The beginning of a relationship is when we are all at our best.
There are so many things you want to do with this person and explore with them, you want them to like you, and you want to be the most charming version of yourself.
But time passes and our true colors and habits start to show. We can pull back, get lazy, and not be as thoughtful.
While dating someone new, it’s normal to want to put your foot on the brake every now and then and give yourself some space.
Slowing down a relationship without breaking up could help your partnership grow stronger in the long run.
Here are the top reasons why a man might slow down a relationship and stop putting as much effort into them as he did in the beginning. Let’s jump right in.
1) He is reassessing his needs
A man might slow down a relationship because he is rediscovering his needs and expectations.
If you have been in a relationship where you had to compromise or rush certain things, he might be pulling back to avoid any traps with you and make sure that his heart is into committing more time and effort with you.
Before diving headfirst into a new relationship, a man might take some time to think about what he wants and what he needs in the relationship.
It can be an ideal time for you to do the same.
What do you need to feel comfortable at this stage of your life?
What do you need to feel confident in this new relationship?
2) He is setting new boundaries
If a man is feeling pressured to move faster than he is comfortable with, he might retract his efforts to set some new boundaries in your relationship. Don’t be afraid of them.
If he doesn’t feel ready to meet your parents, see you more frequently, spend every weekend with you, or open up his life to you, it can mean that he’s not ready to pick a serious relationship.
He has to figure this out.
Don’t feel bad about that.
Give yourself a break and let your partner know what your needs are as well. If you truly desire more commitment from a man, you might have to reassess if this is the right partner for you.
Your partner may even appreciate it.
Boundaries are a sign that you’re confident and self-aware and that you respect yourself.
3) He might only be able to commit to small things
A man might put in less effort to your relationship because he is only able to commit to small things and wants to see how it goes.
Small commitments at the beginning of a relationship are enough to show that you’re serious, but not so serious that you’re in a full-blown relationship. Take it in slowly, step by step.
It might feel like he is pulling back or not putting in much effort but he is preparing himself for a long-haul relationship with you.
Let him slowly open up. And remember, you can’t ever force anyone to do anything.
4) He is establishing new habits
A man might seem like he is putting less effort into the relationship because he is making new habits.
Perhaps he is training for an ultra marathon, taking a new course, learning a new skill, or taking on a new project at work?
It might be that he has other commitments that need his attention and he has to pull back from the attention he was giving you so that he can redirect his energy.
While we are exploring reasons why a man might pull his efforts and attention back in a relationship, it can be helpful to speak to a coach about what’s happening in your life.
A professional relationship coach, like the ones at Relationship Hero, can help you work through complex relationship issues, like feeling anxious and afraid when your partner pulls away.
I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly learning how to deal with my emotions and mindset in my relationships. Sometimes I don’t want to give all the details about them to my friends. I want someone who is experienced and an expert and who I can tell everything to without feeling shy or embarrassed.
That’s why I was so blown away by seeking the help of a relationship coach. They were so understanding and empathetic and I wasn’t embarrassed to speak my mind.
Within minutes, you could be receiving great advice on your relationship struggles. They can help you get into deeper issues, like how to face the feelings of anxiety and frustration, and fear when your partner pulls away. So, if you want to learn more, click here to get started.
5) He misses the idea of being single
A man might slow down his efforts in a relationship because he feels ready to be alone for the moment.
Remember that our feelings towards relationships can change.
He might like the idea of focusing on himself and taking care of some things that he let slide.
He might like the idea of not having to compromise or worry about what you’re doing.
He might like being on his own, getting to do his own thing, and dedicating all his time and effort toward things he wants to do.
So, a man can easily put less effort into a romantic relationship because that’s what he desires and needs in his heart. Simply put, he knows he is neglecting himself at the moment.
6) Something is triggering him and causing him stress in your relationship
If a man is putting less effort into your relationship, there is a possibility that something about your behavior or the way that you are interacting is negatively triggering him.
This might be from old relationships and cause him to put less effort into your current relationship.
It’s natural. Don’t worry. We all have things that sneak up from our past.
He might have had hard relationships in the past which caused him to feel uncomfortable and he needs to figure out how that is impacting him now.
So, in this case, a man will pull back and take some time for reflection.
