15 reasons guys freak out when they fall in love (and how to respond)

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Have you ever been head-over-heels in love with someone, only to watch your guy freak out and pull away?

It can be a frustrating and confusing experience, leaving you wondering what went wrong.

Well, whether we like it or not, men often struggle with the intense emotions and vulnerability that come with falling in love. 

Before my partner would finally commit, I was also wondering what makes guys pull away when they’re falling in love. But since everything’s alright in my relationship today, I decided to create a guide of 15 common reasons why guys might freak out when they fall in love.

So if you’re ready to understand the male psyche a little better and learn how to navigate the ups and downs of falling in love, keep reading! 

1) They’re afraid of being hurt or betrayed

Can you imagine a worse scenario in your relationship than being hurt or betrayed? 

Regardless of your gender, if you’ve ever been in this situation, you know how painful it can be to open yourself up to someone and then have your heart broken. 

Men are no exception – in fact, many guys are even more afraid of being hurt or betrayed than women are. According to one scientific report, men are more vulnerable to ups and downs in relationships than women. 

I’m sure that the same applies to being hurt or betrayed.

Perhaps not surprisingly, for many guys, this fear is a constant source of anxiety and stress, especially when they start to fall in love.

Psychologically speaking, this fear stems from a deep-seated need for security and safety. Why so?

Because we’re social beings. This means we all crave connection and attachment. But you know what?

We also fear rejection and abandonment. 

Believe it or not, there’s an evolutionary reason to be afraid of something that’s not familiar to you. And that kind of romantic feeling might be something they’ve never experienced. 

For guys, this fear can be especially strong, as they may feel pressure to be strong, independent, and in control at all times.

So when a guy starts to fall in love, he may experience a rush of conflicting emotions – excitement, happiness, fear, and anxiety all at once. 

On one hand, he wants to give himself fully to the person he loves. On the other hand, he’s afraid of getting hurt, rejected, or betrayed.

So, here’s the thing:

If your guy is struggling with this fear, the best thing you can do is show him that you’re a safe and trustworthy partner. 

Be patient, understanding, and communicative, and give him the space and time he needs to build trust and confidence in the relationship. 

Over time, as he sees that you’re not going to hurt him, he’ll likely become more comfortable opening up and letting himself fall in love with you.

2) They’re afraid of losing their independence

Ever noticed that some guys seem to have a hard time committing to a relationship? 

I’m not saying that they aren’t happy spending time with you and enjoying your company. But it’s like the thought of losing their independence and freedom scares them.

Sounds familiar? 

Well, it turns out that being afraid of losing their independence is one more reason why guys freak out when they fall in love. And this one can also be explained from an evolutionary psychology perspective.

Based on Darwin’s evolution theory, this fear of losing independence stems from our ancestral past. Throughout human history, men were often the hunters and providers, tasked with protecting and supporting their families. 

The result?

They developed a strong sense of independence and self-sufficiency, which helped them survive and thrive in a harsh and unpredictable environment.

This means, being independent is in the genes of all men. 

But guess what?

Suddenly, they have fallen in love with you and face the threat of being lost in their feelings, losing their independence.

Yes, it might sound weird, but for some guys, the thought of being tied down to a relationship feels like a threat to their sense of autonomy and independence. 

They may worry that being in a committed relationship will limit their ability to pursue their own interests and goals, or that they’ll lose the freedom to do what they want when they want.

They may not even realize this, but unconsciously they perceive your relationship as a threat, which makes them freak out when they think about falling in love with you.

3) They feel vulnerable

With most guys that I’ve met, I’ve noticed one common thing: they have a hard time dealing with their own emotions. 

Whether it’s anger, sadness, fear, or even joy, many guys struggle to express and process their feelings in a healthy and productive way.

Do they lack emotional intelligence? 


Do they feel vulnerable because of emotional intimacy?

I think so.

