Why men pull away in the early stages of dating: 14 common reasons

Dating in the early stages is nerve-racking on its own, let alone when a man starts pulling away!

But why does this happen?

I did some research and can tell you 14 reasons why men pull away in the early stages and what you can do to prevent that!

1) He’s not ready for a relationship

If you’ve been dating a guy for a while and things seem to be heading in the direction of a relationship, but he seems hesitant, it could be he’s not ready for a relationship.

If this is the case, it’s best to break off the relationship.

Wait until he’s ready and you’ve given him the space he needs.

You can’t force a guy to be ready for a relationship or make him want you if he’s not ready to be with you.

You can be the nicest and most great woman in the world, but if he’s not ready, he’s not ready. It’s as simple as that.

So, my advice here is to not take it personally, no matter what you do.

You see, him not being ready for a relationship can have a million different reasons, none of which have anything to do with you!

Now: if you want to be in a serious, committed relationship but he isn’t ready, my biggest tip for you is to not engage with this man anymore.

Don’t settle for less than what you want, and instead, show life that you’d rather be alone than settle for something you don’t want!

Yes, it will be hard, but trust me when I say this: you will find a man who is ready for a relationship if that’s what you want!

If he just doesn’t want a relationship, there’s a good chance he’s commitment-phobic.

Some men just aren’t ready for a serious relationship or marriage yet and they’re afraid of commitment because of that.

If this is the case with your man, then there are things you can do about it!

First off, talk about commitment and what each of your expectations is in the relationship/marriage.

If both of your expectations match up well with each other’s expectations then great!

I see a lot of women scared to talk about these things because they don’t want to “scare someone off”.

Let me tell you a hard truth right now: if a man is scared off by you talking about commitment or what you want out of the relationship, he’s not the right guy for you to begin with.

2) He’s just not that into you

This happens more often than you think.

Men get turned off by small things, and sometimes it hasn’t even got a lot to do with you.

It’s just a fact of life. And there’s no way around it.

If a man is not interested in you, there’s nothing you can do about it.

You can be the sweetest, most amazing woman in the world, but if a man is not interested, nothing you do will change that.

You see, when a man is not that into you, he’ll start to act distant.

He’ll start to pull away from you. If you see this happening, let it go. It’s best not to waste your time on a guy who doesn’t want to be with you.

You need to have more self-respect than that.

Think about it: if a man shows you with his actions that he is not really into you and doesn’t value and honor you, but you still keep chasing him, wanting him to come back, what does that say about you?

Nothing good, let me tell you that much.

And this will only show him that you don’t have self-respect and value yourself.

If you want a man to respect you, the first thing you need to do is respect yourself and your own time.

You need to know what you want out of a relationship and what it takes for someone to get into a relationship with you.

I know I said it earlier, but you need to stop settling for less than what you know you deserve.

Stop engaging with low-quality men who don’t want to commit to you, want to keep you on the side, and just want to use you.

Stop wasting your time with these low-quality men. You are worth more than that.

You deserve the world, so start acting like it!

3) You’re more invested than he is and you’re rushing things

Are you trying to rush things with every guy you start dating?

Or are you trying to rush a relationship with a guy and get him to commit?

If so, you might want to take a step back.

If a man feels pressured to commit too soon, he’ll start to pull away.

Again, men don’t like feeling pressured by women. If a man is just not ready for a serious relationship, you’ll only pressure him to do something he’s not ready to do.

Wait for the right guy, and when he shows up, you won’t have to rush. Things will progress naturally.

You see, women have been programmed to want to control their relationships whenever they don’t feel safe.

This is when they will try to rush things, get jealous, etc.

The thing is, when a man doesn’t want to commit to you wholeheartedly, there is literally nothing in this world you can do to feel better or safe with him. Nothing!

Because a man who is serious about you won’t need convincing or rushing.

He’ll just be ready to commit!

But that doesn’t mean that you will know from day one.

Are you potentially being too needy and desperate for love?

If you’re too needy, you’ll make a man feel suffocated and trapped.

Men want to feel free, so if you try to control them or keep tabs on them, they will get scared and run away.

If you don’t give him space he feels trapped, and that’s when things can go downhill fast.

Stop the obsessive worrying about the relationship!

Men don’t like it when women are always worried about the relationship.

It makes them feel like they are being suffocated or controlled.

Allow yourself to breathe and let your guy have his freedom as well!

Once you do that, a true high-quality man will step up and show you his commitment without you having to rush things.

And that’s when you’ll know that you can truly trust this person with your whole heart!

4) He doesn’t see a future with you

Okay, you are not going to like this one.

A reason for a man pulling away in the early stages is that he doesn’t see a future with you and doesn’t know how to break up with you.

However, he doesn’t like to hurt women’s feelings, so he avoids you.

He might be afraid of hurting you, he might be afraid of what you’ll do to him once he breaks up with you, or he might just not know how to break up with you.

