5 Reasons Why Men Pull Away

5 Reasons Why Men Pull Away

by Gia L., B.A., M.A (Sociology)

It’s beyond puzzling, isn’t it? He seems enamoured by you. He can’t get enough of you.   He sends the sweetest, most flattering texts every day and he expresses that he’s dying to see you and spend time with you.  Then, in a flash, he seems to become totally distant.  What is going on?

It can be hard to tell but here are 5 explanations that could account for why he’s making himself scarce.

1. You had sex with him too quickly.


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You’ve gone on a couple of dates with the most fantastic man and everything is going incredibly well. You’re clicking and the sexual energy between you is palpable. It just feels right. All signs say GO so you decide to sleep with him. Right after you do, he disappears and you’re left wondering what the heck happened!

You may have slept with him too soon.

Despite the fact that most men understand that we live in a 21st century reality where women have every right to do what they want with their own bodies, there are still men who feel that women who sleep with someone too soon are not relationship material. Is it wrong? Yes. Is it hypocritical? Definitely. But the double standard has not entirely disappeared with the times.

Does this mean that you should allow what he may think of you to dictate how you express yourself sexually? Hell no! In fact, many relationship experts agree that when a man truly likes you and he is ready and looking for a relationship (not just falsely lulling you into thinking that he likes you but in reality is just looking for sex), sleeping with him soon after you meet him will NOT deter him from further dating you and pursuing a relationship.

Just be aware that the double standard is still there with some men and may explain his distant behavior.


2. You are at different places emotionally in your relationship.


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Maybe you’re ready for a serious relationship and he’s still on the merry-go-round of life. What’s more, he doesn’t particularly seem to want to jump off.

Or perhaps you really like who he is and feel yourself becoming emotionally attached to him but his actions tell you he’s not ready to go there.

It’s also possible that he is unsure of or afraid of his own feelings. If he doesn’t have the relationship skills that you have, forming a closer bond with you can feel extra threatening to him, making him want to put some space between the two of you.

Whatever the case, if he either isn’t as emotionally invested in the relationship as you are, or he is but just doesn’t know what to do with his feelings for you, he may find it best, and perhaps kinder, to step away from you altogether while he tries to figure it all out.

When one partner wants (much) more from the relationship than the other does, it creates an imbalance that can feel overwhelming to the partner who is not ready to swim into deeper waters. On the flip side of the coin, it’s incredibly confusing for the partner who thought everything was going great, and all of a sudden is left wondering what they may have done wrong to cause their partner’s change in behavior.

This is a case of a true, honest to goodness, “It’s not you, it’s me.” You can be the most perfect partner in his eyes but if he is not ready to commit to you or his feelings, it’s he who is trying to work through his issues. It really does have nothing to do with you.

“How could he possibly turn his back on this amazing connection we have,” you ask? Well, he can, and he very well might if he’s not emotionally ready.

Yes, that hurts. But guess what? YOU have emotional needs and desires as well and if he’s not prepared to become an equal emotional partner to you, ask yourself if this is really okay with you. Don’t you deserve to give the best parts of yourself to someone who is ready to accept them and cultivate a loving relationship with you?



  1. Gia,

    Double standard? Very few and even fewer quality men want “the town tramp”. Jumping in bed before it is time basically says to most men that you are not in your first rodeo. The “bad girls” all like to say “past don’t matter” if you will. Let’s see, trying to get a loan they want to know your financial past. Going to a Dr. they want to know your medical past. Trying to get in school they want your academic past. Stopped by the police? They want to know your criminal past. Looking for a job they want your work history. Past behavior is a predictor of future behavior. What are you bringing to the table in a relationship? A sexual history of being the play toy of everyone that comes along or someone with principles? The most important decision you will ever make is who you will marry. Who will be the mother of your child. But your saying in that most important decision you ever make you should do it blind to their history? Double standard on sleeping with someone to soon? Yes Gia, that is reality. Instead of letting your readers off the hook you might tell them to act with some class and maybe “he won’t pull away”.

