Why Do Men Pull Away From You & The Relationship and how to deal with it like a High Value Feminine woman?

(Content Updated 2017)

Sometimes there’s literally nothing worse than having your man pull away from you, from the relationship.

For a moment, for an hour, for days or weeks.

It doesn’t matter.

…Because we are talking about a man who you’ve invested your precious time, your energy and your emotions.

And so for him to pull away from you at any moment, it’s painful. His lack of presence leaves a void that is difficult to fill.

But why do men pull away from the relationship? And how can you deal with it in the best way possible when they do?

How can you deal with it as a feminine yet high value woman?

Let me answer those questions in this article.

Every day my team and I get questions about the topic of men pulling away.

Because the reality is that men will withdraw and pull away from you and from the relationship; it’s bound to happen.

It is a part of their masculine instinct.

(Some men are naturally more commitment friendly and some are more commitment phobic. Click here to see how commitment friendly your man truly is through this special quiz I put together for you…)

(…and of course, us women pull away from relationships too, but most of the time not for the same reasons as why men do it.)

See… the truth is, 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.

They need to re-engage with their identity in their mission, their goals, and their masculine passions.

Even when a man is very much in love – he will get to a stage where he needs to do this.

(Sure, a man in love 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, having a man pull away doesn’t mean your man isn’t in love with you – sometimes the more in love he is, the more he realises that he needs to feel like he is enough through his goals, missions and passions.

So it’s important for us women to realise the truth which is…

Your man will pull away at some point.

Of course, this does not mean your relationship is doomed – quite the contrary. When he pulls away, or withdraws from the relationship, is the exact time that you get your ‘make-or break’ moment to show and prove your value as a woman in the relationship.

Because no man wants to give up his freedom and masculine missions in fear that he has a woman who will restrict him and pull him back.

I only say this because most of us (myself included) have a tendency to respond with fear and neediness when he pulls away.

(Look, there are good survival and protective reasons for us doing this – and there’s really 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, and even appreciate.

None of this will change the truth of how you feel when he pulls away, though: when he withdraws – it hurts.

It’s real pain. Wouldn’t you agree?

You may not say it, but it hurts. You may get angry. Sad. You may feel unloved. You no longer feel like the princess that he once treated you as.

Whatever your experiences may have been… do not make your feelings wrong.

That’s right… do NOT make your feelings wrong

Because if we as women have become attached or connected to a man, or if a man has any value to us, then we naturally 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 of course is not always true! It certainly happens but is usually much less common than what we women tend to think…)

2: That he may never come back, and to a woman’s primitive brain, this could mean that she might not survive.

…And hey, let’s be honest here. Sometimes, going through the pain of a man pulling away really can feel like we might die (that’s how intense our feelings can become)– so we try to resist the pain and perhaps get angry at him or beg him to stay.

In other words, acting out of our own fears.

And 3: A man pulling away could mean that she has just realised that she had been used (perhaps it was only a casual sex situation or that he got what he wanted and now she will never see the man again).

(If you want to hear my thoughts on casual sex, see my series on The Secret Cost for Women When They Have Casual Sex. The link is also available at the end of this post.)

So how we do show up in a high value way despite the fear?

What can we as women do about this, and how can we show up as a feminine yet high value woman in those fearful moments?

(By they way, on the topic of feminine, click here to find out how feminine you are deep down in your core by doing my quiz here. I’ve carefully designed these 8 questions to show you exactly how much you are living in your feminine energy and what it really means for you.)

Well before I address that, I want you to consider this first…

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 us women don’t also feel suffocated at times, of course we do!)

What happens is, as men get closer in a relationship and things are going well, the oxytocin levels go up in his body as they start bonding…. Then men will tend to want to pull away in order to rebuild their testosterone levels through their masculine missions.

(As their oxytocin levels go up, their testosterone levels go down and this can cause a lot of stress for men with a strong sense of mission in his life.)

Because let’s think about it from the man’s perspective for a moment… it is OFTEN through a man’s masculine missions that he is able to provide and bring resources to the table. That’s how he gets to feel like a man.

So him pulling away could have real positive intent. I want you really understand this.

Your man pulling away could have real positive intent.

But for us women, it’s harder to relate to that because our default is to stay in relationship mode, we truly feel at home in relationship and connecting… (At least when we’re living in our feminine energy.)

…So from our feminine perspective, we get confused, and we may ask questions from our own feminine brain like…

“Why are you pulling away? Why didn’t you call? What’s going on?”

“Do you not LOVE me anymore?”

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.

But there are also elements that make us completely different, like the fact that most of us women see the world through our own feminine filters and it’s not so easy to understand a man’s masculine behaviour through our own filters.

Because what is intuitive to a man in a relationship is not what is intuitive to a woman.

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

What is intuitive to a man, can be completely foreign to us as women. And so a man withdrawing can cause us uncertainty and sometimes even suffering.

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 as a woman, but it wasn’t for him.

I was all like ‘Haha, have you been living under a rock?!’

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

Truth is, there are SO many of these little breakthroughs David and I have all the time about each other, about the opposite sex, about love and relationships…

Because we are different creatures. What is intuitive for him can be counter intuitive or even foreign to me.

… and get this, we’ve been picking each others’ brain and teaching this stuff for almost decade!

Our pain and suffering is dictated by our feminine meaning…

However, a man withdrawing from the relationship doesn’t have to cause you that 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 can sometimes come from a lack of understanding of men.

We as women can give it a different meaning, which would lead to us having a totally different experience.

(Of course, simpler said than done.)

By having a greater understanding of men and their masculine world, then we are able to create better meaning and have the ability to show up with more confidence and more intrinsic value.

Remember, the reason why you were probably attracted to that man in the first place was his masculine energy, masculine presence and direction.

If you had a feminine man, would you still be attracted to him?

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.

In your feminine heart of hearts, you wouldn’t want a man who’s more emotional than you, now would 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. But that’s a topic for another day.)

The masculine feminine polarity is why you have attraction in the first place

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.

If he wasn’t living his masculine core, you’d probably lose attraction for him over time.

It’s because you won’t be feeling his masculine energy. It’s because you no longer feel polarized by him and his 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!

Here are 2 positive things about when a man pulls away

Instead of seeing your man pull away as a crisis, let’s look at this as an opportunity. Let’s look at what you can gain from these moments…

When your man pulls away from the relationship, 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.

Because all men want a woman who shows up as high value and all men want a woman who doesn’t judge him for being a man, but rather understands and appreciates his perspective, struggles and fears.

And as he recognises how amazingly different you are to other women, he will be inspired to reciprocate, wanting to understand you and appreciate you.

I have put together some special resources for how to stay high value when he pulls away – just click here. (Link available at end of article too)

So what does your man really want from YOU when he pulls away?

Above all else, he wants to feel like he has a high value woman, waiting when he comes back.

(Unfortunately, a lot of people frown upon the idea of ‘waiting’ when he comes back these days…it’s as if this kind of loyalty is mistakenly seen as a sign of weakness. Well let me tell you, loyalty to a good man is not weakness).

So…the key is to keep your high value. In spite the confusion or the fear.

How do you do that? You show that you are still loyal to him when you feel fearful – that you can stick around with an open heart, and be open instead of closed off emotionally.

Unfortunately, most women kind of do the opposite…they don’t show that they will be there emotionally for a man.

Staying High Value does not mean to act perfect or happy.

It simply means not disconnecting deliberately, cutting him out emotionally or pulling yourself away from the relationship.

Staying High Value also means to not shut off to your own deep desire for connection – a lot of women push this down and it causes them to shut off, and close off, and this scares a man deep down inside.

So how DO you show him that you are still loyal and high value?

Well, you must get yourself into an emotionally resourceful place before you do ANYTHING at all. So to get to an emotionally resourceful place the first thing to do is to breathe and keep breathing, and go to a safe place and let your feelings be felt.

When you’re sure that you feel more empty of your hurricane of feelings, then follow these guidelines.

Leave him alone.

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 reason for it, even if you don’t understand it right now.

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 not shutting down or closing off to him.

This is not to say that you are not allowed to have feelings – of course you are.

Just be ready to own your feelings even if it means you cry when you see him. If he is not comfortable with your feelings, that is when you need to be the most comfortable with your own feelings first.

Tell him it is okay, that you just feel a little sad, and that kind of thing happens from time to time, that he has done nothing wrong, and that all will be okay.

I also need to tell you that 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 have to allow yourself to feel everything!

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.

When he does come back to the relationship, receive him openly.

Does that mean acting happy? Nope. It means to not be in fear, but to stay connected to him even if he isn’t doing what you want him to do. It means opening your heart and opening your mind and forming a connection in the moment with 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 love.

If something is truly wrong and he is not the right man for you, 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 ever get too stressed out of your mind…

And if all of this stresses you out beyond your ability to cope, then 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?”

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, cultivate more emotional attraction and deepen the connection and commitment.
You see, the truth is that if you show up as a high value woman, and you’re happy giving a man his gift of freedom, then he’s going to truly come back to the relationship stronger with more to offer you.

Does that make sense?

Alright – If you want a deeper understanding (…perhaps step by step guidance) on how you can show up as a high value woman when your man pulls away, then I have the perfect thing for you.

I’ve put together the perfect resource for you to be able to show up as a high value feminine woman whenever your man pulls away and withdraws so that you can feel confident in knowing that you’re doing the right thing…

Click here to learn more insights about how to stay high value when your man pulls away…

Ok, that’s all from me, as always, I’m sending you all the love from my heart, wherever you are.

I’ll talk to you soon.

P.S. Remember to never make your feelings wrong or push them down. Your feelings are incredibly powerful and they are indeed here to serve you. It’s really just about having a deeper understanding and deeper appreciation of this situation so that you can use your emotions to serve rather than to sabotage. Continue reading about these here…

P.P.S. Leave me your thoughts, feelings and stories below… sometimes we learn the most from each others experiences and stories. So feel free to share your story too!

See other related articles…

More resources on staying high value when he pulls away…

The Very Real Pain of When Men Pull Away

Think casual sex is harmless? Think again.

How to Talk to a Man in a Way that Won’t Make him Pull Away and Go Cold

The Secret Cost for Women When They Have Casual Sex (PART 1)


  • Anna says:

    I totally get it ! I understand everything and it so makes sense! Thank you 🙏

  • Danielle says:

    When you say freedom, does that mean freedom to see other people? Like an open relationship?

  • Anon7 says:

    This is stupid. When a man “pulls away” – cut ties with him, because he wasn’t as into you as you thought. It’s really very simple!
    My husband never “pulled away”. He told me, years later, that the night he met me, he knew he was done. He proposed later because he wanted to – didn’t have to be cajooled into it, surprised me on a private boat in hawaii he had rented for that purpose, and we have been happy since.

    The only man who pulled away from me I cut ties with completely, and it was the best decision I ever made. Meanwhile, years later and this fool still texts me “Merry Christmas :)” and “Hope you have a great birthday” when I’ve told him thank you, but I’m not interested in continuing contact. Finally had to block his number out of annoyance.

    Begging for a man? Focus on yourself and make yourself worthy of being pursued. If you’re sitting at home on your hands praying he’ll get in contact with you – you aren’t doing yourself any favors! If you’re exclusive with him and he pulls this asinine, immature crap – tell him you’re not into this BS and you are looking for a partner who will be with you through thick and thin.
    He doesn’t listen? He isn’t right! And that’s fine, many people have connections who aren’t “meant to be” for forever. Do *both* of yourselves a favor, break it off so you can find a guy who is a partner through and through, and so he can go forward and find a woman who makes him *want* to be a partner through and through. It’s a service to you both in the long run.

    Women are socialized to be so needy. If you pull yourself up by your bootstraps and realize *you’re* the only person who can give you fulfillment – men fall all over themselves trying to get some of whatever that magic it is you have! Doesn’t hurt to work your butt of at the gym too, and have a good career – focus on getting that stuff in shape rather than moping that he is “pulling away”.

    What garbage.

    • HCD says:

      I understand what you are saying and intellectually I know what you say has merit, but I am a woman who has been married to a man for 19 years who in the last year has become a totally different partner. Frankly,
      It feels disingenuous to even call him a partner. I am a university professor, I am kind and loving, I take care of myself, I am supportive and respectful, but he does not seem interested anymore. He loved me so much once, I cannot really believe it is over. I just have to try. We have three wonderful children. I have to try for me and for them. I still love him.

  • AJx says:

    Men are like rubber bands. When they pull away, they can only stretch so far before they come springing back again.

    Sometimes men simply need to take a step back for a while. There’s every possibility it has nothing to do with you. Although if it feels like he’s completely lost interest (There is a difference) – I recommend checking out Slade Shaw’s guide. He basically goes into the male psychology on why men lose interest and how to make him crave you. Here’s a link to his guide: WhyHePulls.com

    My advice would be try not to take it personally. (Easier said than done I know..)

  • AJx says:

    Men are like rubber bands. When they pull away, they can only stretch so far before they come springing back.

    Sometimes men simply need to take a step back for a while. There’s every possibility it has nothing to do with you. Although if it feels like he’s completely lost interest (There is a difference) – I recommend checking out Slade Shaw’s guide. He basically goes into the male psychology on why men lose interest and how to make him crave you. Here’s a link to his guide: WhyHePulls.com

    My advice would be try not to take it personally. (Easier said than done I know!)

  • Sarah says:

    I’m struggling with how long I should step back for? I know my guy is struggling with having feelings for me as we discussed this a month ago (at the three month mark). He said he just needs space to sort his head out. It’s been almost 2 weeks now and I’m starting to give up hope 🙁

    Any magical figure for how much space guys need?

    • Butterfly Queen says:

      Hi Sarah:
      I’m sorry for your distress. Have you signed up for Renee’s email newsletter? She just released an article yesterday about this situation, when a man asks for space how to respond perfectly. Did you check it Our?

      The best and healthiest action for you is to bless him with the space he asked for and love your self strong. Self care and love is very important right now. Dig deep and feed your own spirit. There is nothing you can do to bring him around or bring him around faster. Simply show him your own love for yourself and personal strength by blessing him and stepping back.

      I know it’s easier said than done but it can be done.


  • Talia says:

    I’m curious if this behavior is also for men diagnosed with type 2 bipolar disorder. One moment the behavior can be all inclusive and connected, and the next morning slightly aloofness which can be triggered by outer stresses not related to the relationship. Both the article and behavioral characteristics of type 2 bipolar disorder can be compared to each other. So, if you have such withdrawal issues with a bipolar individual, then does the woman’s behavior have to change?

  • Ashley says:

    Men are like rubber bands. When they pull away, they can only stretch so far before they come springing back.

    Sometimes men need to take a step back for a while. There’s every possibility that it has nothing to do with you. Although if it feels like he’s completely lost interest, I recommend checking out Slade Shaw’s guide. He basically goes into the male psychology on why men lose interest and how to make him stay in love.
    Really interesting stuff. Here’s direct a link to his video/guide: WhyHePulls.com

    My advice would be try not to take it personally. (Easier said than done I know!)

  • sümi chan says:

    What about when you were
    Dating for 2 years , and your bf was always the one who mentioned marriage and that he is going to propose you in spring…and he convinced you that he can do everything for you even though you reminded him to the difficulties of International dating..and he always said i ll do whatever it takes to marry you…
    And suddenly you fly over to him live together with him for 3 month and even the Relationship was good like before he suddenly says he dont think he can do it.. He doesent know about marriage.. Andhe doesent also wants to let you go too..
    But when you ask him questions concerning future and Relationship answer is always i dont know

  • Monica says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    Renee gets it!

    If all women understood

  • Joe Joe says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

    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!

    • Screw_Globalism says:

      Confront him…but…he may not even realise he is even doing this !! I think he has been burned badly by a woman / multiple women , sounds emotionally wounded , he seeks validation.

      • lisa says:

        i think you hit the nail on the head, validation. from what i’ve learned in the last six months, i believe that this was the primary motive of a man i was getting to know. i’ve never been so disappointed in a man in my life. this guy was the type of man i’d been hoping to meet but, when it comes to women, relationships, he turned out to be no better than the others in the past. now i have an opportunity to get to know someone new but i think i’ll pass on it. i just don’t have the energy and the last thing i want is to be hurt/disappointed AGAIN. my heart and nerves couldn’t take that.

  • Isabell says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

    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 says:

    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. says:

    Do you hate women?

  • Karl says:

    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?

  • cindy says:

    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 says:

      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.

  • Lisa Dale Nunberg says:

    I think this is what happened with my boyfriend. I felt several times that he was about to tell me he loves me, then he asked me to move in with him
    …then he disappeared…. What happened here?!
    Well, I freaked out and told him I understood his backing off as a breakup and that the door is still open and I would love to hear from him at some point…. Did I ruin it by assuming it was a breakup?
    Its been 10 days….thoughts??
    Help please!

    • Jacques says:

      Lisa Actually he freaked out, because his freedom felt threatened by the thought of being in a committed relationship. The other thing you may experience with a man is when they do the “Rubber band man” thing, which means they are falling in love with you. The more you chase them during this time the more they pull away because there is a lack of tension. I just recommend you just go about your day to day life while he’s away, and if you do decide to contact him just ask how he’s doing and don’t bring up the moving in together thing or the love thing. Assuming it is a break up is inaccurate and he’ll follow your lead there. Men take things literally so be careful what you say, most men haven’t been socialized to understand that a woman’s emotions change often and they when they emote they are being indirect in the meaning, where as you said he backing off is a breakup, because the emotion is to express confusion to him, he won’t read between the lines and see that you are confused by his actions, he’ll just see that she’s trying to control me by giving me an ultimatum and an all or nothing demand is what he heard by the thing you said. Hope this helps.

      • Lisa Dale Nunberg says:

        Jacques, that you so much for the reply! However, it’s going on 4 weeks now and I still haven’t heard from him. I haven’t reached out at all since the aforementioned “freak out” and I just don’t think he’s coming back. It hurts, what do you think?

        • Jacques says:

          You’re welcome glad I can help. 4 weeks is nothing, I’ve been apart from some women due to life happening for 20 years, and I’d still date them, once I have an emotional connection to a woman it remains. I’d reach out to him and take responsibility only for what you said and have done, not his behavior. Moving in together is a big deal for some men, it means change and for many change is not comfortable. I think if you let him know that perhaps you think that he should take things slower and that moving in is a big deal and can be scary he may find that you are empathetic to his plight. Renee has a link to another article of hers on how to talk to a man so he doesn’t pull away here: http://www.thefemininewoman.com/2012/04/talk-to-man-so-wont-pull-away-or-go-cold/
          I really think there is a disconnect in terms of image of mind of each of you, you want to progress the relationship further and he wants to do that too, however, the thought of being that close and not having space or a place to escape to when he’s dealing with strong emotions, may actually be upsetting him. Do contact him, just keep it light and friendly, no pressure and do your upmost to understand him.

          • Lisa Dale Nunberg says:

            So I actually did text him yesterday. It was very light hearted and friendly, I said no hope he’s doing great and that I had a dream about him that made me smile. I didn’t ask any questions, I didn’t send a text that required a respi se, but I’m surprised I didn’t hear from him. I don’t think I’m going to hear from him again.

            • Jacques says:

              Lisa honey, you’re rewarding him for his behavior and not addressing the truth here, he backed away, you got hurt, you made an assumption and those are the facts. Telling him you had a dream about him only appeals to women, unless it involved sex then he might be interested. I think you’re playing small and taking responsibility for his feelings and blaming yourself. I think doing this is going to hurt your self esteem, and I will as a man tell you directly stop giving up your power to anyone. Do by all means show him how competent you are and address the issue without anger, keep it on topic and light and friendly, without apology, because he made the first move to pull away you didn’t sabotage anything and you are not to blame here, he has to be held accountable for his actions and learn to deal with the consequences, that’s part of growing up.

              • Lisa Dale Nunberg says:

                I totally agree. What should even be said? Do you think I should contact him again at this point??

                • Jacques says:

                  What really needs to be said is how you really feel, perhaps you’re feeling disrespected and hurt, you can tell him that by saying… “Insert name, I feel disrespected and hurt when you pull away and disappear. I get that moving in together is a big step and could make you feel uneasy about it, and that’s perfectly normal, in fact I’m nervous too. I want to hear from you with in a week.” That’s all that needs to be said. If he doesn’t contact you after you’ve told him how you feel and empathized with him and how he feels and made a request for contact within a reasonable time frame, then by all means move on. It’s possible he not ready to commit and the more you play small the more he’s going to disrespect you and take you for granted, just because he’s scared of losing his freedom or autonomy does not give him a license to ghost you. Now if you haven’t told me everything and you did some things such as making demands or mistreating him in any way then you’ll need to make amends because he’s likely feeling dejected and not wanting to commit to you fully as he’s having reservations. There’s nothing wrong with being emotional however projecting those negative emotions could spell poison for a relationship.

                • Lisa Dale Nunberg says:

                  No, there’s nothing else. The situation literally is this simple. I just sent him a messgae, we will see if he replies. I’m not expecting him to, but we will see. I think this entire situation is shitty and very hurtful. I’m 31 years old and far too old to be dealing with this nonsense. Thank you so much Jacques, I appreciate it so much.

                • Jacques says:

                  You’re welcome Lisa. I’m glad I could be of help to you. I’m curious about something though. Is there a chance that you might be defensive often or distrustful of men in general? I do have a point by asking this.

                • Lisa Dale Nunberg says:

                  Yes, definitely.

                • Jacques says:

                  Ok so that clears things up more for me. What’s he’s doing is totally natural, mainly because he doesn’t want to move in with a man and doesn’t want to profess his love to a man, point is, when a woman becomes defensive, conflicted, or distrustful, she’s putting off masculine energy and a man will be turned off and will become more masculine and pull away. He may want sex from you and that is only because he’s visual, you look like a woman yet he can’t quite put his finger on why there’s something about you that makes him push pull or waffle on his commitment to you. I bet if you asked him if he finds you to be a bit defensive, or distrustful, I think you may get a resounding yes from him, basically it’s like you saying come here, but don’t get close.

                • Lisa Dale Nunberg says:

                  That was a bit much Jacques, but thanks anyway. Regardless of why, I’m past the point of blaming myself for his immaturity in handling a situation. He’s the one that brought it up and he’s the one that disappeared. I feel you may be over stepping a little.
                  No one can make anyone else do anything, we all control our words and actions. He chose his actions and I’m left to pick up the heartache. Thanks anyway, your words were hurtful.

                • Jacques says:

                  Not blaming anyone here. Your feelings are valid. My point is the same thing that Renee would tell you, defensiveness and distrust or avoidance of intimacy are masculine traits and it’s something that men do, so if you are doing these things, the key here is to stop doing it. It seems counter intuitive but it’s true, masculine attracts feminine and feminine energy is open and flowing not closed and defensive. I’m not talking about control either that’s a man thing too, or words or actions either, it’s an internal thing a personal growth thing and something that you will have to be willing to work on if you want the commitment you really want. I’m not saying you didn’t choose an immature man, maybe you did and as such it could be your compass needs to be calibrated so you attract that kind of love you want and deserve. You are a desirable woman, I can see that easily, but I think you may be getting in your own way. You may email Renee if you don’t choose to believe me, I’m very intuitive for a man, most men can’t describe this to you.

                  Marni Battista says the same thing here: http://dwdjv.com/c/s/s4U/645tL/v/pL/pfB/6L6FPC/fYB5QQT0K

                • Lisa Dale Nunberg says:

                  I believe you, for sure. Its something I’m aware of and am working on. I’ve gotten MUCH better over the last couple of years, but in this instance, I fail to see what I did wrong and I’ve been told by very trusted individuals that I did nothing wrong.
                  So, I’m not sure what’s going to happen, it is hurtful, to say the least as I’ve already mentioned… But, at the end of the day, I know its him choosing to ghost….I took your advice and sent that text, but I feel like its falling on blind eyes and deaf ears. C’est la vie…lessons learned I suppose. It was kind of quick he asked me to move in, we had been friends for about 3 months and in a relationship for less than 1 month.