It’s hard to break up with someone, especially if you really like them.

Something as simple as waiting for the right moment can be hard when you know you have to break up with them.

Now you must be thinking: “well, if he likes me that much, then why would he want to break up with me?”

I know it’s hard to hear, but sometimes, as great as a person someone is, you just know that you can’t see a future together.

Maybe they are fun to be around right now, but getting married and growing old together? No way!

That could be how this man is feeling about you.

He’s either waiting for the right time to break up with you, or he’s trying to avoid hurting your feelings.

Either way, once he breaks up with you, it will be hard for both of you.

But at least you will know that it wasn’t going to work out in the long run.

You have different goals in life or different values and beliefs in life than he does.

The truth is that not everyone is compatible!

It doesn’t matter how much you like someone, if they don’t share your values and beliefs in life, then it won’t work out!

In that case, I can make you feel better. If this man was not the right fit for you long-term, then you just saved a lot of time that you can spend attracting the right guy into your life.

You know, the man that is meant for you will be the perfect match and you will have a happy relationship with him.

Isn’t it worth waiting a bit longer for him to come around?

Once you start seeing it this way, you will realize that men who aren’t meant for you walking out of your life are actually just doing you a favor.

They are preventing you from wasting any more of your time with a guy who is not going to be in your future.

Now you can start looking for the right guy and attracting him into your life.

This is all about being positive!

You will find someone who is the right fit for you, and he will love you back.

5) Talk to a relationship coach about your situation

‘While the reasons in this article will help you deal with a man pulling away in the early stages, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.

That’s what I recently did.

When I was at the worst point in my relationship I reached out to a relationship coach to see if they could give me any answers or insights.

I expected some vague advice about cheering up or being strong.

But surprisingly I got very in-depth, specific, and practical advice about addressing the problems in my relationship. This included real solutions to improving many things that my partner and I had been struggling with for years.

Relationship Hero is where I found this special coach who helped turn things around for me. They are perfectly placed to help you with your situation, too.

Relationship Hero is a hugely popular relationship coaching site because they provide solutions, not just talk.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice specific to your situation.

Click here to check them out.

6) He feels emotionally vulnerable

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A man might be pulling away from you because he feels vulnerable and needs space.

If he let his guard down and opened up to you, but you weren’t there for him when he needed you, he might feel like pulling away.

You see, if you’re in a relationship with a guy, it’s important to be there for him, even if you aren’t in a committed relationship yet.

You don’t have to be his girlfriend to help him through his problems.

But it doesn’t mean that you did anything wrong when he pulls away.

Sometimes, guys just get scared because they feel like they overshared and were too vulnerable, so they try to make up for it by pulling away and being distant.

He might be scared that you will use the information against him.

He might even think that you are going to leave him because he let his guard down.

But oftentimes, guys just want to protect themselves from getting hurt.

They don’t want to get close to anyone, because they are afraid of being heartbroken.

When a guy is pulling away, it’s important to reassure him that you won’t hurt him and you won’t take advantage of the situation.

You can tell him that he can trust you and you won’t laugh at his insecurities or make fun of him for opening up to you.

You can tell him that it’s okay if he feels vulnerable around you, because if he doesn’t feel safe with someone, then he shouldn’t be with them in the first place.

Now: if this is the case, there is a good chance you already suspect this after what happened on your dates together.

In that situation, I would simply give him some space, but maybe shoot him a text saying that you love how open he is and that you feel so safe being vulnerable with him.

After that, give him some space.

This will show him that you are not mistaking his vulnerability for weakness, but that you actually like it and want to be with him even more because of it.

Again, this is all about being positive!

If you’re positive, he will feel safe enough to open up to you.

And after giving him some space, he will most probably come back to you.

7) He’s not over his ex

If a man has just broken up with his girlfriend or wife, he may pull away from you.

Yeah, I know: it sucks. But it does happen sometimes, even if he doesn’t want to get back together with his ex-girlfriend or wife!

So, here’s what to do: give him space and time to heal and work through his emotions.

This is something he needs to do on his own. Don’t try to fix him or make him feel better.

Just let him heal on his own time. And don’t take it personally – no matter how long he takes!

Now: I’m not saying you need to wait for this man because frankly, that could be a waste of your time.

You see, you don’t know if the ex is the only issue here or if he’s just not that into you.

So, my advice is to move on if this happens.

For him to get over his ex could take months, if not years, so do yourself a favor and focus on yourself.

If it’s meant to be, you will reunite with him when the time is right, otherwise, you will find the man you are truly meant to be with.

8) He sees some red flags

He sees some red flags, but he’s not sure how to break up with you.

Red flags are little signs that show you that something is wrong.

For example, if he doesn’t want to spend time with you, or if he doesn’t want to do much of anything with you, then there’s a pretty big red flag waving right in front of your face!

Some men maybe a little more subtle than others when it comes to red flags.

Now: If this happens, don’t get upset or angry!

