Why Do Guys Pull Away Before They Commit?

Emotional Stress | | , Expert Blogger
Updated On: May 8, 2024
why do men pull away

It’s always exciting to meet someone new. Those intense feelings of getting to know someone and falling in love with them are thrilling. The early stages of constantly wanting to spend time with them. You want to hear them talk. You want to know their likes and dislikes. You want to smell them and whatnot! While the romance seems nothing short of a Hollywood movie, the man slowly starts to pull away.

Now, why do men pull away when everything is going so smoothly? You can’t help but overthink. He was completely normal. The two of you had good emotional bonding. Why is he acting distant all of a sudden? The overthinker in you has caused endless suffering. It’s wrong to ghost someone and not respond to their text messages. 

It’s not just him. So many men out there pull away once they notice that things are getting serious. Men are products of patriarchy like we all are. Forming intimacy and following it through with vulnerability and honesty, while being expressive about their feelings and fears, is hard for them. This is how we have raised them, which is why men pull away after getting close.

9 Reasons Guys Pull Away Before They Commit 

Why does a man pull away after showing interest in you? He took you out on several dates. Shared each other’s vulnerabilities, spoke about abandonment issues, and connected in other areas of emotional maturity. However, a man suddenly pulling away is one of the signs he was not ready for a mature relationship. This withdrawal could be because of different reasons. Read the various reasons below as to why do men pull away and become distant when they see a passionate relationship turning into a committed relationship. 

1. He is a still not over his past relationships 

This is one of the major reasons why do men pull away after leading you on. One of his past relationships is still bothering him. It could be because they broke up without closure or because he is just not over his ex. The difficulty of moving on without closure can have a devastating impact on a person’s mental well-being. Or he could be over his ex but the pain she caused is still fresh. His past trauma is haunting him and he is unable to move on. That’s why he may have thought that it’s best to call it off during the early stages of a relationship rather than breaking it off after getting into a committed relationship. 

It could be difficult for him to be his best, uninhibited self with you. They are aware that this is unfair on you too, and this is why men pull away a lot of times. In this scenario, you must leave him alone when he pulls away. You are not abandoning or leaving him. But he clearly has thoughts to re-organize and feelings to process alone. 

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2. You were just a rebound fling 

Why does a man pull away after pretending to be interested in you? Because you were just his rebound. We know this is another bitter pill for you to swallow but this is one of the reasons why men withdraw after spending time with someone. It’s not an easy thing to accept that you were just a band-aid he ripped off after getting over his ex. Like other people, perhaps he was also under the notion that the best way to get over someone is by getting under someone new. Don’t feel bad. You deserve someone who would never use you to get over someone else. 

Here are some signs you were just a rebound for him:

  • Not a lot of time had passed between his breakup and him starting a passionate relationship with you 
  • He was never transparent about the reason behind his breakup
  • The main focus of your relationship with him was just physical intimacy and very little emotional intimacy
  • He was always emotionally unavailable
  • He spoke about his ex all the time 

Related Reading: 11 Lessons People Learnt From Failed Relationships

3. He is afraid of commitment 

Why do men pull away when they are falling in love? Sometimes even when the love is there and is real, a relationship still seems too far-fetched. This is not because they don’t like you or care for you. It might just be because they are not ready for a committed relationship. A guy will go through all the stages of dating but he will halt and take a U-turn when he sees he is about to enter the lane of commitment. That’s usually because he isn’t in charge of his own feelings and he is letting his fear of commitment dominate him. Find out ways to deal with a guy who’s not ready to commit by giving him space.

A relationship requires a great deal of energy if one wants to do it right. Even though the effort is always worth it, some men are just not ready to make that lifestyle change. Bringing someone new into your life and loving them every day seems beautiful on the outside but can actually be a lot of work if one is not prepared or willing to do it. It’s better to be single than to be in a half-baked relationship. 

4. He began to feel suffocated 

This is one of the various reasons as to why do men pull away when they are starting to catch feelings. He liked you and that’s why he decided to spend time with you. However, now he began to feel suffocated. Him feeling trapped in the relationship and then ghosting you has left you wondering if you weren’t good enough for him. Don’t beat yourself up for it.

If he was feeling suffocated, he could have raised his concerns and kept them on the table for you to analyze and assess. Your love interest can’t cut off ties with you because he felt suffocated. He should have discussed it with you before taking such a big step. You deserved closure.

5. He fears getting hurt again 

Past trauma can really change the way men might look at their future relationships. Not everyone can move on at the flick of their wrist. However, this has left you perplexed. This has resulted in you getting a low self-esteem. When a man pulls away after admitting that they like you, they are just using their defense mechanism to protect themselves. It’s because they are afraid of diving into the water and drowning. This is clearly a case of dating anxiety.

