Why He Pulls Away When You’re With Him & How to Deal With It

This is a great question from a wonderful member named Katie G.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> QUESTION

Hi Renee,

Congratulations to you and David on your wedding!

So. I finished both programs, Commitment Control and Understanding Men, a couple of months ago. I loved them: what I learned from you took my relationship from “eh, we’re not really there yet” to the next level so, so quickly! In fact, my boyfriend and I are getting set to move in together, and this weekend he was telling me how hard it was going to be, when the time came, to shop for an engagement ring for me (I have picky tastes). A total 180 from how things were before your program.

So I owe you a huge thanks!

Anyway, I do have a question, and I’d love a little extra guidance from you. It’s about this thing that plagues me: why men pull away. Because of what I’ve learned in your programs, I no longer flip out when this happens. I don’t like it, but I understand it and don’t take it as a sign that my relationship is about to implode on me.  But… my boyfriend doesn’t fit the mold when it comes to withdrawal.

He’s fairly new in my city, doesn’t know very many people. So am I.  So we tend to spend a lot of time together, most days of the week… not to mention he’s getting all set to move in! So when he’s pulling away, he doesn’t actually go off on his own. He still wants to hang out with me, do things with me.  He just does all this in a very disconnected, unengaged way. He’s pulling away, but he’s with me.

And it drives me crazy.  I would much rather he take a few days to himself, do his own thing, and come back to the relationship renewed. But he just doesn’t do it, and I don’t know how to handle that. Spending time with him when he’s all disconnected is hurtful to me… and it changes my feelings for him when he acts that way. I know that’s probably unfair but I can’t help it. I had a difficult childhood with neglectful parents who saw me more as an inconvenience than anything else, and when somebody even just seems not to care much about me, my head and heart automatically pull away. It’s not a conscious decision I make.

He always seems to come back to the relationship his bright self again, but I feel like these periods erode away at the foundation of what we have together. It means the time we spend together isn’t always as full of attraction and connection as it needs to be, and it taints my feelings for him. But I don’t know what to do about it!

For instance, he’s been pretty withdrawn most of the week and wants to spend time with me tonight. I sort of non-commitally agreed. I think I’m going to tell him I’d like a night to myself tonight. Give him some of the space he wont seem to take for himself.

But can you give me some tips for handling this in the future? How do I create that bit of necessary space when I sense he needs it? I don’t imagine it’s a good idea to tell him “you’re acting withdrawn, call me again when you’re your normal self” or to reject him and tell him I don’t want to hang out with him without explaining why.  I guess I can become suddenly “oh, so busy” when he’s in a withdrawn period, but I think that will be difficult to pull off when we live together.

Your programs and the blog have all been so massively helpful, I know you’ll have some good advice for me.

Thanks, and congratulations again!

– Katie G.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> MY ANSWER


Hey Katie,

Congratulations on seeking answers and looking to understand men more. Nothing lights me up like a generous woman who really wants to, and seeks to understand men. Because – I know that any woman who does this is going to experience a lot less heartache in her relationships with men. When you understand men, you stop feeling as anxious and stop acting all needy. But most of all, understanding really gives us more than our fair share of power as a woman. (Click here to take the quiz on “How Feminine Am I Actually?”)

Yes, I can say that I know how FRUSTRATING your situation is.

It seems as though you are implying that he prefers to ‘hang about’ with you, yet not give you his full presence. It’s irritating when a man does this – in fact, personally, I find that I get stressed if ever my man does this, and it completely BAFFLED me, I used to stand there, arms facing towards the sky in desperation, wondering “what is going on?? Leave me alone or BE with me!” Otherwise, I star to just feel suffocated.

Yet here’s the funny thing. This man loves you. It’s just that this particular way of showing it that he practices, means a lot more pain than love to you, and I understand. But just know that he actually loves you, otherwise he wouldn’t bother spending time with you.

No matter how hen-pecked ANY man is, he will NOT just hang about with a woman for lengthy periods if he doesn’t enjoy your company, because men are built to run away and go empty themselves of the feelings of ‘connection’, as you learned about in depth in Commitment Control. (Check out out Commitment Masterclass here)

They physically can’t hang about with you unless it’s fulfilling their needs somehow.

Now for your questions.

You’re not asking the right questions my dear! This isn’t about throwing space his way – although I totally understand how you got that idea.

What you need to do is understand. Yes, it’s the long way to do things, but it’s the right way to do things. And, there’s much more fun and love for you at the other end of the ‘long way’.

So I’ll start dissecting this for you.

It’s quite simple.

Don’t Assume you know what he Needs without Considering His Position First

1) Don’t give him unwanted gifts. Ie: don’t forcibly give him space from this emotional place you are in right now! You only want to give it because you’re fearful, which is not really giving.

Would you like it if for your birthday, all you wanted was a new bracelet, and what you didn’t want and never wanted was meat pies, and YET your best friend bakes you three meat pies just for your birthday because she couldn’t STAND the thought that you couldn’t have meat pies and felt that you NEEDED that? I mean, she did it without even ‘getting’ where you’re at and what you even like?

