Author: Sarah Meyer & Renée Shen
Have you ever gotten close to a man, so close you couldn’t ever imagine doubting him - only to experience him suddenly pulling away?
You’ve spent a really nice weekend together, you’re really feeling connected to him, and then it’s like something snaps - he becomes cold and serious, distracted and busy, or just plain unresponsive?
Having had moments like this in my relationship, often without my man realizing the shift in his energy and focus, I know how scary and stressful this can be.
And yet, it is a near-universal experience in relationships with masculine men.
Most of the time, a man pulling away from you doesn’t have to mean that he’s going to leave you.
The last time my boyfriend pulled away from me, I was so confused.
What happened to the guy who was holding both my hands and looking into my eyes, telling me his love for me was as powerful as the waterfall we were standing next to?
He seemed almost like a different person. He was intense and quiet, yet he wasn’t mad at me, we hadn’t had a fight, and nothing bad had happened.
We’d been talking about getting married and moving in together the night before. I did wonder, was he regretting what he’d said?
But when I asked him what he was thinking about, he said he was stressing about how he hasn’t gotten enough work done this year.
It’s a tough thing to accept that men, even men in love, will sometimes act in ways that we perceive as pulling away.
This can happen at any stage of a relationship, from when you’re initially getting to know each other, to long-term marriages and partnerships.
And it certainly feels like unnecessary suffering - why can’t he just stay close and connected to me all the time?
Perhaps, if he really loved me, he wouldn’t need to do this!
Unfortunately, it is this exact mindset that, left unchallenged, leads to the greatest pain and suffering when men pull away.
And harbouring this mindset will thwart any of your attempts to learn how to be high value when he pulls away.
When we come from a place of feeling entitled to a man’s attention, affection, and focus, we are far more likely to respond to these kinds of scenarios in low value ways that push him further away.
By the way, did you know that are some specific signs a woman is being low value?
There Are 7 Common Signs That A Woman is Perceived as Low Value to All Men. Do You Know What They Are & How to Avoid Them Like the Plague?
(Why is this important? Because men and women perceive value very differently and you don’t want to be making mistakes that would cause quality men to dismiss, abandon or alienate you.)
In addition, if we expect our man to act like a woman, without taking the time to try to understand his perspective as a man, we are going to have all the wrong information about what is happening in our relationship.
And that’s going to lead not only to more fear and stress for us, but more frustration and loss of freedom for him. This is basically a lose-lose situation.
There are, however, some things we can do when a man pulls away that actually help bring him closer in the long run.
These 8 steps can help us work through our emotions about what’s happening, and to show up in a high value way that inspires his trust and increases his attraction to us.
By the way, did you know that there is one specific emotional trigger inside of every man that makes him want to commit to you and ONLY you forever?
Here are 8 steps that explain how to be high value when he pulls away.
When we are caught up in fear and pain, we’re not going to find it easy to attune to someone else, especially when that someone else is very different from ourselves.
But it’s almost inevitable that we will feel these kinds of emotions when a man we are invested in pulls away.
This is something that we can understand through evolutionary biology.
For our female ancestors living in a hunter-gatherer society, being abandoned by a man could have been very costly, affecting their own survival, the survival of their offspring, and their access to resources.
It is likely that because of these costs, women have evolved to be hyper-attuned to signals of abandonment, and to experience powerful negative emotions when we see our partner displaying these kinds of cues.
Contrary to the I-don’t-need-no-man slogan, it is normal, if you’re deeply invested in a man and have developed a lot of trust and openness with him, to feel like you’re in danger or you might die when he pulls away.
Those emotions used to play an important role in keeping our ancestors safe.
However, these days it’s unlikely that being abandoned by a man, even a man we’re in love with, will kill us or threaten our lives.
And instead of helping us, in a modern environment, those feelings can actually sometimes lead us to behave abusively towards a man, or to treat him in ways that do further damage to our connection with him.
Of course, this doesn’t have to be the case, because there are healthy ways to express and share those feelings.