7) You are not putting in as much effort as he thinks you should be
A man might pull back in a relationship because he thinks his partner is pulling back.
Have you looked at how much attention you are putting in?
Sometimes we are so busy looking at our partners that we forget to look at ourselves.
Sometimes a man can mirror what you are doing because he thinks you are taking it less seriously.
This can be a sign that he wants you to pick up your game and be more attentive to his needs.
8) You are being jealous or possessive of him
If a man puts less effort into a relationship, it can be because he thinks you are coming on too strong.
This can make him feel like he can’t do any of his hobbies and activities without you in his life and want to gain back a sense of independence.
Jealousy might cause him to pull back and not want to be with you anymore.
Are you coming across as clingy or needy?
Are you putting extra demands or expectations on him?
It’s a good time for you to reflect on how you are behaving around him.
9) He is not being his authentic self around you
A man might pull away from his attention in a relationship because he is too pulled into your feminine world. He might feel the need to reconnect with his masculine nature.
He wants to appear strong and masculine, but he needs to find a way to do that naturally.
This causes him to put less effort into your relationship due to his insecurities about being open and vulnerable and exposed to you. If he spends all his moments with you he might lose his connection to his masculine nature.
He might not be ready to be natural and authentic around you quite yet.
10) He feels misunderstood and mischaracterized in your relationship
You might think that a man is pulling away from you because he doesn’t feel appreciated or special around you.
He might feel like he is not being himself around you and has to put on an act or attempt to change himself so that he can fit into your life.
Do you put any pressure on him to be a certain way?
Are you expecting him to be a perfect boyfriend?
If this is the case, then a man might slow down his efforts because of the role-playing he has been doing and will slowly start to pull away from the relationship.
He needs to get back to his true essence and reconnect with himself.
11) He is feeling insecure
Men can feel insecure and act like they are pulling away from a relationship when they are just not getting enough attention.
They might feel like you are more interested in something else in your life, or that you’re not as interested in your relationship because of the time and effort you put into work and other areas of your life.
He might be feeling insecure about his appearance, his dating skills, or how he is communicating with you.
Or perhaps, it’s something else entirely.
Check with him to see if there is anything that needs to be communicated.
12) He is dealing with past relationship issues and baggage
A man might pull back in a relationship because he is dealing with past relationship issues.
He may be feeling guilty about having a previous partner, or he may not have learned from this past relationship and still be struggling to manage his emotions around love.
He might be feeling physically ill from past relationships and will slow down his efforts because of this.
He’s just as much involved in the relationship as you are, he just wants to take it slow and make sure he’s ready for a serious commitment.
13) He doesn’t have much experience with relationships
A man might pull away from a relationship because he isn’t used to them.
He might be nervous to tell you that he is new to relationships and how they work.
Or, he doesn’t know what a healthy and committed relationship is and what it entails.
He might think that your relationship is going too fast if he has never been in a long-term committed relationship before.
He wants to make sure that his feelings are valid. So, he puts less effort into the relationship so that he can choose what is best for him in this new situation. Be patient.
14) He wants to think things through before committing to a relationship
Men are likely going to agree with this, but they do need some space alone to make sure they know what they want and who they want. This can be a reason why they pull away from your relationship.
You might think a partner is giving you less attention because he is avoiding the relationship, but a man just has to think things through before committing to something.
It builds their confidence and their trust in themselves if they can take some time apart and come back with more clarity on their choice of who they want to be with.
15) He is waiting for something better to come along
He might say that he doesn’t want a relationship at the moment when actually, he is just not ready for one yet or waiting for something better.
He is likely going to want to get to know you better, but he just wants to be sure that you are the perfect date for him before he commits.
He is waiting for the right one and isn’t going to commit himself until he gets the perfect woman in his life. And to be honest, he’s not sure if you are the perfect woman for him at this time.
16) He is searching for love outside of your relationship
A man might say that he doesn’t want a relationship when really, what he means is that he doesn’t want to be in a committed and serious relationship at the moment.
He enjoys dating multiple women and doesn’t want to be with just one.
He doesn’t want to be pulled away from that to get into another relationship with you.
You might think he is pulling away for a few weeks or months, but he is probably just waiting for the right moment to let your down and is not ready to commit to you right now.