So, why do guys take time to commit? Because once someone invests and loves completely, there is always a chance of things going awry and causing hurt. Some men are so scared of their past experiences that they are unable to put both feet into the water again. He is hiding his true feelings by pulling away and acting as if this relationship was not a big deal for him. 

Related Reading: Dating For 3 Months? What To Expect And Things To Know

6. His future goals aren’t the same as yours

Reasons Guys Pull Away Before They Commit 

Even though you two might be in the thick of a thrilling rendezvous right now, your future plans could be markedly different. You might be planning to move out of the city or perhaps he is looking for a different kind of lifestyle. He just wants a woman whose goals will match all the areas of his life including professional and personal aspects. When such defining choices have to be made, your man might be worried about what the future holds. In order to prioritize his future and not lead you on unnecessarily, he might refrain from committing. He must have realized that his relationship goals don’t match with yours and he is only doing this because the future might separate your paths. He just does not want you both to dwell on false hopes. 

Lisa, a Bonobology reader from New York says, “I had this beautiful relationship with someone who I vibed with politically, mentally and emotionally. We both took the decision to separate after we realized we were not compatible geographically, and we were both not ready for a long-distance relationship. It was painful and hard to recover from, but I know it was the best decision for us. When the movie, La La Land, came out, I realized how much I resonated with the theme of two people who are just right for each other but can’t be together.”

7. It wall all going too fast 

You know what happens when a relationship moves too fast? It crashes and burns. Men often find the idea of rushing into a relationship scary. You are dating one day and three weeks later you’ve decided to move in together. That’s too fast too soon. Most men worry if this is a case of too good to be true and this scares them away. 

Guys push you away when they are stressed about the pace of the relationship, and they want to take their time to deal with new relationship anxiety. When a man pulls away, how long does it last? It is difficult to specify a time period. It depends on how long it takes for him to gain clarity and come to a conclusion about what he wants. It’s up to you to decide if he’s worth that wait and patience. 

8. He is evaluating his options 

What do we mean by that, you ask? It means you aren’t the only one he is seeing at the moment. This is sad but the sooner you figure this out, the easier it will be to move on. He was just weighing his options and you were his standby lover. He liked the other girl better and he chose her. It stings but who needs a guy who’d treat you as his second option anyway? Nobody! It’s unfortunate but this is also why men pull away from their partners. You need to prioritize yourself here and not wait around for him to make up his mind. 

Dina, a 28-year old barista from Minnesota says, ““I got to know only in the second month of our dating that he was seeing other people too. I was shocked that he was so casual about this. Of course he was free to date other people, but I should have been told about it right from the start. This affects my sexual health too after all. It was an extremely insensitive and sexist move on his part.” 

9. He is dealing with personal problems 

It could be parental issues, job stress, or even his own depression, alcoholism or anxiety. Men can have a plethora of issues that they might not reveal to you. So you may be completely unaware of the harrowing issues he is battling. They may even manifest themselves as arguments in your relationship.

The right man will tell you all the problems he is dealing with. He would even expect his woman to stand by him through thick and thin. Instead of sharing his problems with you, he decided to handle things on his own by pulling away. Your man is pulling away because he has other priorities that need his time and attention.

What To Do When He Pulls Away 

There are many strange, unfair and legit reasons why men pull away from their partners and leave them hanging. Over the course of dating, your man might display mixed behaviors that can confuse you. It can get repetitive and annoying. You might be forced to ask, why do guys pull away before they commit? When a man starts pulling away without a warning, it can be an anxiety-inducing time for you. You are fraught with restless thoughts and anxious emotions. Here are some answers to what you can do when men pull away from relationships;

Related Reading: 12 Realistic Expectations In A Relationship

1. Don’t act hastily 

This is one the worst things women do when the guy they like starts acting distant. Resist the temptation to ask him what went wrong. Stay in your zen mode and don’t act in haste. We know it’s going to be difficult for you to accept things without closure but it is what it is. 

There is a high chance that he will come back when he realizes he made a mistake by acting as if he is no longer interested in you. His stress levels may be off the charts right now wondering how he can fix this. If you want him to miss you and come back to you, then don’t force him to have a conversation with you. 

2. Don’t beg him to come back 

How to be high value when he pulls away? Don’t ever beg him to come back into your life. This will make you feel horrible down the lane that you begged someone to be in your life. A person should stick around and love you because they are crazy about you.

When you beg your ex to come back into your life, there are chances that they will come back. However, they will start taking you for granted and they will never respect you. Think of it this way: if he loved you, he would have stayed despite any hardships. You don’t need someone who doesn’t need you.

