19 common reasons why guys get scared and back off

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Have you ever hit it off with a guy, just for him to fall off the radar?

We’ve all been there. 

More often than not, it’s not because he is – for the lack of a better term – a douchebag. There are many reasons why guys get scared and back off, and here are 19 of them:

1) He’s just not that into you

If he likes you, he’ll pursue you – no matter what the circumstance might be. But if he’s not that into you, don’t be surprised if everything just goes radio silent. 

So why doesn’t he just tell it straight to your face?

According to Mark Anderson, a mental health therapist, it all boils down to gender differences.

“Overall, women are more comfortable and willing to engage in conflict conversations than men. Men will either shut down or attack in hopes of an escape,” he says in his Star Herald article

That’s why when it comes to verbal aggression “the male brain has no idea how to handle that with any finesse at all.”

So instead of telling it to you straight that he’s not that into you, he’d just disappear and hope that you get the gist. 

Sucks, right?

2) He doesn’t feel like your hero

Some guys who back off do so because they don’t feel like your hero. 

It’s called the hero instinct, a new theory in the relationship world that’s causing quite a stir. 

Coined by relationship expert James Bauer, this interesting concept finally explains how men really think and feel in relationships. 

And it’s something most women have never even heard of. 

According to James, men don’t actually need a lot to feel content in their relationships. In fact, what they need doesn’t have anything to do with sex. 

Men have certain innate drivers. And when a woman comes along and triggers them, it causes a great response. The result is a man who loves harder, commits better, and truly dedicates himself to the relationship. 

So, how can you tap into your man’s hero instinct? 

The easiest thing to do is to watch this simple and genuine video by James Bauer

The truth is, once you understand how the hero instinct works, there’s no telling what heights your relationship can reach. 

So if you want to give your man what he truly wants, make sure to check out James Bauer’s excellent video. In it, he reveals the exact texts and phrases you can use straight away.

Here’s a link to the free video again.

3) He thinks everything’s happening too fast

Maybe you had a hasty whirlwind relationship. 

You just had your first date a few weeks ago, and now, things have gotten wildly salacious. And just when you thought you were both headed to the next level, he suddenly drops off from the face of the planet. 

Sadly, it’s because he thinks everything’s happening too fast. 

In his mind, you should still be in the getting to know stage – and not in the ‘you’re my date to my cousin’s wedding next year’ stage. 

And he’s got a point, really. Maybe you’re planning out too much, too soon, and he felt like he was in a speeding car with no breaks. 

Scientifically, it makes sense. After all, “by rushing, getting hurt and rejected makes it harder to dust yourself off and continue dating in your search for the right person,” says psychologist Maria Barratta, Ph.D.

“Dating is about trying to figure out if the person is for you. And that takes time,” she adds

So if you tend to move into relationships too fast, try to slow things down the next time. Who knows? This may stop your next guy from running away. 

4) It’s gotten too intense for him

One day you’re exchanging numbers, and the next day you’re getting hot and heavy. 

While it’s great to be unbelievably passionate, this may prove too much for him. So much so that he has no qualms leaving you in the middle of the night.

See, there are two options for this. He’s either a one-night-stand kind of guy, or it has just gotten too intense for him.

As an Anxiety Canada report explains it: “When emotions are intense and overwhelming, we naturally want to get rid of them or block them out.”

As a result, this can “lead to unproductive or unhealthy ways of coping.” 

Sadly, in your case, backing off from a potential relationship could be his way of dealing with intense emotions. 

5) He needs some time to reflect on the relationship

Diving into a new relationship can be quite a big deal.  This is especially the case if your guy has a bad relationship history. 

He’s been traumatized, you see. 

That’s why he’s pulling away from you. He wants to be 100% sure about you – and the future. 

He doesn’t want to have another messy relationship, after all! 

And, if this is his reason, don’t take it against him. It might actually be his attempt at improving your future relationship. 

As psychologist Dr. Jenev Caddell explains in her Bustle interview:

“Reflecting on your relationship is important because it implies that you are not simply accepting the ‘status quo’ of relationships, and can then challenge yourself to create something more rewarding and fulfilling overall.”

6) He doesn’t like to change his life right now

It’s lovely being in a relationship, but as we all know, it often involves making lots of amends. 

For example, his Saturdays – which he used to spend gaming with the boys – may suddenly become a double date night because you said so. 

If he’s not ready – or willing to change his routines for the relationship – he’ll simply just bow out from the race. 

That’s why for this case (and many others), it’s best to speak to a relationship coach.

To get advice that’s tailored to your unique situation, go to Relationship Hero. It’s a popular site where highly trained relationship coaches help people work through complex relationship issues. 

Their popularity boils down to how skilled their coaches are. 

Case in point: after experiencing a tough patch in my own relationship, I reached out to them for help. From the moment I got in touch with my coach, I was given genuine, helpful advice, and was finally able to see my relationship issues with real clarity.