17) He has lost confidence in himself due to self-doubt
A man might put less effort into a relationship because he is feeling insecure.
He might be unsatisfied with his appearance, his job, or other areas of his life that affect him heavily.
Self-doubt is a serious issue and can cause a man not only to pull back in the relationship but can make him avoid any type of contact with you at all.
He might not be able to find his confidence when he is around you because of the thoughts and feelings he has about himself.
This will cause him not to put as much effort into the relationship and is likely to pull away.
18) He doesn’t want to feel obligated
A man will say that he doesn’t want a relationship with you, but that doesn’t mean that he wants any kind of commitment from you at all.
He might say that he is waiting for you, but wants nothing more than a fling or a casual date here or there.
He might not be as invested in you as he should be and wants to keep it that way.
He doesn’t want to feel obligated to you, so he is going to try and back off while still getting what he wants.
19) He is worried about the commitment
Maybe a man is tired of being hurt or having his feelings crushed one too many times, so he wants out for a little bit.
He just needs some time apart from all of the heartache and pain that comes with a relationship and that’s why he pulls away from you without reason.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been left in the dust of a man’s quick changes.
I was left confused, frustrated, and feeling rejected and alone. So, I reached out to a professional relationship coach because I had lost all hope.
I had low expectations, but the coach I spoke to at Relationship Hero quickly broke down the walls I’d built up in my relationship.
They helped me understand why my partner pulled away and how to handle it on my end.
This coach was tough but fair. I appreciate that they were there in a way that a friend can’t always be. They listened to my specific situation and all the details I tend to keep to myself and really helped me to see things in an empowering way.
They helped me look at the larger issues I was facing. Like how to truly resolve my feelings of loneliness and deep need to want to connect with someone deeply.
My relationship isn’t perfect now, but it’s so much better than what it was.
Most importantly, I’m hugely optimistic about the future again, and see my interactions as opportunities to learn and grow more. I can’t help but recommend them. Click here to check out Relationship Hero and see if they can help you, too.
20) He doesn’t want to hurt you
Pulling away from someone can be a mean thing to do and it is hard for someone to do if they care about that person.
A man might pull away from you because he doesn’t want to hurt you, but also he just doesn’t know what else to do. He might know that he has some negative behaviors that will cause you harm.
It might be hard for him not to care and leave you, but he has a lot going on in his life right now and takes the easiest route possible by pulling away instead of getting into a serious commitment with you.
He feels too vulnerable, so he holds himself back without reason.
21) He wants to date you before committing to you
If he has been seeing you for a while and hasn’t made a commitment, then he’s probably scared of commitment after experiences in the past.
He might want to date you without commitment first so that he can make sure that he doesn’t make the same mistake again with another woman.
He may not even want a serious relationship with you yet because of his past hurts and experiences.
Not knowing where things are going will be hard on both him and you, so he is going to try and slowly get to know what is best for him by getting to know the future girlfriends before taking a step into something real.
22) He just wants to be your friend
He might say that he doesn’t want a serious relationship with you and start to put effort into you because he is okay with being just friends.
A man might think of his feelings for you as friendship feelings and doesn’t want to ruin the friendship that he has with you.
He might not have the same sentimentality and feeling for you that has made him pull away from the relationship before it starts.
He is okay with being your friend, but this can become awkward since both of you might have other intentions in mind. He will probably eventually realize how he feels about you and if it will lead him back into a committed relationship or not.
23) He is waiting for the right time to make a commitment
A man might say that he doesn’t want a relationship with you, but he just doesn’t know if he can commit to the relationship.
If a man says that he doesn’t want a serious relationship with you and that this is only going to be a casual date, then it likely means that he wants more than just having sex with you.
He might not be able to commit and does not know what else to do because of his past experiences and relationships.
He might still have some feelings for you but is trying to make sure that it is the right timing and the right woman for him to commit.
He wants to be sure that you are the one he wants to spend his life with before making any kind of commitment.
24) He is pulling away to be a leader
For a man to make the changes in his life he wants, he has to take total control of the situation.
A man can’t just put any amount of effort into something if he doesn’t want it.
If a man is not dedicated and only wants sex, then it is more likely that he will stand by and watch someone else do everything.
