The Real Reasons Why Men Pull Away After Getting Close

The Real Reasons Why Men Pull Away After Getting Close

So you want to know why a guy might pull away after getting close with you.

Maybe you’ve been seeing him for a while, and you thought things were getting serious – only to have him grow distant just when you thought you’d come even closer together.

Maybe what you have between you is fresh, but you feel an intensely strong connection with him – or at least you thought you did. Seemingly out of nowhere it’s like he’s having second thoughts and growing distant.

more: These Are The Best Ways To Stop Him From Withdrawing If He’s Pulling Away

Maybe you thought you had something rock solid with him, only to have your dreams of a solid, lasting, amazing relationship seem like they’re evaporating in front of your eyes.

Whatever your situation – it felt like you two were getting close and now he’s pulling away. What gives? Why is he pulling away?

And most importantly, how should you get him back?

Don’t worry – I’m here to help.

Take This Quiz And Find Out Right Now: Is He Slipping Away

Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Is He Slipping Away” Quiz right now and find out if the man you want is really slipping away from you…

Here’s Why Men Pull Away After Getting Close

If your man is pulling away after you two have gotten close, chances are that he’s not actually pulling away from you specifically. It’s more likely that he’s dealing with something in his life that’s dragging his attention and focus away from you – so to you it feels like he’s emotionally withdrawing, and to him it feels like he’s focusing on solving a problem. The best thing to do in this situation is always to play it cool and give him the chance to come back to you once he’s solved what’s bothering him.

why men pull away after getting close

What To Do If He’s Pulling Away After You Got Close

I know it might feel like the sky is falling right now.

It could feel like the rug is being swept out from underneath you. Everything you had with him is being called into question.

more: Why Men Pull Away: The Top 3 Reasons

Why is he pulling away? What did you do wrong? How do you get him back? Is he going to disappear forever?

I have good news for you: 99% of the time, in this situation, you don’t have to feel worried.

I know it’s natural to feel freaked out if he’s withdrawing after getting close – it feels like everything you have with him is at risk.

But in the real world, it’s actually pretty normal for a guy to look for some space or distance in a relationship… especially right when things are getting serious.

more: The Real Reasons Men Pull Away When They’re Falling In Love

When things start to get serious in a relationship for the first time, a lot of guys start to feel worried that they’re giving up their independence or their freedom.

Many men feel anxiety and fear that they’re “locking themselves in” to something that they’re not sure how it’s going to turn out. They get worried that they might be making a mistake.

So he has a ton of anxiety and worry boiling up inside him. What do most guys do?

They look for space.

When a guy has to address the anxiety in himself about losing his freedom to a budding serious relationship, he looks for perspective about the relationship by getting some distance to be able to see things clearly.

He’ll be consciously or unconsciously weighing the relationship in his head, and asking himself whether it’s worth it, and whether he really thinks you might be “the one” for him.

Again, I want to stress – this is totally normal. It happens to almost every guy when they’re in a relationship.

And I have good news…

more: Why Men Withdraw And Exactly What To Do About It

Most Of The Time If He Gets The Space He Needs He Will Come Back

He needs the space to calm down and calm his anxiety by getting some perspective and understanding of the relationship and of what he really wants.

Only by getting that space does he prove that he can have the space he needs in the relationship – and when he realizes that he’s happy to come back and re-engage.

The trouble is that when he’s taking some time and some space to figure out his true feelings, to the woman in the relationship it feels like he’s pulling away, growing distant, and getting ready to leave her.

more: Ask A Guy: When A Guy Withdraws…

And that is the source of 99% of the problems occur in this situation that actually make him pull away even more and maybe end the relationship.

His whole goal at this point is to get perspective on the relationship. He’s trying to decide in his head if the relationship is something positive in his life that brings him happiness, or if it’s an obligation that brings negativity into his life.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

more: The Exact Reasons Men Withdraw From Relationships

When a woman (totally understandably) gets anxious and upset when a guy pulls away to get space and perspective, and channels or vents that anxiety on him (by chasing him, or blowing up his phone, or trying to pull him back), it makes the relationship feel more like a burden than a joy to him.

It pushes him towards the exact answer you don’t want him to reach when he’s deciding what to do.

Many women’s natural reaction to a guy pulling away is actually the exact reaction that will make him pull away even more, and make it much, much more likely that he decides he doesn’t want a serious relationship at all.

The point is, when you freak out when he’s pulling away…

more: The Number One Reason Men Suddenly Lose Interest

The Dynamic Of The Relationship Gets Completely Thrown Off

Like I talked about earlier, when a guy pulls away when things are getting serious, he’s trying to decide whether a more serious relationship with you is worth the loss of autonomy in his life.

He’s weighing how good the relationship makes him feel against the loss of freedom.

So at this point, it’s important that the relationship feels as good as possible. If the relationship suddenly takes a negative turn just as he’s trying to figure out whether it’s worth it, it makes him much more likely to decide that it isn’t worth it after all.

