No doubt if you have gone on a date in the last decade you have experienced something similar to this: You are dating, things feel good, you are having a good time and you start thinking to yourself that this could be “the one”. Then before you know it you are dateless on a Friday night. He doesn’t return your calls or texts with the frequency he used to, if he responds at all. Suddenly you realize you are getting the brush off-rather than approaching the end of the connection directly you are being phased out, slowly but surely. You are confused, you are saddened and you begin agonizing over every detail, large and small with your girlfriends. Could it be that your own actions are doing more harm than good?
Entire books have been written on the subject of men pulling away. Dozens of afternoon talk shows have dedicated their program to the topic and coaches such as me have made careers out of helping women understand why men slowly fade out of relationships. By understanding why this phenomenon happens and how you could be promoting his pulling away you are in a better position to make sure it DOESN’T happen to you. Here are 5 of the most common reasons men pull away.
1. He is actually busy.
Is he really pulling away or are you freaking out because he happens to not respond to your text within 30 minutes? He is allowed to have a life and do his own thing and this may mean from time to time that he cannot respond right away. If you have an issue with this then chances are it’s because you are not keeping yourself busy enough and should ask yourself why you need such a fast response from him. Is there something else you could be doing with your time? Maybe he had to work late; perhaps he helped a buddy move or just caught up with family for a birthday dinner. The point is that you should let him have his own identity and not pressure him to respond immediately as this will only work right against your goal of keeping this man in your life.
2. You’ve lost the “right” chemistry.
Notice that I said the “right” chemistry and not chemistry as a whole. Chances are you two will have great physical chemistry even as he starts his great fade-out. What I am speaking on is the other type of chemistry, the brains chemistry which is just as much a part of our falling in love as knowing what to do between the sheets is. You see when we first meet someone and start dating our brains release a surplus of oxytocin. This makes women bond and attach emotionally and men feel this as well. They also experience a sharp decline in testosterone which then increases their stress levels and makes them feel easily pressured. They go from enjoying themselves to full fledge freaking out and they run.
3. He feels the pressure.
You are at a place where you feel that it’s time for things to move forward to the next level. This is a time of great pressure and responsibility for a man. They are not the type to attach themselves to unless they feel capable of performing in the role and make no mistake-no matter how independent you are he needs to feel capable of supporting you and creating a life with you. If you have recently suggested that things move forward and he has gotten rather silent understand that he knows where you stand and is having his own little tantrum.
Instead of increasing the pressure, and yes those not so subtle hints you are dropping need to stop, you should start focusing on nurturing the relationship itself. Nothing sends a man running more than the horrific stench of desperation and pushiness. Work on creating a healthy relationship and nurturing one another so that he knows how important the relationship is to you, not the destination.
If you feel that you are truly ready for movement and he is not then maybe it’s time to begin to pull away a bit yourself. Now, I’m not suggesting you pull away and go on and on about why you are pulling away but rather that you begin to act with a bit of self-preservation. Focus on you and see what happens.
4. Your support of him has left the building.
Make no mistake-men, like women, enjoying feeling appreciated. If you are suddenly doing more nitpicking than encouraging he is going to find someone else to be his biggest fan. It’s not about ego stroking; it’s about understanding that we all gravitate towards those things that make us feel good. A man doesn’t feel good when there is someone who is looking over their shoulder to point out their every mistake each second of the day and let’s be honest ladies, neither would you! Take the effort to foster a very supportive environment which you are each one another’s biggest fans and he will never want to lose that force in his life.
5. He has found someone else.
Yes, it sucks but it does happen and to be quite honest it happens more often than not when the above mentioned points are ignored. If you have started to nitpick, pressure him for something before he is ready and failed to take into account his feelings chances are he could have started looking elsewhere. Even if he has found someone else understand that it doesn’t mean it’s over but it does mean you have your work cut out for you. If your once hot and heavy man suddenly goes MIA and cuts you out of his life cold turkey chances are he is spending his time with someone else.
The bottom line is that men pull away for a variety of reasons and yes some of them are even due to the mistakes that we women make. Your intentions could be good and you may be dealing with your own bag of drama from past relationships but it’s important to evaluate whether your actions are doing more harm than good. Foster a healthy relationship by ensuring that each of you has a very full and rich life. My motto is that relationships should be an addition to a very full life, not what makes a life full. Slow your roll and do not chase a man whilst in the throes of panic mode. He will only respond with his own panic and run, FAST, in the other direction.
If you find that you are not promoting his pulling away then stay calm. You cannot lose what is truly yours and if someone is fading you out then they were not right for you to begin with. It’s not always the most comforting thing to accept but the fact is that not every connection is meant to go the distance. Use this as a learning experience and harvest what you can so that you can take the valuable information gained from this connection with you as you move towards the next and possibly greatest love!