Why Men Pull Away – Or Do They, Really?

why men pull away

Why men pull away has been the biggest source of anxiety for women. Often women in their anxiety assume that a guy is pulling away when what he’s doing is just living his life.  This is a normal rubber band effect that most guys go through.  He has his priorities in order, and relationship isn’t on the list at the moment.  Accept it and work with “what is” instead of resisting it and trying so hard to change it that you make a guy who treats you as an option your priority.

Here’s post from Carrie who wants to know why men pull away, or why her man is pulling away.


My man is pulling back – it will be 2 weeks this Monday. I’ve been very good and haven’t called/texted/anything since our last conversation. Is it ever ok to send a text to just say, “Thinking about you”? I was thinking of sending it this coming Monday. A couple of friends have said its ok but definitely don’t expect a response. What do you say?

We met 8 April on a flight….first date 2 May….we live 2 hours apart and he is in the financial negotiations phase of his divorce. He has two sons who are staying with him for the summer (one in college the other starting senior year in HS). He is an executive and this summer he has many personal projects to focus on (he purchased several rental properties that he is fixing up and many other investments). The man stays busy – cycling, racing cars, etc.

We saw each other each week during the month of May, saw each other once during June and then again on 13 July. When he pulled away the first time after seeing each other on June 22. I waited until 3 July and then reached out texting, “is everything ok with you? just seems strange to not have heard from you at all. Hope you are alright, as your friend, I’m concerned.”

He replied with a list of activities keeping him busy. I didn’t reply. He then texted the next day wishing me a happy 4th. I replied the same. I reached out on 10 July and asked how he was doing….he replied back and then called. We talked for an hour and towards the end of the call he asked if I was available 13 July.

We then agreed to meet up half way for brunch/lunch and go from there. We never lack for things to talk about and we are intimate (about the exclusivity – we have both asked each other in May and July whether we are seeing anyone else as well as asked if we are sleeping with anyone else….all answers have been no. He has stated that he is only interested in getting to know me better.  As for me, I’m talking with other guys but that is all I’m doing, talking).

Anyway, our day ended with him sharing his love of sprint car dirt track racing. I’m also into race cars and driving so this was definitely a mutually beneficial experience. After a couple of hours he then drove me back to my car, (I had plans on Sunday and needed to head back home) he kissed me several times and then said “have a good week” (I found that odd but, ok).  He texted me later to make sure I got home, and then I called him Monday morning before work. We talked for another hour. He also ended that call with “Have a nice week.”  That’s been it.

I realize I shouldn’t necessarily be involved with a separated man. This is not what I anticipated. Some of the history….we met on a flight on 8 April – he doesn’t wear a ring. We talked the entire 3 hour flight. At the end of the flight, I gave him my business card and told him if he was ever in my area to let me know, It would be nice to meet up for drinks or dinner.

We deplaned and he turned around and gave me his business card.  A week later, I emailed him and thanked him for the conversation and made a joke about something that happened at the beginning of the flight. He replied to the message and then called me a week later to ask me out. We then texted/talked on the phone randomly until 2 May.

After a 2 hour dinner and 2.5 hours of driving around site seeing and talking, I went against my usual practice and we went back to my place (it was about midnight at this point).  We then proceeded to talk another hour (he had already kissed me by this point – 2 hours prior to this) and I finally asked him what his story was….he then told me how he was in the middle of the financial negotiation phase (gave me more detail on what happened in the marriage) and I know this next part is key, stated he is looking for a friend and if something more comes of it, great, but if not, then at least we are friends.

We talked more, another hour and then proceeded to make out. It turned intimate and we then learned over the next 2 months just how compatible we were in the intimacy department. Just so you know, he is 51 and I am 42. Not that it matters to me but not sure if you would need to know that or not.

My gut tells me that his pulling back is more around how busy he is and making sure he is available for his sons while they are home for the summer. The other part of me thinks that he realizes he is not in a place to be completely available to me because he is not divorced.  He told me back at the end of May and early June that the summer would be very busy and that there was no rush with us.

He even said, he was pacing the relationship. He has told me “I cherish your lack of drama” and he even reiterated on 13 July that he really liked how drama free I was. I also believe that he can’t afford to mess things up with his divorce and if anyone were to find out about another woman that would completely change the outcome of his divorce.

This is a very financially astute man and very successful – he is not happy about what he is giving to the future ex-wife because he feels completely taken advantage of – 20 year marriage. I should mention that I am in no way in need of his financial support. I am successful in my own right. He has iterated a few times how he likes a professionally secure woman.

One last thing, he has said on multiple occasions (June, July) “9 more weeks and summer is over and the boys will be gone”…..”6 more weeks and summer will be over and my schedule frees up”….he has reminded me of this which is why I think he has pulled away each time. In a way, forcing me to be patient while he deals with life.

In a way, I feel like I already know the answer to my initial question but feel better getting your opinion.

There is so much more I could go on about but it would require a lot of typing.  Let me know if you want more detail or not.  I’m willing to write this out if need be.”