No way! You’d be like, what are you doing? It’s incredibly selfish, right? She’s in effect, just taking from you.

What I’m suggesting to you is that you forcing space on him in this way is not what he wants. If he wanted it, he would take it for himself.

You’re thinking he’s like you. You’re thinking he’s a woman; and women often have difficulty asking for things DIRECTLY, or taking action directly; it’s just not how we communicate. Definitely not primarily. We communicate indirectly.

Click here to know how to stay high value when when he pulls away

You you think you’re ‘picking up’ on a need, when the need is not there. It’s called projected empathy. You would like a man to anticipate your needs, so you do it to him, thinking he wants it too. But he doesn’t.

It’s not Fair: He Doesn’t KNOW he’s Hurting You

2) He has NO IDEA that he’s hurting you, and that’s not fair. You’re just acting frustrated and he probably half feels that, but at the same time, wonders what the hell is going on and what he did wrong.

I can almost guarantee you that he doesn’t get what’s going on. He’s a man, and if he’s masculine at his core (which he is, because he wouldn’t have attracted you otherwise. It’s obvious from the way you write that you’re feminine at your core) – the fact that he’s masculine at his core means he’s insensitive by default.

Even the most sensitive men are insensitive. Men don’t get it. You have to teach them that something hurts you.

As a feminine woman, it’s your job to communicate that you are hurt by something. Now, when you’re dating in the early stages, you have to EARN that right (to do that), you can’t just come out with ‘the crazies’ right off the bat. So, I don’t know how long you two have been dating, but you seem serious already, so I’d say it’s ok for you to communicate that you’re hurt or angry.

It doesn’t have to be with words (though it can be), it can be with your body, your eyes. Now I give you strategies on how to communicate fears and needs to a man in Commitment Control, but for the most part, when I work with women, I don’t want to give you every single darn step – that would mean you being inauthentic and you would have learned nothing. (Click here to get your “Goddess Report”)

I want you to know that this is a process of learning and relationships are an art, there is science to it – especially dating, but when you’re past the early dating stages, you have to fall in to your own way of communicating, and being willing to stuff up and make mistakes and to hurt and be hurt, and be real. So feel free to express how this is hurting you, but not in a malicious way!

In fact, if you wanted to use words, you could. He just won’t be as responsive to words.

I can give you a starting formula on how to communicate that it hurts, and that you want him PRESENT, and totally THERE with you.

You MUST start by reinforcing him when he IS present with you. Be the happiness and joy that you truly are inside, in your heart, when he does that (I know you probably routinely hold back a little, like most women, because you want to test and you always want more). But if you don’t show the contrast between your happiness when he IS there, present with you, and the unhappiness you feel when he’s aloof and being Absent Adam, he won’t get it.

The Assumption that he Actually Intends to Hurt You

3) I suggest to you that your feelings for him don’t actually change when he hangs around you in a non-committal way. I suggest that you are angry because you assume (unconsciously, and with reference to your painful childhood) that he is doing this to hurt you. When he’s not.

As I said, he has no idea that what he’s doing is hurting you. You’re the only one who can communicate that to him.

He’s there with you but he’s not THERE with you? Totally Normal

4) You mentioned that your man doesn’t fit the mold because he’s with you but he’s absent at the same time. He does fit the mold. This is normal for a masculine man, although it feels painful to you, and to all women.

Literally, the time that a man can spend totally PRESENT while he’s WITH you, is extremely low. He’s not designed that way!

I think that more than anything, the most hurtful issue here is that you are expecting something where you shouldn’t be.

See, what I figured out in my very slow (but eager and seeking answers) brain over the years is that we get hurt and disappointed when what we GET or what we experience does not match what we originally expected.

Which means, you think that if this man isn’t giving you constant attention when he’s WITH you, then….there’s something to be scared about…and, there actually isn’t, my lovely!

What you need is more and more GOOD female friends to spend hours with, and share time with. (read my article about picking your friends carefully)

My last words to you: I know how difficult this is. And sometimes, it’s going to suck. But that’s part of what you sign up for when you enter a relationship with the opposite sex: stuff that’s a bit sucky, and stuff that’s insanely joyful and passionate. And yet – this is something you need to laugh about and start to love in him. Because if he was connecting with you whilst he’s with you all the time, you’d start to lose attraction for him. Really, you’d start to find him rather like a pile of vomit – that you are also about to vomit in to.

It’s NOT attractive to you when a man is always connected. Where would his ability to be empty and to focus be? Where would his manhood be?

I mean, if he was a ball of oxytocin like you and I are, you would have turned your nose up at him, rather than caring so much about him that you’re emailing me for answers. Enjoy the fact that he’s being who he really is at his core. He may not always be present, but he’s being a man, and he’s committing more and more to you! What a relief!!

If you’re reading this and would also like to see your relationship go one step further with a man like Katie G’s did, Commitment Control will get you there. Click here to watch the Commitment Masterclass.

If you liked this post, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. What do you think? Do you agree with this? And have you also experienced what Katie is experiencing here? I look forward to hearing from you!



