Why Guys Pull Away And How To Get Them To Stop

Why is it that as soon as things are going well and you’re sure you’re starting to get somewhere with a guy, he clams up and pushes you away out of nowhere? There’s nothing more confusing, upsetting, or infuriating in dating than this, yet it’s entirely common. So why do guys pull away out of nowhere and what can you do to stop it?

  1. Things are moving too fast. Many guys pull away because your relationship has started moving at the speed of light. Have you gone from zero to 100 in the space of a few weeks or months? It could be that he’s getting cold feet because he prefers a slower, more natural pace and can’t keep up with the developments. It’s not that he doesn’t want to proceed with you, maybe just not at this pace.
  2. They have serious commitment issues. It goes without saying that a good portion of guys pull away because they’re just not down with commitment. They synonymize it with being “tied down,” losing their individuality and freedom, and basically becoming a shell of their former selves. This is all bologna, obviously, and a really immature viewpoint to have, but here we are.
  3. You’re smothering them. While there’s nothing more obnoxious than being called “clingy” by someone for simply expecting them to pay attention to you and make time for you in their lives, there is such a thing as being a bit too full-on. If you expect the guys you date to spend 24/7 with you and treat you like the center of their world, you can’t be surprised when they pull away.
  4. They don’t like you as much as they thought they did. This is a harsh one and perhaps not all that common but it definitely happens. It could be that he thought you had a good thing going but has since realized that he’s not as into you as you are into him and he doesn’t know how to tell you. Instead of being honest with you, he pulls away and tries to avoid the topic altogether.
  5. They’re dealing with something stressful at the moment. Maybe you’re feeling like the guy you’re seeing has pushed you away when in reality, it has nothing to do with you and is more about other things going on in his life, such as work stress, family issues, or anything else, really. In this case, you need to offer your support and give him space. It’s not about you.
  6. They’re afraid of being hurt. We often think of ourselves as women to be the vulnerable ones in relationships, but that’s unfair. Sometimes guys pull away because they’re afraid of being hurt. They like you a lot but they don’t want to get their hearts broken any more than you do. Reassure your guy that you’re there for him and care about him deeply. This should help assuage your fears.

While it’s impossible to control a guy’s behavior, if you notice him pull away, try communicating with him directly about it without applying pressure. Express your feelings, ask where his head is at, and then move forward accordingly.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill