Do you need to know why men pull away in the early stages of dating? Well, it’s not that uncommon for men to pack their bags before things even have a chance of getting serious.
He acts as if you never even existed. He’s gone and you’re left to wonder if you were imagining things.
You’re baffled because you really thought things were going great! You were sure he felt the same spark you did.
You know you might’ve had some disagreements, but even then, you handled them quite well. So what happened?
At this point you’re probably overthinking what you might have said or might have done and now you’re just confused.
The sad thing about this entire situation is that you’ve probably experienced this before. Men have the tendency to just ghost you, leaving you hanging without any explanation whatsoever.
Why do they feel the need to do that? And more importantly, what are you supposed to do regarding this issue?
10 reasons why men pull away in the early stages of dating
One good thing that I can tell you is that most men have the same thought process in these situations. There aren’t many possible reasons behind this, so you can quickly find out what happened in his head to make him act like this.
I know that you’re going crazy at this point. You’re constantly checking your phone to see if he’s texted you, but there’s no notification whatsoever.
That’s why I’m here to tell you to calm down for now. Nothing good will come from panicking. You may as well sit back, relax, and get into the male psyche with me.
1. He doesn’t recognize his own feelings
We’re all aware of the fact that men aren’t very emotionally intelligent. They don’t understand their feelings or know how to name them.
When they experience an emotion that isn’t the usual happiness, anger, or sadness, they’re completely weirded out by it. Especially if it’s something new to him.
Before he continues talking to you, he needs to recognize the feelings he’s experiencing. He needs to figure out if he genuinely likes you or is just infatuated by you.
It’s scary for him because if he truly likes you, he’ll have to talk to you about his feelings. And that’s a scary thing to do.
But if he’s a nice guy and he doesn’t feel the same way you do, he’ll have had the decency to explain that to you. Even if he didn’t find the best way to do that, it’s actually still a good thing.
He took time to think about it instead of jumping straight into a relationship. He probably shouldn’t have ghosted you or become so distant all of a sudden, but he doesn’t know how to process what’s happening without being on his own.
2. He’s scared of his emotions
This is also a very common issue when it comes to men. When they feel anything more than infatuation or lust, they tend to get scared and run away from those emotions.
This will be true in your case if the guy is quite young. I know that men experience this even when they get into their 30s, but it’s mostly true for younger men.
They start to understand that the emotions that they’re experiencing are exactly what other people describe as love. He wants to hold you, cherish you, and protect you from the world.
But at the same time, he can’t accept those emotions because he’s afraid of what those might mean for him.
3. He still isn’t sure if he’s ready for commitment
Let’s be honest, most of us aren’t ever really ready for commitment.
Especially not when we’re unsure if the person we’re seeing is the one. Most people feel slightly uncomfortable when it comes to this topic, so you can’t really blame him for his issues.
But even though he’s scared of commitment, he should’ve told you as much. He shouldn’t have ghosted you completely and then pretended as if nothing ever happened.
He should’ve talked about this to you.
You can be sure that he has a fear of commitment if he told you he’s never had a serious girlfriend.
He probably said on multiple occasions that he doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage, committed relationships, or anything along those lines.
Has he shown you any sign that he might not be ready for commitment? You might have disregarded them as something funny, but he might’ve in some way already told you that this is an issue for him.
4. He’s not sure about your feelings
When you think about why men pull away in the early stages of dating, you may want to think about how you act first.
Do you talk to him about your own emotions? You can’t really expect him to talk to you about his if you’re closed off yourself. He’s probably apprehensive because he doesn’t know how you feel about him.
We all know that a man’s ego is extremely fragile. If he got rejected, he’d probably be angry at himself for even trying. And then he’d blame you for all of the time he wasted, to the point that he may become verbally abusive.
I’m not saying that all men are like that, but it is a possibility.
Maybe you just haven’t reciprocated his feelings the way he was expecting you to. You could’ve come off as cold and distant, even though you were very much invested.
You were probably just looking out for yourself because you didn’t want to seem overly enthusiastic.
Your intention was never to seem uninterested.
That’s why you might want to think about how you’ve been acting around him. Have you tried a little too hard to conceal your feelings? It might’ve worked too well. Now he doesn’t even know if you’re interested in him at all.
