Why Men Pull Away, The Early Stages Story

The relationship started so well, the flirting, the romantic dates and eventually the intimate encounters, but just as you’re into the early stages of the relationship you notice him start to pull away.

Chances are you’ve experienced a man pulling away before or are going through this process now and if you’re like me it can be an absolute mystery at best and emotionally devastating at worst.

Ultimately though men pull away during the early stages of a relationship for a handful of key reasons.

From your perspective things are going really well, to the degree that you left a random items at his place sooner than he was anticipating and he’s simply not so far along the relationship road as you are.

Perhaps you’ve even brought up the idea of moving in together in the early stages of the relationship and all of a sudden he’s feeling pressured because he’s not quite as emotionally invested as you are.

Or maybe things suddenly changed for no obvious reason at all…

He stopped engaging with you in conversation as much, perhaps even going so far as to stop having sex with you entirely.

It’s not like you’ve broken up, but there’s definitely something broken in the early stages of the relationship given you can sense he’s pulling away from you.

Trying to understand this and figure out why men pull away during the early stages of a relationship can be a mystery, but here’s some things I’ve learnt over the years that give us women some clear insight into what’s going on a man’s mind…

Why Men Pull Away, The Early Stages Main Reasons

There are numerous reasons why men pull away in the early stages of a relationship, however it can be distilled down into a handful of central reasons:

  • He wasn’t emotionally invested and/or just wanted sex;
  • He realised you weren’t compatible enough together;
  • He has problems committing to a long term relationship;
  • You were too much of a challenge for him;
  • He has insecurities or past relationship pain;
  • He’s feeling too much pressure;
  • There’s someone else.

Let’s take a look at each in turn…

Men Pull Away Because They Aren’t Emotionally Invested (or, just wanted sex)

It’s an unfortunate truth for women that many men initiate a relationship purely on the basis of getting ongoing sexual intimacy.

In short, they’re not emotionally invested in you or the relationship, on in what you can provide them with physically.

Once they get the sexual contact they want from you, as they’re not emotionally invested they may get bored and start to pull away as they lose interest.

How To Avoid This Situation

This scenario can be extremely hard to detect when you’re in the heat of the moment and hormones and emotions are running wild during the start of a relationship.

However the best way to ensure that he’s not in it purely for sex is to simply make him wait a little longer for it.

If you give it to him too easily he won’t value it, and will get bored easily.

However if you delay having sex then he’ll be wanting you so much more when the time finally comes, however more importantly, it will give him time to really get to know you and begin the emotional bonding process before you have sex.

If you do find yourself in this position already though, there are various methods you can use to make a man miss you, check them out in this article I wrote specifically for this purpose.

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Men Pull Away Because Of Realized Incompatibilities

Sometimes it’s driven by lust filled emotion, sometimes it’s driven by a deep seated need to be one half of a couple, there are myriad reasons why people get into relationships which aren’t necessarily because the chemistry is amazingly strong.

This can be a problem especially when sex is involved very soon after meeting your partner.

You become intimate and emotions then run rampant, and before you know it you’re in a relationship without having given due thought to whether you truly are a compatible couple.

Interestingly enough, this is actually more a problem for men than it is for women.

Men will choose a partner based much more heavily on looks that on compatibility of personalities, and this is a problem.

So you had sex soon after meeting, started a relationship soon after sex, perhaps you even moved in together…

And now you’re noticing the stark differences between each other that can’t be easily reconciled.

Maybe one of you is a neat freak and the other isn’t, or maybe you both like starkly different music.

Or perhaps one of you is super adventurous and the other likes to be a home body and place it safe.

Women will tend to screen for these things very early on, but men don’t always have this foresight.

As such, you may find him pulling away in the early stages of the relationship as it dawns on him that you’re not a fully compatible match.

How To Avoid This Situation

This is a tough one, as it requires you both to be brutally honest with each other.

First of all, don’t rush into things, and make an effort to get to know him well.

The questions you should slip into the conversation are extremely basic…

  • Are you a neat or tide person?
  • What kind of music and movies do you like?
  • What are you passions, pastimes and hobbies?


Make sure you answer these questions for him as well so you both know what you’re getting into ahead of time.

You are essentially screening each other to see if they’re a compatible partner for the long term.

There’s no need to make this process seem clinical, simply slide the questions into the conversation while being genuinely curious about them.

The more you know in advance, the better choices you can make with regards to whether the relationship should continue and most importantly, you’ll guard against him pulling away all of a sudden in the early stages of the relationship.

Men Pull Away Because Of Commitment Problems

Commitment problems can often arise because things are moving a little too quickly, at least from the guy’s perspective.

You may find your man pulling away because he’s not sufficiently emotionally invested in you, even though you’re in a place where you’re happy to take on more commitment yourself.

It might seem completely natural for you to become exclusive in the early stages of a relationship, or even to discuss moving in together.

However men do tend to progress along this path slower than women, and there’s a chance that he won’t commit as he’s just not ready for it yet and is happy with things just as they are.

It doesn’t mean it won’t happen, you simply need to bide your time as he eventually comes to the same conclusion.

How To Avoid This Situation

It’s important to understand that too much pressure here can be counter-productive, and it can be quite easy make a man feel like he needs to pull away even if it’s not your intent, so pay close attention to his cues and back off if you notice him pull away.

In the early stages of a relationship aim to simply have fun with your man, get to know each other as intimately as possible, and avoid too many ‘big’ questions about the future.

Eventually he will come around and start asking these questions of his own accord, and when he does you’ll know for sure that you can bring them up as well without scaring him away.

It’s him bringing these questions himself that’s a clear indication that he’s open to further commitment, and it will put you in a much stronger position.

