Why Do Men Pull Away From Relationships?


I’m still sifting through the hundreds of responses that you gave me on yesterday’s survey:

In case you didn’t know, all I asked was this: What is the most important question you have about relationships that you’d like me to address in my new eBook? Next thing I knew, I was flooded with questions like this:

Why can dating be so difficult for educated, career oriented women in their 40’s?

What makes a man want to commit and stay committed to a relationship?

Why do men act like they like you and then when you express how you feel about them, they disappear?

What makes men run away from a relationship when you start asking where things are going??

Why do YOU think men pull away from women and committed relationships?

I don’t understand the guys that come on super strong over the course of a couple weeks, and then, all of a sudden, say that they are “not ready for a relationship.” If my behavior hasn’t changed (e.g. they are the one pursuing me), what has changed in their heads?

Why is it that men have follow-through issues? The first date goes well and then there is nothing.

Why do they pull away when things get serious?

I would like to know what to do to get a man really interested and how to continue to hold his interest so he doesn’t pull a disappearing act.

Why don’t men seem as interested in long term relationships as women are?

I’m not kidding when I tell you that I’ve got SCORES of these questions – slight variations on the same exact theme. So, my brilliant readers, since you have strong opinions on all things pertaining to dating and relationships, I’d love to hear from you:

Why do YOU think men pull away from women and committed relationships?

I know it’s a broad question, but I really want to hear what you have to say! Both women AND men, please…

Join our conversation (319 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 221
    Deborah Michaliszyn

    Here’s the answer: he is seeing others and found someone else more interesting. You did nothing wrong, he just wandered off like a wolf. A wandering animal. If he really REALLY felt a strong bond with you, he’d hang around loosely maybe longer, but the weird day when he gets distracted or turned off, he wanders somewhere. He has no concern, he just acts like an animal, he   roams and doesn’t think about how you feel. relationships are not that important. He just likes being free and doing whatever appeals to him in the moment. Just kidding, this isn’t the only answer.


  2. 222
    Deborah Michaliszyn

    Actually I get it kinda and then I don’t. The reason we don’t understand each other is because we aren’t that way ourselves. As a woman, you desire love, right? You want a relationship. It’s important to you to pair off, and have it last. You want a father for your children. To a guy, I don’t think they are in that kind of rush. they want a partner, sure, but I think they feel differently about it. I think they want families, and everything else, but, they don’t want to get attached to the first woman necessarily. I guess in some ways, they want to enjoy their freedom without pressure, and in other ways they want to think critically about it, and it’s not the first necessity. Well, some guys want it right away, but I think most just take their time. So, if you make them feel extremely  good without any pressure, then probably you have better chances. I think men are fussy about how you make them feel, and then they barely evaluate what they contribute. It seems like they make a huge effort just to see if they can get your attention, but once that job is done, they come down to earth and then judge if they really want you or not. It’s sorta like, aiming for everything out there to increase the odds, but then seriously not making a move on all the ones they attract but then after gathering a pool of interested women, then they evaluate who to keep or toss and then eventually, when they really like one, and that woman requires marriage, they give in because otherwise they might lose her, so that’s easier than getting hurt I guess. give in, and settle. but the real answer is IT DEPENDS. IT DEPENDS is the answer to that whole big question. there are so many variables, no one will ever quantize them. you just have to go out there and experiment until it works

  3. 223

    I can’t believe this is so common! Met a guy on a dating site..”looking for someone to spend the rest of my life with.” We really hit it off. The second date he asked me to go to Vegas and get married. Third date his phone rings and he tells his friend “I’m with my girlfriend.” He told me he loved me by the 4th date. So sweet and attentive. Jokingly called himself my husband.   Tells me constantly I am beautiful inside and out. Messages all day. The sex has been literally the best I’ve ever experienced in my life!   I took them all as a sign this could be an awesome thing. The only drawback was that he was pretty quiet around me but was always talkative with others out in public.   Yup, probably my mistake of saying I was confused and wanted to know how he saw what we had together.   I told him my take was we had great potential.    He said it was a lot for him to take in and gave me another sentence or two of explanation.   That was the last I heard from him.   And I agree…please have the decency to say “it’s not going to work out” so we can move on.   Or at least “it’s not you, it’s me” which we would believe.   I am devastated and just don’t understand. I’ve been telling myself my awesomeness was too much for him to handle.

