5 Shocking Things To Do When A Man Pulls Away

Love and Romance | |
how do you respond when a guy pulls away
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When my friend, Aaron, told me about the 5 shocking things to do when a man pulls away, I was left shocked. This guy I met at work, Jason, had just canceled our second date in a week. What felt humiliating was that the previous week, we had an amazing night, talking and making love, and he had refused to meet this week. I had begun to like him a lot, but I had no idea what to do when a man pulls away after intimacy.

Aaron listened to my sad tale over drinks and asked me, “How do you respond when a guy pulls away?” I told him that I was feeling used and wanted to rush to his cubicle and give him a piece of my mind publicly. He tsk-tsked in his familiar manner and told me, “I know five ways to be high-value when he ignores you.” These five ways helped me get Jason back. So, keep reading to find out what they are…

Understand Why He Pulled Away

A common concern among this generation of women revolves around why guys pull away before they commit. Questions like, “He’s pulling away and, for the life of me, I can’t understand why.” What would make someone, who showed so much interest, suddenly pull away? “Is he losing interest or am I doing something wrong?”, beg answers. No matter what scenario you try to paint in your head, it just doesn’t add up. Now, you are feeling confused and not quite sure what to do. Well, the first thing is to understand why he’s pulling away. Aaron said that men could pull away for several reasons:

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1. He has gamophobia, or the fear of commitment

The fear of commitment may sound like a cop-out but it is a real thing. This psychological condition manifests as a persistent and irrational fear of getting into any type of committed relationship. Interestingly, it doesn’t only apply to romantic life. The fear may extend to professional and social relationships as well. Personal insecurities, past experiences, and an anxious attachment style could result in such an underlying fear of commitment.

2. He’s getting overwhelmed due to the fast pace of the relationship

The pace at which the relationship is moving could be overwhelming him because it has all the signs of a relationship that is moving too fast. Or, perhaps, you are coming on too strong. Cathy, a friend said, “When he pulled away, I had to think about how the relationship had been going. I realized that maybe I was looking at the long-term before we both had a chance to just enjoy the daily routine of dating and getting to know each other.”

Related Reading: What Happens To A Man When A Woman Pulls Away? The True List Of 27 Things

3. He is unsure of his feelings

Here’s an interesting fact about some guys. When a guy pulls away, he may actually be falling in love with you. Yup, these creatures that believe they are simpler to understand than women sometimes do some befuddling things. Pulling away could be him fighting his feelings for you.

Not all men react this way though. A Reddit user says, “I don’t pull away. I’m a person who likes to embrace their emotions. If I like someone, I’ll let them know. If they are okay with it, I pursue more.”

4. He has had bad experiences in past relationships

If you’re wondering why he pulled away all of a sudden, it’s possible that your love interest hasn’t healed from past relationship trauma. So, he may be scared to dip his legs into the relationship pool again. When he pulls away, it’s one of the clear signs that he may not be ready to settle down with you, as he needs to heal. Allow him the space so that you can be sure of a healthy relationship going forward.

5. There’s something about you that’s a red flag for him

My focus on the long-term at a time when we were supposed to be enjoying the dating experience was a red flag. Instead of drawing him nearer, I was achieving the opposite.

Related Reading: 18 Complications Of Having An Affair With A Married Man

6. He enjoys being single or is on a rebound

Learning what to do when he pulls away may require you to have some clarity on the relationship. Not every display of interest is intended to end up in a committed relationship. The guy could be looking for a ‘hit and run’ AKA casual sex situation, and there you are pushing for commitment. You may also need to learn the signs of a player to protect your heart from hurt.

Also, the guy could have been looking for a rebound relationship. That makes him less likely to want to get into a committed relationship.

7. There is someone else on the side

When a man pulls away, it could be because there is already someone else in the picture. He could be in love with another woman. So, to him, you are someone who he can come to for a quick tumble in the bed or when he needs breathing room from his current partner.

8. He’s not pulling back, you’re being paranoid

Are you still wondering why he pulled away suddenly? Think about it this way: a typical adult has many responsibilities and issues in daily life. He could be busy or dealing with personal or family issues. You can ask him what’s up and have enough grace or sense to give him some breathing room to sort himself out. If he is truly interested, he will come back after pulling away.

Related Reading: How Perfect Partners Drift Apart

How To Be High-Value When He Pulls Away?

Aaron used a shopping analogy to explain this. He said, “You don’t always pick the first dress you find in the store. Even if you like it, you’re still not sure. So, you wander off and have a look around. Eventually, you realize that that dress you left two aisles back was the best one in the store. Likewise, you’ve got to be high-value when he ignores you, so he’d come back.”

Our barkeep, Claudia, agreed with Aaron and advised me, “When a guy pulls away, do nothing.” I asked, “He keeps talking about 5 shocking things to do when a man pulls away and you’re telling me to do nothing. And how do you not do anything, especially with all the anxiety coursing down your veins?” Claudia poured me another drink and told me, “Be high-value.” Here’s how :

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  • Believe in yourself: People who are assertive and value their mental health and well-being are more likely to maintain healthy relationships, as substantiated by this research. This is why everyone wants to be with confident people
  • Manage your emotions: When a guy acts interested, then backs off, don’t make a spectacle of your emotions. Exhibiting private emotions publicly often comes across as attention-seeking behavior, a need for external validation, or a lack of emotional immaturity
  • Lean on your support system: If you feel anxious, a good place to start is to talk to your friends. Seek therapy, if you need to
  • Distract yourself: Step back and get back to who you were. Stay busy, start a new exercise routine, connect with friends and family, or try new things
  • Be grateful for what you have: Acknowledge everything good in your life. It’s a great way to deal with a guy who’s not ready to commit. There’s so much in life. You don’t need a guy to make it feel worthwhile
  • Get rid of any negativity: Prioritize your well-being and avoid negative thoughts
How do guys feel when you cut them off?

