It’s finally happening: you met a man you’re compatible with, you really like him, and the feeling is mutual. He’s showering you with attention, making plans to see you, making time to call you, and generally letting you know that he’s so happy to have found you. How does a man act when he’s falling in love? Just like this—and you’ve never been happier, or more thankful, to have him by your side.
Then something happens.
Out of the blue, he pulls back from you. Maybe he doesn’t mention seeing you this weekend, or he gets off the phone a little earlier than usual. Or he’s not being as affectionate. You sense a shift in the way he is with you, and it doesn’t feel good. In fact, it’s downright scary.
The good news is not only is this common—but there’s a way to handle this tricky situation effectively. After all, when you first enter a relationship, there’s sure to be plenty of new boyfriend advice from your friends, your family and your co-workers. But of all of these words of wisdom, the one you want to take the most seriously are the tactics that stop a man from withdrawing from your relationship. How come? As experts explain, sometimes the way a woman communicates her feelings to her partner may make him distance himself even more.
The first step is to understand why men pull away—and then use smart solutions to understand if he’s in it for the long run or it’s time for you to find a better match.
Here, the only new boyfriend advice you need:
Why men pull away:
As much flack as classic romantic comedies receive for being unrealistic, some of their messages ring loud and true when explaining why men pull away. More often than not, experts explain most men withdraw for one of three reasons: they’re lost interest because he doesn’t see a future for your twosome, he’s afraid of becoming too vulnerable with you, or he feels rushed to commit to a more serious union.
Seems like some pretty negative warning signs, sure, but remember, not all is lost.
Your man may be withdrawing because he feels like you’re pressuring him to move the relationship along more quickly than he’s comfortable with. If this is the case, there’s a clear and obvious new boyfriend advice you need to take: back off. To stop a man from withdrawing because he’s feeling rushed, you have to let things calm down and create the opportunity for the relationship to develop at a pace that feels good for both of you.
Another reason your man act differently is based on fear. Maybe he’s been hurt in the past. Or maybe the idea of commitment simply petrifies him. If you two can discuss whatever the issue is and begin to deal with it, there’s a good chance that you can then begin to create something real and lasting together. Often, fears crop up in a relationship because a person wants to deal with those doubts and move past them. If you can be a steady, reassuring partner that isn’t pushing too hard, while he deals with what’s scaring him, you two just might build a foundation together.
The hardest question of all to answer though is this one: ‘why do men pull away after intimacy’? The answer is unclear, but it’s usually tied to a man who realized you weren’t what he craved in the long run. Especially when he becomes distant in this case, it can be difficult to repair what you had. We’re not saying it’s impossible for a guy to overcome his worries about you or the relationship. However, usually, once those doubts become so strong that it makes him pull away and become distant, it’s often too late to salvage something strong and durable.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to understand which situation your pairing falls under—and to proceed with caution in the right direction for your happiness.
Step 1: Get out of your head.
One of the reasons you seek new boyfriend advice from your loved ones—and ahem, the internet—is because you’re stuck reading between every line and over each text message. Here’s the hard truth about overthinking the details: The more you over analyze a man and your relationship with him, the more anxious you will feel. When you’re researching ‘how does a man act when he’s falling in love’ and and ‘how to stop a man from withdrawing’, you lose your sense of self.
In other words: he becomes the center of your world and ultimately, that makes him even more distant. When a man senses that you’re so invested in him and how he feels about you, he becomes turned off. He was attracted to you in the first place because you had a life outside of him. He loved the fact that you made yourself responsible for your own happiness.
If you sit around worrying that he’s acting distant or spend your days analyzing him, you almost completely close yourself off to the possibility of a connection with him because you’re focused on him in the wrong way.
So what do you do? Remind yourself that it’s completely normal. And cut it out! If he’s the right man for you, these periods will significantly shorten over time, even though he’ll still need his ‘space’ every once in a while.
Step 2: Create tension
Whenever the man we’re with pulls back from us, our first instinct is usually to lean in and close the space. This requires effort. And it also usually causes the man to resist our attempts to get closer. Why? Because by stepping in we’re removing the incentive for a man to get close. He no longer feels it’s his choice—he feels forced.
Everyone wants to have their needs met first. It’s basic human nature. But being able to delay your gratification is an amazing skill to develop. Most people—men and women—want to talk, talk, talk about what they think and want. You’re headed for ‘The Big Mistake’ if you’re focused only on you when you have close intimate conversations.
The best new boyfriend advice is to drop any effort on your part to close that space. Resist the temptation to ask him what’s wrong or to step up your efforts in order to get a response from him. Don’t call him or email him or drop by his place. Let him make the choice to come to you. When he does, it also makes you feel better. It makes you feel desired by him.
Step 3: Choose your words wisely
So you’ve mastered the ways to stop a man from withdrawing, and everything seemed to be headed in a rosier direction, it’s time to implement some positive communication skills. Once you’ve calmed down from analyzing and you’ve created some much-needed space, it’s time to figure out how to express how you’re feeling without causing more ripples in your relationship.
There are power in your words, and the words you choose can deepen the connection you share so that he is more mindful of your feelings when he does need his space. The trick is to talk to him in a way that expresses your feelings without blaming him.
Show him that being with you is a fun, positive experience. When he sees that you didn’t let your emotions overrun you and senses that you didn’t place such a high importance on his actions, he’ll be motivated to stay close and connected with you. He’ll recognize that he’s with a woman who respects his needs while taking care of her own feelings. And he’ll appreciate that you didn’t blame or criticize him.
When you create a positive experience with him, he’ll also gradually realize that being close and connected with you is a valuable part of his life he won’t want to live without. He’ll see that being with you does not mean he needs to give up his sense of self or his independence, and the bond you two share will become even stronger.