Why Do Guys Distance Themselves After Intimacy?

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Ah, the billion-dollar question which every girl wants an answer to – why on earth do guys tend to distance themselves after getting physically intimate? You start to wonder even though everything was going so well after an amazing night, why he suddenly pulled away.

Has there been a case of, ‘He stopped texting me after we slept together!’ in your life that has left you completely puzzled and unable to comprehend what went wrong? Did you do something which you weren’t supposed to do? Was it simply a hookup for him? Were you bad in bed? Was it because of the tiny fart you couldn’t control? Or that snorting laughter at one of his funny jokes? Why do guys get weird after you sleep with them?

These are some of the endless questions that seem to run across your mind. People are of the general misconception that women are the most complicated creatures on earth, but let us tell you, men are equally difficult to understand at times – this being one of them.

If this isn’t the first time you have experienced a perfectly good guy, magically disappearing after a perfectly good night, it’s time you get some answers to get to the bottom of this. And we’re here to give you just that– a round-up to help you understand why do guys distance themselves after intimacy. Read on to know the truth behind this infamous absconding act of men and to decode how he acts the morning after.

Why Do Men Become Distant After Getting Intimate?

The night was so magical that you daydreamed about it the whole of the next day. From the chills you felt on your spine to all the types of kisses you experienced to the rush you felt when it was over, for you, it just could not have gone better. So you expected him to give you a call telling you how he felt the same.

But that call never came and instead, you ended up calling him and he just sounded reticent and uninterested. What happened there? How he acts the morning after takes you aback. That’s when you spend the rest of the day wondering what you did wrong.

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Eventually, you’re left playing a game of this or that with yourself when trying to figure out the reason he is distant after intimacy. You try to come up with ways to set all things straight, once again. You are left to oscillate between, “Should I leave him alone when he pulls away?” and “What should I do? Shall I text him?”

We know the drill, girl. And for this reason, we are here to break it down for you. Scroll through and find here some reasons men become distant after getting intimate.

1. The chasing gene

The chasing gene can be considered an ego factor and a competitive instinct found in most men. Couples love to flirt with each other and enjoy the thrill of it so they keep up the chase and indulge in games with one another.

Guys instantly pick up the flirting signs as soon as women give them out. At the end of the day, women love being chased and men love to do the chasing.

But after you have slept with him, the chase is essentially over and this is what leads guys to become distant as they feel their goal is reached and their curiosity is satisfied. Your man pulls away after intimacy because he has reached the finishing line of the race.

It is disheartening to know that he only viewed you as some kind of an accomplishment and nothing more but sadly, this is indeed why guys act weird after hooking up. They just don’t know what to do next!

Related Reading: Push Pull Relationship – 9 Ways To Overcome It

2. He is not ready for a relationship

It’s his fault, not yours, except you may have not taken him too seriously when you had heard him say he is not up for anything serious. The problem lies in the fact that he may have come to notice certain ties of attachments that he wasn’t planning on having.

He believes he is not ready for any kind of commitment. And that is fair on his part, as long as he is honest about it. So, in order to keep a check on his emotions, he is distancing himself and ignoring you.

When Cailee went on a couple of dates with Morgan, the two of them felt an intense attraction and hooked up on their third date. Morgan had made it clear to Cailee earlier on that he wasn’t looking for anything serious since he had just gotten out of a relationship. So after the two did the deed, Morgan zipped up and left and didn’t really know how to talk to Cailee again.

Cailee said, “I was really attracted to him. I would have definitely liked to see things through here. I’m not sure why he stopped responding to my texts or calling me back. Why do guys get weird after you sleep with them?!”

The underlying issue was Morgan’s commitment-phobia that Cailee couldn’t see through. So the next time your man pulls away after intimacy, take a step back and be on the lookout for your partner’s insecurities, instead of blaming yourself for everything.

What went wrong after that magical night?

 3. You are scaring him away

If you are of the view that he is going to start loving you after last night’s sex, you might as well get rid of that idea sooner rather than later. It’s always better to not go into these things with such lofty hopes. When men withdraw after intimacy, it could be because they’re scared of the enormity of your feelings.

Sometimes men are terrified of love and commitment. So if you start singing him a song in the morning, make him breakfast in bed, and/or plan your next weekend together the morning right after sex, they are going to run and never look back. So, even if you start falling for him, make sure to not give it away so soon. Don’t move too fast in the relationship.

Related Reading: Are You Falling In Love Too Fast? 8 Reasons You Should Slow Down

4. He did not enjoy himself

We know this is going to sting and we’re worried about even bringing this up, but it is time to be real with yourself about what happened that night. If he is distant after intimacy, there may be a pretty solid reason for him to go MIA all of a sudden. Maybe last night did not go as planned, and even though he thought you guys would really be good in bed, it turned out to be just the opposite and maybe you just did not have great sex after all. Bitter as it may sound, the truth is that your boyfriend is distant after intimacy because he did not enjoy the act!