Even though we often assume that men can’t be as emotionally intelligent as women, research proves that both genders are equally emotionally intelligent

Still, when it comes to falling in love, many guys can feel overwhelmed and struggle to process their emotions.

The fear of emotional intimacy can make it difficult for them to express their feelings, be vulnerable, and connect with their partners on a deeper level.

Why is that? 

Well, emotional intimacy requires us to be vulnerable and expose our innermost selves to another person, right?

I believe that this is pretty challenging for all of us.

But the reason why it’s especially difficult for guys is that they’re socially conditioned to suppress their emotions.

As a result, when a guy starts to fall in love, he may experience a flood of emotions and feelings that he’s not used to dealing with. He feels like he’s making a mistake – deep down he feels it’s not something men should experience. 

That’s what makes him feel exposed, naked, and unprotected, which can be uncomfortable and unsettling. 

He may worry that by opening up and sharing his true self, he’ll be judged, rejected, or abandoned.

4) They’re struggling with communication and emotional intimacy

Speaking of emotional intimacy, when guys struggle to process their own emotions, it can often lead to difficulties in communication.

The thing is that without the ability to express themselves, they may struggle to connect with their partners and build a deeper emotional bond.

Let me explain what I mean.

Haven’t you noticed that sometimes your guy seems distant or unresponsive, even when you’re trying to connect with him emotionally

For example, if you’re trying to have a conversation about your feelings, he may seem disinterested or apathetic. Or, if you’re trying to be affectionate or intimate and he seems uncomfortable or withdrawn.

Sounds like him?

I bet that this makes you either frustrated or confused. But you should know that this behavior may be a result of his struggles with emotional intimacy.

Well, the reason for these indifferent responses that you hate so much is that he doesn’t know how to express his own feelings or connect with yours. 

That’s why I need you to remember one thing:

In situations like these, it’s important to approach your guy with empathy and understanding.

Instead of criticizing or blaming him, try to create a safe and supportive environment where he can feel comfortable expressing his feelings and thoughts.

For example, instead of saying, “You never listen to me,” try saying, “I feel unheard when we don’t have these conversations.” This can help avoid blame and defensiveness and create a more collaborative and supportive environment.

Remember that understanding each other’s perspectives and reflecting on what both of you think will help you validate your experiences and build a strong relationship.

5) They’re struggling with past traumas or emotional baggage

This one is a bit more serious reason why some guys may struggle with falling in love: past traumas or emotional baggage.

I know sometimes people think that psychologists often explain everything by past traumas. But if you’re exploring your partner’s nature, you need to know that they don’t suffer from emotional baggage.

What do I mean by past traumas?

Well, it can be anything from a difficult childhood, to a past relationship that ended badly, or even just a general sense of mistrust or insecurity.

In either case, emotional scars can linger and make it hard for guys to open up and trust others.

This can be explained by one psychological fact:

Our past experiences shape the way we see the world and interact with others. 

And it’s not just something I think. Instead, a 2018 study proves that when we see something, our brain uses our current sensory input to make comparisons with previously stored images in our memory. That’s how we recognize what we’re experiencing. 

The same applies to his current love life.

If a guy has been hurt or betrayed in the past, his brain may associate love and emotional intimacy with pain and hurt, making it difficult for him to open up and fully trust his partner.

So, the next time you notice he’s freaking out when you express your feelings, remember one thing:

When negative experiences occur, they can leave emotional scars that can impact our behavior and relationships for years to come.

That’s why you need to help him reflect on his past emotional baggage.

6) They’re feeling overwhelmed by their emotions

Have you ever noticed that men often have trouble processing their feelings?

It’s like they have this emotional backlog that they don’t know how to process.

When they fall in love, it can be particularly overwhelming.

Why so?

Love is a powerful and intense emotion, and for some guys, the rush of feelings can be too much to handle. They may feel like they’re losing control or that their emotions are taking over their rational thinking.