5. He doesn’t want to get hurt
Has he been hurt before? When we first start dating someone, we generally open Pandora’s box filled with all of our trauma from past relationships. We do this so that the other person understands better what we’re going through.
It’s also a great way to find out how the other person acts in a relationship. We ask questions and we expect answers because that way we know if we want to pursue anything serious with them.
So when you went out with him and talked about your past relationships, did he tell you that he had his heart broken?
Chances are that he’s afraid you might be just like his ex. His ex may have cheated on him, left him when he needed her the most, or even manipulated him emotionally. After things like these, it’s quite hard to trust anyone ever again.
If you’ve gone through a similar experience, you understand him completely. That’s why you can’t judge him. Our past trauma is something that we need to deal with on a daily basis.
You can quite easily tell if this is the issue. You just have to remember just how many times he’s repeated that he’s scared of getting hurt. He may not even have to say it directly, you can catch that through different behaviors as well.
Men often pull away in the early stages of dating because they haven’t yet processed and moved on from their past hurt.
6. It got too real for him
It’s all fun and games until the moment a man realizes things are getting real. By “real,” I mean that you’re actually moving fast on your path to become an actual couple and be in an actual relationship.
It’s a well-known fact that men really love to flirt with the woman that they’re interested in. Considering that men love the chase, the thought of actually catching you is frightening.
If he could, he’d probably play his little games with you until the end of time. When things get too real for him, when you take the bait, he may not be as interested in you anymore.
At this point, it’s up to you to make the decision regarding this issue. You can’t just sit around and wait for him to realize that life isn’t a playground and that your heart isn’t a toy.
A grown man wouldn’t be threatened or get scared when things get real because he was dating you with an intention in mind.
7. He’s got other commitments right now
Do you want to know why men pull away in the early stages of a relationship? Sometimes the answer isn’t even that complex.
He probably has other commitments that require his immediate attention.
Has he told you about a project he’s working on right now? Does he have a lot on his plate? Is he having to travel somewhere?
You probably know the answer if this is truly the issue. I genuinely don’t believe that he would leave you guessing him and his intentions if he just has some work-related things to take care of.
You don’t need to fear that he isn’t interested in you anymore. That said, if this is a crucial thing for you and you don’t want this to happen again, you may want to talk to him about it.
When you communicate things, you’re not leaving much space for assumptions. You won’t need to overanalyze anything because he will share it all with you.
The only issue here is if he doesn’t text you at all. Some guys pull away when they have other commitments to take care of, but they don’t cut off communication at its core.
When a man genuinely cares, he will find a way to text you whenever he has a breather. It takes a couple of seconds to text you, so why wouldn’t he have time for that?
You may not be able to see him for a while, but communication definitely shouldn’t be cut off completely.
8. To gain reassurance
When it comes to seeking reassurance, it’s a very sensitive topic. He won’t just come out and tell you. You can’t just expect him to be open about this because he’s a man and that alone makes him feel weird about this entire situation.
He won’t sit you down and ask you to describe to him where the relationship is going and where he stands with you. Instead, he will take a few steps back and pretend like nothing’s bothering him.
The only logical thing for him to do is to pull away. He wants to see how much you’re interested in him. This is especially true if he’s always been the one to text you.
To get to the bottom of why men pull away in the early stages of dating, you have to be open-minded. You might want to think about how many times you were the one to initiate a conversation or invite him on a date.
This doesn’t seem like an issue to you, but he wants to get that reassurance. Because if he’s serious about you and he’s been the one to constantly run after you, it’s going to bring him a lot of stress.
9. He’s exploring other options
No girl wants to hear this, but there’s a chance that this is the issue.
In the early stages of dating, men may pull away because they’re just looking to see if there’s someone more suitable for him out there.
It doesn’t automatically mean that you’re not suitable for him, he just wants to know what his options are.
This definitely isn’t something you should be okay with, though. You’re not a placeholder until someone better comes around.
It’s a possibility you really have to consider. You will know that this is the case if you’ve seen him text other girls or if he’s notoriously known for being a player.
10. He’s simply not that into you
In the early stages of dating, you’re still getting to know each other. That’s also when you start taking the rose-colored glasses off. You start to see the person for who they actually are.
