11 Most Common Reasons Why Men Pull Away

Bad experiences, stress levels, or attachment issues - men pull away for a reason. Let's find out why do men pull away and how you can make things better between you both.

Dr. Samar Hafeez
Reviewed by DR. SAMAR HAFEEZ , Clinical Psychologist | Written by Anubhuti Mishra , Relationship Expert
Updated on May 22, 2024 | 12:02 PM IST | 5.9M
11 Most Common Reasons Why Men Pull Away
11 Most Common Reasons Why Men Pull Away

No matter where you stand in your relationship - committed, non-committed, dating, or a casual fling - there will be a moment in time when men, sometimes, tend to pull away. Most times, it has less to do with you or the relationship, and more about their mental state, personal experiences, and insecurities.

We understand that it is devastating to see your person withdrawing from you, but we would suggest you not jump to conclusions or attack him with incessant questions. However confused or hurt you are and how much the fear of the unknown starts bugging you with every passing day, it is crucial to understand why men pull away.

We are here to help you figure out those reasons. Additionally, we have also shared some vital tips to help you cope when he pulls away and mend things between you two. Worry not, and read on!

What Do I Mean When I Say that Men Pull Away?

11 Most Common Reasons Why Men Pull Away

According to relationship experts, committed relationships or not, men tend to pull away for different reasons - intentionally or unknowingly. Now, when we say men pulling away, we mean he may start behaving strangely, show less interest, start being distant, lack communication, start getting offended frequently, have signs of withdrawal, stop putting in the effort, etc.

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In other words, your partner may seem to back off or shut down.

If you notice any such signs, fret not. Read ahead to know the most common reasons why men pull away.

11 Most Common Reasons Why Men Pull Away

There are no definite answers as to why men pull away. Although we have a curated list of some of the most common reasons, it is vital to remember that all men are different.

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11 Most Common Reasons Why Men Pull Away

1. Unsure About His Real Feelings

This is probably one of the most common reasons why men pull away. Many studies have revealed that men fall in love faster than women. So even when you may think that everything in your relationship is going smoothly or progressing nicely, your partner may feel disconnected because he is not sure what his true feelings are about you or the relationship.

Once again, we understand that is hurtful and confusing; you have to give your man some time so that he can figure out things. And trust us; it is in the best interests of both of you.

2. Afraid of Commitment (Gamophobia)

Fear of commitment may stem from various reasons, including feeling pressurized, fear of accountability, or getting overwhelmed by responsibilities and reality. Dr. Samar Hafeez, Consultant Psychologist and a Certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach says, “According to research, gamophobia can occur due to a bad experience in a previous romantic relationship or unsatisfactory marriage between parents. We usually develop fears and insecurities early in life and tend to build our views surrounding relationships on such perceptions.” These fears and insecurities can make him overthink things that may not be real in the present. So, while one day you seem to be having a gala time with each other, the other day, he may pull away from you out of the blue.

Once again, his being unavailable for you may seem to confuse you. However, be patient with him. Give him time to think and calm down.

3. Past Trauma

A lot many people have been in bad relationships. Maybe your partner was the victim of a bad relationship. Even after he gave everything in his previous relationship he was betrayed, and it simply drained them.

Now, when they see things getting serious between you two, his defensive urge may want to protect him. It is also possible that he might be having sleepless nights reliving his past trauma, and thus, unconsciously he is pulling away from you.

In such a scenario, try to console him with subtle and genuine gestures. Make him realize that not every person will hurt him. And most importantly, give him time to deal with his feelings.

4. Stress

Men and women both deal with stress differently. Plus, the reasons behind stress may also differ. For men, stress may pop up due to work, financial issues, family, or something entirely different. In short, they just have too much on their plate and simply cannot invest their time in a serious relationship.

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So when they see things taking a turn towards a serious note from a casual one, they might tend to run or pull away.

In such situations also, we would advise you to give him some space. Instead of continuously nagging or making him feel worse about not giving you enough time or attention, let him be. Once he deals with other issues, he will definitely come back to you!

5. Not Ready

How often have you wondered why your man acts strangely the moment you ask serious questions or talk about the future?

The reason why men pull away from such conversations is that they simply are not ready. While casual dating or fling may excite them, they do not want to settle down with you anytime soon. And the more you poke them, the more they might seem to run away from you or the relationship.

6. Fear of Losing Freedom

We, humans, are vicious creatures who love our freedom over anything else. And the idea to settle down or commit to one person for your whole lifetime might seem a bit daunting, especially when you are only looking for casual relations.

Naturally, if your man is not ready or seems uncomfortable at the mention of a serious relationship or happily ever after, he will pull away immediately.

Another reason behind your man pulling away may be because he still wants to keep his options open. Even though things are going smoothly between you two, the idea that he won't get a chance with other women may repulse him.

7. Insecurities and Self-doubts

Often insecurities, inferiority complex, and self-doubt take a back seat in people's lives when they are burdened with responsibilities. However, these resurface when you meet a partner and start falling for them.

Now, these insecurities and self-doubt often trigger men and women alike, but men are more affected by them. Why?

Because from the very beginning, men are taught to put up a brave face and deal with such things head-on. So, when their partners ask them personal questions or make them feel vulnerable, men pull away as a natural response.

8. Fear of Abandonment

Yes, you read that right. Even men fear abandonment. However, they may not be too vocal about it. So, when they start developing feelings for someone, the fear of abandonment weighs heavily on them.

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This reason is actually a protective instinct.

In simple words, to protect themselves from getting hurt, men choose to pull away from a beautiful relationship.