This can be especially true for guys who are used to keeping their emotions in check, or who have been taught that showing vulnerability is a sign of weakness.

Sadly, in our society, this applies to most men.

Yes, even today men are often socialized to suppress their emotions and instead focus on logic and problem-solving. As a result, they may not have the same emotional vocabulary or processing skills as women.

I’m not saying, though, that all men equally struggle to express their emotions. While this can be a result of social conditioning for some guys, for others, it may simply be a struggle with emotional regulation and processing.

In either case, we can’t deny that the majority of modern society still thinks that it’s okay for women to be sensitive while men are taught to feel the opposite.

Regardless of the root cause, it can lead to a sense of being out of control, which can be scary and unsettling.

To put it simply, if they don’t know how to deal with their own emotions, it will be difficult for them to communicate with their partner, let alone build a healthy and lasting relationship.

7) They can’t balance their feelings with other priorities

Starting a relationship usually comes with the responsibility of balancing personal life, work, and family.

Of course, falling in love with someone doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to immediately start a family and settle down. However, it does require a certain level of commitment and attention that some guys may find challenging to balance with their other priorities.

The result can be unfortunate:

Your guy may feel like he’s already stretched thin. Adding a relationship to the mix may be just too much for him.

For instance, if he is working long hours or pursuing a demanding career, it may be hard for him to dedicate the time and energy needed to cultivate a healthy relationship.

Let’s say your guy is trying to meet a big deadline at work while also starting to fall for you. He may feel torn between his work responsibilities and the desire to spend time with you.

On the other hand, you’re adding to his internal conflict, leading to him pulling away or becoming distant.

Or maybe he’s caring for an aging parent or supporting a family member through a tough time. As a result, he may struggle to find the emotional bandwidth to invest in a romantic relationship with you.

So, it’s not that he doesn’t want to fall in love or commit to a relationship. But rather, he’s struggling to balance his feelings with his other important priorities.

This is especially true if the relationship requires a lot of emotional energy and time. 

But you don’t want to violate his work-life balance and make him anxious, right?

So, remember that some guys struggle with prioritizing their feelings and relationships while faicng other life demands. That’s how they can create a healthy work-life balance.

8) Difficulty trusting their partner or themselves

The next reason is more common and obvious. But if your guy has difficulty trusting you or himself, it’s still worth discussing.

And I’d like to provide my psychological perspective on this one as well.

The truth is that trust is a fundamental aspect of any healthy relationship. When we trust someone, we feel safe and secure with them. We’re more willing to open up and be vulnerable.

However, past experiences or personal insecurities can make it difficult to trust our partners or even ourselves. 

How can this manifest in your relationship?

Well, it can be anything from being overly jealous, to constantly seeking reassurance, or pushing you away.

I know it’s difficult to accept, but I’m sure exploring the root causes of his trust issues might be a solution.

For example, if your guy has been betrayed or hurt in the past, he may struggle to trust others in the future. Alternatively, if he has low self-esteem, he may have a hard time believing that someone could truly love and accept him for who he is.

Therefore, his condition might be rooted in a variety of causes, such as past negative experiences in relationships, a lack of self-confidence, or even general anxiety.

Sadly, when it comes to trusting oneself, it can be even harder to balance intuition with logic, especially if one is prone to overthinking or self-doubt.

So, try to approach the issue with empathy and patience, and remember: building trust takes time and effort from both partners.

9) They’re concerned about compatibility or differences in values

Did you know that some guys put a lot of weight on compatibility and shared values when it comes to relationships?

And it’s not just about physical attraction or chemistry. For some guys, it’s important to have similar beliefs, interests, and lifestyles in order for a relationship to work.

Now, you might think that this is a healthy approach. Having shared values and goals can make for a stronger, more fulfilling relationship, right?

Well, it can be. But it can also be taken to an extreme.

What I mean here is that some guys may become fixated on finding a partner who matches their exact specifications.