Let’s face it, at first you actually idolize this man. But you’ve probably learned a lot about him since, and you’re not really sure if you’re fine with some of the things you’ve seen.
He’s trying to catch some red flags, trying to see if you’re compatible, and then he’ll make the decision whether or not he’s going to have “the talk” with you.
But a very common reason men pull away is that they don’t see a future with you anymore. He was probably infatuated by you in the beginning and simply wasn’t seeing things clearly.
Now that he’s gotten to know you, your world views don’t match, you don’t like the same things, and you’re going in different directions in your lives.
If that’s truly the case, then he probably just figured out that you’d be better off apart than together.
What to do when a man pulls away in the early stages of dating
Now that we’ve figured out the possible reasons why men pull away in the early stages of dating, let’s talk about what you can do.
Your options are very limited because it’s mostly his decision if he wants to get things back to the way they were before. But there are some things you can (and need) to do so that you can prevent your own heart from breaking.
If he doesn’t want to put effort into you and the development of your relationship, then it’s not up to you to change his mind. Nonetheless, here are some things you may want to try.
1. Give him the space he needs
Chances are that he just needs some time and space to figure out what he wants. You’re not the issue at that point, it’s his own mind that’s creating those problems for him.
He made the decision to deal with these things on his own. He’s chosen not to involve you and because of that, you shouldn’t insist on being there for him.
If he wanted to talk to you about this, he would’ve. He probably just needs some time apart from you so that he can understand his emotions a little bit better. He’s not doing this to intentionally hurt you or to make you question him.
There is a slight possibility that he just sees you as a placeholder until someone better comes along, but at this point, all you can do is let the situation unfold over time.
2. Set a time limit
By all means, give him time, but you shouldn’t stand around and wait forever for him to figure out what he wants and needs from you.
If you decide to wait forever, then he will always know that he can come back to you. It also means that you don’t respect yourself enough.
You’re not obligated to wait for anyone or anything. Especially not a man.
So make sure to set a time limit that’s okay for you. You can wait for a few days or even a few weeks. Whatever you feel most comfortable with.
But don’t let yourself wait longer than the due date you set for yourself. If you do that, then he’s not the only one who’s disrespecting you – you’re disrespecting yourself too.
3. Create boundaries
During the time period when you’re waiting for him to get his life back together and figure everything out, you can set some clear boundaries for yourself.
It’s not important right now to let him know about them. You can just set them for yourself, put them on a piece of paper and make sure that you’ve established the things you want and need right now.
What are the non-negotiables when you’re dating someone? Do you need to text every day? Do you want him to tell you what’s going on in his day-to-day life?
These boundaries are here so that you can feel comfortable and that you know that you’re not compromising yourself. You need to see him at least once or twice a week to feel safe and happy in a relationship with someone. You can’t just let someone ignore you like that.
Okay, he pulled away. But that’s not going to happen again.
Probably the first boundary you need to set is to not forgive him if he ever does anything like this again. It’s not your responsibility to stand around and wait for him.
He either wants you or he doesn’t. There’s not much philosophy behind that.
4. Confront him about it
So what happens if he exceeds your time limit? You’ve waited for a while for him to come back and he hasn’t changed his behavior.
Does he still not reply to you the way he used to? Does he still avoid talking to you?
You need to confront him about this. You need closure in this situation and you’re not ready to just let this go before you talk it out with him first.
There are two possible ways for you to do this. You can either text him and ask him to meet up with you to talk about things, or you can text him the questions you have for him and wait for his reply.
I would recommend face-to-face. Ask him to tell you what’s going on. You deserve an explanation.
5. If you’re not getting what you need, leave
The reasons men pull away in the early stages of dating are numerous, but there’s never any valid excuse.
You need to respect yourself enough and realize that you’re a high-value woman. Explain to him that you’re not going to wait. You have your entire life to live and there are men out there who would love you just the right way.
He isn’t the man for you if he makes you disrespect yourself and your own boundaries just so he can come back to you whenever he pleases.
Sure, you can forgive him this time for pulling away and disregarding your feelings. But you can’t forgive this behavior multiple times.
He needs to understand that you’re not the type of girl who will be silent about the things that bother her.
You said what you had to. If he doesn’t change, it’s your time to leave and show him that you’re worth so much more than he’s ready to give you.
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