Should you text him or do you wait to hear from him first?
Knowing when to reach out to a guy and when to hold back can be a tricky thing at the best of times. So, what about when you sense he is pulling away from you?
You may be unsure how to get his attention back and worry your next move could make things worse.
This article will give you straightforward advice to decide how long you should wait before texting him. Plus some practical examples of what to text him when he pulls away.
Should I text him if he pulls away? Here’s what you need to know before doing anything.
1) Wait 3 days
Before you make a move, it’s a good idea to give things some time and space first.
Especially when we find ourselves in a vulnerable situation, it’s all too easy to project a story before we have the facts. It’s totally natural
Waiting 3 days before texting him has several purposes.
Firstly, it stops you from doing anything that you may later regret.
In the heat of the moment, you don’t want to do or say something that turns out to be an overreaction.
Time is relative, and we all know that a watched phone never pings.
It may feel like you haven’t heard from him in ages. But if he is busy doing something else for a few days, the time may have flown by for him.
Do nothing for at least 3 days, and if you can hold out longer, I’d recommend leaving it between 4-7 days before texting him.
I know this can feel like a lifetime when you are waiting for contact, but as they say, time will tell.
After a week, the situation could have resolved itself by then. At the very least it will probably have more clarity around it.
At this time he may message you to say he’s sorry he was off radar for so long and explain why.
Or if you still don’t hear anything from him during that time, at least it shows you that your suspicions could be right and he is pulling away now you have shown interest.
This makes knowing your next best move a lot easier.
2) Think about what you want to say
In situations where being intentional with my words is super important, I literally write out my texts beforehand in the notes on my phone.
Some people may argue this is over the top, and I should just go with the flow and be myself.
But I am being myself. I am just being the most considered version of myself.
Getting it straight in your own head first allows you to really think about what you actually want to say, as well as the best way to phrase it.
That way you’re not put on the spot or end up sending something in the spur of the moment — when you are feeling triggered or looking for a reaction out of him.
Maybe you decide to lay your cards on the table, or maybe you don’t feel like you have reached that stage yet and want to keep things light (if it’s still not clear whether he really is pulling away or not).
Later in the article, we’ll run through some potential messages you can send to him.
But good questions to ask yourself when you are thinking of what to say in your text are:
- What do I want to get out of this message?
- How can I present the best side of myself?
- Am I being honest and true to myself or am I just trying to get the answer I want to hear?
3) Keep your composure
Losing your cool won’t do you any favours.
Even if you are feeling frustrated or annoyed, it’s better to take charge of the situation than get mad.
I’m guessing every one of us has lost our cool at some point or another — especially when it comes to romance.
When it looks like things aren’t going the way we would like, we can find ourselves feeling desperate and grasping — but this just pushes people further away.
Losing what you think you want always feels like a scary prospect.
But remember that if a guy isn’t invested in you, there is literally nothing you can do to make him.
Look at it this way, finding out now stops you from wasting any more of your precious energy on him.
It also frees you up to move on and find the right man for you, who is waiting out there. One who won’t pull away.
Do whatever you need to do behind the scenes to help you stay composed.
Vent to friends, go out and have fun, and try to distract yourself rather than overthinking or stewing on things.
It’s not about pretending to him that everything is ok when it’s not.
I’m all for transparency and honesty within relationships, but always in the most dignified way possible too.
Let’s face it, in the romance world we all need to put on our best game face from time to time.
4) Refuse to play games
At the end of the day we can’t really control our thoughts or emotions, but we can control our actions.
When we see someone who treats themselves right, we assume that they must have a lot to offer — because they act like they do.
We are far more likely to want to be around someone who shows us that they know their value.
It’s important to point out the huge difference between showing someone your value and just telling them.
A drunken late-night message declaring how you are ‘too good for him anyway’ doesn’t highlight this.
But a respectful text explaining exactly where you stand, followed swiftly by you stepping back, does.
It’s super tempting to try and manipulate the situation to get what you want. I think we’ve all done it at some point, right?
