Almost every woman has experienced the panic and uncertainty that occur when her man starts pulling away or withdrawing. Maybe it happens out of the blue, maybe something sparks it, either way, it’s a miserable feeling, one that leaves you feeling powerless and painfully insecure.
You question what happened, why he’s doing this, and what you may have done to cause this sudden shift. The most common questions we get involve some variation of a guy suddenly backing off and the girl going into a tizzy over it.
I totally get it, I’ve been there. Looking back, all those feelings of worry and confusion were a waste because the answer is surprisingly simple and applies to almost every situation.
So here it is, the top three reasons guys pull away:
1. He’s Stressed. It’s pretty widely known that when a man is stressed, he retreats to his “man cave.” There is a big difference between knowing something and really understanding it. Most women have a hard time accepting that this is how men deal with issues because when women are having a difficult time, their first instinct is to talk about it and seek comfort from friends or loved ones.
Men don’t operate this way. When a man is having a hard time, he needs to pull back and work through his issues on his own. The biggest mistake you can make is not giving him the space to do this.
If you harp on him and pester him to talk to you and open up he will see you as another source of stress in his life and will pull away even more. This creates a vicious cycle of you pushing him, him pulling back, you pushing more, and on and on until he either distances himself from you entirely or the relationship continues with an underlying tension.
If your guy is having a hard time, be it from external sources like his job or he’s having some internal emotional issue, you have to give him the space to work through it on his own. If he wants to talk to you about it, he’ll seek you out. And if he does, make sure you listen to him, don’t use this as an opportunity to voice your opinions on the matter and try to solve it for him. If he wants your advice, he’ll ask for it.
2. You’re Being Needy and He Feels Suffocated
A man doesn’t have to be dealing with personal issues to feel the need to retreat. Sometimes too much neediness from you is enough to cause him to retreat.
As we’ve said many times over, neediness isn’t so much a set of behaviors as it is a state of mind. If a man feels like you need him in order to feel OK in your life, or that you need him to fill some sort of emotional void for you, he will instinctively pull back.
Men want to feel wanted and desired, not needed. This is a very important distinction that most women overlook.
Men do enjoy being in relationships (when it’s with the right woman, that is), but at the same time, most men have a huge fear of losing their freedom and getting trapped in a situation with a woman who sucks them dry and leaves them feeling drained and uninspired. A man will feel “free” in a relationship when he’s with a woman who is whole and fulfilled in her life and doesn’t rely on the relationship to meet her every need.
If you start to act needy, an alarm bell will instantly sound in his head warning him that he’s losing his freedom and he will instinctively pull away from you.
MORE: 5 Things Every Girl Needs to Know About Men
3. He’s Having Doubts About the Relationship
Doubts are normal, especially as a relationship deepens. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything about you or how great of a girlfriend you’ve been. Maybe he’s not ready for something so serious, or maybe he’s a little unsure if you’re really the woman he sees himself spending the rest of his life with. And that’s OK.
Two people can love each other very much and still not be right for each other in the long run. Maybe something happened to spark these doubts (a fight, jealousy, lack of trust, etc.) or maybe it happened out of the blue. Don’t waste your time analyzing the situation to pinpoint exactly what you did wrong, this will only make you crazy.
Instead, give him space and continue to be the best you that you can me. If you’re at your best and he decides to throw in the towel, then there’s no reason to have regrets and to play the shoudda, wouldda, couldda game.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter why your man is withdrawing. The solution is always the same: give him space and focus on loving yourself and your life. If you do this, he will most likely come around and will go back to being that sweet, caring, attentive guy that he was in the beginning.
- SABRINA ALEXIS