When a man is withdrawing and pulling away, try these tips.
When a man starts pulling away or withdrawing or acting cold toward you… it’s hard not to panic.
It’s hard not to blame yourself: What did I do? Is it something I said? Was I too needy? Is he losing interest?
You reflexively start to panic and start questioning yourself and your value. Am I just not good enough for him?
It feels like he has complete control over the relationship… you’re just along for the ride, waiting to be chosen. You feel powerless and your self-esteem can really take a hit.
So let’s talk about how to not let that happen!
1. Give Him Space
This first step sounds so simple but it’s so hard to actually follow through on. The fact is, when a man pulls away it usually has nothing to do with you. He’s usually grappling with some sort of internal issue and when you take it personally then it suddenly becomes a relationship issue.
The best thing you can do is gracefully step back and give him the space to realign himself.
A lot of women reflexively feel resistance to this idea, our instinct is to move toward that which we want, not away from it! There is also an underlying fear that he’ll forget about her as soon as she’s not a strong presence. Now let’s look at that for a minute. Look at the insecurities that fuel such an irrational fear.
If you truly believe that a guy who you are in a relationship with would simply forget about you because you’re not right there in front of him for a little while, then you need to consider why you think you are so forgettable.
Instead of worrying about why he’s pulling away, ask yourself: Why does this bother me so much? What is the real fear here?
2. Don’t Stress Over It
I can’t say this enough, the constant stressing ruins everything. You really have to get your mind and fearful thoughts under control here.
Here is what I want you to do when those anxious thoughts start bubbling up. First, notice the thought. Just look at it. Then ask yourself: does this thought serve me well? If it’s bringing up feelings of fear, anxiety, insecurity, and so on, then the answer is no! No, it’s not serving you well. So stop engaging with the thought.
I also love Mel Robbins’ technique for handling anxious thoughts. When you’re in the throes of a spiral, just count backward from 5 to 1. Then reframe and shift the thought to a positive one like, “What if everything works out just fine?” and envision things working out the way you want.
Maybe you picture how you want the relationship to be, or maybe you just envision yourself being confident and calm.
Or maybe you just shift your mind to focus on something totally unrelated, like an exciting project you’re working on or trip you have planned.
The purpose is to just get out of that. frenzied, panicked place (because no good can ever come of it!), and into a more calm, rational zone.
3. Relinquish Control
It is so empowering to just realize that you’re not in control of everything and that the sky is not going to cave in because you’re not personally holding it up. It’s incredibly freeing to know that you will be OK no matter what.
Just drop all the digging, analyzing, and strategizing on how to fix this problem, which, I need to point out, isn’t even a real problem yet! I 100% get the need to do that because it gives you the feeling that you can control the situation somehow and fix everything.
But trying to fix a problem by obsessing over it is like running on a treadmill expecting to end up in a new city. You’re expending tons of energy, but you’re still in the same spot!
It’s natural for your brain to want to latch on to a mystery and solve it, discovering the answers so you can stop wondering, worrying, and waiting. The fact is that you don’t have control over him, over his life, or the circumstances he’s in. All you can control is yourself and your reactions.
So stop trying to control the outcome, focus on controlling your reactions.
4. Pursue Your Own Happiness
At this point, if you’re feeling stressed out and miserable because your guy is pulling away and the only way you’ll feel happy again is if he comes back, then you’re attaching way too much to him and the relationship.
This is a habit that is unhealthy and never ends well because you’re relying on someone else other than yourself to make you feel happy, complete, and whole.
Instead of placing a condition on your happiness, that you will only feel that way if he comes back, ask yourself what are some other ways you can increase your own happiness that don’t rely on someone else behaving a certain way.
Ask yourself: how can I feed my happiness tank today?
Because that’s what happiness is- it is a jar that constantly needs to be filled. It’s not just a static state of being. Happiness is a choice, it’s a choice you make every day that is comprised of a multitude of mini-choices you make throughout the day. And it definitely does not come from waiting around for a man to choose you or give you some attention.
High-value women rely on themselves to be happy and to feel good, they don’t outsource the task to others.
5. Move On
High-value women do not stick around in situations or with people who don’t treat them right or prioritize them.
With that said, when a guy pulls away it’s very likely that he’s just dealing with some personal issues in his own time and space. I think you should give him a bit of grace and understanding but giving him space cannot go on indefinitely with no end in sight.
You can’t just be waiting in the wings, he needs to show up in the relationship again at some point.
So first give him some space. If you don’t hear anything from him, shoot him a friendly text saying, “Hey, just wanted to see how you’re doing. Hope all is well.” or something similar and casual. See what comes back your way.
If you don’t get any response then it’s time to realize that no response is also a response and maybe this relationship has reached the end of the road. If he does reply but it’s cold or short, then it might be time to have a talk about what’s going on in your relationship and with him.
If he ignores you and this was a guy you were only casually seeing or it’s in the very early stages of dating, then it’s safe to assume he’s not just pulling away but he’s most likely ghosting and you should move on.
If you’re in a committed relationship and he’s pulling away, he’s most likely dealing with things that have nothing to do with you. Let him know you’re there if he needs you, and if the pattern continues, then you’ll need to let him know that the relationship can’t continue this way and you and he need to make a plan for how to get things back on track. If he doesn’t want to… well, then you may want to consider why you want to keep investing in someone who no longer wants to invest in you.
Being high-value is about knowing your worth and setting the standard, and then it’s up to you to uphold that standard! Be a chooser, not a chaser. A chaser chases after the relationship, fearing she won’t find anything better. A chooser knows she has the power of choice. If a man doesn’t treat her right, she will not linger in the relationship and will just move on.