Long distance relationships often take two brave people. Brave, because you’re giving a shot to a relationship with an obstacle that not many can overcome.
When love is backed up by healthy communication and openness, you’ve got a strong bond that overcomes the miles!
You’re facing another obstacle that isn’t measured by miles: He pulled away.
Now the distance is measured by his behavior, the way he approaches you, and the way he talks to you.
How is this behavior exactly manifested, and what can you do about it?
Let’s ease those troubled thoughts!
What does he do when he pulls away from a long-distance relationship?
Men often have a pattern of behavior when they pull away. But, things get a specific nuance when the pull-away is happening within a long-distance relationship.
Since most of your communication is based on virtual communication – calls, texts, video calls, etc. – this makes the situation slightly different than the standard scenario.
Here’s what he does when a man pulls away in a long-distance relationship:
1. He stops reciprocating in communication
If you texted for long hours or had long phone conversations, when he pulls away, he tends to have a distant approach.
That distant approach often causes the conversations to die out sooner than later.
Lack of reciprocation in communication often signals a lack of interest and in a lot of cases, it signals withdrawal from the other partner.
2. You feel alone in the relationship
Of course, physical distance plays its role when it comes to long-distance relationships, however, that is not the reason why you’re feeling alone right now.
When a man is pulling away, especially long distance, you can notice a sense of coldness and distance in his communication and approach to you.
That can, consciously or unconsciously, lead you to feel alone, unseen, and unheard within the relationship.
3. He texts and calls less often
The standard withdrawal often starts with less talking, less expression, and less effort.
Texts and calls represent commitment and effort, most importantly, they play a crucial role in a long-distance relationship.
He’s pulling away when his texts and calls become less frequent as they represent a fundamental tool that helps you connect with each other.
When he doesn’t engage, when he doesn’t show affection, and when he holds a distant approach towards you, he can seem uninterested.
That’s often a pull-away sign, especially if it’s been going on for a while now.
He’s inconsiderate of your ideas, he stops paying you compliments, and he seems to not care as much anymore.
5. He’s absent most of the time: He goes silent for hours or even days
Some men choose to pull away abruptly and might even practice ghosting as a form of their withdrawal.
When he’s pulling away in a long-distance relationship, he tends to either vanish abruptly or pull away slowly by going missing in action every now and then.
What to do when he pulls away in a long-distance relationship?
Since you don’t have physical contact with him due to the long distance, you might feel like you’re trapped in a place of despair and hopelessness.
You might feel like you’re losing him; you might feel like you’ll never see him again, hence you might feel the need to contact him even more.
In those moments, you’re usually governed by fear of losing him or not seeing him again. It’s not a pleasant position to be in, I know.
You’re not alone in this, and you’re not the only one going through such a thing, trust me!
Here’s what you do when your long-distance boyfriend pulls away:
– Check-in on him: ask him if everything’s ok.
A healthy way to start addressing the issues within a relationship is to have a calm approach instead of an accusing one.
Offering him a safe space in which he can feel free to express himself is a good start if you’re trying to team up and resolve the issues within the relationship.
His distant and cold behavior, in this case, is an issue, it is something that’s affecting you negatively.
You can send him a text where you express your concern regarding his behavior, or you can call him on the phone.
Here are a few examples of what to text him when he pulls away long distance:
- “I know that this form of communication leaves room for misunderstandings, but I’m sensing that you’ve become a bit cold recently. Is everything alright?”
- “Hi [name]. I feel like you’re pulling away, and I do understand if that comes from a place of need. If you feel like we could use space, please let me know, otherwise, this way of communicating is having a negative effect on me.”
- “Hello [name]. Is everything ok? If you’re in need of space that is understandable. I’d love to help you if I can, however, if this lack of communication between us continues, I’m afraid I’m going to take my space as well.”
- “I don’t mean to disturb you, but I got concerned by your behavior recently. Is everything ok? If it’d help you too, I think we could both use some space and when we’re both ready we could talk things through. Best of luck!”
– Don’t push his boundaries further: let him go if he wants to go.
Once you make your stance clear and you give him the opportunity to express himself it’s going to be his turn to respond.
