Have you noticed some alarming signs that your man is pulling away from you?
Perhaps he has suddenly become much less affectionate. Or maybe it’s been a bit of a mission lately to contact him, maybe he’s told you something like “you deserve better”.
Everything was going great, so you don’t understand his recent behavior.
You’re starting to worry and wondering “Why is it colder all of a sudden?” and perhaps most importantly, “Why would someone who loves you walk away?”
This article will help you get to the bottom of what is really going on and what to do about it.
Why, when a man is afraid of falling in love, does he walk away? Top 6 Reasons
1) So many feelings have overwhelmed him
While intimacy can be a beautiful thing, it also makes many of us start to worry.
In fact, according to Psychology Today, around 17% of adults in Western cultures fear intimacy and avoid closeness in relationships.
If he is one of these people, you may have gotten too close, he is afraid of getting hurt.
When a man develops feelings for someone, a lot of conflicting emotions can arise that he may not quite know how to deal with.
If he doesn’t know how to handle that, walking away may be his unconscious (or conscious) way of avoiding that awkwardness.
It sounds counterintuitive to think that if we cared or even loved someone we would distance ourselves, but the feelings can be intimidating.
Maybe he wasn’t planning for those strong emotions to come out for you, and he’s pretty scared.
Navigating new and unexpected feelings can be a minefield.
He may even know that he loves you, but freaks out at the thought of losing control.
2) He is afraid of commitment
We can also remove all male stereotypes nice and early.
The image of the emotionally unavailable man may sound clichéd, but let’s face it, they certainly exist, and are in spades.
So much so, that there is a term for this fear, it is called philophobia.
But how can you end up dating or even in a relationship if you have a real commitment phobia? After all, wouldn’t he be actively avoiding those situations?
Well yes and no.
The problem is that there is a big difference between wanting a relationship and being ready for one.
Willingness to commit has been shown to be an important factor in the success rate of a relationship.
A lot of guys like the idea in theory. But deep down, they are not ready to open up to what a commitment to someone implies.
He may not want to be alone, but he’s not ready for a deeper connection. You would probably be more comfortable with superficial connections.
You can give all the right signs early on that you are looking for something serious.
But when the time comes, his dating strategy doesn’t match his true predisposition for a relationship.
In the process, he exposes himself to failure and you to suffering. These guys aren’t always the easiest to spot, as the warning signs that he doesn’t want a serious relationship may show up later.
Pay attention to whether he’s had a series of short-term liaisons, which always seem to end as soon as things get serious. If so, your guy might have an irrational fear of commitment.
3) Things are moving too fast
Of course, he loves you, but the casual talk about what they would name their first child came too soon for him.
Everyone has their own unique pace in which a relationship progresses that they are comfortable with.
You and your guy may not be entirely on the same page.
Maybe you’re ready to jump into the “happily ever after” chapter, but that doesn’t mean he is.
There are no rules about how fast or slow things should go, but it should work for both parties.
If you’re quietly planning your wedding day in your head, while he’s silently wondering when to bring up the trip with the guys he intends to take, you’ll start to feel a disconnect between you.
What you see as tokens of love in your relationship, he may feel are clingy and needy.
If he starts to feel stifled or pressured by you to move faster than he’s ready, he might start to pull away.
Take it as a signal to decrease your intensity and the speed at which you want to go.
He needs more space, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you.
Here are 26 signs of a man in love, if you want to be sure.
4) He is insecure
All those terrible dating stories you’ve heard can make you think that all men are womanizers. But many times it is that they try to present a “bad boy” image.
For every man who thinks he is the best thing that could happen to you, there is another who secretly wonders if they are up to you.
If you are one of those who analyze a lot, you will be able to empathize with what is going on in their mind.
If he feels insecure about your feelings for him, he may also be feeling quite anxious.
In this state, it can be difficult to know how to behave.
You think he’s amazing, but he himself can’t believe you see him like that.
