and is living at home with his mum as has no where else to go….as a result he has been emotional,

  • Leslie

    Reply Reply July 7, 2013

    I’m sorry but this sounds like a lot of horse doo doo and game playing to me.

  • pimmiet

    Reply Reply July 5, 2013

    I like it in this part. even im not that kind of woman :) its might works.. Thank you. its such a good tip Rene.

  • Lisa

    Reply Reply June 27, 2013

    After getting over a 4 year emotional mess of a relationship. I took my time stayed single then started dating after awhile, the guy I met was great all the things a woman would want her man to be he. went through something with his work and moved to another employer he stopped spending time with me after showering me with love and affection he just went cold turkey. I finally hot him to talk a little and he says it’s financial nothing to do with me he is trying to get his head on straight i don’t spend time anymore with him , he says he loves me he goes all day and won’t call when we first met he did all that and more now he text me mostly were supposed to be in a relationship I don’t understand how do I keep this up when I feel hurt.

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