                • Jacques says:

                  I agree you didn’t do anything wrong and I wasn’t trying to give you that impression, I was talking about mode of being, however after learning that this guy was moving so fast to lock you down shows me a big red flag, guys that do that don’t have other options and lack confidence, however some couple know what they want and move quickly and some move very slowly and 2 years of dating to me seems normal to make such a commitment of living together or even marrying.
                  Although it felt good perhaps to have him move things forward and desire to commit, I think this maybe where you felt nervous and may have recoiled a bit internally thanks to your intuition, which he picked up on and pulled away, perhaps when he realized that you found him out, however I think you have a big heart and as long as he was honest in his words and actions would of given him the benefit of the doubt.
                  I don’t think he’s a bad guy just that he may have self esteem and self worth challenges and may have put you on an idolized pedestal, to which he’s accepting his fantasy of you and not you which would lead to him feeling disappointed when he found out you’re a real woman and not something pulled out from a magazine. I don’t think that that’s fair to do that to you, and would show me that he didn’t love and accept you for you, which would lead to you getting your heart broken badly some time later, I think you dodged a bullet. I get that it hurts you, you had high hopes he’d be the one, but I think it’s better to learn things sooner rather than later. I really don’t see where you are any less than desirable and enough. Personal growth is a big deal for me so seeing that you are working on yourself, makes you even more desirable in my mind, it’s a values match for me. That’s a good thing. 🙂
                  Vulnerability is hard for many of us to do, it’s a chance we take that puts us face to face with our deepest fears. I’ve learned over the years that it’s a good thing to be vulnerable and tell our truth to others, it’s actually empowering when we find that were empathized with and accepted.
                  The reason I can relate to your story is that it’s happened to me with women. In my last relationship, I was flaked on and then in the end threatened. What I think was happening was that my GF at the time saw me as amazing and she may have felt inferior or had her own challenge with self worth which lead to her always being aloof, I went to see her the year before we last spoke, plans were laid out, I sent her my itinerary and flew to see her, I tried for 4 days to get her to reply to my emails, and the following Monday I let her know I was leaving for home because she didn’t show up. She cursed me for it, and told me her Grand Father had died over the weekend, but I knew it was an excuse because I had just seen him on that Saturday before leaving. We didn’t talk much after that until I told her I try again to come see her in August, where as she went on vacation with her GF, leaving me hanging again. That hurt, then when she returned home in October she said she had lost her dog, so I went all out contact people in her area and gave her an idea on how to find her dog, in November since not finding the dog I told her I wanted to come again and see if I could find the dog, after much arguing and her telling me, not to come as she would come see me, which was out of context the dog wasn’t lost near me. I laid off and in late January sent her a V-day gift which she said her father threw everything away and we were just friends and that if I write to her again she’d denounce me to the police, so I haven’t talked to her in 2 years because of that freak out and threat. Three months after she said that, she posted a photo of the boxing gloves and hand wraps I sent her, in a heart shape but because of that threat, I still didn’t contact her, so that’s my story and I spent the last 2 years trying to figure it out.
                  I don’t know if your BF has contacted you or not yet, it’s possible he will or maybe he won’t. However going forward I think it’s OK for you to continue to work on your challenges and see them as opportunities for growth and when you’re growing your living and that’s attractive. The other idea I had here is that if you and he live near each other and have mutual friends ask them how he is just I case there has been an accident and that’s why he doesn’t contact you, just to be sure were not jumping to conclusions. If that doesn’t work or can’t then take a GF with you and pay him a visit just to see him face to face, driving by his house everyday would be stalking, but genuine concern for his well being and checking on him is cool. If he isn’t so welcoming or warm ask him what’s up and to not be afraid to be honest.

                • Jacques says:

                  Lisa I actually replied to this the next day after you wrote and I apologize for it not showing up. I have no idea what happened however I’m glad I checked back here for replies. Anyhow, your feelings are still valid and I don’t think you did anything wrong either I’m not into blaming anyone, the whole blame game thing is co-dependency, also he’s not to blame here either. Point being in light of new information I don’t retract what I said, it too was valid. As of now armed with this new information you gave me about the time line of your relationship with your S.O. I do see a potential red flag but not a negative one, but an opportunity for growth here. When I guy tries to lock a woman down by way of moving fast such as making babies before he’s ready to be a father or moving in together or getting married suddenly before knowing another person this tells me he idealizes you and holds you on a pedestal. As good and romantic as this seems it creates the problem of disillusionment and later break up or divorce if you two were to get married.
                  Now it might seem counter intuitive to contact him again if he’s not in contact with you, however the point here is that in the past contact we weren’t addressing the issue. The issue here to me is that he’s scared of losing you and ultimately confirmed it in his own mind by you asking if it was a break up when he disappeared, this being dumped thing probably has happened to him before and often it’s due to lack of intimate communication, he probably doesn’t discuss his fears with you, and his trying to move quickly to move in together, seems overly confident and a bit foolish on his part, 3 months should be the milestone of forming a relationship not really moving in together, that can wait and he needs to have that pressure taken off him and let him know that you are not going to break up with him because he got scared, and the reason I’m saying this is that he seems like a nice guy and could use some empathy and compassion for being human and you are the single most important person to express that to him which puts you in the top 1% of women that can do that for a man, he’ll feel safe and he’ll establish trust more in you and stick around because he feels safe with his best friend and girl friend, two roles you need to play in his life.
                  I don’t know if he contacted you or not, but if he hasn’t do contact him or have a GF of yours go with you to see him to just make sure he’s alright, and keep in mind he too will be on high alert and a bit defensive so try to be vulnerable to lead by example and he can mirror your body language and mode of being.

                • Butterfly Queen says:

                  I think calling him to say that you are unsure where your relationship stands but that you would like to talk and the door is still open for him.

  • Thomson Shellie says:

    Please tell me what to do my husband is very critical on me and asks me to do so much, I normally do it, but he just keeps piling on more. We separated about 3 years ago because he developed an emotional connection with another woman, we he has not stopped talking to I’ve told him if he wants to explore his options he can just not while he’s with me, I’ve talked to him about it before when he was being too flirty with her talking about Cumming together. I told him how it hurts me, but whenever they respond a rough patch in our relationship he will go to her. I try to understand him but I’m more now just fed up with it since he spends more time and goes more out of his way for this woman and his friends, he still does nice things for me, buys groceries for our kids, help me get my car fixed, but what do I do? Any suggestions

  • Thomson Shellie says:

    Please tell me what to do my husband is very critical on me and asks me to do so much, I normally do it, but he just keeps piling on more. We separated about 3 years ago because he developed an emotional connection with another woman, he has not stopped talking to her I’ve told him if he wants to explore his options he can, just not while he’s with me, I’ve talked to him about it before when he was being too flirty with her talking about Cumming together. I told him how it hurts me, but whenever we have a rough patch in our relationship he will go to her. I try to understand him but I’m more now just fed up with it since he spends more time and goes more out of his way for this woman and his friends, he still does nice things for me, buys groceries for our kids, help me get my car fixed, but what do I do? This is a picture of the sex cam girl.

  • Adam says:

    I think many people are getting this article mixed up with relationship problems bordering on breakups, but I think the real aim of this article was meant to be applied to stable relationships and the day to day interactions with your SO, not referring to “breaks” in a relationship. As a married man I can say that this article hits the nail on the head, I adore my wife but by the time I’ve worked a full week, dealt with the various issues life throws at you daily, worked on the honey do list, and who knows what else every week, I am in desperate need of some “me” time to unwind. I usually spend a Friday or Saturday night, once she is tired or in bed, in solitude (reading, games, tv etc.) However it has been EXCEPTIONALLY difficult to get across to her that this withdrawal is not in any way a desire to get away from her in particular, simply a way to get away from the stresses in life for a bit and center myself. Because men (at least myself) tend to get horribly stressed out and time to do our own thing goes a long way toward having the emotional energy to give our significant other more (because we simply don’t have as much of it as you ladies do and we perceive the world differently) However when we are attacked or punished for doing this it will absolutely cause resentment and that is where we begin to pull away even more, because yes there is nothing more aggravating than not being able to do what you want to do as a grown man (or knowing that it will result in some icy cold behavior) I personally don’t mind one bit if my wife wants to go do something with her friends or be alone, and I would never dream of telling her she can’t or treat her differently or unkindly simply because she needed some “girl” time. All that to say this article is spot on, don’t punish us ladies, we really are doing what feels natural and what helps us feel BEST so that we can be the best, for you all.

  • Gesamtzusammenhang says:

    I’m a male, and stumbled on this post after looking into a few relationship things. It’s an interesting perspective. Some of the wording is vague (“masculine ‘energy'”; “freedom”), but I think it’s onto something. The scientific portion could have been better developed. I suspect that women have a simplistic idea of male biology, simply because it seems straightforward and less complex than their own.

    Among other things, testosterone regulates mood, emotion, and boosts esteem and confidence. It’s not that women are more emotional – both genders have the same repertoire of emotions (although there is strong evidence, based on the fact that the male hypothalamus is 2.2 times larger than the females’, that men are capable of greater emotional intensity than women). It’s that women have lower levels of testosterone (it’s still present in small amounts), which would otherwise temper their reactions to events or stimuli.

    Testosterone levels drop during a relationship, especially for men that become fathers. The evolutionary reason for this is that testosterone assists in the competition for females. If you already have someone you’ve reproduced with, you’ve grown somewhat removed from the competition. But the blowback for losing testosterone is immediate: less mood regulation, depression, loss of confidence, and feelings of lost adequacy (this is men’s health 101). It’s not necessarily that men are loath to commit, it’s that commitment may make us feel like our very being is in a process of erosion. In such a case, Renee would be correct to point out that this process is completely independent from whether or not a man is in love with you. You can be in love with someone, and still feel like your mind is in turmoil.

  • Stewart Moir says:

    I’m a guy and reading this kinda helped me answer some questions I had about my own actions. Thanks!

  • Squidday says:

    Men are like rubber bands. When they pull away, they can only stretch so far before they come springing back.

    Sometimes men need to take a step back for a while. There’s every possibility that it has nothing to do with you. Although if it feels like he’s completely lost interest, I recommend checking out Slade Shaw’s guide. He basically goes into the male psychology on why men lose interest and how to make him stay in love. Really interesting stuff. Here’s direct a link to his video/guide: tinyurl.com/SladesVideo

    My advice would be try not to take it personally. (Easier said than done I know!)

    • CocoLena says:

      Love the rubber band metaphor! And thank you for the great share Squidday.

      • Jo says:

        But what if you feel like he’s cheating on you? Cause you find him saying he needs space and he talks to other women about our relationship and recently I found an email from enquiringly about a sex party. He denied everything. I know he’s stressed but how am I give him space when I don’t trust him?

        • ADB227 says:

          I think what is mixing is the context. If he is just kind of doing his thing for a few days, that is a different feeling than ignoring you completely and just dropping in whenever he desires.
          It is ok to say how you feel, using “i feel” expressions, and set some boundaries.
          They might not be women, but we aren’t doormats.
          Space is good, games are games.
          I like to ask if this behavior is the norm, then I am asking about the behavior , so it doesn’t feel like an attack.
          If he wants more space than you want to give, you also have the option to keep “your” options open.
          We aren’t love slaves. 🙂

        • Villager says:

          Stop it! Men don’t cheat. They simply look for better sex wherever it can be found. This cannot be negotiated. When any woman does not know how to manage a man sexually, she makes him a prey of the other woman waiting to manage him well if she is more knowledgeable in the game..

  • Squidday says:

    Men are like rubber bands. When they pull away, they can only stretch so far before they come springing back.

    Sometimes men need to take a step back for a while. There’s every possibility that it has nothing to do with you. Although if it feels like he’s completely lost interest, I recommend checking out Slade Shaw’s guide. He basically goes into the male psychology on why men lose interest and how to make him stay in love. Really interesting stuff. Here’s direct a link to his video/guide: tinyurl.com/SladeVideo

    My advice would be try not to take it personally. (Easier said than done I know!)

  • Optimistic85 says:

    Hi Renee,
    I agree with your article and am trying to do point number 1 at the moment and I definitely do feel less worry than I would do normally. I think I understand why the guy I’m dating is pulling away, as we were very close at the weekend and I could kinda feel that it was too much for him even though he was enjoying it. He refused my last date request and now I haven’t heard from him in 2 days, he normally contacts me every day. I’m leaving him alone but how long does it have to be till it turns from giving him space to he’s no longer interested. If I haven’t heard from him in a week, I won’t be able to help but feel rejected. Feeling confused. If you could shed some light on this that would be great. 🙂 Thanks.

  • Yasashii says:

    I started dating AJ 6 weeks ago.. We instantly connected physically and mentally. His career requires a lot of his time that it’s very unpredictable when he can go home everyday. Sometimes he comes home at 2am. And trust is not the issue. I trust him. He often tells me that he hasn’t been this much open to anyone, that he never thought he can be this close so quickly because he never had a real connection since 8 years ago. Therefore , we hangout on weekends. I go to his place since he lives in NY and me in NJ 🙁
    5 weeks into dating, he have me driving his car, ez pass and all so it’ll be easier and less expensive for us to see each other..
    This weekend Friday we had a great date, I went to work the next day then called him to see if he wants to hang out again…
    He asked if he could take this weekend to himself to get back to his own space.
    I flipped out and have him an attitude.. I confused and feel like he’s pushing me away. He did admit he feels like this is too much for him. I asked him if he wants to break up, he said he’s doing the opposite. I’m not comfortable w this and I’m beginning to feel that we are just not on the same page.
    I need an opinion.

  • Coco Lee says:

    How do i know he really needs a break or it’s just a way to break up

    • ADB227 says:

      This is one piece of advice that is very “iffy” –
      I like progressive men, and I refuse to deal with this.
      Yes, I can understand if there are a few days where you don’t say much to each other, but to completely ignore someone sporadically, for ‘whatever’ reason is rude and controlling. Do you want to spend years feeling like you are disposable?
      Man cave issues are more about a short length of time, but keeping in touch still.
      Not completely “gone” for a few days at a time.
      Think how they would react if we did this.
      They would be very worried!
      Get some guy who values ‘you’, and will at the least give you a heads up.
      I don’t know any successful or confident woman who would deal with that crap.
      Just my opinion 🙂
      (if you think they want “space”, turn it around on them and tell them “you” want space … watch how quick they “get it”.)

  • ScubaBee says:

    If I could give one big piece of advice it would be when a man pulls away, try not to take it personally. Believe me, I know this is way easier said than done. Everything is going great, you start to think this guy could be the one and then boom, he disappears for what seems to be no apparent reason.

    If you can relate to this, it probably isn’t your fault. Although it’s impossible to give an exact reason why he pulled away, most of the time it’s his own personal issue’s.

    If it’s really bugging you, there’s an amazing guide by Slade Shaw. He shows you why men lose interest and how to stop him from wanting to pull away. Here is a direct link to his video and guide: tinyurl.com/WhyMenPull

  • Amber Gregory. says:

    Hello my name is Amber. Me and my boyfriend have been dating for a long time. We have been arguing lately alot. Being a women and all it hurts when he pulls away in these moments. Hes been going through a rough patch in his life and he used to talk to me and come to me for help but not anymore. He pushes me away in these times. I understand its hard for a man to be emotional with someone but it sucks for me. I hate seeing him unhappy and i would like to just make him happy. He pulls away and tells me he loves me but i would think you would go to someone you love for comfort instead of pulling away, guys are so confusing.

  • BarnsleyKate99 says:

    When a man pulls away, try not to take it personally. Believe me, I know this is way easier said than done. Everything is going great, you start to think this guy could be the one and then boom, he disappears for what seems to be no apparent reason.

    If you can relate to this, it probably isn’t your fault. Although it’s impossible to give an exact reason why he pulled away, most of the time it’s his own personal issue’s.

    If it’s really bugging you, there’s an amazing guide by Slade Shaw. He shows you why men lose interest and how to stop him from wanting to pull away. Below is a direct link to his video and guide:


  • Alaina Montaner says:

    Hi this really helpemed me understand my husband . We are young married couples but have been together for 5 years. We just got married last december 10, 2015. When we got married it was a difficult time for the two of us. I had a problem with my school and for me to be able to stay in the country where we are we need to get marrried. And before we pyshed through to this decision I told him if he is not ready yet i will be more than happy to go home and just wait on the time that we will see each other again but then we are already living together for a year and we are looking forward to that to but honestly we were not that ready. The first six months of marriage was very fruitful and he is very sweet and all he wanted to do is for us end for me to be happy. About July this year he started texting a girl from work and it was like every day. And i keep on telling him off ( in a nice way) that i feel uncomfortable with his conversatiins with her. Then he told me i do not trust him and they are just friends but as time goes by i caught him lying and even caught them together somewhere he told me he will go alone to. I have also read their messages to each other and found my husband saying i love you to her. Then i forgave him, i told him that i know what he is doing and he cannot lie to me like that. But after that something happen again and i forgave him. Then we are trying to put our relatiinshio back but there are times that paranoia kills me and Cant avoid telling him something about his affair. Like why did you do that? why did you lie? are you still talking to her?
    Things like this annoyed him then it comes to a point that he told me he is not happy anymore, that marrying me was a terrible mistake. He said we are still young and he told me to find another man that will better my life. I told him i do not want to, i will stay here no matter what Give us a year. It will take time just keep the faith.

    at the moment i just do not want to give up. Itrying to understand him more and focus on what will make me grow as a person as well. I cannot leave him even if he ask me to and i do not know why. I love him and i will not give up. But my question to myself is how long should i wait for him to be the old him?

  • disqus_2nc2Fuc410 says:

    A guy told me he wanted a break from me today. Just a few days ago, he wanted space. After a few hours, he wanted to talk again and told me that no matter how much he said he wanted space, what he really wanted was me. He told me how much he loves me multiple times, and that I was the best thing to ever happen to him. Even so, last time it was awful not having any communication at all. I wanted to help, but I knew I couldn’t and I kept wondering what I had done. Today we hung out for a few hours with mutual friends. We were joking around, laughing, and he acted closer than ever before. Now he tells me he needs a break. I asked him if I had done something. He said no. I left it at that. Is it normal for a guy to want space so often? Just when I feel that I’m making some sort of progress, he closes himself off again.

    • Anna says:

      That bastard!))) I know exactly how you feel. They ARE frm Mars…

      • Maria says:

        Hi Anna. I see that you have a lot to say on this forum. Much of it seems like you are trying to push your own agenda. Your responses seem to go against much of Renee’s advice. The advice whom these posters are seeking, not yours. If you disagree with her, then why are you trolling her forums?

    • ADB227 says:

      This is one piece of advice that is very “iffy” –
      I like progressive men, and I refuse to deal with this.
      Yes, I can understand if there are a few days where you don’t say much to each other, but to completely ignore someone sporadically, for ‘whatever’ reason is rude and controlling. Do you want to spend years feeling like you are disposable?
      I have facilitated a boundaries group for women.
      If you give that power away, and let them disappear and reappear for whatever reason, they are not going to feel like you have confidence or a backbone.
      It sounds to me like he is indecisive, in this case, so he keeps jerking you around.
      Man cave issues are more about a short length of time, but keeping in touch still.
      Not completely “gone” for a few days at a time.
      Think how they would react if we did this.
      They would be very worried!
      Get some guy who values ‘you’, and will at the least give you a heads up.
      I don’t know any successful or confident woman who would deal with that crap.
      Just my opinion 🙂
      (if you think they want “space”, turn it around on them and tell them “you” want space … watch how quick they “get it”.)

  • audreyrosa says:

    Hello Renee,

    I seem to run into the same issues with “relationships” over and over again. I start dating someone, and years go by – we spend time together, go on vacations, and enjoy each other. However, I never get the “girlfriend” title. Months to years go by, if we have “the talk”, he’ll usually say “I don’t know what I want”, and I’ll eventually move on. It isn’t until after I move on, months or even years into the next “relationship”, that the last man tries to come back into my life calling, texting, sending flowers, or even showing up at my door with tears in his eyes declaring his love, telling me that I was “the one that got away”. A couple of these past men have even been married at the time of saying this to me:( This happens in almost every relationship that I have had in my adult life, other than my ex-fiance.

    I’m in a new relationship now. We’ve been dating for over a year, and I really care for this one. I haven’t felt like this since my ex-fiance. He enters a room, and even if I’m upset, I can’t help but light up. His brother even refers to me as “giggles” because I’m always laughing when I’m at their house. However, he always seems to pull away and avoids anything too couple-y such as valentines day or spending time during holidays. He makes comments such as “oh you must have plans with someone else after you leave here” or “every man I see looks at you, you can have any man you want”. I’ll reply with I want and admire you too much to give any other man a chance, and then he’ll pull away again. I don’t want to let go of him. I also don’t want this to be another one of “those past relationships”. I don’t want him to only want to claim me after I’ve been through so much pain that I walk away. How do I inspire him to commit now while I’m here in front of him?

    • Anna says:

      Umm not to sound rude, don’t you think it’s up to you? Dating someone for years without changing status is unacceptable (at least if you dislike it). Have you read The Rules? I think it might help.

      • Maria says:

        Hi Anna. I see that you have a lot to say on this forum. Much of it seems like you don’t really read the original post. If you read above, Audrey says that she moves on and is trying to not get to that point in this new relationship. But perhaps you didn’t read that because you seem to be trying to push your own agenda. Your responses seem to go against much of Renee’s advice. The advice whom these posters are seeking, not yours. If you disagree with her, then why are you trolling her forums?

        • Haifa Sekkouah says:

          Hi maria,

          you are a bit annoying. This is the second cut and paste response you have left for Anna. Let the woman speak. People who comment sometimes want to hear a range of opinions too.

    • Diana says:

      I wish some men would actually answer all us Ladies’ questions!!!! Seriously. I want to hear some advice. I’m sure I’m not the only one :/
      Audreyrosa I feel for you! It is frustrating and I don’t get it either.

  • Keliandra Luoma says:

    This -just- happened to me.

    We are in a LDR, him in Melbourne and me in Seattle. Last weekend we were making plans for me to come visit him for 2 weeks to celebrate his birthday and intro me to his friends and family. He was taking pictures of every room in his house and showing them to me. Sending me photos of his yard and garden. Showing me old photos of him very young with his late wife. Sending me a photo of him and his father. Taking pictures of the cat. Sharing photos of his late wife and
    telling me about her. Asking to see photos of my family and a younger me.

    Telling me that I am amazing, wonderful, astounding, a treasure, that he was lucky to find a woman like me [again], that he is incredibly happy being with me, that it makes him feel puffed up with pride to be my man. He says that I am “100% his
    and he is never letting me go”. He calls me his Princess and tells me that I am worthy of respect, consideration and devotion and so much more. Telling me
    that he was enamoured/besotted with me and that if he didn’t care about me so
    much and enjoy me, he wouldn’t spend so much time with me.

    Wednesday he mentioned being stressed because his parents have health issues. His mum is declining rapidly and that there is a major reorganisation at work. He takes care of his parents and his late wife’s mother. Both he and she were only
    children. We talked about his stress. I said that I was sticking, not running away
    and asked if he needed time to deal with all of the local stuff. He said he is not letting me go and that we would be ok, but that he tends to clam up, withdraw and not talk when he is under stress like this and he wanted to make sure I know it. Fair enough. Then he left me a message that he was going to dinner at Dad’s and would talk to me the next morning.

    Then I didn’t hear from him for TWO days! He didn’t pick up his text messages. He didn’t ring me, he didn’t respond to emails. I was worried that something
    physically happened to him and was getting frantic. I was terrified that he had left me, that his feelings had changed that suddenly, that he had changed his mind about wanting me, that I was no longer enough for him, that it had all been some sick game. I was sad, crying, angry, fearful and physically ill.

