What if you knew what men secretly wanted but they could never tell you

It’s simpler than you think and I’m here to tell you how.

When He Pulls Away Should I Do the Same? – 6 Relationship Experts Share Exactly What To Do

by Suzanne Carter – MA, LPC, Sarah Richards – MA, NLC, NCC, Kimberly Lenggiere – LMFT, LAC, Hollis Wall – MA, LMHCA, Logan Brantley – LGSW

When He Pulls Away Should I Do the Same

“Ladies, the right man for you will pursue you. Actively. He won’t leave you wondering whether he’s into you or not.”

~ Mandy Hale

Mandy Hale The Right Man For You Will Pursue You Quote
Hollis Wall

When your boyfriend pulls away it can be a scary and panic inducing time. 

Some of the questions you might ask yourself are, 

  • Is it something I did or said? 
  • Is he losing interest in our relationship? 
  • Is he going to break up with me? What’s going on?

I will give you tips on how to manage the situation and how to talk to your boyfriend when he is ready. 

One reason a guy might pull away is because he’s trying to solve a problem. 

Most men like to solve problems on their own. Once they have solved the problem, they will come back to you when they are ready to talk. They also may be easing into a more natural rhythm in the relationship. 

At the beginning of a relationship he may be pulling out all the stops to try and win you over: texting you all the time, being attentive and lining up date after date. 

Once you both become more comfortable, he doesn’t need to pull out all the stops. It’s just hard to maintain that level of pursuit over time. 

Once you’re in an established place it isn’t necessary anymore. Try not to panic and enjoy this more comfortable place in your relationship.

Here are a few tips for when your boyfriend does pull away. 

  • Remain calm. Your boyfriend might just need some space and when he does come back, he might be feeling better and you can have a conversation.
  • Take a step back to reflect before you approach him. When you are stressed it is easy to say the wrong thing or say it the wrong way. For example, you could either journal or meditate in order to gain mental clarity. By doing this, when you have a conversation you will have a clear mind and be present in the moment and able to communicate effectively. 
  • Try not rushing to the judgement that your partner pulling away is a bad thing. Our assumptions come from our own fears, so being self-aware of your own thoughts is key. If we stay curious and open, we give our partners a chance to talk about what’s going on while reducing the chances of him responding defensively. 
  • Do something thoughtful for him. We all have our ups and downs and experience stressors that cause us to isolate. If you know your partner is going through something stressful show him some compassion. Do something thoughtful for him that he knows is a genuine gesture of love. 
  • Don’t close yourself off to the connection when he pulls away. Allowing your boyfriend to have the space is one way to show compassion. It can be hurtful when your boyfriend is trying to figure out something on his own; don’t take it personally. If your boyfriend stays aloof for an extended period of time (weeks or months) you may need to reevaluate. 

I hope these tips help!

Hollis Wall, MA, LMHCA – www.wallehollis.com

Sarah Richards

Relationships can be extremely confusing and challenging.

Especially, when the man you are interested in pulls away just as things seem to be going smoothly.

Women are often left wondering “what should I do now?” 

To avoid this type of outcome in your relationship, I recommend you evaluate the type and amount  of effort you want your partner to put into you. In addition, decide the type and amount of effort you are willing to put into the relationship.  

To understand this concept better, let me use an analogy.  

When a  physical therapist treats a patient, the physical therapist puts in a lot of time and effort in helping the patient . However, as soon as the appointment is over, the patient leaves and could disregard everything the physical therapist suggested.  

Between appointments, the physical therapist believes the patient will follow through and work on physical therapy at home and hopes their patient is doing better. 

Then at the next appointment, the physical therapist is let down due to  the lack of progress and effort by the patient.  

Unfortunately, the physical therapist will have to come to terms that their patient can only exert a small amount of effort while the physical therapist  was hoping for their patient to put in more effort. 

From the physical therapist analogy, there are two takeaways to address: assessing effort and open communication.  

First, are you working harder than the man in the situation? 

If so, how does that make you feel and is it harmful to your feelings? These feelings may mean it is time to reevaluate your amount of effort in the relationship. 

The second takeaway is to establish open communication.  

Some possible topics of conversation could be discussing how each person is feeling in the relationship and what each person’s expectations are for the relationship.  

By having open communication, you can share directly how you are feeling and assess why he is pulling away.  

