I have found that it is when I had children with my husband that he started to become extremely responsive and didn’t pull away as much – not directly as a result of loving me more, but because his masculine brain perceives that we need to communicate very often, for the purpose of responding to our kids, working out logistics, proper organisation between us, and doing the right thing by me and our kids.
I’ve been “hanging out” with this guy off and on for two years. Before meeting him I read books on this exact subject. I’ve been married and divorced twice so I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing if I got involved with a man again. I’m very opened about my feels I always have been. I like that about myself but in the past I’ve also been pushy wanting things to happen right away. Now with this guy I’m “hanging out” with has pulled away a lot in the 2 yrs I’ve been seeing him, but he had always come back. I think it’s because I always gave him his space. Since being married and divorced twice taking things slow was fine with me. Just recently though, I couldn’t help myself and I told him that I loved him. I thought for sure he was going to pull away, but he didn’t not right away anyways. In fact, we talked about making it exclusive. I was so happy because it’s what I had been waiting patiently for two years for. Recently, we had a two year anniversary of when we met so being the person I am I gave him a card. I said a paragraph of very heartfelt things. I knew this would definitely make him pull away from me and I was right. Even though I know when it’s going to happen it still doesn’t make it easy to deal with. I love him and I want him to know this. I want him to know that I accept him for who he is. I feel the only way I’m going to get him to trust me is by letting him have his time away from me. When he comes back he’s different, for instance, he more loving sweeter. I believe him when he says he’s happy with me. He too has been in difficult relationships in the past that broke his heart. Love isn’t meant to go fast. Love takes time. I’m glad it’s going this way even though it’s hard because I came from abusive background and it’s why my marriages ended. This guy inspires me to grow and find myself. I’ve started back to school at 43 yrs old because of his encouragement. I don’t feel I have to be someone I’m not when I’m with him. I feel safe when I’m with him. I want him to feel the same when he’s with me. I feel that’s what true love is all about. I may love him but he’s not my whole world, he’s only part of it.

This is essentially the difference between a healthy relationship and a toxic relationship. A healthy relationship is one where two people feel fulfilled by their individual lives and let that joy and sense of fullness spill into their relationship. They each bring something to the table and can comfortably give and receive. A dysfunctional relationship is when one or both people believes the other person can “give them” something or that there’s something to “get” from the other person.

Why don’t you advise sending the man a brief text that recognizes he needs space and give him the time and space he needs? The guy I’ve been seeing for almost a year got fairly emotional one night and finally made a commitment to me. I think did, anyway. Lol But the very next day he became a bit cold and distant. I’d get brief replies to my texts, but that was it. I also know he’s dealing with some personal things as well. I texted him, told him I felt he was going through a few things and needed space. He replied with a Thanks! which confirmed my thoughts. A few days later, I texted him again, told him I missed him, (shows I’m not upset) but I understood he needed space and told him to take all the time and space he needs. (Shows understanding and willingness to allow him to do his thing) I also told him that if he ever wanted to know how was feeling or how I felt about him to listen to a specific song and ended the text with some sweet words. (To reassure him and to hopefully give him an earworm to keep him thinking about me and make him miss me.) Then nothing more. No texts. No calls. Nothing. My plan is to keep busy and let him contact me.


So I went. He was extremely shocked and happy to see me… but I was giving him a cold shoulder. I sat there and all of my questions and anger and sadness began to flow out! He listened closely and apologized genuinely but I felt hurt. I left after reeming him out for half an hour, and the next day he called me. He asked me to meet up for pizza in the park and we did. He kept thanking me for coming back to him, and apologizing for having hurt me.
In the dating world, I often see that one of the most common reasons men pull away is that they find the woman to be challenging, and she gives in because she likes him. She starts settling and making excuses for his lazy or inappropriate behavior. There are many times I see a woman dating a man, and he shows all the signs that he is not ready for a relationship with his behavior and his words. Instead of pushing yourself towards him in the hopes of changing his mind, I believe the right thing to do in this situation is to dig deep into your feelings. If you can control your feelings by maintaining a friendship, then go for it. (And I’m not talking about being “friends with benefits.”)
My boyfriend and I have been arguing because I say things that he doesn’t like and I am in love with him and want to marry him he is the ONE, and I know and feel it, he feels the same and loves me as well and does see a future with my kids and I, I need to completely stop all the things that I say because I know that I am going to lose him and I don’t want to I’m scared to death that I am going to lose him, and have never been this scared to lose someone in my life, he’s such a good guy and he’s good to me and my kids, I have been completely depressed for a few days and I have been crying on a daily basis but he said that he feels he can’t talk to me anymore because I get mad at everything he says, how can I help him believe what I say and have him talk to me about things?? How can I turn things around for the better with us?? My biggest fear is losing him. I would do anything to turn things around for the better. He is still affectionate with me and tells me that he loves me everyday he is just being distant from me right now because of the things that I have said and if I could go back and change things I would in a heartbeat and from all of this going on I will never say anything like what I have again and I told him that but he doesn’t believe me and I told him that I want things to be as they were. I apologize for this being all over the place I have like I said been so depressed that I can’t even think straight, I haven’t eaten in 3 days as well. He has been so forgiving and patient with me and he is an amazing man I just don’t know what to do or say to him to help him believe that what I’m saying is real. I totally trust him I know that in my heart he would NEVER cheat on me it’s against his morals and he is a very honest and loyal man as well, I can’t and don’t want to screw this up with him, he is my world and couldn’t ask for more. He is my best friend, my soul mate, the love of my life, we are still together but I feel that he can’t be with me anymore because of the stuff that I have said. I’m torn into shreds right now and I want to prove to him that I can back up my word but I don’t know how to do that.
No Contact Rule: How Long Should You Do It For? The No Contact Rule: Everything You Need To Know The Real Reasons Men Don’t Text Back: The Ultimate “Do’s and Don’ts” Guide To Texting Exactly How To Make Your Ex Miss You After A Breakup The Exact Reasons Why The No Contact Rule Works Every Time Why Men Pull Away: 3 Easy Ways To Stop A Man From Withdrawing
Long story short, this article helped put things in perspective again. I’m going to try my Damndest to give him space when he seems to pull away, play the cool understanding girl a little while longer, & endure. I do love him with every ounce of my heart & soul. I have always been a very confident person & have NEVER let anyone “treat me” this way. But, I’ve also never loved someone so deeply nor with this personality type before.

