One day, you feel like you’re in the most incredible relationship, and the next day you feel like your partner is a stranger. The story is almost always the same; many of us have dealt with problems like this at least once in our relationships, when a guy suddenly pulls back and withdraws emotionally. So, what does a guy think when he pulls away? Why did he lose interest, or pull away and then come back? Was it you that made him pull away?
Four Reasons Why Guys Pull Away
Everything is amazing–you’re getting close to a guy you like, and he’s reciprocating your feelings. Then, out of nowhere, you notice he’s withdrawing from you. What suddenly changed to make him distance himself–and what was going through his head?
1. He’s Afraid of His Feelings
Guys often pull away early in a relationship because they’re afraid of how they feel. Whether he was actively looking for love when he met you, the feeling of suddenly falling in love with someone is full of uncertainties. Some guys find this challenging to deal with, and may not be completely in touch with their feelings. Although they may find the idea of being in a relationship attractive, the emotions that come with it can be difficult for them to process.
So, they distance themselves from you to process these emotions, but they don’t communicate thoroughly enough about what’s going on and may become emotionally and physically distant–this can also be one of the first signs of a man pulling away.
2. He Needs Occasional Distance to Feel Masculine
One little-known secret about men is that they feel a certain kind of pressure when they’re around women. Of course, women experience the same thing when they’re around men, but often handle it better. For instance, when a guy is around a woman for too long, he may feel a need to exercise his freedom, and want to engage in hobbies like hiking or playing video games to escape what isn’t naturally comfortable for him.
If a guy thinks the intensity of the relationship is too strong, he might think his masculine identity is at risk. Often, men aren’t well-equipped to handle heightened emotions, thanks to our society’s toxic masculinity.
3. He Wants to Focus on Personal Goals
Once a guy finds himself in a more serious relationship, he may start to feel like he isn’t on top of his work, or like he’s neglecting his family or friends. He might even have financial problems that have nothing to do with your relationship–because of this, he feels he has to focus more on this life and overarching goals to get things back on track.
Men are often focused upon their accomplishments more than anything else; this gives them a sense of self-worth and value to the world around them. So, once a guy is done taking measures to regain his perspective, he might be ready to refocus on his romantic life.
4. He Has a Defense Mechanism
Maybe you’ve argued with your partner, and he thinks you want to break up with him. He may pull back for self preservation. Often, guys pull away to protect themselves and their feelings. I’ll share a little secret with you: many guys feel incompetent in relationships. Men feel like they aren’t skilled in dealing with relationship matters, so you can often expect a guy to pull away when he feels insecure and wants to protect himself.
When a guy pulls away, it can be incredibly frustrating and upsetting, but it’s important to understand his potential thought process. Ultimately, it’s up to him to decide what he wants, how to process his emotions, and the level of commitment he’s ready for–if he chooses not to commit, don’t lose hope. There are plenty of fish in the sea waiting to be caught!
Wondering what to say when he pulls away? Take a look at my latest article.