3 Reasons Why Men Pull Away: Why A Guy Might Say He Needs Space

3 Reasons Why Men Pull Away Why A Guy Might Say He Needs Space

It’s a hot topic of discussion with your girlfriends: why men pull away.

It can be incredibly confusing, you and your girls agree. Maybe you’re currently dealing with this situation.

Things were going great for a while. You were sure that he was into you. You went on dates. Maybe you even got busy in the bedroom. You started imagining the potential of a future with this guy.

But all of a sudden…He’s texting you less.

He’s unavailable to go out with you as often.

He seems unhappy all the time.

Then suddenly he tells you he “needs space…”


What the #$^! does that mean?

… is he trying to end things?

… are you doing something wrong?

… does he really just need space?

…how much space does he need, and for how long?

When women hear a guy needs space, they typically rush in to try and fix things.

A sudden shift in your man’s behavior can send you into panic mode, especially if you’re starting to really care about this guy.

That’s totally normal.

But by understanding why men pull away, you can know if he just needs to recalibrate how he sees your relationship (i.e. he didn’t plan on being in a serious one, but he’s starting to care for you, so he has to figure out if he’s ready to fully commit), if he’s overwhelmed with other aspects of his life, or if he’s simply indicating that he is ready to move on from you.

Trust me. You’ll want to know the reasons why men pull away so you can do what’s right for you and your emotional needs. After you watch this video, you’ll know how to handle it when a guy tells you he needs space, and why he’s saying it in the first place. You never know: it might be the single best thing to happen to your relationship

In this video, I explain three reasons why men pull away and why a guy might say he needs space, as well as what you can do about it.



There’s nothing more frustrating than when someone you really care about starts to slip away. When something feels like it’s breaking or slipping away, people naturally want to fix that problem.

But as you probably have realized, you can’t always fix what’s wrong. If a man needs some space, you can’t just say three magical words to get your relationship where you want it to be.

You can’t put a Band-Aid on what’s wrong.

Love doesn’t work that way. Relationships don’t work that way. You need to learn how to understand where he’s at and where he’s coming from so that you can give him what he needs, even if that’s a bit of distance from you for a while.

Let’s dive into understanding why men pull away so that you can figure out what to do.

Reason #1 Why Men Pull Away: They’re Stressed

If he’s stressed, he may pull away.

It can be easy to assume that whatever’s causing him to distance himself from you has to do with you.

Did I annoy him with my stupid jokes?

Did he hate that I don’t flush the toilet after nightpees?

Does he hate my friends?

Is he seeing someone else?

Not to worry, Sexy Confident Lady. You are not necessarily the cause of what’s eating him.

In fact, it would do you well to remember that you aren’t the center of his world. Nor do you want to be.

A common reason why men pull away or say they need space is that they’re really stressed out. There’s something stressful in their lives like their family, or maybe it’s something with work.

Consider what’s going on in his world. Has he been working 70 hours a week? Is a family member ailing? Does he have baby mama drama?

Any of these is enough to wreak havoc on anyone’s life. And he may be dealing with his stress by pulling back from you.

Research from University of Vienna psychologist Claus Lamm and his team discovered that men and women deal with stress quite differently.

Men go into a “fight or flight” mode, and to conserve their energy, may ignore the needs of others (including you). In other words, men who are stressed out become more self-centered, and want to get back into their own space and deal with it on their own.

Women have a very different reaction to stress. They use a “tend and befriend” approach to try to get to the bottom of why they are stressed. Women want to feel closer to the people in their lives when they’re feeling stressed out.

So you might not understand why men pull away when they’re stressed because you yourself would have a very different reaction to the same situation.

Chalk it up to the whole Mars/Venus thing.

What You Can Do

Realize that he doesn’t need you to solve the problem of whatever is stressing him out. You can’t cut down on his work hours. You can’t heal his dying grandfather. What you can do is be a good partner. Understand that he needs space right now, and don’t take it personally.

When he asks for space, I recommend you give him a gap week. If you start feeling him pulling away or trying to create space for himself, give him a week to figure it out on his own.

Of course, when you talk to him or text him, let him know that you’re there for him but don’t push him to see you or do anything for you.

After a week, you can say something like this:

Over the past week, I’ve been noticing that you’ve been a little distant. I thought we both should have some space, so I backed off. But I wanted to just make sure everything is all right. I really care about you and just want you to be happy.

This shows him that you’re not trying to make this about you and that you are there for him, however, he needs you.

If after a week he’s still distant and the problem continues to persist, it’s time to have a real conversation about what’s going on. If the stress in his life hasn’t evaporated or resolved, ask what he needs from you right now.

It may be a hug or someone to talk to.

It may be more space. Are you okay with that?

Do your best to give him what he needs during this difficult time. If a man needs space, it is not up to you to fill it. Give him that gap week so he has time to figure out how to handle his stress, and trust that he will come back once he’s worked through it.


Reason #2 Why Men Pull Away: He’s Unsure of How to Transition to Commitment

He may not know how to express his true feelings.

While the first reason had absolutely nothing to do with you, this one does, but it’s a good reason why men pull away.

