My Boyfriend Seems Distant: What To Do When He’s Acting Cold And Weird post image

My Boyfriend Seems Distant: What To Do When He’s Acting Cold And Weird

Why is he acting distant all of a sudden? Why do men go cold suddenly? Here’s what you need to know:

It’s a situation that is all too common. You’re seeing a guy, it could be casual or serious, and then he starts acting distant.

At first, you think maybe you’re being paranoid, so you try to ignore the signs. But denial can only take you so far and soon enough you have to admit that it’s not your imagination and he really is pulling away from you.

And then the panic ensues. What happened? Did I do something wrong? Is he losing interest? Is he going to break up with me? Why is he withdrawing and how can I bring him back?

I’ve heard these questions asked many times. And I’ve also asked them myself!

MORE: Why He’s Acting Distant All of a Sudden (And What to Do About It)

I totally relate to the feeling of panic and uncertainty. You don’t want to press him and risk rocking the already shaky boat, but you also really want to know where you stand.

To help you deal with this precarious situation, I’ve compiled my best tips for dealing with a distant boyfriend, including explanations for why he’s being distant and how you should respond.

Why He’s Being Distant

There are a few main reasons why a man will pull away and start acting distant.

  1.  He’s stressed about something that has nothing to do with you. This is usually the most likely cause. Men deal with stress and difficulties differently than women do. While women prefer to seek out those closest to them to talk and cry about it, men prefer to deal with things internally on their own. He doesn’t want to be seen as weak and incompetent, especially not in front of a woman he cares about. The causes can vary. Maybe he’s having a hard time at work, is having financial issues, family problems or maybe emotional issues.
  2. You’re doing something that’s causing him to pull away. No one is perfect. Sometimes our fears an insecurities get the best of us and it can bleed into our relationship, pushing our man away as an unwanted consequence. Maybe you don’t trust him, maybe you’re afraid he’ll leave even though he hasn’t given any indication of that, maybe you’re relying on him too much for your self-esteem and sense of worth. Whatever the case, you are making him responsible for things that are solely under your control. No one likes being burdened like that and he may reflexively pull away from you as a result.
  3.  He’s unsure about the relationship. Doubts happen. And not everyone is a match. I know no one wants this to be the case, but sometimes a man will pull away because he just isn’t sure if he wants to continue dating you. I
  4. It’s going too fast. Sometimes things get off to an explosive start. You meet, you click, and all of a sudden you’re spending every second together. When it gets too intense, it’s natural for a man to want to pull back just a bit and recalibrate. It’s scary to move at lightning speed and wanting to slow things down is normal and actually makes for a healthier relationship.

MORE: 5 Steps to Stop a Man From Withdrawing

What Not to Do When a Man Acts Distant

If your guy is pulling away, don’t do any of the following unless you want to push him even further away!

  1. Badgering him. What’s wrong? What happened? What did I do? Why haven’t you been texting me back? Why won’t you talk to me? Save the line of questioning, it will just be like playing tennis with a brick wall. If a guy is stressed or dealing with difficult things emotionally, the last thing he’ll want is a grand inquisition. That is just yet another stressful thing to deal with and he would just rather not. You can ask once and if he doesn’t want to talk about it just leave it alone.
  2. Obsess over it. Stressing over your relationship is what ruins a relationship. It feels like you’re being productive, but you’re not. You’re just wasting energy and driving yourself crazy in the process. No good ever had or ever can come from stressing.
  3. Passive-aggressively punishing him. He’s being distant, so you’ll be even more distant! Maybe you’ll even go out and flirt with some other guys just to show him who’s boss and that he can’t get away with this behavior! You’re angry and look for every opportunity to get back at him. Note: this is a horrible strategy.
  4.  Make it all about you. It most likely isn’t about you so stop seeing yourself as the problem until you know for sure that you’re the problem.
  5. Solve his problems for him. Men need to feel competent and strong. If you try and fix things for him he’ll feel weak and almost like a failure. If he asks for your advice that’s one thing. If he doesn’t, then don’t shove your two-cents down his throat.
  6. Judge him when he does open up. The fastest way to shut someone down when they come to you is to judge them. So that’s why you’ve been so upset? That’s so stupid. If he’s being open and vulnerable, just listen with compassion. The second your judge, he’ll go right back to being distant and shutting you out.

