Why Do Guys Pull Away Before They Commit – 17 Clear Reasons And What To Do (2021)

10 min read

Many women think there are only two ways a guy may pull away when things start getting serious. Either they fear commitment or they’re rejecting the woman. But that’s not entirely true.

Read on to find out real reasons why do guys pull away before they commit — plus what you can do about it.

Here we go!

1. He Fears Getting Vulnerable

Why Do Guys Pull Away Before They Commit
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When dating, having sensitive conversations is possible but not that necessary. But a serious relationship needs a level of vulnerability most men don’t think they’re capable of.

So your man might be thinking “What will she think of me when I express my feelings?” “What if I cry in front of her?” “Will she think I am less of a man?” 

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To help him overcome this fear, create a safe space for him to be vulnerable. Here are ways you can encourage your partner to accept vulnerability:

  • Show them they can trust you by ensuring their privacy
  • Support them by validating their feelings and thoughts
  • Use nothing they say against them
  • Open up to them first
  • Take responsibility in conflict
  • Show non-judgemental interest in their lives

Learn more about the fear of getting close to others in this video:

2. He’s Not Over Past Pain

Especially if he had an ex who hurt him, your man might have emotional baggage weighing him down. He may love you and is ready to commit but the fear of getting hurt keeps persuading him to pull away.

Or perhaps he saw a loved one get hurt and he has avoided commitment all his life. When he thinks of moving to the next level with you, past traumatic scenes keep reminding him that he might end up in a disastrous relationship as well.

If you don’t already know, try to get him to open up about what he thinks of commitment. Since you can’t force that fear of getting hurt out of him, give him space to deal with it while you reassure him with your support.

3. He’s Afraid Of the Responsibilities of Commitment

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Committing to another human comes with responsibilities. They include:

  • Emotional responsibility: He knows he needs to be emotionally available
  • Acceptance and empathy: He understands he has to accept and love every aspect of you and be empathic about your highs and lows.
  • Sharing space and time: Your man understands he shall no longer live for himself alone.
  • Connection: The guy knows he must take part in ensuring the spark physically, intellectually, and emotionally still remains for lasting sustenance of the relationship

As a woman, you may be optimistic about all these responsibilities but your man may be scared of them. Like many people, he may feel overwhelmed just by the thought of how much work it is to love another person.

While such fears ease over time as one engages in the relationship itself, you need to welcome honesty in expression, doing your best to be a supportive date. Since that’s the best you can do, you can let him battle his fears until he chooses to take the leap.

Related: 11 Tips How To Give A Guy Space Without Losing Him

4. He’s Doubting His Feelings

Some guys pull away before they commit when doubting their feelings toward you. “Is it lust or love?” “Am I bored or am I actually falling in love?” “Will these feelings last long term?”

If a guy wants to not hurt you or himself by committing to someone he doesn’t love, he pulls away to process his feelings in clarity. He probably thinks constantly going on dates and communicating frequently can hinder clear reflection.

In case he keeps checking on you saying he is interested, don’t pressure him to tell you whether or not he’s serious. Instead, keep a friendly, supportive contact as long as you wish to wait for him.

5. He Fears Losing His Freedom

When committing to a relationship, a man knows his life would have to merge with yours and he’d have to let some of his old habits go.

And it stresses him because he still wants to be free. To have boys’ time with his buddies. To sit in his man cave for hours without being bothered. To maintain his habits, schedule, and everything about his life. 

Yet commitment calls for compromise. He must be considerate of his time with and without you. 

So if your man is pulling away because he’s prioritizing his freedom, let him have a life away from you. Reassure him that you want him to feel free and also experience love with you. However, talk to him about your needs and help him understand that you shall deal with life balance as you do life together.

6. He Feels the Relationship Is Going Too Fast

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If you’ve been going on many dates and he feels like he’s losing track of time, he may pull away to slow down things.

It’s even worse if you’ve been pressuring him to commit since you push him away further as he strives to control his decisions. A woman’s pressure to commit may also be a red flag to him as he’ll think you’d control him for the rest of his life.

So if he tells you he thinks you should slow down, do so. Even if you have to check on him, do it less than usual.

7. He Is Refinding His Identity

We all know our friends start teasing us when we start changing in our dating phase. As we create space to accommodate another person in our lives, we leave some of our habits and embrace others.

But this scares many men because they might begin to feel they’re losing themselves into a whole different person and even worse, becoming a “less masculine one”.

Instead of telling you he’s taking some time off the relationship to find himself first, he might just pull away to solitude.

To deal with this, you must first understand that knowing our identity and living in it is very important. A man can’t love you his best and it won’t be a successful relationship if he keeps being someone else to make you happy.

So despite your excitement about all the things you do together, get to know your man and let them know you’re okay with moments he needs to recharge himself with things he identifies with.

8. He Has Issues He Wants to Deal With Alone

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Although a relationship with you is important to him, a man’s life is also made up of family, personal health, work, and other things. So if some issues are bothering him in other aspects of his life, he might pull away.

This is especially true when you notice he has something bothering him whenever you’re together. 

Whether he feels like talking about his concerns or not, he’s the one to decide. Therefore, don’t pressure him to open up. 

What you can do, however, is ask whether something outside the relationship is bothering him and assure him that it’s okay to not tell you if he doesn’t want to. He may just need your quiet support as he deals with the issue until he feels ready to tell you about it.

Related: How To Communicate with an Avoidant Partner

9. He Fears He’s Not Good Enough For You

Your significant other may be feeling unworthy of your affection because they think you’re better than them in some way. Also, they might have a history of abuse that made them feel unlovable.