It can be easy to personalize that “you are at fault” when in reality it could be a huge variety of reasons why he is pulling away. 

When approaching these discussions, it is important to be direct and to use “I feel” statements such as, “I feel sad when you (example)”  

Sometimes as women we may want to assume a man knows how we feel but it is important to share directly how you are feeling versus assuming a person may know. 

Relationships are based on both parties feeling desired. 

When that isn’t happening, a relationship needs to be reevaluated.  To address this situation, you should analyze the level of effort from each party and expectations. 

Then establish open communication to understand how and why the partner is acting in the relationship and to express your feelings.

Sarah Richards, MA, NLC, NCC – www.brightsidecounseling.net

Kimberly Lenggiere

When he pulls away should I do the same? 

It depends on what you’re looking to accomplish. 

  • If the relationship is not working, and you are done putting in the effort, then ignoring your partner and distancing yourself is going to take you both down the road to parting ways. 
  • If you’re both making an effort to make the relationships work, then no- do not respond to your partner’s distance by reciprocating the action. 

Sometimes we need to be the change we want to see in our relationships- we have to lead by example.

It is a common mistake for couples to start stonewalling one another- the act of turning their back and disengaging- when things get difficult. 

We withdraw from uncomfortable situations and shut down. We get into conflict and take a time out that has no end, or we face the same miscommunications and problems often enough that we just stop trying. Sometimes we pull away because we are overwhelmed, sometimes because we don’t know what else to do. 

Pulling away and creating distance in the relationship is an easy way to avoid conflict and often becomes a habit between partners.

To combat the disengagement, partners must turn towards each other. 

If he’s not willing to engage you can’t force him, but you can let him know that you are present, open, and ready to talk when he is. Reach out and start conversations, and when your partner makes a bid for your attention, respond to it. 

It can be tempting to respond to the distance with your own stonewalling actions, and oftentimes we do this as a defense mechanism. 

We know there is more opportunity to get hurt if we don’t pull away as well, but love is vulnerable and takes that chance.

That being said, it’s important to find balance in how much space we give our partners. 

When they pull away, we should let them. We can’t control their actions. But we can control our response, and by continuing to turn towards them, we give them the space to come back and work on whatever the problem may be.

Kimberly Lenggiere, LMFT, LAC – www.faultlinecounseling.com

Logan Brantley

“It’s not you, it’s me” and “ghosting” have become popular rationalizations or explanations of break-ups across time, but what does that really mean for us that are getting “ghosted”? 

We can be in a relationship where everything is going according to plan, then our love interest starts to back away.

When people back away from a relationship it is likely that they are feeling overwhelmed in some capacity, though reasoning varies across individuals. 

We can wonder about why another person backs away, but at the end of the day, we can’t control their feelings and behaviors. The truth is we may never get to know the other person’s reasoning and, though it can be unsettling, it is okay.

The only thing we can control is our response.

When feeling like someone is pulling away, we may be faced with the feeling of rejection. Rejection is uncomfortable and we resist it in different ways. 

We may have a desire to chase after the thing we are ‘losing’ in an effort to reclaim it, or we might feel a desire to distance ourselves by saying “I didn’t care anyway”, and moving to the next relationship.

Oftentimes the fear of rejection is a fear of not being good enough. 

When we can get in touch with what this fear is about for us, we can realize that maybe this person didn’t actually meet our needs for a relationship. Perhaps we simply connect with this person on some levels and not others. 

When we can accept this, and realize we are in fact “good enough”, our need for others acceptance shifts.

In order to participate in behaviors that are authentic to our needs and feelings, we need to validate, be curious of, and honor our feelings to move through our response. 

When we give ourselves space to feel the feelings, we can better understand why we wanted the relationship in the first place.

So what should we do? 

Instead of viewing this experience as rejection, we can reframe it as research into finding someone that we connect with, that also connects with our uniqueness!

Logan Brantley, LGSW – www.vivapartnership.com

Suzanne Carter

This is actually a very common situation. 

It reflects a dynamic in relationships called love avoidant versus love addiction. 

And though the purpose of this article is not to describe this dynamic beyond saying that some people are wired to “need a relationship to feel whole and well,” while others are wired to “avoid relationships to feel whole and well. 

The stance we take depends on our childhood experience of relationships.