My answer to Carrie on why men pull away!

Carrie, as I always say: enjoy him.  Relate without attachment.  It is what it is.  He’s defining the pace and at this time casual dating is what he can give you for reasons he -and you- mentioned.  He’s not in a good place to start a new relationship…with ANYONE!

And I don’t actually see him pulling away.  He seems to be always on his normal pace which is perhaps seeing you once a month and sporadic communication in between, even though it was more in the beginning.  It looks more like that he’s busy with his own life and he has his priorities in order…and relationship isn’t on the list at the moment. Often it’s not about why men pull away, but more about the fact that they weren’t exactly all in to start with.

Right now he can only afford seeing and giving you the attention this much.  Accept it…and keep dating other guys.  Just because you like him and he likes you too, it doesn’t mean that you should take it personally that he doesn’t want anything hot and heavy at this point.

Besides, I advise not to get seriously involved with a guy who is not even divorced yet.  He needs a lot of time to heal, especially after 20 year of marriage.  He needs his transitional relationships before he can be ready to jump in with both feet again.  You can both use each other for healing though.

I had this kind of arrangement myself before I met my boyfriend.  We would hang out exactly like you two, every month or so and with minimal communication in between.  Incidentally he was separated too when we first met and the divorce was finalized like a year later.  His relationship was painful to him.  He was nowhere ready to get emotionally involved with anyone.

I took whatever available as long as it made me happy.  As far as I was concerned he was perfect to be in my rotation together with a few other guys.  I practiced all I preach to you all the time with him and the others.

Let him lead.  This is a perfect venue to practice leaning back and seductive feminine traits when he asks you out again and if you keep it drama free he will.

And he’s obviously not ready to give you the exclusivity and he can’t so please don’t be exclusive with him.   A guy who means it about being exclusive will show it with his actions.  He doesn’t.  It doesn’t matter what he says.

Having said that, there are indeed other reasons why men pull away and how to deal with it.  I address it at length here: Why men pull Away And How To Keep Him Interested

You’ll meet a few other guys you’ll equally like too if you stop over-investing with obsessive thoughts and wishful thinking.  He and those other guys will help you raise your vibration from lack and insecure to joy and abundance.

And then…someone who deserves you will snatch you and give you the commitment and relationship you have always wanted the way my boyfriend did me.  All are on the virtue of having no anxiety.

Now should you text him?  Sure why not?  Since you’re not an obsessive compulsive texter and you don’t expect anything, just shoot one text say what you want to say though personally I would let him initiate and just get busy with life.

why men pull away

Now, to understand how to be in your feminine you can sign up for this group coaching on feminine energy and leaning back and how it actually works and why.  You won’t want to miss this hot workshop that have the first four cycle’s participants raving about because this one principle is the secret to a man’s heart.   Subscribe to this blog or my mailing list or add me on Facebook to be in the loop for the next cycles if you can’t attend this one.

And you certainly won’t want to miss my new program Four Components Of Melting His Heart during which a participant got her formerly emotionally unavailable boyfriend to propose after only six months of dating (yup he’s so melted he pulled a George Clooney on her)!

Have you read my book yet?  If not grab it here because you will learn so much about a lot of things that haven’t worked for you in your love life and how to fix them.  And many women have pulled their guys back from the brink through practicing the tools and principles I outline there.  And you will be included in the two lively private groups I own and see how women transform themselves there to become a high-value woman.

MORE: If You Learn This Truth About Men, You Will Never Have Him Pull Away Ever Again

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  • Just looking for confirmation that I’m doing the right thing. I’ve been seeing this guy for about a month. Met online, and since the first message he’s been very masculine, leading the process quite smoothly and consistently actually. We see each other twice a week and inevitably our Friday date turns into an all day Saturday date. This is my first real life genuine practice at fully leaning back. I’ve felt great and he really has stepped up and acts incredibly adoring. I do not have a rotation currently, not by choice but because Match has been a bit low quality lately

    I’ve had no attachments or expectations – truly. I meditate alot. It helps that I’m not an obsessive texter and throughout our knowing each other weve had a day or two throughout the week that we don’t talk at all and I’m cool.

    It’s Thursday and we haven’t talked since Sunday night texting, after a very connected Friday date and all day Saturday date. In fact he wanted to come back over after dropping me off Saturday! Anyway, this is the first week that he hasn’t made sure to secure plans with me by Wednesday. I haven’t reached out.

    I feel quite peaceful (even with some degree of ‘mind static’) and have had some good social plans all week, keeping busy. So: Keep leaning back? Is he pacing our courtship since we’ve been so consistent for a month now?

    Is there never a situation where a guy is waiting to see if you actually initiate? I am happy to keep leaning back, just wanted that support since its tough being around all girlfriends who do not know this wisdom and keep pressing you to initiate contact.

