What happens to a man when a woman pulls away? It’s a no-brainer that it puts him in a state of agitation and confusion. He feels like he isn’t in charge of his own life, heart, and feelings. He starts living in constant fear that the women in his future relationships will also lose interest in him. There can be a million reasons women pull away but their actions can sure make a man restless because heartbreak genuinely hurts. 

To state a fact, researchers have found that getting burned and getting dumped/rejected feel the same. The same brain networks that get activated when you are burned by hot coffee also light up when you think about a lover who has spurned you. This is one of the major things a man goes through when his girlfriend seems distant and uninterested after leading him on. 

What Happens To A Man When A Woman Pulls Away? 

“I thought that I’d been hurt before, but no one’s ever left me quite this sore”, sings Shawn Mendes in his song, Stitches. So, obviously, a man does get hurt when a woman pulls away without any valid reason, justification, or closure. Let’s take a look at a few more things a man goes through when a woman starts withdrawing from a committed relationship:

1. His self-esteem takes a hit 

What happens to a man when a woman pulls away after dating him for a while? It knocks down his self-esteem, self-worth, and confidence. His hero instinct dies down and he starts feeling like a defeated person. This is one of the biggest mistakes guys make when a girl pulls away because a person should never equate their self-esteem with another person’s acceptance or rejection of them. 

Such ghosting or sudden withdrawal may also negatively impact a man’s mental health. Research states that when a person is disliked, unappreciated, excluded or devalued, it evokes negative emotions inside them. It lowers their self-esteem and may result in antisocial reactions such as aggression or withdrawal. In other words, rejected people tend to feel like they are lonely in this world. 

2. He is confused 

Why? What did I do? Did I do something to offend, disrespect, or hurt her? Was I not emotionally invested in her? Did I make it all about sex and less about emotional intimacy? Or was I bad in bed? What is it?

What could have possibly driven her away from me? He doesn’t know what to do when she pulls away and he will be drowning in confusion wondering what he did wrong.

“I’m (24m) confused about my long-distance partner pulling away (25f). Long story short I just saw my girlfriend over this long weekend. She lives 4.5h away and I drove down Friday and back today (Monday). So I’m unsure if I’m overthinking/reacting or if what I’m feeling is valid”, writes a Reddit user who perfectly describes the confusion in his heart after his partner showed less interest in him. 

3. It breaks his heart 

Yes, especially if you were in a serious romantic relationship with him and he was head over heels in love with you. Rejection can easily crush one’s soul and one could end up having broken heart syndrome, which researchers say that the anguish can cause overwhelming stress and physical pain. In fact, this syndrome can trigger heart attack-like symptoms.

As mentioned earlier, yes, you are quite literally breaking his heart by not having proper communication with him and by being emotionally unavailable. All he wants is one conversation where you will tell him what’s going on inside your head. 

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4. It’ll make him think she isn’t into him

“My girlfriend is pushing me away. It’s obvious she doesn’t like me. Why else would she be ignoring me?” This is what he will think when a man’s crush suddenly acts distant and cold. Here are some actual signs that show when a woman is genuinely not interested in a man:

  • She won’t prioritize spending time with the man
  • Her commitment takes a step back 
  • She won’t introduce her partner as her “boyfriend”
  • She doesn’t remember things her boyfriend tells her 
  • She makes zero effort to keep the relationship harmonious 

5. He thinks she’s giving mixed signals 

What happens to a man when a woman pulls away? He thinks she is giving him mixed signals. Humans are complicated but your relationships should never be complex. One person’s ability to express what they want should be enough to keep things transparent.

That’s why giving your partner mixed signals is considered a red flag in romantic relationships

However, a woman pulling away after expressing her interest in a guy shows that she is intentionally trying to create an ambiguous situation. Perhaps she just wants to slow things down.