For example, some people use personality typing systems like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as a way to gauge compatibility with a potential partner. Sounds crazy, right?

I mean, it can be interesting to find out which MBTI personality types we are and how compatible we are with our partners based on those charts.  

But building an entire relationship based on an abstract compatibility chart? Personally, this sounds a bit insane to me.

Of course, there is some evidence to suggest that certain personality types may be more compatible than others.

But still, every person is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to love and relationships.

That being said, it’s understandable why some guys may place a lot of emphasis on compatibility and shared values. It’s human nature to seek out others who are similar to us and having common ground can make it easier to connect and communicate.

However, it’s worth keeping an open mind and not letting a particular MBTI type determine your entire perception of a person.

So, it’s possible to have a deep, meaningful connection with someone who doesn’t match your supposed “ideal” personality type.

What matters most is how two people connect and communicate with each other, regardless of any differences in values or interests.

10) They feel skeptical about commitment 

If you’ve already asked your guy to commit, then we might have discovered the real reason why he freaked out:

He’s afraid of commitment.

The truth is that some guys may feel skeptical about commitment. They might rationalize it with excuses like “I’m just not ready” or “I don’t believe in marriage.”

But the underlying issue is usually fear.

Fear of losing their independence, fear of being hurt or rejected, or fear of being trapped in a relationship that doesn’t work out.

But here’s the thing: fear is a natural and normal human emotion. It’s not something to be ashamed of or avoided. In fact, it can be a sign that someone is ready for a big change or growth.

Rarely do guys acknowledge that committing to someone can be a beautiful and fulfilling experience. 

It allows us to grow and learn with our partners, to create a life together, and to have someone who always has our back. 

So, if your guy is feeling skeptical about commitment, it might be a good opportunity to explore what’s holding him back and work through those fears together.

And if you’re both willing to put in the effort and take the leap of faith, you might just find that the rewards of a committed relationship are truly worth it.

11) They feel uncertain about the future of the relationship

Okay, being afraid of commitment is one thing. But does your guy also feel uncertain about the future of your relationship? 

This can be another reason why he may hesitate to take the next step.

But what makes him feel uncertain about the future of the relationship? Is he doubting your love? Or maybe he’s unsure about his own feelings and commitment?

Whatever the reason, you won’t be able to understand why your guy is freaking out unless you have an open and honest conversation with him about it.

Remember that uncertainty is normal. It doesn’t mean that your relationship is doomed or that your guy doesn’t care about you

It just means that he may need some reassurance or clarity about where things are heading in your relationship.

12) They feel pressure to conform to traditional gender roles

Want to know what the most common reason is why guys freak out when they fall in love?

It’s the perceived pressure from society to conform to traditional gender roles.

I did briefly touch on the pressure to conform to traditional gender roles earlier, but let’s dive a bit deeper.

Most times, men may feel pressure to conform to traditional gender roles in relationships. This can mean feeling like they have to be the provider, the protector, or the one who takes the lead in decision-making.

It’s like, people expect them to be the stereotypical “manly man” who is always in control and emotionally detached. 

This pressure can lead to feelings of inadequacy or anxiety, especially when they feel like they aren’t living up to those expectations.

But here’s the thing: traditional gender roles don’t work for everyone. 

Every relationship is unique, and expectations and responsibilities should be based on the needs and wants of both partners, not just what society dictates.

So, if you suspect that your guy is feeling the pressure to conform to traditional gender roles, let him know that you don’t expect him to conform to traditional gender roles if that’s not what he wants.

By breaking down these gender expectations, you can create a more equal and supportive relationship where both partners feel free to be themselves.

So, get ready to fulfill your roles in a way that feels natural to you exclusively!

13) What if they’ll lose their sense of identity or individuality in the relationship?

Have you ever heard of the saying, “I lost myself in the relationship“? 