    I talked a couple of my guy friends and they both said to calm down and give him space. That a man does NOT switch off his feelings that quickly. That I am an amazing, wonderful, talented, FEMININE woman and that they envy him for possessing me. (Yes, a lot of my friends are very masculine and dominant men.) That he needs to concentrate on his local responsibilities. And that he had been spending 6+ hours a day with me on the phone and in text/ email and that he needs to rest and recharge.

    I was still pretty unhappy and mostly convinced that it was over and that I wasn’t enough for him to commit again (since his wife’s passing). Then he sent me a message last night:

    “I’m just going thru a lot of crap right now. Everyone wants a piece of me but I’m tired and just can’t be stuffed. I feel like I’ve run out of gas. I’m sorry for not following thru the next day. That’s unacceptable I know. There’s nothing you
    can do to help. I need to sort it out myself. Sorry for letting you down. Going
    to log off for a few days and devote all my time to fixing things. I hope you
    understand. XoXo”

    Before I replied I got an email from Renee with a link to this article. Renee, your email was the timeliest thing I have ever witnessed! Reading the subject line” Why men pull away and how to deal with it?” stopped me in my tracks. I almost felt like a friend had thrown a glass of water in my face and shocked me back into sense. I read it immediately. Because of her email I scrapped the hurt, angry, fearful reply I had been writing and wrote this instead:

    “Kisses! Yes, I understand, love. Thank you for letting me know. you have NOT let me down, not in the slightest! Not following through is completely
    understandable in this case and you are forgiven with my whole heart. Deal with the crap, get it sorted. I believe in you, darling. I just needed to hear that you are physically ok because I was worried. I’m not bailing at the first sign of trouble. I am waiting for you. Come back to me when you are ready. Take all of the time you need love, I’m right here and not going anywhere. Take care of yourself.”

    I am hoping that I said the right thing. So in the interim, I will finish getting myself
    sorted and into my new flat here in Seattle. I will find friends and develop routines and establish my independent life. Now I can do it cheerfully. I will keep in contact with him every few days so that he knows I am still here, still thinking about him and loving, but I will make no demands on his time. I am fairly* confident that he will be back. (*Fairly because this is the first time I have ever reacted with love and understanding and not fear, hurt and anger.) This man is so worth the effort it is taking me to understand.

    Apologies for the length of my comment. I wanted to present as complete a picture as possible in hopes that others can relate. Time will tell and I will post an update when I get one.

    • Diana says:

      OMG! I can relate sooooo much in EVERYTHING you say!!! also with the reply and timely manner. This def threw a bucket of water in my face too! Thank you so much for your long novel! Very worth reading!

      • ADB227 says:

        I think the theme I keep seeing is the guy pulling away, we are playing these guessing games in our heads, then he comes back, then reappears.
        Unless he is dying or someone close, there is a word called ‘communication’.
        So just ask him.
        If you don’t like the answer, he doesn’t deserve your love, dump him.
        Let me tell you, nothing helps a man decide more quickly thank telling them you are done, or need space.
        If he wants to be with you, he will find a way.
        Cool guys communicate.
        They don’t have to play head games.
        They are secure enough to say what is going on.
        Again, a few hours and a brief text is much different than being controlling
        and disappearing without saying a word for days.
        Keep that confident energy and trust your instincts.
        You are a catch!

    • Diana says:

      you posted this 5 months ago. So what is the current deal?

      • Keliandra Luoma says:

        He disappeared for another 5 weeks, then a week after he came back, apologising, I found out that his “late” wife is very much still alive. I caught him in a lie that unraveled his entire house of cards.

        • Diana says:

          OMG! How in the world did he take all this time to manage this? You guys talked all the time? Was he separated or something? What a douche bag! I’m so sorry for you! :/

  • Jodsmitty says:

    My boyfriend and I moved in together this past weekend. We were both extremely happy about the forward progress of our relationship. We have been together for 1 year and a half now, he is 30 and I am 32. He was hesitant about telling his family we were moving in together for fear of ridicule because we aren’t married or engaged. However, he has spoken to many of his friends about this move and about a future engagement. Upon speaking with his family, he has become withdrawn. They did not ridicule him for moving in with me. However, they have stated that he is with the wrong girl, and that they don’t think I make him happy. At first he said we would be fine, but after a day, he said it has caused him immediate doubt in our relationship. His father, brother, and sister all told him the same thing. He respects and admires his fathers opinion and this is weighing heavily on him and our relationship. We have had our fair share of tiffs, however, we can also sit down and have a serious discussion about anything! I am absolutely furious that he is allowing this to have such a detrimental affect on our relationship. He states that he had doubt before, but I told him that he wouldn’t have moved in and been so excited to tell people about it and that he was thinking about an engagment if it was that concerning. Before reading this article, I lashed out at him for being so withdrawn, and for allowing this to sabatoge us. I don’t know what to do, or if I can do anything. I am extremely hurt that his family would say that and I am angry at him for not standing up for our relationship. I don’t know how long I am suppose to let him “think about what he is going to do”. All the while his behavior has changed and I’m so very hurt. With him being withdraw, not discussing things with me, and getting angry over little things it makes it very difficult to be understanding. I just don’t know what to do.

    • Anna says:

      Sorry it sucks. I wouldn’t move in with him before marriage. Especially since he sounds like an old fashioned type. Move out asap and tell him YOU need to think… After he crawls back begging you to be with him. Tell him let’s date 3 more months to see where this thing is going… Put a deadline but let him decide. In the end it’s up to him whether or not he sees you as a worthy catch. Try to at least act like one!

      • Maria says:

        Hi Anna. I see that you have a lot to say on this forum. Your responses seem to go against much of Renee’s advice. The advice whom these posters are seeking, not yours. If you disagree with her, then why are you trolling her forums?

  • Jeanie says:

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 months. We took a vacation in month 5 with my adult children (he’s 42 and I am 48). We had a wonderful time. However, when we returned work took over for both of us. It was over 3 1/2 weeks since we last saw each other. I felt that if he really wanted to see me, he would have made time but I kept my comments to myself. Anyway, we decided we were going to spend last weekend together no matter what. We even both joked about it. Well, Friday night came I texted him to let him know I was home. No response. Two hours later I called him only to get a stuttered tone that he was on the other line. He didn’t click over nor did he call back. By midnight I was livid. I drove to his home (45 minutes away) and he wasn’t even there. I called him about 6 times after that to him answering and I lost it. He acted as though I was the one with the problem. I gave him a nice FU and hung up. HE THEN decides to text me and asks where are you? I am close to home? I am home now. I responded with a few GFY (GO F Yourself…) and his last response was Love You, Sorry:( I was so hurt and devastated that he would do this. My thoughts are he was out with someone else or he didn’t want to see me and didn’t know what to say. Well he called the next day but I didn’t answer and he hasn’t called again nor have I called or texted. I am not going to contact him because I felt he was so disrespectful to me. No idea what got into his head as when we spoke earlier that day, we had a normal conversations as always. Should I just walk away from this completely and look at it as though this man is selfish and really self absorbed. Or is this his pull away moment. When I say he has never done this before… He has always been present and up front with EVERYTHING. We have talked marriage, moving in together, etc… I am at a loss right now.

  • Matisse says:

    My way of pulling away as a woman after all of these years is to get lost in my hobby gardening. I can get so lost that hours go by and I never even notice! I don’t care who is around and wanting to be alone. I’m creating in it, planting,digging,raking,etc.. and doing what I love. Hoping I am alone to meditate, hear the birds,fountain and animals and yes dig in the dirt,etc.. etc…

  • Matisse says:

    I strongly believe my husband withdrew from me for two reasons. One I scared him saying I’m not sure if I love you anymore in the middle of fighting. I believe he is afraid he will lose me. Why? Not just because I said that but also, he feels he is looking older then me and I lost attraction some. I haven’t been as intimate. Second, he hates his job hates it but is afraid to openly say this. I feel he is not sure what he wants to do quit or try and make it work. I hope eventually he comes back and says I quit I hate that stupid job! Going to find something better that I enjoy a lot more,etc.. I told him I do love you very much! I was stupid and lash out in anger not thinking first. I hope he can forgive me. If not we didn’t have much of a marriage all these years and I was kidding myself. I am trusting him and that he misses me so much he comes back for good. Surprise he has shown up to help me on weekends. I’m acting like nothing is happening.

  • Cathy Drechsler says:

    Hi i feel like my boyfriend is closed off emotionally a little one side. I wanted to get some advice.  So we have been together for 1yr and 6mths both 37 both work m-f live 10 no kids for either of us.  (he has never been involved a long term relationship longest it has been is 6mths.  So we see each other 3 nights a week, i have been asking for more time with him but every time I do it causes a major fight and he claims that he feels like i think that he doesn’t do enough for me and he does but I simply want more times with him meaning staying the night and when i say that it is not always for the physical reason it is because I enjoy his company.  He gets fustrated, so he finally compromised not happy about it gave me 1 extra night a month  (and he of course brings it back up like look at what i did for you).  He counts the number of nights he has stayed at my house.  So i have a long weekend coming up and won’t see him for 5 days because we don’t see each other until Thursday night and I won’t get back until Monday so I asked him if he would see me the Tuesday night and he had a fit.  I would think any normal boyfriend or girlfriend would want to see there boyfriend or girlfriend after a few days of my not seeing them.  It is weird to me and unsettling.  So that is an issue,  another issue is he shows no public displays of affection and when i did hold his arm he told me that i wrinkled his shirt, all i am asking for is a hand hold, and if I want to cuddle in private i have to initiate that he has cuddled me but he does cuddle me when he feels like it, so i feel that alot of things are done when he feels comfortable.  I iniate all forms of texts and phone calls.  if i did not contact him, he would not contact me, and talking about the future is not really talked about, i have brought the subject and he will say, “lets not dampen the night by talking about the future lets just enjoy the night”.  Which annoys me he makes it sound likes it is a bad thing to bring up.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • Butterfly Queen says:

      I think that it would very beneficial to you and your relationship for you to “stop rowing the boat”. Do not initiate any more texts or calls. Do not ask for more time together (honestly for a six month relationship you are spending an awful lot of time together and there is no time for him to miss you or wonder about you). Instead of focusing so much energy on him, begin to focus on you. Dating yourself. Hanging out with friends. Going out and doing things that you want to do without him. You soul will blossom and then you will be able to see clearly which way to go concerning him.

      • Cathy Drechsler says:

        We have been going together for a 1yr. I think the time should be increasing..

        • Butterfly Queen says:

          It already has increased yet you still sound dissatisfied. Additionally, you’re doing all the work. It would help greatly if you reread my comment and take it in. I think if you did you would notice him moving toward you and there would be less fighting or work on your part.

          Of course its your choice.

    • Diana says:

      Ugh!!! I see your confusion too well yet I also see it from the outside. Your comment is from 6 months ago but from me as an outside person, this guy is taking you for granted and just likes you there until he finds someone else or because he is lazy. You deserve better. Yet I understand the shitty feeling when you want someone soooo badly, because you truly care but you’re never quite there. It’s only easy for me to say all this bc I’m on the outside. But trust me, I know the feeling and wish I could see my own situations as clearly.
      Are you still with him?

  • Brandon says:

    Women who get burned by distant and flaky guys think that they should put up this “bitchy” personality to get guys chasing them, and it only makes things even worse. I found an interesting post on why men love “bitches” – http://www.datingadviceguru.com/3-shocking-reasons-why-men-love-bitches-or-do-they/

  • Tez says:

    My boyfriend has become extremely distant and has definitely pulled away from me. Lastnight I asked him about it, I just asked him ‘is everything ok between us’ he said yea everything is fine why do you ask. I then said ‘because I feel you are being distant’ at first he didn’t respond and closed his eyes as if going to sleep, so I asked him if he heard me and repeated the question. He then said he didn’t want to talk about it and he cannot open up with me because I just give him ultimatums and he doesn’t feel comfortable opening up to me anymore. Although I felt quite hurt by what he said, I told him I don’t agree with that. There was a bit of silence and then I told him I was sorry he felt that way and that has never been my intention or heart for him to feel that way. He accepted my apology, more silence. I then turned over to him and kissed his forehead and said goodnight. After this he put his arms around me cuddled me, the first time he had done this in weeks, he then continued to touch me during the night and cuddle me. Today I am still a bit hurt by what has been said, Im at work and I haven’t text him. I kissed him goodbye this morning and told him I loved him. I just want to know what should I do next? I get hurt because he talks to my flatmate more then me when he’s at my house, and teases me infront of her. I don’t want to seem needy or insecure by bringing my flatmate situation up and don’t know how to bring up his whole distance thing again without him going off again. I want him to feel safe to open up to me but I don’t know how to do this, but I also want him to understand how his actions make me feel. How do I do this in a positive and respectful way? I’m starting to feel awkward and uncomfortable around him and i don’t want to feel like this. I don’t even want to go back home after work and feel I need some space or time out myself now.

  • Brandon Au says:

    I really love one point that was made in this article: “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.”

    However, I would like to add one more point here. Although you should be forgiving, but receiving your man back right away could make him feel like it’s too easy to get back together, and he may withdraw from you again with the mentality that you always need him, and he can come back any time he wants.

    So instead of receiving him back openly right away and look like a needy woman, you should give him a little challenge. For example, tell him that you need a couple days to think about it. Most men will go crazy while waiting for your answer; and they will do anything to make you happy again and forgive him. And when you forgive him and accept him back, he will truly be happy about it and will think twice the next time he feels like withdrawing from you.

    So that’s just my point, my girlfriend did the same thing to me when I was the man withdrawing from her. I was really scared that she might never forgive me, but she did after she took sometime to think about it. So I hope what I shared here can really help you if you face the same situation.

    I have also written an article about the 7 other reasons why men pull away from women. If you have some time, feel free to read my article here:

    • ADB227 says:

      I wish Renee’s advice was a little more clear. I don’t think a man will respect you if, for example, he withdraws for days at a time and you take him back every time.
      This is much different from a guy coming home and going into his man-cave for a few hours.
      I just had a guy I have been dating for almost a month disappear on his weekend free from watching his son, after we had an amazing night together on a Thursday evening.
      Of course, he contacted me Sunday evening. He called and left a message. It is Monday morning, and I texted him that “I would get back to him soon”. I am making him sweat it out, so he can learn some of his own medicine, and hopefully not do this to someone again. He is not a big communicator in the first place, but I will not be thought of as an option instead of a priority.
      So I don’t know if my only choice is to not respond>? If he wants me back, he will try to contact me, and the reasoning better be good. I already had a date for Sunday evening since he can’t seem to be consistent with communication. I am moving forward, but still not happy with my options.

      • GinaS13 says:

        It is so frustrating. Same issue and I told him I don’t want games but then he pulls stuff like this. Isn’t that a game?

    • Diana says:

      thank you. reading this, did help!!

  • Diane says:

    My boyfriend and I were going great then he lost his job since then I haven’t heard from him. It’s been a little over a week since he text and 2 weeks since FaceTime.. He lives in another state. I am tempted to fly out there. Afraid of losing him if I don’t. What should I do?

    • Butterfly Queen says:

      In this situation, I think it’s okay to send a text. Something light but supportive. Maybe a question he can answer. Don’t lay anythinh heavy on him or ask him about the status of the relationship. If youve been together awhile you might be able to take the risk of going to see him. Keep expectations in check.

      Many hugs!

    • danika says:

      What did you do? The way to deal with it is to wait on him first! When he contacts be open and loving. If you feel the need to ask why so little contact, tell him you love your chats and it felt too long. It’s nice to hear from him again.

      The thing is say it once and TRUST he will respond to that! However and whatever when He’s ready.

      actions is everything!!!!!

      The thing is men like to Persue! So the majority of contact and or arrangements should be him.

      Be intuitive too…….. I could go on.

      • ADB227 says:

        Why did you say, “What did you do”? Renee isn’t asking us to be unconfident doormats! Please. It sounds like he might possibly be depressed. Whatever the case, I would ask if he is “okay”. A huge shift in communication like that over an extended period is stressful and rude. I would want to know what is going on. There is space, and there is disrespect. You decide how you want to be treated. 🙂

  • ananya singh says:

    thank u soooooooo much the only thing i want to ask is what if he is back to me but still he is running away… is it lke he loves me thats why he is back and he s running because he needs space.. and how to give him space if in a relationship..?

  • Pandoraslocket says:

    This is very good medicine!

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  • S Tyson says:

    So what do you do when its your families causing all the confusion? How do you stay connected?

  • Lena says:

    This is a very valuable article. I just read it, but I know that I can apply it, it helped me understand so much in a quick instant 😉 Thank you!

  • Balt says:

    “Pulling away” is my first (actually second) indication that I am about to get dumped. It’s a terrible, confidence-destroying feeling.

  • Imogen Williams says:

    Makes perfect sense, but I have read this all a bit too late.

  • Nicole says:

    In regards to this article, I would have to suggest that many women, in cluding myself, have happened upon this page because they desire answers. I would suggest for the author to further pursue context.

    The inherent issu is that, culturally, this changes due to cultural and phsychological situations. Likewise, I feel that sometimes, a women–such as myself–are endlessly forgiving and willing to wait many hours or days to receive a hello. In this case, I would have to believe that there is another problem brewing entirely. I would advise to supply other websites that are backed by organizations to help a women understand the context in which you are providing guidance.

    However so, I appreciate what you are aiming to help with, and will keep in mind the aspect of not jumping on them with your feelings. I realize that I become bottled up with frustration and anger while waiting endlessly for my other half to recognize me–and I explode. It is also exceptionally difficult when distance is a key factor in this issue and frustration. Making my ‘relationship’ (if you would like to call it that) almost completely shared through texting.

    Thank you for your desire to help and for your time and consideration.

    Have a magical day!

    • danika says:

      I can see where your coming from! But the problem is not that your frustrated and angry (as that’s how you feel)

      It’s how you deal with it and project it onto him.

  • Mikey says:

    I’m just a normal guy, who always ends up in fucked up situations…

  • cyra valent says:

    How do you keep yourself from resenting them? The man i have been seeing has not been in contact 3 days now. and i read this article and understood the dynamics, but after 3 days and maybe more to follow, how do i find the strength inside me to welcome him back with open arms if he ever comes back? right now i hate him, for being so inconsiderate and cruel to not even send 1 message. Naturally i assume that its cos he doesnt give a damn about me , and that persuasion is very strong and the anger and pain tangible. how much time without contact is acceptable in the withdrawal stage? and how can i find the strength to accept such inconsistent behavior that makes me feel so bad about myself?

    • sassybanks says:

      Forgiveness is the only way. If you love him you have to forgive him, even if he doesn’t apologize. It sets you free of the pain, anger & resentment.
      It’s not technical but I truly believe all men past a certain age or just with history withdraw pretty soon for the “crazy test” – they want to test her “crazy level”. Let’s face it, we’re crazy when emotions stir 😊
      Let him see you can control your emotions & you won’t hold the distance over his head when he returns. I think every man & connection is so different you can’t say how long is acceptable…Follow your heart

    • danika says:

      Would you be like this in a friendship? Probably not I’m guessing! Try coming in on it from that perspective

    • danika says:

      You have a choice to assume one of two things….. Choose to assume he does give a damn and if/when he returns and your reaction is something like the message I’m reading…….would you come back for more. Only to go away feeling he HAS to be in contact everyday because your flip!!!!!

      No much fun right…… It’s makes sense. Just think about it x

    • ADB227 says:

      My question is every 3 days good enough for you? How long have you been together? Is this the norm for him? Space is much different than disrespect or only being an option.
      What you allow, is what will continue.
      If he is “inconsistent” that doesn’t seem like healthy behavior.
      Have you ever told him that being inconsistent doesn’t make you feel valued as a partner?
      There is a huge difference between being a little understanding and being a doormat.
      What do you think your personal value is?
      Is this good enough for you?
      Are you focusing on your own life, and keeping other options open for dating?

  • Susan says:

    I have read “why men pull away” and I still am not sure if I should stay with the man I have been dating for 16 months . He recently told me he doesn’t know what he wants, then when he saw I was upset he said he didn’t want to lose me. I found it very confusing. I have recently asked him to move in with me, we are 52 years old. He is looking to sell his home and move further into the country. I have to stay in the city I am in because my son goes to high school and I do not want to make him change schools. He will be a sophomore this year. My guy also has let me know he would rather wait to live together till after my son goes to college.
    We took a week apart at my suggestion and when we saw each other again he told me he doesn’t think he loves me anymore….that I am his best friend and he likes being with me.
    I tried to stay calm and I did say that I didn’t know how long his other relationships were but after the honeymoon phase things cool down and become more day to day living and you need to work at keeping the romantic side alive.
    That was Friday, after we talked he asked me if I wanted to go get some dinner.We did and then we ended up laying in bed just cuddling ,no sex.
    He called me the next day to go to a festival, we had dinner again and went back to his place watched tv and when he said he was going to go to bed I said ok , do you want me to leave and he said no you can stay all night if you want….
    I am very confused! I am on the verge of tears and feel very sad.
    I have been left by every man I have ever been with …. Cheated on multiple times by my husband and have been divorced for 3 years.
    I need some advice! Help…. I don’t know what to do to salvage this relationship,or if it is even possible.

    • Butterfly Queen says:

      I am so sorry. Let him go. He said he wants to friends…believe him. Don’t settle for less. Go on with life. Love yourself. Take good care of yourself. I’m sorry for your heartbreak and pain.

    • danika says:

      So sorry to hear your sadness….. I feel you need to stop making him the centre of your world as that is part of what I’m picking up. i can help but this was 2 months ago! How are things now?

  • irondame says:

    My man doesn’t feel like a man ….NOT because I want more of his time ??? It’s his own issue and he needs to own it !!!! Plain and simple ,I’m not responsible for that😄

  • amanda says:

    i understand all that was said in this article, but i dont want to think of not being with him because i really want a woman. I really learned a lot and it is something everyone should read. I have been wondering what is wrong with me that is making him seek other people and now i have a different understanding but i also dont want him to use this as an excuse for his actions. Sure, i have no issue with him having his freedom but i fail to understand why it is when i want my freedom it is a problem. i love my man to dead after 6 years we should be able to understand each others needs. i am happy i found this page but i feel it has made me question a lot of other aspects of not only my relationship but any relationship. if i am missing something please please let me know so i can save my man and me for that matter.

  • patriotgirl says:

    Hi Renee…this article was just reinforcement to the programs Understanding Men and Commitment Control2. I am a bit confused about when contact is ok and when it’s not. I was dating a man for 2-1/2 months. After every date he would pull away. As we started getting closer, this became more pronounced. Btw, he is a widower of 4-1/2 years. The last time I saw him was June 5th for a picnic bc he had really pulled away. I told him this frightened me and asked why. He blurted out in the mos t painful voice I have ever heard that he didn’t want to get hurt…I [we] ‘was moving too fast…often the brightest lightbulbs burn out first….which I took as his way of saying that he wanted to be sure our feelings were real and just not a fling…of course he also had widower issues of betraying his la te wife bc he was falling in love. I simply told him the tortoise has heard you. 3 weeks after that, no call for a date (althougj daily texts saying he didn’t sleep…bad day…etc). I wrote to you about what to do and Renz gave me the courage to do what you taught in CC2…I texted him “Do you know what I hate about you the most?” He replied 20 minutes later, “what’s that?” Before I could answer, he texted again…”Don’t be mad, I just want to be alone. Just not ready for full–time commitment. Too many things from my past keep coming back.” I responded: “I accept your decision…take the time you need…I will be here if you are ready to talk.” He responded in 1 second flat: “Thank you.” That will be 5 weeks ago in 2 days. I have not contacted him in any way, shape or form. I feel in my gut and heart that this is not over..
    but I feel that the attraction will fade with so much time passing. What do I do? Stay away or send him a text like “If I were you, I’d be missing me a whole lot about now. :)-”

    I have not stopped my life; have been out on dates…just no connection/attraction like I had with him. I know he is dealing with grieving issues and letting go or more accurately putting the past in it’s proper place. Is there anything I should do…aside from waiting?

