21 Things That Happen To A Man When A Woman Pulls Away (2024)

So what happens to a man when a woman pulls away? Well, it’s a lot of things. 

What Happens To A Man When A Woman Pulls Away
Image by Alan from Pixabay

From self-questioning to calling it quits, stay with me as I unravel the male psychology whenever a woman begins pulling away.

Let’s dive in.

Men’s Good Bad And Ugly Experiences When Girls Pull Away

1. It Leads Him To Reanalyze His Behavior Around You

When you pull away from a man, the first thing he’ll ask himself is “What did I do?” This commonly leads him to reflect on what part of his behavior triggered your pulling away.

If this is the effect you wanted to get by pulling away, then you’d probably get positive results especially if the man you were seeing usually takes responsibility for his behavior and wants to build a healthy relationship.

If he blames his actions for your pulling away, he might ask you what he did wrong from the get-go. Or he might continue in the next reaction.

2. He Overthinks And Speculates

  • “Maybe I ticked her off after she realized I don’t like drinking. She probably finds me too boring, I’m a geek after all. Or and I probably talked too much and didn’t ask her much about herself.”
  • “Perhaps it’s the cheap flowers I got her on the second date. What if she realizes I couldn’t afford better ones that time -– I should have given her something else.”  

Some guys don’t ask why you’ve pulled away. They’re too scared of getting a negative answer or pushing you away even further. Yet this doesn’t help them either.

They spend most of their time overthinking the blunders they might have made or even flaws in who they are as a whole. It can feel like hell when a man takes this road when a woman pulls away.

3. He Tries To Apologize For Everything He Thinks He Did Wrong

If a man gets panicky that she’s pulling away, he might try to apologize for anything he thinks he did wrong. This is especially common with men who’ve deeply fallen in love with the girl pulling away.

So if your man starts apologizing to you when you pull away, think of it as a relationship salvaging act. 

He might be wrong for apologizing before asking what he did wrong but he’s definitely a decent man to even think of an apology in the first place.

4. He’s Compelled To Confess His Feelings

For the fear of losing a woman when she’s pulling away, a man might try to confess his feelings. He might think that would help the woman choose to stay especially if he’s been holding back his feelings.

So if you’ve been thinking of pulling away so he can at last man up and say “I love you,” this could work if he truly has feelings for you.

But beware of pushing a man to spill his feelings because he might take things too fast only to lose interest along the way.

5. He Moves On With His Life

Some men think it’s over when a woman pulls away. Or if he thinks the woman is playing games and he doesn’t tolerate love games, he’ll simply try to heal and move on.

One thing that’ll show this happened to your man is that he’ll start seeing other girls. But mostly, a guy moves on with his normal life as before he met you.

If this is the kind of man you’re dealing with and you still want to be with him, you’d better not pull away from him. It’s better to communicate with him straightforwardly.

6. He Might Try To Pressure The Woman To Make A Clear Decision

Women pull away for many reasons. Mostly, they want space to rethink the relationship or get some personal space to live their own life freely.

But some men might be unable to handle such steps since it keeps them guessing about the future. If you’re with this type, he’ll probably try to get explanations out of you even if you’re not ready to answer some questions.

You might get demands such as:

  • “You need to tell me whether you want to be with me or not.”
  • “We’re either in or out of a committed relationship, there’s no such thing as breaks. So tell me what you want.”
  • “Do you love me or not? No buts”

You need to assess whether you’d be with such a man in a serious relationship since they can be really controlling.

7. He May Steer Clear Of Your Personal Space

Some men understand you need your space when you pull away. So they’ll try their best to give it.

This is especially the best thing if you need some space to process issues in the relationship or other things in your life.

But to know for sure that a man is giving you space and not pulling away in revenge or losing interest, you need to come clear about your need for space. Establish how much time you think you need and be open about it instead of letting the man figure it out on his own.

8. He Gets More Curious About You

When you pull away, a man may get more interested in knowing you. But this is mostly possible when you’re just beginning to know each other.

For instance, if you just got into a certain neighborhood and flirted with a man a couple of times, he’d probably get more curious about you when you pull away. 

Men become more curious when you pull away early in the relationship because they want to know how to please you and get you close to them again.

9. He Intensifies His Pursuit

If a guy was trying to win your over and you start pulling away, he’ll likely try harder to make you fall in love with him. That’s if he has deep feelings for you.

The more you try to avoid him, the more he’ll make romantic gestures you might love. If you’re talking over a long distance, he might come over by surprise. If you’re avoiding him at work, he might show up at your doorstep. You get the point.

If you wanted a man you met recently to show you his commitment to you, you can try pulling away and see. If he likes you a lot, chances are he’ll try harder.

