There are as many dating articles on the internet as there are people in the world.
But I’ll level with you: most of them are total junk.
If you have a guy pulling away you’re wondering what to do.
When he pulls away should I do the same?
Here are the straight goods.
But you should do it in the right way, otherwise, you’ll lose any chance you have with him.
Here’s how to pull away from him without driving the relationship — or potential relationship — into the ground.
1) Chasing is for drug addicts and gamblers
When a man physically or emotionally pulls away from you there could be 100 reasons why. They might have nothing to do with you.
The only thing you can be certain of is that he’s pulling away. Your texts are having longer response times, he’s muted and indifferent when you hang out, and you can’t figure out what’s going on.
What was once alive and sparkling with potential now seems dead and without hope.
From the youngest age, most of us have one instinct when something tasty, pleasurable, or interesting is pulled out of our grasp.
We try to grab it and run after it. Then if we don’t get it we cry and shout.
But if you do that when he pulls away from you it only weakens your position. You need to embrace all the turmoil you’re feeling and process it, but don’t air it out with him.
If you do, he’ll run and never come back.
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Chasing is for drug addicts and gamblers, and I should know: I used to have quite a problem with gambling myself.
2) Black-and-white doesn’t work
If a guy is distancing himself from you it’s usually pretty clear. But if you approach this situation in a black-and-white way you are going to destroy any hope that’s left.
When he pulls away you need to respond by also pulling away, but without thinking of it in drastic terms or becoming very convinced about the outcome.
The truth is you just don’t know what’s really going on.
And unless and until he explains it to you, there’s no reason to emotionally invest yourself any further than you already are.
You may be hurt, wanting to pound the wall, depressed about the future and disgusted with this guy’s unclear behavior.
But if you engage in black-and-white thinking you are going to sabotage your chances with him and your own entire approach to life.
“Psychologists consider this thought pattern to be a cognitive distortion because it keeps you from seeing life the way it really is: complex, uncertain and constantly changing. Black and white thinking doesn’t allow you to find the middle ground, which can be hard to sustain in life at those extremes.”
Every defeat contains a seed of victory. Every victory can become a defeat when we get what we wanted and find out it wasn’t the key after all.
Be cautious and hold your cards close.
3) Keep your emotions calm
Like I said, you may be in an emotional tailspin if a guy you like is drifting from you and sending you mixed messages.
But if you’re asking yourself “when he pulls away should I do the same?”, you need to approach this question in as ruthless a way as possible.
Imagine you’re Spock in Star Trek or something.
You see the situation and you keep your emotions as calm as possible. You allow those overwhelming emotions you have to sweep over you and maybe even flood you a few times.
But you don’t let them control your decisions and mind.
If you act out of your raging emotions you’re going to do impulsive things, make brash phone calls, go out and do things you shouldn’t do with other guys, and so on…
Instead, you need to light some candles or incense, meditate (the right way) and let this pain settle.
You’re still going to hurt, but you refuse to be a victim of the pressure of the moment. You will take your time in responding to his disengagement.
It’s not always easy to keep your balance in the middle of a shitstorm, but as Kevin Daum advises:
“There is a saying among race car drivers: slow in the cockpit equals fast on the track. When you’re going too quickly, carelessness is bound to occur, making an already chaotic situation much worse…
“Hyperventilation never helps anyone, so take a few deep breaths and relax. If everyone stays focused and steady, much more can be accomplished in less time, making everyone more comfortable.”
4) Be flexible and easygoing
How are you supposed to be easygoing if a guy you like is pulling away from you?
Think about it:
What will most people do when someone they like fades out on them?
They’ll hit the fucking ceiling, talk to their friends 24/7, play mind games with him on text and try to get his attention.
By basically not doing any of those things you just put yourself miles ahead of any competition and showed him that you’re not a childish attention seeker and you don’t let him control the flow of your interaction.
So he wants to fade away and focus on other things?
Surprise, surprise, so do you!
The difference is:
It’s not a game or a “tactic”, it’s actually you genuinely focusing on other things because you have the self-respect and maturity to not try to force someone to be with you.
And that also happens to be a very attractive trait.
