Why Men Pull Away Early Stages: 12 reasons the guy your dating fades away, withdraws and goes silent.
You’ve met a new man and the connection is amazing. You’re on cloud nine, and haven’t clicked with a man like this in ages. He’s everything you’ve been looking for and you’re excited about the future!
Then you start to notice a subtle change. Things start to feel different with him.
He starts to pull back and withdraw. He texts you less often. He stops making plans. He becomes inconsistent, and you have no idea when you’ll see him next.
You’re left confused, and wondering what happened.
Why men pull away in the early stages of dating can be one of the most frustrating things you can experience.
And it can make even the most confident woman, feel insecure and begin to doubt if she’ll ever find true love.
You start to search for clues. There must be some reason he’s gone radio silent. Then, when you still can’t figure out what’s going on. You begin to blame yourself.
Thinking that you’ve done something wrong. Or worse that there’s something with you.
But here’s the truth – for the most part why he withdrew or went silent on you early on, has nothing to do with something you’ve done.
The Big Reason That Men Pull Away In The Early Stages
The biggest reason why men pull away in the early stages of dating has everything to do with how he feels after going “all-in” on the first few dates. When a man first meets you, he likes you and wants to impress you. After a few dates, he starts to feel the connection getting intense and emotional. When that happens, he will pull back to get the space he needs to reset and assess. He’s then able to think more clearly about how he feels about you, and the relationship.
12 Reasons Why Men Pull Away – Early Stages
1. He’s Just Not That Into You
He pulled away in the early stages of dating because he’s just not into you. Now, I know this one’s hard to hear. It sucks really, and it feels a lot like rejection. Even though it’s actually more like redirection.
It can be confusing too. Because at first it seemed as if the connection was amazing. And he really did go “all-in”. And because of this you took down your walls and felt safe opening up your heart to all the possibilities.
But the truth is, though that connection might have been great from your perspective. Unfortunately, where you saw a future? He didn’t, there was something missing for him.
What To Do
When he withdraws because he’s just not into you, its important to adjust your mindset. Think of him pulling away not as rejection, but as redirection.
I know it hurts when this happens. But the reality is, in the early stages you don’t really know him. And even though it might feel like it’s you or something you did, or can fix, it’s not.
It’s just a normal part of the dating process.
You meet, you go on a few dates. You decide if you want to know more. Sometimes you do, and sometimes you don’t.
When we decide we aren’t into someone it’s not personal for us. We just move on. It is what it is.
Similarly, this is where you must turn it around for yourself and realize that it’s not a fit for either of you.
He’s not your person, and you’re being redirected to the man that is.
2. You Are Rushing Things
On your first few dates, you most likely exude confidence and charm. You’re relaxed and ready to get to know a great new man. The energy that you bring to the dates is light and fun.
The guy feels it too. He’s loving your confidence and he’s enchanted by your energy. The time you spend together feels easy. Your both connecting and enjoying yourselves. He also starts to get really excited about where things are going with you.
But then after few dates, he feels your energy start to change.
You may start to have certain expectations. Or try and move the pace of the relationship along faster than he’s ready to go. Which is all totally, normal by the way. It may just be a bit too soon, for where things are actually at between you.
When this happens, what started out feeling like a positive experience to him. Now starts to feel like tension and pressure.
The energy starts to feel heavy. The lightness that you brought has faded away. Then soon, you notice, he too has slowly started to fade away.
That tension and pressure has now caused an imbalance in the relationship. He may now start to feel like the relationship is more important to you than is to him.
Or may he think that you’re getting too attached and serious about him, but he’s not sure if he’s 100% serious about you.
When this happens, he will pull away to set an emotional boundary with you.
What To Do
Remain Calm. Just because he pulled back a bit doesn’t mean he stopped liking you. It just means that you need to give him the space to get a fresh outlook on the relationship.
In the meantime, get perspective for yourself. After all, do you really need to force things to move faster than they naturally would?
And believe it or not, focusing on your own happiness is like magic! And actually makes you more attractive to a man. Even one that has gone silent on you.
3. He Feels Emotionally Vulnerable
Men are wired differently than women. This includes how he reacts when he starts to feel emotionally vulnerable. While being vulnerable and connecting with you can feel good to him. It can also make him feel unsure and unsafe. Like he’s losing himself in you.
In the early stages, if things get emotionally intimate very quickly it can take him by surprise. When this happens, he will pull away so that he can re-connect with himself again.
In this situation it doesn’t mean that the intimacy between you wasn’t fulfilling or that he’s gone for good. He just needs that distance to recalibrate and get a sense of himself again.
4. He Sees Red Flags
He may pull back in the early stages of dating if he sees red flags. The red flags might be big things or may not even have anything to do with you specifically.
