Why Men Pull Away and What To Do About It - How To Win a Man's Heart

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February 21, 2016

Why Men Pull Away and What To Do About It

When men take 1 step back, women take 3 forward!

Let me guess, you’re in a relationship or you’ve been dating a guy for a while and suddenly or slowly your guy has started distancing himself from you, which you can feel it in every cell of your body. It can feel yuck! You wonder if he still wants to be with you or you’ve been done something to annoy him, which made him pull away? Does that questioning and self-doubt sound accurate?

The biggest mistake many women is that instead of allowing her man the space he needs (and we all need space from time to time), she interprets his need for “space” as a reflection of how he feels about her – as a result her anxiety builds, she fears that he’s going to keep withdrawing and at some stage leave her. Instead of being gracious and a woman of high value, she overcompensates, which then has him doing more of what she doesn’t want him to do… he moves FURTHER away from her. Annoying, painful and frustrating, right?

The number one thing you can do is STOP and connect with your feelings and insecurities and choose to respect his space and understand him. See his behavior for what it is; a man getting some space – too many women start SQUAWKING and FLAPPING like birds in distress, hoping the man will do something to appease her, to make her feel secure and wanted, except the guy sees her distress (or neediness) and wants to get even more space. Some women don’t flap as much as they stonewall – they can become passive aggressive and unhealthy “powerplay”, when all he wanted was some self-time.

So what’s the opposite of this? Most of the time women know what they should be doing, yet they do not listen to this knowing, they override it and end up in emotional and relationship poop! Why would you override your inner knowing?

This is when the L.I.P.S. method is helpful. When he’s pulling away it’s time to look at your balance between “Interested and Independent”.  Right now you have a choice to either;

a. Chase and become intense, or

b. Hold your ground gracefully and believe in yourself

Imagine you were going through a demanding time at work, your days have been super intense and to top it off your mother has been really unwell and you’ve been trying to spend some with her. You also have a boyfriend who you’ve been with for about 12 months and HAS been going really well, except things have changed a little. He’s been contacting you multiple times per day to check in on you, and he’s been making lots of comments about how busy you are and how he wants to see you more. You want to see him too and at the same time you have other pressing concerns that you are not able to shelve or put on the backburner right now. You’ve explained this to him and you thought he understood and knows that you spending less time with him has nothing to do with him – yet he still texts you all the time and calls you when he knows that you’re stretched. All you want is for him to support you through this time and give you a kiss and cuddle when you see each other, instead of feeling as though you’re letting him down. As a result you stop taking calls and only respond to a couple of his messages and when you see him you are a little distant because you don’t want to be hassled by him…

Ladies, what would you tell her boyfriend to do? Tell him to keep up the constant contact and to keep asking her to make time for him? Hmmm, I am sure you would not!

Did he listen to her when she told him what’s going on with her? No, he did not HEAR her. He didn’t pay attention to her needs, instead he made it about HIM and because of that she started withdrawing. What does that teach you? Can you see that to start of she was clear with him and was hoping he’d understand. Conversely, she ended up with more pressure from him, when all she wanted from him was love and support. (I have a chapter later that will help you with this topic… you can have a peak now, it’s called “Flag It”.)

If your man says he’s overwhelmed with work or whatever is happening in his life, then this is his way of “flagging it”, he’s letting you know where he is at. Or if nothing has happened in his life (that you know of) and he seems a little less attentive, his phone calls are a less frequent or shorter than normal, and he seems a little less affectionate, then you can do one of these three things:

a.  You can make it all about you and go into fear mode and worry that he won’t want to spend as much time with you and start trying to control him (bad idea, trust me it never works), or

b. You can support him by being loving and warm from a distance (give him space).

c. Depending on the situation and how he’s dealing with his challenges, you can ask him how you can best support him and what he would like from you at this time. SIMPLE

Tips for those in a relationship:

  • It’s normal for men to pull away from time to time, women can do it too. The best you can do is give him space to feel free and be his own person. Don’t take it personally until there is good reason to take it personally.
  • Give him space graciously – don’t huff and puff and play games, give him space from the heart, he should at no stage sense that you are annoyed or pissed with him. Do not dish out “f*#k you” energy – replace it with love and understanding energy.
  • If you deal with time apart from him with finesse, it will make him realize how wonderful you are and how much he values you. Be cool, not secure you.
  • Embrace the space and use the time well.
  • When he does contact you try to make sure you don’t make him wrong, don’t say – “where have you been, you should have called me”, say something more along the lines of, “hey, so nice to speak with you” or “hi, so nice to hear your voice, what’s been happening?”
  • If he often “pulls away” or rarely seems present and emotionally available, I suggest you give these tips a go and then you may decide if this man is for you. Sometimes he is not actually pulling away, he may never have been there to begin with.
  • Sometimes people meet and come together when they are both emotionally unhealthy (needy, depressed, hurt), and over the course of the relationship one person may become emotionally stronger and more independent. If you remain overly dependent on him it may feel as though he’s trying to distance himself, which he might be, he may also be simply be in a better place and ready for a more balanced connection, versus a dependent relationship. So you may need to get some professional support to assist you.

