You have seen this situation everywhere: in films, books, and your friend’s life.
You might have even experienced this yourself: a guy you like and have been spending time with, suddenly pulls away just as you thought things were becoming serious.
This behaviour is unexpected and can leave you hurt and confused. You ask yourself why would they pull away from you? Unfortunately asking this question often leads to thoughts that there is something wrong with you. After all, what other reason might exist for them pulling away?
6 Reasons Men Pull Away When Things Get Serious
Fortunately, there are many other answers to this very common question. Perhaps the answer to the situation you face can be found below.
1 – Different Expectations
It is possible the guy has a different expectation for the relationship. Perhaps you have met a nice guy who seems to hit all the criteria you want in a husband and so wedding bells are ringing in your head from day one. The guy on the other hand might just be looking for a fun relationship and not be ready to settle down yet.
In this sort of scenario, the girl can (not intentionally) put pressure on the guy when he refuses to move to the ‘serious’ part of the relationship which the girl wants them to be in. This difference in expectations can then result in the guy pulling back, as the relationship is going where he did not want it to go (further than wanted).
2 – He Already has What He Wants
I will be upfront, this is perhaps the suckiest reason of all.
Sometimes men pull away when things get serious because they already have what they want. This is especially true regarding sex. Men more than women generally value the physical aspect of a relationship and it is possible men just want the physical without the emotional connection and other potential associated expectations. The man pulls away or chooses not to develop the relationship further, because they already have what they want from it.
3 – Stress
Women and men can react differently to stress. Men often need space when they are stressed while women usually want to talk about their stressors and find relief that way.
When this difference is not recognised in a relationship, a woman may believe the man is pulling away from the relationship – when the man simply needs space and time to work through their stressors.
4 – Lack of Communication
A common challenge to all relationships is the need to communicate clearly, and similar to stress, this challenge can be worsened by differences between men and women.
Women often give subtle hints about what they want, but men often need the wants stated more explicitly. An example is a woman wanting for her and her partner to have a consistent date night. The woman might state something like, “Wouldn’t it be great to have something we do together weekly?” or “Friday evenings are normally free for both of us”. Neither of these comments explicitly state what is wanted, and even though the man might agree with them, he might still do something else on a Friday night.
A question like “I would like to make Friday night our weekly date night, what do you think?” is much more direct and helps the man know what you want.
5 – Insecurity
A less common reason why men might pull away, is they feel insecure or not good enough to be in a serious relationship with you. This reason will be more common in cultures or societies which place a greater focus on your position in society.
6 – Technique
The final reason the guy might pull away is that he is using it as a technique to get what he wants. This would be true if you find yourself in a pattern when you want to move forward in your relationship; he pulls away, and so you stop trying to move forward. Until something changes, this pattern will remain the same.
So now we’ve explored some of the main reasons a man might pull away when things seem to be getting more serious. But what can you do about it?
How you respond to the situation will depend on the reason. Being open and honest is often a good starting point for many of them, but others might need you to consider if this man is the one for you. This is not easy; in fact it can be a very hard thing to do. A close friend or family member can help you through the situation, or, if these options are not available or you need more support, seeing a relationship counsellor is one way to help you work through any difficult decisions.
Hannah Jensen-Fielding is a Brisbane relationship counsellor working from a strengths-based integrative approach, as she believes more momentum is gained by looking forward at the future and who we can become. She has a keen interest in providing relationship counselling.
To make an appointment try Online Booking. Alternatively, you can call Vision Psychology Brisbane on (07) 3088 5422.