14 Shocking Reasons Why Guys Act Distant When They Like You

When we ask why guys act distant when they like you, we have to know that there are many possible reasons why.

However, these reasons fall into the following three categories:

  1. Because of them and their personal issues (attachment style, his fears, his life situation etc)
  2. Because of how you’re showing up; and
  3. Because they don’t actually like you as much as you think they do


There’s another, lesser known but important aspect to this issue of a guy acting distant when he likes you, and that is this:

People infer their own meaning upon the word “like”. Which means we’re working with many possible “meanings” of a guy liking you here.

To some people, a guy liking them means he’s in love. To others, it means they simply find her attractive but wouldn’t choose to be in a committed relationship with her.

To others, it means mere infatuation, which really isn’t worth much.

What? Infatuation isn’t worth much? Of course it isn’t.

A man can be infatuated with you for himself. A lot of people are infatuated with others in order to serve some kind of obsession or fantasy in their own head.

Infatuation is not the same as romantic love or pair bonding with a woman – which is worth infinitely more than just infatuation.

You might be wondering if you can have the best of both worlds. Can’t a man be in love and infatuated? No. He can’t.

An infatuation is an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone. So I could be infatuated with a female singer, for example.

But being in love is something much deeper, involving emotional attraction. And it leads to real pair bonding in humans.

What you can have is a man who is fascinated by you and in love with you. Does that sound good? Thought so.

And it’s much more valuable than just infatuation.


Knowing that everyone uses the word “like” differently, let me get one thing clear here:

A guy liking you isn’t worth much, unless you’re really intending to say he is “in love” with you.

So for the purposes of this article, I’ll assume that a guy “liking” you means that he is showing romantic interest in you, with the hope that he might end up in a serious relationship with you.

why guys act distant when they like you

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14 Shocking Reasons Why Guys Act Distant When They Like You

Here are all the reasons why guys start acting distant when they like you. Make sure you read all of them, because the last reason is crucial for you to understand.

As you read through these, feel into each of these reasons and see which one(s) resonate with you the most.

When you get a clearer picture of the reasons why he acts distant, you can make better decisions about what steps to take next.

#1: He’s Manipulating You

As nice as it is to think about a hot guy liking you, you also have to consider the possibility that he might be manipulating your feelings.

Perhaps he’s clued into the fact that you like him – maybe even moreso than you think?

And so he’s trying to reel you in even more with hot and cold behaviour.

Yes, even hot guys can be toxic and manipulative. I’m not saying he definitely is, because only a small percentage of guys deliberately want to manipulate a woman.

Most guys won’t intentionally act cold to gain control and power over you, but there’s a certain percentage of guys who will, and it’s good to at least be aware that they’re out there.

MORE: 12 Reasons Guys Act Interested Then Back Off + What To Do.

On the topic of manipulators, also watch out for signs of breadcrumbing. You don’t want to be on the receiving end of a breadcrumber, as this is bad for your emotional and mental health.

There are 7 common signs a woman is perceived as low value to all men, because men simply perceive value differently to women. Do you know what these signs are and how to avoid them like the plague? CLICK HERE to download this special report.


#2: He’s Afraid You’ll Reject Him

Fear of rejection is both learned as well as intuitive. By intuitive, I mean it is innately programmed into us on an evolutionary level.

Researchers say that a fear of ‘social’ rejection’ is innate to some extent, just like a fear of snakes or spiders is programmed within us.

We don’t have to have been bitten by a snake or a spider before in order to fear them.

In a similar fashion, humans come pre-programmed with the knowledge that we must show pro social behaviors in order to be accepted by others.

Dr. Kelsey Zimmerman, researcher at the School of Psychology at UNSW says:

“Anything that seems intuitively aversive to us is usually there for a reason – it’s the brain trying to protect us from a perceived danger and keep us safe.”

Kelsey goes on to suggest that:

“Because of how much of our brains are devoted to social interaction, it can be a pretty profound experience to be socially rejected, so we want to avoid it. In fact, social rejection causes the same activation in brain regions associated with processing physical pain.”

Put simply, your guy might be acting distant because he’s deeply afraid of the consequences of being rejected by you.

And this fear would be even more intense if you’re at a college, school or workplace together, because if he’s rejected, that could mean more than just rejection by you.

It could mean rejection by his peers, also, who might laugh at him or think he’s the ultimate failure.

