Exactly What To Do When A Guy Withdraws

Why Men Withdraw and Exactly What to Do About It

You’re here because you’re worried that your guy is pulling away… and you don’t know how to stop it.

It feels like he’s withdrawing from you more and more, and everything you do only seems to push him away further.

By the end of this article you’ll know exactly why he’s withdrawing – and what to do to magnetically draw him back to you.

What Happens When A Guy Withdraws?

He barely brushed your cheek with a kiss or maybe he didn’t kiss you at all when he left for work this morning and then he slammed the door a little harder than necessary on his way out. You put on your favorite do-me red lipstick and your sexiest lingerie and walked into the living room to surprise him and he told you that he was tired and just wanted to watch the game.

when a guy withdraws

Or maybe you sent him a long heartfelt text telling him how much you love him and can’t wait to see him again and hours later all you get as a reply is…”k”.

You don’t understand why his eyes glaze over and he seems to be a million miles away from you when you try to tell him about something funny that happened to you at work.

It seems as though you can’t say anything right to each other anymore and every conversation turns into bickering or stony silence.

Every insecurity in your brain begins to work against you, making you fear the worst. Why is this happening? Could this be the end of your relationship?

Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?

Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Is He Losing Interest” Quiz right now and find out if he’s really losing interest in you…

You may even begin to wonder if there’s another woman in the picture. If this has happened to you in the past or if it’s happening to you right now, you know exactly how soul crushing it can seem.

You just want to know what’s wrong so you can fix it, but when he won’t open up to you, how on earth are you supposed to know what to do to make things right again?

You want to show him you care so you make his favorite six cheese lasagna for dinner, or you give him massages, or you try to pull him back to you with some no obligation oral sex. What man could resist that? You’ll do practically anything to make him actually see you again when he looks at you.

All you want is for things to go back to the way they were before. But everything you do seem to backfire and make him grow even more distant.

You begin to feel that all your dreams of the pretty little house in the suburbs, three adorable curly haired children, and the life you hoped to have one day with him are slipping out of your grasp..

You find yourself overthinking every move you both make, wondering if what you’re doing is contributing to the problem and you stop feeling like you can enjoy just being present in the moment with him because you can’t stop thinking about your lost future.

You feel frustrated and angry because he shouldn’t be acting this way when you’re trying so hard, but no matter how many times you try to have a discussion about it, he just won’t cooperate. You don’t understand why he doesn’t seem to care about you the way you care about him.

After all, if he really cared, he wouldn’t do this to you, right? When you tell him this he sighs and shakes his head, then walks out of the room, further away than ever.

You can’t seem to stop yourself from texting him repeatedly hoping for something, anything, that will reassure you that he hasn’t given up on you.

Sometimes you even feel tempted to violate his trust and sneak a look at his phone even though you swore you to yourself that you would never be “that girl”.

Does this sound all too familiar to you?

I know it may sometimes feel like it, but it’s not necessarily the end when a man turns inward and away from you temporarily. Men withdraw for lots of reasons and a great deal of them have nothing to do with you.

Once you understand why it happens and what genuinely helps men to work through it, you’ll be able to see things more clearly and stop worrying about the relationship or worrying that he’ll never commit. It doesn’t work to play baseball if you’re using basketball’s rules, right?

It is the same thing when dealing with a man. If you understand how his mind works your chances of being in a great relationship where you can be comfortable and work together as a team are much higher.

Now I’m going to mention something here…it’s a fact that not all relationships are worth saving. You’re going to need to take a hard look at what is really going on and come to a decision. How do you decide this? You’re going to ask yourself which of these is true:

a. His behavior is upsetting to you because it doesn’t adhere to a set of invisible rules that you’ve written up in your mind that you feel he should be following. Sometimes women don’t even know they have this list until their guy starts breaking the rules and she gets angry and begins to think that he should be acting differently than he is.

b. His behavior is actually destructive and harmful. For example, he is verbally or physically abusive toward you.

If the answer is “b”, you have to care about yourself enough to make the decision that serves you best. It is never okay to be abusive and it is never the right thing to do to allow yourself to be abused.

If the answer is “a”, you can learn to have a much clearer understanding of the way your man’s mind works so that you’ll be able to get along with him better if you choose to (and even make him commit).