    (We are both single (widowed and divorced) and in our 50s so now in a new stage of life so none of the marriage family house w 2 cars etc stuff going on).

    1. 223.1

      Any guy that gets attached that quickly…HUGE red flags. It sounds like some sort of dependency or abandonment issues. You stated the potential, and he fled. He doesn’t need to tell you it’s not going to work out. His action is clear. Don’t take him back. He didn’t meet your needs so find someone who listens to you. In my opinion , you dodged a bullet.

  4. 224

    I believe everyone changes in any relationships and it’s our ability to adapt that makes a difference. Some people take longet than others to process their thoughts and feelings and just want to enjoy what is currently there. In a few weeks or months, we can’t expect them to know everything about us and vice versa. If you truly like him, you are in control with how you approach the relationship. If you are naturally a more open person, then that is you. He didn’t ask for it and maybe that is a trait he likes about you. I understand things can become complacent. To combat this, after dating awhile, I tell my guy that once a month, it’s important to me to have a thoughtful date. Not a dinner and movie. Something about me. In return, I do the same. I never want to stop learning and being curious about my partner. Sometimes people need space or reflect. If it bothers you, then it’s up to you to communicate, validate his response and support the relationship.

  5. 225

    Hey thanks! I like the fact that you ask about our opinions (which is btw also very clever 🙂

    What I’ve experiencd so far is that men pull away when you fall in love too fast or something like that. I once was like: okay, now this is love or so… and then he kind of got repelled;) But that was nothing unmanageable, I just had to recollect myself and then eventually it went back to normal.

    The thing is, as a woman, and if you’re interested, you definitely need to run. I didn’t run that day because I kind of found it odd when he sat next to me to vanish after 1 minute. so I sat there and suddendly I was like smiling and looking at him and he was just— repelled 😀

    But whatever… also I guess men don’t like when they think they can’t offer anything or so. When you’re like: Oh, I wanna try this out with him (with fierce determination in ones mind) and they are like: we actually don’t fit together or whatever their fear or rationality tells them, even though before they were very attracted but didn’t believe in reciprocity of attraction. But this is mostly with guys who are not really ready for a relationship.

    Right now, I’m “dating” a guy and the whole thing scares the hell out of me. I fear, that he will change his mind… I’m even too craven now to look into my email account . And I won’t until tomorrow… preparing myself for the final blow 😀

  6. 226

    Jeeze this seems to be a reoccurring thing going on.   I guess I can say I have fallen victim to it. I really don’t want to pull race into it but that last two times this has happened to me it was from two men that were not my race. I’ve always been very open to dating men outside of my race. When I did date within my race this never happened to me. I’m not blaming it on race but I’m a little hesitant with dating outside my race now although I find men of any race attractive.

    Long story short I meet someone online   and things started moving pretty quick. He ended up deleting his profile wanting to focus on getting to know me. In the mean time I found out he was away on business and was moving to my area, bought a house here and would be here in March. So he wasn’t here. Not sure why I stuck around. Meeting right away wasn’t a issue. My last relationship was almost five years ago. I was trying to take my time. We ended up getting really close through text and we talked briefly over the phone a few times. He seemed very engaged with me and wanted me to meet his family and his daughter and etc.

    Things were moving fast. I struggled believing whether he was real and we had some not so great discussions on it. He was a computer science major so he told me he scrubs  info of himself off the internet. He doesn’t have any social media accounts. At one point he offered to give me his social to put me at ease. I declined. We continued texting. the vday card he supposedly sent never arrived. The issue came up again about him being real and I tried to see why he wouldn’t face time or Skype.

    Two weeks later I feel him getting pretty distant. Wasn’t sending as much text and left me hanging a lot. He was suppose to come here in March for a week to see me and check on his house. I didn’t ask for this he just mentioned it was what he wanted to do. So I told him I could take some time off of work and he was supposed to let me know the exact dates.   Things at this point seem pretty shaky between us. I might of seemed drained by the constant worry of this being real. We talked about meeting my family and for some reason it was always a a issue  that my parents knew his race. I told him this would be the first time I brought someone home of a different race. My Dad is in the military and I was a military child. We’ve seen the world and I tried many times to explain it would not be an issue. But it always was brought up.

    And in one of our last conversations I kind of laughed at his concern but at the same time he questioned whether I had friends of another race and male friends and if I brought them home before. This type of thinking is new to me. I’m never concerned about these things and I would be considered the minority in this story. Maybe laughing wasn’t the best choice because I didn’t hear from him for four days. Which is very abnormal.

