If only you could mindread to get inside that head of his and work out exactly what’s going on.
Do you feel like he’s started to pull away, but you’re not sure? Maybe you’re reading too much into things, or perhaps not.
This article will cover the clear warning signs he has started to withdraw — with zero psychic skills required.
Do guys withdraw when they like you?
When you’re really into a guy and you feel they may be pulling away, it’s easy for your head to go into a tailspin.
Am I being paranoid or is he losing interest? If he is withdrawing, what does it mean? It’s important to try and stay cool and keep your sense of perspective.
If you do recognise a few of the signs below, it doesn’t mean he’s no longer into you.
Sure, some men will pull away when you show interest. But our attention towards someone can also naturally (and innocently) wax and wane depending on what else is going on in life at the time.
Even if you pick up on quite a few red flags that he is withdrawing from you, hope is not lost.
After running through some of the signals that he may be pulling away, this article will share a simple 3 step plan to get things quickly back on track.
How can you tell if someone is pulling away? 15 signs he is withdrawing from you
1) You hear from him less
One of the first signs most people notice is a change to their regular communication.
Of course, every couple is different and not all of us want to be glued to our phones.
It’s also not uncommon for communication to die down a little once you leave that initial courting stage, just because you get more comfortable and secure.
Men will most likely be more attentive when they’re trying to win you over because they want to make sure their interest in you is coming over loud and clear.
But you’ll also sense what’s “normal” or not for you and him. If he has gone message MIA then you know something is up.
He’s taking way too long to reply to your texts (or isn’t replying at all). It’s always you that initiates your conversations and contacts him. These are strong signs he is withdrawing.
2) He doesn’t make plans for the future
We’re not expecting a marriage proposal, but if he’s vague about whether he can even make your friends party this Friday, his casual attitude could be intentional.
When a guy is really into you and is thinking more long-term, he’ll suggest things for a later date.
Even if he’s not making concrete plans, he will still make suggests for the future that involves you.
Maybe you both love fine art and that new exhibition opens up next month so he says to you “we should go”.
But if at the end of a date he isn’t suggesting another one, or when he talks about his future you never seem to feature — it could be he’s distancing himself.
3) He seems hot and cold
Hot and cold behavior just screams that a guy is confused about his feelings for you.
Maybe he’s attentive one week and cold or withdrawn the next.
This push and pull attitude leaves you wondering where you stand.
Does he just not care or is he struggling with his feelings for you?
It’s always tricky to tell, but inconsistent behavior is generally a red flag for something not being quite right.
4) You’re not getting the best of his time
Not all of our time is created equal. Anyone who has ever had a guy pinging up on their phone after midnight will tell you that.
The quality of the time he is offering you is an indication of how invested he is and what he’s looking for from you (aka if he likes you for more than just your body).
Whether we like it or not, meeting up on a Sunday afternoon for a stroll is more marriage material than the 2 am booty call.
That means if you no longer feature in his weekend plans and he tries to squeeze you in between other things, it could be a sign he is backing off.
5) He’s stopped telling you things
Sharing the details of our lives, whether big or small, is how we bond with one another.
When we like someone it’s one of the ways we let them into our little world.
Although everyone opens up at a different pace, the more tidbits from his life that he chooses to tell you about, the more he is opening up to you.
If on the other hand he stops talking about whatever is going on with him, or you’re finding out important details about his life from other people, you’re not in his inner circle.
6) He’s always canceling or rearranging plans
Life happens and sometimes unexpected things are bound to come up.
Being understanding and flexible to a point is a good thing, nobody wants to be clingy.
But if he’s had to rearrange a date several times now, or maybe even cancelled at the last moment, that’s not cool.
It shows that you are not at the top of his priority list and he doesn’t mind dropping you or disappointing you whenever it suits him.
7) He’s always with his friends
Obviously, having interests away from a partner is important. A healthy social life is likely to strengthen any relationship.
You certainly don’t want a boring boyfriend who doesn’t have a life. But on the other end of the spectrum is the guy who is always out partying or hanging with friends.
If they are getting the majority of his free time, this is the habit of a single person, not someone looking to be in a relationship.
8) He’s stopped making an effort
“Making an effort” is admittedly quite a broad thing but that’s because it will largely depend on the type of guy we’re talking about.
For some, it’s sending you texts to check in and see how you are. For others, it’s liking your latest social media post around 3 seconds after you put it up.