5) Pursue your dreams and goals
On that topic, pursue your dreams and goals. Really go after those sons of bitches!
Grind hard and put in long days. Go after your passions like a wild woman on steroids (please don’t actually do steroids).
Your dreams and goals don’t have to be cosmic or world-shaking. It could be about finishing your degree in accounting or discovering your interest in architecture.
The point is to stop basing your future on him. If he ghosts you, it’s his loss. If he comes back, you will potentially consider giving him another chance.
If this guy is walking away from the connection you have then it’s your job to go focus on the other things you want to achieve in life.
Don’t go away mad, just change focus and work hard. Let him stew in his own juices.
Keep in mind: “don’t pretend to be busy, actually be busy.”
It’s not “selfish” to put yourself first, it’s logical and productive.
As communications executive Marcie Kroeker writes:
“You have to take other people’s needs into account when making decisions; however, if you are only taking other people’s needs into account and not your own, this is an extremely dangerous trajectory.
“You may not notice it right away, but over time, you may find yourself slowing disappearing until you no longer recognize yourself.”
6) Work on yourself
Work on yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually — for your own sake. Don’t do it to “get him back” or as part of any strategy.
Do it because you can and because you’ll feel great.
You should obviously make it clear that you want to be with this guy if that is the case, but you should never demonstrate or enable your wellbeing or future to depend on him.
Putting your happiness fully in the hands of another person is often presented as romantic and a way to commit. But it’s actually a way of not committing to yourself.
As world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê teaches in his free masterclass on finding true love and intimacy, codependent patterns like putting your happiness in someone else’s hands are not the way to find real love.
There’s another far more effective, win-win solution, which Rudá discusses.
7) You are the prize
Many times when we put our hopes in someone else we devalue ourselves.
There’s nothing wrong with valuing someone else and being very attracted to them, but when we chase and run after their affection we are making a very explicit value judgment.
I need him or her, without them I’m lacking or missing a crucial part of my life.
Maybe you’re in love and it’s true, but that kind of tragic love can often turn unrequited…
And unrequited love is a really, really rough thing to go through.
So if you’re teetering on the edge of actually being in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same way, you need to pull back as soon as humanly possible and avoid a disaster and months of heartache if there is still time.
Watch Asha Christina’s excellent video here on this topic of seeing yourself as the prize (because you are!).
Like Asha says, many of us know about the idea of seeing ourselves as the prize, but we still don’t truly grasp it. One of the ways many women (and men) misfire is by putting all their cards on the table.
“Overcompensating lessens a man’s respect. You cannot show all your cards — your best cards — and expect not to be taken advantage of. Because why?
“In a new relationship the bond is particularly shallow. So I think that, too often, we make the mistake of zeroing in on one person and that’s how you set yourself up for failure…
“Don’t be afraid to lose any guy. This is crucial in understanding that you are the prize.”
Asha is so right.
8) Demand good treatment
Part of seeing yourself as the prize — and really believing it — is demanding good treatment.
This is one of the main things that motivational speakers like Tony Robbins teach, and they’ve helped millions by doing so.
I know Tony isn’t everyone’s cup of tea or some may feel he strayed too close to cliched and silly ideas like the “Law of Attraction,” but I love him and I think a lot of what he teaches has validity.
Simply put, it’s about knowing your standards and expectations and refusing to lower or trim yourself to fit the world.
Certainly, you may compromise or adjust your actions or decisions in the flow of life, but you refuse to take less than you’re worth or be treated like crap.
You just walk away.
You aren’t putting on a show, you’re genuinely sticking to expectations and demands you have of the bare minimum about what you will accept from others in order to get in the ring with them.
“Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards.”
9) Mirror, mirror on the wall
One of the top rules about deciding “when he pulls away should I do the same?” is understanding and practicing mirroring.
A big mistake that many people make when a relationship is fading or a new relationship reverses course, is to react dramatically.
They pull away sharply, get angry, put on a show for social media, and so on…
This not only doesn’t work, it sabotages your chances and your self-confidence and self-respect. Instead what you want to do is mirror his behavior as calmly as possible.
If he only texts once a day, you text once a day.
If he acts sort of neutral around you then you act sort of neutral around him.
And so on.