5 Shocking Things To Do When A Man Pulls Away

Later, Claudia clarified, “Being high-value not just involves focusing on yourself but also giving other people the necessary space and support they need. This is how you get a man to chase you after he pulls away.” Aaron said that women often overreact in such situations and end up doing things that push men further away. So how do you respond when a guy pulls away? Here are 5 shocking things that almost always work:

1. Mirror him when he pulls away

So, you want to know what to do when he pulls away? Use the mirror technique, which is brilliant due to its simplicity. All you need to do is mirror him when he pulls away. Basically what you are doing is giving him a taste of his own medicine. Try these tactics:

  • If he doesn’t call or text, do the same
  • If he asks for physical space, give it to him without question. Don’t feel like you need to be around for him to notice you
  • If he is not emotionally expressive, try to adopt the same approach

When you mirror him when he pulls away, you are bringing back balance into the relationship. There will be no feeling of pressure or suffocation, thus giving you a better way to navigate the complexities of the relationship. It’s also a fantastic way to love yourself.

2. Give him breathing room

One of the things you can do when a guy acts interested, then backs off is nothing. Aaron says that guys pull away when they are falling in love. A lot of it is related to the fear of commitment, which could be stemming from past relationship trauma. If you believe that your guy is pulling away, give him that space to deal with his emotions. Either he will come back to you with clarity about his feelings or you will get rid of someone who didn’t deserve you.

When Jason didn’t contact me, I felt bad but followed Claudia’s advice. I went around with friends and did yoga. I went kayaking with my mother. I spent a weekend camping with my cousins. It was only after two weeks that Jason contacted me. He told me he was going through a divorce and was confused about me. I felt shaken. But we decided to take it slow since we liked each other a lot and he was already going through so much. Claudia’s advice, “When he is losing interest and pulls away, let him go”, did come to my rescue.

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3. Thrive solo

When you think of the 5 shocking things to do when a man pulls away, you may imagine it involves seduction techniques and emotional manipulation. In fact, this is what most men expect too.

But the simplest solution is: when he pulls away, let him go. For maximum impact, shock him by showing your independence. Men often get cold feet at the thought of commitment if they believe that it might become an emotionally exhausting relationship. You need to show him that you’re not dependent on anyone for validation. Spend time by yourself and take it as an opportunity for personal growth or self-improvement.

A Reddit user shares, “One of the facts I clarified when kicking out my recent Ex… “You say you’re so busy at work, and you’re avoiding me is so you can focus there — let me help you. Move out. Now you’ll have all the time you need to focus on your priorities. That mindset doesn’t work for me, since I am a priority.”

More on rejection

4. Become a paradox

Most people would expect you to start a campaign to get him back. Perhaps you too feel the same. How about doing something completely different, in fact, do the exact opposite? So try these tactics instead:

  • Instead of being clingy, give him plenty of breathing room
  • Instead of obsessing over him, prioritize your well-being and work on your personal growth
  • Instead of being angry that he is being distant, show empathy and support

It would be a lie to say that it will be easy. Going against your basic instinct requires an amazing amount of strength. But, now’s a good time to fight the instinct and you will come out a much better person. Take a couple of deep breaths and then strategize on how you will move on. High self-worth and confidence are qualities men find attractive. Taking time to grow and develop instead of chasing after him will also build your self-esteem.

Related Reading: Mind Games In Relationships – What They Look Like And Why People Do It

5. Use a 4-word text message that pulls him back

Reaching out via text can be a response if you’re wondering what to do when he pulls away. So what are some good examples of 4-word text messages that pull him back? You can go with:

  • Are you doing well?
  • Need a listening ear?
  • I’m here for you
  • Can we catch up?

But remember, if he doesn’t respond, it could be a sign that you mean nothing to him. Don’t insist on texting, hoping he will respond.

Key Pointers

  • A guy may pull away due to several reasons, not just because he’s uninterested
  • To be high-value in a relationship, you need to develop your self-esteem
  • When a guy pulls away, it may feel like the world is ending, but do nothing. Men often find it difficult to share emotions. The space you give him may help him explore his feelings
  • If you’re wondering what to do when he pulls away, well, communicate that you’re there for him if he needs you, but ensure he doesn’t take your relationship for granted

Finding the right guy can be tricky, given the complex dynamics of modern dating. Men, generally, have a fear of commitment and are likely to pull away. It is unfair to expect people to be constantly available whether in a relationship or while dating. Everyone has their way of processing emotions and may take their time in deciding whether or not they want to take a romantic equation to fruition. However, the above list of 5 shocking things to do when a man pulls away will help you communicate with your partner and bridge the gap.


1. When he’s pulling away, should I do the same?

No. He may be having trouble processing his emotions or may be going through a difficult phase. In such cases, if you do the same, it will weaken the relationship. Give him time to process it all. At the same time, communicate your support.

2. What is the best thing to do when a guy pulls away?

Leave him alone when he pulls away and communicate your support. A great way would be sending a text such as, “Are you doing well? Do you need to talk? Let me know. I’m here for you.”

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