That moment a man pulls away can be scary.
When you’ve invested in a man and become attached to him, the last thing you want is to feel him pulling away.
As a woman, you’d much prefer he found a way to stay in relationship with you.
Or at least communicate that he will be back.
But it doesn’t always work out that way, unfortunately.
Not all men have the words for what they choose to do.
Not all men are sensitive to how you feel, much less perceive or understand your pain.
(It makes it much less likely that he will be sensitive to your pain if you tend to be superficial and don’t like being vulnerable. So keep that in mind.)
But given that your man may not be communicating with you all that much at the moment and you are left hanging, how do you turn the tables when he pulls away?
Table of Contents
What Does It Mean to Turn The Tables?
First let’s start by establishing the meaning of “turning the tables”.
According to the cambridge dictionary, turn the tables means:
“To change a situation so that you now have an advantage over someone who previously had an advantage over you.”
It also means to “reverse one’s position relative to someone else.”
Basically it means to take power away from him and bring it back to yourself.
Assuming he pulls away to get power or control over you, of course.
And some men do pull away from you in order to control you or get power over you.
In those cases, it makes total sense that you want to know how to turn the tables when he pulls away.
But most men do not pull away to gain power over you.
And that’s the part women usually do not understand.
How can a man pull away, withdraw or go silent on me and not be wanting control over me?
He knows he hurts me, but he still does it, we think.
But it’s not like that in the mind of most guys, even if you think it is.
Sure, there are some very toxic men out there who will undoubtedly pull away from you just to get power over you and to hurt you.
But most men aren’t pulling away to gain power over you.
They’re doing it to:
- Preserve their autonomy
- Recharge their masculine energy (because after being intimate with you for a while, their masculine energy gets depleted, and this can often be a reason why guys pull away after intimacy.)
- To be empty
- To work or solve problems
- Conserve their energy, as connecting with you all the time takes a lot of energy away from other things
I know this may be hard to process right now, especially if you’re in emotional pain, stressed or confused.
But that’s ok, it’s ok to be confused and it’s ok to not fully understand.
So just let the information sit and the understanding will come to you soon enough.
Now that we’ve established the fact that most of the time, men don’t pull away to get more power over you, that changes our approach when he pulls away.
You only really want to know how to turn the tables when he pulls away if you perceive that your power has been stripped from you.
Or that your position in the relationship is threatened.
But what if this isn’t about gaining more power over him?
And what if it’s not about learning how to make him chase you again?
Because you don’t just want a man to chase you – you want him to value you. A man chasing you means nothing.
What if this isn’t about reacting to him pulling away out of fear, stress and anger?
What if instead, you could have a much better, more calibrated response through understanding first?
Because here’s the truth:
If you react to him pulling away by trying to regain power, what you’re doing is having a power trip.
And when you do that, it brings a very toxic and stressful energy into the relationship.
You’re effectively saying you’d rather have power or control over a real connection with a man.
My need to control the situation is worth more to me than:
- Our connection; and
- My ability to attune to the relationship
And that’s fine if you’re willing to deal with the consequences of your choices.
But what if instead you decide that it’s more important to you to emotionally attract this man, gain his trust and bring him into a long term, committed relationship with you?
If that’s what you’d prefer (I hope that’s your preference over being spiteful or gaining power over him), then your approach would be very different.
You wouldn’t try to gain power, instead you’d do the right thing by the actual relationship.
With that said, let’s come up with a plan.
Let’s learn the right path in terms of how to turn the tables when he pulls away.
How to Turn The Tables When He Pulls Away?
There are a few steps you need to take if your man is pulling away, and you still want to stay high value.
By the way, if you want to know how to stay high value when he pulls away, I have a course here that gives you the exact steps to take in every context of when men pull away. CLICK here to discover more.
(The promise of this course is for you to learn the secret to showing up & staying as a high value woman when your man pulls away, so that he can come back to you with more interest, more desire & more appreciation for you.)