Making an effort is basically all those little gestures and behaviors that signal to you that he’s into you.
It’s him complimenting you, flirting with you, listening to you, trying to impress you and generally being attentive to you. Because all these are how we know when someone is hitting on us.
9) He’s less affectionate
Our body language speaks volumes.
If someone suddenly starts to withdraw from physical contact, even if they’re still saying the “right” things, it’s not something to ignore.
If he still wants to have sex with you but never seems to want to cuddle or be physically intimate in other ways — it’s a sign of being emotionally withdrawn.
10) He acts distant
Distant behavior is any behavior that deviates from what you’ve come to expect from him.
It’s that general sense of aloofness he gives off.
Maybe he’s less talkative, he doesn’t really listen properly when you talk, he’s always on his phone, he’s become more dismissive, or less patient.
There’s just something about what he says and does that makes you sense that something gives.
11) He seems secretive
One of my favorite dating memes says:
“What are you looking for?”
“Someone who isn’t afraid to leave their phone face up on the table”.
Sure, it’s funny, but it’s also powerful.
The more secretive he is, the chances are the more he has to hide from you.
Maybe he’s a player and there is somebody else (or multiple people) also on the scene, or he’s just unwilling to let you in and share his world.
Either way, secrecy is a very withdrawn way to behave towards someone.
12) It feels like you are the one driving things forward
The way you both show up highlights the power dynamic between you and who is contributing more.
If you didn’t send that text, would he have?
If you didn’t suggest dinner on Tuesday, would he have made plans with you?
Relationships and dating need to be 50/50 to keep the momentum going.
That’s not always going to present itself as a totally equal split all of the time, but it should roughly even out that way.
Otherwise, you just end up in a totally one-sided relationship.
Just going along with things isn’t the same as being the one who makes the effort to initiate. If he never seems to initiate, then it’s a sign he just isn’t as interested as you are.
13) It’s clear you are not a priority
Wednesday night he has a work function, Thursday night he needs to catch up on his fantasy football league, Friday night is boys night, and then at the weekend he’s visiting his folks.
Life can get busy, and you’re not always going to be a number one priority, especially if you’ve not been dating long.
But largely we make our own priorities based on their importance to us.
So if you’re pretty low down on his list, and keep sliding even further, he’s showing you just how invested he really is.
14) The relationship is not progressing
If a relationship isn’t growing, then ultimately it’s dying.
There’s only so long that you can stay in limbo without things going anywhere before it tends to eventually fizzle out.
If you’ve been dating for months and you’ve still not met his friends, his mom doesn’t even know you exist and you’re still only seeing him once a week or whenever he can fit you in, you’re not progressing.
For a relationship to blossom and grow we need to commit to wanting it to. That enthusiasm to be around someone, learn about them and grow a stronger bond is what carries you to the next level.
If it’s not happening for you, or things seem to be going the opposite direction (and you’re spending even less time together) it doesn’t look like a connection he is thinking will go the distance.
15) He drops “hints” in the things he says
Some men are cowards and are too scared to come out and tell you something straight.
So if he’s not feeling it anymore he will try and give clues as he slowly withdraws, to avoid a frank conversation.
Pay attention to any strange throwaway comments he makes.
“I’m not sure I believe in monogamy”, “I’ve got so much coming up at work, I’m probably not going to have any free time”.
Whilst these sort of statements on their own aren’t definite signs he is trying to pull away when they’re coupled with other odd behavior — they are certainly warning signs.
How do you react when a guy withdraws? 3 important things you need to do
When you get the sense that a guy is moving away from you, it can easily create a feeling of panic inside. And when we feel like this we’re more likely to make desperate decisions or take action from a place of fear.
Don’t chase him when he pulls away, as this is only going to make things worse in the long run. But that doesn’t mean when he pulls away, do nothing either.
There are several practical steps you can take which will help you to take control of the situation again.
Here’s exactly what to do when he pulls away…
1) Trigger his hero instinct
I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s important to try to keep any raw emotions in check. Whenever we feel vulnerable, there is a potential to overreact.
But if you want to keep him, explosive outbursts of anger or sadness will more likely push him further away.
Sure, feel the feels, and express them — you should never repress what’s going on inside — but avoid challenging him in confrontational ways.
Don’t suddenly blow up his phone with calls, or start to annoy him over text with constant messages.
Give it some space and be patient. To a certain extent you have to let him come to you.
