The 3 Times Your Man Will Pull Away - And How To Handle It Fast

As a relationship coach, this is one of the most common questions I receive: Why hasn't he called?

It can be confusing to women to find who they thought was their ideal match, then end up on the receiving end of no contact. When someone you thought you really hit it off with doesn't respond as you'd anticipated, it can hurt.

It's a disappointment when he asks for your number, and you don't hear from him after the first date. Or, after you've got a few nervous meetings together already under your belt and all of a sudden he pulls away into radio silence.

You keep checking your phone or the dating site where you first met in the hopes that his message to you was accidentally misplaced in an app glitch.

You may have done everything absolutely "right" but in your mind, you're replaying conversations and scenarios on a loop as you wonder what the heck happened because things had been going so well.

When he doesn't reach out after the 1st date

I've spoken with many men about why they don't follow up after the first meeting. The explanation might surprise you.

You, as the woman, may have done absolutely nothing wrong. You were witty, sweet, demure and receptive to his courtesy. You may have looked absolutely gorgeous in your Saturday night best. But still, he failed to follow through on the call, let alone the next date he promised. It may have even been him doing all the talk about having another date in the first place!

There are, in most cases, things a man carries with him in the back of his mind from previous relationships. Maybe even from a relationship that he had a long time ago. Believe it or not, simple comment made during a casual date can actually turn a certain man off all together, without you even realizing it. And in some cases, without him realizing it either.

For example, if he dated a woman who was too concerned about money, a random mention such as, "I wish my boss paid me more" might actually stick in his craw. While the comment was innocent enough, here's what happens: The man goes home after the date, and he remembers your comment as he thinks about how nice the date went. That comment brings up buried, even subconscious memories of the previous relationship with the other woman (who was a gold digger) even if it wasn't a very long or intense relationship in the broad spectrum of his life. Subconsciously, he starts to think about the comment and attaches those negative emotions he's experiencing about his ex, directly to the idea of you.

Oftentimes, he doesn't even realize this is happening, but he can't help but feel negatively toward you. What's terrible for the woman, is that she has no way of knowing that fear he still carries even exists. So, she's confused when he doesn't call. Even if any guy on the planet would have loved the way you were with this guy during the date, you can't help it if the man's mind as decided to relate you to old feelings regarding his ex.

Don't spend time worrying about why he doesn't call, because he's already formed his opinion and attachment of negative emotions. Instead, keep moving forward with your own life and don't become discouraged with dating.

But what happens when you're in a real relationship?

There are other reasons that he may pull away from you even after you're in an established relationship. The cause may be a combination of things. Unless you've invested your heart into the relationship and the relationship is in a committed phase, it's oftentimes not worth spending hours on end worrying. After all, men pull away for various reasons - and not all of them mean it's over.

Often, men have a pattern of pulling back for reflection 3 times during your relationship

The first time he pulls back is typically only a few months into seeing one another when the relationship is still new. He'll pull back a bit so that he can reflect and decide whether or not you're someone he'd like to move forward with. Oftentimes the decision on his end can be rather quick, so this pull-back isn't noticed or felt as intensely as the second.

The second time he pulls away is when he decides whether or not he wants to be more serious with you. This is when he's beginning to consider exclusivity and a commitment with you. This can occur at different points in time for different couples, but is often around the six month mark. When he pulls back at this point in the relationship, it may feel more noticeable but eventually you reconnect. 

The third time he pulls away - and hopefully this is the last time - is typically just before permanent commitment. By permanent commitment, I'm referring to engagement or moving in together. Or both, depending on your circumstances.

Because you're in a long term relationship, this sudden split can feel like a devastating separation, especially if he has just announced out-of-the-blue that he wants to break up. Perhaps you've heard the 'ole "I need some space" talk. Well, this sometimes happens when he is thinking of moving forward with you, but just needs a bit of space to reflect on his decision.

After all, it's big decision!

While this isn't always the framework for every relationship, men do sometimes need some time to consider your future together. While women view marriage and commitment as what they mean, men typically view these life changes as what they do or change. 

Remember, just as you need time to have personal space and reflect, so does your partner. Give them space if they have requested it. In turn, you can begin reflecting on what you desire for your relationship. 


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