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Why Men Pull Away: Have You Lost Him or is it All Just Paranoia?

Whether you are dating a man for a few months or you have been with him for several years, it is never comfortable when he starts pulling away from you. You begin questioning, (albeit silently or maybe to one of your best girlfriends), exactly what is going on; the more he pulls away, the more concerned you become.

You begin to wonder if you have said or done something wrong or if he is losing interest in you. If you have proclaimed love for one another at any point in the relationship, your concern can turn into downright panic.

You may find yourself wondering, is he falling out of love with you? Even worse, did he find someone else? It’s at this point you might try to calm yourself down by telling yourself your just being paranoid, and, maybe you are and maybe you aren’t.

The truth of it is, the answer to a question like why men pull away is thorny because relationships (and men) are complex.

What are you going to do now?

No matter what the reason your man has started distancing you for, if you push yourself at him or do not communicate in a way that is effective rather than overbearing, he will only double his efforts to distance you further.

While it’s true that as women we exude the essence of nurturer and look to fix everything that goes wrong in the lives of those we love the most, our nurturing side can come off as clingy, and (in some cases) a little obsessive.

In a case like this when your man is pulling away, you need to think and act counter-intuitively. It may be difficult, but you are going to have to be okay (or at least act as if you are okay) with his sudden need for space.

As you explore some of the potential reasons for his distance, you will gain a better understanding of how a few steps back might actually be the best thing you can do for your relationship. Let’s break down some of the potential reasons your man may be keeping you at arm’s length.


Reason #1: Male Vulnerabilities

Let’s face it; some men, once in a relationship, begin to feel vulnerable, and most men don’t like feeling vulnerable. Emotional vulnerabilities are something men are often raised to resist; when mildly emotional as boys men are often told, “buck up, sonny boy, take it like a real man,” or “suck it up, you’ve got to be tougher than that.”

The role of man as “tough, strong, and manly” is in direct contradiction with emotional vulnerability. Thus, when a man feels he’s falling for you, the emotionally vulnerable state may be taking him a bit out of his comfort zone. Give it some time, and don’t become too pushy. If the feelings for you are intense enough, he’ll soon conquer his emotional discomfort and become closer to you.

Reason #2: Stress, Depression & Anxiety

stressed man

If you’re man is pulling away from you, one of the first things you need to remember is his humanness. Maybe he’s stressed, not feeling well, or depressed. Maybe he’s anxious over whether or not he’ll land that big job come Monday, or maybe his work life is some demanding he’s feeling frazzled.

As your man seemingly distances himself from you, consider the fact that he is a person with obligations and life stressors just like you. Give him some time to recoup from his emotional downturn, and you’ll soon see him moving a little closer as you both sit on the couch.

Reason #3: Pressure

Stress and pressure are related, but there are so many things that contribute to the feelings of pressure, it’s deserving of its own category. Pressure, whether from within your relationship or some other source, can directly influence your man’s behaviors.

For instance, if you are constantly pressuring your man to do things or you are always demanding every free moment of his time, it’s only natural for him to want to pull away from you as he tries to retain some sense of autonomy. In the event where you have been too demanding or even clingy, you need to step back and lay off a little.

Needing to be with your man every single minute of the day is more about you and less about any issue he has, and if you start acting a little less needy, he may return his attentions to you in positive ways. In fact, playing a little coy and making yourself less accessible might just do the trick in bringing him back into your loving embrace: Men are hunters by nature and love, not only the hunt, but the thrill of the chase.

Imagine a hunter who wants to hunt deer who then goes out into the woods to find a deer just sitting there waiting for him. The deer doesn’t move, it just remains there all the time. Kind of takes the sport out of it doesn’t it? If he can’t chase you a little bit, it may feel like a little bit of what once made the relationship exciting is gone.

Of course, there are other reasons for pressure that you may not immediately realize. For example, some males might experience issues with erectile dysfunction.

When that happens, he may be too embarrassed or uncomfortable about saying anything, so naturally it’s just easier for him to pull away. It’s never safe to assume your man has lost interest in you or found someone else just because he’s a bit distant. Always consider that there are other, extremely rational reasons for his aloofness.

Reason #4: Emotional Incongruence


Emotional incongruence is a close cousin to pressure when it comes to reasons why men distance themselves  If you have feelings that are more intense than his and he is aware of it, he may feel the need to pull back in order to slow things down a bit.

He might feel like you’re taking things to fast or he may not be ready for the level of relationship intensity that you’re ready for; when this happens, he may not be willing to talk about his feelings because, as mentioned in reason number one, men don’t care for feeling vulnerable.

Another instance of emotional incongruence arises if, you’ve been dating for a few months, and your man wasn’t really into you the way you believed. It is possible he was leading you on and now that you seem to be heading down the “time to take this relationship to the next level highway,” he’s decided to veer clean off the road.

In this instance, no amount of pressure, pushing, prying, or crying is going to change the status of the relationship. You’ll have to realize you have no control over how your man feels, and you’ll have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and move on to the next phase of your life.