Even if you haven’t given him reason to question your feelings, that won’t necessarily stop his mind from working overtime.
As psychotherapist Perpetua Neo told Business Insider :
“We run by stories, and we don’t know what kind of assumptions govern us until we stop and reflect… In therapy we call these stories ‘core beliefs’… but I say we run by stories. It could be upbringing, it could be a difficult experience, or an attachment, which can give rise to stories about us, like ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m not worthy’, ‘I’m not kind’.”
If he wrongly thinks he can’t give you what you need, then his own insecurities may be the reason he’s pulling away.
5) He did not learn to be in a relationship
Knowing how to create healthy relationships doesn’t come naturally to us, it’s something we learn.
For most of us, attitudes and behaviors toward love and intimacy are heavily shaped by the early relationship models we see in life, usually within our family.
Attachment styles are part of attachment theory in psychology.
They say that a child’s development depends on their ability to form a strong relationship with at least one of their caregivers (which for most people is a parent).
The way someone is brought up and the experiences they have can lead to safe or unsafe behaviors in relationships later in life.
People who avoid attachment often seem very independent.
both physically and emotionally. But in reality, they are trying to avoid getting too close to others.
According to Medical News Today, adults with an avoidant attachment style may:
- Avoid emotional closeness in relationships
- Feeling like their partners are being clingy when they just want to get emotionally close
- Walk away and deal with difficult situations alone
- repress emotions
- Avoid complaining, preferring to hint at what is wrong
- Suppress negative memories
- Withdraw or disconnect from unpleasant conversations or moments
- Feel fear of rejection
- Have a strong sense of independence
- Having feelings of high self-esteem, while having a negative view of others
- Being too focused on your own needs and comfort
6) He has been hurt in the past
Most of us have a history when we enter a new relationship. Old romance often equates to current baggage.
Rejection, anguish, fear, and sadness are not something that we overcome immediately when we have been hurt in the past.
Even if we have moved on from the relationship, the memory of the pain it caused us can still linger into the future.
Being heartbroken can make him more cautious around you.
If your man feels that in the past he mistakenly jumped headlong into a relationship before and suffered the consequences, he might be more hesitant now.
Being cheated on by your partner, or even abandoned by someone you were in love with, are events that could have left a mark on you.
If he has been hurt in the past, he might be too scared to fall in love and so he walks away.
He can hesitate until he feels sure that he can trust you with all his heart.
Other reasons why a man walks away from a woman
1) He is stressed, busy, and worried
Before your mind races a million miles an hour, try to find some perspective.
It’s not always about you.
In the early stages of romance, we all tend to get a little cloudy.
You feel like they are the only two people in the world.
But real life doesn’t work like that. And at some point, external pressures and demands influence a relationship.
From family dramas, financial concerns, demanding periods at work, and even mental health issues like anxiety and depression. There are countless daily stresses that people face.
Women and men have different communication styles.
It may be a stereotype, but often men are not always that good at talking about the pressure they are under and may hide things instead.
His estrangement may have nothing to do with you and everything to do with other things in his life that he isn’t opening up to you about.
2) Coming out of the honeymoon phase
Depending on the intensity of your relationship and how long you spend together, the honeymoon phase can last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.
Those effortless moments you share at the beginning of a romance, (you know, when it can feel like your partner is doing nothing wrong and everything is magical) don’t last forever.
That’s the fairytale stage of a relationship, where the rush of feel-good hormones tinges everything with a warm, fuzzy glow.
The sad truth is that many couples break up because they don’t know how to adjust when that phase is over.
As time passes, inevitably, the relationship no longer feels as exciting and new. Some of that initial excitement begins to fade.
The good news is that as you enter the next level of the relationship, it brings whole new levels of intimacy and complicity.
If you are inexperienced in love or relationships, your guy may not be ready for the changes that have started to happen.