Men Pull Away Because You Pose Too Much Of A Challenge

It’s not unusual for us women to play hard to get with someone we’re genuinely interested in.

However if taken too far this can backfire, ultimately causing that man we’re really attracted to to pull away as it all just seems too hard.

Sure some men may enjoy the challenge, and playing hard to get is also a valid way to build attraction, however if it’s taken just slightly to extremes it will be detrimental to the bond you’re trying to build with a guy.

Additionally, if he sees you as the be and end all of women (exactly what we want from that special someone we’re attracted to!) it may be hard for him to rise to the challenge as he sees you as being out of his league… it happens more often that you think!

How To Avoid This Situation

In terms of playing hard to get, it’s a game of push and pull.

Sure, play hard to get, but remember to then switch it around and show direct interest and affection for him, give him compliments and boost his confidence and self-esteem, and leave him knowing without a doubt that you’re attracted to him.

If you choose to then play a flirty game of hard to get again do it in a lower key manner so that you don’t confuse him.

Push and pull remember, it’s a fantastic way to build attraction and also amazing sexual tension.

And if he appears to really put you on a pedestal, then take the same approach as mentioned above.

Show your interest, be affectionate, and compliment him to make him comfortable without taking it too extremes.

Afterall, you do what him to have to work for it a little… 😉

Men Pull Away Because Of Past Hurts and Insecurity

Men are susceptible to insecurity just like us women are, and it can come from multiple sources.

Firstly, he may be insecure and afraid to let his walls down due to past relationship breakdowns, the one-bitten-twice-shy concept.

Or, secondly, he may simply be unconfident about himself in general, or at least in contrast to how he sees you.

If these insecurities are too much to bear then men will pull away even in the early stages of a relationship.

As the initial physical attraction is explored and true feelings for each other arise, this sense of insecurity may manifest itself with more intensity in a man for the reasons stated above.

And if it becomes intense enough, it can be easier for him to simply pull away from you early on in order to protect himself.

How To Avoid This Situation

If you know your man has some insecurities or has been hurt in the past and he seems to be pulling away just as the relationship is starting then he’s going to need some direct encouragement.

This means showing interest in him, confirming your feelings for and with him, and strengthening him by building his self-esteem.

You should be mindful early on that the reason he is pulling away is specifically due to some kind of insecurity.

Otherwise by coming on too strong, if the problem is something else, you may be adding fuel to the fire and will make him pull away even more.

But once you’ve properly identified that his insecurity or past hurts are the reason your man is pulling away early on, all he needs is reassurance from you.

Men Pull Away Because You’re Applying Too Much Pressure

Often times men will take longer to come to a place of wanting to commit that women will.

It can sometimes be subconscious and you may not even realise you’re doing it, but there are subtle and not so subtle ways that you may be pressuring him for commitment when he’s just not ready.

Perhaps you’re leaving items at his home to often and too early.

Or maybe you’re overtly discussing big future plans like home or family matters.

Whatever it is, this kind of pressure is most assuredly a reason why men pull away during the early stages of a relationship.

How To Avoid This Situation

Be mindful of what you say to him about your relationship in that you don’t want to come across as pressuring.

You will have to very closely watch for cues in him to see how he reacts to certain things you say and do which convey too much familiarity.

If he seems to be pulling away early on then it’s quite acceptable to simply ask him if something you’ve done has caused him some discomfort.

Was leaving that toothbrush at his house too much too soon?

Or was discussing kids too much too soon?

It doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking conversation, if he’s really into you he’ll be able to have a calm adult conversation with you about it so that you can both move forward together.

Men Pull Away Because There’s Someone Else

Unfortunately, sometimes it happens that men get drawn to someone else as precisely the time when you want to take your relationship with them to a more serious level, with this distraction causing them to pull away from you early on.

It’s hard to ascertain that this is the problem at times, but it’s not something which is completely insurmountable by any means.

How To Avoid This Situation

If you find yourself in this situation it simply means that your work is more cut out for you.

Whatever it was that attracted him to you in the first place, accentuate that when you’re around him in the future.

If you know he actually wants more commitment and is looking for it elsewhere, it may actually be time to commit further to him providing you know within yourself that it’s what you truly want.

There is no doubt this can be a tricky path to navigate, but it’s by no means something that can’t be remedied with some forethought and careful discussion with him.

The Final Word On Why Men Pull Away Early On…

If you’re experiencing your man pulling away during the early stages of your relationship then go over all of the points in this article and really ask yourself which one you think is the root cause of the problem.

Understand also that it may be a combination of multiple factors, but very likely one will stand out much more than the others.

Assess the situation as best you can, and if all else fails simply talk to him about it.

Chances are he wants things to work as much as you do, you may just be moving towards the same goal at slightly different speeds, and discussing the matter like adults will always be of benefit.

If, however, you do find that you simply can’t reconcile the problem with him, it may be time to really take your approach to the next level.

If he’s pulled away so much that the relationship has fractured there are a great many methods and tools based on psychology that can help you reconcile and make the relationship amazing again.

I’ve personally used the Ex Factor program to do just this, and cannot speak highly enough of it.

Check it out now if you find yourself in this position, you absolutely won’t be sorry that you did.

All the best in life, love and happiness – Bekka 💕

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Hi, I'm Bekka! 🙂

Hi, I'm Bekka! 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by RelationshipFruit .com! As someone who struggled with men and relationships for quite some years I’m happy to say that my current long-term relationship could not possibly be any better! Slowly but surely this website is becoming the embodiment of everything I’ve learnt and studied over the years to improve myself and understand those crazy (and lovable!) creatures called men. Please make yourself at home, check out my articles to learn from my mistakes, and connect with me anytime in the comments 😘

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