For instance, he may realize that he’s not a fit for you. Because he’s not in a place to be the man you need. Or able to give you the type of relationship that you want.
During the time that he’s distancing himself, he will be thinking about the situation. The red flags and / or things that he’s unsure of. Then depending on what he decides he may (or may not) come back to you.
5. He’s Out Of Balance
He pulled away because he feels out of balance. The scenario usually goes something like this…You start spending a lot of time together. You’re getting closer and more emotionally intimate. You both seem to be really deeply connecting.
Then boom, he starts to pull away…
You’re then left, wondering what the heck happened.
Well, it turns out that there’s also a hormonal component behind why men pull away. This has to do with him feeling out of balance. And unfortunately tends to happen just when you think everything is going great between you. (1)
Enter the hormone testosterone.
When a man is spending a lot of time connecting with you, talking, sharing and being emotionally intimate. His oxytocin rises and his testosterone begins to drop.
Once it drops, he begins to feel off.
When this happens in the early stages, he’s not used to feeling this way. Especially, if he normally maintains healthy testosterone levels in his body.
In this case, he can’t pinpoint why he doesn’t feel like himself. He just knows that he doesn’t feel quite right.
With this in mind it’s important to note, that how our hormones influence our actions tends to play out on the subconscious level.
So yes, he knows something is off, but he’s not able to really say exactly what it is.
When the hormones are off it triggers a subconscious reaction in him. He feels an urge to feel more independent. Then instinctively he withdraws from the relationship.
Once he pulls away his mind quiets. And he starts to focus on doing things that are productive and in alignment his mission and purpose. Basically actions which help him rebuild his testosterone levels. So he feels like himself again.
What To Do
This situation is so common, that I always make sure my coaching clients know how to deal with it. In most cases you can prevent it in the early stages, by setting the pace of the relationship.
You do this by building in little breaks from each other. Yes, I know that feeling of wanting to spend every minute together can be exhilarating, exciting and hard to turn down. But what’s the cost?
If he ends up pulling away because he doesn’t get the space he needs to feel balanced. Then who pays?
It’s usually you, the woman, sitting there alone staring at your phone and wondering why he isn’t coming around anymore. And I know it sucks, because we’ve all been there.
Thinking that we did something wrong and wondering how to fix it. Ultimately, spiralling into a repeating cycle of fear, doubt and worry.
And that fear and worry? It doesn’t just go away. It tends to get worse.
Left unchecked, it brings up all of those nasty lingering insecurities that you thought you’d buried long ago. Which can end up sabotaging the relationship and pushing him away.
So, yes, setting the pace in the initial dating stages, is key. It also helps you to get perspective on him and if he’s right for you. And helps to cultivate a feeling of security and emotional stability for yourself as well.
6. His Priorities Have Shifted
He likes you, but he’s pulled away because his priorities have shifted. It could be that he’s going through a transition in his life. He might have work or family issues.
In general, these are reasons that have nothing to do with you. And everything to do with what’s going on in his life at the moment.
Even though he’s pulled back, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. Or that he can’t see how amazing you are. He probably genuinely thinks you’re great!
It just means that he’s gone silent because he’s not able to focus on a relationship with you. Or for that matter anyone else right now.
7. He Wants His Independence
One of the major fears that men have isn’t really about committing in itself. It’s about him feeling like he’s losing his independence. Which to a man can also translate to him feeling a loss of power and freedom.
If things are getting intense between you in the early stages it could trigger his need for independence. When this happens he’ll pull away to get the space he needs. He’ll then regroup so he can gain a sense of independence and control over his life.
8. He’s Got Other Options
He pulled away because he was dating other women and it got more serious with one of them. Or it could be that someone he dated in the past came back into his life. Either way, he’s not the one!
9. He Has An Avoidant Attachment Style
He may have pulled away because he has an avoidant attachment style. Which keeps him from fully investing in a lasting relationship.
There are 4 attachment styles that determine how you behave in a relationship. They are: Secure, Anxious, Avoidant and Disorganized. I’m not going to go into all of them, but for the purposes of this article touch base on the avoidant style. (4)
Men with an avoidant attachment style will usually pull away just when you think everything started out so great. He can also be confusing to date. Because, in the early dating stages, he’ll seem very interested. And usually have no problem pursuing you.
But then he’ll start to run his old patterns and sabotage the relationship. This will end with him withdrawing, disappearing or pulling away.
What To Do
When the avoidant man withdraws or pulls away at the beginning of a relationship, it’s best to just let him go. If not he may just keep stringing you along for years. You can’ really “fix” him. He needs to work on himself and resolve his issues before he can settle down and have a healthy relationship.
10. He Was A Player
The guy that’s a player or only in it because he wants sex will come on strong at first. He’ll make you feel special and give you lots of attention. He’ll make you feel like the most beautiful woman in the room.