He may think that the loss of that initial euphoria means things are going wrong, or that your relationship is stalling.
Some guys aren’t cut out for the real work that relationships require. If you think this is your case, start opening the exit door, instead of staying to struggle without success.
3) You have doubts
Love is a complicated and multifaceted thing.
We may like to believe that “love is all you need,” but when it comes to making a relationship work, that’s rarely the case.
He may well have loved you and still love you in some way, but the feelings change too.
Walking away could be his way of preparing you or himself for the end of the relationship.
It doesn’t mean that he still doesn’t have strong feelings for you. He might have some real doubts or concerns about your relationship and any possible future together.
It may seem insensitive to try to tune out, instead of talking to you about what’s going on. But acting aloof is an easy (if not cowardly) defense mechanism that many men resort to.
He could be walking away to let you know that he is not happy. You feel guilty about the possible breakup on the horizon or have already begun to emotionally disengage.
4) You have changed
There is a possibility that it is not only your man who behaves differently, you have also changed?
The early stages of dating are almost like a job interview. We want to make a good impression, so we show our best.
We keep our less attractive aspects (which we all have) a little more secret.
It happens a lot that we try to act cool and relaxed at first.
For example, have you ever told a guy “it’s okay” that you want to reschedule a meeting when it really bothers you?
In an effort to appear relaxed and avoid discord, we tend to be much more understanding with our partners at first.
But as we get closer and things progress, we become more demanding.
This is normal, and unless you are being overly demanding and demanding, it is part of a natural evolution of the relationship.
However, it may be difficult for your guy to adjust to these changes.
If he feels that more is being asked of him than he is willing to give, he may back down.
What to do when he is moving away, but you feel that he loves you?
1) Don’t jump to conclusions, ask what’s going on
The reasons above may have given you a lot of ideas. But unless you’re psychic, you’ll never know exactly what’s going on in her head.
Instead of jumping to your own conclusions, it’s best to talk to him and see if there’s anything going on right now that you don’t know about.
That way, you give him a chance to talk to you about things that might be on his mind. Show him that you are there to support him.
It doesn’t even need to be a long, serious conversation. A simple “is everything okay?” or “You seem a bit distracted recently, is something going on?” might be enough to encourage him to open up.
2) Activate his hero instinct
If you haven’t heard about the hero instinct yet, then you need to research it. It is a psychological theory that is quite accurate.
He says that men are biologically programmed to want to feel essential, respected, and to support the woman they care about. In short, they want to feel like your hero.
When a woman makes him feel this way, he falls deeply in love. But when she doesn’t, he can become withdrawn, inattentive, and uncommitted.
Ways to activate your hero instinct include:
- ask for your help
- Support your goals and dreams
- Let him know what makes you happy
- Show appreciation for what he does for you
If you want to know more about the hero instinct you can read the 8 keys to awaken the hero instinct in a man
3) You don’t want to “fix” it and solve all its problems
You should know that it is not your sole responsibility to make everything better between you.
While you may want to be there for him, he is a grown man and responsible for himself.
That may sound harsh, but in the long run, hopes of fixing someone usually end in disappointment and broken hearts.
If you notice that he is pulling away because he needs to work things out, the best strategy may be to give him some space and time.
That doesn’t mean cutting off contact, but rather giving him some space to figure out what’s going on. If she loves you, she will want to be with you.
4) Focus on yourself
If you feel like your man is withdrawing and you desperately want to know what to do to get him back, you may end up staring at him all the time.
This can actually make things worse rather than better.
Creates desperate energy that can drive him further away.
Ask yourself if you want to wait until he is ready to commit to you. Don’t you really deserve better?
Build your own self-esteem.
Surround yourself with friends, family, and people who love you.
Do fun things that you enjoy. Make him see all that you are and what he will miss by not being around.
This is not to try to make him jealous, it is to build your own self-esteem.
If you want him to come back, nothing is more attractive than self-confidence.