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  • Super Janice says:

    Wow! Katie’s letter is very long, which is different from me! If I were Katie, this is how I would write.

    Ms. Renee,
    My boyfriend is pulling away from me. He is with me but he hangs out with me in an unengaged way. Why?


  • Riva says:

    I am seeing this guy for 4 months now. Everything is doing and going great between us until he suddenly stopped communicating with me. It’s been 3 weeks that I haven’t heard from him. We have upcoming trip to Hawaii and everything are all set, flights and hotel. I am so worried that I won’t hear anything from him again. But 2 days ago, he texted me if I am free to talk. I was waiting for him to call or text me but I got nothing. I am so confused now and in deep agony. What’s going on?


  • Gigi says:

    I recently dated a man for two months, we use to talk a year ago for about 3 months and never met. When we finally met this time around there was a lot chemistry, we communicated daily and spoke on the phone at least 5 days a week. He was someone who took pride in being happy and just like me he has been divorced. 2 weeks ago we decided to spend a day together and we slept together. I haven’t been in a relationship for 4 years and was only had sex twice over a year and half ago. After sleeping with him fear kicked in (knowing that we never decided to date exclusively although I wasn’t dating anyone else and he was still online). We went to dinner that night and I asked him at what point does he think two people should date exclusively. And I expressed my concerns about being woman, how we sometimes don’t know how to separate out emotions from sex and I want to ensure that I remain logical in my decision making moving forward. He told me if I ever feel any sort of way to be sure to talk to him.

    Everything was fine within the next few days. However I felt a little uneasy regarding that conversation because I didnt want what I said to make him pull away. He assured me that he was fine and if he feels any sort of way he will talk to me. One thing I noticed, he contacted me less and less he wasn’t as sweet on his messages and when I texted him and told him I missed talking to him and hope to hear from him a week later, he never responded. I texted him 3 days later, stating that I was thinking of him and I hope all is well. He didn’t respond.

    By then it was confirmed to me that he pulled away and I sent him a stern message stating that I understood that all he was saying was to get in my pants and I will learn from this and move forward. He immediately answered and told me it wasn’t true at all and was trying to figure out “how to talk to me” and he will call me later. We ended up talking about it the next day and he stated that he misunderstood a comment I made a week before and my text message was harsh he understood that if he communicated with me I would not have made these comments.

    I asked him if he needed space or move forward and put this to bed. He stated that he really likes me and wants to move forward. I tried to remain the same and reach out as usual but 3 days later he told me. That he’s pulling away because he’s not happy with himself and his actions no need to have me guest.

    I thanked him for letting me know and deleted his number.

    I wish I had seen this article before. I would have thought of the situation differently and acted differently as well.

  • Erica says:

    I am really struggling with all this pulling away and how to deal with it!My guy got really mad last night at me through text because when he asked what I was doing, I told him I was visiting some friends in for the holiday. He completly dissed me and said “never mind”. He has never been like this before to me- usually it’s him having other things going on than me. Later I finally received a response back from him on what the heck was going on and he told me he had a rough night and thought he could count on me to be there for him but he guessed he was wrong. I started to panic. I told him that I am here for him and if he had just mentioned that things were bad and he needed me, I would have been there of course. I told him at that point I was home and could come over to be with him. He told me no- and I got nothing else….24 hrs later, still nothing. I am so confused and so sad! Not sure what to do now. I texted him to say that I hoped his day was better today and am here if he needs me. I have gotten nothing. What do I do now????

  • Viki Samoja says:

    LDR you say? Well that’s tricky, i don’t want to cause you panic but i have to admit that guys are visual creatures, if we can’t see the object of our affection, well we don’t exactly fall out of love but we become far more vulnerable to the intrusion from a third party. LDRs are in and of themself a tricky proposal, it may be nothing but i would be extra careful if i were you.

  • Viki Samoja says:

    You’re welcome, it has actually been quite eye opening for me too when i read Renee’s blog, for example i was never aware women put so much emphasis on marriage, i always thought that today it was done more or less for legal reasons, especially with things being how they are and so many marriages falling apart. And i have to also say that Renee is quite spot on with her assumptions, it is hard to believe she is not a man with how well she knows men.

  • Viki Samoja says:

    Hello people, yeah we men pull away sometimes, what you need to understand is, unlike women intense emotions are incredibly draining for us, it’s not that we don’t love you anymore, it’s that we need to recover for awhile, when we love we love hard, and it tires us out fast.

  • Amy says:

    Very well put, Justine! I’m with you. Aren’t we women just TIRED enough already of constantly being the ones who must keep the relationship going as well as being expected to meet our own emotional needs by ourselves or with other women? We’ve made these same lame excuses and justifications for men for centuries now…..if more women actually spoke up and refused to be in emotionally unsatisfying relationships, I can GUARANTEE you…men would begin to work on themselves and the emotional connection more. They would have no other choice. Thank you, Justine, for having the courage to express a more evolved viewpoint. No need to reply to my comment… I won’t be visiting this site anymore…I’ll be too busy finding the rare but wonderful man who is evolved and sensitive enough to meet me where I am at this stage in my life.

