Why Men Pull Away and How to Deal with it

Why Men Pull Away and How to Deal with it

Why Do Men Pull Away From You & The Relationship?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Why hasn’t he called for so long?’

‘What, am I invisible now?’

‘What’s going on?’

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

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

It doesn’t have to.

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, Why do Men Pull Away from the Relationship?

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

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

How would you feel around a man like this?

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

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

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

He’s Not a Woman!!!

Why do you think you lose attraction for him?

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

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

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

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

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

How interesting! 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Science Behind why a Man Withdraws…

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

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

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

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

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

“Do you not LOVE me anymore?”

See my post on why he pulls away…

What Men Really Want from You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



  • Monica

    Hey. I need some insight.

    My boyfriend and I had some issues last month, because of some lies. He was talking to another woman when we were already in a relationship. I lost trust and I started to need more reassurance on his parte. We are in a LDR. As he didn’t gave what I expected, the discussions kept coming, until he said he was tired and proposed for a couple therapy. After that, he stopped texting me, calling me or reaching me in any form. We met last weekend for his father birthday party, and he seemed distant, not so affectionate, and I asked him if we were trying to be better and improve the relationship or if it was over and the therapy is to see is we get back together. He said he didn’t wanted to talk before the therapy to not make things worse, that he wanted me to go the party for me to see that there is anyone else. He introduced me to his hole family as the girlfriend. I stayed with him four days, and slowly started to get closer to me, touch me, hug me, etc. He said he’s having a hard time with work and money, and he needed to detach from everything to focus in one concert he will have next weekend (he’s an opera singer). That it’s better for us to wait until the therapy and talk about everything and see if we can have trust again, because, he said, without trust there is anything. Those four were kinda strange but sweet, and I expected that, after those days, that he will, at least, text me a little, but anything, and it hurts me. Is he still interested or is he slowly acting out of the relationship?

  • Cassie Weltzin

    Hi Renee! I am new to this. I read everything you’ve sent me so far and already I feel it changing my perspective on things and helping me see where I tend to get scared and insecure and push guys away. So here’s my story and question: I met my guy 3 months ago off of a dating site- we live 6 hrs away. Both divorced for 2 years; I’ve dated several times but I am his first in 2 years and he says he is very picky and I’m the only woman he has felt is worth dating. He wants to take things slow. We met on two different weekends and it went great. He asked me to be his girlfriend. We then met for a 3rd weekend and I was a little pushy about how he feels about me b/c he doesn’t call or text much or seem real into me. He assured me he likes me, that I have amazing qualities and could really see himself falling hard for me. It’s hard for me to believe b/c of his lack of attention when we’re not together. Then a week ago he was out of state for a business conference but wanted to fly me there for the weekend after it was over to be with him. For some reason my insecurities came out bad while he was at the conference and in the hotel and having fun. I’m sure b/c I’ve been cheated on in the past- but he hasn’t ever experienced that. So that weekend I flew there and he was in a mood the first day making me even more insecure. I repeatedly asked questions for reassurance and talked way to much about my fears and insecurities but didn’t realize it til the day after I was back home and he told me over the phone it was annoying him and he wasn’t sure he still felt the same for me. But, wasn’t ready to end things yet b/c he does believe I’m such a great woman and would like to see each other a few more times to see how it goes and how he feels. Meanwhile I’m in panick mode to save this. So I apologize for my actions and take responsibility for my insecurities and it wasn’t fair to take it out on him. He told me not to be sorry. I asked if we pick up where we left off or if he wants me to back way off…he said pick up where we were and for me to continue to be myself. A couple things he has said he loves about me is that I’m myself and I’m very open. When I read the attractions article I already fit all but 2 of them. So I do believe he is attracted to me and at one point could see himself falling hard for me- then I scared him being insecure and pushy- and now he’s leary. But hasn’t given up so that’s a plus right!?! My problem now is I don’t know what to do to draw him back in full force. I’ve texted only a few times a day and try to stay happy and loving in my messages. I wait for him to call me which he has a couple times. He’s still very distant and short replies to my messages. Do I keep being loving and letting him know I’m thinking about him and try to keep things normal or do I go silent until he talks to me and make him miss me? I feel like I have a second chance to not loose him completely but desperately need to know my next moves and can’t wait til next month for more advice. Please help!!! Thank you

  • Hector Rodriguez

    Renee gets it!

