The rose petals and pink skies seem to have been blown by a strong wind called “pull away”.
His affection, attention, and care suddenly stopped. You’re so sure he is falling in love, you’re so sure he’s into you, and that he likes you, yet, you can tell he’s pulling away.
Where did all that affection go? Why do men pull away when they are falling in love?
These questions spin around your head, causing you confusion, and a bunch of emotions to kick in.
There are so many things that could be going on, and so many happy memories you could be creating, but he’s keeping his safe distance.
So, what exactly is going on here?
Here are 15 common reasons men pull away when they are falling in love:
1. The trouble of processing his feelings
Due to societal standards on what’s ‘manly’ and what’s not, men, since childhood, are taught unhealthy ways of processing feelings and emotions.
Unfortunately, this speaks for the majority of men out there. It’s a chain reaction that’s a result of ‘lessons’ being passed from generation to generation.
While ‘it’s ok for women to cry and be sensitive’ is perceived as ‘it’s ok for women to show emotion’ men are taught to do the opposite: bottle everything up.
- He’s likely to pull away when facing confusion and being overwhelmed by what he’s feeling so that he has time to process what’s going on;
- He might not be able to understand and process his emotions due to the ‘lessons on emotions’ he got throughout his life;
2. Fear of emotional intimacy: vulnerability
This is yet another product as a result of societal norms on what’s manly and what isn’t.
Fear of emotional intimacy and vulnerability can also be a result of past experiences that resulted in hurt.
Falling in love is often seen as a form of surrendering, this means letting your guard down which results in him being in a vulnerable position.
This tends to be one of the most common reasons why men pull away when they catch feelings.
- Falling in love often puts one in a vulnerable position. If fears vulnerability, as a defense mechanism he’s likely to pull away when he’s falling in love.
3. Skepticism and fear of commitment
Falling in love and catching feelings are often associated with commitment and long-term relationships.
If he’s had negative experiences in past relationships that resulted in hurt and pain, he’s very likely to feel skeptical of or even fear commitment when it comes to romance.
His relationship with his caregivers or parents as a child plays an important role in his perception of romantic relationships as well.
- He doesn’t feel secure when it comes to commitment, be that due to his past romantic relationships, or his way of learning ‘love’ when he was a child.
4. Fear of abandonment
Falling in love can be frightening for men who fear abandonment and rejection.
This fear can be due to low self-esteem, past experiences related to a loved one leaving him, etc.
Falling in love puts him in a vulnerable position emotionally, especially if his happiness depends on you and your presence.
- Fear of abandonment makes men that are falling in love feel the need to pull away due to the vulnerability that ‘love’ puts them in correlation to their fear.
5. He’s unsure: “What if she’s not the one?”
Being unsure of their ‘choice’ is yet another reason why guys pull away when they like you.
When he likes you and starts catching feelings he’ll start evaluating the situation and what future it could bring.
A lot of men aren’t much into settling. They like exploring options as much as they can.
- The mindset of continuously exploring his options makes him pull away when he’s falling in love because “What if I fall in love with Jessica, and then meet someone else that is the one?”
6. The relationship could be potentially challenging
Guys do pull away when they catch feelings and in a lot of cases, they do so because they see the relationship being a challenge.
The challenge that the relationship presents to him or both of you could be because of factors such as the long distance between you two, the age gap, financial issues, etc.
He or both of you can sense that entering the relationship will present a challenge: he or both of you will have to sacrifice something from yourselves.
- Men pull away when things start to get serious, usually when the relationship can be potentially difficult to maintain and when it requires sacrifice(s).
7. Inner insecurities: “What if I’m not enough for her?”
Usually, guys pull away when things are going well when the “What if I’m not good enough for her?” kicks in.
Often, men with low-self esteem tend to also have trust issues. When he doesn’t feel that he’s good enough for you, he struggles to believe and see what you see in him.
This can be difficult for him to process, hence the need for pulling away and distance to figure things out.
- He thinks you’re out of his league, he doesn’t see himself as good enough for you, or he thinks you’re playing games because he sees himself as unworthy. This can seem absurd to him, making him feel the need to pull away.
8. Relationship insecurity: He doesn’t feel safe yet
Men who don’t feel emotionally safe in general have a tendency of pulling away after getting close to a partner.
He pulls away after getting close to you, or when he’s falling in love because he’s likely to struggle to find safety within a relationship.
Pulling away can be a way of him rethinking the relationship, or a defense mechanism until he feels safe to open up.
- He can feel overwhelmed by the closeness he’s experiencing with you, making him subconsciously feel threatened by the vulnerability he’s experiencing, hence the need to pull away.
10. He subconsciously sees love as dangerous or threatening to his emotional state
Falling in love, catching feelings, and liking another person are often seen as related tightly to commitment.
A lot of the guys who pull away before they commit, often experience this fear on a subconscious level because they subconsciously see love as a dangerous feeling to their emotional state.
It can be due to the way he saw his caregivers interacting and showing ‘love’ to one another, it can be due to past unpleasant situations with love, and it can be due to unresolved trauma.
- This has to do with the subconscious ways of him seeing and perceiving love, making him feel threatened when he experiences love, causing him to retreat and pull away.
11. He’s emotionally unavailable
When an emotionally unavailable man is falling in love with you, he’s very likely to pull away as an automatic response to what he’s feeling.