  2. (In response to Gentlemen Jim’s contribution regarding the conduct of single ladies and Gia’s advice.)

    Apparently Jim likes to pontificate in extremes, archetypes, and vagaries when passing judgement on others’ behavior (e.g. “the town tramp”, “the ‘bad girls’ ALL like to say…”), not to mention this intriguing either/or option presented in his prose: “the play toy of EVERYONE that comes along” OR “someone with principles”. Apparently, by ‘Gentleman’ Jim’s standards, a single woman cannot have both a healthy libido AND principles – or maybe, in Jim’s world, she’s allowed the libido, but is expected to suppress it (until such time as he is either A. no longer threatened by it OR B. has a use for it). Remember, ladies, this is to keep a potential mate from pulling away. Talk about co-dependent from the get-go!

    Perhaps Jim would also like to define for us: What exactly IS ‘too soon’? But, until we have an answer for THAT, let’s consider another perspective, shall we? One that eliminates the subjective ‘time’ issue altogether.

    Perhaps the ‘taking space’ response to #1 is an early indication of SEXUAL INCOMPATIBILITY. Regardless of who senses the incompatibility, it can be a huge factor in relationship fulfillment for some. And, the fact is, a woman with a liberal attitude toward sex is unlikely to be happy and satisfied in a relationship with a man who considers her ‘unclassy’ for acting on mutually generated sexual tension – AND enjoying it what if she REALLY got lucky and managed to get off during said “before its time” sexual encounter Yep – you’re definitely not going to hear from him after THAT! Because, obviously, you’ve had wayyy too much practice.

    Sadly, this is likely the same man who, several years into married life (undoubtedly with someone who lived up to his idea of ‘class’), will wish that she were more sexually assertive/adventurous – and/or go looking for a little kink on the side (to have his desires satisfied). This lady should consider his response to her healthy libido a filter of sorts and mentally thank him for his early exit and wish him well. If it’s a bad match, both partners lose.

    Playing this man’s game is NOT the way to find a healthy relationship, ladies – unless, of course, co-dependency and sexual repression are what you want in a relationship. Know what you like. Know what you want. Know yourself. Be yourself. Capable single ladies who want substance in their relationship(s) ought to be asking “What kind of man do I want to be with?” NOT the co-dependent “Who want’s to be with me?”

    So, what IS she “bringing to the table in a relationship”, ‘Gentleman’ Jim??? A hell of a lot more than her sexual history – and certainly more than your oversimplified view of the fact that she has one.

  3. A funny thought just hit me. Morbid curiosity now has me wondering what ‘Gentleman’ Jim’s take on an audibly expressive female orgasm during “before its time” sex. You know… the kind that can be heard in the next room – as though it were the same room! 🙂 No, seriously. Think about it. WHO would want to be with THAT?! let alone marry it? Oh, my… What if the neighbors hear?

    Probably best to avoid that situation entirely, ladies. So, if you do indulge in “before it’s time” sex, AND you do manage to come, whatever you do, don’t risk an unseemly outburst – so be sure he has you face down in a pillow to muffle the noises. You wouldn’t want your partner to know how much you enjoyed it 😉