Step #1: Breathe And Don’t React out of Fear.
The first thing to do when he pulls away is to take pause before you react and do something you might regret.
If you’ve already done something you regret, we can talk more about how to handle that soon.
But if it’s the start of him pulling away right now and you have the chance, simply tell him you hear what he said (if he told you he needs space), and then pause and breathe.
Take a deep breath, and let yourself know that even though this is confusing, unfair or hard, things will still all be ok.
(…Yes, even if they don’t feel ok right now.)
Step #2: Notice What You Feel.
Many women tend to react poorly when a guy pulls away, because it feels like a threat to them.
When you’ve become attached to a guy, you kind of tend to feel “entitled” to clinging on to him, blaming him, or spitting the dummy when he pulls away.
If on the other hand you want to maintain your status as the “cool girl”, then you might pretend it doesn’t matter to you.
You might believe in that mantra: when he pulls away, do nothing.
Or “when he pulls away, let him go.”
Both of these reactions are on the extreme end of things, and they are usually a response to your own fear, which violates the first step above on how to turn the tables when he pulls away.
Both of these concepts or mantras are a reactive response fuelled by nothing other than fear.
But let me ask you, when a guy pulls away, will you die?
Will him pulling away lead to your inevitable death?
Absolutely not, even if you feel that it might.
So this is why step two is “notice what you feel.”
Are you scared?
You may feel angry and this anger might make you feel powerful if you act on it.
But what’s beneath the anger?
Is it fear of losing him?
Is it fear of being abandoned?
(By the way, here is why The Fear Of Abandonment Makes You More Beautiful.)
It’s also a good idea to write down what you feel, to give your feelings a place to be acknowledged and heard.
Are you hurt and angry because him pulling away signifies that he doesn’t care? (Which perhaps you already sensed that he didn’t deep down, but couldn’t admit it to yourself?)
This isn’t me saying that every time a man pulls away, it means he doesn’t care.
Most often this is not the case.
However, we’d be naive if we didn’t acknowledge that in some contexts, a man pulls away because he doesn’t care.
To Turn The Tables, You Must Become Self Aware
So go ahead and examine what you really feel.
This is arguably one of the hardest steps to do if you want to learn how to turn the tables when he pulls away.
But it’s also necessary if you truly want to turn the tables.
Because if you’re not aware of what you’re really feeling, you can’t be in a position of power and strength.
You’re just blinded by denial, impulsivity and to some extent, even stupidity.
You don’t want to do the dumb thing that feels good in the moment, but which you feel terrible about later.
Because remember, though time inevitably passes, we (ourselves) will likely remember how we acted, especially if we carry regret around that action.
The last thing you want to do is be so unaware of yourself and how your feelings are making you act that you do something regrettably low value.
We’ve all acted low value plenty in our lives, and you’re forgiven.
But at the same time, you need to know that perpetually showing up low value will push away the high value men.
And that’s risky because these are the men you most want to keep.
So make sure you know the 7 Common Signs a Woman is Low Value in the Eyes of Men and How to Avoid Them Like The Plague.
(Why is this important? Because men and women perceive value very differently and you don’t want to be making mistakes that would cause quality men to dismiss, abandon or alienate you.)
Step #3: Allow Both of You to have Space.
If a man is pulling away, then chances are he wants to, or he needs to.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot reach out to him, talk to him or tell him you love him (if you’re already in a committed relationship).
Even if you love him, give him the opportunity to take the space he needs, just for now, and at least for a few hours.
Again I’m not saying you cannot reach out.
In fact it can be a good idea to reach out, but it has to be done in a specific way, and we’ll talk about that shortly.
This step isn’t just about giving him space, it’s about giving yourself a little space too, just to have some quiet time.
Aside from that, giving yourself and him space can allow you to accomplish step 4.
Step #4: Try to Establish Whether You’re the “One And Only” Or the “One of Many”.
