10 Reasons Why Men Pull Away & How to Keep Your Power

Author: Oscar Stevenson & Renée Shen.

Have you ever wondered why men pull away? No matter how good your relationship is, there always seems to come a point where he becomes less available and more distant. Why does it happen, and what can you do about it?

The good news is this: We know why men pull away. Science has figured that out a long time ago.

The bad news? Unless you know why men pull away, you’re prone to making bad decisions. And when he’s growing distant, it takes just one bad decision to lose him for good.

So let’s not make that mistake, yes?

Here are the top 10 reasons why men pull away, plus how to keep your power over your relationship—and your destiny—when it happens.

QUIZ TIME: Is your man serious about committing to you? CLICK HERE to find out with this specially crafted quiz!

10 Common Reasons Why Men Pull Away

While no two men are alike, there are 10 common reasons why they pull away from good relationships. Here are some of them, as decades of relationship therapy have uncovered:

Reason #1: He Got Overwhelmed

Sometimes, the relationship is so good it's just too much for him. That’s when he starts to crave some time alone to gather himself. It’s like coming up for air after a deep dive into love.

As Renee Wade says so aptly,

“Men pulling away is part of their masculine instinct…most men can only take being connected deeply to you for a certain amount of time before they need to remove themselves to find their equilibrium again.”

Reason #2: He's Really, Really Busy

It’s also quite possible he’s simply very busy. He has his own goals for his life, and right now, he might prioritize it more than his relationship with you.

If you want to keep him, now’s the best time to support him and let him know you’re in his corner. 

Even though it’s hard to focus on offering support over worrying about the future of your relationship, just think of it as you investing in the future of the relationship with him in a positive way.

Would you like to learn how to stay high value when he pulls away? CLICK Here to learn the secret to showing up high value & staying a high value woman when your man pulls away, so that he can come back to you with more interest, more desire & more appreciation for you.

Reason #3: He's Scared of Commitment

One of the most common reasons why a man pulls away is this: He’s afraid to commit. He wants to remain independent—and by that, he wants the freedom to meet and date other girls.

If you’re ready for a relationship but he’s not, then it’s best to let him go, and be serious about it. Because if you’re not setting clear boundaries around this, he may just try to keep you around even though he will never commit.

Reason #4: He Has Better Options

When a man values his independence, it likely also means he has many other women in life. You may be the one he’s dating, but you’re not the only one he’s committed to. 

And if he’s pulling away, maybe he’s now taking the time to choose. Want to learn the difference between the women men commit to and the women men leave? There is a clear difference. CLICK Here to find out which category of women men commit to.

Reason #5: He Doesn't Know What He Wants

Perhaps the most annoying reason of all is this one: He's directionless. He doesn't know whether he wants a relationship or to stay single. (Honestly, I’m not sure if you'd want a relationship with someone so uncertain.)

Reason #6: He's Been Hurt Before and He's Seeing the Signs

The sixth reason a man would pull away is this: He's been hurt in a previous relationship, and now he’s seeing the same signs in yours. As a reflex, he withdraws and stops investing into it.

Fortunately, this is an issue you, as a couple, can talk over. Provided you don’t panic or lash out first, that is.

Recommended reading: Why Is He Ignoring Me? 13 No BS Reasons Why He'd Do This.

Reason #7: He's Not That Into You

This is sad, but it happens. One of the scarily honest reasons he pulls away is that he’s just not interested in you. Remember that if you gathered together all the high value men in this world, most of them would have no interest in a relationship with you.

And this is true for all women, even the high status supermodels. No worries—you can always part ways and move on with life.

Reason #8: He Feels He's Losing His Identity

Being in a relationship changes a person - the connection and attachment moulds a couple together, and causes a blurring of who they are as individuals. 

And sometimes, the changes a guy is going through with you are making him feel like he is losing his identity. This is not something he’s used to, and this makes him uncomfortable so he takes a step back to recalibrate himself.

QUIZ TIME: Do I have secure or insecure attachment patterns? CLICK HERE to find out with our specially crafted women-specific 10 Question Quiz!

(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!) 

Reason #9: His Feelings Terrify Him

The ninth reason? Inexperience. He's simply not used to feeling this way: Vulnerable, out of control, and so on. It’s terrifying for him, and so he takes a breather to gather himself.