10. He May Lose Interest In You

On the flip side, sometimes loss of interest is what happens to a man when a woman pulls away. Here are the reasons why:

  • He feels the woman is playing hard to get
  • He wasn’t fully interested from the start
  • He has more urgent priorities to deal with 
  • He met someone else when the woman was pulling away
  • He’s a player and you’d become a hard target

While you can practice the Best Ways To Get Him Interested Again Fast and get your man back, it’s best to simply do what you feel is right for you – even if that means losing him.

11. He Might Learn To Slow Things Down A Bit

Especially if he has fallen head over heels, a man might take a relationship faster than it should move. So if he doesn’t listen to your pleas to slow down, it’s best to break free by pulling away to let yourselves breathe and see things more clearly.

So if you noticed you’re going too fast and hence felt the need to pull away, your man might take note of this and slow down as well.

Although it might be hard for him, he might actually start listening to you if he wants you for a long-term relationship. He’d still try to please you with romantic gestures though so enforce boundaries you’ve set so you can take charge of how you want to be dated.

Related: Why Do Guys Pull Away Before They Commit

12. His Hero Instinct Gets Triggered

James Bauer, a psychologist, professional relationship coach, and author of His Secret Obsession coined the term hero instinct which is a man’s innate drive to be needed by his loved ones, especially in a romantic relationship.

Since people with masculine polarity love a challenge, a man loves to protect and do stuff for his partner to feel as though he earned their love so he can truly feel in love with them. 

Therefore, if a woman pulls away from a man, it triggers his desire to show her love by being useful to her. This is something you can let him do if you desire more commitment from your man.

13. He Chooses To Back Off 

When a woman pulls away, some men assume they’re unwanted by the woman. Even if that’s not true, due to miscommunication, they discontinue pursuing the woman.

So if you’re wondering what happens to a man when a woman pulls away because your man stopped chasing you, this could be it.

He might have misread your pulling away. That’s why you need to have a legitimate reason why you pull away from a relationship and communicate that reason with a man if you don’t want to lose him.

Nonetheless, if you clear things out after your man misread the signs, he can still come back to you if he really wants to.

14. His Self-Confidence Gets Crushed

This happens to any gender when their loved one pulls away. So when you start pulling away, a man might start questioning his entire self-worth which derails his self-esteem.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

This is most common among guys who were heartbroken in past relationships or simply had their trust broken by the only person they trusted with their heart – romantic or otherwise.

Childhood trauma, inner demons, rocky previous relationships, and mental health issues all play a part in breeding negative emotions when a woman pulls away.

But don’t think that you need to prevent that from happening. You’re not responsible for a man’s mental well-being. You only need to communicate the most necessary details about your need to distance yourself — then pull away without feeling guilty. 

Over time, they heal and can get their confidence back.

15. He Feels The Need To Become Desperately Nice

For the fear of losing you, a man can react desperately after you pull away. He might overdo everything from compliments to gifts all in an attempt to win you afresh.

So don’t be surprised when a man you’ve been dating suddenly becomes extra nice, maybe even annoyingly nice. They must be thinking, “If I don’t do my best, I’ll lose this amazing woman”

16. Some Overcommunicate

“Hello, been thinking of you”


“Hey Linda, what’s up”


“Hi, long time, talk to me.”

This can be pretty annoying especially when you’ve already talked about your pulling away. But that’s a reality you have to deal with some men.

If this looks like someone you can’t tolerate under normal circumstances, at least you’ll know you dodged the bullet once you pull away.

17. He May Wait Patiently For You To Come Back

Some guys wouldn’t want to chase after you when you pull away. They’ll neither check in with you assuming you’ll come back when ready.

They’ll wait for your call, text, or visit for weeks and even months. You might think they gave up on you only to realize they didn’t when you reach out.

18. Some Respectfully Communicate The Changes

When women pull away, most men notice the changes. 

And if you’re dealing with an emotionally mature man who loves you, he’ll communicate the changes he’s seeing understandingly while setting boundaries that’ll help both of you take the relationship in the right direction.

19. He’ll Come Straight About What He Thinks Of Your Behavior

Whether a man finds pulling away emotionally immature or manipulative, he may tell you when he realizes what you’re doing.

Most men like straightforward verbal communication and if you act in a way that he needs to figure out what you want, he’ll tell you upfront what he thinks.

20. He Gets Obsessed With Trying To Know The Reasons Why

What happens to a man when a woman pulls away can be really progressive for his personal development. Especially if he chooses to search desperately for reasons women pull away.

A man might seek dating advice from a family member, friend, or even relationship expert which might help him discover how to relate with you or women overall.