We don’t have to hide them. And in fact, hiding our feelings is also going to do damage to our connection with a man, because we will naturally become less trusting, less open, and more resentful towards him if we have to do this.
So it’s really important to make sure we process the emotions we feel about a man pulling away from us in a relationship.
This is the key step that shows us how to be high value when he pulls away - all the other steps depend on this step to some extent.
What we need to do is to recognize that while our instincts are not the only truth there is in this situation, they are still real and they need to be acknowledged so that we can consider the other layers of truth.
When a man pulls away and you want to be high value, it can help to:
Get the emotions out by crying (Renée talks about this in her article on Why Men pull Away & How To Be High Value).
By the way, it may also help calm your anxiety to find out how commitment friendly your man is: QUIZ TIME: Is your man serious about committing to you? CLICK HERE to find out with this specially crafted quiz!
Fear is a powerful thing. It is there to keep us safe.
But because of its emotional intensity, we can sometimes act on it without thinking and forget to question it.
It’s common when a man pulls away, for women to feel too much discomfort to believe that there could be deeper and better truths out there.
As someone who has struggled with severe anxiety at times, I believe that if you let fear make your decisions for you, you cannot have an attuned relationship.
You will run into constant trouble, because your fears will put you into a completely different place than the people you are trying to connect with, and almost all of your actions will make things worse.
Luckily, it is actually relatively easy to find strategies and mindsets that can help you know how to be high value when he pulls away.
These strategies will also help you get out of fear and see things more clearly.
The first and most important thing to do is to simply be willing to question the worst case scenarios running around in your head.
This will often feel like the wrong thing to do at the time - because you feel like you’re opening yourself up to pain, but it isn’t wrong.
Be willing to ask yourself the hard questions. Here are some examples of questions to ask yourself”
I have a note on my fridge that I look at every day. It’s helped me immensely. It simply reads:
“What if I wasn’t so scared?”
Question the fear.
Be willing to believe that listening to your fears is not necessarily going to make you safer in every situation.
Again, sometimes the fears are going to create more trouble, and distract you from what’s actually happening in your relationship.
If you want to know how to be high value when he pulls away, you have to be able to get yourself out of fear so that you can open up to him and to the reality that you are in.
If you find yourself struggling with severe anxiety that plagues you for days, you might actually benefit from discovering your own attachment style.
Women who have an insecure attachment style tend to sink deeper into unnecessary anxiety and sabotage their relationships, so if you’re aware of your own attachment style, you can easily predict your fears and manage your anxiety.
Luckily for you, we have a women-specific quiz that can tell you your exact attachment style.
(Why is this important? It is because your core attachment style largely dictates and influences what happens in your relationship. Thus it’s imperative you understand your core attachment style!)
Once you have worked through these barriers, you will be able to begin the task of understanding your man.
It is very difficult to do this when you are flooded by fear and focused on your own pain and suffering, but once you have brought these feelings into awareness and done the work to process them at least somewhat, you will find it much easier to empathize.
And you will be in a place where you are better able to empathize with everyone, not just with men.
You may be asking yourself - if he’s the one pulling away from the relationship and treating me badly, why should I put in the effort to understand him?
But those kinds of objections rarely have anything to offer us in real life, because life isn’t fair, and we cannot control other people.
We can only control our own responses (and only some of the time at that).
So we might as well make sure that we have all the information that we can when we make decisions, so that our decisions have the power to serve us (and the men in our lives) as best they can.
In other words:
Is it better to deal with a relationship crisis in a way that satisfies your own feelings and instincts, without considering the other person’s experience?
Or is it better to try to understand, especially when we’re dealing with someone different to ourselves?
It certainly feels much easier and more natural to think of ourselves and our comfort, and to protect ourselves from the worst case scenario in our heads.
But the hard way, the way of attunement and connection, is where all the rewards lie.
Understanding men requires that we relinquish our rules about how men should act in a relationship, and think about what needs he is trying to meet by pulling away.
These needs may not resonate with us as women, as we may not go through the exact same processes as men.
