10 Things You Can Do When A Guy Acts Interested, Then Backs Off

July 15, 2023 |
Updated On | July 15, 2023
When A Guy Acts Interested Then Backs Off

When A Guy Acts Interested Then Backs Off

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We are all in the search of love. Some of us are hit by the cupid’s arrow sooner than others. However, in today’s world of online dating, there are many instances when a guy acts interested, then backs off. Therefore, finding a man who is genuine and truly deserves your heart is like trying to spot Halley’s comet. When a guy acts interested, then backs off, it is hurtful but there is also an underlying curiosity. There is an urge to put on your detective hat and understand why he is acting distant all of a sudden. 

Did you do something? Should you not have mentioned your 8 cats? Well, there can be many reasons a guy would suddenly act weird or distant toward you. Guys tend to distance themselves when they like someone. Sounds weird and illogical, but it’s true. Before you go plucking rose petals and play “he loves me, he loves me not”, let’s understand why a guy acts distant when he likes you. 

 8 Reasons Guys Act Distant When They Like You

Do guys distance themselves when they like a girl? Yes. Why do guys do that? Well, that is beyond the realms of logical understanding. The truth is, men are complicated. They often do the most irrational things when they are overwhelmed with emotions. 

When a guy acts interested, then backs off, there is a high chance he is falling head over heels for you. Why then, would he act indifferently toward you? Because he does not know what to do with these emotions. Even when you are in a committed relationship, men can suddenly start acting distant when things begin to get too serious. Here are 6 reasons for why he is acting distant all of a sudden: 

1. Guys act distant when they are scared of emotions

Love is a powerful emotion. While it is all roses and violins playing in the background for some people, for others, love can be extremely scary, especially for men. When you are overcome with emotion as strong as love, it is difficult to process the feeling. He is likely planning a wedding with you in his head but is too scared of what he is feeling. Other factors of life are pushed to the backburner when love strikes, and when that happens, guys start feeling lost. 

Expressing emotions is not the strongest suit for men, thanks to the patriarchal society, and this limited emotional intelligence causes them to distance themselves when they like a girl. Though he might find the idea of being in a relationship enticing, the feeling of love can be overwhelming for him, thus, he begins to act distant all of a sudden. 

2. He is commitment phobic 

How many times have we dated a guy who disappears from the face of the earth the moment you want to get into a serious, committed relationship? You can’t even count on your fingertips. Commitment is a huge step for men. The idea of a relationship is synonymous with losing freedom for them. Maybe he likes the idea of sitting in his bachelor pad and playing video games with the boys more than the idea of spending his day out grocery shopping with you. 

Related Reading: Here Are 11 Ways To Figure Out If Your Guy Is Avoiding You

A group of men was asked, “Why do guys distance themselves when they like a girl?” Most men had the following answer: “It is because we want to explore more. Commitment is a big step and there are so many women out there.”  It is the ‘there are many fish in the sea’ mentality to blame here. Most men do not get into a committed relationship until their 30s because they are not ready to tie themselves down. 

For some men, the initial stage of dating is extremely exciting but they are not ready to deal with the responsibility and the maturity required in a relationship. When a guy acts weird around you after charming you off your feet, he has probably realized that you are ready to settle down and he is just not ready for commitment.

3. He is acting distant because of experiences of the past 

Men are not the emotional fools they might appear to be sometimes. When a guy acts interested, then backs off, the reason has less likely to do with you and more to do with him. His past experiences could be coming in the way of your romantic dreams. Maybe, he has been abused, cheated on, or deeply hurt by a partner before, and thus, has his guards high up. Past experiences can be traumatic and leave a deep emotional scar. 

So if you are wondering what happened to your perfect prince charming and why he is acting distant all of a sudden, it is probably because the intensity of the relationship has triggered emotions he is not ready to process and so, he is maintaining his distance to protect his heart. When a guy acts interested, then backs off, it could be a form of defense mechanism to shelter himself from having his heart shattered in a million pieces again. 

Related Reading: Why Do Guys Distance Themselves After Intimacy?

4. He doesn’t think you’d reciprocate his feelings 

Here’s also why guys distance themselves when they like a girl: They are easily intimidated when a woman they are interested in looks like a model out of a magazine. If they think you are out of their league, guys tend to get the impression that you are not likely to reciprocate their feelings. 

“That is what I do. As I get to know her, I realize how wonderful she is and believe she deserves more. My sense of self-worth gets in the way,” says Marcus, a man in his late 20’s, who has often found himself becoming distant when he considered his dates as physically more attractive than him.  