Instead, try asking him what the problem is.

If there are some things about you that make him feel uncomfortable or unhappy in the relationship, then it’s better for both of you if you know about them sooner rather than later.

Maybe you are doing something that sets off his alarm bells, or perhaps he is scarred from a previous relationship.

You can try talking about it, but if he pulls away, then there is not much you can do other than move on.

Do some introspective work and see if there are things about yourself you could potentially work on.

9) He’s out of balance

A man might be out of balance if he’s just been through something traumatic, like a breakup, death in the family, or a serious illness.

He might be dealing with a lot, and he needs time.

You might want to give him space and time. He may come around when he’s ready.

If that’s the case, you usually know about it because he has likely told you.

Now: here it really depends on what the issue is.

Generally, there is nothing wrong with giving him some time to grieve and get back into balance before getting together with him.

Just be honest with yourself and see whether that is truly the only reason he is pulling away.

If it is, being there for him during this difficult time could be the foundation of a strong relationship together.

10) His priorities have shifted

His priorities have shifted and he’s dating you, but he’s not ready for a relationship.

He might have to break up with you. A man might be dating you, but not be ready for a relationship.

He might have to break up with you because his priorities have shifted.

His career might be taking off, he might want to travel, or he might have received a promotion and needs more time to focus on work.

Whatever it is, if a man’s priorities have shifted to the point where you are an afterthought, that is not the man for you.

I’m not saying a man can’t have other priorities in life, but you, as his partner, should always be somewhere on top of the list.

11) He wants his independence

This one is a classic: He wants to be single and independent.

He’s not ready for a relationship and he doesn’t want to be tied down.

He might be going through a life transition and needs time to adjust, or simply honors his bachelor’s life at the moment.

You see, if you are dating a man like that while you want something serious, I would suggest moving on to someone else.

The man that is meant for you will want to commit to you because he knows that fully committing to a woman will give him more freedom and love than anything else.

12) He has other options

He has other options, but he’s dating you.

He might be dating you while he’s waiting for other options to come to him.

Maybe he is playing the field and dating multiple women.

In that case, you better get out of that situation as quickly as possible.

When a man entertains other options while dating you and even pulls away to pursue them, that is not someone you want to be with, especially when you are looking for commitment.

You see, you deserve to be respected, and pursuing other options is the pinnacle of disrespect.

13) He has an avoidant attachment style

Have you heard of the attachment style theory? Basically, it’s a theory that explains how we tend to deal with relationships and how we relate to others.

There are four attachment styles: anxious, secure, avoidant, and fearful.

The secure attachment style is the one you want to look for in a man.

It means he’s comfortable being in a relationship and he craves intimacy.

An avoidant attachment style means that he is scared of a relationship or any kind of commitment at all.

He wants his independence and won’t commit because of it.

When something goes wrong, this attachment style tends to withdraw from the situation.

If he is avoidant, there is a pretty good chance you are anxiously attached.

Read into it and find out where you are on the scale!

The good news?

You can change your attachment style over time and with work.

But you can’t force him to change his, if he is avoidant and won’t work on it, there’s nothing you can do.

14) He has other reasons for pulling away

He has other reasons for pulling away, and those reasons are based on his personality, needs, and wants.

There is a good chance has his own reasons, and you can’t change that.

You can’t change him. No matter how hard you try, you can’t make someone like you or want to date you.

You can only be yourself and hope that he likes what he sees.

If he doesn’t like it, there’s not much you can do about it.

What a lot of women don’t want to believe is that you can’t change a man.

You can only change yourself. So when a man pulls away, it’s important to take a step back and think about why he’s doing it.

You can then take the necessary steps to move on, but if he pulls away, that is nothing you can control.

You can’t force a guy to like you, but you can control how you react to his actions.

Keep this in mind when a man pulls away, and you’ll be more empowered to take the actions you need to take next time this happens to you.

You’ve been there, done that, and you came out on the other side stronger.

So if you’re currently dating a guy, and he starts pulling away from you, don’t panic.

Value yourself, girl

Whatever you do, don’t forget to value and respect yourself and your time.

On the one hand, if a man thinks it’s okay to pull away and leave you hanging, he’s probably not the right man for you.

On the other hand, it could be that he’s pulling away because you didn’t trigger something essential in him. 

What’s that?

The Hero Instinct.

According to relationship expert James Bauer, a man has certain innate drives and when a woman comes along and triggers them, his emotional walls come down. He feels better in himself and he’ll naturally begin to associate those good feelings with you.

And it’s all down to knowing how to trigger these innate drivers that motivate men to love, commit, and protect.

So if you’re ready to give him what he really needs from you to stop pulling away, be sure to check out James Bauer’s incredible advice.

Click here to watch his excellent free video.

Picture of Anna Scheucher

Anna Scheucher

Freelance writer specializing in holistic health, wellness, and psychology. Check out my blog to find out more https://www.fullyholistic.com/!

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