We may also organize our priorities differently.
But if a man is pulling away, there is a reason for it, and it is because he is trying to meet a need that is important to him.
That need isn’t just going to go away just because you don’t like it.
Some of the reasons men might pull away from a relationship or dating situation, or why they might seem to be pulling away, include:
Being very focused on work, or on something they perceive to be their mission in life
Usually, when a man pulls away from you, you will have some idea as to why.
So spend some time thinking about which reason may apply to your situation.
And once you figure it out, spend some more time really digging deep and trying to understand how your man might actually be feeling, and what he might be focused on right now.
This will be immensely helpful in shaping your response.
If you’d like to gain a deeper, world class understanding of men so that you never have to lose another man (or experience needless anxiety again), we have a whole program on “Understanding Men”.
The promise of this course is for you to discover the secrets of the masculine perspective so that you can get through to any man, connect with him heart to heart, and inspire his deepest loyalty and commitment.
It’s easy to think that a man should never pull away from the relationship, because to you it feels like he’s treating you badly.
But from his perspective, perhaps your requirement that he is always available to you is unfair.
The fact that he feels like he can’t withdraw to focus on other things probably feels restraining to him, and in his mind, amounts to you treating him badly.
You and him could probably go back and forth arguing about what the connection between a man and a woman should look like in a relationship, true?
But you wouldn’t get anywhere because you’d be coming from different places and speaking from different, sometimes opposing needs.
When you understand this and the arbitrary nature of having “rules” for human relationships, you will find yourself shifting away from the thing that can cause the most damage to your connection - blame.
Blame will never bring a man closer to you.
The best you will get from a man in response to blame is indifference.
And most likely, he will feel a negative association with you because he feels misunderstood, judged, and inadequate (even though he never intended to do you wrong).
So, when you think about how to be high value when he pulls away, make sure you stay out of the blame game and accept that he is not deliberately trying to hurt you.
(Of course, there is a certain population of men who may be sociopathic, narcissistic, or just plain vengeful, but most men don’t go out to deliberately harm a woman they’re interested in.)
Feelings of blame can often stick around even when you know that blaming is a bad idea, so it’s important to enquire deeply into the impulse to blame.
If you’re thinking things like:
“Well, if he’s not going to talk to me, I’ll just ignore him and show him what it’s like,”
“Ha, well I’m going to go out and flirt with other guys then”
“I’m gonna be cold and harsh with him when he comes back so I can show him he messed up”
Then you’re still invested in the idea that he is to blame for the way that you feel.
Empathizing with your man will go a long way in terms of knowing how to be high value.
And, if he has earned trust from you in the past, then trusting him will also go a long way in dispelling your need to blame him.
Our best, most high value responses to life situations happen when we are willing to surrender control.
We never have control anyway. That’s just an illusion for the most part, and we especially don’t have control over a man pulling away.
So what we need to do is recognize that fact, and know that even if it doesn’t feel like it right now, everything will be okay in the end.
We will adapt to whatever happens in time, and we will often learn some important lessons in the process.
There is a lot to be gained by being able to watch and wait in a relationship.
A situation like a man pulling away can really test your relationship in a positive way.
It can show you how committed your man is to you, as well as the kinds of patterns he is likely to run if you continue to spend your lives together.
As hard as it is, if you can be grateful for the lesson and open to what it can teach you, you will only be stronger from the experience.
When your man comes back after pulling away from you, this is a key moment for your relationship.
We’ve talked a lot about how you don’t want to close off to him and punish him, but you can’t exactly turn around and act like nothing happened either.
When you reconnect, it’s actually really important that you acknowledge (to him) the emotions you felt while he was away.
If you’ve done the other steps I outlined, and you can make sure that you’re free from feelings of blame, it’s actually hugely beneficial to reconnect with your man in an authentic way.
If you need to cry, that’s okay. And if you were scared, you can tell him that.
Just make sure he knows that you know he didn’t have any bad intent.