Tips for after a couple of dates

  • It can be a let down if you meet someone you like, all seems to be moving along nicely and then he falls off the radar. He’s mostly not feeling it and decided to let it go. It would be nice to be told, although men don’t tend to do that, let him go.
  • If you haven’t heard from him in a couple of days it may not mean that he is not interested. Do not chase him. Don’t do anything, wait to see if he reaches out. When a man likes a girl or is enjoying spending time with her he may become a little distant because he is trying to work out what to do – should he continue spending time with her, he’ll ask himself  if he’s ready for a relationship, does he see a future? If he doesn’t bounce back, then it’s time to know you are worthy of a great guy and move on.
  • Also the more you get to know each other, the gap or pulling away should decrease to a point where he really does not pull away much at all. As long as you have your life and continue to “nature you” throughout the relationship, then it should build to a healthy, loving relationship.
  • A man sometimes pull away because he may think you’re not interested. As mentioned in the L.I.P.S Method – Women who are playing too hard to get, who are coming across as disinterested, anticipating this “being cool” behavior will make him like even more, need to be careful. If you don’t reciprocate, a good guy will stop contacting you. At this stage, if you don’t reach out and make an effort, he will walk away. Men do need encouragement! Only a player, men who are dating multiple women, men fearful of relationships or men who like to play games, will like a woman who also blows hot and cold. So if you like him and he’s been making pretty much all the effort, now is the time to encourage him by calling him and making a suggestion to meet up. Otherwise he’ll stop contacting you and will find a girl who makes him feel wanted.
  • Never forget, a wonderful man is waiting to meet you.

Tips for after sex

If you have sex and he doesn’t make an effort and call soon afterwards then it’s pretty much a given that he’s not interested. Forget about him and MOVE ON.

Pay attention to what happened. Did he treat you like a princess, as though you were his one and only and then disappeared after you slept together? If so, learn the love-lesson here…

Take your time to have sex. Do not have sex with a stranger and hope that it will mean something more. If you have sex with a stranger, a man who is not committed to you is a risk, and you risk getting caught up on a guy who isn’t right for you – sex can do that.

A love magnet knows how to bring him back to her

In addition to what I have shared there are a few key magnetizing actions you can do that will draw a man to you without playing games, without having to use any weird and wacky skills or have the body of Elle Macpherson.

Being a modern love magnet means that a great man will want to be with you with little concern of risking his “freedom” and all that a man values about being single.

When he comes back to you, don’t turn your life upside down to see him:

Easier said than done. A love magnet has a life and if he calls on Monday and he’s been “gone” for a week and wants to see you that evening – you can certainly go (and be a doormat), or stick to your prior plans, even if it is doing your nails or watching your favorite show on your own. It is best to not change your plans to see him, remember you’re not free every night as you are not sitting around waiting for him 24/7. It may feel like a game, it’s not suggested to be. You can still be warm and encouraging and say, “I’d love to, except tonight I am already doing something, how are you placed later in the week”.  (The only exception would be if something really unexpected happened in his life and he was reaching out for support. In that case you could see him, otherwise, he can wait a couple of days or more.)

Have a read of my chapter on Conscious Breath and Who’s Looking, these will assist you to stop fretting and start believing in you.

Speak to him in a language he responds to… 

Men love feeling words, men relate and respond to language that expresses appreciation and validation, even if you have something you want to address in the relationship, package it in between praise and appreciation…

Let him know he’s great, he’ll then be inspired to do more of what you like. Women forget to tell men what they like, a magnet knows how to make a man feel good and appreciated. Men are sensitive and like you, are receptive to encouragement.

Here are some ways to respond to him when you haven’t heard from him in a while:

  • Wow you must be working hard, how are you managing or how are you feeling? (particularly if he says he’s been busy)
  • Sure, I can meet you this week, the weekend is best for me.
  • Sure, what do you have in mind (what is he offering, say it with a little bit of sass and a smile)

For early on in the dating phase, here are some general comments that you can say to show appreciation (and throughout the relationship).

Don’t overdo it, one or two compliments is plenty in an afternoon or evening:

  • What a great idea, I love it
  • Aren’t you a sweetie
  • I really love your laugh, arms, smile, jeans…
  • It’s really good to see you
  • You’re pretty good at that, aren’t you? (e.g. dancing, cooking, choosing great places to do)
  • Gosh you must have a great mind for numbers
  • I love that you’re really creative
  • I love that you exercise too
  • Well, you do look like you work out

I know it doesn’t feel good when someone pulls away – although, don’t make it into something it’s not. Let him figure out what he needs to figure out. Give him space, make the most of your time away from him and he’ll come back when he’s ready. If you force it, it’ll most likely backfire.

This article is an excerpt from Nadine Piat’s book: Never Lose Him and has been published with permission from the author. 

About Nadine Piat

Nadine Piat-Niski is a Personal Coach and an international expert in Confidence, Healthy Love and Breakup Recovery. Nadine is also a writer, speaker and columnist and she works with clients worldwide to skilfully assist them to address areas of their life that are not going to plan.

Nadine Piat-Niski is the person to see If you feel stressed, anxious and unhappy, lacking confidence and worth, and you would like to improve your relationships.

To know more about Nadine Piat, visit her website www.unlockhisheart.com.