In the meantime, you can draw him closer without chasing. How? By triggering his hero instinct.
The biological secret to winning over a man
There’s a good chance you may have heard of the Hero Instinct by now, as this new psychological concept is creating a bit of a stir.
It comes from relationship expert James Bauer who coined the phrase in his bestselling book ‘His Secret Obsession’
In a nutshell, it says that men have a biological drive to want to be everyday heroes — especially to romantic partners. They want to make a difference in the lives of those who are important to them.
(I’ll explain how it works, but this just scratches the surface of this fascinating concept. So if you’re keen to know more, there’s a free video on the hero instinct that you can watch)
We’re not talking about sexist gender roles or totally caveman attitudes. Just that men are genetically programmed to seek a life of meaning, provide for and protect those he cares about, and earn respect from those around him.
When he doesn’t feel like this, he can quickly become withdrawn, non-committal, and unenthusiastic.
The good news is that you can quite easily trigger the hero instinct in him to make him more attentive and loving towards you.
Some ways to trigger his hero instinct include:
- Asking for his help
- Supporting his goals, passions, and interests
- Bigging him up (without going over the top!)
- Challenging him
- Letting him know he makes you happy
If you want to guarantee the love, respect and devotion of your man, I’d strongly recommend watching that free hero instinct video, which tells you everything you need to know.
2) Create boundaries
There are plenty of reasons why a guy pulls away, and certainly not all of them are bad. But regardless of why there should always be basic standards of behavior that we accept in life.
Setting firm boundaries may apply to yourself as well as him.
For example, if you know you’re prone to some ill-advised late-night texting when you’ve had a drink or two, you might want to give yourself “rules” about that.
It’s up to you to choose your boundaries. Everybodys will be different and yours will depend on what feels best for you.
Boundaries are not something we even need to communicate to others unless they overstep them.
It’s more an imaginary line that we draw in the sand which others cannot cross, or a protective bubble we create around ourselves.
Disrespectful behavior in a relationship or dating should never be tolerated.
As soon as we start to accept shitty behavior, it becomes a slippery slope to being treated poorly.
Once you are clear on your boundaries, it’s important to stick to them. That may mean walking away if he consistently fails to show up for you in a way that you need him to.
3) Focus on you
When a guy pulls away, have you noticed that the more you seem to care or the more you chase, the worse it makes things?
When it looks like a guy we like is backing off it can bruise our ego and impact on our self-esteem.
The more insecure you feel, the needier you may become. We all know that confidence is sexy, and yours may well have taken a knock.
Stop worrying about what “you did” to turn him off and shift your focus from him back on to yourself.
This helps in two significant ways:
- You’ll feel better
- Feeling better makes you more calm, confident, and collected again, which is more attractive and inadvertently more likely to get his positive attention.
Sometimes it can feel like as soon as you stop caring, it’s as though they have a radar for it and pop back up on the scene again straight away.
But rather than this being some psychic bad-boy sense that they have, it’s actually much simpler.
When you give him space and put your attention back on you, you become a more appealing person to be around.
- Self-love. If you’re feeling fragile, work on your own self-esteem and self-worth. The more we value ourselves the more likely other people will too.
- Lean on friends. Whenever you’re going through a hard time, there will be people around you prepared to offer a sympathetic ear, whether it’s family, friends, or even trained professionals. Talk about how you feel, and hang out with people who love you to take your mind off things.
- Distract yourself in positive ways. Try and have fun, go out, get busy, exercise, spend time on your hobbies. The bigger you make your world the less of a big deal his attention will feel. Use the time to rediscover what you like to do. That way the easier it is to see how full your life is, regardless of him.
In summary: Signs he is withdrawing
Have you noticed any of these signs that he is withdrawing from you?
- You’re hearing from him less
- He doesn’t make plans for the future
- He seems hot and cold
- You’re not getting the best of his time
- He’s stopped telling you things
- He’s always canceling or rearranging plans
- He’s always with his friends
- He’s stopped making an effort
- He’s less affectionate
- He acts distant
- He seems secretive
- You are the one driving things forward
- You are not a priority
- The relationship isn’t progressing
- He dropping “hints”
If you can easily identify quite a few of the warnings from this list then don’t panic, it’s far from too late.
If you work on triggering his hero instinct, setting yourself some badass boundaries and focusing your attention back on your beautiful self — you might be surprised at how quickly he comes running back.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.