On the other hand, your man may not come from a happy family or childhood. At times, when a child sees his parents fight frequently, or get divorced, he unconsciously develops a protective layer around himself to overcome his fear of abandonment. With time, this fear may also become vague. However, the moment he gets into a serious relationship, all his fears start to rise and hit back at him.

The only thing that may seem natural to him during such cases is to pull away.

9. Fear of Conflicts, Fights, and Disagreements

Similar to the fear of abandonment is the fear of difference in opinion. Emotional intelligence is something that does not come naturally to people, especially men. For ages, men have dealt with tough work and labor. So, there is a stigma attached to men showing or expressing their emotions and feelings. Of course, they think a happy relationship is only where both partners agree on every single thing and have similar interests and personalities.

But, don't we all know that this is not practical in real life?

With the thought of finding exactly similar partners, some men run away the moment they see conflicts, fights, and disagreements. Rather than putting in the effort to sort out the situation, they try to find an easy way out by pulling away.

10. No Future

Well, this point is a bit self-explanatory. And also a bit healthy.

We are not saying that men pulling away is the right way. We understand the requirement for proper communication. But when you know that he does not see a future with you, why would he want to invest any more time in you?

We would suggest letting him be. You never know, maybe time will make him realize otherwise.

11. Unrealistic or Too Many Expectations

This reason to pull away is actually out of mere exhaustion. These unrealistic expectations mostly come from all the rom-com movies. While a little bit of those expectations may be okay, too many unrealistic expectations will always ruin your relationship.

While men pull away from the sheer pressure and burden of all those expectations, women should know when crossing a boundary.

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Not all men find love only in grand gestures. So, instead of pushing them to do things your way, why not let him show you his love in his own love language?

That way, your man will not pull away from you!

What to Do When He Pulls Away?

11 Most Common Reasons Why Men Pull Away

Now that you have gone through our list of the most common reasons why men pull away, we hope that you might have gained some clarity. However, we also realize that you have invested your time and energy in your relationship to make it work. At times, you just have to be patient and let time work its magic.

So, no more sitting around sulking and waiting for him. Instead, read on about how to deal with the situation and what to do when your man pulls away.

  • Do Not Poke Him

Do not launch a series of questions on your man. He may simply revolt. Instead, give him time. You can also pamper him a bit to assure him that you won't leave him. Sometimes, an assurance is all you need to re-ignite the connection.

  • Vent Out

Why not get on a call with your girlfriends and rant your heart out? Not only will it make you feel better, may be your girlfriends will have a word of wisdom to offer you.

  • Empathize

Try to understand the situation from his perspective. Give him some time to gather his thoughts.

  • Benefit of Doubt

Give him the time he requires to figure things out. Pulling away does not always mean that your partner wants to break up with you. When you give him time to think over things, he may gradually realize his feelings for you and come back more focused.

  • Couple Counseling

Today, there are a lot of couples counseling sessions wherein both of you can voice out your concerns and work together to rebuild your bond. Speak to your partner about the same if you feel he is pulling away from you.

Remember to be polite about it. He should not feel as if things are being pinned on him purposely.

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  • Give Him Space

Yes, the primary reason most men pull away is lack of space. They may feel burdened with everything and just want some quiet to control their emotions. So, give him space if you feel your partner is pulling away from you.

Do not, at any cost, start being cold or indifferent towards him. Because if you do so, it will definitely make things worse.

  • Comprehension Is The Key

While communication is immensely crucial, at times understanding your partner by his or her actions is equally vital. So, give him time, notice his behavior, and gradually speak to him about his concerns. And, in time, your relationship will start blooming again!

  • Prioritize Yourself

Well, if not now, when? Maybe it was something that you did that made him pull away, after all, nobody is perfect. So, give some time to think things through, work on yourself, realign with your energy, or pamper yourself - do anything to divert your mind. Maybe you, too, will come up with ways to spark chemistry in your relationship!

Conclusion

11 Most Common Reasons Why Men Pull Away

Men pull away due to multiple reasons ranging from fears, insecurities, or anxieties to desperation or loss of love. It is crucial for you to figure out the reason behind his pulling away to protect your relationship.

And probably the best way to deal with it is to give him space. Let him figure out his emotions. Once done, you both can communicate and start afresh!

FAQs

How do I know if he will come back after pulling away?
Some men are commitment-phobic and may pull away abruptly. Nonetheless, they may still come around after a while and will start showing you signs that he is interested in you.

What should I text him if he pulls away?
If you see your man pulling him, give him space. While a casual text asking him about his day is fine, try not to be very clingy by sending a chain of messages. You can send him any text that will make him feel supported yet free.

What are the signs of men pulling away?
There are no definite signs to state that. Every man is different and so are his ways of expression. However, if you feel that your man - has become (comparatively) distant, does not seem enthusiastic to talk to you or spend time with you, gets agitated for the smallest of reasons, or keeps mostly to himself - then your man is pulling away from you. Also, notice how he behaves with his friends and with you. I'm sure you will get your answer.

Will pulling away bring my partner closer to me?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The answer to this question actually depends a lot on the reason why he pulled away from you. If the reason was him dealing with certain things, he may come back closer to you after some time. However, if it was your behavior that triggered him to pull away, chances are, he may not likely return.

I am scared that he is pulling away, what should I do?
The simplest answer is to give him space because he needs it. The best you can do is to let him deal with his emotions while you can subtly show him that you love and support him.

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About The Author
Anubhuti Mishra
Anubhuti Mishra
Relationship Expert

A marked inclination toward understanding human emotions and relationships led Anubhuti to become a certified Relationship Expert. With dual

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Credits: pexels
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