    Thank you, Deb

  • Warrior Princes says:

    Hmm, I think there’s something left out of this post. I find it hard to believe men are from another planet (Mars), it’s just that they understand women better — their primary relationship was with their mother and they learned the ‘tools’. Men are “logical” and tend to do things with a purpose. If he withdraws, there’s a real chance he’s testing the woman’s reaction, after lavishing attentions on her. The test is “let’s see just how much she’s into me”. He’s expecting the emotional texts like “How are you? Is everything ok?” With a grin on his face, he says “yeah, she’s into me” and proceeds with further testing her patience/emotional limits. If he gets more responses, he’ll either assume he can now kick back, have his cake and eat it too. If she’s angry/emotional, he’ll think: “Good riddance, psycho!” If he does not — he’ll assume “wow, she doesn’t give a piss about me, so I’ll continue not giving a piss about her. Next!”

    Men are competitive, and they compete in the dating scene – and you are their unwilling opponent. Men date/”love” with their Egos — stroke it, or be gone. It’s often described that a passionate love stems from a feeling of ‘longing’ . He longs for you, but if you give in (the unconditional love recommended on this blog), he won – and you are now on the back-burner, slow-simmer (letting him be the MAN). I don’t buy this.

    To me, being the ‘feminine woman’ is the same as being the ‘warrior-princess’ — a worthy opponent who beats him at his own game (after all, he started it). In my experience, men don’t want what they say they want – unconditional love, acceptance, etc. These are ‘bandages’ to heal their wounds. They are much more stimulated by a ‘game of chess’.

    Men lie about their feelings all the time: “I’m fine”, “I love you”, “I need space”. Men do not practice authenticity. They also meet their needs from a woman covertly, instead of admitting they have needs, hence the ‘games’. When a man pulls away — he’s testing how much of his shit you can put up with. So what’s the solution? Behave in a way that he’s not expecting – throw him a bone (he’ll grin at it), then go MIA as well. Monkey see – monkey do.

    • TraFL says:

      You said in the first paragraph that there are 3 situations when a man withdraws that he is testing someone, and none seem to be good. I just got in the first conflict with my boyfriend, and I admit (which rarely happens) that I was wrong, and over reacted in a situation that was new to me, and acted jealous and needy one night. He says he saw another side to me and it was a red flag, and his family was around and saw too 🙁 I drank too much because I knew no one there, and acted not like a high value woman, as I have the entire time we’ve been dating for a few months. He said he needs some time to think and we need to take a stop back because he didn’t think I was a needy or jealous person, and I’m not but now he thinks I am. Do you think I’m best not contacting him at all and going MIA? I have already apologized, but he has only texted me a few times all week, and we usually talk several times a day. I don’t want to bug him, I’m sure he is testing me to see if I am really needy or not, but I also know it was my fault, so I don’t want him to think I’m ok with ending things based on 1 bad night. I don’t know what to do, he’s a great guy and has never played games, but he is really upset and disappointed and isn’t sure if he can keep things the same now that he saw “that side to me”. Any advice?

      • Butterfly Queen says:

        If he asked to step back, let him do so. Learn the lesson (whatever it may be). Spend time loving yourself. Lots of love! I know this has been very painful.

      • danika says:

        I’m curious…… What did you do that’s so bad? It is a shame for him to base one mistake as to who you are! How did this pan out in the end?

    • danika says:

      Found that really enjoyable reading!!! Kinda true too. People have agendas so it’s bound to happen.

      Ignore and just be yourself

  • Kirsten Baker says:

    So I have been going through this for a few months now, my partner one day just disappeared for about 3 weeks out of 4, he didn’t know why he did he and no matter how many times I tried to contact him he wouldnt respond, he has 3 children to 2 mothers and we only met just under a year ago, he doesnt get his kids as often as he would like to and he left his job to see them more. Now that school holidays are on he’s gone again and I havent heard from him in 2 weeks. He knows he has to get himself together but doesnt want my help and wont really talk about it. He still says he loves me and cares deeply for me. We havent been together that long and I dont know where he lives, I think predominantly because hes protecting his kids! I havent met the kids as his gf but he did withdraw very closely after I spent the day with him and his daughter. Any advice would be great, I dont think hes being selfish, I honeslty think he has no idea hes doing it……….but ur right it does hurt like hell!!!

  • Olivia says:

    This is a very surprising thing to learn… I never realised that men actually function in this way and the real reason why I’m so surprised is because I also love to withdraw into my own space and recharge in order to get back to socializing with that “I love life” enthusiasm back in place… and I am a woman… and I was worried that a man might not understand this!

  • Butterfly Queen says:

    I want to thank you for your beautiful insight and outstanding wisdom. I hahave been struggling with this concept for a long time. I can show you the date/time stamps from my regular visits to this page just to reread this post. I have reconciled with my ex (who I was with when I discovered your blog) and still I didn’t come to a clear understanding about this until this week. My bf is a normal man so he withdraws and I would always have a hard time giving him his freedom. This week I felt him drifting and I knew that the universe was presenting me with this issue again because I had not conquered it. So I put all my mental energy into sending him off with love and staying focused on me anf nurturing myself. Lol and behold it worked! Today he returned without any prodding from me. What a lovely feeling!

    To anyone reading this post please be encouraged. Renee has sound wisdom….trust that!

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you for sharing BQ! Like you, I have been dealing with this issue so much and still struggling to learn how to manage my own fears of abandonment, etc. My bf and I have been together now for 10 months. He broke it off once after 2 months and I initiated no contact for almost a month. He came back stronger than ever. Now – after just having a wonderful holiday together with all of our kids together – he has asked me for space. I know it is fear-based and I am trying to remind myself that it is a sign that we are building a deeper connection, but wowie is it ever difficult!!!

      • Butterfly Queen says:

        Thank you for sharing your story. It is hard! Also it is important to remember that the holidays often bring a lot of emotional triggers to the surface. The best thing to do for yourself and for him is to give the space he has asked for with love and compassion. Take lots of time to love on yourself and baby yourself. Don’t hold back. Do all the fun and luxurious things that you enjoy and give yourself all of your creature comforts. Be with the people in your life who love you. Surroubd yourself with their love for you. Marinate in it. Hugs!

        • Sarah says:

          Thanks lady. 🙂 Your reply made me feel so warm inside! So nice to know there are women out there struggling with the same thing and can offer such great support – even if we don’t know each other! I plan on spending the weekend with family, taking bubble baths, making homemade face masks, and knitting Christmas gifts. I must trust the universe will unfold as it should. Warm hugs to you dear friend.

  • Angry and Upset says:

    In the middle of this situation right now. I know there is this push/pull effect that happens in relationships but can we talk about how this is just rude? It is rude to just disappear for a few days. It is rude to the person you’re supposed to love to keep them at arms length. I’m not saying they don’t need their space, in fact I’m sure both genders do at some point. But why can’t we be having the conversation about how men institutionally are told that this type of behavior is okay; and it’s not okay! Write an article that doesn’t just say, oh they’re men put up with it. Write an article to both genders talking about how you can communicate to each other about wants and needs. I get you needing space, but just deciding to disappear for a few days is the worst way to handle being in a relationship and treats the person who loves you like garbage. Sharing your concerns with them and then ask/tell that you need some space to clear your head and a “it’s not you it’s me” phrase will work wonders.

    But I guess it’s good to see I’m not the only one dealing with this situation. Every part of me wants to tell him to F off and respect me and my time.

    • Butterfly Queen says:

      I’m sorry that you are having this pain. I hope by now your man has returned to you. I disagree that men are institutionally taught to do this. It is simply their nature and the duration of their withdrawal shortens as your relationship matures. Please look into it you will find that other relations hip professionals give similar advice.

    • Diana says:


    • Diana says:

      I’m in the exact same boat and couldn’t agree more with you!!!! It drives me crazy, angry, pissed off and disrespected! You’re exactly right, you don’t do that to a person you supposedly love.

      • ADB227 says:

        This is one piece of advice that is very “iffy” –
        I like progressive men, and I refuse to deal with this.
        Yes, I can understand if there are a few days where you don’t say much to each other, but to completely ignore someone sporadically, for ‘whatever’ reason is rude and controlling. Do you want to spend years feeling like you are disposable?
        Man cave issues are more about a short length of time, but keeping in touch still.
        Not completely “gone” for a few days at a time.
        Think how they would react if we did this.
        They would be very worried!
        Get some guy who values ‘you’, and will at the least give you a heads up.
        I don’t know any successful or confident woman who would deal with that crap.
        Just my opinion 🙂

  • Joni says:

    Please someone help me. My dad moved out from my sister, mum and I on 23rd December 2014 which became a hard and difficult times or me and my boyfriend (we don’t live together). And then 2 months after she has a new boyfriend (my godfather) I’ve been with my partner for almost 5 years and only once before 2.5 years ago has he asked for “space” which I gave him for a week and we resolved (I’m 25 he is 34). However, because I felt I had to handle this with his help I found it hard to keep my emotions to myself and I would always cry or ask him to come over at any point of the day but when he got here I just kept trying to cause an argument and I don’t know why and it’s been 6 months now that all has calmed down. We went out last month with my dad, sister and her boyfriend for the day, had a really lovely time, a couple of days after my boyfriend fell ill and had a type of sickness bug where I didn’t see him for two weeks because he was going to work then straight to bed. I spoke to him everyday asking how he was and we seemed fine and no arguments happened at all but then, last Thursday we met up for the first time and he said he loves me and majourity of him wants to be with me but he doesn’t know what he wants right now and wants time but his body language seemed different to his words. He told me about a month back he lost his mojo but said its because of his weight which is why he started going to the gym but he also does long tiring hours so he is always tired which causes us lack of motion in the bedroom he also stated he isn’t 100% happy with us. I asked how long he wants space for he said not long so I said how about we meet same place, same time next week he said ok but he doesn’t think he needs that long. I said I wouldn’t text or call him first and would wait for him to contact first, he said no you can still text me but I said I wouldn’t and said if he doesn’t need the whole week then great but no worries if he does. I know I was needy and acted desperate and can now see the errors that I have started to correct that I am trying to become a positive person and be busy however, he still hasn’t texted me or made first bit of contact and I don’t even know if he will remember to meet me on Thursday (he can be quite forgetful) shall I message him on Wednesday asking him if he wants a date night on Thursday night as we have gone 6 months not going out doing anything just the two of us so relationship has become stale or do I leave him to go away on a stag doo on the weekend and see if he contacts me next week as I want him to have freedom with his mates and build testorone level, plus will it trigger his mate getting married that he may miss me? He told me we are still a couple and with previous girlfriends when he wasn’t happy he just straight up dumped them but I have taken the positive sentence “majourity of me wants to be with you but a little bit isn’t sure” please some one advise what I should do. Sorry for the essay!

  • Confused says:

    I had this situation and i definitely did the wrong thing. My bf and i have been together almost 5 years. He withdrew because of a personal issue with money and i kept pushing due to insecurities and not believing that was why he withdrew. I was afraid to lose him so i kept teying to keep it together. Two weeks ago he said i was suffocating and a burden and he needed space. We have to see each other once a week and he seems so cold now. We did spend time the other day but more because we had to and we had a great time but he still seems cold. Does this mean i pushed too hard and he won’t be coming back? I have apologized but he just doesnt seem to care anymore and said its nust too stressful around me. I just want to fix it and dont know how.. please help!

    • Marilyn Crosbie says:

      That must really hurt you. You say you “have to” see each other. Are you working together? Something like this happened to me when I met a nice guy in the apartment building we both lived in. We hit it off immediately and he asked me in for coffee. We visited back and forth and I started to fall in love with him. Then something came up and we had a conflict. It hurt me so much that I started to cry and I told him that it hurt because I loved him. He got upset and said, “We are friends and I don’t want an intimate relationship with any woman.” He completely pulled away and had no contact with me. After a couple of days, I phoned him and said, “We are going to be bumping into one another since we both live in the same building. Can we agree to be kind in order to be less comfortable?” He agreed. I told him if he ever needed anything, I was here for him. (He was new to town and didn’t know his way around yet and he also was looking for a job). It wasn’t long before he phoned me and we were back having a good time again. I could go on, but my point is, I wonder if you could just calmly tell him you feel tension between you, and could he agree to make an effort to get back to the relaxed way you used to be together.
      This is not that great an answer, but I just wanted to reach out to you and assure you that these things happen to us all. You might have to try to be a bit “cool” yourself and act like you are okay, even if you aren’t. Very, very difficult I know, but not impossible.
      I hope you work things out one way or another. If he isn’t willing to make an effort to get back to the warmth, perhaps it’s better to know now than later.

    • Dima B says:

      read this http://www.thefemininewoman.com/2012/04/talk-to-man-so-wont-pull-away-or-go-cold/

  • Amanda says:

    Thank you!

  • Munchkins says:

    Hi Renee, I’m a big fan of your relationship advice and I recently joined the UM programme and have learned so much from it so far, just not yet where I should be I guess. I’m going through a tough period in my relationship, and it’s still only 3 months in 🙁

    Lately my bf has been having work-related stress, his business isn’t doing so well and he’s strapped for cash. I’ve tried to be very supportive, and at times it feels like we’re on the right track – he opens himself up to me, I give him my love and vibrancy. However he still remaibs withdrawn when I’m not with him. He doesn’t innitiate contact, he sometines ignores my texts and phone calls. But when I do eventually get to see him he opens up to me, apologises for his mood lately, and things seem back on track.

    I am now at a point where I have no idea what to do? I feel like I’m a convenient ego stroke for him whenever he’s down, and that I look desperate when I give him my love even though he didn’t have to ‘work’ for it. I’m 99% sure that my lizzard brain is creating all these negative hypotheses, but there’s still that 1% that thinks he might be taking advantage. How do I tell the difference? And when is it time to just let go?

  • Veronica says:

    I have a question. Does this mean completly no contact? My boyfriend and I have not talked at all to each other for a week now (besides two times when we accidentaly bumped into each other). Am I supposed to keep waiting or can I make contact with him? Jus casually text hi ask how he is doing and not bringing up that he has disappeared.

    • Isabel says:

      Hi Veronica,

      I was just wondering whether you and your BF are talking again and what happened to the both of you.
      I was dating a guy after texting him for a long time. He also wants to be alone for two weeks!

  • Clair says:

    It’s funny really isn’t it. I’ve been having these exact thoughts. ‘Why has he pulled away? Where was my good morning text? Why isn’t he texting me as much as he used to?’ It’s been half a day Clair! You’re so right though, I was dating a guy who was fully available, soppy, sweet and text me constantly- totally wasn’t interested in him as much as this guy. The thing is, we’re programmed to think this is the way to feel loved when we’re showered with attention and affection when in actual fact, it’s good he has a life. If I spent less time worrying why he hadn’t text, I too could have a life.

    He text as I was reading this article.

  • Jess says:

    Thank you for this blog, it has helped a lot and makes me realize where i truly went wrong. Even though it hurts when he pulls away, if its something he needs then it is something we as women should be able to do for the men we love. For me, i may be too late…he recently told me that he does not want a relationship and he just wants to be single and focus on his life. I felt him pull away and I feel this is where I went wrong, I didn’t realize that there could be a reason why he was pulling away so I held on tighter and possibly even suffocated him, even though I would like to think that I didnt do that. Is there anything I can do to show him that I understand and maybe lead to him giving it another shot? Im 21 years old and have never been in a relationship before, so I would love any advice anyone may have, Thank You

  • deadlock says:

    As a man I completely agree with this article. Can you imagine a soldier not going to his mission and saying “OK darling, I’ll help you with the cakes instead”? In that very moment he’d betray both his masculinity and your trust in him being a man. It just doesn’t work like that. A man needs a sense of purpose in life and freedom to exercise this purpose. There are men, however, who withdraw for very different reasons – players or narcissists who prey on insecure or naive women etc. It’s best not to confuse these two categories. I’d go even as far as to say that it’s not the actual emotional bond that causes men to withdraw – it’s often that women project their own insecurities and engage in controlling behavior. I’m quite sure this can be said even with the roles reversed.

    • Catt says:

      Deadlock, how do you know if he is palying you v. Pulling away because he is actually interested? K

      • englishbob says:

        Men pull away because we need time to ourselves. This is a vital need. Some days, I don’t want a woman around me no matter how much I love her. I need to time to be by myself.

    • Linda Kemp says:

      Deadlock, as a man I need to ask you a question, will a man pull away when all is going great and then he has troubles with keeping a hard on? Known each other over 40 years and been in/out of each other lives all this time and rekindled relationship as both are single. We saw each other over weekend and first day & 1/2 great until he realized how he was not keeping hard on.

    • Butterfly Queen says:

      Thank you for sharing your perspective.

    • TraFL says:

      Deadlock, there was a situation last weekend out of a few months of dating, where I made a mistake and acted insecure and needy around my boyfriend on a trip where I knew no one else there. I have apologized but he has withdrawn and wants to take a step back. I never acted this way the whole time he knew me, but I was shy sometimes around his entire family, and far away from home and my comfort zone. Do you think that is something that will fix itself if I give him space, or once a guy thinks from a situation that a woman is needy/insecure, is there no way to fix it?

      • Pandoraslocket says:

        I made the same mistake and after reading this, I’M gonna LEAVE HIM ALONE , so if he comes back he loves me and if he doesn’t then he loves me not, I will do the no contact rule, and in the mean time it will be ME TIME ! Be better not bitter! Whatever happens
        will be for the BEST ! if and when he comes back…I will apply everything I read….now that there is an understanding of my mans mind!

        • danika says:

          Nice!!! Totally the right thing to do…… Men just don’t want dramas.

          What happen??

        • Diana says:

          do you actually believe it’s that simple? just because he comes back doesn’t mean it will be better. I’m in the same boat. And I hate the word drama! This isn’t drama! This is life and love! I do agree with the article but that is also based on trust. I don’t get clingy when I know where I stand but if I get confused, yes I cling more. It sucks and does kill your confidence. Absolutely!
          But I think a man that really loves you will listen and communicate at some point. The hard part is to see or know when to just give space and when to walk away completely bc if it’s killing you now it may be accumulated resentment and even if you try to be better, you will be bitter. I think every situation is better. I think it only becomes drama if there are strategies and games involved and part of the no contact or ignoring thing is it being a strategy. Don’t make it a strategy. Let it be because you really want to.
          And they say women are hard to understand. What makes us easier, is that we actually communicate!

          • GinaS13 says:

            So true. I think we all think too much and wonder instead of just asking simply when they want. I just went through this. I kept getting mixed messages and then he pulled away completely. I emailed asking what he wanted and that no matter what I was glad we had met. I didn’t hear back and assumed it was over. I unfriended him and moved on. Three weeks later he starts texting asking me how I’ve been yada yada. I’m glad because it means he misses me but it also annoys me because he didn’t address my letter. Ugh, men!

      • englishbob says:

        Can you explain what you did that was “insecure and needy” about your actions? Most men take this as a given with women. We know that at some point, no matter what we do, women will eventually have a “freak-out” session. Men let off steam by playing computer games or heading to the bar, women do it by freaking out.

        In any case, most relationship problems solve themselves with time and space. If not, then there is probably something more fundamental going on.

      • Diana says:

        great question TraFL

    • danika says:

      I like this comment……. Makes complete sense!

    • ScubaBee says:

      Well said.

    • Thomson Shellie says:

      Please tell me what to do my husband is very critical on me and asks me to do so much, I normally do it, but he just keeps piling on more. We separated about 3 years ago because he developed an emotional connection with another woman, we he has not stopped talking to I’ve told him if he wants to explore his options he can just not while he’s with me, I’ve talked to him about it before when he was being too flirty with her talking about Cumming together. I told him how it hurts me, but whenever they respond a rough patch in our relationship he will go to her. I try to understand him but I’m more now just fed up with it since he spends more time and goes more out of his way for this woman and his friends, he still does nice things for me, buys groceries for our kids, help me get my car fixed, but what do I do?

  • B says:

    I’ve been single for 10 years. I recently started seeing someone it’s been going on for a month. He has pulled away. I thought he was wonderful and caring. This pulling away has really upset me. I’m also wondering if I really want to date again. I feel so hurt and wondering what I did wrong.

  • Kevin says:

    Ladies , Nagging and / or blaming the man for every ill in the world ( normally both !! ) will result in this , followed by him dumping you in most cases. You MUST give a man his space , you are sowing a minefield for yourselves if you keep on at him with constant yapping & nagging. Too many women do this , only a small minority don’t.

    • TraFL says:

      Kevin, I’m not usually like this, but went on a 4 day trip with my boyfriend to a family wedding where I knew no one. I tried to talk to as many people as possible, but there were times I felt out of place and was quiet, because it was a new situation to me. When we got back he said he felt he had to babysit me a few times, and said I acted clingy and needy, and he has never seen that side to me before, and it is a red flag. I’ve never been this way before, it was just a new situation to me and I handled it wrong. I apologized, and I am trying to give him space so he remembers I am not that way. Is that something that as a man he will get over and realize it was an honest mistake? Or once a guy thinks from a situation that a woman is needy/clingy, is there no way to fix it?

      • LindaDann says:

        I think HE was feeling uncomfortable and needy and projected that onto you. Re flag because it indicates he uses projection as defense which means hell for you too often!

      • Anna says:

        Don’t take it personally. Labeling someone in an inconsiderate way is rude. Should be a redhow flag forhow you! You were just uncomfortable and it’s neither his or your fault. If you didn’t hurt or offend anyone, there is nothing to apologise for… If he wants to leave you because you had a social anxiety around his family and friends – well OK – respect his wishes… I’m afraid if you pull away like that he won’t leave you. Even though you are probably better off if he does.

        • Maria says:

          Hi Anna.Don’t take it personally, but you seem to be trying to push your own agenda. Your responses seem to go against much of Renee’s advice. The advice whom these posters are seeking, not yours. If you disagree with her, then why are you trolling her forums? Yes, I am responding to each of your hate-spreading posts.

      • Diana says:

        What an ass! a bit empathy with you and your needs wouldn’t have hurt! Red flag my ass! What person wouldn’t feel like this??

    • Alaina Montaner says:

      I am married and he cheated on me. I know he still loves me but sometimes he is telling me that he does not anymore. He said he is not happy anymore. He cheated on me and i have no assurance that he is really over with the girl. Is it bad to ask why he did that? and is it bad to ask if he is still seeing or texting her? I sometimes find it hard not to ask especially when he is not coming home and will overnight somewhere. He is sometimes rude to me and i feel like his doing that for me to walk away from him. But i keep on insisting, i told him i will just stay here with you. We can work this out. I also cried a lot after the cheating scenario and he got stressed about that. He keeps on telling me that all he can get from me is stress and it made me feel.terrible because i want him to be happy.

    • Diana says:

      because most men can’t communicate! If you guys would actually speak openly and we knew what’s up, we’d have way more peace and could actually relax and give you all your space.

