There is nothing more frustrating to the single woman than the moment she suspects the man she has tagged as “Mr. Possible Long-term Relationship,” begins to show signs of pulling away. Before we launch into signs he actually is “pulling away,” (there are signs you want to recognize) it’s critical to understand that, in truth, women may often only imagine the vanishing act is about to ensue when, in fact, it’s merely fear from past relationships that ended abruptly sparking your vivid imagination.
That said then, if the man you are dating has been consistently, over a four – eight week period for example, behaving as if he is interested in getting to know you better and the relationship is progressing, it could be a sign that it is YOU who is interpreting a variety of harmless behaviors as signs he is ready to bolt.
Is He Really Pulling Away?
Often, the woman who says she is “ready to be in a relationship,” begins to imagine “pull away” syndrome (PAS) simply because she is truly terrified to begin to trust, become intimate (emotional as well as physically intimate) and may sabotage the process by leaking her fears. Here are two excellent examples of how this fear may surface:
1. If he doesn’t text as much as usual and then delivers a message that says, “busy at work” but does not end the text with a flirtatious emoticon, it DOES NOT mean he does not want to see you or is experiencing PAS. (Especially if he says he will call you later – and he does — or asks if you would prefer to see him Friday or Sunday.)
2. If he asks you on Wednesday if you are free Friday or Sunday and does not offer the Saturday night option this time, it also does not mean he is a candidate suffering from PAS.
Top 3 Signs He is Pulling Away
So then, what are the signs he is beginning to lose interest in the relationship? And, how can you know if he is losing interest in you, or is simply not up to the responsibility required to be someone’s main man.
1. He Disappears after "Knock'm Dead" Date
You date once a week for a week or two, then perhaps twice a week, and then have that ONE amazing, knock’m dead date that simply blows you away. Then, he begins to disappear. He doesn’t call for three – four days, and then, perhaps, sends merely a text telling you he is “crazy, busy.” It’s often the “knock’m dead” date that causes a man to evaluate whether or not he is up to pursuing the feelings he experienced between both of you on that particular date. He might think it was REALLY good, that you are AWESOME, and have it together. And then, he may begin to wonder if he is really ready to be the man YOU deserve. If not, he will, in fact, begin to pull away. The man who is emotionally mature will ultimately have the conversation with you, while the less mature man could simply fade away slowly. Either way, it’s important to know that if he isn’t ready for what you want, there is nothing you could do (or should you try) to “change” him.
2. He Stops Making Future Plans
He stops mentioning plans of the future, or becomes vague about his immediate future plans (weekend, next month or next summer). When your guy used to talk about meeting his sister, or mentioning the fact that he would love to show you wine country one day, and becomes increasingly vague in regards to “future talk,” he may be unsure whether or not you are well-matched, or as discussed above, he is ready for a long-term relationship.
3. His Communicates Less & Less
He severely slows down his communication with you over a long period of time (e.g, over a 1-2 week period) and makes excuses, even when you refrain from verbalizing your concern, or send “miss you” texts etc. Note that this is only pertinent if he has been consistently communicating with you daily and you then find that communication comes close to a grinding halt.
What to Do When He Pulls Away?
If he is not able to “man up” and discuss his fears regarding his relationship-readiness, or politely and empathetically have the “we are not a match” conversation, it can then be time for you to get clarity. By engaging in a non-threatening conversation with him, you will be free from worry, endless wondering and catastraphizing, and the pain of self-doubt. The conversation can go something like this:
“Hey Ted, I have really, really enjoyed getting to know you for the past few weeks. It’s been a blast. There is something, though, that I want to tell you because I respect you and feel like you should know exactly what’s up with me. (Pause) I am at a place in my life where I know that I am looking for a relationship, and so I am wondering if there’s a way we could have a conversation in which we are really honest with each other about how this relationship is evolving, knowing that we could very well be in totally different places, and that’s ok for both of us long-term.”
PAUSE. Stop talking. Let Ted talk and see what comes up for him. You have given him room to be honest without being chastised. While you may be prepared to hear “the worst,” based on his recent behavior, know ultimately that if Ted is not looking for long-term love, it’s best he move on so that you can make room for Mr. Amazing.
Mr. Amazing is looking for you if you are willing to be found. Therefore, you could be best served by making sure YOU are available!