The antidote to this situation is to first of all connect to your inner truth or you may call it your deepest inner knowing. 

When we are willing to connect to our deepest awareness or Inner truth, it means we are willing to connect to our own feelings, our own thoughts, perceptions, beliefs and needs. 

Then from this place of deep connection, we choose to speak from the “I” within and communicate to the person pulling away. 

When we connect to this deep and authentic place within and speak from this place, we then also are willing to listen to the other’s deep and authentic place.

It is from this place that true relationship begins. We gain many things by doing this inner connection. 

To begin with, in all relationships if a person is not willing to connect to their own inner knowing then they will forever be in a codependent stance with the other. 

The simplest definition of “Codependency”, is this: “Not having an identity except in relationship to a person, activity or substance outside of ourself.”

As mentioned earlier, by connecting to our own truth we become willing to identify how we are feeling & what our needs and then we must also be willing to be present to the others’ feelings and needs.

When we choose to connect to our truest inner knowing or also known connecting to our “Authentic self”, we then can use advanced communication tools, for example the feedback wheel, which outlines a wonderful way to express our truth in love and without attack.

Another amazing benefit of speaking this way is that even if the person pulls away even more, you will have connected to and spoken from your authentic self and will have realized that this was not the relationship for you. Period. 

If the person pulling away is willing to listen and then speak, from their authentic self, then new doors are opening for even more and better communication and connection.

Here is the feedback wheel that is used by each partner.

This tool empowers its user to take responsibility for their actions, thoughts, & emotions & ask for what they needs {one of THE most important things to learn in relationships}. It also helps one stay on track & on topic, no matter to whom they are speaking.

The Feedback Wheel includes four steps:

  1. What you saw or heard about the event in question.
  2. What your perception is about the situation.
  3. How you feel about it.
  4. What you would like to have happen in the future.

Suzanne Carter, MA, LPC – www.unitywholenesscenter.com

Melanie Bandera-Hess

Pulling away can be a nonverbal way of saying, “I am not interested in pursuing this relationship.” 

It’s an avoidant and immature response. 

This person may never have learned to communicate respectfully and directly and so letting go of the would-be relationship with this early knowledge might be your best bet. 

If this is the message, then I support clients in no longer pursuing the relationship. 

When we are interested in another person, we let them know and we have the capacity to pursue and engage consistently and wholeheartedly. 

Intimacy can feel threatening to those with anxious and avoidant attachment styles. 

When intimacy triggers early attachment wounding, pulling away can be an unconscious response or a well-known pattern of disengagement to return to a feeling of control and safety. 

For individuals whose early years were marked by relationships with caregivers who were misattuned or abusive, intimacy in adult relationships, although a universal need and desire can trigger feelings of being unworthy of such responsiveness from their partners. 

They don’t trust their partners intentions or they simply deny their need for close relationships. Sadly, these often-unconscious protective defenses can rule one’s life, robbing them of meaningful relationships.

If you suspect a dynamic like this is at play within the person who is pulling away, I would support you in talking directly with them and naming the dynamic you are seeing, using real words for the behavior and offering curiosity about what is happening for the person while also setting limits about what works for you emotionally. 

Remember, you too have an attachment style and this takes courage! 

Something like this: 

“Mark, I have noticed that after we had a wonderful date, you are not calling as often or being responsive to my texts. I’m interested in seeing you, but only if the feeling is mutual. What’s up for you?” 

The response to this inquiry will tell you a lot. 

If they are willing to engage and be vulnerable it may be worth pursuing the relationship. 

If they deny their behavior, or come up with excuses and don’t offer connection it may be time to say, “I wish you well in the dating world, I’m going to see what other fish there are around here!”

Melanie Bandera-Hess, MA, LMFT, SEP – www.melaniebanderahess.com

Copyright Notice

You may not, except with express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.

Why Men Pull Away Bottom Banner Pic

The TRUTH About Why Men Pull Away

If you want to trigger strong feelings of attraction and adoration in your man, you have to know how to get on the same frequency with him.

The key is understanding men on a deep emotional level, and how the subtle things you say to a man affect him much more than you might think.

If you’re frustrated with your man going cold, losing interest, or pulling away, then this video is a must watch.

You May Also Like

Scroll to Top

FREE Report Reveals Why Men Pull Away and How To Bring Him Back

21 Shares
Tweet
Share
Pin
Share21