Within minutes, you could be receiving life-changing advice on how to navigate and repair the issues you’re facing in your relationship.

Click here to get started.

7) He’s got FOMO

We all have this fear of missing out. But for some guys, this FOMO makes them back the hell off. 

See, even if you’re the ultimate catch, he may think that there’s someone better out there (even though there’s not!)

He thinks that by pursuing you, he’ll be losing out on the opportunity to grab on to the other fish in the sea. 

Simply put, he’s afraid that he’s settling. His one true soulmate could still be somewhere out there, after all.

And while this may make you sad – teary even – his FOMO has actually got him on the losing end. 

After all, research shows that “Fear of missing out can lower one’s sense of well-being, and heighten one’s feelings of loneliness.” 

So yes, it’s definitely his loss! 

8) He feels inadequate

You’re a catch. You know it. He knows it. Your entire office building knows it. 

Don’t be offended, but it’s the very reason why he’s backed off. He can’t help but feel inadequate whenever he’s with you. 

Picture this: you’re a handsomely-paid executive and he’s a bloke with a minimum-wage job. Even if he likes (or loves) you, he may stray away because of “the enduring legacy of traditional gender norms and the alleged connection between success and masculinity.” 

According to psychologist Iskra Fileva, Ph.D., “this legacy puts men at particular risk of feeling inadequate, not good enough, and even—in more extreme cases—good for nothing.

9) He thinks he doesn’t deserve you

If your guy feels inadequate around you, there’s a huge chance that he thinks he doesn’t deserve you. 

He feels you’re better off with someone else, and that’s why he thinks it’s best to just walk away. 

Let’s circle back to my prior example. You’re an executive, and he only earns minimum wage. Naturally, he thinks you deserve someone who’s on the same level as you. 

According to a Psychology Today article, “He might fear that a woman who outperforms him is out of his league, or that she’ll leave him for a sharper go-getter. 

Men often feel they need to defend their status as competent and competitive, and being outperformed is a threat.” 

As a result, “The blow to the ego, however self-inflicted, appears to hurt how men see their relationship. They distanced themselves from their partner and were less optimistic about their future together.” 

That being said, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a happy ending with a guy who doesn’t make as much as you. 

There’s always “a man who’s supportive of (your) intelligence and ambition from the start.”

At the end of the day, it’s just a matter of making him focus on the “thoughts on the ‘team’ aspect of the relationship” for it’ll help him retain his self-esteem. 

10) He feels vulnerable

As your relationship progresses, you may find yourself discussing deeper subjects with him.

Moving together. Marriage. Kids maybe. 

These topics may make him feel vulnerable, which is why he got scared and backed off. 

After all, research has shown that for most, “Showing vulnerability might sometimes feel more like weakness from the inside.”

And, as we all know, men don’t like to be perceived as weak. They want to appear strong because that’s what society expects of them. 

“They feel pressure to act tough, hide weakness and “look good”. This can have damaging effects on their health and wellbeing, as well as their relationships with each other, and with women and children,” according to experts. 

11) He’s got relationship anxiety 

Being with the one person you love is indeed lovely. But if your man is suffering from relationship anxiety, it might prove to be the opposite. 

“For many single people, just the thought of being in a relationship can stir up stress. If and when they do start dating, the early stages can present them with endless worries,” explains a PsychAlive report.

“Unfortunately, these worries don’t necessarily subside when things become more serious. In fact, as couples get closer, anxiety can become even more intense.”

In other words, his relationship anxiety may lead him to create distance between the both of you. To top it all off, this anxiety can even push him to give up on you – even if he really likes being with you. 

12) He has commitment phobia

Some men are afraid of spiders – or heights. Some men, unfortunately, are deathly terrified of commitment.

These commitment-phobes have the innate “fear of getting close to people or making relationship decisions that have a long-lasting effect.” 

That’s why instead of venturing deeper into the relationship, he’ll do the opposite and walk away. 

According to WebMD, it’s often due to “Cultural trends and technology (that) have influenced people’s search for love and work. A lot of opportunities have opened up, creating an abundance of choice that can be overwhelming and contribute to people’s hesitation to commit.”

So how do you know if he’s a commitment-phobe – and not just a plain old sleazeball? According to experts, you need to be on the lookout for these red flags: 

  • He’s self-centered.
  • He won’t use the word ‘love,’ but he’s often using the words ‘might’ or ‘probably.’
  • He’s reluctant to make future plans, even if it’s just a movie date for next week. 
  • He plans for failure, rather than success. 
  • He has a small or superficial circle of friends. 
  • He’s overly concerned about losing his identity. 

13) It’s because of his past relationships

They say the past is the past. But if your man had traumatic relationships beforehand, they may be affecting the way he is right now.