But whenever you feel like you have to convince the other person to show up for you, it always ends in tears eventually (and sadly, they’re always ours).
5) Only send one text
Whatever you do, when you are ready to send your text to him, just send one.
Make sure it’s not an essay, instead keep it short — just two or three sentences max.
Then do nothing. This can be the painful waiting game you have to play.
The ball is in his court now and you need to be prepared to walk away.
This is where you show him that you are of high value.
If you don’t get the reply from him that you were looking for, no matter how much it stings, believe it is for the best.
Because in all my years of relationships, here is one thing I’ve learned and is now the golden rule I live and date by:
‘Things usually continue however they start off’.
That means if he doesn’t treat you with respect, care and attention now — this is the pattern that you will take with you into any potential relationship.
You won’t change him, only he can do that.
But lots of us want so desperately to believe that we can change someone, that our love has that power.
Even when you have a positive influence in the short term, unless that behaviour is truly coming from within him as a reflection of who he chooses to be — it won’t last.
What to text a man who is pulling away?
The chilled approach
If you’ve been on several dates and you just haven’t heard from him in a few days, rather than jumping to conclusions, you might decide to test the water first by reaching out in a more relaxed way.
After all, it’s not obvious at this stage that he really is pulling away and there could be 1001 more innocent explanations.
When you’re dating a guy, you certainly don’t have to wait around to hear from him.
In fact, this can reassure him of your interest (if there’s any doubt in his mind) and will come across as confident to most men.
It should never scare a guy off for you to be the one who reaches out first.
Here are a few tips for writing a casual text to him when you worry he’s pulling away:
- Make sure your message is brief ( a line of two) but has a point to it — either a funny thing that happened or something interesting from your day, etc.
- Don’t just say “hi/hey” or send an emoji.
- Personally, I wouldn’t ask a question. That’s because questions usually feel more impolite for us to ignore. And the real aim here is to see whether he wants to message you back. So this is a subtle little test. Because question or no question, if a guy likes you, you’ll hear back from him.
The direct approach
When you feel pretty confident that he really is pulling away from you, and you’re ready to get to the bottom of what’s going on — the direct approach is your best bet.
The direct approach has to be about you getting some answers, clarity, or closure, rather than trying to get a particular response out of him.
Of course, you want to hear all the right things back, but it’s so important for us to keep telling ourselves that we can’t control how others feel and we shouldn’t ever try.
Here are a few tips for writing a direct text when he pulls away:
- Remember, this message is all about opening up the lines of honest communication and not about chasing him.
- Be clear, whilst keeping it friendly and positive in tone.
- Don’t assume what he wants, instead explain what you want. Eg. don’t say:
“It seems like you’re not interested anymore.”
- Take control of the situation by subtly reinforcing your own boundaries (and showing that you aren’t prepared to wait around for him). Example:
“I’m sensing some confusion from your side, so I think it’s best for me to take a step back for a while. I’m looking to create a genuine connection and build upon that. If we’re on the same page, great, but if not, no hard feelings, but I want to let you know where I’m at.”
Bottomline: How do you get his attention when he pulls away?
Here’s the potentially brutal truth, if he really is losing interest, a text will not change that.
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But what it will do is clarify where you both stand and set the tone for moving forwards.
You are not trying to win him back with it or get his attention (it’s not your job to make him interested, that needs to come from him) — you are giving him an opportunity.
An opportunity for him to show you or tell you where his head is really at, rather than you trying to guess.
It’s also an opportunity to clear up any potential misunderstandings between you.
Because they genuinely do happen plenty of times in the dating world and they’re not necessarily anyone’s fault either.
This whole thing is confusing and scary for all of us. Sometimes we think someone is pulling away and that isn’t actually the case.
But the opportunity you are offering also has conditions attached to it if he wants to take it.
Once you have given it to him, he then needs to step up and reciprocate.
This empowered move actually stands the best chance of getting a positive outcome for you in the long run.
Just remember that self-respect is hella sexy.
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