He knows what needs to be done and will now do it while getting all of the women that are around him as his support and supporters.
25) He is trying to avoid a break-up
Maybe a man has been hurt in the past and he doesn’t want to get into another relationship if he knows there is going to be a breakup in the end.
He might not want to put himself through any pain that comes from loving someone that isn’t going to love him back or isn’t going to stick around for long anyway.
He might be scared about the future of the relationship and wants nothing more than you not being with him at all.
26) He is bored
Men are often bored and they want to get out of the house or date a woman that they can have fun with.
They might not be too serious about a relationship just yet because of the way that women are being treated and the way that relationships are falling apart so easily.
He wants to get out and have tons of fun with as many women as possible before he gets serious about one in particular again.
It’s hard for him to commit for fear of losing his freedom, so he is going out and gets all of his needs met by women instead.
27) He wants to give you some space
A man might say that he doesn’t want a commitment with you, but he just thinks he should give you some space.
He doesn’t want you to think that he doesn’t like you or doesn’t want to see you anymore and is trying to have the most decency about it.
He just wants some time apart and for things to settle down in his own life so that he can get back to who he is and isn’t hiding from everyone.
He will try and make sure that everything is okay before being in a relationship again after a break-up or bad break-up.
28) He is afraid of commitment already
Maybe a man has already committed to someone in the past and can’t do it again.
He knows what it is like to have a relationship that doesn’t last because of his past and wants to avoid having that happen with you.
He might really care about you, but not enough for him to want to be in a serious relationship with you and if he does, he might break your heart again.
It might be hard for him to commit because he worries about his safety and putting himself into another bad situation, so he thinks about how this will affect him.
29) He is too busy with work
A man might be very busy at work and doesn’t have the time to be in a relationship, so he might abruptly stop putting in the time.
He has a lot of responsibilities and he doesn’t want to hurt you or leave you without respect.
He wants to make sure that he has enough time to do what he wants with all of the women around him that are making him feel appreciated and appreciated again.
He knows that if he commits, it will only put more stress on him, so he can live his single life instead.
30) He doesn’t want to be married again
A man might say that he doesn’t want a commitment with you, but he is just trying to avoid being married again.
He might have been hurt in the past and doesn’t want another relationship to disappoint him.
He has been so hurt that it is hurting his chances of having a relationship and taking away time from him doing what he wants.
He knows what it is like to have someone that walks out on him, so he might be scared to find another woman that will do the same thing.
Let’s be honest about this. When he stops paying attention it can hurt our feelings. It can quickly feel like a personal rejection and like we failed.
It’s not easy. It’s enough to make you want to give up on love and walk away.
Remember to focus on yourself
Now that we’ve gone through the top reasons why a man might stop putting effort into your relationship, it’s time to face some important truths.
The way I see it is you have two options.
You can try to overthink and analyze your man’s actions, and figure out why is pulling away.
Or you can focus on your own glorious life and be content whether or not he is in the picture.
It can feel hard to feel alone and rejected when you have opened up to someone new.
But in all our relationships, the most important one is the one you have your whole life. That is the relationship with yourself.
When was the last time you explored that?
I learned this key change in mindset from the modern-day shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me to deeply explore and face the lies we tell ourselves about love. He helped me to see that this fiction traps us in relationships that go nowhere.
As Rudá explains in this transformational video, love and forming intimate bonds are available to us if we cut through the lies that we tell ourselves. We have to go in to get out of the state of deception.
We need to face the truth about depending on someone else to make us happy.
Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective. I felt like someone finally understood my struggles to find a meaningful sense of love – and offered a real and simple solution to accepting that our relationships will always change and that they are ok to let go of.
If you’re done with feeling miserable, I invite you to watch this short video and open your mind to a new outlook.
The more you can work on your inner state, the more at ease you will feel with any life changes. And then, whether he leaves and doesn’t come back, or if he decides to return, that’s his drama.
The better you feel with yourself the less it will matter if he is around or not. And then you can make the clear decision if he is someone that you want to continue to interact, share and relate with.
The more confidence you have in yourself, the better choices you will make in your relationships. Keep at it. It gets easier and easier to focus on yourself. You will thank yourself in the long term.
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.