Whatever the reason is, it’s never good to keep your partner in a dubious situation as research confirms that ambivalence will impact a person negatively and it poses a threat to romantic relationships. 

what happens when you back off from a guy

6. “She wants me to chase her” 

“Oh, she’s just playing hard to get”, “She is playing games with me”, “She is unleashing my inner demons by making me chase her”. These are a few statements he will make when a woman paves the way for unresolved emotions by suddenly withdrawing from a committed relationship. You will really hurt him if you prolong this behavior.

You used to happily spend time with the man but now you are ignoring him and acting like he doesn’t even exist in your life. This is a classic hot and cold attitude. According to relationship experts, this hot and cold behavior is never good for a person’s self-esteem. 

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7. He’ll want her even more 

Most women do this to reignite spark and romance. Similarly, if you pulled away from him to get his attention and make things more exciting, then you are on the right path because some guys are egoistic.

It hurts their fragile ego when a woman withdraws from them. Hence, they will move heaven and earth to try and get her back.

It worked in your previous relationship and it will work here too. This is known as the art of pulling back to create attention. If you know the guy really well, then you have nothing to worry about. This guy knows about your silly tactics and it will bring in a lot of excitement between you and him. 

8. He reaches out to his homies for advice 

Not his last resort but yes, he will reach out to his buddies seeking help. If you have mutual friends, then he will ask them to talk to you and shed light on what went wrong. He is still attracted to you, so he is hellbent on getting you back.

He will even reach out to your family members to find out what’s happening with you. Don’t be surprised if you hear from his friends who will try to arrange a meeting or at least get you to talk to him. 

9. He will manifest a response from her 

Manifestation is when you try to turn your dreams into reality by believing that you can achieve it. So, he will try to manifest a text from you by:

  • Starting a manifesting journal
  • Using the whisper method to get into your mind and heart
  • Drawing a focus wheel 
  • Trying the two-cup manifestation method 

You might find this silly but it really works. It takes minimal effort but it’s a shot he will be willing to give. 

10. “I’ll never find love again” 

Research states that men fall in love before women do and they are also the first ones to confess their love. But she’s pulling away or when they are met with rejection or when he witnesses a sudden twist of emotions from the woman’s side, he could go into this rabbit hole of “I’ll never find love again” and “Do I deserve love?”.

It can be miserable for him as it will produce a lot of insecurities in him. His thought process will be negative and he will question his worth as a boyfriend. This is one of the unfortunate things a man will go through when a woman withdraws from the relationship. 

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11. He’ll ask if she wants to draw boundaries 

According to research, boundaries help in determining what is and is not okay in a relationship. That’s why if neither of you established healthy dating boundaries during the initial stages of your relationship, then he will try to win you back by setting some ground rules. If you want space, he will assure you that he doesn’t interrupt your alone time.

If you don’t want to be the only one doing household chores, then he will buckle up and do his share of the work. All of this is an effort to slow things down in an attempt to let you know that he is still serious about you and wants you back. 

12. He will show up unannounced 

Your partner starts calling and texting you at random hours when you leave them hanging by a thread. He will show up unannounced and he will feel guilty if he did something wrong.

He will apologize even though he is hurt and take responsibility for his wrongdoings. If he didn’t do anything to upset you, then he will try to initiate an open and honest conversation to find out what’s exactly bothering you. 

pull away from a guy to make him want you
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13. He’ll step up his game 

He’ll put more effort into winning you over and buy you fresh roses, bake a cake for you, offer to take you on a fancy vacation, and he will even go to the extent of proposing to you. Many women do this just to see whether or not their boyfriends will put more effort into keeping them happy and content. 

He knows this and he will go out and about with his ideas to impress you and make you fall in love with him again. If you pulled away from him to get his attention, then there you have it. You are in the direct direction. He is all eyes, ears, and yours! 

14. Some meditation and self-reflection 

Meditation and self-reflection are what happens to a man when a woman pulls away. He will take a step back to thoughtfully consider his experiences, values, beliefs, and behaviors. He will make a conscious effort to understand your motives, strengths, and weaknesses, and where this relationship is headed. 