But what about the learned fear of rejection? If it’s not only intuitive within us to fear rejection, then why else could this guy be scared of you rejecting him?

  1. Because he might have been rejected by other women in the past; and
  2. Because he might have been rejected by his mother or father growing up. This is called “interpersonal-acceptance-rejection theory (IPARTheory).”

This theory purports that recollections of parental rejection in childhood tend to result in psychological maladjustment and intimacy problems in later romantic relationships.

Basically, if your guy was rejected by his mother or father growing up, it would have triggered a fear of intimacy on his part.

Such is the power of our very first intimate relationships: the ones with our mother and father.

As you can see, paternal and maternal rejection can lead to a guy feeling naturally unworthy of female love and attention.

And if you grew up already feeling unworthy and fearing intimacy, then can you imagine how hard it would be to be rejected by a woman you like romantically?

Recommended reading: 7 Undercover Reasons Guys Distance Themselves After Intimacy.

#3: You’re The “One Of Many”, Not The “One And Only”

If you follow my work, you may already know that there are two categories that men place you in when they meet you. These categories are:

  1. The “One and only” category; and
  2. The “One of many” category

If you have been placed in the second category, the “one of many” category, then he might be acting distant because of that.

What this means is this:

If he senses you might want more from him, or that you’re falling in love with him, but he’s already decided that you’re in the “one of many” category, then he won’t want to get too involved with you.

He might fear that you’ll act needy or attach yourself to him so much that he can’t get away when he needs to.

So I know that this is a hard pill to swallow. But think of it like this: plenty of women put themselves in the category of “one of many” every day, even just instinctively, because they don’t want to be tied down yet.

And this is a self serving behavior. Meaning, they do it because they want to.

They want men to desire them sexually more than they want men to fall in love with them or desire them for a serious relationship (even if this might not serve them deep down inside.)

But even if these ladies might want a committed relationship with those high value men, for whatever reason they cannot bring themselves to choose the path of the “one and only”.

Think of our female desire to be desired sexually as one level of desire, and the desire to be the “one and only” as another level – a deeper desire.

Essentially you have the power to choose – to a large extent – which category men will place you in.

I think that when you really love a guy, it is safer to show up in the one and only basket. It’s simply too risky to be placed in the “one of many” basket.

So if you want to learn how to show up as the one and only, I have a whole online course dedicated to this art. CLICK Here to learn more about my course “Becoming His One And Only”.

(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…)

#4: He Secretly Hates Women

Yes, it’s possible for a guy to like a girl, yet maintain distance from her simply because he secretly hates women.

He hates that he can’t make them like him, he hates that he’s not good enough for them, or he hates the perceived power imbalance in the dating market between men and women.

A lot of men have bought into this idea that women have it easier from birth, just by being born with a vagina.

For example:

  • Women get into bars without paying (men have to pay)
  • Women get treated nicer just because they are women, and
  • Women use their sexual power against a guy

So, a guy can have a secret love-hate relationship with women. Maybe he resents that he feels like he needs something from you…I can’t know for sure, as I’m not a guy, I’ve only studied them – and the realm of dating and relationships.

But I’m sure you could theorize more on this if you wanted to.

Here are 10 Types of Guys Who Stay Single & Why Nobody Wants Them.

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#5: He’s A Guy With An Avoidant Attachment Style

Guys with an avoidant attachment style are either going to come on very strong and charm you to no end (but only on a superficial level).

Or they’re going to just act distant, cold and, well, weird.

By weird I mean, they seem to sort of like you – and the signs he likes you tend to seep out here and there – but he’s not making any real attempt to connect.

He may only feel capable of superficial sex with you, and he may feel uncomfortable getting close to you. Guys like this might pull away without warning, and often, at that.

Related: Fearful Avoidant Vs Dismissive Avoidant: Differences & FAQ.

#6: He’s Got Anxious-Avoidant Attachment

But to add another layer of complication to all of this, it should be said that a guy could be an anxious-avoidant individual as well.

This means that he oscilates from a highly anxious state to a highly avoidant state. This “state” is also referred to as disorganized attachment style.

This might lead you to ask yourself this question…

Why does he act interested one minute and distant the next?

This anxious-avoidant pattern can cause a guy to seem clingy or desirous of you one minute, and cold and distant the next.