    I sent a text the first day, the second day and the fourth day just making sure he was fine. He responded as if I didn’t send the other text.  I started to realize that this was looking a bit like my last relationship. I ended up chasing after a guy who seemed to stop showing interest (later on I found out he cheated). I hounded my ex, broke up with him, got back together, found out I was pregnant and then broke up again. It was emotionally draining and honestly the best decision I made to leave.

    So of course I was upset with the new guy and decided I didn’t want to talk to him. After I sent my last text and never got a response back I decided that I was going to take back my emotional state back. I was a mess, thinking what was wrong with me, that he wasn’t into me anymore, why wasn’t he texting me. Sadly I had gone through worst heartbreaks but I guess this one was so devastating because I opened up(which I rarely do) and I opened up about my daughter sharing pictures. The four days I didn’t hear from him seemed like the longest four days ever.

    After finally hearing from him I realized that at that point I didn’t want to be with someone who thought that was normal or ok. I get it, he might of been busy and etc. I realized I could not allow myself to continue to invest all my thoughts and emotions into this situation. I needed to be that emotionally strong woman I was and pick myself back up. It’s been two weeks since I talked to him. I did send him my last messages asking if he ever got the dates he would be here. I never got a response. That night I decided to put it behind me. I deleted all our text and his number. I’m mad I didn’t get a chance to block it. It hurts putting that little time into someone, opening up and sharing things. I’m glad I was little guarded and didn’t share everything. I have beaten myself up because I never met this mans and he could’ve been a catfish.

    I’m a matter of a week I got involved in my local church doing graphics and media stuff on the side for them and I’m back to square one with the dating. I’m hesitant to do it again but I know that every man is not like this. I know what areas I need to work on to and I realized that sometimes these things are not avoidable. Although I feel like mines was, I think men and women just have to be strong in these situations. Occupy your time with things you love to help move on. These type of people are not going anywhere. And remember when you may be on the opposite side, be upfront with people, don’t drag them on emotionally and and just be positive. I refuse to go into my next dating experience thinking the next guy will do the same.

  7. 227
    Tammy Charles

    He’s 58 & I’m 53. It’s been 8 weeks of a rollercoaster ride with him. He cares for me deeply, which shows when we’re together, and I already fell in love with him, but he keeps saying he feels some sort of “conflict” within him which is preventing him from moving forward with me. He loves being with me, misses me when we’re apart, thinks we make a great couple & initiated much of our time together. . . but he always comes back to this conflict he has. He got really hurt last year & I think it’s fear of another hurt that’s holding him back. He’s been in therapy for many years, but it’s apparently not helping. I’m now in therapy to help me not feel crazy for putting myself through this yo-yo relationship. This past weekend with him was a lot of fun. Last night I brought up this weekend, thinking we’d have a repeat, but instead he brought up the stupid conflict again. We had a long emotional talk. I told him if he can’t be present with me then he needs to be prepared to never see me again & think about me eventually moving on & being with someone else. I can’t even imagine it myself, but what else am I supposed to do? I sent him off to ponder things & am preparing to move on without him. It’s excruciatingly painful.

    1. 227.1

      He’s a classic commitment phobe.   You need to protect yourself before he does serious damage to you.   I know this firsthand.   Go read “He’s Scared She’s Scared.”

      1. 227.1.1
        Tammy Charles

        What’s He’s Scared She’s Scared?

        1. scotth

          A book by Steven Carter

  8. 228

    From what I have been learning thus far is…….The thrill of the chase.   Men in the very beginning of time were hunters providers trying for the alpha male position.   Must spread his seed to populate world.   Women are the nurturing ones.   Family home etc.   When men feel that they ” got you” the thrill May fade it not.   Men are visual creatures.   They don’t express their feelings as we women do.   Their actions speak louder than words.   Men are pretty straight to the point.   They can actually sit there and think about nothing.   So don’t be upset next time you ask what’s wrong and he says nothing.   Plus men need alone time to figure out anything they have going on in their lives.    We women talk it out to resolve problems and find solutions.   Men are very goal oriented they will sit and figure out the problem they are dealing with.   And then move on.   They love to see and make us happy.   I value our time together but I value my me time to.   Respect them admire them appreciate them and let them be the provider for it’s in their genetic make up.   And in turn they will love respect admire and all of the above.   Hope it helps

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