So if he is distant but he still texts you, or if he meets you but not with the same enthusiasm as before, there is a high chance he is keeping his hopes high but is convinced that you do not reciprocate his feelings. Another scenario could be that you are not very expressive. Even though he is not intimidated by you, he is still under the impression that you do not like him back. 

When a guy acts interested, then backs off

5. He acts weird around you because you do not infatuate him 

For most men, the reason to commit to a woman is not just her looks or her qualities but also the excitement that you bring to the table. At the beginning of a relationship, a guy might be attracted to you but as time passes, he is probably not receiving the excitement he wants and thus the infatuation begins to wear off.  

He might like you, but he will not be infatuated and thus, will begin to act distant. If you are sitting in your room, wondering why he is acting distant all of a sudden, the possibility is that the passion in your relationship is not as strong as before. In such a scenario, the distant behavior is not about you particularly, but about the needs and expectations of the guy. 

6. He shows interest then backs off because he has different goals in life 

Men can like you but still not want to commit to a long-term relationship if your goals do not align. Everyone has a path that they are following and do not like being thrown off of it. You might think that this is your perfect partner but when a guy acts weird around you all of a sudden, he has most likely realized that he does not see a future with you.

A friend had been dating a guy for over a month. However, when the guy realized that she was not ready to move out of the country, he started acting distant. During a discussion about what happened with this guy, she told me, “He is distant but still texts like we are good friends.” This is a case where the guy liked you but did not see a future because of different goals and so, he preferred to remain friends rather than leading you on. 

7. He was only interested in sex

It is a sad reality but sometimes, this is why a guy acts interested then backs off. It has nothing to do with you and is more about his intentions. He was most likely interested in starting a physical relationship and nothing more. If the two of you were hanging out and you refused his advances or made it clear that you are not interested in hookups, it could have led to him disappearing because he realized he won’t get what he wants.

8. You did not make him feel like a hero

One of the most frequent causes for him acting interested one minute and distant the next has to do with the biology and psychology of men. There is a little-known idea that compels a guy to commit or flee. This has to do with how he feels about you. You see, it all comes down to bringing out the inner hero in men. The Hero Instinct, a concept developed by relationship specialist James Bauer, talks about what really motivates men in relationships and is embedded in their DNA.

And most ladies don’t have any knowledge of it. So, if he starts acting distant, it is probably because you are an independent woman and he did not like that.

10 Things To Do When A Guy Acts Interested Then Backs Off

Now we know the answer to: Do guys act distant when they like a girl? But other factors also contribute to his hot-and-cold behavior. The feeling of being liked and heard is wonderful. However, the confusion and internal chaos of when a guy acts interested but then backs off can be irritating to the point you feel like pulling your hair out. Before you declare yourself unworthy of love, here are 7 things to do when a guy acts interested then backs off: 

1. When a guy acts distant, forget and move on 

The simplest way to deal with this problem is to forget him and move on. You do not need to waste your energy on wondering about his strange behavior. Even if he is distant but still texts you, do not indulge him and build palaces of hope in your mind.

You deserve to be with someone who’s ready to express their feelings and not be afraid. When a guy acts weird around you and is not interested, it is his loss and you are better off being with a man who is prepared to commit himself and is mature enough to communicate his feelings.

2. Do not blame yourself when a guy acts interested, then suddenly backs off 

Blaming yourself when a guy shows interest, then suddenly backs off is a one-way ticket to erode self-esteem and lose confidence. It is common to blame yourself when a guy acts weird around you but it is important to remind yourself that you are not the reason he is acting distant. So avoid blaming yourself when someone ghosts you or pulls away emotionally. 

3. Indulge in self-care 

Reminding yourself of your worth and who you are is very important in this scenario. Do not hesitate in making plans with friends who make you feel loved and treat yourself to some much-needed indulgence. Be a badass and do everything you like instead of wasting your energy on a man who is not worth your time.

A friend asked the rest of us in the girl gang once after her boyfriend of 6 months began acting distant all of a sudden, “This is so bizarre! Did any of you see this coming? What to do when a guy shows interest then suddenly backs off?” Our immediate response was that she should go to a salon, get herself treated to a day of leisure, dress up, and go out for a nice dinner. Months later, she was back to being herself because she remembered to care for herself first, and not think about a man who clearly didn’t deserve her attention. 

4. Get yourself back in the game 

You are a fierce queen and no man should be allowed to dim your light. There are many men out there waiting to love a woman as fabulous as you. So, if you are ready, get back into the game. Start dating men who have potential and who appreciate you for who you are! 

