When a Man Pulls Away, How Long Does It Last?

How many times have you heard relationship experts say, “When a man needs his space, let him go?”

On one hand, it’s one of the easiest lessons to learn. When a man is feeling trapped, or pressured or too micromanaged the instinct is to rebel. He wants freedom. Independence. The right to go do as he pleases, rather than what the world is telling him to do.

There’s just one problem. Sometimes women discover that if they “let him go” and let him do as he pleases, he never come back. He walks away and he leaves for good!

And now they’re left heartbroken and confused, since everyone was so sure that it was all a game and that she was going to win if she just stuck it out.

There is a point of no return. Not every relationship can be saved. Sometimes when men leave, they have reached a point of no return, a point where the negative associations are so severe that they cannot return to a place of comfort and peace within the relationship.

STILL…the majority of relationships, where there hasn’t been any major trauma, can be saved. Even if the guy takes a while to sort things out, you can still attract him back to you. Maybe the trick is knowing how long is too long to wait and having the right attitude, to go along with that wait.

Let’s discuss two points: that of time (waiting on him) and that of how you should react during this time of letting go.

How Long is Too Long?

There is no real time limit here, except to say that obviously the longer he is left on his own, the more dangerous it is for the intimacy of the relationship. Much of his “need” for independence depends on the kind of man he is and your unique style of communication as a couple.

For example, is his style of communication a daily interaction? Does he need to talk to you every day, does he text or phone several times a week?

If your communication together has been so tight and clingy, it’s perfectly reasonable to give him days or even weeks alone if that’s what you think is bothering him.

Remember that sometimes men go through phases of “rebellion” or independence and it’s a relatively short period of time. They want their freedom and they want to be alone.

As soon as you stop fighting that hulk of a man, and allow him what he wants, or better yet even encourage it, he realizes there’s no reason to be resentful. You want to help him and so he feels secure again.

On the other hand, he may need weeks or even months away if the relationship was been stressed for other reasons. If he’s been unhappy for quite a while, he might want to take a break from the relationship and this takes time. His heart has to heal. His mind needs time to sort things out.

If the relationship is just starting then an entire week going by without a call or text is definitely a bad sign. He may have lost interest or realized his heart was never fully into dating you. If you’ve been dating a while and then notice he goes away for weeks or months and doesn’t bother sending you a message, it’s bad news.

The lack of interaction is what destroyed the relationship. He realized over time he didn’t value the conversation. So it’s not so much “time” that’s important, but whether or not he misses you and misses the interaction, the security, that the relationship brings him.

After considerable time you lose that interaction and that intimacy you’ve built. Your goal is to give him the independence he wants, but also to make him desire the intimacy that you both had.

That’s why attitude is just as important as time.

A Helpful Attitude

The most important element is not that you’re giving him all the time in the world…it’s that you’re stepping aside so that he can be alone. The dynamic here is that you have a helpful attitude. You’re not shutting down communication. You’re not punishing him. And you’re not just waiting idly until he comes back to romance you.

You’re helping him to find happiness and helping him by staying out of his way. What’s meaningful here is that you’re eager to talk to him and draw him out in conversation, but only when he indicates that he’s ready. This shows respect. And being available to him, with a positive attitude, shows him love.

Remember that men could pull away for a number of reasons, including stress, distractions, restlessness and mental turmoil. Cheating and getting tired of you is actually not a common reason to become distant. Serial cheaters tend to fake happiness for a long time before they’re caught.

There’s a very good chance he’s stressed about something else and maybe being too demanding with him is only stressing him out further. The best thing to do is to (A) give him his space and let him pull away but (B) let him know that whenever he’s ready to talk about it, all he has to do is contact you.

There’s no need to be subtle. Simply telling him that you know something’s bothering him, but that you don’t want to pry, will be enough. He will appreciate the gesture and whenever he feels comfortable talking about it, the intimacy can return.

It’s also important that you keep a positive and happy demeanor, even if he’s being cold. Mirroring his coldness or stress will only send the message that there’s conflict. Let him know you don’t have a problem. You’re just here to help him.

How long does a man’s search for independence last? Surprisingly short! The only thing men want more than freedom is the safety of an intimate relationship. It’s only a matter of time before he realizes that you care about his happiness, you encourage his freedom, and you’re his best friend that wants to listen.

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Talk soon,

Matthew Coast

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About The Author

Matthew Coast

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