But then, suddenly, he becomes distant and withdrawn — which threatens the very foundation of your relationship. And next, you’re terrified of losing him and wondering why it suddenly seems like he might leave you completely.
If your man has pulled back from your relationship or asked for space, I know firsthand how heart-wrenching it can be. However, all hope is not lost, and it’s not always your fault if a man pulls away when things are going well.
Here are 8 possible reasons why he pulls away when falling in love with you:
1. He’s afraid of losing his freedom.
As fun as it is to have someone to spend forever with, being with you might involve some lost opportunity costs that he’s not ready to give up yet.
Usually, this fear is totally subconscious, but it comes along with a more intense relationship. When a man feels as though your relationship might be “forever”, he can get spooked and start thinking about all of the things he will give up if he commits to you.
2. He’s simply not the marrying kind.
If he says he doesn’t want to get married, for goodness sake, BELIEVE HIM. Trying to get a man to marry you who doesn’t want to get married is a lesson in futility.
If you really want to get married, you owe it to yourself to move on instead of trying to drag him, kicking and screaming toward the altar.
Trying to continue a relationship with someone who sees their life path so differently will only drive a wedge between you. Don’t hang on while trying to convince him that you’re the one for him. You’re not the one for him, no matter how shiny, happy, hopeful, and exciting your relationship is right now.
3. You have incompatible life goals and/or beliefs.
People are most often willing to compromise on the little things. However, if you clash on big things like where you want to live, whether or not you want children and how many, religion, and what kind of lifestyle you want to live together, these differences may be impossible to overcome.
He might be perfectly happy with short-term dating under these circumstances but feel reluctant to completely merge your lives together.
If you know there are underlying serious problems with compatibility in your relationship, you owe it to yourself to stop trying to tell yourself that something will change, someone will bend, or it will all work out. Don’t gloss over these big things because they do not go away after you tie the knot.
If anything, the resentment of compromise from either of you can poison your bond over time.
4. He doesn’t feel settled or happy with his career or future.
Men worry about their careers and purpose a great deal. They tend to be one track minded about them. If he’s having trouble at work or struggling to find his purpose, he might pull away from your relationship to deal with it.
One of the biggest mistakes women make with men is pushing for more of a man’s time and attention when he is having work issues. Men tend to use their career success as an underpinning for confidence in other areas of their lives.
Success starts with work and purpose and moves outward. If he doesn’t feel confident at work, this will bleed into your relationship.
That’s why it’s so crucial for a man to feel successful before he deals with you. Beware the man who is struggling with his work and purpose. If your man already feels like he’s failing at work, adding relationship pressure can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Pressuring him for more attention will most likely cause him to pull away from you or remove himself from your relationship completely while he tries to get his life together.
5. You’ve been worrying too much about how things are getting serious.
If you eventually want to get married, he most likely knows that you’re interested in a commitment. He might not be ready for that just yet.
Sitting back and enjoying the ride can be a difficult thing if you’re concerned with combining a family and/or having children. Usually, women think about a relationship’s future much more often than a man does. The guy will be there enjoying the afternoon with a woman and she’ll secretly be fantasizing about wedding china patterns.
Even if you have never told him about it, he might feel pressure from you anyway. The best way to deal with this is to choose a man who eventually wants to get married in the first place, then not pressure him for anything. He will stop backing away when he stops feeling pressured about doing more.
6. He simply needs a break from all of the intense emotions.
Falling in love is amazing. However, men don’t really live in their emotional world as often as women do. They tend to dip in and out, experiencing intense emotion and then pulling back. That’s why after a really intense weekend or set of dates, a guy will suddenly withdraw.
It isn’t because he doesn’t love you, it’s because he has to focus on other things for awhile to get back to emotional center.
7. There’s family tension.
When you get married, you’re not just marrying him, you’re marrying his family.
The prospect of combining your tribes becomes even more daunting if there is trouble between you and his family or he doesn’t get along with your people.
Sometimes men will drag their heels on furthering their relationship with a woman who just doesn’t fit into the family picture, even though he may love you.
8. You’re not the one for him long-term.
When you’re falling in love with a man, nothing stings more than the possibility that he just might not feel the same way about you.
Remember, this doesn’t ever, EVER mean there is anything wrong with you. It simply means that while you’re dating, 99 percent of relationships just aren’t built to go the distance.
He might be content keeping your bond casual. If you don’t want a casual relationship, it’s up to you to speak up. Otherwise, he’ll think that you’re happy with what you’re currently doing. He’s not a mind reader.
9. What To Do When He Pulls Away From You
When a guy pulls away, it tends to thrust us straight into panic mode. It’s really hard to avoid becoming reactive and trying to DO THINGS to make him go back to the way things were before he became distant.
The problem is, as much as you might want to jar him back to reality, you can’t logically convince a man to be attracted to you and the relationship.
That’s why the answer is to lovingly give him time and space.
In the short term, you might be able to nag him into giving you more of his time, but that is a short-term victory since if he’s pulling away, chasing him will make him run faster and further away from you.
The only solution that works long-term is to let him work out his issues and simply tend to your own life and hobbies while he figures things out.
You don’t have to deal with men who pull away, hurt and ghost you. Get your free copy of Elizabeth Stone’s book, Why Men Lose Interest, and daily email series here.