This is the most empowering step of all the steps on how to turn the tables when he pulls away.
However, just because it’s empowering doesn’t mean it may not still hurt you or make you sad.
But it must be done if you are going to turn the tables on a guy.
You need to establish whether you’re in his “one of many” basket, or his “one and only” basket.
What does this mean?
Well, first you have to understand the two baskets.
When a man meets and dates you, he places you in one of two baskets quickly.
He will either categorise you as “one of many” women in his life, (and therefore you’re pretty replaceable), or he’ll categorise you as the “one and only”.
If you’re the one and only, you’re not only irreplaceable, he’ll do anything to keep you and hold onto you, because you are precious.
You are the one he fell in love with and wants to take care of.
As you can tell, the types of women men place in these two baskets are vastly different in how they show up.
What’s more important to note, is that how men treat the women in these two baskets are also like night and day.
Men typically give the women in their “one of many” basket crumbs.
They’ll do the bare minimum that’s required to keep you happy – happy enough to stick around in his life, but not unhappy enough to leave.
Yet when you’re in the one and only basket, he’ll want to own your soul.
He’ll give you his all – money, love, emotional commitment and empathy.
Men can also give these things to their one of many, but not to a large extent, and the feel is very different.
By now you may already have an instinctive reaction to what you’ve learned.
For example, you may have a heavy feeling in your stomach if you suspect you’re the one of many – but at the same time, you may also feel free.
Because it is freeing to know that you’re the one of many, and that’s why this step is here.
We don’t want to lie to ourselves if we are indeed in a man’s one of many basket.
We want to know sooner rather than later, so that we can make a choice to keep taking crumbs (perhaps until he finds his one and only), or to move on and find a man who sees us as his one and only.
If you’re the one and only, you may also have felt that in your gut.
But perhaps not.
Sometimes it’s not easy to know which one you are. Because a man can see you as his one and only, but if he’s anxiously attached or unable to show you love in the way you perceive, he may be more reserved.
But don’t let the surface details cloud your judgement.
If you’re his one and only, it’ll be clear through:
- How emotionally committed he is
- How attached he is
- How willing he is to connect to your emotions and solve your problems
- How protective he is of you; and
- His inability to stay away from you for very long
So dig deep within yourself and ask:
Am I the one of many? Does he only want me for my body and the attention he receives from me?
Or does he clearly want to own my heart and love me for my soul?
It’s very important that you know how to show up as the one and only, because if you’re not, then you have to settle for crumbs.
Not only that, but you won’t ever feel that deep feeling of security, significance and warmth in the relationship that women who are “the one and only” feel.
So there are 5 feminine secrets that make a man fall in love with you and beg you to be his one and only. You can master these 5 feminine secrets inside of my “Becoming His One and Only” Course. CLICK to find out more.
(The promise of this course is for you to have your chosen man fall in love with you & beg you to be his one & only by embodying these 5 feminine secrets, even if he’s been distant, avoidant, or losing interest…)
Step #5: If You’re the One Of Many, Pull Away…
If you’re the one and only, you can ignore this step.
Not to punish him, but to protect yourself.
Your time and energy is valuable. So even if you love this guy, you have to pull away to conserve your energy.
You’re probably wondering if you can change from the “one of many” basket to the “one and only”.
The answer is that it’s possible, but if you succeed, then you will be one of the exceptions, not the rule.
Most women never get out of the basket they were initially placed in.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and if a man has determined that you’re one of many, then that’s most likely where you will stay.
This is why it’s important to ensure you show up as the one and only from the start.
Step #6: If You’re the One And Only, Offer Him THIS…
Offer your love and acceptance.
If this man has already committed to you, if you already trust him fully, then why wouldn’t you offer your love and acceptance?
Unless you’re a fan of creating immense suffering for the fun of it, don’t punish him.
Let him know that you love him.
Show him your loyalty.
You may still be scared, but you didn’t enter this relationship because it would be easy.