Men have their own list of rules for their behavior and they had them long before you came into his life. Men aren’t puppets and they don’t need to be trained into submission. You can do that. Of course you can. But would you rather be your man’s mother or would you rather have him be all man so that you’re able to feel love and respect and passion for him as long as you’re together?

Just Because He’s Acting Grumpy With You Doesn’t Mean He’s Grumpy Because Of You

The first step is simply realizing that when something is weighing on a man’s mind, he just needs some down time to think about it. There is no time limit. It takes as long as it takes.

And when do they have that down time? When they’re not at work. Men are focused creatures and generally only give their attention to one thing at a time while women tend to be the opposite and are usually better at multi-tasking. Work is usually his number one priority.

It doesn’t mean anything bad about you if he needs to deal with his thoughts/problems/worries during the time he isn’t at work. It doesn’t mean you’re not important to him or that you’re not a priority. It just means that he’s not at work where it is crucial that he be focused and that he needs to let his mind work on it or he’s going to go crazy.

When a man has something he’s thinking over and doesn’t have enough time or peace to get a grip on it, it can be very annoying and can make him feel impatient or grouchy. Think about how you feel when you’re fully focused on a task and someone interrupts you. Irritating, right?

This is more or less how he feels when he can’t resolve whatever he’s thinking about. Again, just because he can act grumpy with you doesn’t necessarily mean he’s grumpy because of you!

How To Open Up The Lines Of Communication

If you want to open the lines of communication, it is imperative that you be 100% willing to truly listen. Be quiet, be non-judgemental, and keep any defensiveness to yourself if you ask him to open up to you. Do not make it about you.

He must be able to feel safe and that you genuinely want to hear him. You would not coax a dog to you promising him happy things like love and food and then kick him as soon as he gets close, right? Of course not. What would happen?

That dog would run away and most likely not come back.

If you think you are able to listen in the manner I described, then in a compassionate voice you can tell him something like this:

“It seems like something’s been on your mind lately, sweetie. I don’t know if you want to talk about it or not but I’m here to listen if you do care to. If not, I hope you’re able to figure it out soon.”

A quick hug or kiss is nice at that point if you’re feeling it. Overly emotional clinging does not need to be a part of this process. Then you back away and leave it up to him to choose what he feels he needs.

Most men, if they feel safe enough, will eventually share with you. And if not, they will sort it out in their own mind and before you know it, he is back with you again, grateful for your love, support, and willingness to allow him his space.

It helps immensely just for him to know that you are patient and understanding when he goes through this. It can even free his mind up to have the space to find a solution faster if he isn’t having to be worried about making you angry or fending off your attempts at invading his brain space.

Develop The Trust In Your Relationship – Not Fear

I will be honest here though, that is entirely up to you and what kind of woman you are. If you are patient and understanding and have been as long as he knows you, your chances of him opening up to you are quite a bit higher.

If you are prone to drama then it’s going to take a little more effort on your part to undo that. Because you have kicked the dog already. It can be done but you will have to truly want to dial back the drama and create trust again.

It all depends on what you want your relationship to develop into – a place of trust or a place of fear. If you are asking your screen right now, “Why do I have to do all the work while he just gets to be himself??”, then I think you know your answer.

It is your choice to be in this relationship and it is also your choice how much you help it to grow and flourish. There is never anything to be gained by keeping score over who is doing more in any relationship. It serves no positive purpose.

When one person in a relationship leads by example, it is never long before the other person naturally follows that lead. Women are by far better at understanding the finer nuances of relationships. That is why you’re reading this right now and your man isn’t.

There is nothing wrong with taking responsibility and learning what works and then putting that into play to create a better relationship for yourself. Your happiness is not dependent on anyone or anything except for your own self.

Your life is exactly what you make it. When cultivating your own happiness is your priority and you don’t rely on external things to make you happy, you’ll find that the vibe you put off will attract it right back to you.

I hope this article helped you understand why guys withdraw in relationships. That’s one of the questions I get asked the most… and for good reason. 100% of the time a guy is going to end a relationship, he starts to pull away first so you have no time to lose. If you’re worried he’s going to pull away (or he’s already started to), you have to read this article it could very well change your life: If He’s Pulling Away, Do This…

Want to find out if he’s really losing interest? Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Is He Losing Interest” Quiz right now and find out if he’s really losing interest in you…

Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?

