This article was co-authored by Jessica Engle, MFT, RDT. Jessica Engle is a relationship coach and psychotherapist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She founded Bay Area Dating Coach in 2009, after receiving her Master's in Counseling Psychology. Jessica is also a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Registered Drama Therapist with over 10 years of experience.
In these situations where there’s not enough connection and attraction right from the start, it usually means that we should let it go. Usually, when the relationship was based on sex and even convenience in the beginning – it’s a good sign that he’s pulling away forever. Why? Because men fall in love and commit to the woman that they see as their ‘one and only’, and not the ‘one of many’.
Good points! However, I repeatedly see men staying with a “comfortable” woman who doesn’t challenge them, or with a controlling woman who commands them what to do, while they’re not satisfied and look elsewhere for love & trust, still don’t leave the woman. I mean, not every man wants to commit himself to an open, authentic woman. Many prefer to have a comfort zone and wander around. Many have been raised with wrong behavioral patterns that doesn’t allow authenticity in themselves & others. I’m not blaming men. Many women are like that too. What I’m saying is being authentic doesn’t… Read more »
Even if a man is completely in love – it’s natural for him to drift away at times. There may be something he’s going through that you don’t know about, or he may be having a difficult time at work. The point is, you dont know, and there is more going on in the world than just you. If you feel it in your gut that you guys are still close, give it the benefit of the doubt.
But now, he is pulling away. Slowly but surely. I’m so lost. I’m trying to give him space but I’m scared he will go away forever. I don’t want that so I’m keeping my shut but I’m just so confused. I don’t know what to do. I love him dearly so much still (I have not expressed that as I’m conscious of the consequences of these things especially with an ex and what we went through).
Now you say she told you she had said certain things out of anger. Let us take a psychological view. When angry, individuals say things that they do not mean. It is our tendency to lash out during our worst moments. Your situation is not very different then of the last couple I have seen. Ms. Kelsey M, one of the ladies who posted on this page saw pictures of her boyfriend with another woman. She too out of anger said a few words to him. What we see is not always the truth. If someone else is capable of making her happier then why should she stay with you? The reason behind this question is what many couples fail to realize. Your partner loves you regardless the situation. If she wanted to leave you she would not have pushed the boy off when he kissed her. You must deeply understand this. I refer to the list your girlfriend made to show you that no woman would willingly follow it unless she truly wants you. An action like hers is validity to you that she is with you through everything and she has no idea of leaving you.
A couple days later he’s still acting distant and he’s being short with me over text and I’ve tried asking him to come over but he’d say he has to clean his house or that he can’t then after goes to hang out with his friends knowing I asked him earlier if he could come over. And usually he would come hang out with me since we haven’t been hanging out instead of going out with his friends. I just feel after that that this is a sign that I need to let him have his space even though we haven’t hanged out in almost a week, I really hope this works because one of my girl friends said that he’s obsessed with me and that he said that I’m the ONE. He’s even thought of wedding ideas I mean c’mon he sounds like he’s head over heals for me right? and I just don’t see him going from loving me so much to distancing himself from me and not even wanting to see each other it seems. Maybe it was something I said to him over text to make him upset? I just don’t know but I will do anything to go back to the status of what our relationship was once before this all happened.
If your ex has fallen into the friend zone (for example, if he or she says "I'm no longer in love with you"), you might be able to recreate the experience of falling in love by building intimacy with your ex. In one study, a researcher had two strangers stare into each other's eyes and then answer personal questions (like "What is your biggest fear?" and "What is your best memory from childhood?"). They were able to create an intimate bond between the strangers, creating attraction and even the feelings of love. Try spending time looking into your ex's eyes and asking deep questions and see if this helps move your relationship back into intimate territory.
Another reason your man act differently is based on fear. Maybe he’s been hurt in the past. Or maybe the idea of commitment simply petrifies him. If you two can discuss whatever the issue is and begin to deal with it, there’s a good chance that you can then begin to create something real and lasting together. Often, fears crop up in a relationship because a person wants to deal with those doubts and move past them. If you can be a steady, reassuring partner that isn’t pushing too hard, while he deals with what’s scaring him, you two just might build a foundation together.
This is a great summary of effective means for change - how I approach working with couples and helping people become more assertive and self-responsible. I would just add that often the triggers that fuel repetitive patterns derive from your family of origin. It's said that there are six people involved in every relationship - the couple and two sets of parents (sometimes siblings and step-parents, too) If you're not in counseling, a good way to uncover triggers from the past is through writing. Ask yourself what do these feelings remind me of.
These men who pull away have an avoidant attachment style. Read ‘Attached’ by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller and ‘avoidant, bad boyfriends’ by Jeb Kinnison. After reading these I realised that I’d been unhappily married for over twenty years to an avoidant man. I’ve since met someone with a secure attachment style and the difference is night and day. Unfortunately most secure men pair off youngish so the dating pool is disproportionately full of avoidant men. DO NOT MARRY one you will be miserable.
It is best if you don’t view word count in those terms. Rather, word count should be looked at as a “check” to see just how interested the person is in what you have to say. For example, if you send a text message to your ex girlfriend that is about 25 words and she responds with a 1 word answer that might be a little troubling. Sure, maybe she was busy when you sent that text and she didn’t have time to write a proper response but imagine if this trend was consistent throughout the history of your conversations as of late. Chances are probably high that she is not too invested in what you have to say (or she is just really pi**ed about something.)
Apologize. Think deeply about anything you did or didn't do that somehow contributed to the downfall of the relationship, and clean the slate by giving your ex a proper apology. Take full responsibility for the offense, without blaming your ex, giving excuses, or expecting an apology (or even forgiveness) in return. It may very well be that your ex contributed to the situation, but you cannot apologize for someone else; you can only apologize for yourself. Leave him or her out of it and odds are the apology will be reciprocated.
It’s that most of the time the one who cares the most in this situation somehow always turns out to be the villain, the one blamed, and the one getting hurt. When a guy pulls away women tend to make the horrible mistake of closing in and putting pressure on the situation, only to have him pull further away because of it. It seems the more you care and try to fix the relationship the more he distances himself from you.
Instead, tell him, “I feel great that I’m hearing from you!” Instead of giving him something negative and aggressive to associate with you, make sure that when he’s with you or talking to you, he feels fun, positive energy from you. Your mood is one thing you have absolute control over, and how you act can be infectious. People like being around postivity. Think of all the times people have complained to you and how enjoyable it was to listen them.
We texted incessantly for a month and went on our first date to an ice cream festival called The Scooper Bowl. I missed the train, and we kissed. We began a summer fling where we’d walk around Boston holding hands, eating pizza, and watching TV cuddled up on her couch. She made that summer in Boston perfect. It was only two months, but it was unfiltered romance.