MORE: Dating & Disorganized Attachment: 5 Signs Of It + FAQ.

If you find your guy acting weird or bizarre, it might be because he is anxious-avoidant. You could find him being affectionate and attentive one minute, and completely avoidant the next, leaving you wondering if you’ve said or done something wrong.

This sudden shift in behaviour can be toxic, even if unintentionally so.

He doesn’t necessarily want to be toxic, but he can’t seem to help it. His nervous system is as unstable as a three-legged wonkey donkey.

#7: He’s Not Getting Clear Signals From You

Ok so now we’re looking at you. Not to blame you of course, but to examine how your actions affect a guy (because they can and do affect a guy!)

You might actually be sending him mixed signals.

Maybe you feel uncertain or scared, and he picks up on those signals, not knowing how to act around you.

A guy who has a secure attachment style will still act pretty consistent. However, a guy who isn’t so secure may be extra-sensitive to your mixed signals and will have a stronger pull back if he senses that you’re pulling away.

Have you considered whether you might have anxious attachment patterns, or avoidant attachment patterns?

If you’re unsure of your own attachment style, a great idea is to find out what your attachment style actually is. This gives you more certainty and something to work with when you go out into the dating world.

You can discover what your own attachment patterns are with our free quiz: QUIZ TIME: Anxious, avoidant or secure attachment patterns? Which one do I have? CLICK HERE to find out with our specially crafted women-specific 10 Question Quiz!

(Why is this important? It is because your core attachment style largely dictates and influences what happens in your relationship. Thus it’s imperative you understand your core attachment style!)

It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re an anxious woman dealing with an avoidant guy, this adds another layer of pain and difficulty to your future relationship with him.

Anxious-avoidant relationships are known to be difficult, and there’s even a name for it: the “anxious-avoidant trap”.

You can read my article on fixing this here: Anxious Avoidant Relationship: 7 Steps To Fix It + Should You?

#8: He’s Playing The Numbers Game

Another (unfortunate) reason why guys act distant when they like you is because they’re playing the numbers game.

If you’re unsure what this means, it basically means he’s trying to get the attention of as many women as possible.

Thus his strategy is to entice you into liking him, and give you signals of interest for his own gain. Such a guy doesn’t mind triggering you to catch feelings for him because he likes it.

Why not have a woman like you? And the more women who like him, the better. Why?

Because options. That’s why.

More experienced, smarter men may not do this as they realize that having a lot of different women liking them and giving them attention can backfire on them, or just be a drain on his life.

But most men won’t mind flirting with you and giving you a bit of attention if it means they get you to like them back!

why guys act distant when they like you

#9: He Still Loves His Ex

We can’t have this conversation about why guys act distant when they like you without discussing the obvious: sometimes a guy is still in love with (or just loves) his ex.

He might know that it’s not going to work out with her, but still feels hung up on her anyway. This creates a contradiction within him:

He’s attached to a woman he can’t be with, but he’s also kind of ‘free’ to chase other women.

Thus you get a guy who’s acting distant even if it seems like he is interested in you. If you know for sure that he’s probably still hung up on his ex, be careful. And give it time.

Because you might end up being just a rebound girl.

#10: He’s…Ummm…..Married.

Yeah…there’s that.

Hopefully he is not married, but is there a chance that he might actually be married? If you don’t care whether he is married or not, I suggest you start caring.

There’s a whole host of other issues that come with dating a married man, one of them including the fact that married men do use their mistresses and you don’t want to be in that position yourself.

#11: He’s Testing You

One reason why guys act distant when they like you that they’re testing you. Some guys test you by blowing hot and cold or by pulling away, just to see how you react and to see if you care.

More importantly, some guys will act distant to test how much you worry or how much it bothers you.

If you come running or chasing him, then obviously you do like him back – mission accomplished and his test has revealed the truth.

Not every guy who tests you is a bad guy, just remember that.

Testing is rather normal – the only thing is that if the testing is highly manipulative and he’s always making you feel bad, then you know you’re dealing with a toxic guy.

SECRETS REVEALED… Discover how you too can use this little known “Dark Feminine Art” to weed out the toxic men whilst cultivating real emotional attraction with high value high esteemed men. (CLICK HERE to enrol in this free class before it’s gone.)

#12: He Thinks You Need More Than He Can Give

One especially sad reason guys act distant is because they just don’t feel like they are enough – or that they have enough (to offer you).

