Men can sometimes feel like this great mystery that’s pretty good at disrupting the peace of a bright and calm Friday evening.
Sometimes, they don’t seem to deal well with love either. They’ve got this interesting mechanism called pull-away. And yes, it drives us crazy!
Okay, pulling away because of love is somewhat understandable. Love can indeed be an overwhelming cocktail of feelings, sensations, and emotions for some.
But what about the early stages of a connection? Why would he pull away this early in the relationship?
You’re not alone, sister! We’ve been there, and some of us are going through exactly what you’re going through.
How about we tackle this mess and get back to the joy of a peaceful and calm evening?
Here are 15 reasons why men pull away during the early stages of a connection:
Usually, men who pull away during the early stages of dating tend to be the types to not have much interest in long-term relationships.
The early stages of dating are often delicate. Your connection isn’t deep enough to have consideration for one another as if you were partners, hence the ruthless behaviors that may occur along the way.
Instead of verbally communicating to you that he doesn’t want a relationship, he chooses to pull away without putting too much thought into it.
2. He doesn’t see you as a match for him
Differences in values, morals, preferences, intentions or even expectations from the relationship can be factors why someone might not see you as a match for them.
Men often pull away during the early stages when they don’t find their date or potential partner a match for them.
In other words, he doesn’t think you two are a compatible match.
Pulling away slowly instead of saying “I don’t see us a good fit” is fairly common in the dating world, especially during the early stages of dating.
3. Things started getting serious: He’s scared of commitment
The early stages of dating are often the stages in which you start establishing a sense of partnership with one another.
This can represent a difficult obstacle for those who fear commitment.
Men often pull away during the early stages of a relationship or dating when things start to head towards commitment because they’re afraid of commitment.
The fear makes them withdraw and reconsider the pace of the connection, or withdraw and not return until they feel ready to commit.
4. He’s dealing with inner issues
When he’s feeling insecure, when he’s dealing with mental health or other issues he has to work on as an individual, it can cause him to step back when it comes to relationships.
More often than not, men deal with such issues without voicing them. In most cases, it causes them to step back and pull away, especially during the early stages of a connection.
In the early stages of dating, the next move can seem overwhelming, hence the need to take time to think or start working on the issues that he’s dealing with.
5. He hasn’t moved on from a past connection
One of the most common ways that people use in an attempt to forget an ex is to start dating other people.
That, of course, often doesn’t result in much more than a simple reminder that you’re not over your ex yet, not just yet, really.
This could be his case as well. He went on dating other people with the hope that he’ll forget his ex, just to find out he’s still got work to do before he gets back to dating.
Once that realization kicks in, some people choose to take a step back and pull away so that they can be fair to themselves and the other person.
6. He wants power within the connection
When the power dynamic is imbalanced from the early beginning of a relationship, one or both of the partners might make a power move or two.
There’s often a play of power within the early stages of a connection and one of the ways to make someone ‘chase’ you is considered to be pulling away.
Unfortunately, if your guy felt intimidated, he might use pulling away as a power move to get into your head and ‘chase’ him.
7. He doesn’t feel emotionally capable to proceed
Emotionally unavailable people often tend to pull away during the early stages of a relationship, if not the middle stages of it.
If he’s emotionally unavailable or doesn’t feel emotionally capable of proceeding with the connection with you, he might pull away due to the overwhelming picture of emotions that a relationship can represent to him.
The ‘need for air’ often kicks in when he gets overwhelmed or comes to the realization that he’s not emotionally capable of continuing the connection, often occurring during the early stages of the relationship.
Out of the many reasons listed, this one is the hardest pill to swallow… A lot of men pull away during the early stages of a connection because they don’t like the person.
This doesn’t play a role in your value, it doesn’t add anything to it, nor does it subtract anything from it. It has more to do with his own preferences, tastes, likes, and dislikes.
The positive side of this is that he’s pulling away at the early stages.
The responsibility for his irresponsible action stands on the intention to be fair and not misguide you before you get emotionally attached to him.
9. Insecure or avoidant attachment style
Due to the learned ways of what love is and how it should be practiced, a man with an insecure or avoidant attachment style tends to have pull-away phases from time to time.
Those phases can happen often and you might notice a pattern in his behavior.
For a person with an insecure or avoidant attachment style, things can get overwhelming and sometimes even confusing when love is on the table.
This is why he might feel the need to take a break, to pull away despite the freshness of the connection.
Men with mal intentions, men who aren’t honest, men who exploit people, and men who are narcissistic tend to play games when it comes to love.
Despite their highly insecure core, their surface can come off as very intact and confident. They know what they’re doing, they know what they want, and they surely know how to get it.
Pulling away at the early stages of the relationship will get him your attention, and might just make you desperate enough to try and ‘do better’ next time.
Keep in mind that this is a very manipulative tactic that is used fairly commonly in the dating world.
11. He realized he was not getting what he wants from this connection
When two partners or partners-to-be have different morals, values, or preferences, then your needs and wants are likely to not be met.
If he happens to come to a realization that he’s not getting what he wants and what he needs from this connection then he’s likely to pull away from the connection.
Usually, these things get to the surface during the early stages of a connection, hence his early withdrawal from it.
