What To Do When He Pulls Away

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Is he pulling away? Has he become distant? Not sure what to do, what to think? Uhh, dating. It can become pretty tiring, right? Especially when a guy seems to be playing games. The thing is, it’s all about knowing how to respond. So my friends, let’s get you fully prepared! Here’s what to do when he pulls back – to put YOU back in control.

Is He Pulling Away?

So first off, before we look at what to do when he pulls back, let’s actually determine if he really is pulling away. 

Because sometimes – particularly if we’ve been burnt badly in the past – we can start to panic. You might find that you’re building everything up and worrying for no reason. 

You think you’ve scared him off and he’s pulling away, when actually – that may not be the case.

I therefore want you to first start by having a read of these articles:

  1. Do You Have Dating Anxiety? This article talks about the signs of relationship anxiety, but there are many cross-overs for the earlier stages of dating. Have a read, and see how many ring true. If you’re struggling with dating anxiety, you will naturally start to panic more easily. But you may not always have to.
  2. Are You Obsessing? If you’re obsessing over someone, you notice every little thing in so much more depth. You also, therefore, can end up seeing things that aren’t really there – reading into situations and coming to the wrong conclusions. So recognise if you’re doing it, implement the key steps to stop doing it, and then see if he still seems to be pulling back after that. Click here to read.

Is he pulling away? That’s the first question to answer. And if he is, ask yourself – how do you know? What little signs are you recognising.

Signs He’s Pulling Away

To make it easier to identify, click on over to this article for the key signs he’s losing interest as the signs he’s pulling away are going to be the same.

See, you’ll start to notice:

  1. He’s not as responsive and makes less effort when speaking to you.
  2. You’ll also start to see him less, as he becomes “busier” and stops planning things with you.
  3. If you do have plans – you may notice he lets you down more. he’s become flakey and inconsistent. 
  4. You’ll probably find he’s not as affectionate.
  5. He may also become more snappy or argumentative. (Essentially, he’s not feeling the same way as before and is torn about what to do!)
  6. You might feel like he doesn’t care how YOU feel. He seems like a different person to you now.
  7. If things have progressed and trust should be there, you may find he starts to break that or goes behind your back. The two of you are becoming less of a “thing” and you feel like you’re losing him… fast. Even if he won’t admit it or says nothing has changed.
  8. He may be more vague and indecisive.
  9. You’ll also notice he becomes more distant. This is a major sign he’s pulling away.
  10. You’ll also just get this gut instinct – like you know things are different, somethings changed and he’s not acting in the same way towards you.

It can be painful when a guy pulls away. Especially if you don’t understand why he’s pulling away, or where it’s coming from. 

what to do if he becomes distant

Why Is He Pulling Away?

So what is the deal here then? Why is he pulling away? Well, there could be a number of reasons:

Ultimately, it’s going to be difficult to know for sure. There could be one or multiple things playing into it. It does help to try to piece it together though.

In fact, in order to know what to do when a guy pulls away – you have to first establish WHY it’s happening. What’s the cause? As this will influence your actions from there.

Feeling unsure? Get in touch and let’s figure it out together. Uh huh, you’re not alone with this one. It’s time you got answers to confidently worked out the best steps forward from here!

What To Do When a Man Pulls Away

So now we’ve got a better idea of what’s happening and why it’s happening, let’s get stuck in with the core process of what to do when a man pulls away. How should you respond?

Well, obviously this will vary slightly depending on why he’s pulling away.

  • For example, if you notice you’re coming on too strong (click here for the signs), before you action anything else, you will want to ease off a bit.
  • Or let’s say you realise he’s pulling away because of his own issues – well then you’ll need to make a decision as to whether you even want to stick with it or not. 

(Don’t forget your relationships standards, how you want and deserve to be treated and the kind of man you’re looking for.. and this includes the mental place he needs to be in!)

What to do when he pulls away

What To Do When He Pulls Away

With all of that in then, here’s what to do when he pulls away, generally speaking. These are fundamental tips that are important in any situation where he pulls back.

1) Don’t Act Straight Away

First up, try not to panic, jump to conclusions or assume the worst. Stay calm. Like we mentioned at the very start, you could be reading the signs wrong.

If you pick up on every single thing, and raise every single thing with him – then that’s actually a recipe to make him pull back. It’s also going to drive you insane!

So if you notice a change in behaviour and you feel like he’s pulling back, just first start by monitoring it. Literally make a note if you need – jot down what you notice and when.

However, if you are going to do this, you also want to monitor the signs he’s NOT pulling away, the signs he is still into you. This will help you to see the full picture clearer, and if you have anything to worry about.