This is exactly what may be bothering him and driving him away, and so he withdrew without even a goodbye. If you are considering different texts to send when he pulls away, drop the idea. Right now. We would highly recommend you to not go after him and definitely not call him up again because that chemistry is just not there.

Erin and Reed hooked-up up at a college frat party once. They had known each other before as they had a couple of classes together, but had never been close. At the party, when the two got intimate, they were having fun at first but since both of them were under the influence, the sex was a little sloppy and uncomfortable.

Erin did not remember much and texted Reed the next day but he didn’t respond. She started double texting him and wrote him a message saying, ‘Why have you stopped texting me after we slept together?’

Reed finally replied and said, ‘I’m sorry Erin. You’re a beautiful woman, but I just didn’t have a great time last night. I don’t think we should do this again.’ However brutal his honesty might sound, we still give ten points to Reed for expressing his feelings and not just ghosting Erin.

5. You are being clingy

Sometimes we tend to behave super clingy without even realizing it. Men tend to bail out as soon as they get a whiff of the other person being a potential clinger because they just cannot handle it. They need you to give them time and space and let things unfold one at a time. If you are showing clingy girlfriend signs, then this might not go well for you.

Guys need space after intimacy, there’s no getting around it. So don’t start love-bombing him the moment you put your clothes back on. Even if you really want this to work out, you need to control yourself as clinging to him like a life raft is just not going to help. 

The only thing you can do at this point is to leave him alone when he pulls away. If it is your clinginess that made him drift apart, hanging onto him is certainly not going to help.

Malaynna and Scott met each other at a wedding. After the two of them spent a wonderful night together dancing at the beach, they went back to Scott’s hotel room. Scott was convinced this was going to be a one-time thing. But Malaynna had a different idea of what was going on and thought of Scott as a potential boyfriend.

She began to talk about things like getting into a long-distance relationship or how often Scott should come to visit her when they got back to their own cities, even before the two had gotten out of bed. These expectations completely shocked Scott and made him run in the other direction.

6. He has an inferiority complex

Boyfriend distant after intimacy? This could be why. Yet another reason why he’s distancing himself right after intimacy could be that he is probably worrying himself sick that he was not good in bed. He feels he is with someone out of his league.

This may be what is keeping him away from you and that’s why he is not keen on contacting you again. Do guys distance themselves when they like a girl? Yes absolutely. And when they like a girl too much, they keep finding reasons to believe that they’re not good enough.

You should give him some time and try to give him a good dose of confidence. You often think guys act weird after hooking up because something is wrong with you. But in reality, your boyfriend is distant after intimacy because there is nothing wrong with ‘you’.

Talk it out if you have a hunch that this could be why he is ignoring you. Let him know that he can trust you. That is sure to do the job and this concern will stop eating away at him.

Related Reading: What Is The Difference Between Making Love And Having Sex?

7. Hormonal reasons

Sometimes when guys need space after intimacy, it has more to do with their biology than with anything else. Yes, men tend to have a chemical power-down, more like a refractory or recovery phase just after an orgasm.  Research shows that some people can experience some level of negative feelings and they might want to distance themselves from their sexual partners.

Also during ejaculation, one of the many hormones secreted is known as prolactin which suppresses the expression of desire and arouses sleepiness and sexual satisfaction. In other words, post-sex, the testosterone levels in the body go down which temporarily decreases a man’s desire for sex and they tend to pull away.

You feel sad when he pulls away after sex

So before you go on a yelling spree and start blame-shifting him if he is distant after intimacy, consider the possibility that it could just be out of his hands.

8. He wants to go slow

Even when your man likes you and wants to be in a relationship with you, he might pull away to take things slowly. He is not willing to move at neck-break speed and wants to enjoy the dating phase instead.

Odd as it may sound to you, the pulling away act is his way of slowing things down. And it really is fine because taking things slowly to process them adequately is any day better than taking the plunge without even giving it a thought. An upsurge of emotions that might get too intense for them is what they want to avoid.

Is taking time off in a relationship a good idea?

9. He still remembers his unpleasant love experiences

If your man has had an unpleasant memory associated with his ex or his past affairs, then that could be the reason for playing a spoiled sport. He is yet to move on from his serious relationship. Insecurities stemming from past negative experiences hold him back.

When Carrie and Rob met, the sparks flew between them almost instantly. They got along really well, and soon their weekly meet-cutes turned into a regular affair. But things went south when they got intimate after their high-school prom night. Rob refrained from replying to her texts, let alone meeting her.