    1. Wow! That was an incredible stomp on Gent.Jim…… I loved it! Soooo many men unfortunately think like him… I’ve met several…. Im 37 and take pretty good care of my self ,have an outstanding sex drive and dont see anything wrong with having sex with some one you feel comfortable with.(NO I haven’t had sex with tons of guys….just 5 in my whole life) I also hate this double standard where it is okay for a guy to go out and have sex with as many women as he wants and that’s acceptable but when a woman does it not even to the same degree, she’s a whore,tramp, or a slut……I also don’t believe that just because a woman was promiscuous when she was younger means that she isn’t good relationship material when shes older….. Just because a woman made certain decisions in her younger life doesnt mean she is incapable of changing her ways and maturing and realizing what’s good for her and what’s not…. Its no different than a guy doing silly stuff that gets him into trouble when he’s a kid and then growing up to be a respectable gentleman…… Or is it being suggested that only men have this ability/right? I have always been in longterm relationships since high school infact got married right after graduation and stuck with it for 13 yrs and have NEVER once cheated on any one. (I have been cheated on uncountable times)But If I like a guy and am attracted to him and sexual feelings are mutual I dont care if it is 5 min 5 hours 5 days or 5 months after meeting him….. Im going to do it if it makes him and I happy….That doesn’t make me a bad person or bad relationship material….Like I’ve said… Ive never cheated, I try to choose my partners wisely ,I use common sense and I use protection….. Which by the way in my experience is twice as cautious as any man I’ve ever dated. Most men Ive dated always want to have sex on the first date and NEVER seem to carry protection, expect the females to carry and most of the time dont even care if you use it any way! Actually in most cases they would rather not! Ive dated (not slept with)LOTS of guys and have found what you say in your article to be extremely true….which is precisely why I don’t sleep with very many of them. And boy…..Lol….If we ladies were to judge a man on his past behavior I hate to say it guys ,but 95% of you would NEVER get laid!!! Men do a lot of mean nasty degrading dispicable hurtful unnecessary cruel heartless disgusting things when they are younger and some continue on into their adult lives. The thing is… Women tend to look past these things with open minds understanding that a persons past does not always mean to expect that behavior in the future as we understand that human beings grow up mature and change their behaviors…. Its the twenty first century and men need to crawl out of their caves……Its a woman’s world as much as it is a mans and the rules of nature apply to all of us in the same manner…none of us are exempt…..If a man plans to judge a woman by her past than he’ll need to expect the same from her….Good luck with that guys! There is no such thing as “too soon” for sex. In my opinion…its about chemistry ,attraction ,desire and closeness. The right moment isn’t a time its a feeling. A moment where you make a mutual decision to be close with some one…. I believe there isn’t a bad time for sex…but a bad reason….. Its the intensions of the sexual behavior that I feel are important….. Not when it happens… And honestly if we were to base sex off of intensions….Where would that leave men???? Just a thought…

    1. Marquis, I believe that 4 of the reasons from this article can also be applied to women, like the lack of chemistry, cheating, the two people are on different relationship pages, and when a man is too needy (Yes, there are men like that). But losing interest in a man after having sex too early is probably not the common reason for women. Yes, it can still happen, but more likely not because of sex itself, but because there is no chemistry between the two people or some other reasons. Hope this helps

  4. Good article, really true points. Before becoming too invested in a relationship, a woman should check that her man is at least open to the possibility of a relationship with the right person. Just something low-pressure like “if we keep doing this, could you handle it if I start to like you?” Pressure later on will only push him away.

  5. This is my take on this article:

    My current relationship is sexually and emotionally satisfying. There were times in the beginning that i thought he was not interested, but after bringing up my feelings, he explained and realized how much it had bothered me. It was embarrassing for him to tell me, but i am very happy he did.

    It changed the dynamics of our sexual relationship in a good way (like it wasn’t me as i thought it was).

    And our “relationship” began as a sexual one, anyways, so making it into a “emotional” one has been the journey.

    So, a relationship that starts out sexual does not necessarily fail. Part of attraction is visual lust.

  6. Sorry but these are crap. …there’s too reasons. …either your not attractive enough or your not enough of a challenge. The male brain is simple let’s not pretend we need rocket science to understand it

  7. Men do not like when women try to control them. If you want a faithful man, give him his personal space. This is probably the most important thing. My boyfriend has been registered for example on many dating sites. When we started dating I was worried that he still communicate with the girls there. When we start dating I was worried that he still communicate with the girls there. I really wanted to read his messages, but I restrained myself. As a result, he deleted his profile.

  8. Regardless of why men pull away, the most important thing you can do as a woman is give him some space. Otherwise, you’ll just make him resent you instead of longing for you.