When he starts to pull away, check in with yourself. It’s easy to panic when we think we’re going to lose someone, but too much reactivity to your fear can cause more problems than it solves.
Even if you don’t panic but feel confused, it’s wise to seek clarity within yourself before seeking answers from outside.
In this article, we’ll help you figure out what to do when he pulls away as well as the telltale signs that your relationship with him is getting cold.
What to do when he pulls away
Don’t just wallow in your sadness. It’s time to get things done.
1. Ground yourself
It’s helpful to stay calm when you sense distance from him. Men pull away for many reasons, so try not to spiral into the worst-case scenario.
Consider your feelings when you pull away from people – is it because you don’t like them anymore? Did they do something to hurt you?
Or is it that you need space from that person for no reason at all?
Allow for all the possibilities. Stay calm and grounded within yourself and witness your feelings rather than react to them.
2. Discuss your feelings
Before you jump to conclusions, try to have an honest conversation with him. Don’t tell him he’s pulling away, and don’t claim he doesn’t love you.
Instead, discuss how recent events and behaviors from him are making you feel. This is not about blame but a compassionate inquiry into what’s going on with him.
He may be surprised to hear how you feel. Sometimes we look like we’re pulling away from someone when we want to take time for ourselves.
It’s normal to feel like you want to be there to help him deal with stress and other issues in his life, but many men seek solace and achieve clarity in alone time.
If he is pulling away, discussing your feelings will encourage him to speak about his. Perhaps he does want space from you, but remember that it’s better to hear an uncomfortable truth than a comforting lie.
It can be hard to be open and honest, especially in the early stages of a relationship, but getting on the same page as soon as possible is essential.
3. Give him space
If he’s distancing himself from you, let him. It’s hard to allow his space with all the uncertainty and doubt it brings you, but if you want to have a strong connection with him, then be supportive.
Support in this context means not actually doing anything but simply allowing him his space. Of course, in a healthy relationship, individuals communicate their needs healthily. You must be supportive without losing your standards of respect.
4. Let him know that you want to be there for him
A short text or a brief phone call to tell him that you care about him can go a long way. If it turns out that he’s going through something difficult and trying to go through it alone, he’ll appreciate your support.
Let him know that you want to be there for him, but don’t force your way into his life. If he needs space and you keep bugging him, he’ll grow to believe that you don’t respect his needs.
5. Identify and communicate your needs
Your needs are valid, and you don’t need to shape or change them for anyone else. He may ignore you because he needs space, but you don’t have to tolerate his approach.
Communication is key for a healthy dynamic if you two have only been on a few dates or you’ve entered a relationship.
Tell him how his approach affects you and your individual needs regarding this relationship. If anything, this is a test to see how truly compatible you are together.
Even if he’s not willing to make an effort to understand your needs, there’s your sign that the relationship is not meant to be.
6. Recognize your value
The harsh truth is that nobody wants to be with someone who doesn’t value themselves.
Would you be confident dating a man who doesn’t recognize his value? Wouldn’t you prefer to date someone who understands their value and share that confidence with you in a shared and loving space?
So, when he starts to pull away, remain calm and remember you’re all the value you have.
You’re beautiful and empathic and must share that with the world. Doing so will boost your confidence and show him, as well as everyone else, that you value yourself and are a good person to date.
If you act from low self-worth, you’ll attract those associated fears into your life, where they’ll manifest.
So, remember who you are, and engage in activities and hobbies that help you connect to yourself. Exercise, create art, spend time with friends, and don’t let his distancing behavior affect your life so deeply.
Why do guys distance themselves after intimacy?
Many women share a common experience – seeing a guy, and you two finally get down to it, but after sex, he seems cold, more distant than usual.
If this has happened to you, it’s normal to wonder why and what happened.
There are several reasons why a guy pulls away after intimacy.
First things first, it’s probably not about you. If he liked you in the first place, his ‘liking’ of you hasn’t changed just because of sex.
Some of the potential reasons he pulls away after intimacy include:
1. He doesn’t want a relationship
Sometimes guys pull away because you two got too close. Perhaps he is not ready for a relationship and being emotionally available will tear down the wall he has put up around himself.
If you two have hooked up for the first time and the closeness fades after sex, it may be because he’s worried about your expectation of him. Sure, you may both have agreed to keep it casual, but sex has a powerful effect on the brain that can change emotional states.
All of the oxytocin released in the brain during intimacy makes people bond. If he’s reluctant or fearful of a committed relationship, he may want to counter the effects of that oxytocin release by becoming cold and distant.
He’s trying to protect himself from too much vulnerability. Catching feelings quickly may have caused him pain in the past.
2. It was just a hook-up for him
He wouldn’t want to get too emotionally connected if it was just a casual hook-up. That doesn’t say anything about your worth or value – just because he doesn’t want to connect that way doesn’t mean you’re the problem.
Understand that some people want to have sex for the sake of it and not because they feel a deeper connection to that person.
Ideally, he would communicate that before you get down to it, but that’s not always how things go, unfortunately.
3. He’s cautious
His pulling away after sex may be a way for him to seek clarity. There’s a stereotype that men are less connected to their emotions than women and that women tend to be more so, but this is a generalization and not necessarily true.
Maybe he’s not pulling away. Perhaps he just wants to take some space to think about the emotional connection and whether or not you’re the right fit for him, and he’s entitled to do so, just as you are.
4. He needs time
In a sexual context, he may just need time to recover. Men experience a refractory period after orgasm, making it difficult to return to normalcy immediately.
So, what looks like pulling away at that moment may just be an attempt for him to rest.
Signs he wants you to leave him alone
If you think he wants you to leave him alone, but you’re not sure, consider the following signs:
1. He tells you he needs space
The most significant sign that he wants you to leave him alone is that he tells you. It’s important to respect his decision and need for space.
If you don’t respect that need, he’ll pull away further. You may fear losing him, but you’ll make that fear more likely to come true if you’re pushy and intrusive.
2. He stops texting you back
If he’s not texting you back like usual, that’s a pretty clear sign he wants you to leave him alone, at least for a while.
Sure, it’s crucial to maintain healthy communication in a relationship and even when you’re just dating someone, but sometimes it’s easier just to cut communication with someone.
This is usually known as ghosting and can be immature and disrespectful.
Still, remember that we don’t have to react to phone notifications as soon as they happen. We’re entitled to take space when we need it and don’t need to explain that decision.
3. He doesn’t start conversations
If he doesn’t start conversations with you, and if the conversations you two have seemed dull and dead, he probably doesn’t want to have many conversations in the first place.
His silence and disinterest signs that he just wants to be left alone.
It can be hard to know why a guy stops talking so much. You may immediately conclude that something is wrong or that he doesn’t like you anymore.
These are possibilities, so it’s hard to believe they’re not happening, but they’re not the only possibilities.
When a man pulls away, there are many possible reasons why it’s wise to remain calm. Jumping to the wrong conclusions will probably only push him further away.
Finally, understand that just because one person wants time alone doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun and passionate relationship with them.
Your priority should be healthy communication, recognition of your value, and willingness to set boundaries around behavior that doesn’t align with your values. After that, there’s not too much to worry about.