Why Do Men Pull Away From You & The Relationship?
Men will withdraw from the relationship; they pull away. It’s what happens.
Women pull away, too. However, when men pull away, we tend to become scared and unable to interpret their body language in an objective manner, and remain high value. It can be a hard time, when men pull away. And you are not alone.
When it comes to men having a relationship with you, usually, they are either going deeper in to the relationship with you; or they’re moving away; to do things that meet their own needs at a high level.
Most men can only take being connected deeply to you for a certain amount of time before they need to remove themselves to find their equilibrium again.
When a man is very in love – he can usually spend more time with you before he needs to pull away; but each man is unique and each moment is also unique. However, don’t take this to mean your man isn’t in love with you – as falling in love is an emotional state that can come and go, and he can always fall in love with you again.
Your man will pull away at some point. This does not mean your relationship is doomed – on the contrary. When he pulls away, or withdraws from the relationship, is the exact time that you get your ‘make-or break’ moment and get to show your high value.
I only say this because most of us (myself included) respond with fear and neediness when he pulls away. There is good evolutionary reason for us doing this – and there’s nothing wrong with becoming needy and fearful when he pulls away, you just need to be aware that it can strip value from the relationship bank. Every time you respond in fear; there’s a chance that you’re stripping value from your man and from the relationship. This is not something for you to fear..this is just something for you to understand.
None of this will change the truth of how you feel when he pulls away, though: when he withdraws – it hurts. Don’t you agree? You may not say it, but it hurts. You get angry. Sad. You feel unloved. You no longer feel like that princess that he once treated you as. (Click to download my “Goddess Report”)
So, why do we get stressed when a man pulls away?
It causes women stress when a man pulls away. Why? Because If a man has value to us, then we become irrationally afraid that his withdrawal from the relationship could (key word: could) mean:
1: He might sleep with other women and all his resources will go to the other woman (which is not always true! It is usually less true than women think)
2: That he may never come back, and to a woman’s primitive brain (the lizard brain), this could mean that she might die. And hey, let’s be honest…sometimes, going through the pain of a man pulling away really can feel like we might die – that’s why we try to resist the pain and get angry at him instead, or beg him to stay. Anything to keep from feeling like we are dying, right?
3: That she has just been used (it was only a casual sex situation and now she will never see the man again). For deeper insights in to how to handle sex with men, see my series on The Secret Cost for Women When They Have Casual Sex.
Why do men pull away in relationships and what to do when it happens?
Men pull away, because 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.
No doubt you’ve experienced this. You are all happy that you guys spent a while together and you feel so close and connected, and suddenly, his body language abruptly changes. His eyes avoid your gaze, he walks away or he turns away, he arches his back over the chair, puts his hands behind his head, and he is just suddenly absent from the connection you just had.
This is where a lot of us women have a freak out moment. And it’s totally understandable! However…consider this.
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 in the context of emotional bonding. I am talking about emotional bonding here, so keep that in mind. This does not mean that women don’t also feel suffocated at times.
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?”
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. Sure, we are all human. There are aspects that make all of us human.
However, when it comes to relationships, there are certain things that make men and women the same (such as fear of loss), and there are things that make us completely different (such as what actually triggers our fear of loss).
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 husband 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.
For more unbreakable confidence with your man, 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
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, and you’ll really struggle to get his attention.
If you know how to deal with it, you’ll be able to have your man adore you at a level that most women only dream of.
I know that most of us women have wondered: ‘why does a man withdraw?!’
‘Is it me? Is it my body? Have I done something to upset him?’
And most women have struggled with this problem. 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. Your suffering comes from the meaning you give it when a man withdraws.
The meaning we give an event changes everything.
And a bad meaning really comes from a lack of understanding of men. (If you’d love to have a superior understanding of men, my husband and I invite you to our exclusive members area here in the Understanding Men Program)
How would you feel around a highly emotional man?
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. Eventually, whether you like it or not – you’ll start to lose attraction for him. And you may even be disgusted by him.
You don’t want a man who’s more emotional than you, now do you?
What I am trying to suggest is that a man needs to pull away in order to be the man you are so attracted to. If he didn’t pull away, you’d be much more repelled by him.
Also, don’t forget that the more time you spend together with a man, the more alike you will become, and the less intense the attraction will be over time.
Although you get scared or confused when he does suddenly withdraw, you also get a chance to see that he is, in fact, a real man.
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.
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.
Sometimes, a relationship and emotional bonding can feel like a burden to a man. note: this doesn’t mean that you are a burden, this means that the emotional bonding and the stress of being in a very committed relationship can feel like a burden to a man.
Even if at the same time, it is really the only thing that gives a man that feeling of being alive (a feeling he cannot get when he is alone, without you).
How interesting! 🙂
On that note, I should add that I have put together a complete guide for how to stay high value when he pulls away. Get the steps on how to do that here.