Unfortunately, a man that thinks he’s unworthy of love might imagine you’ll leave him anytime you get someone better than him. So he uses pulling away as a defense mechanism.

If you love him and want to still commit to him, you must know that pulling away is one of the many things a man with low self-esteem can do to hurt you unintentionally. He may need you to shed light on the matter and support him as he discovers how to accept and love himself and as a result, accept to develop a healthy relationship with you.

10. He’s Not Feeling Stable For a Relationship

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Men get lots of pressure from society to be stable financially and mentally since they’re viewed as the head of the family. Since many guys have internalized this expectation, it’s possible that your guy loves you and wants to commit to you but feels like he isn’t stable enough for the relationship.

As you already know, it’s difficult for a guy to open up about his vulnerabilities so he might just pull away hoping you understand. 

However, you need to open up the conversation of “men’s stability” and see what they think about it. Before you take that step, get to know what you understand about this issue yourself so you know what you expect from the man. 

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11. He Wants to Test Your Commitment to Him

Based on unhealthy relationship mindsets in some men, they think pulling away is the best way to know whether a girl really loves them. It hurts the woman but they may not understand that.

Your guy might be testing you to know whether you’ll wait for him or you’ll jump into another relationship. He may have fallen in love with you, is ready to commit but wants to know they can trust you.

To confirm whether your significant other is testing your commitment to him, wait on them and support them by showing love still. After a while, they might tell you that’s the reason. Whether you choose to stay or not, you need to know the guy possibly has trust issues that may pop up later in your relationship.

12. He Realizes He Has No Feelings for You

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Here comes the not-so-great reasons why do guys pull away before they commit.

While a guy might have his feelings mixed up when dating, the thought of committing to you can be a wake-up call to determine whether he has feelings that’ll endure a long-term relationship.

If he realizes the feelings he thought of were love but in reality, they’re lust, familiarity, and other weak reasons, he might start pulling away from you to avoid the awkwardness of being honest with you. 

To know for sure whether they feel anything for you, ask them to talk honestly. It may hurt your feelings but it’s better to be hurt by someone you haven’t committed to than someone you’re deeply involved with. 

13. He Thinks He Doesn’t Deserve Your Love Because of Betrayal

If the guy doesn’t seem to have low self-esteem, it’s possible he has betrayed your love and is as a result, feeling unworthy of your affection. He might be lying about something or cheating on you. 

Since he’s afraid of admitting the truth, he might take the easy way out — pulling away.

If you find out he betrayed you, you can then decide whether you’ll commit to him still or not and deal with the consequences of making either choice. 

14. He’s Losing Interest

Maybe he feels you’re different from who you were in the beginning. Or perhaps he thought he’ll change you but you won’t budge. Furthermore, he may be the type who gets disinterested in things and people fast.

So he’s losing his interest to pursue like before even if it’s unintentionally.

In such a case, all you can do is be yourself. If you love him, continue showing your affection and support but don’t change yourself to make him interested. Also, you can apply these dignified strategies on  How To Make Him Want You as a high-value woman.

15. Your Plans Are Incompatible

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You want to settle down in a serene picket fence home, he wants to travel the world living in RVs. You want to work a corporate job, he wants you to be a stay-at-home mom. You have priority values you want to keep, he is against them.

Yes, people with different plans can fall in love. But that may be the reason he’s pulling away.

If your future plans are incompatible, it’s best to follow your priorities if they matter to your core. It’s best to avoid committing to anything that compromises your individual happiness and goes against your values.

16. He’s Considering His Options

Perhaps your guy had a girlfriend he still has feelings for and he realized that after going out with you. Or perhaps he is going out on dates with others to explore the right one to commit with.

In such a case, you’ll notice emotional withdrawal from you as he tries to figure out where his commitment to love really lies.

When he pulls away to make sense of his feelings for you and those of others, let him. Give him space while still subtly showing interest.

17. He Isn’t That Into You

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This is a sad truth but sometimes, a guy isn’t that into you even if you go out on fun dates and everything seems to be going on so well. Usually, there are two main reasons to explain this:

  1. The guy is a player and just out to have fun with you
  2. The guy doesn’t know how to express his feelings during the dating phase

The first guy is generally a liar and if you get to know him deeper, you realize he did the same to another girl and would probably be jumping to another dating scheme.

The second type of guy usually might hope he’ll fall in love with you soon enough. So he keeps entertaining you but as he senses you’re taking things more seriously and wish to move to the next level, he pulls away hoping you’ll understand he wasn’t that into you by yourself.

When you notice the guy you’ve been going out with wasn’t that into you, accept it, feel the hurt, and strive to move on. You’re lucky you knew before committing to him.

Answering Questions on Why Do Guys Pull Away Before They Commit

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Learn more!

Do guys pull back before committing? Why do men pull away when things start to get serious?

Some guys pull back before committing to a woman. The reasons vary but mainly, he may be afraid of the responsibilities of commitment, he might be afraid of getting hurt, could be doubting his feelings, and in the worst-case scenario, he may not be into you. 

Do guys pull away when they catch feelings? Do guys withdraw when they fall in love?

When some guys catch feelings and start sensing they’re falling in love, they might pull away to process those feelings, to get themselves ready for the relationship, or to run away from feeling altogether.

When a man pulls away how long does it last?

There’s no specific limit for how long a man takes to come back after pulling away. It depends on the man and your response to his behavior. To make sure you don’t lose him, check our tips on how to give a man space without losing him.

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Final Word

By now you probably know why do guys pull away before they commit. Remember, when a guy pulls away, do nothing other than being yourself while supporting and showing your interest in him as a high-value woman.

So, have you figured out why your guy pulled away? What are you going to do about it? Share your experience with us in the comments below!

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