  • Justine says:

    I just read several of your articles and I have to say……you are a dangerous person! Men are men, and we should understand, accept and empathize with them. Ya I agree. However, you constantly imply that women should be men and stop having womanly thoughts, needs and feelings because men don’t like it. You also reinforce the social belief that a healthy relationship is about men taking and women giving. Even more disgusting is your implication that women should meet all of a man’s needs, plus go meet your own needs too, because men don’t like to deal with a woman’s needs.

    • Renee Wade says:

      Yes I understand what you feel…I would have felt the same way a few years back.

      However, this obscure number of articles of mine you’ve read says a lot. You misunderstand my intent, you don’t know where I am coming from, you don’t know my writing and my work, and you are burdening readers around you with your anger from your past.

    • Manuel says:

      I am male and just came across this sight. I guess you must be young to understand what Renee has to say it would be best to read her other blogs. All that Renee has written about men is so spot on I am surprised that a woman has has wrote it instead of a man. I just hope I can find a blog like this for men.

    • Susie says:

      I am deeply in love with a man, and I feel I have driven him away time and again. I am in the position that I want to save our relationship, and we are now taking a break. We have hurt each other deeply. I absolutely adore this man, and I my fear of losing him and my fear in general have been ruling my life. I have to change, and this program is giving me hope. As we take our break, I am dedicating a lot of time to moving through the 14 day program I purchased from you. In so many years of having to take care of myself, I became this hard, stand up for myself kind of woman, and I haven’t known when to stop.
      I just want our relationship to be healthy and for him to appreciate and feel how deeply it moves me to be able to love him. I don’t take anything for granted anymore, but it is hard for me to stop trying to “express” myself thinking it will help. I don’t think it is anymore. Very, very sad right now 🙁

  • RU says:


    I am in similar situation like the reader “Nara”… how do we show feelings on phone??.. I am in long distant relationship hence I need the guidance here

    Awaiting your response

  • Silvia (Costa Rica) says:

    Hello Rene, I am exactly in a situation like that now, I met this man online, we´ve been dating for 3 months, all this time he has been so kind and great and loving, I started to think he is a very masculine man, but the nightmare began 3 days ago, we were talking and suddenly he changed. He told me I wasnt in the mood and he was going to sleep, he withdrew just like that, didn´t answer my messages anymore, yesterday he sent me a message saying that “I should learn from him that sometimes he just needed to be left alone” so I did, I told him “got it”
    Let me tell you more about him, he has (until today) been working in a construction company and he is planning to move to my country (he planned that before we met) A few days ago he called me just to ask some advice because the actual company he works with was asking him to stay for longer, I told him he should consider that option so he can save more money to relocate. So I had the impression he was underpressure thinking about wheter or not he sould stay, or start his way all the way to Costa Rica. He has a daughter in his country and I think he feels guilty for the plans he has of relocating and starting a new life here in Costa Rica. Its been 3 days of not knowing anything from him, just the message from yesterday. I must confess that I am hurt and terrified, and feel helpless trying to find an answer on his behavior. My best friend told me I should forget about him and if he calls back again he should apologize or leave. What can I do? Any Advice?

  • Adele says:

    This is something I have to read constantly. My man is very masculine and he pulls away intensely.
    But I had a guy before him who was emotional, attentive, affectionate, needy and it turned me off. He says he loves me and I really love him. I’m getting used to it. I want to be able to laugh at it.

  • AC says:

    Sorry this message was not for jasmin but for nana

  • AC says:

    Hey Jasmin. Just wanted to let you know that you are NOT alone. Your post describes me almost exactly.. But I know my man loves me. So this leads me to believe that their actions here are normal. I’ve done Renee’s commitment control and understanding men programs and they help with understanding this. My guess is when a man feels cold like this he’s probably needing you to love him in spite of it but not in a way you would want to be loved. For example, when I ask what is wrong, he yells too. Instead when he yells now I leave the room for a while and give him some space. Hey I don’t want to be in a hostile environment! Then when I return he is much more loving. He even asks me if he should be sweeter to me, because I left. I told him I just wanted to get out of his way. He told me later that I handled him really well in that situation so I suppose it was the right thing to do. Good luck to you I’m sure your man really loves you.

  • Katie G says:

    I’m the one who wrote in with this question, and I’ve been sick and not keeping up with emails. But I just want to say THANK YOU to Renee for this. Every time I feel myself veering off-track, it seems like you write a new post (or in this case a post just for me!) that shows me clearly the path I should be on.

    This is a slow process, and I can’t expect myself to adjust to this new way of looking at men and relationships right away. But bit by bit, I think I’m becoming a wonderful partner to my man, just as he is for me. I love how everything you write about here focuses on the idea of sincerely giving to your man– not pleasing or acting out of fear, but giving. To your man, to yourself, from a sincere place.

    It makes me trust your advice completely, as that’s how I wanted to live my life even before I found your programs.