When you write that note – make sure you release any stress or tension with it. Write it, let it go, and then try to enjoy things the best that you can, instead of getting worked up.

“Worrying is a total waste of time. It doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles. It just takes away today’s peace.”

2) Keep Being Yourself

It’s also important to keep being yourself: your beautiful, loveable self. Just because you notice him changing the way that he is, doesn’t mean you should change too. That’s not you.

At the end of the day, all you can do is be yourself. The best version of yourself. Right now – he’s not being the best version of him. But that’s no reflection on you. So hold your head up high. Because if it so happens that this doesn’t work out, at least then you’ll have no “what ifs” or regrets.

It’s also important to remember that getting cold, distant or angry with him is only more likely to drive him away – not make him want to hold on. So no matter how you feel inside, don’t let him get to you.

That doesn’t mean you can’t feel things, you have to be emotionless.

Recommended Read: How To Feel Your Emotions
Recommended Read: How To Stop Repressing Your Emotions

It just means that when you’re with him – you are the real you, the you you want to be, and the happy you, the one who is good to be around.

You can have your down moments away from him, it’s likely that this will take its toll on how you feel. And of course if he asks you – you can still say. (In fact, if he asks, this is a good sign. It shows he’s aware and he cares!)

But don’t push any negative emotions onto him. It’s too early days. For whatever reason, he’s pulling back. But that’s on him – not you. And you want to keep it that way.

What to do when he pulls away

3) Don’t Become Desperate 

At the same time, don’t become desperate. Yes, you will still be yourself. Yes you will keep trying with him and still put in the effort. But have your boundaries and limits.

Don’t chase, don’t beg or plead for his affection and attention. And don’t lose yourself trying to win him over. It will just completely batter your sense of self-worth and make you tolerate things you shouldn’t.

Love should be easy. To a degree anyway. Yes you’ll inevitably face challenges. But love itself – it should be simple. Whats more, that love – it should be reciprocated, equally.

So if you’re having to work your butt off, trying to get some guy to stay – make that a MAJOR warning flag, and it shows that girl, he is not the one. Read that again.

4) Create a Bit of Distance

So what else should you do when he pulls away? Well, you want to be there, but you don’t want to smother him. He’s pulling back for a reason – so let him. Allow him to have that space.

In most cases, he’ll be like a rubber band – he’ll pull back, but if you let him, if you don’t just hold on desperately, he’ll naturally come back to you. If it’s meant to be of course, that is.

So you’re not being cold, distance or off with him. If you think he’s trying to deal with his emotions, or has other things on his mind – show him that you’re there. Encourage him to open up to you. But don’t push.

Distancing yourself from him and the situation a little bit, also helps to clear your mind and not feel this so much. You’ll gain a greater sense of perspective.

Whatever you focus on, you feel.

So instead of going over and over why he’s pulling away and what to do when he pulls away, shift that focus back onto YOU again.

Focus on your work, spend more time with friends and family, do things that you enjoy, and let things unfold how they’re supposed to.

If it does so happen that it doesn’t work out then, you’ll have also started the process of readjusting to life without him – which too, will make things easier.

if he's pulling back

5) Don’t Settle

Ultimately, you’re keeping the upper hand here. You’re staying calm, you’re staying true to you. Yes, inside, you may feel like you’re going out of your mind! At least at times anyway.

But you’re playing smart here. You’re doing what you can – not too much, and not too little. You’re getting the balance right.

Now in some cases, you might reach the point where he pulled away, and still seems distant. At this point, you want to raise the conversation with him.

So use your notes, don’t pick out every single thing or let him catch on that you made notes (ha!) But go into the conversation clear on what you know and how you feel.

See if you’re not happy, if this is not the kind of relationship you want and you feel like things are moving backwards, not forwards, then you need to be able to openly discuss this.

If it doesn’t change, then you also have to have the courage to walk away.

However, if you’ve taken your time with broaching this, have done all of the things before this – when you do broach it, you’re more likely to get the timing right.

You’ll also go into the conversation knowing that – no matter what the outcome – you’re doing the right thing.

See, it’s not about settling. There may be times where you feel upset or frustrated. But you have to keep level-headed. Because then, when you do reach decision-time, you’ll be sure you’re making the right decision.

What To Do When He Pulls Away

So there we have it – what to do when he pulls away. The five step standard process, but – let’s not also forget – to consider WHY he’s pulling away, and what you can or should do, based on that.

At the end of the day, this is your call. But always stay as calm and level-headed as you can. Don’t react, don’t blow up, and allow things to naturally become clearer and start to unfold.

You’re a catch. Remember that. Take care!


What to do if a guy pulls back
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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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