Why Men Pull Away in Early Stages

If you love something you let it go.

Say what? Since when does that logic make any sense? If you love something you hold onto to it, right? You cherish it.

Or as Meatloaf once said, a man will do anything for love…but he won’t do that. He won’t walk away from someone he loves.

So why in the world do men pull away just as you begin to feel a strong connection? Is it because he’s afraid of loving you too much or is it because you’re doing something wrong, something that offends him or scares him away?

The answer is…it could be either scenario. And the best way to get to the bottom of this mystery is to consider timing. Let’s discuss a few scenarios that explain your man’s suddenly cold behavior.

1. You are not mirroring him, because he senses you want this relationship far more than he does.

Once a man senses that you want a deeper relationship than he does, he has to make a choice: do I risk giving her what she wants and being trapped in a relationship I don’t want or do I bail out now?

In typical male fashion, he seeks logical solutions to the problem and so does NOT seem to want to talk about it. Instead, he withdraws and becomes distant—suggesting to you that he’s not interested in making this relationship any deeper than it currently is. He figures the “signals” he’s sending you are clear enough—no need to talk about it.

This is why mirroring a man’s energy and level of intensity is important. If he senses that you need this relationship to be happy, or that you want it more than he does, he feels emasculated. It wasn’t HIS decision to push things forward. Now he’s reluctant to commit because he senses his independence leaking away. Keeping your emotions near his level will protect you from appearing overeager.

2. He senses that you want to change him and rob him of independence.

While this stage usually comes later (after a strong emotional connection), it can also occur early on before bonding occurs. If you’re losing control of your emotions and trying to change him, or pressure him to feel something, he will feel back away. Men hate the feeling of being manipulated. They also despise the idea of marriage “robbing them” of their independence. Men who don’t feel independent don’t feel manly. They feel subjected…dominated and controlled.

The proper way to emotionally bond with him is to give him the attention and nurturing he wants, but to focus on becoming more independent yourself, and letting him be as independent as he wants. Once he sees that you don’t need him, he will sense that he has to try a little harder to make you happy. This gives him control over his own role in the relationship. It also gives him the desire to commit to you—to want to negotiate a real loving relationship, but on his terms.

A thinking woman asks a man what he’s willing to give her and then decides if it’s enough. A woman who’s not thinking things through will try to change him and force him to become what she needs. He will always resist someone trying to change him. But if he’s the one who wants to change, to commit more fully, there is no internal resistance.

3. He is reading you very well…he senses that you want a loving relationship that progresses slowly. The problem is he only wants sex.

Many men will go through a phase of loveless sex (usually because they’re inexperienced or because they’ve been hurt) at some point in their lives. A man has a sort of built in “forcefield” when it comes to emotion. If he only wants sex and he senses that you want sex AND emotional connection, up goes the shield!

He knows that if he allows his emotions to get involved, he may fall for you…and that’s not what he wants. He doesn’t want to feel anything emotional. He just wants release. That’s why he will distance himself and deflect the intimacy that you’re offering.

Unfortunately, many women catch men in this “phase” and make the worst mistake of all: becoming a friend with benefits in hopes of changing his mind. It rarely ever works. The best thing to do if you still love a man that just wants sex, is to let him go through this phase while you move on with your life. Don’t compromise by having the loveless sex you don’t want. Let him know that you require emotional investment. And if and when he ever grows up, that’s when you’ll take him seriously.

4. He got mixed signals and is now backing away because he falsely senses your rejection of him.

This one is usually not as common as the other scenarios, but it does happen. If a man misreads your signals and thinks you’re pushing him away he WILL back away. This can sometimes happen if you play too hard to get, or “playfully” rebuff him when he’s too oversensitive. Men do like to chase women, but they also like to be rewarded. Trying too hard to be immovable or difficult could be sending him in the opposite direction. For the best results, learn how sensitive he is and only challenge him just enough so that you know he can keep up.

5. He really does have more important things going on in his life.

Lastly, remember that sometimes men have other things to attend to besides love; they may be dealing with anxiety, work stress, or even family tragedies. The “cold and distant” behavior doesn’t necessarily mean he’s backing away for good. He may just need some time to himself. As an independent woman, you are more than happy to give him space and not be clingy.

When a man pulls away early on, it’s a symptom of a bigger issue. It’s not a definite sign of relationship atrophy. Give him the space he needs and fall back on the positives you showed him before. If there was a real emotional connection, he WILL come back to you, ready to chase and ready to fall in love.

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Talk soon,

Matthew Coast

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About The Author

Matthew Coast

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