    This post helped me a lot. So thank you, Renee! <3

  • Nara says:

    Renee, all you say is right and true! but what about long distance relationships?? please when you have time later , think and write a post about it.
    i have been with my bf for 3 years long distance R, we meet a few times a year , but we spent a year apart for some so hard circumstances despite of our will,. it is hard to show him on phone how i am feeling, and camera chat is annoying mostly because we are so emotional and it makes us miss eachother more…
    but he does not talk as i do ..and i am a very expressive kinetic person..what you said work well when the partners are together:(…
    it is so hard…and painful
    thanks , i love you and your writing. you are inspirational

  • Jasmin says:

    Just because a man wants to spend all of his spare timewith us doesn’t mean he should or that we have to allow him that much time and attention, especially if it’s because he doesn’t have a fulfilling social life outside of us. Thus man needs to go out and make some FRIENDS. So does the woman in question. Men pull away. That’s what they DO! So what? They usually come back. As women, we need to let them and we need to pull away TOO. IMO, it’s simple. These two people need to get a life outside of each other. It doesn’t suck at all. It’s HEALTHY for couples to have separate interests and friends.

  • Nana says:

    I think I need to read this article again and again. I often have the same problem with my bf, especially when after a week of work, we finally have 2 full days to spend together ! Usually, there is one day where he is ok, and one another where he is just, well…so annoying ! And I feel like our time is wasted and it could be so much more “joyful”. If he was all alone, busy doing his things but with a happy face, it would be ok, but this is the “tension” I feel in the atmosphere, like he is mad or something and he yells when insignificant things don’t work. He doesn’t smile and feel bothered everytime I talk to him for ANYTHING, or do some noise around doing things (cleaning the house for instance, which is for his comfort too!!!). When he’s like that (like right now actually haha), showing a “closed” face,I try everything to be nice and full of joy, and cook for him and in same time, try to be discreet like a mouse, don’t talk to him too much but I just have to say one word (with a happy face always!) and HIS face is like “JUST LEAVE ME ALONE”, raaah it’s hard! And the rare times I try to tell him gently : “Is there something wrong? You’re not pleasant to me, it hurts me”, at the second he gets mad and growls!! And then, long hours later, when he “decides”, he’s suddently gentle, nice, he laughs like nothing happened, and me I have to be still smiling and nice. If not, I’m the mean one. The fact is that in those situations, it’s the man who decides when the atmosphere is happy and when it’s cold. And there is no particular explanation, it’s just depends on his mood. And you feel like you’re a puppet. It’s hard to stand their lunatic behaviors seriously !! But now I understand that I should better go out meet my friends, do my things, like I’m not dependable to HIS mood to be in a good mood myself! And I don’t have to simulate happiness and joy, wishing to bring that to him, because it does not work and he’s not unhappy, he’s just in a particular mood and needs to deal with himself only as I’m not his punching-ball and if I don’t have the attention/sweet atmosphere I deserve, I Just have to leave for a while, looking for it elsewhere (no, not in the arms of another guy haha !)

  • Miranda says:

    Hi Renee!!
    I absolutely LOVE your advice and articles you post, and share them with anyone I can. I find it so relevant about relationships between men and women, even though I’m not in a relationship yet. 😉 It really helps give me confidence!
    I have a question about this subject (no experience, just curious if it were to happen)—what if a man pulls away, but during this time, shows interest in other women? Do you just ignore it and still leave him in his zone, and let him eventually come back to you, or would this be something to worry about?
    Thanks for all your hard work to share this useful wisdom to all your readers!
    Much love and thanks,

    • Renee Wade says:

      Hi Miranda, it’s my pleasure to contribute to your feeling of confidence. Thanks for letting me know my impact!

      I believe most women, IF they are in a steady relationship with a man and he showed interest in other women…would feel hurt by that.

      Having said that, sometimes, what we think is our man showing interest, isn’t. Sometimes, it is.

      It’s up to you and him to decide what your ‘boundaries’ are and why, and if he really is flimsy, or just not that interested or committed, then it’s time to consider why you attracted him….and if you are willing to stay.


  • jay says:

    Its funny i was just about to type a comment thinking im going to type: LOVE your article and as usual i completely agree with you. to find that the 1st person 2 comment; Allie, said it all already 🙂

    congrats on your wedding. i read somewhere that: the marriage doesnt make the relationship, the relationship makes the marriage. seems like u have a good relationship which God Willing will lead to a good marriage. wish both of u all th best!

  • Allie says:

    Hi, I loved your article as usual, you are very insightful 🙂 what I’m actually wondering is the part you said ” But just know that he actually loves you, otherwise he wouldn’t bother spending time with you”.
    I have a guy friend that I like a lot and we spend insane amount of time together, more often than not on his initiative, but we are ” just friends”. Often it seems to me that he likes me but I don’t want to assume cuz he doesn’t make a move. This has been happening for couple of months now. He doesn’t have a girlfriend at the moment, but often talks about his previous relationships and that he is looking for a relationship. So I’m confused, not sure what to make of it. Lack of attraction? Fear of commitment? Why would he want to spend all this time on me if he’s not interested? Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂

    • jay says:

      I’d suggest you be straight and tell him how you feel knowing he might feel it 4u, or not and accepting whatever the outcome is and leave it at that. or spend your days forever wondering…

  • Paula says:

    Hi Renee!