MORE: Why He’s Being Distant 

What to Do When He’s Distant So He Comes Back

  1.  Step back. When a guy needs space, give him space! It’s as simple as that. I know you don’t want to do it, I know you would rather he come to you and share with you and open up to you, but this isn’t about you. This is about him and what he needs and the best thing you can do is respect his needs. This is the sign of emotional maturity and if you can successfully do it, he will come to love and appreciate you even more.
  2.  Focus on yourself. It’s easy to lose yourself in a relationship. When you have some space, use it to tour advantage by focusing on yourself and re-connecting to yourself. Work through any issues you may have (maybe you don’t trust that he’ll come back … ask yourself why that is, what you’re afraid of … what is the real fear here?).
  3.  Be there for him without being overbearing. Try to be supportive. I know it’s hard to get there when you’re feeling hurt and confused, but it’s so important. Let him know you’re there if he needs you and just leave it at that.
  4.  Stay happy. Don’t let your negative emotions take you over. Yes, I know you’re scared and worried and insecure, but these are stemming from issues within you, not necessarily from what he’s doing. Spend time with friends and doing things you enjoy. People are attracted to happiness. When you radiate that energy, he will come back to you even faster.
  5.  Keep the vibe calm and positive when you’re together. If you’re anxious and on edge, he’ll feel it. Try as best you can to just be cool and calm. Try to tap into your loving, caring side so that he feels good around you.
  6.  Try to reconnect when the time is right. You can’t wait around forever. At some point, you need to figure out what’s going on in the relationship. The best way to do this is with a non-threatening text seeing if he wants to get together for something low-key. You need to decide how long you’re willing to wait, but I would say if he’s still shutting you out after a few weeks you should try to reconnect and see what’s going on.
  7.  Be OK with the outcome. There is a chance that he just doesn’t want to be in this relationship anymore. Prepare yourself for that possibility and try to be OK with it. It will hurt, but it won’t be the end of the world. The fear and anxiety and worry really comes from the idea that your world will fall apart if you lose him but that simply isn’t the case. Remind yourself of this.

MORE: What to Do When a Man Needs Space

Final thoughts

All you have control over is yourself. You can’t control what he thinks or how he feels. All you can do is be your best self and bring your best into the relationship. Your best does not include your fears and insecurities so try to check those at the gate!

MORE: Why Do Men Pull Away?

If he doesn’t want to be with you anymore, that’s really OK. Not everyone is a match, it happens. Try not to take it personally because it isn’t. Just like not everyone you meet becomes your best friend, not every guy you date will be “the one.”

I hope this article helped you better understand why men sometimes act distant and how to deal. But there’s more you need to know. This article could only cover so much. For more on why men pull away and exactly how you should respond in order to get him back and keep him, read this: If He’s Pulling Away, Do This...

Also, do you know what inspires a man to commit and see you as “the one”? If not, read this too: The #1 Things Men Desire in a Woman

Related Links:

Telltale Signs He’s Pulling Away 

Surprising Ways to Connect With a Distant Partner

How to Make My Boyfriend Stop Acting Distant

How to Deal With a Distant Boyfriend:

  • Don’t badger him.
  • Don’t obsess over it.
  • Don’t passive aggressively punish him.
  • Don’t make it all about you.
  • Don’t solve his problems for him.
  • Don’t judge him when he does open up to you.
  • Give him space.
  • Focus on yourself.
  • Be there for him without being overbearing.
  • Stay happy.
  • Keep the vibe calm and positive when you’re with him.
  • Reconnect when the time is right.
  • Be OK with the outcome.
boyfriend is distant

Written by Sabrina Alexis

I’m Sabrina Alexis, the co-founder, and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing relatable, insightful articles that help people understand relationship dynamics and how to get the love they want. I have a degree in psychology and have spent the last 10 years interviewing countless men and reading and studying as much as I can to better understand human psychology and how men operate. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Instagram.

5 comments… add one

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I think this article makes really good points, and that most of what it says is true. I think Sabrina Alexis def has guys figured out, as much as any of us can.

Ultimately, though, I have to say that I agree with Amy, the previous commenter. I have read many articles from ANM, especially a couple years ago, when I was still dating. I eventually stopped reading them because I noticed a pattern that I Disliked… when it’s the girl’s fault, it’s up to her to fix it. When it’s the guy’s fault, it’s also up to her to fix it.

Reply February 21, 2020, 9:36 pm


I’m so glad I came across this article. Its giving me peace of my mind. Thank you

Reply November 6, 2019, 12:23 pm


Sooo…basically When he’s acting out and being distant, we girls just get to pamper him and wonder what has hurt his precious ego?? Wtf???

Reply October 6, 2019, 8:47 pm


Ha!! Amen sister. I say take all the time you want honey in the mean time I’ll go back to focusing all my time on myself and why I pick selfish pricks and how to stop.

Reply September 6, 2020, 2:24 pm


Amazing article, wish I came across it sooner! Everything makes so much sense now. Thank you!

Reply September 23, 2018, 2:21 pm

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