The easiest way to see how the dynamic of a relationship flips in this situation is to visualize it as “fear of loss”.

Until he started pulling away, things were going really well with him. It felt good to be around him, you felt there might be a “future” with him and were looking forward to it.

more: This Is Why Men Pull Away When You Want Them The Most

Spending time together felt good. You could relax around him – it felt like you were compatible, and trust and intimacy just kept growing between you.

That’s the kind of good relationship dynamic that causes a solid, happy, long term relationship to grow. Both partners are happy to be there, and being around each other makes each feel happier, so the relationship continues to get stronger.

However, when he pulls away to get perspective, that can get flipped on its head. Instead of feeling happy and relaxed when she’s around him, she might start to feel like she’s going to lose him.

Her behavior switches from doing what feels natural and happy when she’s with him to doing what she thinks will “pull him back” and make him come back to her.

Now, everything she does is centered around a goal – getting him to stop pulling away. Spending time together doesn’t feel as light, enjoyable, and relaxed as it used to – now it feels to him like if he does or says the wrong thing he’s going to upset her and bring in a ton of negativity.

That is not a great dynamic for a relationship to grow out of. It’s going to feel bad for him to be around, just like it will feel bad for you to feel out of control or like you’re losing him.

All that negativity will only reinforce his fears that the relationship isn’t going to be worth it, and push him away.

more: Why Men Pull Away And How To Pull Them Back


What Should You Do?

It’s very simple – play it cool.

If he’s pulling away right when you were getting close, I know there’s a strong instinct to feel freaked out and try to pull him back. Resist that instinct.

Instead, play it cool. What he’s telling you is that he needs some space and perspective to evaluate the relationship. The best possible thing you can do in that situation is give it to him.

When he sees that you’re still ok even if he pulls back from you, he’ll realize that he doesn’t have to worry about a lot of his fears about a long term relationship.

more: Why Men Pull Away And How To Deal With It

You’ll be proving to him that he won’t be responsible for your happiness and that the relationship won’t be a burden on him – exactly the question he’s trying to answer by getting space.

So don’t go chasing after him, don’t freak out that he’s pulling away, and don’t try to pull him back to you.

Instead, let him take the space he needs. He’ll start to miss you more and more, respect the fact that you’re giving him the space he needs to get perspective, and the desire to come back to you will naturally grow inside him.

That’s the best possible thing you can do when a guy is withdrawing after getting close. Good luck!

Want to find out he’s slipping away from you Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Is He Slipping Away” Quiz right now and find out if the man you want is really slipping away from you…

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37 comments… add one
  • Elizabeth July 1, 2020, 11:51 am

    Hi all,
    This is a good article. We all hate when this phenomenon occurs. It hurts badly. That’s very true. BUT, our feminine nature is especially gifted to handle these situations in ways a man cannot comprehend. For years, I would shut down when my guy would give me the ‘ this feels off and I don’t think it’s gonna work or you deserve better talk’. I noticed that over time that never changed the outcome. What I did instead, was acknowledged his concerns and let him say what he felt out of respect. I did not respond at that time with an answer of what I felt about the situation and just told him I needed to think. I needed to think and respond later, when I wasn’t caught up emotionally. After I took time to process what he said without emotional influence I was able to see clearly he was struggling with fear and anxiety because he ‘ felt so much’. Guys do not handle ‘ feeling’ as women do. It’s a very vulnerable time for them and if they are telling you about what they feel and are coming out with that emotion, it’s a gift. They are basically telling you they are scared and can’t get past their own emotion of what they think. They need to process it. BUT, i found that it was helpful in a loving way to speak to him in a non confrontational way ( after the fact) with a mindset of ‘ oh I hear what you say, I’ve felt that fear before, it’s scary, but I love you and I’m here to help work through that with you when you are ready’ . Then mention ‘ I understand if you need some space to just process things, maybe we can talk about things once it feels better’ . Then you give him space and focus on YOU. He will come back. Be empathetic, be supportive and be real. Let your anger down and just be human with him. We are all fragile. Showing compassion despite the pain is what gives us strength. Be that compassionate woman that you are very capable of being ( not a doormat) but sensitive. You will change the outcome and be the catalyst of change and example in your relationships.

  • Carla September 20, 2019, 1:44 am

    I don’t understand this either and part of me thinks it’s all a bunch of hogwash but all I can say is even though I don’t understand it is absolutely true I have dated quite a bit out here and I have yet to meet a man that doesn’t pull away, so even though I want to not believe this, I think it’s built into their DNA and because it seems to have an over and over again for me and I’m a pretty well-adjusted woman I think there’s some value into considering what to do while they are in this phase, something to at least consider I guess, unfortunately But it just may be true

  • anonymous August 12, 2019, 12:37 pm

    So women are just supposed to wait around while an adult male/female can’t communicate? Wave goodbye to him, and find a person who has the capability to be honest and communicate.

    • Carol September 26, 2022, 6:26 pm

      Wave goodbye ? This has nothing to do with being dishonest. They could be that they were deeply hurt by an ex and trying to avoid being hurt again. I love and care about mine so I’ll wait.