    This is really great article and good advice! Thank you very much!

    But it feels also a bit sad to read, as I myself have messed up my very important long term relationship caused by kind of freaking out on my man on this kind of situations. I feel a big load of regret and see now how wrong I was losing my faith in his love for me. And I wish I would have read this type of article a year and half ago, before it all went sour.

    I would say I was inexperienced and also quite insecure and took his withdrawals as a sign of uninterest and decreasing love. Was it him going away from me to do his stuff, or also not talking or concentrating on me if he was with me. I now know I just could have relaxed and trust in his love, because it was everywhere…in his actions, in his words, in how he was treating me all the time. But I lost faith and couldn´t communicate that right, in some time built up lots of resentment and little bit later got to feeling indifference. Which lead me to fall for someone else giving me the easy attention and finally led me to cheating my long term boyfriend with that other one.

    And it absolutely devastated my boyfriend. It was the worst thing I have done in my life…but can´t make it disappear.

    Now I could see how much I meant to him and always had. I was surprised. I had been sure he doesn´t love me enough as I had such low self esteem. But he did. Just that everything that happened was too much to get solved out. I was too big of a mess and took a long time to get out of it. And it was too big of a shock to him.

    I would like to win him back, because now I see how much he really was loving me and how wrong I acted, but i guess it is all too late. Maybe because what we had is too broken now to pick up the pieces and glue them together. And in spite of apologizing, and him admitting he still has feelings for me and still loves me in a way…he is also moving on seeing someone else. It seems like I´m getting the punishment I deserved.

    So learning this the hard way.
    Men are different, they act different… And if they stick around and stay with us, it is usually because they do love us. So… I would not freak out anymore and lose faith in his love if he´s not connecting the way I want. And if his doing his man thing. And if he´s withdrawing. I would honour it. And I would be more confident in his love and giving my love back to him. And I´ll bet we would be happier. It´s a shame, I blew it. 🙁

    • Renee Wade says:

      Hi Paula, thanks for your vulnerability, and for sharing your message in a way that can help other women.

      Don’t be too regretful – women are supposed to test men; and doubt whether they love us; obviously some women are extreme about it, some are not, Whatever, it doesn’t matter. Life isn’t supposed to be perfect.

      And the other thing – if you want him back because you see how much he loves you, I’d suggest you think again – how much do YOU really love him? You could be running the same old cycle of low self esteem… ‘he really loves me! I should go back to him!’ it’s not a good base to start and build a passionate relationship 🙂


      • Paula says:

        Thank you so much Renee for this feedback. And you´re welcome & I feel happy if my experience could be of help to anyone.

        I have been thinking about what you say. And It´s truth that, maybe I am influenced quite a bit by this mess of emotions, rised from regret and seeing him with someone else (which means, I really see I have no power or control over him anymore and I am really losing him)…I am sometimes forgetting to get in contact with my original feelings. And I should ask how much I really love him and if he was the right for me after all.

        I definitely see this more clear now, after reading your new article about an ALPHA male…. And I have to say he wasn´t much of that. And that was also where part of my resentment came probably. I want to start to build a passionate relationship with a more alpha kind of man, so..probably it would never be possible with my ex. I´m still quite a mess though, doubting about everything a lot.

    • Chanel says:

      Hugs to you Paula. I think all women who have “seen the light” have experienced what you are going through. Truth be told, once you realize that you are a high value kind of gal and have your choice of quality men, he may not seem so great.

      • Paula says:

        Thank you for the hugs Chanel, they feel good.. 🙂
        Well…I certainly hope to get to a place where I would feel “high value”..I´m not there yet, but working on it.

  • Ashley says:

    Dear Renee,

    Thank you for your article. I would like to summarize it to make sure that if I got it right and I also have a question. It’s completely ok for a man to withdraw to regain his energy and it’s also OK for us to feel a bit hurt when he does that. When a man withdraws, instead of complaining, we need to allow ourselves to feel our feelings (anger, hurt) and by feeling them we show them to him? We need to show him that we’re less happy, when he’s emotionally available? Do I get it right?

    I also wonder “to what extent” withdrawal is OK. My ex-boyfriend, didn’t come home for the whole night (it was in the first week of our “living together”, which he actually pushed me) and did not respond to my calls for no apparent reason. I was really worried and freaked out that night. I’m not sure if withdrawing to that extent is OK and I’m not sure where to draw the line between accepting a man’s masculine core and tolerating his unacceptable behavior…

    • Renee Wade says:

      Hi Ashley,

      Is it ok to feel hurt when he pulls away? It’s your feeling, of course it’s ok!