      • Suzy says:

        Amen! For me the hardest part was when the guy I was seeing ignored me for 7 weeks, after a great date we had (I’m not sure but I think it was like the 6th date or something – and it was the second time we were intimate.) Well, the day after the date he sent me a message, saying how wonderful time he had yesterday. I responded that I had a great time too, then we chit-chatted a bit. Then a week later he sent me a message asking how I was doing. I responded the same day, saying I’m doing great, explained a bit what I had been doing that day and in the end I asked how he had been lately. The “read” appeared almost immediately but he didn’t respond. Then, 7 WEEKS later he contacts me: “Hi, how are you?” I mean just c’mon??? 😀 During those 7 weeks I hadn’t contacted him at all cause I thought he just needed space and then again it was me who had sent the last message, asking him a question so I thought it’s up to him to answer. Yes, I understand that people need space (I need that too at times) but 7 weeks of not responding seems really weird, no matter how busy you are or that you need space. He did apologize for not answering earlier (and the apology itself seemed sincere) but he said it was because he forgot. For some reason, I’m really having a hard time believing that…

        Then again, I guess it would be simple to just ask him what’s the deal, whether him not responding was really cause he forgot or whether he was deliberately ignoring me. But some part of me is afraid that a question like that could cause him to just ignore me again and not respond. Well, I’m not pulling my hair because of this and I have told to myself that I’m keeping my options open and if he is interested in seeing me again he better make some effort. And if we see each other face to face again, I’ll be sure to ask what was the deal and whether he sees us continuing to see each other in the future. “Funny” thing: About half of my female friends think that he likes me (based on how he has treated me during our dates) but is just scared of his feelings/needs space and the other half thinks he is playing with me (because of the withdrawal)

    • ADB227 says:

      These posts aren’t about nagging. They are about guys disappearing and reappearing. It looks like the men are being rude. Simple as that. The women are just trying to figure out what is going on.
      You sound like a real winner.

  • cheryl says:

    i have gotten involved with this man that is well known in my home town and surrounding states he is an auctioneer , his auctions seem to take alot of his time. we weregoing to see each other and were forming a relationship but then he told me that he had been thinking that due to an unresolved marriage that he wants to be friends until his divorce is final. which i agreed to we still chat on facebook and he will call me when he getsthis new auction together in an other state and we will go out as friends. ok what is your advice to me?

  • P says:

    This man I saw a few times disappeared suddenly with no communication at all. I didn’t think he would be back, therefore I didn’t look for him either. A month passed, he popped out and claimed he would want to marry me and never leave me again. He claimed it was his job deployment caused his none communication and promised it would never happen again. So we met, went out and here he disappeared again.

    Two months later he emailed me to say his phone was stolen in New Orleans due to thief broke into his car. I blocked him. He showed up on my door but I locked it. He was begging my forgiveness but I don’t think I will ever trust a man who withdraw that long from my life again.

  • Anita says:

    Unbelievable..this has saved me a lot of time trying to understand my boyfriend. This has explained every detail about what he is going through. Going to gym and building his testosterone in order for him to feel masculine again. This is a new relationship for us and he fell in love with me within a matter of weeks and then began to withdraw after we were spending so much time together not to mention he is 2 hours away.

  • Colleen says:

    Thanks Renee. This blog is so timely, for me anyway. Just what I’ve been dealing with. Even though we can understand their need to withdraw intellectually, it still hurts like hell. And we have to remind ourselves about the man himself and the good moments with him. In the midst of all that hurt and resentment, we are just angry and we forget that we still love and care deeply for him. I like that you asked the question: Do you admire him? That’s what changed my mind and keeps me hanging in there. He’s so worth it!
    You are amazing Renee and you were very much missed in these last couple of weeks. Glad to see you back!


  • manu says:

    Mine he is not texting me anymore only if I send him msg he reply but he is cold then I tried to be nice and understanding so he said that he is going through hard time and he has a lot in his head and he ask me to forgive him ….it hurt a lot because I don’t know what I do.. he is not the same he use to text me send me his picture now even if i tell him nicely that I miss his face and ask for pic he ignore or he just send a kiss..Please what I do are he still into me or what?

  • Karen says:

    I actually think it’s great for a man to withdraw. This time also gives me time to think and miss him. I have a lot I need to do and want to do anyway. So, I think it’s great!!!

  • edwige says:

    The thing is hè is just not that into you. And a woman better make a straight run for her freedom. Because when you give a man a ok for toelating you like dirt and you are still nice they wont mind. As their friends will say that is a perfect situation. Doing w g at you want and still getting it. Wom as n should not Take that. Instead woman should say nothing but close communication. Because only then men Will understand and feel what they feeling and have time to miss you triggering their Hunter instinct. The hardst think to do but the best respect for yourself there is. If he runs away he was not worth your love. You ll find better.

  • sarah says:

    I wish men understood the pain they cause by withdrawing, I’ve just started dating 10 months after a bad relationship , and I’ve grown really close to someone , he has withdrawn for the first time and it brings every insecurity I have to the forefront. I’ve reached out to him letting him know I will be there when he’s ready. but it hurts , it feels like I’m being punished for something I haven’t done. leaving me wondering if I can do this again.

    • ashley says:

      Ugh I’m so sorry! I know exactly how that feels cause I’m going thru the exact same thing! Its been nearly 2 years since ive dated, started seeing a man from work for the last three months and he has recently pulled away saying he needs space. It hurts like hell and sometimes I wish I just stayed single.

    • AC says:

      Make that three, Sarah and Ashley! I just started dating again after a rough breakup (involving a lying, cheating ex), and after 2.5 months of great, communicative dating with a guy he’s totally retreated. I feel so vulnerable as I wait it out, just hoping he will bounce back (and right around Valentine’s Day too, yuck!). The thought of another disappointment is overwhelming, but I guess that’s the risk we all have to take on the quest for love. It’s so tough to stay positive about this relationship and future relationships given my history, but it’s helpful to know I’m not alone.

      I see your posts are a few weeks old now, so I hope everything worked out for both of you 🙂

      • YZ says:

        It would be nice to see this article expanded to differentiate between the various phases and intensities of relationships including the age of the participants. Teenage boys have different influences than older men. Behavior in the early phase of a relationship can be very different than in a long term one. It also can be very different if they are married or single.

        Reading this article and the comments suggests that women should determine what they want from the relationship before they enter into it; know thy heart. After that they should start qualifying the man to what they want before getting emotionally committed/attached to him and before any form of sex.

        Doing that qualification may provide a much better footing to assess why he ‘withdraws’. Is it just normal personality/age, something she is doing, differing intentions for the relation, or because he wants to leave.

  • ROSALIA says:

    Dear Renee : for me is a different story,im married with two kids ,life was ok ,till five years back when my husband resign from his work (he just feel that he can’t work in such condition) ,so I become the only person taking care of my family include my husband , I try to understand him on this time , I do my possible to support him in all level , and since he find two other jobs and he leaves them because he is not happy!!!! again I face all the hard situation alone , then he discuss with me to start business and I accept I think that will help me to make my family financially more safe and to make him happy and confident so I take a loan , after two years the business floppppp!!!!!I start to lose control , I feel sad desperate, but I didn’t lose hope , we discuss to change the activity or to find a new job for him , but he never show any interest , he is just eating sleeping watching Tv, and I am struggling with my loan payment and my kids school and life expenses, and he is even not accepting that I express my sadness or my fears, he just pull away refuse to talk to me sleeping in the saloon , I feel so lonely ,so unsafe , am just praying GOD to help me , as I did all this only to protect my family and to make them happy and secure , please Renee how to deal with such situation , am lost

  • Jennifer says:

    Dating exclusively for 6 months. Last spoke 12/23, had plans to get together 12/24, he never showed, never called! Now he won’t take or return my calls! We never fought or had arguments! We both individually had a very rough month in December, but were there for each other. When he is under a lot of stress and pressure, he shuts down and retreats for a few days. I let him be. I assumed that this is what he was doing. Usually after about 3 days I hear from him. It has been over a week and still nothing! A friend saw him as an active profile on a dating website! I am so confused and hurt! What the heck is he doing??? What is going on???? He had talked about moving in together this spring, married this summer! We aren’t kids, he is 41 and I am 43. He was pushing this relationship forward. I was not pushing for marriage or commitment, this was all him! I am still trying to be patient and give him his space. Hoping maybe the stress of the past month and the idea that he was pushing for a commitment soo soon freaked him out and he just needs to be sure that this is what he wants and he will come back to me. Thoughts?

  • chickaroo says:

    so going through this right now. he is pulling back like a rubber band. Thank you for this article. 6 years later and two break ups later and I finally get it.. well i will step back and allow him his room.

  • Lucy says:

    I just changed my mobile number as no matter what I said or did with him he refused to understand why I was furious about him taking a job 4 hours away by train and bus and waiting one way than same back, which took all weekend every weekend including most of the night, and than week days and nights. Whilst he was too selfish to stop and pay the phone bill which is now 3 mths behind, and he says he did this for us, and even though I have kicked him out, makes out he has saved heaps of money. Its all bullshit, I heard it so many times. But now, I read this I feel doomed that all men are like him, or if they aren’t there like this lovely one that started calling me on a private number when i didn’t answer his mobile after I told him I was changing my number so the x couldn’t call… I felt suffocated. Or than few hundred that keep trying to add me on the dating site that can’t even hold a conversation before mentioning their sexual need. I wish all I wanted was sex.

  • funkyclover says:

    I do have a story to share as well.
    I have been seeing a guy on and off for a year. Not much on honestly. I have known him for 7 years but we got romantically involved only last year. He chased after me for a whole month and when we finally hit it off really well he pulled back. Of course I freaked out and did every mistake in the book to get him back. He didn’t want to and I thought the problem was me..
    After a year I sent him an email because I never forgot him. He replied back in a positive way and we started texting again. He didn’t want to make plans but mentioned he wanted to meet sometime. After a month we met up and slept together on our second meeting. ( I was a virgin till then and I decided to live through this with him. ) Then we would meet once every 2 weeks or so.He kept saying I was like a dream come true and being intimate with me was beautiful however he wasn’T ready for a serious relationship. So we were never boyfriend and girlfriend.However I always had this feeling that he cared for me and loved me as well. After all he is a really decent guy and I know he wouldn’t think lightly of taking my virginity. I accepted this and figured out he was an emotionally unavailable guy. He was starting his own business at this time as well.

    But sadly another woman who liked him started to come between us. She started to plant some very weird ideas on his mind( a very very very long story ) He kept saying she was only a friend to him and honestly I do believe him. But that woman was too persistent and plotting. She tried to manipulate him about me and my friend being a stalker ( It really is not true ). And the funny part is that we never met her!

    He didn’t want to meet up anymore and sometimes never answered back to my texts and finally one day He asked for space and wanted us to cut off our contact for a while. When I asked him if there was a future for us he replied we will see in time. I accepted this. However this woman in between caused too much drama for him and also for me as well. Unwanted plots and plays.. She was trying to get him of all costs.In the end I think she was flat out rejected because he had enough of manipulation (cause I can see it from her instagram page that she was.You know people they post stuff about their every mood, emotions etc? She is one of them and she was trying to use instagram to make me think she had something going on with my guy. She even went to lengths of visiting his home -when he wasn’t there- with his sister to play with his cat and taking a picture on his bed that almost makes something think she is nude. But she just wasn’T. And my guy told her to delete it after I asked him what was that about. She even went too far to leave an underwear under his bed..)

    Well I went to no contact for 30 days and today is the last day of it.
    I want to reconnect with him. I do love him dearly and want something serious. But I also don’t want to come off desperate and needy.
    I am thinking of sending him a text tomorrow and I would appreciate any ideas for it.
    Thank you..

    • Lucy says:

      funckyclover – just wanted to let you know I have replied to you, but I accidentally put it on Little miss snooty pants message. I hope to save you time, as men will tell you what they think you want to hear only to get sex from you.

      There is a chemical in the brain when a women orgasms that makes that women want that man. I’m not sure of an article on this, but I am sure the author would be able to give you more clarity on this, or you can google it. I fear that is what might be attaching you to him… but if you just stop thinking of him you’ll be fine!

  • Little miss snooty pants says:

    Good timing to send this one to my inbox!! Well not for me, but for a friend who had a man walk away from her recently I think.

    I saw her today and asked her if she’s still with her boyfriend, and she said no, that he just upped and left!! He didn’t even message and has gone.

    How savage :-/. I could tell deeo down that she was really upset inside and she looked highly emotional in a way that suggested she was struggling to process all her bottled up mix of emotions.

    A part of her looks that shes fuming with anger, but was being the good girl/woman, she’s always felt like she’s had to be, and conditioned to be. The othef part of her looked deeply sad and cut up inside in a way that she didn’t quiet understand what was happening.

    My heart goes out to her as I think men can be pretty savage at the worst of times. So I gave her a hug anyway and offered my support.

    Well, I guess part of her story connects to events that recently took place in my life – only difference is I knew what I was getting myself into and wanted it on some level to grow as a person and to become more of who I need to be.

    As for a man withdrawing in the future, well I don’t know how I’d feel completely as it’s been a while since I’ve been in that position.

    I can remember with the farther of my child. We met in the May of 2003 – it was the year my nephew was born, days after actually – and we got close pretty quick. I was my young innocent 17 year old self, so knew nothing on mens behavior.

    Anyhow, he withdrew for a whole month plus. He didn’t contact me or anything. I was so pissed off and upset underneath and thought my heart was going to break, at least in my 17 year old mind and heart.

    Well I was ready to f**k him off by the October as he was paying less and less attention to me and I was hurting inside, but then he asked me out by the October, which I said yes to.

    I went such a long time pretending not to care about stuff that hurts deep down, but the truth is that I feel things more deeply than ever. Sometimes these things even burn to the core, so I’m not sure how I would react if someone would withdrew in future.

    I’m glad that you put that it’s fine to show your unhappy but still being open, as I feel slightly less forgiving and ccan’t wait to become more of my real self in the near distant future.

    • Lucy says:

      I read your message here, and I am sorry to say this, but I am astounded that you are serious. Blaming the other women putting ideas in his head, he loved the fact that he was playing both of you. In my opinion this guy is just not that into you to give u what you want – so sorry to say that. He is nothing more than the 100 and counting guys that just want to have sex with me on a dating site. Yeah he loved taking your virginity and he would have had you even if you weren’t a virgin.

      Why you are chasing a man that is never going to be there for you in the long term. He needs sex so he will sleep with you, but as far as I see it and I am sorry to say this, this man is highly likely never going to marry you, his already had you (yep sorry).

      PLEASE let him go. At least my x man came home every single time to sleep, he was committed to me in the only way he knew how, and I have had to resort to kicking him out and cutting him off for him to wake up to himself. He even went to the IVF centre with me so we could make a baby, and the text of “I really miss you”… blar whatever actions speak louder than works and UNTIL I see his actions he isn’t ever coming back! He is a real man man, very arrogant only listens to exactly what he wants to hear, and the ONLY way I can control that is to cut him off completely to give him ‘real’ time to himself to think. His livers pretty bad so I know he is suffering emotionally, and I will help clean his liver up (coffee enema) when he gets back but right now I have shown him I’m not accepting anymore of his behaviour because as it stands I’d prefer to be a lesbian.

      If you don’t move on now you’ll probably end up childless, unless of course you just use this man for a child and than I guess he gets what he gave you, at least you know he is working on a business so you can take him for child support, honestly that is all you’ll get out of this relationship if you want something long-term, a child with a man that doesn’t want you who you have to force to pay child support!

      I know this isn’t want you wanted to hear, but maybe just there is that chance every other women that draws his attention will drop off the face of the earth and he will only have eyes for you…. what do you think?

  • Tam says:

    I been with my husband for 15 years with 5 kids. 3weeks ago he left and decided he was done. He stated that I dont make him deel like a man.
    I became confused because I dont degrade him as a person and I try to support him. I will admitt I had a problem with giving him space because of infidelity issues in our past. When we were first married I was a spoiled bitch. I truly didnt appreciate him and was controlling. I dont think I was ready for marriage. However it was the right thing to do since we were living together. Over time he changed and became kind of cold. Blaming me for a lot of things. I will admitt I was foolish however over time I matured and became a better women. Instead of complaining and nagging I let things go and worry less. As of today he is gone and I just couldnt understand what I did. this blog has enlighten me. He says he dont want a divorce and he wants to be friends.Out of 3 weeks I have called him and try to mend things. he has all these negative things to say about the relationship and it seems hes not willing to find no positives. We all made mistakes and I just dont know why he wants to throw in the towel. My hurt was difficult at first. I lashed out the other day . He wont answer his phone nor has he visited the children. I’m starting to accept this however it hurts me to my core. idk .. Trying to pick up the peices and educate myself..

  • Caroline Mae says:

    I’m afraid that my problem may be too far gone to fix using the three steps you mentioned…
    I was seeing this guy for a few months and everything was going well. Then, out of the blue, I get the “I think we should just stay friends” axe. That happened about a week ago, slightly longer.
    I accepted it fairly easily, we talked it out and now we are ‘just friends’. BUT now he’s constantly messaging me, asking me to come out with him, telling me that he misses my company and that he didn’t end it to make me leave, asking me to visit him if I feel like it. He even said that it would be nice if I wanted to “hang out as friends”.
    I’m very confused at the moment. I really do care about him, but I made it very clear that if he wanted his space, I would give it to him.
    I’m really unsure of what I should in this situation. Help!

  • Foxy says:

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

    • jim says:

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

      • Jackie says:


        Your comment is unfair. This entire post is about helping women understand men. It isn’t all about the woman’s needs, it’s about understanding what both partners need. I’m sorry, but your comment is startlingly insensitive. The above comment from that counselor is filled with insight and empowers women to desire and want a good man while still staying in touch with herself as an individual with purpose, love, and value as well a responsibility to take care of one’s own inner happiness. When two people are happy in a relationship regardless because they like who they are as their own persons, the relationship is a happy and thriving fulfilling place indeed — both partners are putting value in and enjoy a “shared” understanding. This strengthens perhaps one of the most precious bonds that can happen between a man and a woman.

  • Dina says:

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

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

    • Natalia says:

      Completely agree. I used to feel insecure and sad when my partner withdrew. The punishing tactic DOESN’T WORK. I tried it, and it backfired on me. When I gently told him how I felt, he reassured me very lovingly that he loves me with all his heart and him not talking doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love me or care. His reassurance has helped me a lot. Like you said, if the man hasn’t made his commitment clear, then the woman does have reason to be alarmed and needs to seriously evaluate the relationship.

  • where do you find a boyfriend says:

    By this time in the God of War 2 walkthrough you
    will see Kratos airborne. She has appeared in a number of magazines as a bikini model,
    is often being invited to cool parties and is always being ‘hit on’ by guys.
    Nick points out that the real Daisy cannot possibly live up to the imagined Daisy,
    something Gatsby never admits.

  • Jan says:

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

  • GL says:

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

  • TERESA says:

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

  • Kally says:

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

  • man says:

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

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

  • Rita says:

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

  • mcharm says:

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

  • Nina says:

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

  • Paranoid? says:

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

    • Jesse says:

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

  • Ruby says:

    I see all your points and I like the perspective. My only concern is your writing and grammar. Great thoughts, use spell check

  • Freya says:

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

  • Stephanie says:

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

  • jennifer says:


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  • Kat says:

    Hy Renee!

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

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

    Well my situation kinda goes like this

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • Vana says:

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

    • Roxanne says:

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

    • alissa says:

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

  • Elena says:

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

  • Sally says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Update later 🙂

    Thanks Renee. I mean it.

  • getting him back says:

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

  • Mo12 says:

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

  • rada says:

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

  • Betty says:

    Thanks soo much .

  • Claudia says:

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

  • Nikki says:

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

  • Rose says:

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

  • Kat says:

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

  • Meryl says:

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

  • clara says:

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

    • Adele says:

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

    • Lau_ra says:

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

    • Vanessa says:

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

  • Sarah says:

    Hi renee,

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

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

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

    Thanks and hope you can help 🙂

    • Jolie says:

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

      • jessica says:

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

  • nettieboop says:

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

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

  • adrika says:

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

  • Gloria says:

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

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

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

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

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

  • N says:

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

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

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

  • cath says:

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

  • Shannon says:

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

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Shannon,

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

    • Anna says:

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

      • Helan says:

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

  • Brenda says:

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

    • issokay says:

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

      • Jennifer says:

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

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

    • marie says:

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

      • gloria says:

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

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

    • Lau_ra says:

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

  • Natalie says:

    Hi Ladies,

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

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

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

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

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Natalie,

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


  • KaraMia says:

    Hi ladies,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    • Jennifer says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Best of wishes!

      • KaraMia says:

        Hi Jennifer,

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

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

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

        Many thanks again for your perspective and advice 🙂

        Take good care,

      • KaraMia says:

        Hi Jennifer,

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

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

        Oh well…guess I was wrong on that one!


      • KaraMia says:

        Hi Jennifer,

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

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

        Oh well…guess I was wrong on that one!