39 comments… add one
  • christine February 5, 2019, 10:49 pm

    Thanks for this well-written article. I’m dealing with a situation where I met a wonderful man and we hit it off and we became exclusive after 1.5 months. It’s been over three months and he’s become a bit more withdrawn – but he lost his job and has another one now as an independent contractor – so he is really busy trying to establish himself, he is confused about where he is going to live exactly and maybe seek some other type of work but he doesn’t have time and all the while, he is trying to figure out how to make things work with us but focusing on the aforementioned first. He is overwhelmed with a lot on his plate and shared this with me. We are long distance but we facetime once every few days, text and we’ve seen each other once a month and I can see the stress in him since these big life changes. I have really been starting to feel neglected and hurt but have not been expressing it and just seeking support from friends. This was so helpful to read – my mind was going everywhere from ‘he is seeing someone else’, ‘he is losing interest’ or other things…but now I’m understanding he is just withdrawing from the stress. Great point in that I don’t want to be added stress. I want to be supportive to him but also scared, maybe I am wasting my time if he can’t come out of this? I don’t want to be starved of affection and intimacy after 4-5 months? I think at some point, we have to take care of ourselves too and let someone go find themselves. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. For now, I will be understanding, not bring anything up (like I feel neglected), try to be patient and supportive as possible. Wish me luck and I wish everyone the same!

    • Janetka September 4, 2019, 9:04 am

      Hello Christine, I so understand where you are coming from. Your message really did help me a lot. Hope everything worked out great for you both! I have just met someone online, we talked for hours, met straight away and made plans to be together…and it’s also long distance. So he had to go back to a place where he no longer wants to be and needs to figure out a lot of things for himself. So he has pulled back and we decided to take it easy and get to know each other better first.Which is hard to do in long distance. We agreed we are both scared to get hurt. He is not really in touch with me and that drives me crazy but I know that pushing him will not get me anywhere. So I want to focus on myself and let this play out the way it’s supposed to. But it’s so hard. Not knowing where I stand. Sometimes I feel like ending it would be the best thing but again…I feel like he is worth the wait. Well…let’s see what the universe has in store for me. I need to love myself first and that’s what I’m going to work on right now.

    • Ghaleya Callender April 14, 2022, 10:49 pm

      I have been seeing someone since the beginning of last December. In the beginning, the relationship moved a little fast, and he told me that the chemistry between us is great, but that he wants to see how we interact over time (because that will be the true test of whether we are compatible or meant to be). Also because he had moved too quickly with other women he’s been with before meeting me and he “had crashed and burned.” I was worried but things started to develop maybe at a one he wasn’t comfortable with. He never said he wasn’t ready for a relationship, but with men it’s always about their actions. I know he loves and cares for me, but he has never told me. When we first started dating 4 months ago, we used to see each other every week for the first two months, with the exception of where he just needed one weekend to himself. In February we saw each other a little less and in March, we saw each other just once before he just disappeared almost 4 weeks ago. I feel very hurt and confused because I never pushed him into doing anything. Honestly, some of the things he’d done had tested my patience especially when he asked to see me that last time in March and then not solidifying and following up on our plans to meet. If I hadn’t stepped in and made a plan he wouldn’t have. On our second date, he told me he lost his job and on our first date I asked what he used to do before that, but because he was in occupational therapy, the pandemic put him out of business. Apparently it was all over something very trivial. So he’s been dealing with not having a job and having to find one for the last 4 months. He’s had to lean heavily on his family for favors because he was not allowed to collect unemployment. He was fired before 5 or 6 months of employment. So I know he’s dealing with a lot right now and is really stressed. I just didn’t think he’d do this to me. I’m not sure whether he will be back. I just know I’m really hurt. I have woken up every night with tears in my eyes and find myself remembering the times we were together and crying. I’m not sure what I will do when and if he returns.

  • Anon August 13, 2018, 8:04 am

    Best article yet !

  • Yolanda December 11, 2017, 9:44 pm

    I’m dateing a 57 year old man …. 6mos ago he had congested heart failure … He have 10 year old son … That he keep in sports …. He have to drive just about every day 2 hours to get to St Johns County to take him to practice … He tells me all the time that he is very tired and he is frustrated and tired of the long traveling … Now he have withdrawn from me he tells me that he have a lot on his plate and he is very busy …. I know that this man love me .. I believe that he is up under a lot of stress but he have not talked to me about it he won’t open up to me …. He’s not calling or texting me as much as he used to … So I decided that I will just pull away and give him his space .. do you think that he will come back

  • lily November 11, 2017, 3:37 pm

    wow….great piece!