      But I’m NOT saying it’s ok to turn in to miss wild crazy woman who beats him up for pulling away. Feel these feelings alone, or let him know but you can only let him know when you’ve earned this right and been dating for a certain time/your relationship has reached a certain level of TRUST. Dating is like that, it’s not always ‘fair’. These things can take time. xox

  • Doris says:

    Hello Renee. Your advice has helped me a great deal. But I now find myself at a standstill with an ex in which I still have to see at work each day and he’s giving me the silent treatment which infuritaes me but makes me wonder if I want him back. I’m confused. I miss him. I miss the nights we used to stay up and just laugh, joke and tell stories of our past. We use to share a locker at work and post all of our pics of us together. Now, our co-workers know that something is up because they see that I don’t use it anymore, I use my own and they see that we don’t speak to one another anymore. I miss him Renee. What can I do to get him to speak to me again. Oh! He does text me off & on when we’re away from the job. He says that it’s best for him that he does it that way. Can’t look me in my eyes or else he’ll fall weak again and give in when he’s doing what is right “for him” by keeping his distance and not granting me a “sit-down”. I’m at a stalemate here. How do I get him to stand/sit still to talk with me about getting back together if he won’t stand still and if he sees that as falling prey to me? I need help here.

  • Inna says:

    Hi there!

    Renee, I liked your post. This is just another reminder of how different we are. I have experienced and am experiencing this with my husband quite often. He is always in his masculine world: thinking, calculating, figuring out something but almost never feeling. I understand with my mind that this is a normal masculine behavior but somewhere in my heart it still hurts a little. But much less now since I learned about the difference in our nature ))) And I will continue to work in this way. One strange way I feel is that I need to withdraw once in awhile, too. I feel like close communication with my man takes quite a bit of my energy as well. Is it normal or is it a masculine trait?

    • Renee Wade says:

      It’s no problems to feel that way once in a while. You have masculine energy too, remember. And you need it, otherwise you can’t get through life and you can’t do a lot of things that need to be done. It’s healthy to have and develop some masculine energy; and makes you a more valuable partner. Think about it; isn’t a man more valuable to you if he developed the ability to connect, perhaps developed more sensitivity?

      • AJ says:

        I like how you emphasize this, Renee. Some coaches emphasize a woman be all feminine all the time till the point of becoming a basket case, and I realize if corse, that femininity is *not* at all about becoming a basket case, but constant tools, only using certain words and behaving in certain ways will tend to have that effect. Then they say have a man who’s more beta and “addicted to you” and yet he should be all masculine at the same time. Huh??? How is he supposed to do that? Plus who wants a man who is “all” masculine to the point of insensitive, anyway.

        • Renee Wade says:

          A man who is completely masculine (usually doesn’t exist), he wouldn’t connect with anybody! lol

          Yes, tools and strategies are useful when they’re useful. They’re not useful when they’re not useful! Which means…no matter how much advice anyone gives, we all eventually have to find out own answers, every relationship is different.

        • AJ says:

          Totally agree, Renee. Well said.

  • AJ says:

    This was a good read. Especially the part where it said if a guy is a puddle of oxytocin like me and wanted to *always* connect it would be like a pike of vomit. I have been feign just that! I am in the San Framcisco Bay Area and I am so sick of the New Agey guys around here, including friends! I just texted this to a friend last night and vented to my friends. They are the type of guys obsessed with connecting, and obsessed with pleasure and bliss and “love” whatever that means to them. They seem to always try and solicit me including “friends” without the concept of true loyalty and devotion. It’s always the preaching of we are all the same, we are all one, we are divine and “deserve and meant” to be pleasure and seek it and from multiple partners, and if we are friends, then it’s okay to have benefits. Blech. Jealousy is a “scarcity” mindset we have to move beyond, and we don’t “own” each other. Such a pile of vomit indeed. What puzzles me is this…these are some very bland, feminine energy guys who just want to connect, connect, connect with love, pleasure, bliss all the time and also do it with multiple partners…which indicates conquest and acquiring, but in an imbalanced masculinity. Therefore, they are too fem, and imbalanced masculine, great. So much vomit lol.

    • Renee Wade says:

      Hahah, AJ – congratulation for picking up on the weak masculine energy they put out, since you don’t want to attract that.

      Some women, have lost this ability and fall victim to their attention-giving ways (of these types of new age men).

      Yeah, these are the type of men who act all nice but really don’t give off the energy of devotion – maybe to some woman eventually, perhaps never, though.

      Thanks for sharing your honest opinion on this!! xox

      • AJ says:

        Thanks Renee! I would not have been able to tell the difference if it hadn’t been for your posts. Your focuse on desire vs. devotion has really helped a lot, because many coaches actually teach you to go for the beta male who gives you lots of attention and is “addicted” to you and I find that can be confusing. Because many of the New Age guys act like that upon just meeting you, and charm you right into their beds. The catch is, of course, you have to belong to a whole harem of “bliss ness” or whatever, and devotion, dedication are all concepts they just don’t seem to like. I think that type of advice confuses women. These men…their desire button is always on over drive and their devotion button is always in a self induced coma. It is so annoying! They hide behind spirituality, love and enlightenment in order to have sex with whomever and wherever they choose and to me that is a huge misuse of *both* masculine and feminine energies and very vomit inducing.

        • Chanel says:

          I can so relate to the *vomit* feeling…just eww.

