Many people come to me for help with a very common problem, and if you’re reading this article, chances are that you’re experiencing the same thing… Everything seems to be going great in your relationship with the guy you’re seeing, you’re getting closer and closer, and it seems like things are just peachy until your boyfriend suddenly starts pulling away. He’s less present, he’s harder to reach, he stops making plans with you and you’re left wondering what’s going on. Something like this can easily catch a person off guard, so I wanted to write an article for you today on why men pull away.
When you get a better understanding of male psychology and what types of things can push a man away, it becomes much easier to steer clear of these types of problems in the future. As a coach specialized in love and relationships, I have been able to pinpoint common themes that lead to a man pulling away from his partner. I will go over many of those with you in this article, but I am also going to give you some tools to help change the dynamic in the relationship so that it becomes stronger and more enjoyable for BOTH of you!
Why men pull away when you’re just trying to show them love
Men tend to be a bit more on the independent side, and in the majority of the cases when someone comes to me for help in bringing their partner back, it’s because the guy in question started to feel suffocated. It’s hard because oftentimes a person is just trying to show their partner that they love them and want to spend time with them, but then they’re just met with distance!
Then it turns into a cyclical thing where one person starts to crave more attention because they’re not getting enough, but the other person ends up feeling even more suffocated and pulls even further away. If the cycle is not nipped in the bud, it can lead to more serious problems like separation.
This reminds me of my client, Regina. She reached out to me over six months ago asking about why men pull away after getting close. She was complaining that no matter what she did or how much she tried to spend time with her boyfriend, Carter, he just kept pulling away. She was getting extremely frustrated because the more she tried to approach him, the more distant he became. Over the course of the several months we spent working together, we were able to identify that Regina was unwittingly trying to force Carter to abandon his independence, and was demanding that he focus all of his attention on their relationship.
When we discovered this, I asked Regina to try doing the exact opposite. Instead of trying to control him or monopolize his free time, just let him live! I asked her to let him enjoy his independence and then we would see if, gradually, he would show more interest in the relationship.
And guess what, he did. It was like clockwork! Once she granted Carter his freedom, spending time with her felt more like fun and less like a chore or an obligation. This completely changed the dynamic in their relationship and they have been able to find a balance that makes both of them happy.
So if you’re in a similar situation and you’re wondering about why men pull away, just remember that men do not like to feel like their freedom is in jeopardy. The more you push, the more likely he will be to pull away, so the key is to let him do his own thing. But I’ll expand on this later because there is more to it! First I’d like to go over some more reasons why men pull away…
Why do men pull away: When they feel like you’re trying to control them
Following in line with the problem of smothering a man, a man will be very likely to pull away if he feels like you’re trying to control him. I know that that sounds intense, but a lot of people don’t realize that they’re exhibiting controlling behavior – especially when it’s coming from a place of love.
If you’re pushy about ensuring that he spends time with you, he might start to pull away. If you try to get him to organize his schedule around seeing you or doing the thing that you want, again, he might pull away.
If you are trying to get him to commit, he will pull away. This is often what happens in situation where somebody asks me “Why do men pull away after getting close?” They start to feel pressure to sacrifice their independence, and even if normally he’d want to commit to you, he might not want to anymore just because he’s feeling like he’s being forced. This is something to be very careful with.
Why do men pull away when they are falling in love: Having to choose
Another common phenomenon that I see on a regular basis is when a man pulls away because he feels like he is being forced to choose between himself and his partner. Men like to indulge in their interests so it’s very important that you let him do that if you want him to stick around!
Let’s take a simple example. Let’s say your boyfriend likes to play video games, but you want him to spend quality time with you instead. So an easy way to make him feel like you’re not forcing him to choose is to try sitting beside him as he plays, instead of forcing him to turn the game off. That way, you’re together but he doesn’t feel like you’re trying to dictate what he’s doing with his time! The key to remember is that the more fun the time he spends with you is, the more he’s going to want.
Why men pull away: Nagging
Following in line with my previous point about letting him live his life, it’s very important to avoid any type of nagging. It’s easy to do this without even realizing it, because you’re just trying to communicate that you love spending time together and want more of it, but it’s always good to take a step back and give yourself a 360 degree view of the situation. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and think about how your behavior could be perceived by someone who
• Values his independence
• Does not want to feel controlled
• Does not appreciate feeling pressured to spend his time in a specific way
• Might have another moment in mind for spending quality time with you
A good tip for steering clear of nagging behavior is being mindful of the behavior, and instead of nagging your man, go out and try a new activity to get your mind off of the relationship for a little while. In doing so, you can replace a bad habit (nagging), with a good habit!
Why do men pull away and then come back: Pressure to fill a role
It’s important to note that men tend to root their identity in their ability to provide for themselves and for their families, so if you’re pressuring your boyfriend to commit before he has found his purpose that can help him to provide, he may be unwilling to commit and will therefore pull away.
This is actually something I see happening all the time, and this is also why it can be so confusing for the person on the receiving end of this negative behavior. You thought that everything was going so well and that this was turning into a serious relationship, but he is pulling away so much that it looks like the opposite is happening.
So I encourage you to ask yourself if perhaps you unwittingly put pressure on him and made him feel that he needs to be something that he’s not quite ready to be yet. Make sure you give your man time to discover who he is!
What to do when he pulls away: Focusing on YOU
The best thing to do when you feel your man pulling away is to actually start focusing on yourself. I know that may seem a little counterintuitive, but if a man is pulling away, it means that he needs space and unfortunately feels like that he needs to impose this need into the dynamic between you.
So, I know you’re probably wondering, “Should I text him,” or are asking yourself how to make a guy want you again, but the best thing you could do is to get busy with something else!
The less things you have going on, the easier it is to fixate on him and risk making him want to pull even further away.
So I highly recommend filling up your schedule with people and activities that bring you joy, and that you start focusing more on personal and professional goals. In addition to helping to add more balance to your life and relationship, you will actually get your partner’s attention.
He’s going to see that instead of doing things that would make him want to pull away, you’re doing things that he’d actually want to be a part of. If you’re familiar with our philosophy then you know that we always talk about how important it is to inspire your significant other. You want them to look at your life and think, “Wow! I really want to be a part of that.”
So that can be applied to this type of situation as well. Instead of pressuring him to spend more time with you, inspire him to want to partake in all the interesting things you’ve got going on in your life.
Plus, the more time you spend doing things on your own, the more things you’ll be able to talk about when you’re with your boyfriend again. It helps you to feel more fulfilled in your own life and it allows you to bring more into the relationship as well. It’s a win win!
Leave him alone and he’ll come back if you inspire him!
It all boils down to letting a man breathe and living your own life in a way that would attract him back to you.
The answer to “Why men pull away” can be categorized in these three ways:
1. Men pull away when they feel smothered or like you’re trying to control them
2. Men pull away when they feel pressure to commit or to provide in a way that they don’t know how to yet
3. Men pull away when they feel that they’re being forced to sacrifice their independence
So I recommend allowing him to indulge in his interests, giving him space to breathe, avoid any type of nagging behavior and make sure that your schedule is full with people and activities that make you happy.
Remember, we are here to help so please don’t hesitate to reach out. Join the Happily Committed Project and learn how to transform your relationship in a meaningful and dignified way so that you and your partner can be happier than ever before!
I sincerely wish you all the best in life and love,
Your coach when you’re wondering why men pull away,