  • Flora November 9, 2017, 11:16 am

    How many days we should wait if a man withdraw? What is the normally? Any experience that they came back?

  • Joules January 30, 2017, 1:33 pm

    This article is well written and such a big help!!!

  • dimples June 24, 2016, 6:09 pm

    always remind urself, if he’s acting weird..its not your fault. he may just be having a rough day from work or anything. dont conclude and punish urself at once. try talking to him in a very nice and sensible manner

  • faith June 23, 2016, 7:23 pm

    his behavior is on & off..im not sure i still want to be w/ him

  • beverly June 22, 2016, 1:38 pm

    sounds all too familiar & im getting tired of the routine..i want out

    • A man November 5, 2017, 2:29 pm

      Did you read This? Sounds like you aren’t all that easy to talk to.

  • annaNina June 21, 2016, 6:21 pm

    dont always think its ur fault he’s like that..be open & talk about things

  • harley June 20, 2016, 12:48 pm

    be easy & dont put d blame all on urself
    if sumthin’s wrong, dont assume that its ur fault

  • grachelle June 17, 2016, 1:03 pm

    now i understand better. thanks 4ur advice

  • maddison June 16, 2016, 7:30 pm

    ur right! whwnever i try talking 2 him 2 fix things..he refuse 2 communicate
    he always think of me as just nagging him

  • ariella June 15, 2016, 4:34 pm

    men wont just open up..and then when u start talking, all they see is a nagger uggh

  • aivy June 14, 2016, 12:50 pm

    i guess really d hardest part is building the trust in our relationship..he doesnt seem 2 wana be open 2me as much as we need 2

  • ellaina June 13, 2016, 12:57 pm

    i dont understand how men choose to ww/draw feelings instead of jst letting it all out and resolving any issues present

  • marilyn June 10, 2016, 1:41 pm

    i would talk to him and come up w/ a decision to fix issues or just move on w/ each of our own lives..no need to suffer from all the guessing & mind reading games

  • rebecca June 9, 2016, 12:15 pm

    dont be too hard on urselves & blame everything on urself

  • lucilyn June 8, 2016, 4:42 pm

    i am jst too weak 2 handle thus kind of stuff
    hope this article motivates me

  • laarni June 8, 2016, 12:49 am

    this is too sad..why do men play w/ our emotions like that?

  • martha June 3, 2016, 2:37 pm

    i hope he’s not losing his interest on me N the relationship

  • gemma June 2, 2016, 11:44 am

    ugh..i hate it when he does this! i feel like theres always sumthing wrong about me

  • freda May 31, 2016, 4:14 pm

    take time out to rethink ur relationship situation so it will be clearas to why he might be w/drawing from u

  • allison May 27, 2016, 4:44 pm

    always b open to communicate esp when sumthins not goin right

  • macy May 26, 2016, 7:57 pm

    now im startin 2feel that hes really slowly w/drawing :(

  • madonna May 24, 2016, 4:02 pm

    thank u 4 thsi article..its helping me in many ways

  • adeline May 23, 2016, 5:44 pm

    thanks 4 the reminder.. i need 2 develop trust & he needs 2 know i do trust him

  • addison May 20, 2016, 3:42 pm

    im too afraid to even find out my guy’s w/drawing from me & our relationship

  • cassandra May 19, 2016, 6:11 pm

    thank u 4 ds article..just wat i needed at d moment

  • catharin May 18, 2016, 7:02 pm

    let him be..he needs space once in a while so do u..
    if he continues 2 w/draw & decides that he wants out, good 4u

  • leonor May 18, 2016, 12:53 pm

    o gosh, i get these signs & i get all paranoid & stuff, even just 1 little sign drives me cray

  • reese May 16, 2016, 2:33 pm

    ur definitely right its better 2 build up trust in a relationship than fear

  • nancy May 13, 2016, 1:14 pm

    do not overthink, just try 2b as open as u can & do not overreact

  • kyla May 13, 2016, 6:02 am

    i jst let him be, he always comes back around anyway
    he knows i luv him & i alwys mke him feel that way

  • soleil May 12, 2016, 10:08 am

    always b ther 4 ur man w/ openness so whenever he has doubts or issues he doesnt resort 2 w/drawing at once

  • judee May 11, 2016, 4:11 am

    my man withdrawing is a very familiar scene, ill keep these in mind

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