    If all women understood

  • Joe Joe

    This article was very helpful to me. I am a single woman with 2 kids, a stable job, and I own my home and vehicle. He is 11 years my junior, from another country and we have been dating for five months and everything has been so perfect up until about 2-3 weeks ago. He competes in martial arts on and Olympic scale and has been training for years and like myself, just has not had time for a relationship. We discussed our lives and if we would try to have a relationship and decided to give it a try. As I mentioned before, everything is going well and he has realized just by being with me and my boys that he has to become a man and needs to grow up. That statement and his actions made me love him even more. He is great with my kids, doesn’t make a lot of money but still contributes, and attends college full time. Your article has saved our relationship (and my sisters advice which was worded differently but the same advice.). As the calls and visits became more and more less frequent, I began to think maybe he’s seeing someone else. The clothes and items he left at my home I boxed up this past weekend and left them on his porch, unfriended him from the evil demon facebook, and if my sister didn’t talk me out of it, I would have asked him to leave the key to my house in the mailbox. I try not to make him pay for the mistakes and treatment from past relationships but the scaring is really deep. We had our first argument but still managed to stay together even though I was expecting him to at least meet me half way. I was ready to break it off with him because I thought he did not want to be with me anymore and just did not want to hurt my feelings and chose to just pull away with hopes I’ll get the hint. I love him enough to let him go if I don’t make him happy and someone else can. Spoke to him briefly Sunday when he got home from a competition out of state and wanted to just tell him if he wanted out just go, but instead he rushed me off the phone and said he had to finish a paper for school that was due Monday and he’d call me back. Today is Tuesday and I have not heard from him. I am all about him having time to himself because I like to have my time as well. I just wanted him to tell me that he needs some time and just explain his actions instead of me speculating. Since our first date, he won me over with how easy it is for us to discuss everything and everything. You are so right about his masculinity and being a man. I am ready for somebody to take the reigns for a little bit and let the queen have a break from ruling our kingdom.
    Thanks again. Pray for us.

  • disqus_GB8lUuziuG

    I have often pulled away after I have spent large amounts of energy pursuing a woman only to have her not pursue me at all. She will simply go along for the ride and talk about how much she loves me. Then she is blindsided when she finds out I don’t love her and can’t understand that “just showing up” wasn’t enough to win my heart and trust.

    • Joe Joe

      I’ve always been supportive of his decisions with only advice he can take or leave. I really believe he has his hands full right now and I want him to be successful at whatever he sets out to accomplish. I shoot him a message with words of encouragement and let him know I have not forgotten about him. I want to say his heart and trust is there, just wish he would communicate like he used to.

  • sun&sand

    What if this is possibly a game he plays? I met a guy about a year ago. He got me to open up and trust him. He said things that would make any woman fall for him. And then he disappeared. Tbh, I’ve never had this happen and I was really confused. We’re just friends now, but he still pulls the disappearing act. From discussions we’ve had, it seems like this is a pattern. He gets women to fall for him, he pulls away, and then reappears a few weeks later as “just a friend”. As his friend, I really want to confront him and tell him that it isn’t right to use women to make him feel more attractive. He’s leaving a path of destruction behind in his quest to feel more secure. He means the world to me, and I might lose him as a friend, but maybe I can save another woman from this grief. So confront or let it go? Thanks in advance!

  • Isabell

    Thank you Renee,
    this post really helps me every time to safe my dignity when my boyfried wanders off.
    He is either 100% with me or 100% gone. Often because he looses or breaks his devices that would allow him to contact me but I am sure he is quite relieved they are gone, too, because that allowes him to be completely free without his family and friends nagging him. Of course there are nowadays always ways to contact somebody, if you really want to but obviously he doesn’t really want to. 😉
    And although I really can relate and understand that, because I also don’t feel like keeping in touch while travelling as well, I can’t help but feel hurt when he is gone for many weeks without a sign of life at all.
    When we met, it was like a lightning. We where clearly soul mates, finally finding each other. He was travelling around my country for a couple of years already and so there was no reason not taking him home that day, because we talked until long after midnight and he felt guilty to disturb his host at that hour.
    Since then he is coming and going. Sometimes gone for many weeks, but once even staying three months in a row at my place. He made my flat his travelling base which makes me very happy.
    But in the beginning it was also a challenge every time he was gone, because it turns my life upside down every time.
    When he is with me, he is doing his thing while I am at work and we do stuff together, when I’m home. There is no time for myself during this period but I also don’t need any, because I love having him around and enjoy every second of it because I never know when he might be gone again.
    In times he is gone I am doing what I loved to do before I met him. (I was single nearly all my life because I had dreams of very long journeys that would have been hard to fulfill with a partner)
    It was hard at first to switch between those two extremes, but I am a very flexible Person (always have been) and now it’s like second nature to me.
    We even had some rough times already, when his Ex (which existence I had been completely unaware of before) was stalking me badly, writing even mean mails from his accounts, pretending to be him while he was gone and there was absolutely no chance for me to clear things up or contact him until he came back nearly a month later.
    That was a very vulnerable time for me with a lot of uncertainty and tears but I managed not to blame him for something I did’nt hear from his own lips in person, greeted him warmly when he finally arrived and let him explain himself first. Which was lucky for me to do, because he wasn’t gulty at all and I won’t find a person like him ever again!
    But it’s thanks to this posts, Renee, that I was able to manage to hold my ground quite gracefully during this time and not flapping too much while struggeling with unsecurity and the feeling of betrayal.

