You met a guy and you’ve been on several dates. They were all mentally and emotionally stimulating for the both of you.
As time goes by, you realize your feelings are growing deeper, and on one particular date, you can’t help but tell him, “I think I’m starting to fall in love with you.”
He looks slightly caught; there’s a pause and he stutters, trying to come up with an acceptable response. But he doesn’t know what to say.
Within the next week or so, you notice that he rarely texts you anymore or he’s suddenly too busy to go out to dinner or a movie with you.
What just happened?
This is an all-too-familiar scenario for girls, and if you’re one of them, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’re going to dig into some of the common things girls do that could be turn-offs, and the top 10 ways to know if you scared him away with your feelings. We’re also going to look into why emotions spook some men, and what you can do if it happens to you.
Why do some guys fear feelings?
For some men, when they find out that you have big feelings for them, are happy and comfortable about it.
But on the other hand, for other guys, it’s a bit more complicated.
Men are not as used to showing emotions as women are, so they try to hide them. In fact, they experience just as many emotions as anybody else, but they are less likely to want to talk about it.
It may be a blend of social norms (the expectation that men are tough) and their upbringing (not being given the opportunity to explore and share their feelings), but this is likely the reason that would make you think you scared him away with your feelings when he is confronted by them – especially in the context of a relationship.
Some things you might be doing that are turn-offs
If you’ve ever watched How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days (starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey), you might be familiar with some of the ways that could run a guy off.
But it doesn’t hurt to have a refresher:
Texting him too much
Especially in the early days of dating or a relationship, going overboard with texting him might put him off.
More than that, doubling down on texting him if he doesn’t reply could send the wrong message, so to speak.
The thing is, there are so many reasons why he’s not texting you back: he could be busy with work; he could be with his family or friends; he could be dealing with a personal emergency; or maybe he’s just not a big texter.
It might be hard for you to resist, but try, because this might be one of the ways you scare him away with your feelings.
Remember: In a budding relationship, keeping it light and breezy is key.
Wanting to define the relationship right away
Dating is supposed to be fun. In the first few dates, your focus should be on getting to know them.
Timing is extremely crucial when it comes to defining the relationship – normally, the chance comes by naturally.
Flirting too hard
There’s nothing wrong with flirting – you’re into the guy, so why wouldn’t you?
But there’s a thin line between fun flirting and desperate flirting.
Trying too hard to get his attention could actually achieve the opposite effect.
If he starts distancing himself from you because of this, you can pretty much be sure you scared him away with your feelings.
Wanting to hang out every day and getting jealous when he doesn’t
Even if you jive well with a guy, it’s probably not a good idea to ask him to spend all his time with you.
Before you met, you led different lives, and that shouldn’t change just because you started dating.
More than that, getting jealous of other people he hangs out with is a surefire way to turn him off: it shows him you’re insecure.
Being too available
In line with my previous point, being too available can also give him the wrong impression that you’re going to be at his every beck and call.
This includes canceling plans with other people when he says he wants to hang out, replying right away to their texts, prioritizing him over school or work, letting him take the lead on every date, and agreeing with him on just about everything.
If you’ve done this in the past, then it may very well be that you scared him away with your feelings.
Talking to his family and friends without them knowing
Contacting his inner circle early on in a relationship is one huge no-no.
Doing this will certainly make it look like you’re rushing things before the proper time.
Don’t fret about it – he’ll introduce you when he’s ready to let you in that part of his life.
Stalking them on social media
It’s totally normal to check up on the Facebook, Instagram (or even Twitter) of the guy you’ve just begun dating.
It gives you insight as to what they’re into, see if you have anything in common, and ideas for things you could do or discuss further on your next date.
But things will take a different turn if you go and like every photo they have, even those taken long before you met.
10 ways to know if you scared him away with your feelings
Having feelings for somebody you like isn’t just okay, it’s normal.
But some guys don’t handle it well. As you might have noticed in your own experiences, they change how they treat you or act when they’re with you. Even worse, they might even act as though they’re trying to avoid spending time with you.
So how can you know which of a guy’s sudden shifts in attitude and behavior you should be worried about?
Read on to find out.
Take note that guys may show that they got spooked in many different ways, but these are the most common.
1) He’s not texting or calling you back as often as before
If he’s not replying to your messages or calling you back – at least not as consistently as he did in the past – then it’s a sign that it’s possible that you scared him away with your feelings.
In the dating stages of a relationship, try as much as you can not to be the first to text or call him.
Why? If you go overboard with the messages, it will more than likely put him off.
If you haven’t been getting responses to your texts, try not to obsess about it. As I mentioned earlier, there are various other possibilities for his failure to answer.
It’s also probably a good idea not to write overly long messages. Especially in the early days of a relationship, communication should be easy and relaxed.
2) He makes excuses to get out of hanging out with you
A guy who’s not keen on meeting you will make excuses to get out of spending time with you.
It’s either a tight deadline at work, a family trip, a personal emergency – which all seem to coincide with every single time you ask him out.
Be mindful of this, because half the time, his excuses may be real. But the other half may not.
Whatever it is, it never seems to end.