  • Ashara Dayne April 12, 2018, 7:16 am

    Men who do this have an avoidant attachment style. Read ‘Attached’ by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller and ‘avoidant, bad boyfriends’ by Jeb Kinnison. After reading these I realised that I had been unhappily married for over twenty years to an avoidant man who ultimately cheated on me and left me. I’ve since met a man with a secure attachment style and the difference is night and day. DO NOT MARRY a man with an avoidant attachment style you will be miserable.

  • giselle August 16, 2017, 4:26 pm

    most of the time, men need to really process the stage where he thinks he’ll be losing his freedom.

  • eunice August 15, 2017, 7:40 am

    thank you for sharing this, it opened my eyes for real.

  • kasey August 7, 2017, 1:55 am

    some men get overwhelmed by the attention and affection women give them and because they think they can’t reciprocate that, they tend to pull away.

  • amarah August 2, 2017, 1:31 pm

    you need to understand that this is common and that it is usually not the woman’s fault.

  • ashley July 30, 2017, 11:34 pm

    don’t make him feel like he’s responsible for your happiness. you’ll really scare him off.

  • alaina July 24, 2017, 12:09 am

    i believe for most men it’s really a phase they go through. don’t blame yourself or anything.

  • karmen July 18, 2017, 9:06 pm

    do not worry, it’s not about you nor what you did.

  • aliah July 17, 2017, 12:27 pm

    thanks for sharing your thoughts and tips on how to get him back

  • jazmine July 16, 2017, 8:57 pm

    don’t feel too bad. this isn’t exactly your fault.

  • kiara July 16, 2017, 4:31 pm

    this is not going to last. he’ll soon get things straight and will come back better.

  • claire July 11, 2017, 2:04 pm

    when you’re in this situation, it’s so hard to think things straight. but thanks to you, i know better now.

  • kelly July 10, 2017, 7:28 pm

    men do feel afraid too. in this case, they tend to fear their loss for freedom and spontaneity.

  • malina July 9, 2017, 1:40 pm

    i don’t ever want to experience this especially when i’ve really fallen for someone.

  • katherine July 5, 2017, 5:35 pm

    this is why we should keep in mind that our perspectives always differ from each other.

  • edralin July 4, 2017, 4:06 pm

    thanks for sharing this. it sure made a lot of sense to me.

  • quen June 29, 2017, 1:33 pm

    i just hope men do not do this at all.

  • marie June 28, 2017, 11:51 pm

    i’ll share his to my girl friends. this is something we all do not want in men

  • princess June 27, 2017, 10:33 am

    a man looking for some space doesn’t mean doesn’t love you.

  • rachelle June 25, 2017, 3:50 pm

    wow, this is a very good tip.

  • irene June 22, 2017, 4:24 pm

    men do need some space when they get overwhelmed with the relationship

  • frances June 20, 2017, 3:52 pm

    thank goodness i was able to read this, now i know what to do.

  • beverly June 19, 2017, 11:31 am

    thanks to you, i now understand better

  • violet June 15, 2017, 2:26 pm

    wow, never thought how this could work for too!

  • elisa June 14, 2017, 4:33 pm

    i’m so relieved after reading this. thank you for posting this!

  • caroline June 11, 2017, 11:54 pm

    guys need to be sure if they really want a relationship or not before even dating. things just get worse for ladies

  • kendra June 6, 2017, 8:57 pm

    i appreciate your efforts in wanting to help women. this is really something useful

  • alex June 5, 2017, 8:55 pm

    thank you for this article, i have learned new things i might be able to apply in time.

  • maxene June 4, 2017, 10:20 pm

    i will be so freaked out if i were to experiece this. i hope not ever though!

    • Carol September 26, 2022, 5:46 pm

      I have experienced this situation. He’ll stop all communication. For us women we just want answers so we tend to text lots. This to him could make him think that we are clingy. For many men this is a turn off – just leave him be and he’ll come back. So don’t attempt to call or text. It can happen for us too – like after an argument. We just need that space alone to process things. Actually this makes it better because he comes back better.

  • keren June 1, 2017, 7:26 pm

    i hope this kind of men will learn to grow up and stop playing around

    • Alma November 23, 2017, 6:21 pm

      Finally a good comment!
      All these women saying “thank you for the tips” and tolerating being turned on and off at guy’s whims just because “they are like that”, “they need space” “they need to deal with one thing at a time”. Come on!! We deserve better than that. We deserve a mature person next to us, not a whimsical child-man that from his enormous ego (like many kids have) can’t see how their actions impact on those who love him and care about him.
      Man should have their balls well located inside their bodies…but we’ll, they are hanging down there…about to drop them and lose them anytime soon.

  • samantha May 31, 2017, 11:08 pm

    i still don’t understand the need to pull away when men can just be men enough to face whatever they’re experiencing. and don’t they know women are their partners? so why not share the burden and accomplish more instead of walking away..alone and their partners broken.

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