    • 7schlaefer

      Nearly a year later I have to admit my huge mistake in letting him treat me like that.
      It got more and more out of hand because he knew I would not hold him back.
      Until the time he promised me five times in a row to return and never did. He had lots of excuses but would let me wait and wait and only telling me he couldn’t make it because this or that the next day.
      That was just plain rude because it showed me he didn’t value my time or respect me at all anymore.
      When I told him that, he got very defensive, pushing the blame on me and just didn’t reply anymore from that day. I sent him three more messages. The first understanding an gentle, the second a week later with a dead line and a third one to brak up with him. No response whatever.
      That was nearly 3 months ago.
      All his stuff is still at my place but I don’t think he will come to pick it up anymore. He is too afraid of conflicts even though I never yelled at him for anything or was unfair or unpredictable.

      I don’t say that Renees advice is wrong. It depends on the person. I was madly in love from the beginning and therefore blind for the early warning sings. It broke my heart to be ghosted like that after a 10-month long relationship with a guy I trusted so much and in whom I invested heavily with feelings an money. But I am doing better every day and even happy now to have dodged a huge bullet.

      Lots of love and I hope the person that makes your heart ache in his absence is worth your effort.


  • Lizz

    Hi Renee, I love your articles. About men withdrawing, I have experienced it once before I knew this concept I freaked out and it took him 1 mth to come back even when I did not pursue during this period. He will pull away on n off about few days to 1 week and I try to take it easy. Recently what hurt most is he said he can’t make it to my birthday and I lost it. I told him that I feel im unimportant to him and he vanished since. It is almost 1 month now. We are in LDR. Do you think this is a normal pulling away or is gone for good. No wishes from him on my birthday either. Please help

  • Cris Catalan

    give me some advice. i meet this guy a couple of weeks we chat random things. we’re happy actually. and then suddenly change when we have conversation i didn’t know that he’s hurt about my views , he change then he never talk to me . i think im falling for him. but he said he will not talk to me anymore. but he confess he love me too 🙂 what should i do i dont to want lose him.

  • A. E. H.

    Do you hate women?

    • A. E. H.

      It’s all right if you do or don’t. Anything you do is all right.

  • Karl

    Hi all. Some of what you say is true of some men but I’m in precisely this situation now. I have pulled back and withdrawn completely from a woman I adore and just love being with simply because her throttling and controlling behavior is crushing our emotional intimacy and my masculine power. I have discussed it so many times with her that I could gouge my eyes out with a blunt spoon. I never get consulted on what is going on in her life, but I share everything that is in mine. She makes decisions that serve her own selfish interests and trample mine and she couldn’t care less. If I react to it, I am called insecure, aggressive and am accused of not understanding her. She orders me around like a 10-year old so now I don’t respond to her messages anymore, I seldom if ever accompany her to any functions or family get-togethers and when she makes arrangements without first confirming with me, I make other plans and she goes alone. My pushback has become so severe that she almost hates me now. How on earth can any self-respecting man be expected to just obey and submit when everything inside of me is screaming “stop running my life”? Why can’t she just collaborate and consult with me, why can’t she take influence from me, why can’t she respect my right to negotiate?….she has trashed what was once such a gentle, intimate and fun relationship. For the record, i am strong, driven, outspoken and highly intelligent but also affectionate, an intense lover, devoted, very loyal, in great shape, clean living and a gentleman. What the @&$& gives?

  • Rose Maxwell

    I want to share my testimony to the world. My marriage has been a blessing until few months ago when my life almost get sucked. A strange woman took my husband’s love away from me. He left me and our 3 kids to this lady. I was in shocked because i know my husband still loves me. I tried all i could to get him back but the more i tried the more he went far away from me. All my effort yielded nothing. I was almost giving up and wanted to file for a divorce. Then, I went to many spell casters but they all failed taking my money away. I lived in pains for 3 good months without any plan of getting out of this mess. Till I met an old school friend who show me to Dr Uzoya on druzoyaspiritualtemple@gmail.com, a spell witch who then restore the happiness to my family and my life. His spell worked so fast that I could not even believe it. He’s great for as much as I can tell. Am still grateful to him till tomorrow for his spell works. My husband came back with apologies all for the spell powers of Dr Uzoya. You can also contact him on his email for all your relationship or marital problems; druzoyaspiritualtemple@gmail.com. thanks to you all

  • cindy

    I may be in the wrong spot but someone shall be honest with me. I met a guy at a young age and grew to just crush on him. We moved a long distance from each other but every time I was in his town or he was in my town we would sleep together and it was like weekend when no one else mattered. We did this for years, and we wanted to be together but it was never good timing. Whether he or she was in a relationship we would still sleep together if we were in the area. He withdraws as if he doesn’t care but we communicate and years have gone by and we made it happen again. We are bother in relationships and once again made it happen. I have a strange love for him. Do we do this because it’s risky and not suppose to. Mind you I dont cheat unless it’s with him which could happen months or years later. We have been doing this on and off for 15 years. What do I do*******

    • Butterfly Queen

      It sounds like yall have a strong connection that keeps bringing you back together but why cheat? Why not build a healthy relationship with each other? Cheating on others to be togethrr is not fair or healthy.