Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

There is nothing worse than a man suddenly pulling away from you, right after getting close.

It is the most confusing and illogical thing one can do…

This constant game of my partner getting close, pulling away, getting close again, pulling away again is something that I struggled with in my relationship A LOT.

My boyfriend Gabriel used to act in the sweetest of ways. He’d text me first thing in the morning, arrange for us to meet, planned dates, be appreciative and caring.

Only to suddenly start declining all my suggestions to meet up and I wouldn’t hear from him for days on end.

Or worse, he’d say things like “I don’t know where this relationship is going” or “I’m not sure I believe in life long commitment…”.

Whenever he pulled away from me I’d feel hurt and rejected.

What’s worse, his behaviour made me doubt myself. I started wondering: “Is this my fault? Have I done something wrong?”

Years later I finally managed to drag out the truth from him. Now I know exactly why he acted the way he did and what he was actually wanting me to do about it!

In this blogpost I will share with you all I’ve learned about this common problem nearly all women face.

I’ll go into details on why men pull away, how to deal with it and what to do to get them to stop doing it.

Biggest Reasons Why Guys Suddenly Pull Away After Getting Close

Everybody’s situation is different and unique. There are many factors that can contribute to this and trigger men to pull away from women they care about.

Sometimes their need for sudden distance can arise after a relationship fight.

It can also get set off by external factors such as family or job issues.

And in other cases it might happen seemingly for no reason at all…

Even though the exact circumstances vary from person to person, there are actually some very clear patterns in this puzzling behavior of men.

These are the three biggest underlying reasons that cause guys to pull away after getting close to you:

1. Men Pull Away Because They’re Afraid Of Being Hurt

When two people start going out with each other, they often don’t have full understanding or control over the way the relationship can develop and progress over time.

In our early stages Gabriel and I would have deep meaningful conversations and have so much fun together, it would instantly make us both feel closer and deeply connected to one another.

We didn’t plan for any of these things to happen. They just did, out of the blue…

Even though these kinds of experiences can feel SO GOOD in the moment. You’re suddenly feeling close, happy, in love…

…they can also feel extremely SCARY, especially in retrospect.

Unfortunately, letting someone in on a deeper level means that they can potentially hurt you on a deeper level too.

That’s why guys sometimes pull away from you when they start to really like you or when they’re falling in love with you.

They suddenly realize just how vulnerable they’re becoming and get TERRIFIED of the potential consequences.

So they quickly distance themselves from you to slow things down and minimize any potential damage.

2. Men Pull Away to Get You to Keep On Chasing Them

There is nothing more frustrating than wanting something you cannot have.

Yet at the same time, the fact that you can’t have that one particular thing or person, tends to make it/them so much more DESIRABLE.

The push and pull dynamic is the basis of any romantic movie or series.

Take Gossip Girl for example:

In season one Blair is initially rejecting Chuck. She eventually changes her mind, but by then he is the one rejecting her.

When he finally decides to commit, she changes her mind again and so on and so forth they go for 6 seasons…

Much like in this scene Blair wanted Chuck to fight for her and win her back, the same way when a guy suddenly pulls away from you, he wants you to chase after him.

It’s a power move.

It gives him the feeling he is the one controlling the situation. In his head pulling away from you is a way of ensuring that you’ll stay hooked and remain crazy about him.

3. Men Pull Away to Sabotage the Relationship

When things start going the right way in your life and you’re finally getting something you’ve been wanting for a long time, do you ever feel like ‘it’s just too good to be true’ and then proceed to sabotage it?

I know, this kind of behavior doesn’t make much sense. Yet it’s extremely common.

I did it. Gabriel did it. And you guys have also shared your own stories of sabotage.

Even though Gossip Girl might not be the best place to get healthy relationship advice from, it just so happens that this urge to reject good things in life is a phenomenon that was very well illustrated in the Chuck and Blair dynamic too.

There were countless times when either of them pulled away from the other just for the sake of sabotaging their relationship.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t just happen in TV dramas.

Being on the receiving end of this kind of behavior can be very confusing and hurtful. It’s also something that is actually extremely common.

So, if your man starts suddenly pulling away from you when things are going well or starting to get serious, chances are he is battling some inner demons that are urging him to sabotage the special bond that you guys share.

Is It Normal For Guys to Pull Away?

Yes, it is perfectly normal for guys to pull away from women they care about. All men do it to a greater or lesser degree.

Even in the early stages of a relationship.

Men pull away and come back because they’re testing you and getting to know you.

They’re checking how you’ll react. Whether or not you’ll freak out about it. They want to see how invested you are and if you care about them as much as they care about you.

It takes time to overcome the initial trust issues many people have when they first start dating somebody.

Unfortunately, this problem does not always disappear as the relationship progresses.

There are countless other factors that can trigger men to suddenly need to distance themselves from you.

A very common type of situation is: men pulling away when they’re stressed.

This could be due to trouble at work or other personal problems. It’s not uncommon for couples to even take breaks from each other when struggling with various external issues.