Studies have found that people who engage in mindfulness and meditation perceive less stress, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, him taking part in self-reflection and introspection will lead to increased self-awareness and a deeper understanding of his goals, past relationships, and aspirations. It will make him a better person and his honesty with his own self will foster personal development. 

15. He puts up his defenses around her  

Let’s say you and him still hang out but not romantically. He won’t act the same as he used to. He will put up his guard and he will ensure that you notice it. For example:

  • He won’t feel comfortable in your presence
  • He will get anxious and he will try to hide it
  • He will finally realize that you are just taking him for granted
  • He won’t laugh at your jokes
  • He won’t compliment you
  • He won’t offer to drop you back home

You’ve poked a sleeping bear. This is one of the signs that take place when a guy pulls away after receiving a girl’s disrespect and ignorance. If you want him back, then try some words of encouragement to lift his spirits.

16. He’ll lose interest 

If you prolong this push-and-pull attitude, ghosting behavior, and taking him for granted, then he will start losing interest in you sooner or later. This is bound to happen and it will create distance between the two of you.

He won’t tolerate this for long because a man can only take so much before he puts his hands up and says, “My girlfriend is pushing me away and I’ve had enough. I am ignoring her when she goes cold again.” 

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17. He pulls back too 

Once he loses interest in you, he will give you a taste of your own medicine and will pull back. He will also start pulling away from you. He will withdraw emotionally and physically. He will start spending time alone, focusing on personal activities, and creating some emotional distance. He will stop texting you and he won’t respond to your texts either. He will avoid you in public settings too. 

“Keep calm and feel what he has been feeling for months.. Now the tables have turned. If girls pull away, then guys pull away too. It’s all fair and mutual. It’s obvious he lost a lot of time and self-respect because of you. But respect to him that he quit chasing you with no regret. You are a red flag”, writes a Reddit user when a woman received the same treatment from a man. 

18. He starts dating other women 

This growing chasm will lead to the most shocking thing. You won’t be ready for it but it will hit you like a storm because some guys have weak egos. It bothers them that the person they’ve given all their attention to suddenly starts behaving like a stranger.

Soon, he will feel like you don’t deserve him and he will start talking to other girls and having rebound relationships. He has had enough of your tantrums and disrespect. So, he won’t think twice before moving on and starting a new relationship. 

pull away from him to get his attention,
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Will Distancing Myself Bring Him Closer?

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. But how true is that statement? Is it absence or is it giving your partner enough personal space so he doesn’t feel like he is being smothered in the relationship? Here’s some practical advice for you: Guys do respond positively when you let them have their alone time. However, don’t confuse space with ignorance, indifference, and detachment.

Here are some ways you can give men space as a way to bring him closer to you:

  • Respect his boundaries without pushing him to spend time with you or questioning what he does in his alone time
  • Meanwhile, use the time apart to focus on your own personal growth and well-being
  • While giving him space, maintain positive and open communication
  • Resist the urge to pressure him for answers or cling to the relationship
  • If you just started dating, then offer your support without expecting anything in return. This will help him envision a long-term relationship with you
  • The best bet here is to appear confident because confidence is attractive. So, demonstrate self-assurance and independence during the period of separation 

Key Takeaways

  • When a woman starts pulling away from a relationship, it breaks a man’s heart 
  • He will go through a state of mental confusion and chaos. He will also question his self-worth 
  • If your aim is to bring him closer by giving him space, then respect his boundaries and offer him your support 

When a woman pulls away from a relationship, it can impact a man emotionally, physically, and psychologically. For the man, this period often prompts self-reflection, as he will start seeking the reasons behind her withdrawal. It will either push him away from you or he will work harder to bring you back. This is a pivotal moment for you because if you want him to pay more attention to you, then you need to play your cards right. Good luck!