I think you’re focusing WAY too much on him and what he’s feeling. You’re focusing on the fear you have of losing him rather than focusing on your happiness. You have to ask yourself how you feel about yourself in this relationship as is. Do you feel your confidence, or do you feel insecure? No man is worth being with if you feel insecure. And if you do feel it, you have to change your dynamic and approach so you can get that confidence back. A man LOVES a confident woman, and you’ll feel better about yourself being confident, anyway. The way to get confident and attract him or any other man to you is by focusing on YOURSELF. You need to make sure you’re happy on your own before you can be happy with a man. This doesn’t mean you need to be single to get happy—just have a fulfilling life for yourself outside of a man. Don’t let him be the ONLY valuable thing or person you have in your life. You need to be excited about more in your day than your bf. You have to have other things going for you that make you happy. Once you can sustain happiness without the need of a man, you’ll have your confidence and this will be attractive to other men (and possibly your ex). The key is to not lose the focus on YOU even when you do get into a relationship or the relationship deepens. NEVER lose sight of your happiness. You need to continue having a fulfilling life outside of HIM. Once you start losing that grasp on yourself and get more caught up within the relationship, you’ll start to depend on him for your happiness—and he’ll withdraw again. Even if he withdrew for other reasons, chasing after him as if you can’t live without him will only push him away further. If he is a good man who is emotionally available and TRULY wants you, I promise he will come back. You don’t chase him, you don’t contact him. Let him contact you. Give him the chance to miss you. This can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a year or more. It’s however long it takes him to miss you, IF he truly wants you (took my guy 8 months). In the meantime, you don’t wait on him. You focus on yourself and getting your happiness and confidence. Fill your life with people and hobbies you love. Try new things you haven’t tried before. Change jobs if the one you have makes you miserable. Do what you need to do to give yourself a fulfilling life. Make sure you have your days full of plans so you don’t give yourself the chance to sit and mope about your breakup. That’s not going to help you. You need to show yourself how great life can be, even if he’s not in it. If he never reaches out, then he doesn’t truly want you—and why would you want someone who doesn’t want you as much as you want them? Don’t wait around for him. Focus on you. He will come back if he truly wants you, and you have to continue to focus on yourself even if he does. If he doesn’t come back, you’re going to be fine because you’re nurturing your happiness and confidence. PLEASE don’t lose sight of yourself, ever. It’s your golden ticket to happiness and to a great man who will love and respect you.

After a healthy and happy relationship for 10 months, he told me his ex wife wants to get back with him. I asked where does this leave me within this equation, he wouldn’t respond, So I asked him does he love me, he said no he does not love me and had never made empty promises nor used the word love! I broke it off and now it’s been 7 weeks without contact! I was hoping he would realise my absence and hold onto the good memories we had together. Will he contact me as I am following the no contact rule as you advise
Being friends with benefits makes it easy for him to get what he wants and often results in men pulling away. Maintaining a real friendship without an attachment of the desired outcome can give him the opportunity to see you in a different light when he is ready. It’s important to keep your options open and not focus all of your energy on one person if you know what I mean. 😉
Your articles always leave me teary-eyed, Renee. They are full of brilliant and compassionate insights. You speak of being authentic, you speak of trusting in the infinite perfection of the universe to give back what we put in. You speak of having a pure open hearted connection and leaving our fears at the door. This article made me cry. And I think it’s because it rang so true. We all want to be admired and trusted. I feel like whenever a man fell in love with me, it was after he revealed something shameful to me and I just accepted… Read more »
I’m on the other side of the coin. I’ve been dating a woman for three years and she is a raging workaholic. We rarely spend time together, if we do she falls asleep, or we have time to do nothing because she always has to be AT WORK. Living together would solve some of the problems but she always has an excuse as to why she works all the time or some martyr-ific After two years, I’ve finally gotten tired of trying to communicate my feelings and am taking time for myself. It’s hard to talk when you feel that someone is not listening.
I didn’t realize it then, but I don’t think I should’ve jumped back into the relationship so quickly. Because very soon afterwards, I started to fall into another slump after I lost two jobs within two months. I was stressed again, and started to feel depressed without realizing how much I put on his shoulders. He never complained. He was there for me. I feel like I took it for granted a little bit.
In addition to the pulling away he is very cruel when he drinks. Calling me horrible names and tries to make me feel beneath him. I know this is huge red flags but love makes us do crazy things. We’re both sexually open minded but he tells me I’m a liar about talking about having another woman intimately. I feel him and I aren’t ready for this. At least I’m not ready. It’s a unhealthy dysfunctional relationship and while he has his faults I know I push him to the limits. (Blowing up how phone etc)
my ex contacted me out of the blue, after 6 months with a simple how are you doing, I waited at 30 minutes before replying. thank you, I hope you are doing well. well any how we met the same night one thing led to an other and we had sex. we talked for hours as of nothing had happened. I sent him a good morning text and vaguely replayed and has not messaged. should I wait until he does or text him first
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