It may sound like a cliché, but the fear of losing one’s sense of identity or individuality is a very real and valid concern for some guys when it comes to committing to a serious relationship.

Think of it this way – being in a relationship requires a certain level of compromise and sacrifice. 

And for some guys, the thought of losing their independence or their own sense of self can be quite daunting.

So, guess what?

They’re afraid they’ll lose their sense of identity or individuality in the relationship.

This makes them pull back and hesitate to fully commit.

They just fear that their own interests and passions will take a backseat to their partner’s. Or even worse – admitting to having fallen in love with someone else will make them become a different person entirely.

But here’s the thing – being in a healthy relationship shouldn’t mean sacrificing your own identity or individuality. 

In fact, a good relationship should support and encourage each partner’s personal growth and development.

And with the right approach, there’s no way that any of you will lose the sense of “self” in your relationship.

14) What if she’s not the one?

You probably won’t be surprised if I tell you that guys often ask themselves this question:

 “What if she’s not the one?”

It’s especially true when they start to get serious in a relationship. But don’t jump to conclusions and start worrying just now.

It doesn’t mean that your relationship is in danger.

Surprisingly, this can happen even if things are going well and they have a deep connection with their partner.

One reason for this is the fear of making a mistake. And it’s natural, right?

Committing to someone for the long term is a big decision, and no one wants to make the wrong choice. Some guys may worry that they’ll choose the wrong person and end up unhappy in the long run.

Admit it, you’ve also felt this way. And it doesn’t mean that you’re doubting your partner or that you’re not satisfied with them.

But what’s more, some guys may have a certain vision of what their ideal partner looks like, and they may worry that their current partner doesn’t fit that mold. 

They may wonder if they’re settling for someone who isn’t truly right for them.

Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that it’s natural to have doubts and fears when it comes to relationships. 

On the other hand, constantly asking oneself, “What if she’s not the one?” can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety. 

The key here is to take the time to really get to know oneself and one’s partner. In the end, only time and experience can truly reveal if someone is the right partner for the long haul.

15) They think they don’t deserve your love

And the final and perhaps the most heartbreaking reason why guys may freak out when they fall in love is that they think they don’t deserve your love.

Feeling unworthy of love is a common struggle for many people, and guys are no exception. 

In fact, some guys may even convince themselves that they don’t deserve your love, causing them to freak out and push you away.

Remember Joel from the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”? He believed that he wasn’t good enough for Clementine, which made him sabotage their relationship and ultimately erase all memories of her.

Well, to me, his insecurities are a clear example that sometimes guys think they don’t deserve your love. 

But why does your guy feel this way? Do you make him feel like he doesn’t deserve you?

Chances are that it’s not about you.

Instead, this feeling of inadequacy can stem from a variety of personal reasons – past failed relationships, low self-esteem, or even childhood experiences.

Regardless of the cause, this feeling of unworthiness can cause your guy to sabotage the relationship just like Joel did or pull away altogether.

While I believe it’s not your job to fix him, you can support him and encourage him to work through these issues together to make him feel better.

How to respond when he pulls away

After understanding all these reasons why guys freak out when they fall in love, you’re probably wondering what you can do to save your relationship whenever he pulls away.

One thing I want you to know is that if your guy is pulling away, it’s important to remember that it’s not necessarily a reflection of how he feels about you. He may be dealing with his own fears and insecurities. That’s why it’s important to validate those feelings and concerns.

Encourage him to express himself openly and honestly and to listen actively without judgment. If he needs space, respect his boundaries and give him the time and room he needs to work through his feelings.

While it can be tough to navigate these tricky waters, I’m sure focusing on building trust and strengthening the relationship can help bring you closer together.

And remember: that’s the way to show your guy you’re committed to him and the relationship. 

At the end of the day, relationships are all about give and take. With love, patience, and communication, you can navigate these challenges together and build a relationship that is strong, supportive, and fulfilling for both of you.

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