You could say something like:
“I get that you really needed to take that time to catch up on your work, but I really missed you.”That way, you’re honoring your own emotions and you don’t have to act fake around him, but you also aren’t using those emotions to make him feel bad.
It will help you deepen the emotional connection and emotional attraction with him.
And if you’re really struggling to articulate yourself in a way that honours your emotions whilst also staying high value, then there’s two specific words you can say to a man that will do the job for you:
If you’re wondering how to be high value through text when he pulls away, the simple answer is to text in a way that builds emotional connection and emotional attraction.
These are the two most important emotions that make a man actually perceive you and your relationship to be high value.
When a man feels enough emotional attraction and emotional connection for you, he will feel like you are indispensable in his life.
The way to be high value through text when he pulls away is to use the dark feminine art of high value banter.
Put simply, this is a conversation and banter style that positions you as a high value woman whilst also challenging him and inspiring him to want to connect with you and open up to you.
Here’s an example:
You: “Do you know what I love about you?”
You: “Absolutely nothing!” [insert joking or laughing emoji here]
Here’s a quick (similar, but not exact) example from one of our members who used this line.
Instead of saying “do you know what I love about you?” She said:
“Do you know what I love about your profile?” (unfortunately that line is cut off in the example, but you can see how the banter progressed):
So why does high value banter work to make you stay high value through text?
Because it is playful. The dark feminine art of high value banter is the art of playfulness, and it is playfulness that inspires a man to fall in love, feel emotional attraction for you, and ultimately see you as high value.
Without a sense of playfulness, you can’t build on any of the emotional attraction you had with him previously. This is why it’s the ultimate (and crucial) answer to how to be high value through text when he pulls away.
We have a whole free class on high value banter. Click here to take the free class.
Case study: From icebreaker to engagement in just 8 months… Discover the exact steps Yana took and the specific banter lines she used in order to attract the man of her life online and inspired him to propose after a short 8 months. (And then married within another 2 months…)
If you’re looking for the signs he will come back after pulling away, here are the 8 main signs to look for:
By the way, it is only if you’re a man’s one and only woman that you can have 100% total assurance that he will always come back.
What do I mean by the one and only woman? Let me explain.
Men categorise the women they see into two categories. You cannot be in both categories. You’re either:
There is value in being a one of many woman. Such as, you get some attention, sex, approval or even status from a high status man.
However, in general, you never want to be the one of many woman, especially if you’re emotionally invested in a man. You should always make sure that you’re the one and only.
If you’re not sure how to be the one and only woman, it might be a relief to know that it’s something that can be easily learned, if you understand and apply some key insights.
If you’re committed to discovering how to be the one and only woman (in the eyes of any man on this earth), I have something for you.
It’s one of our most popular home study courses and it’s titled “Becoming His One And Only”.
(The promise of this course is for you discover the secrets of the masculine perspective so that you can get through to any man, connect with him heart to heart, and inspire his deepest loyalty and commitment.)
If you follow those 8 steps for how to be high value when he pulls away, then something great will happen.
Namely, you can expect that if a man is truly invested in you, he will return to the relationship feeling more attraction and more trust in you.
He will likely be invigorated by his time away from you, and come back to you with more to offer.
If he isn’t all that committed to you, however, he may only get back in touch when he wants something, like sex or companionship.
Showing your authentic emotional response to his absence is a key way to test which of these scenarios describes your relationship.
A man who loves you will care that you are upset, and he will take the time to explain why he was distant and what he was doing or thinking about.
Provided you show him that you want to understand, of course.
The steps outlined above will help you figure out the difference.
We hope you enjoyed this article. If you have any questions or thoughts to share, we suggest that you leave them below, and one of our team will get back to you!
Sarah is a Shen Wade Media Certified Coach.
She has a Masters in psychology and works as a special education advisor in early childhood. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand, with her partner and two children.
She has a passion for evolutionary psychology, attachment theory, and personality psychology.
Author & Editor For National Council for Research on Women. Founder of the popular women's dating & relationship advice website, The Feminine Woman and co-founder of NCRW.
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