What to do when a guy acts interested then suddenly backs off? Go out and find a man who shows you that you are worthy of all the love in the world, and don’t waste a moment thinking about the man who could not communicate his feelings to you.

Related Reading: How To Respond To Ghosting Without Losing your Sanity?

5. Express your feelings when a guy acts weird around you 

Do you want to know why guys act distant when they like you? It could be because they feel you do not reciprocate their feelings. If you are interested in the guy you are dating and are wondering why he is acting distant all of a sudden, ask yourself, “Does he know what I feel?” 

If the answer is no, then take the first step and express your feelings toward him so that you both are on the same page. At least, you won’t be left confused and there is a high chance that taking this leap could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship (a moment for all fellow Casablanca lovers).

what to do when a guy shows interest then suddenly backs off
Don’t be glued to your phone, sending long text messages. It is not worth it

6. Don’t let emotions take over you when a guy shows interest, then suddenly backs off

When a guy acts interested, then backs off, he is not only insulting the sanctity of your emotions, but is also insulting you. Except in cases where there is a lack of communication from both parties, it’s not fair for him to leave you wondering, “Why is he acting distant all of a sudden?” So when this happens to you, stay firm in your decision and cut off the guy.

Even if he is distant but still texts, do not indulge him. It is very easy to get overwhelmed with emotions when you have devoted time and energy to the person. But remember, your self-respect is above everything and you should not be with someone who does not have the maturity to face his emotions and communicate like an adult.

7. Explore your hobbies and passion

Every person needs to give a vent to their bad emotions and stress from all the times in life when things didn’t turn out the way they had hoped. Whether it’s tennis, reading, or online language learning, spend some time each day doing something you enjoy. Instead of continuously wondering, “Why is he on and off with me?”, find anything that makes you smile so you can relax and stop thinking about the agony you are currently experiencing.

8. Don’t make up excuses for him

Why is he acting distant all of a sudden, you’ve been left wondering. Women often make a variety of excuses for the person they like, especially when this person was not there for them. However, given that people have the freedom to behave as they choose, this is likely one of the worst things you can do. Just because he made you feel like the best thing ever and then changed into someone entirely different, shouldn’t be a justification for you to justify him. If a guy flirts with you, and then goes cold, don’t tell yourself that he is just busy with work. He undoubtedly has a reason for acting in this manner, but it is not your responsibility to figure out what it is.

9. Maintain your distance

There is a very thin, almost invisible, line between curiosity and obsession. When a guy acts interested, then backs off, it is okay to be curious. But do not get so obsessed with finding out why a guy is acting weird around you that you morph into Joe Goldberg and begin stalking him, threatening him, or harassing him. If he is maintaining his distance, you must maintain yours too. Even if he stops texting and then starts again, it does not mean you can text him back all day long. Instead, learn to ignore and do not stalk! 

10. Know that you are worthy of love

Although meeting someone exactly like him is unlikely (and that’s probably a good thing), you can be sure that another person will enter your life and provide you joy and love instead of the misery you are currently experiencing. Additionally, keep in mind that it’s not worth being miserable, and that things will improve quickly. Make sure you don’t take someone else’s rejection as a personal assault on yourself and remember that you deserve to be happy.

Also, remember to appreciate yourself and all that you do. There are a lot of fantastic possibilities ahead, as well as people that want to add value to your world. All you need to do is learn how to spot them when they come into your life. Try to be receptive to new ideas with both your heart and mind.

Figuring out what to do when a guy acts interested, then suddenly backs off can be difficult for people. Seeing yourself with someone and considering them as potential partners takes a lot of courage. So when the dream comes shattering down, the aftermath can be painful. However, it is important to remember that when a guy acts interested then backs off, it is not your fault or your responsibility. A mature adult would not leave you confused but will let you know clearly that things are not working out. So do not let yourself wonder about your potential, just hold your head high and leave him behind in the past.


1. Why do guys act interested then pull away?

The biggest reason for men to pull away is the fear of their own emotions. The thought of a relationship is appealing to them but the effort scares them.

2. What does it mean when a guy comes on strong then backs off?

He might have expected something different in his head and that’s why he was persuasive. However, there is a high chance the relationship was not what he had expected and so he backed off. 

3. Do guys disappear when they like you?

Yes. A lot of men cannot deal with their emotions. The idea of love scares them and if they suddenly feel that they are overcome with emotions for a person, they will disappear and maintain distance rather than muster the courage to tell them about their feelings.

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