In other words, his past may be the reason why he’s backed off – even if you two have clicked together. 

As Lindsay Dodgson of Business Insider explains: 

“The past impacts our present every day, whether it’s in how we approach certain situations, or how we emotionally react to what people say.” 

So if you’re looking to help your guy get over his past trauma, make sure to tap on his hero instinct. 

I mentioned this concept earlier. When a man’s inner hero is triggered, he’s more likely to commit – rather than back off.
Just by knowing the right things to say to him, you’ll open a part of him that no woman has ever reached before.
And the best way to do so is by watching this free video by James Bauer. In it, he’ll reveal simple phrases and texts you can use to make your man truly yours. 

Here’s a link to the excellent video again.

14) He’s still not over his ex

Unfortunately, not getting over an ex is one of the reasons why guys veer away from a potential relationship. 

According to Theresa E. DiDonato, Ph.D., this often happens due to rejection. He might be the rejectee in his past relationship – i.e. the one left by the ‘rejector.’ 

“Not surprisingly, being the rejectee is often a subjectively worse experience, linked with more depression and a loss of self-esteem. Being rejected is also connected to rumination, or perpetually thinking about an ex-partner.”

Sad as it may seem, but you may be his rebound girl. He thinks that he’ll get over her by pursuing you. 

And, even if you both hit it off, don’t be surprised if he just decides to go away. For one, he may rather just go back to his ex.

On the other hand, he may actually have a shred of decency and back off because he knows you don’t deserve to be a rebound girl. Good for him, if this is the case. 

15) It’s his defense mechanism

As I’ve just mentioned, his past relationships play a big role in how he manages his relationships today. 

Naturally, if he has burned several times before, he’ll develop some defense mechanisms. These are “ unconscious psychological responses that protect people from feelings of anxiety… and things that they don’t want to think about or deal with.”

Him getting scared and backing off is what psychologists call avoidance, which is one’s refusal to “deal with or encounter unpleasant objects or situations.”

He thinks he’ll just get brokenhearted by pursuing you, which is what might have happened in his past relationships. In his mind, the best thing to do for his heart is to just walk away from you. 

16) He’s scared the relationship will fail

As I keep on saying, unless your guy was able to heal the wounds of his past relationships, he’ll probably bring this baggage into the mix. 

So don’t be surprised if he gets scared and backs away from you. He’s been burned before, so he’s apprehensive to do the same thing again. 

It’s a classic case of operant conditioning, wherein “an association is made between a behavior and a consequence (whether negative or positive) for that behavior.”

In other words, “actions that result in punishment or undesirable consequences will be weakened and less likely to occur again in the future.”

Because of his traumatic experience with his ex, he’ll try to avoid being in a relationship as much as possible. 

Unfortunately, you’re the one left at the losing end of this ‘conditioning.’

17) He’s busy

If he likes you, he’ll make time, right? Unfortunately, some men are so career-driven that they can’t place anything on top of it – relationships included. 

For starters, he may be working more than 12 hours a day to get the promotion he’s always wanted. 

On the other hand, he could be working a job that requires him to get out of town (or the country) every week.

Simply put, he walked away from you because he’s busy enough as he is. He knows that relationships take a lot of time, and this is something he can’t give away at the moment. 

18) He’s got a lot of things going on

More often than not, when a guy backs off, “it’s not you, it’s him.”

Case in point: he may have a lot of things going on in his life, which is why he can’t commit to you at the moment. 

He may be suffering from an illness that necessitates frequent visits to the hospital. 

He could be in the middle of a nasty divorce that sucks the life (and the money) out of him. 

Now I know that ‘if there’s a will, there’s a way,’ right? Well, in this case, he backed off because he feels like you don’t deserve to be dragged into the mess he’s in. 

19) He got it from his parents

It’s not only his looks that he got from his parents. It’s the way he treats his relationships as well. 

As author Peg Streep puts it, “People learn about how adult relationships work from the interactions of their parents.”

In fact, “Children raised in fractious, volatile marriages or quiet, hostile households may have difficulties in managing emotions or may ignore problems.”

So if he grew up in a family where feelings or emotions were shut down, then it’s second nature for him to do the same thing.

After all, “Children raised in fractious, volatile marriages or quiet, hostile households may have difficulties in managing emotions or may ignore problems.”

Final thoughts

I touched on the hero instinct earlier – it’s the perfect remedy for the situation you’re facing. 


Because once a man’s hero instinct is triggered, he won’t think twice about pursuing you. 

In fact, you’ll reach a part of him that no woman has ever managed to reach before. 

In return, he’ll be compelled to commit to you and love you like he’s never loved another woman. 

He won’t get scared and back off, just like the others did! 

So if you’re ready to take that plunge and reach new heights in your relationship, check out relationship expert James Bauer’s invaluable advice right now.

Click here to watch the excellent free video.

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.

Click here to get started.

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