But the connection isn’t real. He’s only making it feel like it is, until he gets what he wants. Unfortunately for you, why he pulled away is because he was never planning on sticking around in the first place.
11. You Were Overly Needy
Neediness isn’t a good look on anyone. If you’re in the early stages of dating, and a man senses that you are overly needy? He will pull away, withdraw or go silent on you.
Men do want to feel needed in a relationship. But, they don’t want to be with a woman who is needy. And to a man, there’s a big difference between him feeling your neediness and feeling needed by you.
When a man feels needed by you, he feels like he can be there for you in specific ways or situations. In a way that he is adding value to you and your already awesome life.
On the other hand, neediness comes from a place of insecurity. It comes off as anxious, and clingy. (5) This comes across as you needing him to fulfill all your needs or some kind of hole in your life.
Which lets face it, is totally suffocating. And if the tables were turned? You probably wouldn’t be down with man that was too needy either!
12. He Wasn’t Ready
The early stages of dating are about getting to know each other and seeing if you’re on the same page or not. If he starts dating you and realizes that he’s just not ready for the same things you want, he will pull away.
There could be any number of reasons that he withdrew because he didn’t feel ready to move forward with you:
- He’ll back off, if he sees he’s not able to give you what you need to be happy.
- Or fade away after a few dates because he just broke up with someone and realized that he’s not ready to date so soon afterward.
- He may just have too much going on.
- He pulled back because he hasn’t reached certain milestones in his life.
Whatever the reason its about him not being ready.
And not about you, not being great, worthy or enough in anyway.
What To Do When He Pulls Away Early In The Relationship
If you’ve only had a few dates and he’s pulled away, withdrawn or faded away there are 5 simple steps that you can take:
1. First, do not panic! The #1 thing you can do when he pulls away in the early stages is to not jump to any conclusions. It’s best to take a beat, to get a clear perspective on the situation. This stops you from spiralling into fear mode.
When you take a moment to check in with what’s really going on with him. You may realize that he’s not pulling away at all!
2. Secondly, do not chase him. Don’t call him or text him. Don’t troll him on social media, or try to figure out a way to casually “bump” into him.
3. Next, put your focus on yourself! Do things that light you up and make you happy. Get together with friends, join a meet up group. Take an interesting class. Get a massage, go to yoga or spin class. Basically, anything that’s designed to nurture and take care of you.
When you take steps to constantly nurture yourself, it supports you in mind, body and spirit. It also, plants a powerful message in to your subconscious. That you are a worthy and deserving person. That you are loveable and deserve to be treated well.
Helping to increase your sense of self love, self worth and self confidence. All of which, are qualities that are extremely attractive to high quality men. For some helpful affirmations click here.
4. Go on dates with other men. Yes, you like this guy, but its early on and you’ve only had a few dates. The truth is you don’t really know him or know if he’s the one. So until you’re in a committed relationship, you should be going on dates with multiple men.
5. Finally, remember this – if he’s pulled away because he just needs to figure out how he feels about you, he will get back in touch. When he does, you have a few choices.
You can evaluate how you feel about him and decide if you want to move forward or not. If he’s disappeared for a week or less, you can say nothing. Or you can ask him in a high value way what happened and where he’s at.
For more on how to do this I lay it all out in this article – What to do when he’s vanished and then reappears in your life again.
When He Pulls Away In The Early Dating Stages
Why men pull away in the early stages of dating may have nothing at all to do with you. Early on its usually about him.
And though it feels pretty crappy at the time, what you’re experiencing? It’s all a part of the normal dating process.
Some guys will pull away from you and come back. And some will never come back. And there will also be times that you may be the one moving on and letting him go.
In the end, the fact that the wrong guy pulled away won’t matter. It will be a blessing for you.
Because a man that sticks around, but doesn’t want a serious relationship? Is wasting your time and energy! And keeping you from meeting the right man for you.
Dating has its ups and downs, and there is definitely another great guy in your future! But also, remember in dating, there are no guarantees.
If, in the process he pulls away in the early stages of dating, then just let him go. Because eventually if you keep on course, the right man will stay and build a wonderful life with you.
THE NEXT STEP
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Why Men Pull Away Early Stages Of Dating
- 1. He’s Just Not That Into You
- 2. You Are Rushing Things
- 3. He Feels Emotionally Vulnerable
- 4. He Sees Red Flags
- 5. He’s Out Of Balance
- 6. His Priorities Have Shifted
- 7. He Wants His Independence
- 8. He’s Got Other Options
- 9. He Has An Avoidant Attachment Style
- 10. He Was A Player
- 11. You Were Overly Needy
- 12. He Wasn’t Ready