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What to Do When He Pulls Away? Positive Strategies to Respond

by eharmony Editorial Team - June 17, 2021

You thought the relationship is progressing well, but you are now confused and upset. You are not sure if your insecurities are acting up or he is actually withdrawing. So, what to do when he pulls away? Are there power moves and ways to respond and recover? The answer is yes, but you should first find out the reason why his behavior has changed. Why do men pull away? Dig deep into his feelings and find out why. Here’s a guide for getting to the other side, smarter and stronger.

Why do men pull away? 3 common reasons

The signs are quite obvious: your relationship feels like it’s stagnating, he seems to be disinterested, he cancels on you often, and something just feels off. It’s always one excuse or the other and you have no clue why is he backing off. The reasons can range from fears, anxieties, insecurities to desperation. The 3 most common ones are:

1. He fears commitment or loves his freedom more

Perhaps he feels the relationship has moved forward too fast. Or, he probably feels he is still young and does not want to settle down. Some men love the thrill of the chase and the new bonding as they find it more enticing, but they fear serious long-term relationships. A committed relationship needs effort and time – he may withdraw if he feels he is losing his freedom.

2. He is stressed in other areas of his life

Wondering what to do when he pulls away – if he is not communicating or not confiding in you. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the relationship or you. He is just stressed – it could be work, or maybe he is having some personal issues with his family, friends or health.

Sometimes, pulling away is a form of defense mechanism. His past bad experiences can make him afraid of going through heartache again. He is likely to withdraw and spend more time by himself to figure out what his heart really desires and values. Men don’t share such things to avoid scaring you or worrying you and tend to distance themselves for a while instead.

3. He might not be that into you

This one could be a hard pill to swallow – especially if he has shown signs of commitment initially but is acting strange all of a sudden. Some men do not communicate their true feelings as they do not want to hurt you. If he feels you two do not share life goals or is no more attracted to you, he is likely to distance himself in the hope that you’ll reach that conclusion by yourself.

What to do when he pulls away? How to react and deal with the issues

What can you do when he pulls away? Are there ways to stop him from withdrawing? Figuring out why men pull away is important, but coercing them to stay is not a wise thing to do. Here are great ways to deal with the situation:

#1. Resist the temptation to ask him what went wrong

Stay calm. Create the space – distance really can make the heart grow fonder. It is hard to stop that urge to communicate, but it is essential and can work like magic. It creates the opportunity for him to miss you and he will approach you. If you continuously text, call or ask his friends about him, he won’t value you.

Tip: If you go after him, you will push him further away! Don’t be needy.

#2: Keep your emotions in check and your interactions positive

Don’t freak out; your relationship isn’t over. He probably just needs some time. If he has pulled away or ghosting you it does not always mean he is not interested. Keep your interactions positive. Let him know you are there for him. Do not beg, plead, or force him to open up his feelings.

Tip: Try not to show your anger or bitterness.

#3: Be patient. If he is stressed, try to help

Struggles with work, health, or family can sometimes take a toll on relationships. Men often deal with such circumstances differently. Tthey try to handle things without relying on you or others.

Tip: It’s a time to be empathetic and come back stronger together.

#4: Ask him what his insecurities are

You can have a loving relationship if you know how secure or insecure he is. If he is insecure or is unable to come out of his past bad experiences, you can always help. Understand his fears, calm him down and reassure him. Avoid criticism, and appreciate often.

Tip: Be supportive. Do things that will make him feel loved and this will build trust.

#5: Focus on yourself

Wondering how to make him fall in love with you? Give him space; stop worrying about what you did to turn him off. When he withdraws, it can negatively impact your ego and self-esteem. So, shift your focus – get busy or distracted. Don’t stop your daily routine and don’t feel guilty about focusing attention on yourself.

Tip: Use this time to rediscover what you love about yourself. Engage in hobbies and spend time with family and friends.

#6: Don’t respond with fear or become paranoid

What to do when he pulls away often and keeps coming back? It is important to clearly communicate your feelings. If you respond with fear or become paranoid, you’re stripping the value from your man and the relationship. Send him a feeler after a ‘week of quiet’ to see how he reacts. Keep your conversation casual – do not blame or accuse. If he is receptive, great! If he doesn’t respond, then know it is time to move on.

Tip: If he is still indifferent to your feelings, it is a strong indicator that he is not enough into you.

#7: Be ready to face the outcome

Showing indifference can attract a man – it is alluring. Do not treat him or the relationship like the center of the universe. When you are paranoid over the prospect of losing him, you send out desperate signals; refrain from doing that. He will lost interest and maybe even break up with you. You have to be prepared to deal with the outcome no matter what.

Tip: If it’s not worth the hassle, walk away!

#8: Take your time

If you are with someone who has already temporarily checked out of the relationship you should not be dealing with the stress of suffocation in the first place. You have invested a lot of time and effort in him, but that doesn’t mean you should undergo endless suffering. Especially, if you have always supported him and never did anything wrong. You deserve someone better.

Tip: Accept not every relationship is meant for love. Retrace your steps.

Find someone compatible and form a meaningful connection

Not all men refuse to talk or withdraw completely. When you are compassionate and give him space, he is likely to open up to you. However, relationships do break down and can reach a point where they can’t be fixed. Life is too short to waste on a doomed relationship – give yourself time and move on. If your ready for dating again, try eharmony. It is your best bet when it comes to finding someone who wants something just as serious. Allow the smart algorithms to find you a compatible match. Join today, sit back and let eharmony take the wheel.

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