The power of mirroring is that it’s not dramatic, it’s just…a very reasonable and logical response to someone who is sending you mixed signals.
“By mirroring them, they are far more likely to respond to you and show interest in you than if you chase after them and persuade them to like you. And why should you have to persuade someone to like you? They should see how amazing you are!”
10) Don’t accept vagueness
Vague promises and future timelines are for suckers. Don’t let this guy drag you around or string you along.
If he gives you vague “maybes” and “yeah we’ll see” statements you give him similarly non-committal responses.
Remember mirroring which I talked about in the last point and Tony Robbins’ statement about raising your standards.
If you accept vague half-answers from him you are indicating that you simply don’t value yourself.
You’re saying — consciously or not — that you’re a person who can be strung along.
There are obviously times when there really are unknowns and he isn’t sure about things.
Trust your intuition and common sense to differentiate for you between that and him being full of shit.
11) Control the frame
“Controlling the frame” and “out-framing” is a popular concept on men’s dating sites and the manosphere, but there’s no reason women shouldn’t get to use it as well.
Basically, frame control means your behavior, body language, and decisions that either leads or follows in romantic or sexual interaction.
You don’t build frame control spontaneously or by trying hard, you do it by naturally expressing your deeply held views of yourself, reality, other people, and attraction.
If you have frame control then you’re the one deciding what is acceptable or not, if you don’t then you’re the one playing by someone else’s rules.
Frame control doesn’t just exist during initial encounters and dating, it continues through dating and even marriage to some degree.
How to get it?
There are a number of effective ways to control frames — which this guide lists — including denying the validity of their framing, negotiating, agreeing, and redirecting to what you want, and more…
“The truth is you can take over the world but if you still think you’re inadequate, your frame won’t change.
“You need to be open to seeing all the value you bring to the world. External circumstances matter, but at the end of the day frame is perception, and you must perceive yourself positively for anything to matter. So choose to see your world differently. Your dating life will thank you.”
12) Claim your own space
One of the problems many women have when they meet an attractive, charismatic guy and start catching feelings is that they stop claiming their space.
They do what he wants, spend time that he wants, and let him control the frame (decisions, time, rules) as if he has some inherent right to do this.
But he doesn’t.
You’re both co-pilots in this romantic endeavor and you have just as much of a right as him to call the shots, define your boundaries and say when you need more space.
What this means in practical terms can be very simple. For example:
Turning down an invite because you’re busy;
Letting him know you’re not in the mood for something;
Taking the lead on suggesting activities, meetup locations, a timeframe of time together, and so on.
13) Avoid getting dragged into his drama
Many times, men will pull away when they are having some personal problem or other challenges in life. If this happens you can let him know you’re there to support him.
However, you should never take responsibility or blame for his problems.
If you get dragged into his drama, you are implicitly agreeing to a codependent relationship where he starts to unload on you or expect you to fix his issues.
And that’s not your job.
Caring about someone and taking on all their shit as your own shit are two very different things.
If he needs support then by all means give him support. But don’t ever blame yourself or tie yourself in knots to take the blame for his issues.
Minimizing drama as a whole is an excellent life goal, and there are some very smart ways to do it, including:
“…giving yourself a window of time when you’ll listen, and then take care of your own needs by walking away. Also, resist the urge to jump into a pity party.
“Oftentimes people calm themselves down when other people don’t validate their complaints.”
14) Take your time coming back
When he pulls away should I do the same?
As I’ve written, yes you should.
And you should do it as calmly, methodically, and reasonably as possible. Do your own thing and value yourself.
The last and one of the most important tips is to take your time coming back if he wants you back.
When I say you should pull away when he pulls away, I don’t just mean as a strategy or idea, I mean that you should legitimately pull away in equal measure.
This inevitably includes the possibility that you meet a new guy, reorient your life priorities, have a crisis that takes precedence, or quite simply change how you feel about this guy.
If he walks away, he is taking that chance whether he knows it or not.
And if you’re the girl who has to show him what happens when you make a miscalculation then so be it.
Never play second fiddle to someone else’s life, period.
When he pulls away you do the same.
And don’t come back unless he proves his worth and gives you a good reason to trust him again.