Before you do anything, you need to ask yourself one very important question:
Is this even a problem?
If he’s pulling away because of a natural male desire for space, you will respond differently than if he’s pulling away because he wants to see how much you’ll let him get away with.
And sometimes there’s nothing wrong at all. Sometimes you’re misinterpreting his “me time” as a sign that he’s going to leave you.
Regardless of the reasons, I’ve got you covered! Let’s find out exactly what you should do.
He’s Pulling Away Because He’s Stressed
They intend on coming back to you. They’re not leaving for good!
They just know that if they don’t get some space now, they’re going to go crazy and take it out on you.
These guys need to be able to pull away for the sake of their mental health, but they don’t always tell you that’s what they’re doing. They just disappear and leave you hanging. They may even be hoping you didn’t notice they were gone.
If you’re with a guy like this, remember that his distance has nothing to do with you and everything to do with him. It’s a coping mechanism. Maybe it’s not one you’d use yourself, but it works for him.
At the same time, he can’t just disappear on you and leave you in the dark. Remind him that he needs to check in with you so you know what’s going on.
If you haven’t heard from him, you can message him:
Hope you’re doing okay. Check in when you’ve got a moment.”
Your Intimacy Needs Aren’t a Match
But sometimes a man pulling away is a problem. It’s a sign that your intimacy needs are not a good match.
If you have high intimacy needs, which means that you like a lot of togetherness, and he has low intimacy needs, which means he values his solitude and privacy, you’re going to stress each other out.
You will always want more than he’s willing to give, and he will feel like he has to push you away to get the breathing space he needs.
It’s unlikely that a solitude-loving guy will change just because he met an intimacy-loving gal. Your need for space vs. intimacy is baked into you.
So you need to make sure from the get-go that your intimacy and space needs are compatible.
As soon as you’re thinking about getting together, have a conversation about how much togetherness you both think is ideal for a relationship.
How often should you see each other? How often should you be texting? Should you be posting couple pictures on social media? Should you be spending all your free time together?
Another way to tackle this topic is by asking him who he thinks has the perfect relationship.
Is there a celebrity couple or someone he knows that seem like the “perfect couple,” as far as he’s concerned? What makes their relationship different? What does he admire most about it?
Make sure to share what your ideal relationship looks like with him, too.
If your relationship visions are worlds apart, then being together will be a struggle. You can try making it work, but don’t be surprised if neither of you feel fully satisfied in the relationship.
He’s Pulling Away Because He’s Losing Interest
There’s another way in which a man pulling away could be a problem, and that’s when it’s a sign he’s no longer into the relationship.
This tends to happen a few weeks or months into the relationship, when it’s been so fun and so full-on, and suddenly he stops texting or making plans to see you.
It doesn’t make sense, because you thought everything was going great.
Now when you talk to him, it seems weird. He’s brusque. The warmth and pleasure are gone from his voice.
Instead of trying to be cool and patient and not freak out, talk about it. You want him to know you see something has changed. You can tell him:
It seems like things are cooling down between us. Think it’s worth the effort to keep giving it a try?
It’s better for you to know now if he isn’t interested, so you don’t waste your time or break your heart. No matter how attractive and fun this guy was, he’s not your guy if he’s not into you.
You Think He’s Pulling Away When He Isn’t
There’s one final way in which a man pulling away isn’t the problem you think it is, and that’s when you find yourself triggered by his absence.
Every time he pulls away, you panic.
He spends a Friday evening with his guy friends, and you jump to the conclusion that he doesn’t want to be with you, or he’s cheating on you, or he’s laughing about you behind your back with his friends.
Whereas, in fact, he’s just enjoying himself and not thinking about anything at all.
All relationships need to have a balance of “me time” and “we time.”
We’re not meant to be joined at the hip. We need time for our friends, time for our jobs, and time for our passions. We need time to work out and time to see our parents and time to be by ourselves and think.
Good relationships make that room.
Good relationships give you space to be an individual as well as a couple.
If you find that you tend to lose yourself in relationships, or you want to be together 24-7, or you can’t get rid of the fear that he’s going to abandon you, then this is an opportunity for you to do your own work.
Look up “anxious attachment style.”
Do some investigation into your past relationships to see if you’re repeating the same patterns.
If you like exercises, grab a copy of Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt’s book Keeping the Love You Find.
And remember that the most important love in your life is not his love for you. It’s your love for yourself.