We all do this when we’re excited and bedazzled by this amazing person we’ve just met. We can’t help but feel so lucky and grateful to have found them!
On the other hand, coming on too strongly with excitement and gratitude can make the other person feel overwhelmed.
His pull-away phase might manifest in different ways, one of the most common is a simple cold, and withdrawn approach to you.
With a few adjustments, this pull-away phase might not last long!
13. He’s exploring his options
The early stages of a connection often are taken very lightly and playfully in the dating world.
Some people like to date one person at a time, while others like to practice other dating trends, one of the most common being Roaching.
If he’s dating other people and exploring his other options as well, he might not have time for every single person he’s dating.
This is why his behavior might be perceived as withdrawal during the early stages of dating.
14. He stopped feeling it
Sometimes the sudden pull away can leave you feeling confused, without a clue why he pulled away, and thoughts such as “He looked enthusiastic before this!”
We’ve been there, we’ve felt a connection, we liked the person, but eventually, that feeling just faded for no apparent reason. We stopped feeling it.
This is yet another common reason why men pull away early in the relationship, they don’t feel that spark anymore, and it causes them to withdraw.
15. He’s Cookie-Jarring you
Cookie-Jarring is yet another unhealthy dating practice that happens to be very common as well.
This is a game in which he keeps your hopes high, tells you what you want to hear, and makes you believe that this will eventually end up in a relationship, but has no such intentions.
If he’s cookie-jarring you, he keeps you as a backup in case he ends up alone.
This is why you might feel that rush of enthusiasm harshly contrasted with his cold and distant behavior.
He pulled away early in the relationship: How do you handle it?
You’re in a vulnerable position, you might be feeling stressed, confused, angry, or -in the worst scenario- worthless.
Well, you’re not alone. In fact, what you’re going through is understood and felt by so many other people out there.
Here’s what to do when he pulls away early in dating:
– Initiate a conversation where you address his behavior calmly.
As much as it is difficult, this is a conversation you need to have with him for you to have clarity.
If you’re looking for a reason why he pulled away this early, then the only person who’s capable of giving you a straight-up answer is him.
Instead of begging for him to come back, you have to have a slightly different approach to this.
I won’t leave you alone in this, here are some examples of how you can approach him:
- “[name], I’ve noticed your behavior recently, just wanted to check if everything’s ok.”
- “[name], you’ve been acting a little bit distant lately, is everything alright?”
- “[name], I noticed you pulled away. I’m willing to give you space and I’d love to help you if I can. However, I can’t promise I’ll be here if you keep not responding.”
- “[name], it’s been wonderful knowing you, however, I felt like your behavior has been slightly off recently. If there’s something I can do about it, I’d love to help. On the other hand, I’m okay with space if you need it as well.”
– Evaluate the situation after you’ve had the conversation with him.
His response to your concern can give you a ton of clues about your next move, what’s going on, and his intentions about the connection.
This is the part where you take your time to think about this.
You take your time to evaluate the situation and see if:
- His intentions are genuine or not;
- Proceeding with the connection would be beneficial to your well-being or not;
– Decide what’s best for you.
After you’ve evaluated and considered everything on the table, it’ll be time for you to make a decision.
It’s okay if you need your time, and if you feel like there’s no decision to be made.
However, once you evaluate the situation you consciously or subconsciously decide whether a connection with him is a good idea or not.
This is not about you taking the power, or you ‘showing him what he lost’, not.
This part is about sitting down with yourself and being truthful to yourself:
- Would you like him to be your person?
- Would you be able to keep up with this behavior if it keeps happening in the future?
– Take the wise and personalized advice of a therapist.
Such situations can cause confusion, sadness, anger, and other powerful feelings and emotions.
It’s pretty common for people in such a position to feel stagnant and to let this affect their self-esteem.
We often hear “I’m not surprised he left. Look at me!” or “Of course, he’ll pull away, they all do!”
This tends to give you a pessimistic approach to your connections in the future as well. And if you’ve done it before, you know that it is not a good start!
This is why a therapist’s help -a professional- will help you understand and see the view blurred by the powerful emotions you’re experiencing.
– Participate in activities you enjoy.
Your life doesn’t have to stop just because this man decided to pull away from you. No.
He might or might not come back, that is the part where there’s not much you can do, you simply cannot impose or force a decision on him.
What you can do though is control the way you handle this.
Whether you’re experiencing this the hard way, or you’re slightly concerned, you’ll get better while:
- Doing things, activities, and practices you love doing;
- Hang out with people you enjoy hanging out with;
- Try physical exercise, yoga, or meditation.
– Keep exploring: Don’t stop yourself from dating other people.
Since we’re talking about the early stages, and emotional attachment is less likely, you can date other people as well.
If you didn’t have an exclusive talk, then you’ve got the right to go on and date other people instead of waiting for him.
His reasons might be reasonable, but what he’s doing isn’t. This doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to payback, no.
Dating other people is not payback to him. Dating other people is moving on with your life instead of getting stuck to where he left you.
He didn’t choose a proper way to communicate, it’s common but not healthy.
Be the one to choose the healthy option. Let him know of your concerns and your willingness to help.
Keep in mind, “If there’s something I can help you with, I’d love to help. However, if I don’t get any response from you, I’m afraid I’ll have to move on.”
You’ve got this!