Girls and women are expensive. Add to that the fact that life is expensive, and you get a huge list of responsibilities and requirements that many guys cannot meet.

How would he ever be worthy of you, in this case?

Only you can answer that. And in answering that, perhaps you’ll come up with a solution in earnest.

#13: He Wants to Remain In Control

Just because he caught feelings for you, doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to remain in control. This is especially true for insecure guys or control freaks.

In considering that, think about this: he doesn’t just have to want to control you, perhaps he just wants to control the situation, and control how he shows up.

If he is seen in a vulnerable light by the people around him, how will they view him? How will they treat him?

Will he be teased or laughed at if he makes a wrong move?

Will he be seen as less masculine if he chases you?

There are many other things to consider here. And there’s lots of other stuff that might get in the way of him chasing you for a date.

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#14: He Doesn’t Actually Like You ENOUGH

The unfortunate and hard truth is that a lot of the time, guys act distant because they don’t actually like you enough.

That should be obvious, but it isn’t to a lot of women, because as humans, we all have a bias of projecting our own interest onto others.

Studies have concluded that this could be part of a broader tendency among humans to assume that others think like us, when they don’t.

What this means is that you are more likely to think he likes you a lot if you like him a lot.

So whilst he very well could like you – a lot – just try to be aware of this internal bias, because it can possibly trip you up and make you jump to conclusions.

When you get lost in a fantasy that’s obviously not grounded in reality, you’re more likely to act in completely uncalibrated ways that may make you show up show value.

By the way: There Are 7 Common Signs That A Woman is Perceived as Low Value to All Men. Do You Know What They Are & How to Avoid Them Like the Plague?

CLICK here to discover the 7 common signs that a woman is perceived as low value in the eyes of men in this special report. (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.)

What To Do When He Is Acting Distant?

There’s one smart, high value thing to do when he’s acting distant (if you like him).

You can throw an attraction pebble. An attraction pebble is something you can say that allows you to instantly capture a man’s attention in a high value, “non-needy” way.

Attraction pebbles is also a program my husband David teaches, and it gives you the skills and the mindset of interacting with men that allows natural attraction and connection to cultivate and take place.

If you want to present yourself as a high value woman, if you want to create polarity with a man, and have him pursue you, then these “Attraction Pebbles” are exactly what you are looking for.

CLICK HERE to discover the ONE PHRASE you can say to ANY man that will capture his attention, trigger his curiosity and make him hang onto every word you say! (Works like magic in a high vale non-needy way!)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is he distant after being close?

There are several possible answers:

  1. He needs to rebuild his testosterone levels
  2. There wasn’t enough emotional attraction and emotional connection (which can cause a man to lose interest). See: 8 No BS Ways To Get Him Interested Again FAST.
  3. He’s insecurely attached
  4. He was playing you
  5. He found someone else
  6. He doesn’t like intimacy
  7. He regrets sleeping with you
  8. He’s afraid you might judge him for something he said or did

Fore more on this, see my article: 7 Undercover Reasons Guys Distance Themselves After Intimacy.

Why do guys stay away when they like you?

  • They might stay away from you because they think you’re taken or are already in a serious relationship.
  • Perhaps he’s a true avoidant who doesn’t actually like people.
  • He might be scared of getting hurt by you. Too many bad experiences in his previous relationships can do this.
  • Perhaps they think that you’ll take too much from him, or that he’ll never be able to satisfy you.
  • He may have lost interest as well.

Related: 21 Warning Signs He’s Losing Interest In You & What To Do.

SPECIAL REPORT: How to Become the World’s Most Attractive & Feminine Goddess (Even if you have no self esteem or no man has ever paid you any attention…) CLICK HERE to download it at no cost.


Why do guys act rude when they like you?

  • Because they’re resentful
  • Because they are trying to push you away
  • Because they are defensive about something
  • They might want to protect themselves (or someone else) from something you’re not aware of yet
  • They’re carrying a lot of trauma on their shoulders
  • Because they’re pre-emptively pushing you away in case you reject them

He is distant but still texts. Why?

Why is it that he is distant but still texts? Because he can.

Because texting doesn’t take much effort.

And because he might be bored!

So ask yourself: how much do his texts really mean?

Here are 15 Revealing texting habits of a guy who likes you.

renee wade what to do when he doesn't call

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