3. Call out on his behavior 

Men who often pull away once they notice themselves falling in love with someone aren’t used to being called out on their behavior. They think ghosting is an incredible opportunity where they don’t have to face you and tell you the reason behind the breakup. Drop a message and let him know that ghosting in a relationship is not cool. 

Give him space and don’t text him every 5 minutes. Just one message is enough to make him realize his mistake. Don’t ask him to meet you or have coffee with you, just say that what he did was wrong. Most women make the mistake of letting men feel like they can come and go whenever they want. Don’t let them walk all over you. 

4. Don’t let this impact your self-worth 

Jenny, a Bonobology reader from West Virginia asks, “When he pulls away what to do with all the hurt and anger?”. When a man suddenly pulls away and acts like he is no longer interested in you, don’t let it affect your self-worth and self-esteem. If this has already happened, then you still have time to focus all your energy in rebuilding yourself.

You will feel horrible about this and you will question yourself a lot. But don’t let it consume you. Most guys who are narcissists want this to happen. They want the women they dated and broke up with to cry over them and question their self-worth. Cry over it. But don’t let it get the better of you. 

Related Reading: What To Do When He Pulls Away – The 8-Step Perfect Strategy

5. Control your negative impulses

You may want to engage in extremely harmful behavior during this time. One specific advice we will give you is to avoid these impulses and not let them control you. Find out how to get over your breakup without letting it damage you. Here are some things you need to know while dealing with breakup frustration, sadness, and stress:

  • Avoid excessive drinking
  • Don’t think about taking any drugs to numb your pain
  • Don’t go around trash talking about him 
  • Don’t indulge in self-harming and self-destructive behavior 
on complicated relationship

If you still aren’t able to move on from this, then seek professional help. At Bonobology, we offer professional help through our panel of licensed advisors who can help you embark on a path toward recovery. 

6. Practice self-love 

Be good to yourself. Think about it this way. If something like this happened to your best friend or your sister, would you allow them to wallow in self-pity and misery? Show the same concern to yourself by putting an effort to accept things that happened. Respect yourself and choose your happiness to overcome this heartbreak.

Listed-below are some helpful tips on how to love yourself:

  • Keep a gratitude journal. Jot down all the things you are thankful for and all the things that have broken your heart 
  • Be patient. Don’t let your insecurities ride high. Rebuild your self-worth by giving a compliment to yourself. Start with “I am so strong that I didn’t let my impulses control me”. Give yourself a little compliment everyday
  • Practice mindfulness. There are so many apps out there which you can download and learn how to be more mindful 
  • Work out regularly. Stay fit and eat healthy. There is nothing more that makes an ex feel like they lost a dreamboat when they see their ex get a revenge body 
  • Develop new hobbies or go back to your old hobbies in these confusing times. You are bound to find comfort in them
  • Mend your heart by going on dates again. You will even fall in love again with someone and all of these will soon become a distant memory 

Key Pointers

  • When a man suddenly pulls away it’s either because he is not over his ex, because he has a commitment phobia, or because he thinks his future goals don’t match with yours
  • A man suddenly vanishing from a woman’s life makes her endure a lot of pain and anguish. Her self-esteem takes a hit and she begins to wonder if she will ever find love again
  • When a man pulls away, don’t let negativity get the better of you. Focus on rebuilding yourself by harboring positive thoughts and by practicing self-care

If you start to feel that your guy is acting distant, communicate with him from the minute you sense like something is wrong. Guys who pull away also come back. Now it’s on you to decide whether you want him back or not. If he had a legit reason for this, then there’s no harm in giving him another chance. However, if he pulled away because of any silly reason, he doesn’t deserve a queen like you.

FAQs

1. Why do men withdraw?

Their own self-esteem, past heartbreak, future worries, or confusion about who they truly love can cause them to withdraw. It could also be because of his personal reasons or insecurities.  

2. Why is he pulling away all of a sudden?

He could be worried about your future together and may be afraid of taking things too fast. Either way, be open to hearing him out. If you ever get a chance to talk to him, then ask him why he suddenly lost interest in you. Just don’t look like youu are desperate for him to come back.

3. Why do guys act distant when they like you?

Sometimes they are afraid of liking you too much! It is just a little anxiety about a few things. Ask him and figure it out together. Sometimes it is also because he wants you to chase him.

4. Why is he pushing me away if he loves me?

When he loves you, he is afraid of hurting you and ruining the situation because of other things. It could be his own troubles, his career, or his future. He could be battling an addiction or dealing with the loss of a loved one and he doesn’t want you to feel sorry for him. If he genuinely loves you, he will work out on his issues and he will come back to you.


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