Carrie was obviously aghast at this reaction. But what favored them is their mutual decision to talk it out. And as it turned out later, Rob confided in Carrie about how he pulled away to avoid being caught in the loop of breakup and loss. He voluntarily cautioned his heart against falling in love so he doesn’t go through the heartache, all over again.

To avoid going through the same cycle of love-betrayal-loss, your boyfriend is guarding himself by pulling away from you. It is a defense mechanism for him, lest his heart is reduced to an emotional wreck.

Related Reading: 9 Signs It’s Time For Taking A Break In A Relationship

10. He is already in a relationship

Your man decides to pull away after getting intimate because he shouldn’t be doing so, in the first place. Perhaps he is already in a relationship. Sleeping with you has been a breach of trust between him and his partner and he is acting distant to avoid the guilt trip.

Even though he is cheating on his partner, his conscience gets the better of him, restricting him from falling in love with you. He wants to run for a way out before he finds himself emotionally and romantically attached to you.

Though saddening, this is his way of keeping a check on his feelings for you and addressing his relationship problems.

So, now you know the secret behind why men tend to pull away just after physical intimacy. You can’t change men overnight, but this article is sure to give you much better clarity and ways you can react to such situations in your life. So whether it’s your boyfriend being distant after intimacy because his hormones are in flux or just dealing with the general idea that men withdraw from intimacy, now you know exactly why.

What Do You Do When A Guy Pulls Away After Intimacy?

Having understood the various reasons your man might be pulling away after making love, the next thing on your mind should be what can be done about this. What should be your focus now? How do you react to your partner’s pulling away act? Let us help you with a few possible things you can do:

  • First and foremost, don’t panic. It is normal for a guy to withdraw after intimacy. Take a step back to reflect on the possible reasons behind it. Look from an objective point of view to gain more clarity
  • Don’t blame yourself for anything that happens the morning after. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Practice self-empathy to regulate and channel your emotions well
  • Leave him alone when he pulls away for the want of some personal space. Clinging to him will make the matters worse. Allowing him some time off will show how you respect his choice and give him breathing space before he decides to come out of his shell
  • Communicate better with him. Talking it out openly will give both of you clarity on the matter. Self-expression becomes significant when trying to sort out matters. You can try some texts to send when he pulls away to reassure him of your love and support
  • Seek counseling support from professionals if you find your mental health at stake. Matters of the heart often take a toll on emotional and mental well-being. If you find yourself or your partner suffering from low self-esteem or other insecurities that might be wreaking havoc with your mental health, do not hesitate in approaching therapists and counselors for help

If you’re looking for professional help, Bonobology’s panel of experienced counselors is only a click away.

Key Pointers

  • Guys tend to withdraw after intimacy due to stress, commitment-phobia, want of space, or hormonal changes
  • Communicate with your partner to understand the reason behind his pulling away act
  • Both of you need some breathing space for your emotions to settle and to understand the situation better
  • Do not take it personally upon yourself, meting out harsh criticism
  • Seek counseling support and help, if required

You will just need to figure out whether the guy is a player or there’s remotely a chance of him having feelings for you. Because as confusing as it may be, do guys distance themselves when they like a girl? Absolutely, yes. So the scale can really tip either way. It’s up to you to solve the mystery!


1. What to do when he pulls away after sex?

You absolutely need to refrain from drunk-texting and drunk-dialing him. It’s a complete no-go. The thing that you do need to do in such situations is to give him space, play it cool, and give him time. Once he has the time to relax and think it over, he will come back for you, and now it’s your turn to chase him. But mind you, don’t play the game for too long.

2. How to show him that you don’t need him?

You are an independent woman, right? So, you need to make him feel just the same. You need to go out with your friends, live your life like you would have otherwise done, and show him that you are not out there brooding over him, waiting for him to return.

3. How to react when he comes back to you?

It is very important that you are not rude and closed off when he comes back to you. Instead, you need to be open and communicative. Let him talk his heart out and you will have a clear idea why he freaked out. This way you can avoid it from happening again.

4. When a man pulls away how long does it last?

The duration of the withdrawal act is uncertain and subjective, influenced by various factors. The reason your guy pulled away, be it his want of space, or commitment issues, will determine how long it is going to last. What he wants, how his needs are met, and how much he misses you and wants you back will further affect his return.

5. Do guys pull away when they catch feelings?

The reason your guy pulled away can be varying and manifold. Many guys pull away when they find themselves too embroiled in the act. Emotions playing at their heartstrings tend to unnerve them, making them retract into a cocoon. If your guy is not ready to commit or is not prepared for a relationship, then the chances of him pulling away get even higher.

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