He may have started dating you casually, thinking it would stay light and easy. But over time, he may have started having feelings for you. He might even be falling in love with you.

And that freaks him out.

So what does he do? What any man would do. Pull into his turtle shell while he figures out what the hell is going on.

One minute things are all casual, and now I can’t get that girl outta my head. WTF?? Are my days of being a swinging bachelor drawing to a close?

If he’s already started having real feelings for you, not to worry; he’ll come around. He just needs to work through how his perspective of your relationship has changed as his feelings have increased.

He may worry that getting serious with you will nip his independence, so he may suddenly start making plans with his boys more than usual. Certainly, he should keep spending time with them, even as you move into a long-term relationship. Let him know that you want him to always have separate interests from you so this doesn’t scare him so much.

He may pull away because he worries things are moving too fast. If they are, reassure him that you’re willing to take things slow. Because: if it’s real, it’s worth taking your time.

What You Can Do

If he’s been burned in the past, he may pull back because he worries about being hurt again. Understand that it can take time to let go of pain from past relationships. Be patient, but also encourage him to talk about what worries him.

He may not know how to talk to you about his fears, so maybe open up about your own. You’re probably scared of getting hurt. Of caring more than him. Of repeating past mistakes. Tell him, and he may find it easier to share in return.



Reason #3 Why Men Pull Away: They’re Ready to Move On

He may be ready to move on.

Now, I know this is the reason why men pull away that you don’t want to consider, but if it’s the one that’s ringing true for your situation, it’s better that you know now so you can move on with your life.

The fact is: 99.9% of the men you date are not going to be right for you. There’s a reason they call it “The One.”

So you can’t be hurt if this guy is pulling back because he’s already figured out that the two of you are not written in the stars. You’re less Romeo and Juliet and more Brangelina. Less Barack and Michelle and more Ike and Tina.

It’s better for your relationship to end on a relatively good note than to wait until it deteriorates into fighting, lying, and misery.

This guy is doing you a favor, really. Yes, it sucks, and it hurts your feelings because you thought there was potential there.

But it takes two to have a loving relationship. If he doesn’t see that there’s a future with you, then he’s absolutely right. The sooner you can accept this, the sooner you can move on and find the one guy who’s waiting for you.

Most men won’t be brave enough to have a sit-down conversation about why you’re not compatible, especially if you’ve only been on a few dates. This guy may opt to ghost, because, in his mind anyway, it’s less messy.

What You Can Do

The best you can do here, once you’re sure that he’s moving on, is just walk away. Resist the urge to have an “exit interview” to understand what you did wrong.

Probably nothing.

But people have a gut instinct about whether someone will be a good partner or not. Your “true love radar” may be broken right now just because you’re so eager to find it. And so maybe you ignored signs that he wasn’t right for you because you wanted him to be.

Honey, no amount of ignoring those signs will make him be right for you. Trust that.

You deserve to be with a man who so completely fits you that you can’t believe you ever settled for good enough. So free up the energy you’re wasting trying to make this guy fit into that true love profile in order to be available for love to find you.



Get to the bottom of why he’s pulled away.

I want you to walk away from this article understanding that the reasons why men pull away rarely have anything to do with your flaws. You are amazing.

In the early days of a relationship, it’s easy to want to get things right. You don’t want to risk turning him off by being your usual loud, sarcastic self.

So you second-guess everything you do, and you read too much into his every move.

But trust me: you’re better off being your morning-breath yoga-pants-wearing curse-like-a-sailor self than pretending you’re some dainty flower.

Because the man who wants to be with you forever — whether he needs some space for himself from time to time or no — will love you because of all those things, not in spite of them.

And if he chooses to walk away, it’s not because of any of the things you’re insecure about. It’s because you’re not right together.

So understand that why men pull away and why they need space doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship is DOA. It may mean he’s comfortable enough in your relationship to have some distance…or he doesn’t know how to talk to you about what’s in his head.

The best thing you can do…the best way you can be an amazing girlfriend…is to give him that space. Swallow those insecurities and wait it out. There’s a good chance he’ll fly back eagerly into your arms after he’s processed whatever he’s going through.

And if he doesn’t, it wasn’t meant to be. Plain and simple.

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Written by Adam LaDolce
Originally appeared on SexyConfidence

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3 Reasons Why Men Pull Away Why A Guy Might Say He Needs Space



Adam LoDolce

Adam LoDolce is the founder of Sexy Confidence. He is one of the top dating confidence experts in the world. After touring the world and speaking at over one hundred of the country's top universities (Notre Dame, University of Alabama, University of Texas, etc.), he's refocused his efforts to address a burning need: helping women build the right type of confidence to be successful with men. He's been coaching, writing, and speaking on dating dynamics for over four years now. You will find that his coaching style is extremely untraditional and yet, immensely effective. He has helped dozens of self-proclaimed helpless women find love within weeks (not months) and have also coached some of the most powerful and successful women on this planet (foreign and national government officials, fashion experts, corporate executives, etc.). He's an author and film producer, but quite honestly, he's just a regular dude who's truly found his passion.View Author posts