Here is the positive thing about when a man pulls away
When he pulls away…
You also get your ‘make-or-break’ moment to show that you are mysterious and different from all the other women out there.
When a man pulls away, you get an incredible opportunity to:
1: Prove your high value as a woman and trigger his attraction for you even more; and
2: Grow as a woman, and appreciate his masculinity.
I have put together a complete guide for how to stay high value when he pulls away. Get the steps on how to do that here.
What Men Really Want from You
You see, what men really want from you (and they do want more than one thing), but when he pulls away, what he really wants from you is to feel like he has a high value woman. Key word: has. He needs to still feel like you are high value, he needs to feel that you are loyal and that you will be there for him.
Remember that a relationship with a closed off, unresponsive woman doesn’t give him the feeling of freedom. That doesn’t mean it’s your fault; this is just the truth. Being with someone who shows up low value makes anyone feel restricted and chained.
So…the key is to keep your high value, and show that you are still loyal to him in moments of fear – that you can stick around with him emotionally.
Unfortunately, most women kind of do the opposite…they don’t show that they will be there for a man (and there’s nothing wrong with that, it is just what it is). We all make mistakes.
At the end of the day, if a man is emotionally attracted to you, he will always come back. (If you’re interested in getting a man’s deep emotional commitment, we have an entire course showing you just how to do that here.)
What to do step-by-step when he pulls away
Here is how to deal with yourself first, before dealing with a man. You must get yourself in to a resourceful place before you do ANYTHING else.
Next time you feel him withdrawing, just stop. Instead of feeling like his withdrawal from you is something to fear, notice your fear, acknowledge that you are scared, and give that part of yourself the space to be. Don’t resist your fear; just allow it space to be, and keep breathing, whilst you feel that fear, and cry if you need to.
Why would you want to do this? Because allowing yourself the space to really feel adds to your confidence. Because it sends your subconscious the message that your existence (ie: your feelings and your needs) are okay. No need to resist yourself, cover up your rawness, or lash out and make a man wrong for pulling away just because you now suddenly feel vulnerable.
Disclaimer: in some situations, a man has pulled away because he doesn’t want a relationship at all. You need to be attuned enough to feel if that’s true in your situation or not.
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 emotionally attracted to you, and more committed to you.
Next time he withdraws, here’s what to do:
1) Leave him alone. Let him be; you can be sad, and you can miss him, but don’t act out of fear. Stay open and understand that whatever he is doing, there is a good reason for it. Try your best not to question him (you can ask questions, but don’t question him – questioning him assumes that he has bad intent, which makes things really hard and painful for both of you).
Before you do this, I want you to remember that the point is not to just leave him and that’s it! 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!
This is not to say that you are not allowed to have feelings – you are. Just be ready to own your feelings. If he is not comfortable with your crying, that is when you need to be the most comfortable with your own feelings. Tell him it is okay, that you just feel a little sad, that that kind of thing happens from time to time, that he has done nothing wrong, and that all will be okay.
Reminder: you ARE allowed to hate him, miss him, love him, hate yourself, hate all of this, want to give up when he pulls away…all of that. It is okay to experience all of that. Just don’t blame him or intentionally want to make him feel bad about himself.
You just have to actually allow yourself to feel everything; and not resist feeling it by criticising him, cutting him off, giving him the silent treatment, or being passive aggressive.
It’s you resisting yourself and resisting him being a man – that will cause more damage than anything else! Because it’s when you resist yourself and you don’t allow yourself to feel, that all connection and hope is lost.
2) And when he does comes back to the relationship, receive him openly. Does that mean acting happy? Nope. It means to stay connected to him even if he isn’t doing what you want him to do. It means courageously receiving the moment, receiving yourself just as you are; not judging yourself, and not judging him.
This doesn’t make you 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 openness or love.
If something is truly wrong and he is not the right man for him, you are much more likely to find out when you are open to connecting with him than when you are cutting him off, acting like you don’t need him, or punishing him.
A good way of successfully completing this step is simply to remind yourself to breathe, and breathe through your fear. If you need to cry, cry. If you are angry, you’re allowed to be angry, but just stay fully connected to him through that anger. You do that by holding eye contact and being courageous enough to not just act angry and pull away in retaliation, but to let the anger go when it is truly done and felt.
Of course – 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, he’s not going to get the “hint” even though you’re trying to give him the hint.
Is your man selfish? Whether a man is selfish or simply being a male is a whole other topic. You can get an idea of how low value, selfish men behave in this article: 7 Burning Signs a Man is being Low Value.
3) 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.
Most Women Out there Simply Don’t Give Freedom to Their Men.
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, if you keep your high value, and you’re happy giving a man has the gift of freedom, 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. 🙂
NOTE: This article has been updated as of September 2017. I hope you get a lot out of this updated article, and as always, feel free to ask us anything in the comments section.