Either way, in most cases this is not something you need to worry about too much.

Even though unpleasant, it’s a normal relationship problem most couples have to simply learn to deal with.

A little side note here:

If despite all this reassurance, you still feel uneasy about your man suddenly pulling away from you, maybe there is something more sinister that’s going on…

In that case you might want to check out these 4 Signs That He is Lying to You.

How to Be High Value When He Pulls Away

Even though this is such a common problem, this issue tends to make women uneasy and often triggers them to act in ways that only make matters worse.

No need to worry though…

There are a couple of approaches that can help you avoid this typical pitifall and ensure that you can keep your cool and stay high value after he pulls away from you.

1. Don’t Panic

The first necessary step that will allow you to stay high-value in this tricky situation is to simply calm yourself down.

Him pulling away from you is nothing unusual. You don’t need to worry or even think about it too much.

It doesn’t mean anything about you or about your relationship.

It’s just something all men do.

2. Keep in Mind That This Is Not Your Fault

Whenever Gabriel suddenly started pulling away from me, one of my first thoughts was alway ‘is it because of something I did?’.

Unfortunately, us blaming ourselves for things that have nothing to do with us is a problem most people struggle with to some degree.

This can cause you to get stuck overthinking for hours on end. Or worse, it can give you this urge to act impulsively and only break things further.

That’s why when a guy suddenly pulls away from you, it’s important that you remind yourself that:

Him suddenly needing distance has likely more to do with an ex of his, than it does with you.

You haven’t done anything wrong.

On the contrary, chances are you did something SO RIGHT, he felt like it’s too good to be true and it triggered his relationship sabotage mode.

3. Don’t Fall for His Power Game

As mentioned before, when a guy pulls away, he actually wants you to chase after him.

On one hand, he is testing how much you care about him.

On the other hand, he wants to be the one who holds the power to reject you (not the other way around).

It’s not that he doesn’t care, but he is pretending he doesn’t FOR AN EFFECT.

This is something that took me YEARS to fully see and understand.

But once I did see it this way, it was a monumental discovery.

It made me go from feeling panicked and doubting myself to simply being mildly irritated and calling his bluff.

All men play this ‘game of rejection’, most without even fully realizing that they’re doing it.

The ultimate trick to winning the game is by just NOT playing right into his hand…

Will He Come Back if I Leave Him Alone?

Generally speaking, YES, in most cases, when a man pulls away from you, he will come back to you if you just leave him alone for a while.

Even if he is acting all detached or cool about the distance, don’t be fooled. It is just an act.

Men get attached to their partners, just like women do.

That’s why, in most cases, waiting it this one out is the best strategy you can take

How long of a break you should give him depends on his character and the circumstances you guys are in.

OK, but what if you have already been waiting for days or even weeks and he still hasn’t gotten back to you?

This is a question I get from a lot of you guys in all your comments and emails.

Giving men space does not always have the desired effect.

There are two possible reasons for this:

Firstly, this could be because more often than not, when a man pulls away from you he actually wants you to chase after him.

And when you don’t react the way he hoped you would, he might just decide to keep on waiting for you to change your mind…

In this scenario, you giving him space for a long time, might trigger you guys to get stuck in a situation where both sides are waiting for the other to reach out first.

The second big reason for him remaining distant could be that he is just not interested in a relationship with you.

He might not have the guts to straight up admit that this is where he is at or he may also want to keep on stringing you along just in case.

Either way, the only way for you to find out, is to check in and ask him yourself.

This way you’ll know for sure whether he cares or not and won’t be left waiting for something that might just never happen.

What to Do to Get Him to Stop Pulling Away

Getting a guy to come back after he pulled away from you is generally the easy part. In most cases he simply comes back on his own.

Unfortunately, him coming back doesn’t mean that he won’t suddenly distance himself from you again and again.

A lot of you guys have shared your stories on our blog and I also know this pattern from my own personal experience. Men who pull away from women they care about, generally keep on doing it.

It’s unsettling the first time it happens. Might be heartbreaking when it happens the second or the third time…

But when a guy keeps on pulling away and coming back, it will eventually wear you down. So much so, you might even start thinking that this relationship might already be over.

There is a way to put a stop to this pattern though.

Him pulling away from you, is a sign that the power dynamic in your relationship might be off.

He likely feels like he has got an upper hand, that he doesn’t need to worry about losing you, because he is just so sure that you’ll stick around and stay with him no matter what.

The trick to get him to stop distancing himself from you is for you to regain control in your relationship.

This is something we actually teach in our online course for women: Rebuild Your Relationship.

In it, we’ll show you how to finally put a stop to him pulling away from you.

You’ll also learn how to get him to want commitment and become serious about your relationship. (It’s actually something he secretly craves.)

Click here to check out Rebuild Your Relationship.

Also, if you want to learn more about why men act this way you can read more about it in Gabriel’s post: 4 Steps to Make Him Worry About Losing You

If you have any questions or would like to share your story, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you.


Karolina Bartnik