        • Jennifer says:

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

    • Anna says:

      Hi KaraMia,

      I read through this yesterday & today, but as I don’t have a computer right now I don’t respond as quickly to posts. I have some thoughts on your situation, but please bear in mind that this is my take, and therefore should be taken with a grain of salt. It seemed to me that things were going well in the beginning.
      1)But towards the end you seemed to take his actions in a negative way, and assumed the worst. Let me elaborate.
      – ” I felt it was a little weird that he lived in the same house he and his wife used to share and where he raised his kids because when I divorced I couldn’t wait to leave our house and all those memories. He seems to me to be a little lost in all that space and surrounded by all the ghosts of a family past, you know? Kind of sad..” You don’t know why he stayed in that house. Maybe he already paid it off & cannot get as much for it & he doesn’t want to use his finances for a new house. Maybe it’s for a financial reason he stayed. Maybe the house is a family estate that needs to stay in the family. Who knows. Just because you wouldn’t want to live in that same house doesn’t mean he thinks the same. Or, it could be that he’s not ready to get over his ex wife yet. In that sense, you would have to be very patient, and take it very, very slow if you were to commit to being with him. Still, just because he’s not ready to get over her doesn’t mean that it is wrong.
      – “when he picked me up I noticed his shirt was wrinkled and he looked like he didn’t even try to make himself look nice for our date like he usually does. ” You assume he didn’t try as hard, but the truth could be very different. What if he doesn’t have as much attention to detail as you and didn’t REALISE his shirt was wrinkled? Maybe it was the fashion of the shirt. Maybe he didn’t feel well that day & didn’t want to iron. Maybe he was in a rush because something unexpected came up. Maybe he felt insecure that day and just wanted to stay in bed, but he already made this plan with you. Point of this rationalisation is that not everything a man does has to do with you. I made this mistake many times.
      – ” “I like you woman, but I’m not 100% sure yet” which kind of bugged me”. A man says what he thinks, that is 100% objective, but most of the time women take it personally. It’s like when you talk about the ballet, and he says “I don’t care; stop talking”. It’s not because he’s trying to be rude & doesn’t care about you, it’s just because it’s simply not interesting to him. But you as a woman would never say that out loud, even if you didn’t care, because you know it would hurt your friend’s feelings. He’s telling you the truth here. It’s not about you. He’s simply saying that he likes you, but he’s not sure he wants to go deeper with you yet. This can be a good thing, because most of the time, men are slow to make a commitment, but when they do, it is very strong. I would just give him some space and let him figure it out on his own time. Every man has a different timeline, and it’s longer if he’s been hurt very badly in the past.
      – “I felt that maybe he didn’t like me so much anymore…. I told him he was acting grumpy and distant and I thought he must need some space. ” This is very common reactions in men. They act grumpy and distant and we assume that they do not like us anymore. When you confront them about it, most likely a woman would do so in a blaming tone, which would cause him to close up and get even more distant. But the truth is, most of the time he has NO IDEA he was acting grumpy and distant & that it was hurting you. He probably had his own insecurities and problems he was working with. It probably had nothing to do with you. Renee has this excellent article here: (http://www.thefemininewoman.com/2012/11/why-he-pulls-away/) that explains that sometimes men go numb & inattentive emotionally even while you are there, and that just because you assume he needs space, it might not actually be what he NEEDS. So you would be giving him something he might not actually need.
      2) It seemed to me that when you interpreted his signs as negative, you closed up instead of opening up to him. This caused you to “play games” like ignoring his texts and joking passive aggressively. There is nothing wrong with this & something most women inherently do in this society (I believe it is fear and society that teaches us to do this, instead of being authentic. A lot of my girlfriends always do this). For example:
      – “After not hearing a thing from him all day and half the night, at 10pm he texts me, “Are you OK?” I ignored him. Next morning he sent another text “Is everything OK with you?” I ignored him.” Why did you ignore him, give me a reason deep down inside. Is it because you FEARED he didn’t value you enough, or liked you anymore, and that you wanted to build up your value by being scarce? This may work in economics, but not so much in relationships. Just because he doesn’t text you WHEN YOU WANT or say WHAT YOU WANT doesn’t mean he doesn’t value you. It just means that he communicates differently. My man HATES to communicate by text, because it takes longer to type than to talk. I HATE talking on the phone, because it doesn’t give me time to think & craft my response. So whenever I text him, he doesn’t reply. I used to HATE it, because I THOUGHT he didn’t care & didn’t love me. But he calls me instead. Whenever he calls, I answer, even though I hate talking on the phone, and thank him for thinking of me, because I know that’s how he shows love. I tell him I’m more comfortable texting, and I’ve found that little by little, he’s starting to text me more in conversation because he knows it’s how I feel loved. By texting. He feels love by talking on the phone. So we do this for each other. Back to your situation, some people may feel love by texting once a day. Or contacting every other day. Some people feel love my texting and calling constantly. Everyone will be different, and it’s not wrong, and just because he doesn’t do what you would do doesn’t mean he likes you any less. But confronting him with blame about this might.
      – “he came round the other side and asked me if I wanted to go with him in the morning, but I’d have to be up at 6am, I said “no you know I like to sleep in on weekends and besides wouldn’t 3 be a crowd on your date?” He laughed, but didn’t realize I was serious. ” So… he said he had to be up early, and you assumed it was because he would be with someone else. Now, I do this too. I’m not judging. Everyone has done it, or does it still, sometimes. I feel this is a passive aggressive way of saying “I feel insecure that you didn’t want me to sleep over and am scared you might be seeing someone else which is why you didn’t tell me where you were going.” But in reality, it could be… he has some stressful meeting in the morning, and he would feel more comfortable sleeping alone and being alone until the meeting is over. He might be embarrassed to tell you what the meeting is about. What if it’s some meeting with reference to helping his hemorrhoid problems? Or maybe it’s for some illegal drug deal. Or maybe he does morning yoga and wants the whole time before and after for solitude, and he’s not comfortable letting you in that part of his life yet. Or maybe he has to meet with his daughter and it’s the only time he’s able to see her. Point is, he might be too embarrassed to tell you, or not ready to go that deep into his life yet BECAUSE HE DOESN”T WANT TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THAT MAY ARISE FROM IT. Sorry for the caps. My intention is only to use them to highlight the important parts. Please don’t assume he’s with another woman when he is secretive. Most of the time it is not that at all.
      3) About the gift… Renee has an excellent article here: (http://www.thefemininewoman.com/2012/12/rules-to-know-before-buying-man-gift/) about the delicate balance of gift giving. It’s not wrong to give a gift to a man, but timing and the nature of the gift is everything. I feel it might have been too early in the relationship to give something. And he expressed this as well by saying ” “I like you woman, but I’m not 100% sure yet””. In the earlier stages, it’s best to stick with a simple card or bake cookies or do something funny… like “Hey… I made you a birthday sandwich!” while you are hanging out at home. I would wait until he gave the first gift, and not give anything substantial until then, or it will throw off the masculine/feminine dynamics.
      In summary, it turns out that you were right – he did need more space. He did seem to have work and financial problems, and family stresses. My man, when he has work & financial problems, he is very distant & grumpy & doesn’t pay attention to me or make as much of an effort in the relationship. That is because he doesn’t feel worthy of having a relationship yet. Have you ever felt so broke, that you could barely pay your bills, and have to constantly turn down invitations to go out because you didn’t have the money, and you didn’t want to see anyone because you had to stop your gym membership & were gaining weight & felt fat? That’s probably how he feels when he has work and money issues – inadequate. I know it’s hard to internalise at first, but think of a time when you felt ugly or disgusting, and how you didn’t want to socialise or get in a relationship or have sex. That’s what he feels when he doesn’t have the job he wants or the money he needs. Plus, he has all these stresses with his kids and family. He told you straight up that he liked you, but he is bogged down right now. I know it’s hard, but if you really like him, you should give him the space, and try to notice when passive aggressive and game playing actions come up & negative thinking. Whenever you think he’s with another woman, ask yourself “What OTHER explanation could there be for his action?” I hope I didn’t overstep any boundaries. I tend to be 100% blunt sometimes. Best of luck to you, I feel you both are going to be fine.

      • Anna says:

        I also want to add, on my gift giving suggestion for baking cookies… to do it if you know he likes that particular cookie. Or a sandwich, if he’s always saying things like “Make me a sammich woman!” Just to be funny. There are limitless options for gifts that create more attraction & value to him.:)

    • genevieve says:

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

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

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

      Good Luck!!!


  • Jennifer says:

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

  • Tower says:

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

    • Anna says:

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

  • Cheesecakegoddess says:

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

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  • Kat says:

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

  • Lori P says:

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

  • Lori P says:

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

  • Terri says:

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

  • Sandra81 says:

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

  • Linda says:

    This is so totally right on Renee!

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

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

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

    • Nana says:

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

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  • Samantha says:

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

    Thank you for your time.

    • Anna says:

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

    • Alicia says:

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

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

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

      • ourglass says:

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

    • Samantha says:

      Thank you all so much for your support!

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

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

  • Kirsty says:

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

    • Alicia says:

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

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

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

  • Danielle says:

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

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

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

    • Alicia says:

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

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

    • N says:

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

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

  • Evie says:

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

    • Alicia says:


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

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

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

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

  • Shay says:

    Wow, good article. It makes sense to me

  • kristen says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Alicia says:

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

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

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

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

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

    • Deb says:

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

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

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

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

  • Ingrid says:

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

  • Nina says:

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

  • rere says:

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

    • Nina says:

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

  • Maria says:

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

  • Alicia says:

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

    • Anna says:

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

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

    • Anna says:

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

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

  • Alicia says:

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

  • Anna says:

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

    • Anna says:

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

    • Anna says:

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

  • Dami says:

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

    • Anna C says:

      Hi Dami,

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

      • Dami says:

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

        • Dami says:

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

        • Anna C says:

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

        • Anna says:

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

      • Dami says:

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

        • Anna says:

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

        • Anna says:

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

  • Amy says:

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

    • camilla says:

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

    • Bumblebee says:


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

  • Lisa says:

    Renee –

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


  • kate b says:

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

  • Leslie says:

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

  • pimmiet says:

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

  • Lisa says:

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

  • ConfusedGal says:

    This is for Anna…

    You are totally right. I have read through a lot of Renee’s articles and it has helped me understand so much about my relationship. For one thing I know I’ve been putting way too much pressure on my sweetie. That’s for sure. Just based on the things he tells me. I’ve tried the talking thing and it doesn’t work. What I have done is focus on me and less on him and the relationship. I have a career and 3 children and also a social life. My focus has been on that. I am taking a certification exam, so I spend my evenings studying. I enjoy working out, so I do that too. I also spend time with my children on the weekends when I am not working. I have a life outside of my relationship.

    I got married really young and I have spent the last 15 years taking care of everyone’s needs and not mine. So my sweetie withdrawing this last couple of weeks has helped me rediscover myself. The more I focus on me the less I worry about him and what he is doing. We usually take trips together. Well for the first time in 5 Years. I booked a trip with my BFF to Vegas. That really took him off guard. He wanted to know why i didn’t invite him. But guess what it was not because I am playing games it’s because I am doing me.

    I have never, ever found the need to use sex to attract or keep a man which goes back to sincere not having a clue about me. I have known my sweetie for 5 years and i am sure sex is not what has kept him around. My relationship is long distance so maybe she thinks I am using sex to attract him telepathically I don’t know.

    I still say with holding sex from your man is STUPID. Don’t have sex with him because you don’t want to. Have sex with him if you want to.

  • ConfusedGal says:

    Good grief now she is calling me a fool. You have no clue who I am. So hold the name calling for people you actually KNOW. do you! I do me and what works for me. Good grief! Go troll else where!

    Adele, Anna thanks for your positive advice. Yes with holding sex is STUPID.

    Putting sincere girl on ignore…. #barf

  • ConfusedGal says:

    I’m not sure why sincere makes so much emphasis on sleeping with the man. A distant man does not stay distant forever unless he really does not care about the relationship. If he cares about the relationship and you let him be during his “alone” time he will be back. If you choose to sleep with him then who really cares? You are in a relationship with him. This article only explains why he is distant, and helps us women understand what is going through the mans head. This article is not talking about some you date casually but someone who is really interested in you and the relationship. In which case with holding sex is stupid.
    To answer your earlier question sincere. I have known my SO for 5 years. I can’t even begin to tell you how much he has been there for me and what he has done for my children and I. In our relationship sex has never been the focus. So sleeping with him or not is really irrelevant.
    By the way Anna you were right. He called me last night. I didn’t have an attitude and we talked. He really has been busy with work. I just was reading too much into things because his never done it before. We didn’t have sex sincere he lives 800 miles from me. Also to refer back to this article, things got pretty intense and serious when we last met a week ago. We connected even closer than before after our month long turmoil. Our relationship is at the point were its time to move to the next phase. Knowing him he freaked out. So leaving him alone to feel like a man was the best thing I did for our relationship. If I had equally been distant as in not answering his calls or text messages or even worse nagging him about why he was distant we would have been fighting and it’ll move him even further away.
    One thing is for sure we love each other and we know we are worth fighting for. So at this point giving up is not an option for either of us. We have been through so much together and have come too far to give up

    • Sincere says:

      lol okay sweetie if the treatment he’s offering you is good enough for you, then I’m happy for you 🙂 Keep telling yourself how much he loves you … I guess you’ll have to, sounds like he’s not there to do it very often. So you’ll have to tell it to yourself. Whatever helps you sleep at night. Because he’s “been really busy lately.” 🙂 I’m not going to waste my time telling you that if he cared about you, he’d MAKE time for you…. I know you’re feeling all triumphant just because your phone conversation last night went well but that hardly means you’ve landed this guy. “with holding sex is stupid.” Nope. Having kids with a man who doesn’t give you the dignity of sharing his last name is stupid. I guess it just goes to show how different women have different standards and expectations. In any case, I’m glad the father of your children called you!!! WOOHOO!! Good thing you didn’t nag him, otherwise you may not have had the pleasure of that phone call and then that would just be the end of the world. Good luck to you.

      • ConfusedGal says:

        Yeah there is no point responding to someone who sounds angry and seems to have all the answers. You sound very young. Oh and FYI go back and read what I wrote. He is not the father of my children.
        Good luck to you too…

        • Anna says:

          Hey there ConfusedGal – thanks for your response. It makes me angry to see some women try to tell you to EXPECT more from a relationship because when you start to expect things, you end up with resentment and unneccesary fights. I mean, is this their relationship? Why are they measuring your relationship with their yardstick? This is a great example of what Renee warns to beware listening to other females giving you relationship advice… a lot of the advice is negative and comes from a place of misunderstanding men. And that can bleed into your relationship. I gave you some advice, but you don’t have to listen to me, what if I’m wrong? I believe that above all, you should listen to yourself, because you have all the answers within you already. We just get anxiosu sometimes 🙂 I acknowledge that I don’t have all the answers. I never will, and NO ONE ever will. But I do come from a place of compassion for men (at least I think I do) and humans in general. I used to be all about my needs, and demanding my needs, my expectations of what I called respect… but then I flip it around and think: What if he were all demanding on me, how would I feel? What if he claimed that because I did not tell him something, that I didn’t love him? It’s not like I do these things to piss him off on purpose. I have a girlfriend who always demands her needs from a man, saying that if he really loved her, he would do all these things.. saying all these negative things & making him feel blamed… sooner or later they give up, and she is alone again. She’s afraid of being too nice to a man and him leaving her. So she preserves her rights, and status. Some people are like that, and I think that’s ok. I’m not trying to judge anybody. I’ve been that girl too. We all need to try every view out to see what works. I’ve experienced that being compassionate actually gets you more of what you want in a man. People have all different strategies, and this is just what works for me. People here on this site probably have the same ideas, otherwise they wouldn’t be here (logically).. I sincerely wish you well in your relationship and I think it’s going well for you. Whenever there is a challenge, there is an opportunity for growth. I am so glad you are seeing things from a different perspective. And for the record I’m not directing my response to anyone but you.

      • Adele says:

        Sincere, what brought you to the article in the first place? And why are you set on convincing ConfusedGal that her relationship is in the toilet? I’m sure you are aware that most relationships take work. Couples staying together for 10, 20, 30, 40 years is no easy thing, which is why so many people divorce today. I’m sure you know that when you treat a man, or any person, like an adversary, he (or she) will BECOME an adversary. Also I know you are aware that you can’t change others, but you can only change yourself, and by changing your responses to others, you can inspire change in other people.

        • Sincere says:

          ConfusedGal is a fool to say “why with hold sex? that’s just stupid, a distant man doesn’t stay distant forever.” Here is a woman who has been MISlead to believe that sex is a way to land or keep a man. She is in the process of finding out that concept is incorrect. As for you, Adele, I was wondering how long it would take before you started speculating about my own personal relationship status. Are you sure that I am good at treating men like an advesary? My husband would disagree with you. I just didn’t want to come out of the gate swinging my wedding band around, like Renee Wade, subliminally implying that I am some sort of expert just because I landed one man. As I’m sure you are aware, men are different. All relationships are different. One of the many, many flaws in Wade’s methodology is that she firmly believes that there is one type of man, they are cut from the same cloth and there is ONE strategy for landing them all. Absurd! Yes of course I know you can’t change others, you can only change your responses. Go back and read everything I’ve written. Where did I say that I believed it was possible to change others? I said several times yes, let him have his space, but, as you said, a woman is control of her RESPONSE to that. I happen to disagree with Wade over what the more effective response is. Just because Ii disagree with all of you doesnt mean I treat everyone in my life as an adversary. That’s a bit of a reach on your part. But keep speculating about my life and in-person personality! It’s fun.

        • Cheesecake Goddess says:

          Ok, guys, please, stop the ego wars. All of you have valid points but I’ve pretty much been tuning in and all I see is ego trips left and right. Every being is different, not just men. If you don’t know your man even a little by now, that’s where this article may be useful imo. I mean biologically men are hardwired in certain ways, true, but emotionally and mentally they are far different. I do know one thing is certain,a nd I’ve dated allt ypes of guys….when they get emotionally distant, or just quiet and what have you, it doesn’t mean they are doing anything ‘wrong’ and in fact the best approach I’ve found is to just do things to keep myself occupied, maybe even get a new hobby or spend time with friends more, then when he’s missed me enough his mood does a 360. Really that’s their way of getting over something they maybe don’t wanna express to you, and not because they don’t love or trust you, just because it’s in a man’s DNA and men have been raised left and right to hide their emotions, be a provider and deal with stuff on their own, that they will more than likely cont. this cycle. Not all men, just a lot of men. Respecting that is key. So I never whine my man doesn’t have more time for me. I just tell him why I’m upset about something he said, or did and why it upset me using “I feel…” that way there is no blame placed. Then I change the subject, express that I missed him today and let him process by not bringing it up. He’ll either process and improve, or if it was a insecurity fishing move, he’ll use it again to get reassurance from me :P. Cause uh, my man is like that now actually. Frustrating, but I get it. Anywho that’s just my personal life experiences in a summarized fashion. So far every guy I’ve dated has said I’ve been a very devoted, loyal, loving and patient and understanding woman. THe man I’m with now, I know is the ‘one’. So far my method works for him,but I also pay attention to how he reacts and just kinda go with the flow rather than try to push him back to a mood he was in a couple of days ago. I’ not saying I’m never insecure, I am, cause I love him that darned much and of course there’s that fear of losing someone that precious to you, but I know I’m doing the right thing or he wouldn’t snap outta his moods in a day or so :). Reaction is key. I’m not perfect, but I do try not to complain and to express my love and just give him space while keeping myself busy. That way if he asks “What have you been up to?” I don’t look like a shot puppy and can actually say “I’ve been baking, working, hanging with my friend Tammie” and he won’t feel bad for needing man space. They get that we miss them. They do. Even if you don’t think they do. Saying it doesn’t hurt either. But beign whiny..well, that would drive even me away fo ra day or two and I’m very emotional for a woman! lol Sorry for typoes. I’m too lazy to edit. Peace.

        • Anna says:

          Hey Adele, I loved what you said about treating people like an adversary. So true! Actually, your whole post is very well said. Thanks.

        • Anna says:

          Cheesecake Goddess – Ego wars. Definitely so. Thanks for being a good ref & helping us snap out of it! We needed that intervention. Glad you have figured out a calm stategy for your relationship.

  • Sincere says:

    @Adele Okay that’s fine I can live with your response, because you explicitly state that a woman should not continue sleeping with the distant man. But Wade’s article encourages women to sacrifice their own needs so that the man can have his needs uninterupted. A relationship is about compromise, and I don’t mean compromising your satisfaction for his 100% of the time. The article attempts to brainwash women to believe that whatever they need is wrong, and the man is right. A woman’s needs are insignificant and a man’s are paramount. No, “Anna” I’m not going to “keep reading” when I just read an entire article start to finish and was appalled by the writer’s “logic” and agenda. Why would I continue reading her material?? Answer: I wouldn’t. and I won’t.

    • Adele says:

      No I didn’t say that a woman SHOULD stop sleeping with a man who is distant. I said that Renee, herself, never directly said to keep sleeping with a man who is distant. Anyway Sincere, there is no wrong answer. Your approach is valid too. You should never do anything that you really don’t want to do. This article just reveals a different perspective and approach. Personally, it helped me a lot to take the time to understand men. But this won’t work for every woman, and you happen to be one of those women who it doesn’t work for.

      • Sincere says:

        True and you still seem to be advocating for the approach that is only beneficial to the man. Whatever works for you.

  • Sincere says:

    Seriously, this article pretty much states outright that a MAN’S needs are more important than a woman’s. Renee Wade admitted that her advice goes against a woman’s biologically dictated need for attachment and attentiveness from her partner, yet says it’ll be worth it to give in to a MAN’S biologically dictated need for “freedom.” (code for selfishness and possibly even cheating.) How about this as a compromise: If a man reaches a point where he needs his freedom, he can have all the freedom he wants, but when he comes back to her, they will just be spending time together platonically, rebuilding a bond. Renee Wade very specifically states that it is vital that a woman NOT punish a man or become “closed off from him” in any way when he finally gets around to giving her the time of day again. Basically she’s saying to keep sleeping with him! No no no..that’s disaster territory. The ONLY relationship that’ll get you is a very dysfunctional, one-sided one where his needs are more important than yours. Renee Wade wants a woman to bend completely to a man’s will. This is appalling. Ladies, don’t listen to Wade. If a man pulls away from you, meet him halfway: become distant as well. If you like him enough to still want to give it a shot, downgrade him to “dating” status which means you talk, have dinner, etc…pants stay on. Yours and his. No reason why you should suffer so he can have his cake and eat it too. Give him his freedom, of course, but don’t give him much else til he is willing to commit and fulfill all your needs (emotional and physical.)

    • Anna says:

      Just with respect to what you said about responding to distance with more distance… I am reminded of a piece of advice that was given to me by a marriage coach: “When you fight fire with fire, your marriage burns down twice as fast.”

      • ConfusedGal says:

        Anna you couldn’t have said it better….

      • Sincere says:

        I’m not saying you fight fire with fire. I’m not saying you reply to distance WITH distance. You can still SEE each other and talk, but you don’t need to continue having a physically intimate relationship until the man makes more of a commitment. But in keeping with your marriage coach’s analogy, if half the marriage is burning anyway, is it worth salvaging? You’ve completely bought into the notion that only one of you (the woman of course) needs to fight, and do so in being the bigger person. Renee Wade’s method entirely neglects the woman’s rights and needs in the relationship. She even admits that being physically intimate and then experiencing distance from your partner is not natural for a woman. So why should she go along with it? There’s nothing wrong with him seeking distance, but there’s nothing wrong with her responding by suspending their intimate relations. That way both parties get what they need with neither one compromising anything. They can still connect on a nonphysical personal level. This article should be entitled “How to be a doormat to the selfish man.” Listen, Anna, if that’s your thing, go for it… I wish you luck. But I’m not buying what Wade is selling.

        • Anna says:

          It’s all good, sometimes people just don’t like the merchandise. I feel like you are getting Renee’s motives (and mine) wrong though but like you said, if you don’t like the product you don’t have to buy it. This article is more about understanding the male side, not being a doormat, but what you choose to do with the information is up to you. You don’t have to please him, but you also shouldn’t take it personally (as in punish him). It’s kind of like this: when a woman gets upset at a man for some weird reason, and the man doesn’t get the reason, it’s the difference between him pulling you close to him and him yelling at you back & calling you crazy & hysterical. You don’t blow up to hurt him, and he doesn’t pull away to hurt you. But, something tells me you won’t buy this either, so perhaps there’s something out there more to your liking. Cheers!

        • Anna says:

          There is no reply button because this blog is structured to stop comments at the 4th level so that it doesn’t become difficult to read via the indents.

      • Sincere says:

        In reply to your second comment to me, in which there was no “reply”option for some reason: I knew you were going to bring the word “punish” into this. I almost included this in my first retort but it was already too lengthy. It is NOT a punishment for a woman to make the decision to withhold intimate relations. Do NOT try to lay a guilt trip on a woman who is taking control of her emotional well-being. As I said, if the man wants to take a temporary leave of absence from the relationship, or come and go as he pleases with no expectation of consistency, then a woman must empower herself by opting to disengage from an intimate rlshp with the man. Wade basically says: you should keep sleeping with him no matter what he does afterwards..and yeah, it goes against a woman’s biology and yeah, it’s going to be painful but you should do it anyway.” Why??? That’s simply foolish. I agree you shouldn’t rely on a man to bring you happiness and emotional satisfaction: rely on YOURSELF for it. Which means you take control of your emotional well-being. If he has a pattern of ditching you for an undisclosed period of time following intimacy, guess what… pull the plug on the intimacy until he makes more of a commitment. If that commitment never comes then it was either never going to, or he was looking for someone who would put up with his thoughtless and selfish ways and you’re better off without him. Only the truly desperate woman would buy into Wade’s methodology. In her world, the number one goal is just landing the guy. In the smart woman’s world, the number one goal is self respect and self preservation. Which means she does what’s best FOR HER, not what’s best for him. And if she happens to land the guy in the process well that’s great! But not crucial 🙂

        • Adele says:

          To me, this article is just about understanding masculine behavior. As women we want to be understood, but sometimes we are unwilling to try to see things from a man’s perspective.
          This is a website for women who want to understand men and maximize their internal attractiveness. There actually are also websites FOR MEN to understand women and maximize their internal attractiveness. Lots of men put effort into understanding women, and a simple google search will reveal this to you. Renee never explicitly said to keep sleeping with a man who has pulled away. The article says to remain open and loving to a man who has pulled away. As a woman you can make a choice on what level of intimacy you want to share with a man, and if you choose not to sleep with a man due to his pulling away, there is nothing wrong with that. Simply communicate your feelings to your partner. That is still being open and loving. As long as you are being honest about how you feel, then you are still being open. She never said to deny your feelings, in fact the article urges that you be honest about your feelings, which is an expression of self-respect.

        • Anna says:

          Thank you Adele for communicating all the things I wanted to say but couldn’t express. And about the irony of her top article “How Pleaser Women Lose Out”: There is no irony. These articles encourage a woman to see things from a man’s perspective and not from her own (which is already intuitive to us women). If you read more, you’ll understand that she’s not teaching people “just to land a man” but to be compassionate. It’s a very different perspective. The quality of compassion is very rare in this day and age so it’s often confused with being something else. Sometimes it even takes a good several reads to figure out what she is truly talking about in her articles.