It takes him a few seconds to write at least a simple “I actually think we need space if you think that’s ok.”
If he’s mature enough, he will reply with an answer.
Now it’ll be your time to take your time once you send that text.
If he chooses to go, let him go.
This is a long-distance relationship, and space between you two is plenty, the idea of giving him space can seem confusing and unnecessary even.
However, since he took his decision, you’ve got to respect his space if you wish for him to come back, or at least to give your connection another chance of reconciliation.
Invading his space instead of respecting it can have the opposite effect from what you’re trying to achieve.
Letting him have his space will likely show him your consideration, and determination, and will surely give him time to miss you!
– Don’t come up with conclusions as to why he pulled away.
The confusion you’re experiencing is understandable, you’re trying to maintain your peace of mind, and finding reasons as to why he pulled away can be comforting for a while.
A conclusion is likely to provide you with particular expectations and hopes.
In other words, you’re more likely to rely on a false idea rather than a realistic one when you rely on your imagination to answer the questions only he can answer.
This is why you’ve got to take care of yourself and prevent yourself from seeking those momentary comforting excuses for his behavior.
He pulled away, and it can feel as if you were abandoned. It’s understandable. You will automatically seek comfort.
However, you want to rely on healthy ways of comforting yourself.
While you let him have his space, you want to have yours as well. You want to set a boundary for yourself which you’ll have to respect if peace of mind is what you’re looking for.
– This isn’t a “What if he doesn’t like me” situation!
His behavior is inappropriate, it’s his behavior that’s causing you to feel negative emotions, and it’s you who should evaluate whether he’s good for you or not.
Instead of sitting around and questioning yourself and his perception of you, you should see it the other way around.
Start questioning his behavior and his place in your life instead.
Vanishing from a person’s life, or acting cold on them without addressing what’s bothering you is not a responsible thing to do.
You’re witnessing the damages that such behavior causes, you’re experiencing those damages.
This is why he’s doing you a pretty good favor by giving you time to reconsider his place in your life.
You’re the one to be asking yourself, “Is he the right one for me?”
– Focus on positive things about your life.
Such experiences can put a negative filter on your view which can take a toll on how you and perceive see yourself.
This is the part where you focus on the positive things about your life, on the things you like about yourself and others around you.
If he had a big impact on your life, it can be difficult to see the positive side of anything.
There’s an undeniable sense of abandonment here, and indeed, it can be difficult to cope with.
However, accepting the situation as it is, without projecting guilt to yourself is key to moving forward.
- Join activities you’re excited about;
- Hang out with your loved people;
- Practice self-care (e.g. a bath with candles, getting a massage, etc);
- Talk to a trusted and professional therapist about it.
– You can give your relationship a chance when and if you’re both ready to.
A long-distance relationship, just like any other relationship, takes effort from both sides to be well-maintained.
Since you’re both going to be taking a while to yourselves now, whenever you both feel ready to, you can give your relationship a chance by talking about it.
This space can have a positive effect on your connection as it provides you with a time that you can use to reflect on yourselves and the connection you share.
When he returns, you can both give the relationship a shot by having a genuine conversation about your connection:
- Talk about how you could improve communication in your relationship;
- Discuss your boundaries;
- Discuss your likes, dislikes, and preferences;
- Talk about your love languages, and your apology languages as well;
– Avoid building expectations on ‘when/if he returns’
Hoping that this isn’t over, it’s normal. However, you don’t want to feed yourself unrealistic scenarios that might not come true someday.
If he chose to go for an unspecified period, then you let him go and move on with your life.
It’s easier said than done, but not building such expectations will save you tears and heartbreak.
He might return indeed, but if he doesn’t return, you’ll be left with expectations that weren’t met by reality and it can break your heart.
This is why you let the situation unfold without forcing it to flow in a particular direction.
You take good care of yourself and focus on your well-being.
He might take his time, and we’re not sure how long it’ll last. If he returns, then great, you can talk about improving your connection.
If he doesn’t return, you won’t be shocked or heartbroken because you didn’t set high expectations about it.
You’ve got this!