          AJ, I live in Texas, and although there is a better chance of meeting a real man here than in other parts of the USA, the new agey, beta dudes are here too.

          My first sign – they want you to buy them stuff. Or they play tit for tat – like “I bought you a drink, now you buy me one…” nooo no no… or they complain when you don’t initiate things or call them enough.

        • AJ says:

          Hey Chanel! I lived in Texas for four years till I came back here less than a year ago. Been hurt by two guys. 🙁 They weren’t new Agey, but they had major Fidelity issues. And one was exactly like you said with the tit for tat paying and then ended up getting his ex wife pregnant when we were seeing one another. The other guy was beautiful about paying and taking care of me, charming me into exclusivity with him and talking about marriage and children before I ever did and messaging me and cLlin me everyday telling me he was thinking about me…but then he cheated on me with a New Age “healer.” Nice, huh? Lol, I just have to keep trying.:) I will be heading back to school again and it will feel great to get into a crowd that is a lot more down to earth rather than the pop spiritualists and i am positive that will do wonders as San Francisco has a great diversity of people which inam so thankful for and keep continuing to progress with Renee’s programs. Maybe i can meet a cute stock broker from he city. 🙂 Hey a woman cab dream lol.I agree with you about the fit for tat paying. I am considerate and I can so understand the difficulties in finances in this day and age, but it’s a particular attitude that these men give off which I am not fond of. It is so nice to talk to someone who can relate! 🙂

        • AJ says:

          Ugh atrocious typos! Sorry, typing from my phone here hehe

    • anonymous says:

      AJ and Renee,

      Thank you so much for this conversation! I too have been confused by the New Age/Beta Male nonsense. I have questioned my need for exclusivity in relationship, but now I see I need to trust myself more. The idea of being in a non-committed relationship makes me ill. It seems being sexually abused in early childhood confuses these issues for women even further (1 in 3 women are said to be sexually abused, so this is a common yet life-altering trauma for many women.) I needed to hear you both on this loud and clear, from an external source. Thank you both so much!

      Lots of love <3

  • Chanel says:

    I have experienced this. Recently, and years ago.

    I am in my mid 30’s now, and am divorced. My ex wasn’t a masculine man, he was the type who hovered around me and showered me with love 24 hours a day. He wouldn’t even watch TV in a different room than me or go to the store without asking me 20 times if I needed something, then call me from the store 10 minutes later to double check. (eww!)

    In the beginning, it was a dream – I remember telling myself how great it was to never have to experience being alone, and how great it was to never have to worry about his whereabouts. I’d dated masculine men before and got frustrated with their behavior, so I thought this was what I needed. How wrong I was! The novelty of all that attention wore off after a while – and coincided with the period of time in my life when started getting in touch with my girly nature, which I discovered to my delight, is very, very girly. All of a sudden, I could no longer stand being around my ex, I lost respect for him, and I felt like I was married to a woman. It was so depressing. I hated it. I wanted a MANLY MAN, someone who had their own plans of action, someone who took time away from me to go DO MANLY STUFF, because I figured, how can you take care of business if you are focusing on your woman 24 hours a day?

    I am dating a very masculine guy now. He is so awesome. After a love-filled weekend, he definitely needs to recharge his man batteries for a few days…so we don’t talk much right after. In the past, I’d get mad if a guy didn’t call me within 24 hours. Now, I know that masculine men expend a lot of energy when loving us and being sweet with us, and they have to get away after a while to make sure their manliness has not been compromised! That’s all it is. When you just trust them to come back, they will come back, with even more love to give you. I know I have thrown this guy for a loop, because I am sure he is used to women flipping out on him when he withdraws. I can tell he is falling for me…as I am for him!

    I think the advice you have given here is great. It is so true, men won’t spend extra time with you if they do not enjoy your company. So, the guy is there, he is talking about the future, and he obviously loves her. We can’t expect men to fulfill roles they were not meant to fulfill, so your advice about getting some good girlfriends is great.

    • Renee Wade says:

      Hi Chanel, thank you again for a wonderful perspective, I appreciate you sharing this!

      You are right when you say that a masculine man expends an incredible amount of energy loving us and being sweet with us. Thanks for spreading that message that women need to hear.

      Renee. xox

      • Nara says:

        Renee, all you say is right and true! but what about long distance relationships?? please when you have time later , think and write a post about it.
        i have been with my bf for 3 years long distance R, we meet a few times a year , but we spent a year apart for some so hard circumstances despite of our will,. it is hard to show him on phone how i am feeling, and camera chat is annoying mostly because we are so emotional and it makes us miss eachother more…

        but he does not talk as i do ..and i am a very expressive kinetic person..what you said work well when the partners are together:(…

        it is so hard…and painful

        thanks , i love you and your writing. you are inspirational

  • Gabby says:

    This is one of those things where I think…when it happens to me, could I really be so calm about it? In the past when it’s happened, I found it impossible to be calm about it, and your right, when your actually with him at the time, it just makes the whole male withdrawal even harder to deal with because he’s with you. Thanks for the post, I know i have a good starting point by reading this,

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