        • Anna C says:

          Yeah, that’s why I declined to reply before.. No sense convincing somebody who doesn’t want to be convinced.

  • Sincere says:

    One last thing. It is the definition of irony that one of the “popular articles” on the righthand side panel is entitled “Why Pleaser Women Alway Lose Out” LOL!

  • Sincere says:

    Question for Renee Wade– when you say you are a “feminine” woman, do you actually mean submissive? It seems like you are trying a little too hard to be accomodating to the man. Especially when you talk about how a woman should accept him back, no questions asked, not closed off from him…let him no you’re upset but don’t make him suffer for it basically. I can read between the lines. You’re saying to keep hooking up with him even after he denies you commitment. That’s just disgusting. I mean, you can flash your engagement ring around all you want thinking that means you have all the answers, but not all women place landin the guy as the number one priority. Your advice only works for desperate, pathetic women whose ONLY goal is ultimately landing the guy. Some women place self respect and personal happiness above that goal. Those women would rather be alone than bend to a man’s will and need for “freedom.” Freedom is code for not offering monogamy, at least not until several months of sex. Count me out. Ladies, it’s NO compliment to you if he decides to marry you after years of mistreatment. That’s just his way of saying “wow, this is a sweet arrangement. I get to do whatever I want! Better not let this one get away.” Letting him “be a man” is not synonymous with letting him deny YOUR needs as a woman.

  • ConfusedGal says:

    So I’m in a long distance relationship with a guy I’ve dated on and off for four years ( because he wont commit. this time around we are commited. He made it clear that he is ready) known for 5. Things have been going pretty good and steady until April we were constantly arguing. He was using words like he feels suffocated, he needs space. He takes his privacy seriously.(found out he went out of state and didn’t tell me) So he finally said we need a break. I freaked out but didn’t let him know. I agreed with him that we needed a break. I was hurting inside.
    The break lasted about a week. He came and visited me. We talked things through. He thought I was going to break up with him because he said I get overly emotional. But I sat through and listened to him calmly. I thought he was going to break up with me but he didn’t. Any way he hugged me so tight and no talk of breaking up. We are still together. We had a wonderful time together.

    So now he is back out of town and has been so distant. I had already made up my mind that I would give him space. It’s hard some days but other days I keep myself busy. Working out like crazy and other stuff with my children. Hey I’ve also been out on a couple if dates. Nothing serious just to keep my mind off him. He called on Saturday and asked if I could come visit in two weeks. Well my schedule won’t permit. So he said July. He said he’d call me to discuss details. Well haven’t heard much from him. Text here and there. I didn’t hear from him at all today. So I sent him a nice text asking how his day was and blah blah.

    He said he’ll call me tomorrow. I didn’t acknowledge that and just said goodnight. Am I handling it right? Giving him his space and still letting him know I love him by checking in? I guess I’m not sure how to handle number 1. Advice? Please be nice.

    • Alicia says:

      I Never call or text my man to see how he’s doing or let him know I love him. Never. I think that’s crucial. If I see that he’s called I always return his call but I never initiate unless it’s to tell him I’m running late or some detail he needs to know about what we’re doing.

      If he doesn’t call me I don’t ask why. If he waits till rudely late to call me (occasionally) I tell him he’s “Bad” and “a bad boy”. He knows I prefer if he calls earlier but I keep it light when I complain.

      He’s not much for compliments but he expresses delight that I don’t fight with him. He runs for the hills at the slightest hint of a fight and, at 55, I’m not expecting he’ll change. He can tolerate the truth bluntly stated as long as I’m calm and somewhat humorous.

      • ConfusedGal says:

        Thanks Alicia. After yesterday I think he really just wants to be left alone. I have learnt not to fight or argue with him which is one of the things he adored about me when we first started dating. I started a new medication which made me OCD, over him. I’ve stopped taking it (doctors recommendation) and I find I am back being myself again. He text back saying his been busy, hectic week at work. I hate it when he tells me that because a simple check in is all I need. No need to sit on the phone for hours. He has never been too busy for me.
        I will adopt your tactic and let him be. If he calls or text I will answer. But I will no longer initiate contact. It’s hard because we went from texting and talking several times a day to this. It confuses me because we just saw each other a week ago and nothing was wrong. He said he loved me we hung out, I met his friends. We really had a good time. I am hoping this article is whats going on. Or maybe he is “testing” me to see how long I can go without getting angry or starting a fight. Either way I miss him loads. Not telling him that. In the meantime I will just chill and do me.

      • Anna C says:

        I think that never fighting with a guy is a slippery slope. You have to have some fights in order to grow, or to have any real intimacy. Not calling him unless he calls you first, I feel, is a silly rule. In my experience, rules don’t work in relationships; it’s not a transaction; it’s a relationship. You can give him space… but don’t restrict yourself on account of him. Instead, do everything from a position of love. As in: Is what I’m about to do motivated by love or is it motivated by fear? Is not calling him motivated by fear or love? Is giving him space motivated by fear or love? I think that is the answer, rather than restricting yoruself and nevera calling him. He’s not testing you by the way – men hardly test in this way. He’s most likely just busy or got something going on.

        • ConfusedGal says:

          Thanks Anna C.

          I know the man loves me. I don’t doubt that. This “behavior” is new to me and I don’t know how to handle it without being obsessive. Getting off the medication has helped me a lot with the OCD.
          How do I balance it? I mean I think about him all the time. I know he is busy at work with his projects and he is also a workaholic. How do I balance giving him space without him having to ask and showing him that I still love him? We are both in our early 40s. I’ve been married before and have 3 children he has neither.

          I don’t know how. I’ve never had to. My guy friend told me it could be him just rethinking things because of the new me. As in I use to be at home all the time but now that I have a teenager I can go out and do me without worrying about a babysitter. I got married young and started having children right a way. So I never went out and before then I was in college preoccupied with classes so for the first time in my life I have the time to discover what I like to do. I have the freedom to travel and focus on me.

        • Alicia says:

          I was married 30 years, widowed 4 during which I computer dated. I’ve been w/my boyfriend (whom I met salsa dancing) a year. I thank God for what I’ve learned about men & relationship based on current research into the difference between the sexes both hormonally & in the brain. In your post I recognize the philosophy of Rori Raye. I appreciate some of what she says. But that whole “anything goes if it comes from love not fear” is as much bs as when they preached that about child rearing (in the 50s).

      • Anna C says:

        Alicia – I actually don’t read Rori Raye.. I hate her idea of “circular dating” and I saw her website and wasn’t interested. I say doing things out of love to mean – doing things from a place of good intention and not to get a certain response from him, and not to listen to my neuroses. I see my man as my love of my life and good friend, so I would not want to hurt him by being curt in my responses or make him feel like I don’t care, or do things according to some rule book. I’d rather do what I feel. I’ve read a few books on the wiring of male & female brains, so I understand the basic gist, and maybe I’m wrong, but that’s just what works for me. I in no way will not *not* text my man or call him before he calls me… I call when I feel like it, and text when I feel like it. But when I’m doing it out of fear – as in, my neuroses tell me to do it to prevent him from doing something (that’s controlling him) or to get him to reply to make me feel better (that’s selfish), then I don’t. I just don’t feel it’s right to treat your friend or love of your life that way – never texting him first. I say doing things from a place of love as a more Humanistic approach.
        ConfusedGal – as for your question of not letting your OCD get to you… I think you need to take a breather from him for yourself. It seems like you are thinking from an instinctive, primal, neurotic (I don’t mean this in a bad way) part of your brain and any actions you do when you are in this state will not be the real you. I get into these states too, it’s normal. That’s when I just pull back and do my thing until I feel more balanced. Do you feel balanced right now? I know you have 3 kids, kids are stressful. Take some time for yourself and just say this to calm yourself: “He’s not going to hurt me, I can let this stress go.” I would just tell yourself to stop worrying and do something else. I know it’s easier said than done. But would you rather spend your day google searching everything and talking to your friends and getting things blown out of proportion or would you rather learn a new language or read a new book? Ok, I’ve learned that it’s almost always a bad idea to talk to your friends about your relationship. Most likely they will plant some seed in your head to get you thinking of him in the wrong way. Only HE knows the answer to why he’s acting a certain way, so if you want an answer, you either have to ask him, or let it go. Don’t talk to your friends, don’t talk to your guy friends, just chill until you feel more balanced. I guarantee you, 3 months later, you will come to this post and realise you were worried about nothing. As for doing things out of love and fear… if you don’t drink this koolaid, why not ask yourself this: Would I feel good about myself doing this thing to the love of my life and good/best friend? Ok, I don’t have 30 years of marriage experience under my belt and maybe I’m naive, but that is just what works for me. Best of luck to both of you ladies. =)

        • ConfusedGal says:

          Thank you Alicia and Anna. I think you both have given me some solid advice. I just need to do me. Anna I have started reading books on the days I don’t feel like going out. I have a certification exam I plan on taking in two months. I think this should take my mind of him and the relationship for a minute. I will call and check on him only if I know there is need to not just to tell him of some article I read or whatever.

          Thank you ladies for your solid advice.

        • Anna C says:

          Hi again ConfusedGal – Just wanted to give you a few more words of encouragement… I know, it is hard to deal with a man “pulling away” when you’ve never dealt with it before. I’ve never dealt with it until my current relationship, and at first I thought it was unnatural and weird. But it’s going to seem unnatural and weird to a man to know that you feel hurt when he pulls away too. We’re different. He probably doesn’t even realise he is pulling away. Your man seems like the classic example, and he seems to love you very much, so during times when he does this, I would just remind yourself that he is pulling away to feel better about himself, fix something, or be a man (just like this article says). Usually, I find that when I’m anxious and worried to hear from him when he’s in the pulling away stage, that it is my own fear & neuroses that is driving my worrisome behavior. And you just have to remind yourself that he’s not doing it because of you, it’s not personal, and it’s about him. As for him wanting a “break”, believe it or not, that is also very common for a man like this. It just means he’s scared, and he doesn’t feel good enough or man enough to step up in the relationship. He feels like you feel on days you feel fat and don’t want to go to work. Except substitute “fat” for “doesn’t feel like a man” and “work” for “relationship.” Just wanted you to know this.

        • ConfusedGal says:

          Anna C he just called and said he’s been busy with work. I couldn’t talk so I told him to call me later after my gym time.

          My best friend just bought me a trip to Vegas for her birthday for next weekend. I don’t know when I will have a chance to tell him or if I even need to. You are right Anna we love each other very much and the only reason why we have broken up in the past (me breaking up with him) is because of his unwillingness for a committed relationship.
          This time we don’t have that issue. We are committed. You are right about the break thing. He said he gives up, he can’t make me happy etc. we are off the break though.
          Thank you and I will attempt to adapt your advice. Lol.

      • Sincere says:

        Seems that in your desperation to partner up, you made a pact with yourself to neglect your own needs and walk on egg shells so as to not rock the proverbial boat with your “man.” Whatever makes you happy. Let me ask you, if I dare– what does he sacrifice in order to be with you? Did he do research on how to make a woman happy? (as you stated several posts below YOU have done.)

  • idealistic says:

    this makes a lot of sense, woman we sometimes feel man cant understand us and viceversa, that love should be stronger, you can love someone and for us is hard when after being so close, guys can completely pull away and dissapear even if they do love you. It happened to me, many factors tho, different countries, personalities, but we felt like the oppoites attract were true for us. He was the sweetest man ever, but he wasnt used to be like that, he was normally quiet not affeccionate or it was hard for him to express how he felt. If man get themselves get influenced by the environemnet lets say the moment we started to struggle was when one of his friends almost killed himself cause his ex cheated on him and left him when engaged. the other friend was getting divorced, etc. And his job –diver– but very stressful lately, and he wouldnt say if soomething was wrong, hed be venting on me but also more distant. I read other articles and it said that when i man feel like he cannot make you happy he rathers be alone. I wanted to understand what was going on in his mind not to cause trouble, he saw it as if he couldnt make me happy, this was the most seirous relationship for both, he had had only a regular girlfriend when 18, now is 25, we talked since he was 23 and I was 22. He said that thats why he didnt like relationships. because te emotional thing, and that arguing like that make him want to die alone…another note to it, he used to drink daily before we met, when we were together he wanted to be “a better maan for me” and he stop drinking and put himself together. we broke up in february while i was in a exchangge in Usa, he pulled away and dissapeared like unreliable since the middle of feb to mid of march, when i had to come back to my country and he finally agreed to see me and drove me to the airport. Anyways, we ended as friends, that wed be in touch but fter i said i was grateful for all and being nice he pulled away harder and now i found out he is drinking more, probbaly daily and now he does stays up later and things he wouldnt do when we were together.. so complicated, i think i need teraphy lol, it was my first guy, we lasted 1 year and 3 months but met him 2 years ago. Hard, hard to think “if he did love me why he ignored mE” I rather recall the positive only…right? lesson learned

  • Forrest says:

    I’m a man, and I pulled away from my ex because I started seeing red flags in our relationship. We had talked about marriage, and I told her about things that were absolute dealbreakers for me. She would always talk about breaking up, why I was the one and why did I pick her (I had dated more than she had), and she would always smother me. The final straw was the fact that we had a minor fight, but she had a temper tantrum and she threw a glass against the wall. I have had friends to tell me that what happens in your relationship…it intensifies by 5 when you get married. So I had visited her, she embarrassed me in a restaurant, and she didn’t take responsibility for what she did. When I saw that, I ran and ran fast. I love her, but that isn’t the way love is supposed to be. The part about letting a man be a man is VERY important; however, it would be better if women communicated with their men and listened to what makes them happy and what bothers them. I would rather be alone than to spend time with someone who will not let you be yourself. That applies for both men and women. You should always be yourself and be true to yourself no matter what.

  • D.Daniel says:

    Renee, this is the best article ever I’ve read in a year since meeting a great guy T my 60th class reunion birthday event last year May 26.Us Women have the tendency to get over excited when we meet a man to our liking. I had to relearn what it is Men find attracrive in Women they’d settle down with. Just as he has his freedom I have learned to have fun dancing, etc. specially for now. Will be passing this article on to my Great grandchild.

  • DB says:

    This article makes sense to some degree, but do not forget that there are people, men (and am sure women – to be fair) who are passive aggressive and/or emotionally abusive. Emotional withdrawal is a tactic for such men. When assessing a man’s intentions, this needs to be considered. I just got out of a relationship because this occurred several times. Yes, it started wonderfully, full of love, attention, etc. I gave him his “space” each time he seemed remote, but the last time was just too much. In addition to withdrawal, I caught him in minor lies; he made humiliating remarks about me in public, backhanded/insulting/patronizing remarks out of alleged “kindness” and did “drive-bys” of the house of his ex-girlfriend/mother of his child with me and his father in the car. They were involved in a custody fight and the child didn’t want to live with her father. I began to feel like a spoke in the wheel, an object, one part of his compartmentalized life. Keep this in mind when your partner withdraws.

  • stillconfused says:

    Sometimes I just feel like my man duped me. When we first started dating, he told me he wanted to be exclusive, he wanted me to be completely open to him, and was anxious for me to fall in love with him.
    1 year later, we are still seeing each other and now I love him deeply but he is always pulling away from me. He is stressed out with money/ job issues but he doesn’t like to tell me about his problems. But he has this female friend that he used to like, and she knows more about his financial situation than I do!
    He will allow her to buy him food or help him with bills while he is struggling, but he won’t let me spend a dime on him. Even with all my worries I try to leave him be as best i can, and I check in on him sometimes. But he can go 3 days or more without contacting me now. should I just give him space?

    • Anna C says:

      Hola Stillconfused. I think you should give YOU space. By that I mean, withdraw and reflect until you feel more balanced and truly confident. In my experience, when I feel like I’m insecure and needy, all my interactions with my man do NOT get me what I want (which is him to come closer) and might even push him away more. When you want something from a guy, you come across as desperate and guys can sniff that out subconsciously like crazy. I just “woke up” from a desperate phase… I even realised my guy FRIENDS pulling away from me! Just one day I woke up and interacted with my guy in a more easy way, and he was really sweet and attracted to me.. maybe it was because he was acting very masculine that day and it made me feel happy and safe… but my point is, I would take some time to reflect and do things that take your mind outside of the relationship so that you don’t give off an insecure subconscious vibe. Whenever I start to think and worry about my relationship, I pick up a book. You can also watch a funny movie, or go out with girlfriends, or if you like this, a mani/pedi.

    • Anna C says:

      If you want to comfort him from a place of non-neediness (as in, you don’t EXPECT anything from him in return and won’t resent him if he does not give you gratitude in return), you can take steps comfort your man. One way that works for me is to cook him something for dinner one night, or make him a drink when he’s working, or just do something that will ease his life, whether it be recording the Champions League matches for him if he’s going to miss it, or making him his favorite dessert or meal, or asking him to go exercise with you to blow off steam, if he’s into that.

  • Karen says:

    You have no idea how your article has mentally helps me. All my life I have felt something missing.. I always did the right things in relationships eg. Look after my partner, all household duties , worked, paid my bills, unconditional love for them, everything I could do I would.
    I never understood why my partners left me for other woman. They always said I was the best they had, the nicest , loving ,caring etc but they left for other woman.
    I have been so sad for years wondering what was wrong with me , to the point of depression and therapy for years.
    I realise I suffocate them lol, sad but true. My wanting to love someone is scaring them to death. They say I’m mental, insecure, needy.
    It’s not that I’m any of this , it’s just that I love too much and want a partner that feels the same way. I will now back off from my current partner as he is pulling away also.
    I will try all your suggestions and I thank you and love you so much that I have finally found a forum that can give advice without having to buy materials that explain “jack shit” . My love life is indebted to you . Thank you so much !! 🙂 I’m now extremely happy .

  • Adrian says:

    For the Ladies.
    I can tell you as a man that this is one of the single most sound pieces of advice a woman can take on board.
    Actually until reading this i thought that my wanting to pull away was some kind of flaw in my make up.
    We are so used to hearing women say “why can’t men commit”

    Bless you renee 🙂

    Of course men have to balance the need to pull away with a woman’s need to connect, but both sides having info about what is intuitive to the other is a big help.

    • idealistic says:

      A man on a woman forum? thats cool, not many guys look for understanding or stuff like this 🙂 this deff help us and i wish i read this before…when it was the right time. Some people say man can withdraw like even fro 7 months, i read a comment of a girl who persued his bf and he pulled away much more. When she stopped, he came back by his own. How different is that when a relationship is “done” the withdrawall can be counted as well? ’cause i broke up with my bfriend 3 months ago and last month ive been more of a pursueing, i stopped but different countries and all make it hard. I dont think he will come back even if i ignore but it will def be a lesson.

      • Nessa says:

        Honestly since you broke up with him you need to just give him space. If he really loves you he’ll do whatever he can to try to win you back. Sad to say, but if he doesn’t, maybe the pulling away really was him just tryign to communicate he doesn’t feel the same for you any more and it’s effectively “over” before you broke up with him. And there is a diff. between pulling away emotionally and pulling away all together because it’s over. Trust your gut. Some men get in this rut where they become insecure and need to reassert their control and often times it comes out to us women as being mean or insensitive or less romantic etc. But if you just cont. to act normal and don’t poke him as to why he’s “acting this way”, because honestly they know what they’re doing, but they don’t wanna talk about their feelings (some guys do and will come out with it), he’ll come back more grounded and loving. Try to put it in a reverse perspective, the more intensely in love you are with your partner the more likely you are worried they will hurt you, regardless if you 100% trust them because past hurts are always in the back of a person’s mind. Over time we can completelly get over them though.

        I personally love talking about my feelings,but only when I’m comfortable and if someone pokes me to talk I just say BS stuff and try to divert as far away as possible from talking about how I feel. I never act out, that’s important, I just emotionally withdrawal a bit and get quiet when the subject goes towards maybe me having to express my feelings.

        A healthy withdrawal is one where your man comes back to you loyal, loving and ready to just cont. where you left off. It does not mean they ignore you for a weeks, cheat on you, treat you like down right crap to the point of abuse. If anyone’s man is being that nasty because they can’t or won’t talk about what’s going on inside their head, you need to sit him down and say “This is mean. That is not a joke and I don’t feel loved. Come around when you can give me respect and love to me. In the mean time, I’ll be here waiting. I love you, but I’m not a punching bag.” (it’s important to emphasis YOUR feelings and try not to pin everything on him and just let him know this is how you feel and that you’ll be there when he’s done sorting. Cause if you just get all angry at him he may lash out more and men need loving words just as much as we do. They just don’t ask for them cause they’re men!). Note: he may still lash out because you’re making him feel stuff (i.e.guilt and sadness for withdrawling and taking it out on you), but then when he comes back around don’t bring it up, he will bring it up if it really was the “bad” withdrawal. Let him come to you and just say sorry if he wants or not. THe last thing you ever wanna do is continually go harpy mode. It’s healthy to fight, but too much is unhealthy. Ok I’m done ranting.

        Source of knowledge: the love of my life is a soldier and when he gets overwhelmed emotionally he becomes a pain in the arse, but I love him regardless because I know how stressed out he can get and it’s not easy having his emotions on his sleeve even half the time.