You entered it to enrich your life and to love and be loved.
You entered it to find a good father for the next generation.
And if he is a good father (or partner), then he deserves to know you love him.
I understand that this is not an easy task.
Men pull away and distance themselves under different circumstances, so a few factors come into play.
But right now, more than ever, is your chance to show your real intrinsic value to him.
Remind him of why he chose you, and why you earned that place in his life.
(I know many women would vomit at these words. But that’s because they haven’t yet met and married a man of integrity who wants to own their soul.)
Once you have, you realize there is a man who deserves your devotion and nothing less.
Even when it’s hard.
For your interest, I have created a course on How to Stay High Value When He Pulls Away”.
In this course, I give you steps and guidelines on how to respond in a high value way to a man pulling away in all the typical contexts in which men routinely pull away.
CLICK here to learn the secret to showing up & staying as a high value woman when your man pulls away, so that he can come back to you with more interest, more desire & more appreciation for you.
Step #7: Honour Yourself.
Whilst there’s a lot you can do to recover a relationship with a man, the most important relationship to recover and honour is the one you have with yourself.
So in the context of how to turn the tables when he pulls away, here’s how you honour yourself:
1: Check in with how you feel.
If you are with a man who constantly pulls away and it hurts you deeply or confuses you, share that feeling.
Don’t punish him for making you feel that way, because ultimately it’s your job to communicate to him the effects of his actions.
And if he doesn’t respond well or change his ways to hurt you less, then that’s your choice to stay and be patient or just leave.
2: Take care of your feminine soul.
You have to honour your feminine soul’s need for connection.
If you’re with a man who is avoidant or has insecure attachment patterns and you’re exhausted from trying to establish closeness with him, then you have to try a different approach to connect with him, or when you’ve exhausted all avenues, find another man.
You as a feminine soul need closeness, intimacy and attachment to thrive.
You can’t feel safe with a man who can’t give you his entire soul.
Some men cannot offer that level of attachment (either because they don’t see you as their one and only, or because they’re emotionally unavailable.)
Without a deeply emotional and spiritual attachment to your man, you won’t be fulfilled, you won’t feel safe and you won’t feel happy.
Depending on whether you prefer to stay with this man or leave to find a man who enriches your feminine soul, I have some articles and programs that can help you with enriching your feminine soul moving forward.
First of all, if you have a lot of anxiety in your relationships with men, it’s worth me mentioning the fact that you may have anxious attachment.
Anxious attachment patterns can make things harder for you when a man pulls away.
Effectively, you’ll need more nurturing from yourself (and from him, which he may or may not know how to offer you) in order to get through the period in which he’s pulling away.
Worse still, if you’re anxious and dealing with an avoidant man, your anxiety will be through the roof.
If you suspect you’re dealing with an avoidant man, here’s an article I wrote on 11 Genius Ways to Communicate With An Avoidant Partner.
If you’re unsure of what your own attachment style is, CLICK HERE to find out with our specially crafted women-specific 10 Question Quiz!
Also, here is an article on the Anxious-Avoidant Relationship: 7 Steps to Fix It.
Be prepared to deal with your man pulling away at some point.
As I’ve indicated above, there are things you can do to turn the tables, but sometimes you have to acknowledge that men pull away in relationships.
Even inside of secure and emotionally committed relationships, men can pull away, because they simply cannot be in connection with you for extended periods and still feel like a man.
I’ve explained this more from a scientific and biological perspective in my article on Why Men Pull Away.
Do you have any comments, thoughts or concerns to share?
Please share them below, because I’d love to hear from you!
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Renee is the founder of The Feminine Woman & co-founder of Shen Wade Media where we teach women how to show up as a high value high status woman whom easily inspires a deep sense of emotional commitment from her chosen man. Together with her husband D. Shen at Commitment Triggers blog, they have positively influenced the lives of over 15 million women through their free articles and videos as well as 10’s of thousands through paid programs through the Shen Wade Media platform.
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