  • Shanelle Bethke

    I bought your book in hopes of getting the relationship I crave with the man I want… Was NOT what I had pictured but made a lot of sense about basically finding myself and my independence! A little background… My guy and I have been friends but more so acquaintances for over 6+ years, both got out of long term marriages last year at different times, thought maybe we could give us a try when we’re ready to actually commit to date. i feel like I get the green light from texts and conversations that he’s ready but when I approach the dating he does a complete 180 on me. I’ve already crossed the how I feel barrier so there is no going back on my confessions there!! Ive gotten “I’m amazing and he knows what I have to offer, things would be better and eaiser for him with me around, I’m everything he wants BUT he’s not ready to date or he’s scared to fail again.” Green light as in… Pictures of houses and conversation about living together, we’ve done a family vacation that included our kids, possibly more children in the future… No actual dates without our kids at all though!! I did the lean back for two days straight and he then iniates conversation on both those days where before I initiated it 99% of the time… But I know 2 days isn’t enough!! What the heck am I doing wrong?!!!

  • How long can this “pull back phase” last for? Does it depend on how long you’ve been dating?

  • Hello Kat, I have been dating a guy- a military man for the last 18mths. The first time i met him, i felt that he was ”the one”. I met him through an aunt whom he told he was looking for a wife. The relationship turned sour, he became emotionally unavailable. After telling me that someone called him from my office to threaten him over our relationship. He told my brother that he almost got married to me. The question is ”what happened”. I cant really figure it out. I tried emailing him to know where he has been and where i might have gone wrong. He said all things are ok and promises to get back but he hardly. the challenge is i dont want to be on his waiting ”list”. Everytime, i feel like talking to him, he promises to call back. This has been the game. He promised to see my family the last time and he didnt. No opologies.

    Last night i wanted to tell him that i am out…even though i love him with all her my heart. Never loved anyone as much…pls advice

    • Hi Bat, I need more than that to know what happened to him. You might have leaned forward so much and guys unconsciously get turned off when that happens. Please read my book to understand more.

  • Hello Katarina,

    We are now friends on Facebook! Thank you for the “Add”.

    I really hope that you can help me. I was just recently broken up with by my boyfriend of 6 months. We started off wonderfully. He told me that I was “The One” and he would never leave me. (All of the things that you really want to hear and believe when you are with someone) Well, something changed and even though got along very well, with a few hiccups, of course, he said those three dreaded words- “I need space.”. He became very distant and then on Sunday he told me we are breaking up so he can “Take time to process his emotions to see if he is capable of being in a long term relationship.” He said that he does not want to date anyone else, but he doesn’t want me to be committed to him while he is working on himself. I am at a loss as to what to do.

    He is an introvert and has told me that in the past he has often needed to take time away to work on himself. He said that this process could take weeks or even months.

    He said that he cannot promise that he will come back to me, but, he just doesn’t know where he is at right now emotionally. Then again, he said that he is also not ruling it out. He said that I should give him some time, and that things will work out for the best. He has texted me a few times to check in, but he said that he just needs time to himself.

    I am trying not to cling to him, but I know that I am guilty of some clingy behavior in the past. I am aware of that, and am willing to work on that part of my self. He was also very clingy to me until recently. He always wanted to see me, and even gave me keys to his apartment (Which he doesn’t want back right now).

    I do not want to lose him forever. I have actually never felt this way about a man before. I am a successful and attractive woman. I just would hate to lose the potential love of my life.

    Any advice? Is this hopeless?

    I appreciate your help/guidance!


  • Reading Carrie’s story is like reading my own – seeing each other once every couple of weeks, constantly hearing how busy he is for the months ahead, no commitment because he’s just not in the place for a relationship now, etc etc..
    I just had a talk (drama-free) with him about how I felt whatever we had going on just wasn’t going anywhere and me feeling lost and hurt. There was a lot I wanted to say but I held back because I wanted to retain my dignity and not end up on a tirade of “complaints”. The night ended with me saying I needed to think and him agreeing to accept whatever decision I make.
    I’m at a loss on what I should do now. I know i will still feel hurt whatever decision I make eventually. I’m not sure if I can deal with it. I’m already fighting the urge to contact him.

    It’s probably too soon, but I’m wondering if there’s an update to Carrie’s story?

    • Hi PL, the question is why did you have to complain or bring up the talk at all? Why don’t you just date other guys? He’s not your bf and no amount of talk will make him one. A high-value woman doesn’t do that. Read my whole blog to learn about how to be a high-value woman.

  • I read a blog entry of yours. It’s very intriguing. I have skimmed countless self-help dating books like The Rules and Catch Him and Keep Him. They are all versions of the same information. Yours seems different. I like the way you write. It’s very honest.

    If I were to purchase your e-book how would the charge appear on my credit card statement?

    Many thanks,

    • Hi Michelle, thank you for reading and acknowledging that I’m somewhat different to other dating coaches. My approach focuses on the self and finetuning the self so we become the kind of person who is a magnet to healthy relationship. When we conquer ourselves we conquer the world.

      The CC statement will be from Katarina Phang.

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