        • idealistic says:

          Hi Nessa, I appreciate you taking the time to write me in here. Soldiers haha, yep he is in the navy, deep sea diver but I think is fair for you to know the whole storie, is way more complicated than you think. First, yes, he isnt very much confortable with talkking bout emotions, his past girlfriend was when he was 18 and he is 25 now, the same, i didnt had a serious relationship, im 24, so for both it was the big deal but u must know that it was a long distance relationship. Usa and Peru in south america, that makes it harder. He pursued me for 9 months, talking, being loyal to each other, the guy was super into me even tho I didnt trust him being that awesome and sometimes tested him or being a bitch, hed stay always. He was in the middle east thats why he couldnt come earlier. As soon as he was sent home, he asked for his leave (3 weeks) to be with me. We had a good time, few little argues but nothing that could over weight the good, of being together, I realized he was more expressive through the internet but still we had good chemestry and he was my first intimate man, so you can imagine how attached I got afterwards when he left. And he was a little bit more distant and im assuming that was his “cave” moment but i didnt know how to handle it, Id say why u changed etc and get like sad and he got depressed one day, didnt get out of bed and said “i dont make u happy, makes me sad” id try to end up the relationship but he will always, as you said, do anything to win me back. Before he met me he used to drink everyday, with me he changed became a better man and he even said he wanted to marry me etc. He even would give me his password to help him put some pictures etc, there was that level of trust. Three months later, I had been selected to work at a resort, student exchange, I chose one that was 3 hours away from where he lives. I stayed one week with him previous to starting to live at the resort. He took leave the middle of december so he could also drive me there and spent time with his family too. I put my walls down completely that first week and then when we were in bed i played with his phone and without even wanting i saw a conversation that he initiated with a girl he used to like in high school, and i reacted negatively, i thought he was flirting and i said i will enter to see the whole convo so i dont think bad, but the password was different, i asked him if he changed it and he said no…but then FB made a remember saying “u changed it last monday” which was the same day he talked to her and he drove me to the resort. Why would he lie if it wasnt nothing wrong? i wanted to break up with him but he said he loved me etc and it didnt mean anything so he deleted her from FB. Ever since, I couldnt trust him completely, he would have had white little lies before too but id rather much better honesty. The thing is, in new years he came to my place where i lived with roommates and was more focused on drinking that actually spending quality time with me, he wanted to drink more but i felt uncomfortable with the people i didnt know and he got mad at me to the point he wanted to drive back to his place..that was the first time ever he mentioned that “maybe is better for us to be friends” because he felt he “ruined” my life because i didnt wanna party and go out as before. To me, it felt like because we dont live in the same country i just wanted to have quality time with him as much as posible, Then, january came and he told me hed be able to drive every weekend to spend time with me, this day he said i wont be able and i was sad and i said “ok if its boys time im ok with it” but he got mad and said to me on the phone “ure making me look like a piece of shit, i cant go this weekend, i need time to do my stuff, deal with things in here, is not like when i see u all stays color rose in my place, i cant postpone my life like ive been doing the past few weeks” OUCH. i told him i rather him coming when he wants than when he thinks he have to and didnt speak to him for 4 days, i was about to leave him, he said sory that he was stressed out for a test, his job was crazy etc. The thing is, last time I saw him was jan 25th. After that i got sick and he was morew withdrawal, i felt he wasnt as excited as before, before meeting each other hed want to talk to me every day and ask bout my day etc, nowi it was me who came back from work and text him bout how he was doing and it felt more like a “imma read, imma, eat, imma sleep” thing. We then used to talk on the phone and hed be annoyed, more negative, venting on me, wanting to go to sleep early, well he used to sleep always like at 9 maximum 10pm because he wakes up early but the thing is i felt as if he didnt wanna talk to me. I tried so much, our natures were different,. I found myself thinking bout him everyday but felt it wasnt reciprocated. I broke up with him on february 9th and for the first time he was ok with it, next day i was sad called him and blamed all on me saying he was tired of feeling judge and it was gonna say the same over and over again, next day after being mean like that he texted me saying sorry that he will always care, he loves me and wants me to be happy. I really thoight we will make up for valentines day but he didnt say anthing, he just said good morning have a nice day and i didnt answer back on whatsapp(txt message) and after that, I didnt heard of him for 4 days! I called him the following week and he didnt answer but the next day with the typical “sorry being busy” and it was like that the whole month, i even saw him late on Fb which made me feel like hey, with me he went to bed early. When i tried to fix things saying its just a test he said nah, his job was busy he is not stable and wont be able to be there for me, he won be reliable bcuase he wanted to move and epxlore and help in the navy like a lab rat and he didnt wanna hold my life back. Two days after that and not answering to my positive lovy messages he wrote me that he was sick the whole weekend and he is very grateful, that i was amazing and thanked me for always being there for him and to let him know when i go home. But then hed be colder, then two divers died etc, to sum up, i know im explained my wholeee love life haha, he finally agreed to see him on the last day i was there to take me to the airport, he texted me it was hard at work and negative weeks but when i saw him he seemed ok, he told me he started drinking more cause he couldnt sleep in february and he might choose to go to japan for his last 3 years of contract. We did it, we were together but it felt like we didnt really close the chapter. Back in Peru he saw i posted stuff about feeling broken heart and he inboxed me saying he did love me and it was hard to see me watch but the time wasnt right and we couldnt force it but he feels we will see each other again and im the person he cared about the most and pronbably will ever. He has my books and he has to send them to my country so that was an excuse to talk to him, He started withdrawing more when after he told me “maybe when we both r more stable and done with our studies u can come here id like that” i said “nah, find someone with whom u can walk the talk” after saying that he got more distant, short words, and i didnt want that, i want us to be friends but, he dissaoeared, answered me only when talking bout the books, one week ago he was nicer but not looking forward to talk to me much. This past weekend i saw him on the same language website we met, he was online, and so on saturday so ir hurted me to know he does have the time to talk but wouldnt talk to me, I talked to him yesterday, i said i needed to talk to him, he now would read me and ignore the message. I said yesterday by mistake that i loved him still, missed him, and it hurts knowing he feels annoyed to answer me or avoiding talking to me, that i wished we could be friends etc and a lot of cheesy stuff like teach me how to forget u, genuine love doesnt just dissapear, u might be already loooking for new girls, never forget what we had etc…at this point i dont think he will come back to me, he’slooking forward to leave the country in december, excited with whatever might come, which is ok, but i dont understand why he stopped to love me so quickly, or if he avoiuds talking to me to “remember” because he is healing still or because he doesnt give a dang anymore…it hurts me so much, i cried everyday, dreamed with him and it feels so surreal…by now i also promised it was gonna be the last time i said i loved him and he wont have to worry i wont talk to him again..he still needs to confirm me bout my books and it hurts he didnt take the time to answer to all of my texting, i also found out he blocked me on skype. it was obvious i wasnt feeling ok and how cold he acts, i dont understand…idk how hard it hit him the breakuo either cause he doesnt share his feelings and i feel like the whole month of february he was forcing himself to not love me anymore, altho when we saw last time in the middle of march the spark was still there but i could feel he put his walls up. Now, you think he will come back still?

        • Nessa says:

          I can definitely feel your pain with teh long distance. My love has tried pushing me away and I flat out told him “I ain’t going anywhere and if you love me as much as you show me and say you do, you’ll move mountains like I will to be with you.” and so whenever he’d get broody and start a fight cause he feels bad he can’t be here with me, like now, lol, and be the bf he thinks he’s not being (cause honestly he’s a wonderful man and he shouldn’t put himself down), I just literally go on a rant and tell him I’m never giving up on him cause it’s true. I’d rather be miserable now waiting for him, than be miserable the rest of my life alone pining for him. The ‘what ifs’ just would kill my soul. So I really think you shouldh’t have broken up with him unless without a shadow of a doubt you knew he was cheating on you. He’s probably hurt you ‘gave up’ basically. I mean it seems to me when I rant to my soldier telling him I’ll never give up on him or us, he comes back stronger. I mean true love doesn’t just come knocking on your door ya know? I’ve also told him flat out, if at any point he doesn’t want a relationship with me now or when he comes home, he can bounce cause I’m never just going to be his friend. For me that would be just as painful as if he was dead because my love will never go away, and I’ll always want a romantic relationship with him. It seems to me like that’s what you want with your navy man. Regardless of why you broke up with him at the time and all the ups and downs. I mean to me, if he wants to be with you, he’ll do whatever he can to have you be with him in person as much as possible (i.e. marriage–cause married couples get more time with eachother in the Navy and of course having you move in with him). But honestly, it seems at this point he’s either so hurt you didn’t trust him he’s pushing you away, or he’s so self-loathing because he actually DID cheat on you that he knows you deserve better and is trying his best to give that to you. I guess what you need to ask yourself is, do his actions show you that he loves you as much as you love him? Because if you doubt that even a bit. I’d forget him. I would not be with my soldier right now if he didn’t show me through actions how much I mean to him, because trust me, he can say some of hte meanest stuff when he can’t just express his emotions cause he’s stressed and/or miserable about being deployed still. I hope my own personal experiences have helped shed some light on your love life. I wish you all the best. Just remember. You don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t love you as much as you love them. You want someone who will fight for you and fight for the ‘us’ you deserve. Even if you never love again, and wanna spend your life alone, that would still be better than being with someone who doesn’t love you as much as you love them.

        • idealistic says:

          I do feel pain. He wasnt the type of guy who would cheat, but when I was in Usa he was very stressed out because of his economy and future in the navy, he started neglecting the relationship and yes, I know actions show more! I could have said mean stuff too but he knew i loved him and i left because i felt he didnt love me as much, he didnt fight this time, he used to fight for me always but then this time he was so self.inmerse on his own job and stuff that he wouldnt think of me nor being with me as much, which hurted. He said he wasnt going to be stable nor reliable which maybe means that he doesnt trust himself being away for 3 years and handling the relationship like he promissed. He will probably go to Japan for 3 years at the end of the year and some friends think he might have got more excited with the idea of the unknown and maybe new girls? or freedom? or not to worry about the drama we were going through but it def something changed in his mind. I wont ever know the true reason, he first told me he was tired that i didnt believe him etc and then he said its his job, he wont be there for me because of so much movement, and i guess, he felt his freedom was taken away? altho he was the one who talk about marriage and not me, he even said he thought i was gonna be with him like together within a year, but i guess the new plans came into his mind when he started feeling stressed about his job and hed say “i want you to be happy” and probably he did realized that i cared more. He used to tell me he would never give up because of what you say, that feeling of knowing they let go of their “soul mate” but then he changed his mind i guess and it hurts mosre because I was the one who didnt trust the relationship, he convinced me that I was safe with him etc, and look at me now, talking about him while God knows whats hes doing besides ignoring me 🙁

  • Patience .N. says:

    Tank i was able 2 see my mistake am heal of my pain

  • tchotchke says:

    I was married for 30 years and when my husband was alive I gave him no freedom at all. We were “joined at the hip”. I didn’t know any better. His dramatic mood swings from loving husband to monster confused me. He tried to articulate what was bothering him but he really didn’t know and I only understand it now after he’s dead and I’ve been reading Renee (and other dating info geared at understanding men based on the latest research). For some reason marriage counselors (which my husband and I went to) are still stuck in the old unisex, men-must-learn-to-get-in-touch-with-their-feelings-and-communicate-them model.

    I have a boyfriend now and our relationship is SO different. I give him so much more freedom. Yet he calls me every night. Giving him the freedom I do is often uncomfortable but I’m pretty confident I can trust him not to cheat on me and he seems quite attached. We’ve both agreed (the one time the topic came up) that were we ever to get married (he’s terrified of it like many divorced men) that we would both continue to keep our own house.

    I don’t call him typically. If we’ve had any kind of argument or if I’ve expressed unhappiness with something he’s said or done, he doesn’t call the next night. When he then calls the next night after that I make no comment about the fact that he skipped a night. I figure it’s his choice whether he calls and he’s clearly avoiding discussing conflict because it makes him uncomfortable. I “pick my battles” and if it’s important enough, I confront him knowing he may skip a call.

    This not living together thing is actually quite in my favor. The other evening he was making dinner for us at his house and began to pick at me, telling me off for this and that. I said, “I’m leaving!” “Why?”, he wanted to know. “Because I don’t like how you’re treating me and talking to me!” He didn’t apologize but he quickly calmed down and began explaining his point in a polite and reasonable fashion. Next time, I may just march out…but talk to him when he subsequently calls me.

    • Anna C says:

      Ahh, I love this idea of having separate apartments and leaving when he’s acting insensitively. I myself do not want to move in with my man for the same reason! (He does not want to move in yet either…) I like our living situation!

  • Adele says:

    I don’t know about my man, if I can even call him that. He is so dominant, controlling, aggressive. It’s too much sometimes! He took me out on dates when he was trying to get me, now he doesn’t. We’re both busy with school but he barely makes time for me. Then when I try to leave he won’t let me go. He doesn’t like me having male friends or hanging out with them, even though we never go anywhere! I told him he should leave and find someone else. I understand that a man needs to feel like a man and wants a feminine woman but this? I Feel like he wants to own me like a dog. He wants all of my love and affection for the little that he does for me. And he pulls away all the time. He pulls away so regularly that I don’t even blink anymore?

    • Anna C says:

      Hey Adele! Gosh it seems like I’m responding to everyone here, but it feels like in every one of your stories I feel my own. Maybe because my guy pulls away so much! And it hurts.. but it’s starting to hurt a lot less and then I go do my own thing. Anyways, your post made me think of my man in the beginning of our relationship. He seemed cold and aggressive and controlling, and like he didn’t want me to go out… but I found that it was only my perception. He seemed cold and insensitive because he was a man, and he was burdened inside. Have you ever asked him why he didn’t want you to go somewhere? Maybe he had a good reason like “I don’t feel it’s safe” or maybe it was your perception that he didn’t want you to go. Because you and I don’t think like him, we’re women. When I asked my man this, and told him he seemed controlling, he ended up getting hurt by it, and telling me that he didn’t intend to keep me from going out, he had a particular reason for it. He didn’t want to control me like I thought he did. And he looked gruff and aggressive because he was a man. He wants me to do whatever I want, but he WILL tell me what he thinks if otherwise. And usually his reasoning is correct, if I really LISTEN. Could this be like your man? Ask him if he means what you think he does, and tell him when he seems controlling that you feel he is being controlling. Good chance is, that he would not realise it.

      • Adele says:

        Thanks for replying. It’s not THAT bad with him. We love each other and he can be so tender and affectionate that I melt inside. I guess that’s why I can’t leave! Those moments are rare but precious to me. He also makes me feel safe because of his take-charge attitude. But the other side is the stuff I listed above: dominant, seems controlling, and he talks about sexual stuff on the phone that makes me nervous sometimes! I get what you are saying about his controlling ways, it could be coming from a good place of protectiveness. It most likely is, because he does look out for my best interest. So how are things with your man now?

        • Anna C says:

          Hey Adele! I definitely get what you mean about those tender moments that keep you hooked… I have the same thing! Things with my man have become ALOT better now since I understand how his thought process works and why he does certain things. He used to seem controlling to me, but that’s because he didn’t understand that other people do things different ways & it doesn’t mean that they are wrong. He was only trying to help me get things done when he tells me what to do, but he didn’t understand that my way could work too (as could everyone elses way). Believe it or not, many people, people who others think are CONTROLLING, are really people who don’t yet understand that there are other ways besides their way to do things. My female coworker gets into fights a lot with her husband because she hates the way he does things, and thinks her way is right. But after more than 7 years of marriage she began to realise that it hurts her husband when she tries to control him, so she’s learning to let it go. I’ve found that when my man does something that seems controlling or makes me uncomfortable (like the sexual stuff on the phone), I respond in 1 of 2 ways: 1) With a playful joke: “Gosh, you’re so BOSSY! Why are you so bossy?” Then kiss him., Or 2) In a direct statement: “That seems controlling to me.” Or “I’m feeling awkward/uncomfortable in this conversation now.” Or maybe “Ok, it’s getting awkward.” when I don’t know how to react… because most of the time, he doesn’t know he’s making me feel uncomfortable or awkward. LOL… on a personal story, my man talks about other girls sometimes that he knows I don’t like… And I get hurt when he does that, and/or I don’t know how to respond, so I just say “Ok, it’s getting awkward.” And he immediately stops. Apparently he only does it to push my buttons because he’s being playful, but after a while it gets annoying. But yes, you are right, if you respond how you truly feel, and he tells you why he’s doing it, most likely, maybe 9 times out of 10, you’ll find he’s doing it for your best interest. The other 1 time out of 10 he’s probably doing it out of stupidity. LOL. Just kidding 😉

  • angela says:

    Thanks for explaining this.
    My partner of 12 months seems to get so into our relationship and then suddenly causes an arguement and refuses to call for a few days. This usually leaves me devistated, but after it happening a few times and after noticing the cycle it happens in I have been able to stop myself from becoming so upset…but still not understanding why.
    I still have the fear that this time will be the time its over. But I learnt from a past relationship to just leave him be. Thanks to your article I know why I have to just let it be.
    Im a strong, attractive, intelligent woman and my self esteem should not be effected just because he needs to regroup.
    This time when he comes back I will explain to him that it does hurt to be ignored, but it would be nice for him to know he can say to me, ‘I need a few me days’.

    • Anna C says:

      Hey Angela, I completely understand where you are coming from. Sometimes when a woman does something different than what the man does (Because we ARE both different and see things differently), then he subconsciously loses trust for you because it feels like “he doesn’t know you.” It might even seem then that you are not on his side. And it happens the other way around as well.
      However, I find that when my man is picking fights over “nothing”, most of the time it has nothing to do with you, but instead that he’s going through some kind of pressure. Maybe he doesn’t feel adequate about something? Don’t you notice that when you are hurting about something, you seem so much more sensitive to slights and tend to pick more fights?
      As for your fear that “this time it’s over”… most of the time our fears seem to have a lot of power in the near term, but if you back away and give it a few days they lose their power. I mean even asking him to explain something that is so natural to him might not work in the long run because that is feminine thinking, and it’s hard to control something that occurs naturally. It’s like saying, “Tell me if you are going to eat the apple when you are hungry” instead of a person just naturally going for the apple when they are hungry.

  • Denean Johnson says:

    I am ABSOLUTELY loving your words, and hoping that I will be back..very, very soon.. to give u my love success story; which will be developed from my reading of your article!!!

  • Maggy says:

    Seems to me this site is advocating that men can act irresponsibly, deceitfully and selfishly. You make it sound like we women are at fault and are the ones who should change and accept what ever if we want to be in a relationship. If you reward anyone for bad behaviours, they think they can do what they like and they don’t need to change because you will love them no matter what. Not so. After a lifetime of rewarding men for bad behaviour, I am of the opinion that if they don’t treat me how I want to be treated or love me how I want to be loved, then I am on my bike and out of there!

  • Neferyuya says:

    Note: think back to times when you really want freedom yourself
    and think of what is fair;

    men come to mind,
    who I pushed away with all the masculine energy I have
    and with good reason…I was pushing them away for good.
    I think that is what confuses us sometimes is that women push away more permanently.
    Special note; These men I pushed away at different times in life better stay away from Dr Abulu….
    they were toxic enough.
    They don’t need more potion.
    However, I am glad you are happy Juliana.

  • Neferyuya says:


    This might seem a bit lighthearted of me – by the way I love the article….

    I like it when they are pulling away in the regular sense [not the “something is wrong” sense]
    so I can do my nails. I am not joking.

    I like time to myself, for my music, my programs, my internet stuff, my trying on
    clothes and getting rid of the ones I don’t like, girl stuff that I really do not want a man
    involved in. I can’t stand the thought of a man hanging over me while getting a manicure or
    some equally girly thing that’s just total girl fun – I know some women who love it when their men are right there with them while they are doing their nails or trying on clothing, but I do not.
    I certainly don’t want him hanging on me when I am comparing tampons and looking at all those concealing accessories that are really cute – he’d think some of those things are pointless and just cute – I say he would not want to walk to the counter and purchase those items any more than I want to walk through an office with a tampon with out the cute little purse that I could put it in rather than carrying too much to each bathroom visit at work – men can understand it that way.
    Women can get that. Any woman can get that. The times guys pull away are times for the secret world of all girl stuff. This was such a big paragraph on girl stuff – no man should look here. I pull away from men to do girl stuff. I know I do.

    It can be a hypocritical area for me once recognized – corrected.
    That’s the beauty of awareness.

    My feelings about men pulling away has depended on my feeling and what is going on with me at the time – now I am really focused on this – even when I am having bad times that leave a woman feeling beaten down by the world – I know not to project any of that on my relationship. Just go to my own sanctuary filled with fuzzy pillows and flannel sheets – ahhhhhh.

    I always want to do this – to be that way – I do it a lot, however, when I went through some super bad times when I was single one time I really felt that I needed some one – specifically a man in general – not even a particular one at the time – and made a lot of mistakes that I would not have made from a stronger place in my mind. That time in my life scared me regarding how my choices were being made and made me question myself heavily.

    So, when I read this I feel good because it is just a return to myself – that is something a person rarely gets to see – you know?

    Thanks for being the barer of that good news Renee.

    I feel like I could easily give a man that kind of space these days and forward. ….because I have done this already recently ha ha!!!

    It feels good to me.

    • Anna C says:

      Hi there Neferyuya – you couldn’t be more right. Especially when you said that when a woman is having bad times it’s best not to project that onto the relationship.. I did that last night when I was feeling a bit insecure about my job, and my man was already too serious and overwhelmed with things that he got angry with me for “complaining” as he says. He’s been in withdrawal mode but he is still mostly nice and wants to see me… just a bit heavy mood and grumpy at times, though, I know it’s not about me… I guess this is the time to retreat into the secret world of girl things. And talk to my girlfriends about my worries… Especially when your man has pulled away, it’s best not to project your life insecurities on the relationship (thinking it won’t be considered “needy” because it’s not about HIM – but he still considers it as complaining and probably feels indirectly blamed.. what is not considered needy to you is probably still needy to him). Normally, he would be there to comfort you, but in times of withdrawal, it probably feels like an extra burden.
      Time to retreat into girl world to feel connected to other things in life for balance.

  • Dee says:

    i met a guy that i am crazy about. he says he loves me, glad i am in his life, gave me a key to his house and full access. however, i feel him pulling away. i believe a woman from a previous relationship has entered. what do i do?

    • tchotchke says:

      It’s important to know whether your suspicions are accurate or not because pulling away to go to another woman is grounds for a breakup, pulling away otherwise is not. Confronting him isn’t the answer because if he is with her he’ll probably lie, and if he isn’t he’ll be offended from not being trusted when he’s done nothing wrong. So, find out however you can while leaving him out of it. Good luck.

  • shreya says:

    Hi Renee,
    I just finished reading the article and I can’t tell you how much better I feel already. This is great for women just like me. I do get insecure every time he chooses his friends over me. It’s not THAT often, but it does happen. Every time it does, I get all upset and feel like breaking up, thinking it’s not working out. I hold up a fight with him every time he wants to go out alone or with his friends, and I feel TERRIBLE about it. I regret it all the time, but the “woman” inside me gets me all crazy! However, this article seems to be quite a help, and I really hope I am able to “understand” him, without pretending to do so or punishing him. Thanks again!

    • Kat says:

      I just came upon this article after having gone through years of getting insecure whenever my boyfriend starts to pull away. I’ve always gotten sad when he chooses to go out and be with other people but after reading this it has helped me see another point of view and I hope I’ll be able to let him do his thing from now on without feeling upset and that he’ll love me more for understanding him. (Hopefully he won’t enjoy the freedom too much and take off!) Thanks so much for the article.

  • EllisB says:

    So this scenario is happening to me right now. I have been dating a guy for 2 months – everything was going great and then he shut down on me – cancelled plans, ignored tests, said that work was busy, sick, etc.

    I tried telling him in a polite way that I felt like I was getting the cold shoulder and it disappointed and upset me. He said he understood and then tells me there’s some things he wants to discuss with me when he gets back from his weekend trip.

    Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever hear from him again. I just wish I hadn’t gotten my hopes up that this relationship was finally the one that was going to work. I’m 37 and just got out of a 2 1/2 relationship before this because the guy didn’t want to get married…*sigh* This issue never seems to end…

  • Leia says:

    This is a one-sided article. If a man pulls away from you it’s either of four things. He has some kind of issue he needs to work out, he is experiencing a sexual issue , he is just not that into you OR he is seeing another woman. You must be smart enough to listen to his responses and determine if what he is saying is true. Also note if he isn’t sharing his personal self with you but he is only willing to get physical ….get away, stay far away. Women always forget that men can separate the sex act from emotion… Also anyone on this page who’s experiencing and on and off relationship. Be aware that the other person is probably sampling what is out there …when that doesn’t work out…he comes back to you…ole faithful because…you LET him. Don’t let anyone place you on a shelf …leave you for a month or two and come and find you there.

    • Rhonda says:

      I agree that no woman or man should be put on a shelf while taking time to themselves. We go through this, and I decided to regain my life independently while he has these timeouts. In fact, I decided to take a short bus-party trip without him.
      Women need to stop requiring men to be there all the time with every situation. And if he wants time away, that’s fine, but too much time will leave a woman open to another man who may NOT need all that space.
      Perspective..and if you leave him alone, it’s guaranteed that IF he truly loves you, he WILL call and wonder what YOU are doing. Mystery keeps it going..

  • Coll says:

    Wow…wish I read this article 4 days ago, when I probably just pushed the man I have falled in love with away for good. My story is this….for the past year and a half now I have been dating this unique man. I was recently divorced (unhappily married 20 years) and my only child was leaving for college. I never expected to get involved with anyone in the manner that we have connected. In the beginning it was more to easy the pain of the divorce and have a companion, but somehow along the way this man (I call my onion, because he has so many layers to his personality) captured my heart. His past……has only had a couple of serious relationships. He and his significant other together on/off for years-but never married, they had a son together, then she died in a car accident and he had to raise his son at the age of ten. His son is now 21 and has a 2 year old son of his own & is not married. I have become VERY close with him and his family. I have been told by his son that he has never seen his dad so happy, I am the only women that he has introduced or been serious with since her death. He claims that he loved her but was not in love with her and that is why they never married. SO….we live about an hour away, for the past year during the mid week he drives down to see me stays the night and then EVERY weekend I go to his house Fri-Mon. I could feel the relationship growing as we discovered thing about each other, he has