21. He Might Revenge Pulling Away

Now, this is not only emotionally immature for a man to do but also destructive for both of you.

Instead of asking why or trying to fix things positively, a man might choose to pull away as well and even tell you that they’re treating you the way you treated them.

If you come across such a situation, take it as a blessing and move on to find a person ready to pursue a healthy relationship.

How Do You Pull Away To Make Him Want You?

You can pull away and occupy yourself with activities that bring you joy like spending more time with your loved ones. Keep when you’ll come back vague and leave him guessing when he’ll get to experience more time with you.

Pull Away
Photo by Viktoria Slowikowska

Here’s practical advice on steps you can follow:

  • Stop initiating communication completely
  • Do stuff you love without him
  • Make him wonder what you’re up to by staying mysterious
  • Practice being the best version of yourself
  • Let him have his space so he can long to have you there
  • Stay open to his affections with boundaries
  • Seek one of the highly trained relationship coaches to get tailor-made advice for issues you’re facing

If you follow these steps and he still doesn’t come after you, he’s probably not meant for you.

Related: Helpful Strategies – When He Pulls Away

What Girls Should Not Do When Pulling Away?

When pulling away, girls shouldn’t cave during their moments of weakness and contact a man. Also, even if he initiates contact, don’t reply in just a few minutes. Make him wait for a bit if he truly wants to spend time with you. Don’t overdo being unreachable though since a man might start losing interest.

It’s all about finding a balance according to your situation. Plus don’t play too many games to the extent of compromising your character.

For Guys: Why Do Females Pull Away?

Most women pull away when they feel their feelings are out of their control. They find the need to set boundaries with a man they catch feelings for so that they can take things slow and not fall hard too soon.

However, women pull away for a variety of reasons in the list below:

  1. She isn’t over her ex
  2. Her instincts tell her something isn’t right
  3. She is scared of falling for you too fast
  4. She’s dealing with some stress in her life
  5. She isn’t that into you
  6. You’re getting into her personal space
  7. You’re rushing her
  8. She thinks you’re not that into her
  9. She does not trust you
  10. She’s not sure of her feelings
  11. You’re sending her mixed signals
  12. She’s afraid of being hurt like in her previous relationship
  13. She feels you’re coming at her too strongly
  14. She’s scared of commitment
  15. She feels you’re not giving her enough attention
  16. She wants you to chase her
  17. She wants to break up with you
  18. She thinks you’re only after sex
  19. She wants to keep it casual
  20. She feels she’s getting carried away
  21. She realized your values are incompatible

How Do You React When A Girl Pulls Away?

When a girl pulls away, remember the following:

  1. Firstly stay calm
  2. Find out how you can approach her
  3. Ask her reason why
  4. Think about her reasons objectively
  5. Try to fix things
  6. Take responsibility for your wrongs
  7. Remember her pulling away might have nothing to do with you
  8. Be clear if you still are interested
  9. Check in with her sparingly
  10. Occupy yourself with activities that satisfy you
  11. Observe her boundaries
  12. Give her the space she needs
  13. Talk to a certified relationship coach for more tailored advice according to your situation

Mistakes Guys Make When A Girl Pulls Away

Here are terrible mistakes men make when a girl pulls away:

  • They assume the reasons why the girl pulled away instead of asking
  • They try to change the girl’s feelings
  • They try to confess their feelings to make a girl stay
  • They try forcing her to make a decision
  • They put their lives on hold 
  • They check in too much even if the girl doesn’t respond
  • They start acting desperately nice
  • They feel guilty and start apologizing for anything
  • They assume the woman is into other guys
  • They start over-showering a woman with love
  • He starts pulling away too

Signs She Is Pulling Away – Woman Pulling Away Emotionally

Here are signs of your partner pulling away:

  • She has stopped initiating contact
  • She has reduced her texting/calling/visits
  • She has become more secretive than when you started dating
  • She has become emotionally unavailable
  • She seems to distrust you
  • She seems passive-aggressive lately
  • She starts asking for personal space
  • They cancel plans a lot
  • They start rejecting you subtly
  • You feel disconnected even when together

Wrapping Up

What happens to a man when a woman pulls away varies depending on the type of man you’re dealing with and the intensity of feelings he has for you.

Most men would feel a drain of self-confidence as they try to figure out your reasons for pulling away. But soon enough, they get the energy they need to either pursue you further or quit trying to win you altogether.

Pulling away is risky business. But if you have legitimate reasons for it, you can pull away with the expert-sorted steps we’ve mentioned earlier and get a man to want you even more.

Otherwise, thanks for stopping by!

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.