Reason #10: He Doesn't Feel That Important to You

Lastly, a man can pull away when he feels taken for granted. Have you been ignoring his romantic gestures or criticizing him a bit too much? If so, you might want to start appreciating him and the things he does for you before it’s too late!

Now you know the top 10 reasons why men pull away. The next logical question is this: How do you keep your power? How do you stay in control of the situation and keep your relationship together?

That’s up next...

How to Keep Your Power

The answer lies in understanding precisely why your man is pulling away. If you know what’s really going on, you can make smarter decisions instead of careless, rushed ones.

On that topic, here is an article that will help you make high value decisions with men: Understanding Men In Relationships: 5 Universal Truths & FAQ.

With that in mind, let's answer some of the most frequently asked questions about why men pull away. The better you understand the situation, the more power you’ll keep.

Frequently Asked Questions On Why Men Pull Away

Do guys pull away when they like you?

The answer is no. When they like you, they're attracted to you—meaning they come in closer. You’d do the same if you liked a guy too, right?

If your man is pulling away, then it’s got to be one of the above 10 reasons why. The key is to find out which one it is and act accordingly.

Thankfully, finding out is easy—just talk it over with him.

What are the signs of a man pulling away?

The signs are easy to spot: 

  • He becomes less available
  • He makes less contact with you; and 
  • He seems uninterested in the relationship for a time. 

If you noticed these signs, he's probably pulling away.

When a man pulls away how long does it last?

 Most times, his withdrawal is only temporary. After all, he just needs a breather. We all do sometimes, right?

The key is to not sabotage the situation by getting mad at him, getting emotional, or chasing after him. These will only push him even further away.

Why he pulls away after getting close?

You may have had the most wonderful date ever. Maybe you kissed for the first time. You might have even gotten intimate with each other.

And now he’s acting all aloof. What gives?

This is a typical sign he was only after the hookup to begin with. He was never interested in a committed relationship.

In other cases where the relationship is more established, men pull away after getting close for reasons such as postcoital dysphoria, the refractory period, and because they need to rebuild their masculine energy after being connected for some time with a woman.


Men can’t stay close and intimate with you for a very long period before they need some space temporarily.

 Why do guys pull away when they like you?

That depends—again, the key is finding out which of the 10 reasons applies to him. When you’re fairly sure what the root issue is, you’ll know what to do. Regardless, here are some of the biggest reasons:

  • He needs to focus on work more
  • He has family issues to deal with
  • He could be on the rebound
  • He could be prone to going hot and cold
  • He could be unsure about his feelings
  • He is a man, thus he might not notice he’s pulling away, much less understand that it hurts you

How do you respond when a guy pulls away?

If you want to keep him, here are the three things you should never do:

  1. Get mad or blame him
  2. Chase after him, begging him to come back
  3. Pulling away from him (As though you’re giving him a taste of his own medicine)

Remember: He needs space, and the best you can do is to support him as he figures things out. Rattle the cage now and he might fly away—you know how it is.

Why does he come on strong then pull away?

This is a big red flag: He’s probably a pickup artist or a player. He comes on really strong in the beginning, but quickly loses interest once he’s had his way with you (or when he gets bored if you take too long to give in).

If he lied to you early on, there’s no reason he won’t lie to you now, so there’s no point in talking to him. Best just thank him for his time and move on with your life without him.

How do you take your power back when he pulls away?

Again, this depends on your unique situation with him.

Is he a player, after all? Then take your power back by saying good riddance, denying him what he wants from you.

Does he simply need space? Take your power back by conquering your emotions, giving him the support he needs instead of raising any unnecessary drama. 

You get the idea, right?

Ultimately, if a man is not ready for a relationship, there’s nothing we can do to change his mind. That’s just the way the dating game goes.

My advice: 

Be open to that possibility (that some men just won’t be ready to commit), so that you’ll be open to better relationships with better men—those who are mature enough to not pull away when things get tough. Good luck!

Renee Shen

Oscar Stevenson

Author and Editor For National Council for Research on Women. Founder of The popular women's dating and relationship website, The Feminine Woman.

Renée Shen

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