In cases where he distances himself from you, it might be that he’s just trying to ease out of the relationship, hoping you’ll get tired of his refusals. Most guys don’t want to come off as the bad guy, thus the excuses.
The thing is, no one is so busy that they can’t make time for someone else completely. If this happens, then it might be that you scared him away with your feelings.
3) He’s stopped asking you out
If the guy you’ve been seeing has made himself scarce, he probably also has asked you out way less than he used to, or he has stopped altogether.
The difference couldn’t be more obvious with this one:
Whereas before he was all about planning movie and dinner dates, meeting up for drinks, and maybe even delighting you with sweet little surprises (such as a day out to visit your favorite museum), now you can hardly get him to follow through with a quick afternoon coffee date.
The same goes for canceling on you at the last minute or taking a raincheck while offering you a lame reason (e.g., he forgot he had a paper to do; he has to work during the weekend).
If you’re experiencing something like this with him, then it could be a sign that you scared him away with your feelings.
4) He’s become vague about his plans
In the same vein as the previous three signs, his being vague about his plans could indicate that he’s pulling away from you.
He could be making plans left and right with people that he wants to spend time with, but he doesn’t share that with you.
This behavior might be showing that he doesn’t want to give you an idea when he’ll be available again. If so, he’s definitely trying to get some distance.
5) He doesn’t exert effort
Another thing that could signal you scared him away with your feelings is a marked lack of effort on his part.
This applies to his appearance, attempts at getting to know you better, or romantic gestures.
If this is happening to you, pay attention.
6) He flirts with others, even while you’re there
This is a huge red flag and almost always a sure sign that he’s trying to end his relationship with you, but not in so many words.
Flirting with others is one thing, but doing it in front of you is altogether something different.
What this probably means is that he’s trying to discourage you from pursuing a relationship with him by showing you he’s interested in other girls.
7) He starts acting more like a casual friend than someone you’re dating
This is somewhat connected to the above sign.
When he introduces you to his family and others as just his “friend”, this could be his subtle way of letting you know that he doesn’t see you as anything more than that.
If he does this after a period of dating, it may be that you scared him away with your feelings.
8) You’re not a priority to him
This is something that you’ll notice if you tune in to his attitude towards you.
Also connected to the signs we previously discussed, if he doesn’t treat you as a priority, he won’t think much of not spending time with you.
If he does this, he may be trying to tell you that it won’t work out with him.
9) He doesn’t express interest in you
When someone is interested in you, they generally ask questions in order to get to know you better.
He asks how your day has been, or else listens when you tell him a story about something.
But when he stops asking questions and ends conversations with one-word answers or one-liners, it might be a sign that you scared him away with your feelings.
10) He avoids physical contact
Simple acts like holding hands, playfully touching his arm, or hugs upon seeing each other (or after dates), promote attraction.
Especially at the beginning of a new relationship, it’s how humans communicate to each other that they like each other.
Think back on it: have you ever slapped his arm after he said something you found funny? Have you kissed each other on the cheek? Have you ever gone out in public holding hands?
Now when this starts getting rarer and rarer, it could be an indicator that he’s not feeling the same way about you anymore.
What can you do about it?
Now, let’s assume that you’ve noticed one or more of these signs in the guy you’re dating.
Don’t fret, because there are a few things you can do about it.
Don’t chase after him
Going after him is the number one thing you should not do once he shows signs that you scared him away with your feelings.
Think of it this way: People usually try to get away from something or someone that’s chasing them.
Not giving him the space he clearly wants isn’t going to get him back to you.
Don’t wait around for him
If he’s intimidated by you showing your emotions, it won’t serve you in any way to wait by the phone for him.
Let him come to you.
Focus on yourself
You might be tired of hearing this, but it’s one of the oft-forgotten responsibilities to ourselves, as women, that some of us tend to neglect when we’re in the blush of a new romance.
I know it’s hard to shift your attention from someone you really like back onto yourself, but based on personal experience, the best chance you have at getting him to warm up to you again is by being your best self.
Reflect if you’re ready or really want a relationship
If it seems as if you scared him away with your feelings, now would be a good time to pause and reflect if what you really want is a relationship with that guy, or just the idea of a relationship.
If you behave as if you’re afraid of him slipping away – by overtexting, inserting yourself uninvited into his life – then you may not be truly ready to date anyone.
Create boundaries for yourself the next time you meet somebody
Upon meeting a potential beau, setting boundaries may not be the first thing on your mind.
But the reality is, every successful and healthy relationship relies on boundaries. These help us avoid taking advantage of others and being taken advantage of ourselves.
Clear boundaries also indicate that you have self-respect. You don’t let other people walk all over you, nor do you walk all over others.
And when you treat yourself with respect, it will show.
People – not just guys – are attracted to others who radiate this type of attitude towards themselves.
After all is said and done, what’s important to keep in mind is this: more often than not, the right man for you won’t be scared off.
That man would want to know what you want out of a relationship, what you’re looking for in a man, and if your plans for the future look like his own.
But take note, ladies: this is only possible if you let things unfold in their own time.
So before convincing yourself, “I scared him away with my feelings”, think about this: when a man is deterred by you trying to get close, asking questions, and behaving in a way that shows you want something serious, then he’s just not ready or he’s not the right person for you.
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