Since he’s experiencing difficulties understanding what he’s feeling, he’ll retreat from the situation because this can be a very confusing experience for him.
Due to this struggle, he’ll pull away, act hot and cold, or not display much affection when things start going well.
- If you could sense that he got scared and pulled away when things got serious and ‘feely’ within your connection, it’s often likely due to emotional unavailability.
12. Fear of change: “This is a big step for me to take!”
He’s falling in love, things got serious, and he pulled away out of nowhere.
While you’re left thinking without a clue why, he’s likely to have a ‘big issue’ within his head: “This might change my life forever!”
When it comes to commitment and long-term relationships, these often present a big change within one’s life.
- Considering that love and commitment represent a big change within his life it can scare him and cause him to pull away for a while and come back later once he’s made his mind up.
13. Insecure and/or avoidant attachment style
An avoidant attachment style can cause him to be hot and cold throughout the connection. This is why you might perceive him pulling away even though you know he’s got feelings or is even falling in love with you.
An insecure attachment style is often caused by an unstable connection with caregivers during the early stages of childhood.
- His attachment style plays a crucial role when it comes to his ways of dealing with and perceiving love as a feeling and as a practice of commitment.
14. It caught him unprepared
When the playfulness of the connection slowly turns into something more serious without you being aware of it, there comes a point of realization…
Men that pull away when they like you, often do so because what they’re feeling and experiencing caught them unprepared.
He had no idea what was coming for him, and once he reached that point of realization, his response to it was automatic: pulling away out of shock.
- The shock of this realization can come to him after intimacy, after a brief moment together, or after simple eye contact. Essentially, any moment!
15. He’s immature
Immature men tend to choose immature ways of dealing with love.
When an immature man is falling in love he pulls away as a way of gaining time to think about what’s going on, play games thinking that he’ll make you fall for him as well, and other ‘childish’ ways of ‘solving’ this issue.
- Immature men tend to not deal well or, well, maturely with emotions and feelings in general.
They’re likely to choose games, not understand what they’re going through, or simply see it as a fun experience to go through.
What to do when he pulls away when he’s falling in love?
When he pulls away, you’re left with thoughts and choices, you’re also left with questions within your head, questions like what to do?
Well, if you’re certain he’s falling in love with you, catching feelings, or getting close, then you’ve got some things on the list!
Here’s what to do when he pulls away when he’s falling in love:
– Let him have his space.
He took this space for a reason, and whether his decision is moving on or getting back together it’s going to be on him, a decision not imposed.
A high-value woman knows and understands that space can often be beneficial and even healthy.
In this case, invading his space while he makes it clear he needs space can push him away further and have the opposite effect from what you’re wanting.
Let him have his space, let him deal with his thoughts, and avoid imposing a decision on him.
– Draw your boundaries.
Accepting a person for exactly who they are is beautiful. But, accepting a person for exactly who they are even if it means they’ll hurt you can be toxic for your mental health and well-being.
This is where you have to draw your boundaries.
Whether he’s falling in love and pulling away due to insecurities, emotional unavailability, or attachment style, you’ll have to evaluate the situation to see whether sticking around is a healthy choice for you and your well-being.
On the other hand, stay true to yourself, and stay true to your boundaries.
– Talk to him when he’s ready.
If this issue hasn’t been already addressed, then you should definitely address it when you’re both ready to talk about it.
Of course, this is a delicate situation, and clearly, you’re unaware of the reasons why he pulled away.
Be it through text or a live conversation can do the work to solve this!
Here are a few examples:
- “Hi [name]. I just wanted to check if everything’s ok. I’ve noticed your behavior recently, and I’m ready to understand what’s going on. Let me know when you’re ready to talk about it, I’m here to listen.”
- “Hi [name]. I’ve noticed your distance recently, and I found it to be a bit unhealthy for me and my well-being. If you’re ready to talk about it, I’m ready to listen and help if I can. On the other hand, I can’t promise I can wait for you for long.”
- “[name], you’ve been gone for quite a while now, and I’m willing to respect your space. However, not knowing what’s going on feels confusing and uneasy. I don’t think I can wait much longer, but if you’re ready to talk about it, I’m ready too.”
- “I’d love to help you with whatever you’re going through right now. Your silence feels uneasy, especially since I’m clueless about your reasons. Know that I’m ready to listen and help if I can.”
– Make yourself a safe space for him.
Since you’re sure he’s falling in love and caught feelings, then there’s likely the fear factor making him pull away.
This is why you could help by making yourself a safe space for him through:
- Respecting his needs by not being pushy;
- Understanding how he feels;
- Listening to him when he needs to be listened to;
- Show him love and care without scaring him away or making him feel overwhelmed;
– Don’t go out of your way to please him.
Going out of your way to please him can be an urge that’s very difficult to resist in these situations.
You might feel desperate for his attention, or even desperate to hear a word from him.
He’s playing it safe, you’re trying to help. That can easily escalate, making you go out of your way to please him while hoping he’ll get back like he used to before pulling away.
In these cases, a trusted therapist can help tremendously.
You want to be true to yourself, keep your boundaries intact, and simply resemble a safe space for him. That’s usually what it takes to help him feel secure.
On the other hand, avoid trying to please him, shower him with compliments you don’t mean, or even get him gifts you can’t afford.
The decision is on him. You stay true to yourself and do what you can, but don’t forget yourself in the process.