What To Do When The Guy You Like Pulls Away (Or Asks For ‘Space’)

By Kristina Marchant

What’s he trying to tell you?

Sometimes men drive us crazy. Let’s face it; they aren’t the most empathetic creatures. Guys have been known to stare at women like we’re crazy, even during really painful moments in our lives. We talk about feelings and their eyes glaze over.

They keep us in a state of panic, not knowing how to get closer and love them deeper — especially when we know in our gut that they’re pulling further and further away from us. That’s the worst — when men pull awa and ask for space!

“I need a break from us.”

Give me a break! It’s so awful. Don’t they know what “space” does to us?

When men pull back, they think they’re being kind and considerate by disengaging for a bit instead of telling us the harsh things they really feel. 

But don’t they understand how excruciating the anticipation is when they put us “on hold?” Don’t they realize that the loudest part of a lightning storm is the silence between the echoes of thunder?

When men pull away, they think that, for whatever reason, it’s okay to go MIA and not even explain why. Some men completely end relationships with nothing but silence, as if they just decide, out of the blue, to pull down the curtain and turn on the lights for you to leave the theater and go home.

You’re stuck going, “Wait, what happened? I was just getting emotionally invested in this! I need some relationship advice!”

Why do so many men disappear on us? Why do they think it’s perfectly acceptable to just take space without much justification? Why do men pull away without warning?

And what’s going on in their brains when men pull back? What are they REALLY thinking about and do they even care how much we are suffering, waiting for them?

Men tell the truth without saying anything at all:

I hate encouraging women to analyze male behavior. It goes against what I teach them, which is to forget what a man’s doing and focus on yourself.

Sometimes, however, it’s important to talk about male behavior so you understand that the way he acts isn’t to be taken personally; it’s just his way of being a man!

Here’s the unfortunate thing about men and women in relationships: Men sometimes lie to us and they sometimes tell us the God-honest truth. We tend to believe them when they’re lying and totally ignore them when they’re telling us the truth.

Has a man ever said loving things to you too soon in the relationship? Maybe you were so excited to hear his professions and promises that you ignored the voice in the back of your mind yelling, “He barely knows me!”

Has a man ever told you how fantastic you were and how much he appreciated you, but still refused to take your friends with benefits arrangement any further?

Sometimes men lie. They don’t mean to and they don’t want to. They just do. They prop us up on hopes, only to tear us down with reality when they don’t follow through. 

But the truth is that men do believe what they say. He does think you are wonderful and does believe his promises to you. But these truths always come with a “but.”

“You’re fantastic, but not fantastic enough to by my wife,” or “I care so deeply about you BUT I don’t love you.”

“You are exactly what I’ve been looking for my whole life but that’s probably not how I’ll feel in an hour.” It’s just that most times they forget to add the “but” part!

Sometimes there is no “but” part and they’re telling us the total truth. They’re saying things exactly as they are. The problem is that these things can be too hurtful for us to want to hear. Men tell us they are afraid they will hurt us. They tell us they adore us, but aren’t in love with us.

They tell us they aren’t capable of being in a long-term, exclusive relationship. They tell us they think women are controlling and selfish and don’t know how to stop feeling that way. And yet we bypass these statements. The words go in one ear and out the other. Or we remember them but refuse to believe them. We tell ourselves, “He’s just wounded!” or “He’s lying to protect himself.”

And some men are lying to protect themselves. That’s where things get so confusing! How are you supposed to know the real truth? How are you supposed to act when men pull back?

Men send women signals so they don’t have to say something uncomfortable:

Since it’s truly impossible to know whether a man is lying or telling the truth, it’s probably best to focus on his behavior. Men “message” women all the time. This is a new term I use because it’s the perfect way to describe what guys do.

“Messaging” is a man’s way of letting you know something’s up without him having to point to the sky. It can be maddening for women — not only because it isn’t direct communication, which we love, but because it’s hurtful and seems arrogant.

But “messaging” is usually unavoidable. Men think their actions are more telling than what they say. It’s not that they don’t give weight to what they say, it’s that they give too much weight to what we say.

Women talk a lot and it takes us time to get to the heart of what we mean; men feel like they have to listen to everything that comes out of our mouths and they get overwhelmed.

To their credit, we usually do want them to hear every word that comes out of our mouths. It’s important to us that we have their attention and compassion as we speak. But all that listening provokes anxiety in them.

They don’t want to say the wrong thing or lose focus during our long speeches. They take pride in doing right by us and want to take care of us. It all becomes too much for them to hear us and talk with us.

So they say what they think we want to hear in order to not to hurt us. Or they cut to the jugular and tell us the raw truth because they don’t want to power-it-out with a marathon chat.

Then they go off and do what they really what (messaging us what they really feel) and we’re left to fit all the pieces together and find the hidden facts in their innuendos.

The Goddess Tip that can help you survive messaging like this:

When men pull back, a confident woman does one thing that an insecure woman doesn’t: A confident woman takes nothing a man says personally, especially when men ask for space.

You’re probably thinking, “Not take him personally?! It’s about me. It’s about us. It’s about his feelings for me. How can I not take it personally?” But here’s the truth about men: A man treats one woman the same way he treats every other woman.

I know that sounds impossible and completely wrong, but it’s true. A man can like a woman, he can even be in love with her, but at some point in the relationship, he’s going to relax enough to expose his true self to her.

When men pull back and take space every time you get closer — they’re space takers. If a man gets angry and yells a lot of hurtful things when you fight — he’s a screamer and a blamer. If he treats you like the thing that ate his life and sulks around his house all day in his bathrobe — he’s a moody victim. 

It’s just who he is and eventually, you’re going to be treated like he treated all the rest of the gals who came before you, regardless of how much he loved them or didn’t love them.

A goddess “lives confidence.” She may not feel authentically confident but she is smart enough to witness her emotions as they are pop up, recognizing when her insecurities are causing her to take a man’s behavior personally. She knows when to feel whatever painful stuff comes up inside her and then does exactly what a confident woman would do — not let his behavior define her self-worth!

When men pull back, that’s their problem.

If your man wants to run away and deal with his feelings on his own, deciding in his man cave whether or not you’re the one for him, then that’s what he’s going to do. It’s probably what he’s been doing with women from the beginning of his dating life.

He’s following his patterns and you aren’t omnipotent to change those patterns. You’re human; you make mistakes. You have fears and flaws just like every other woman. If he doesn’t want to talk things through or doesn’t recognize your true worth, then oh well!

“Oh well” is easier said than done. I understand that. But I’m not asking you to pretend like you don’t care or force yourself not to think about him. I’m telling you to care as much as you want, feel everything! Just do nothing!

When men pull back, goddesses don’t chase them; they don’t try to figure men out; they don’t play chess with men. They refuse to expend their precious energy in that way! Goddesses do feel their feelings; they do take care of themselves. They do communicate how they feel. And they do enforce personal boundaries by telling men what they want and don’t want to feel in a relationship.

For you, right at this moment in your relationship, when your man has messaged you something’s wrong by taking space, I want you to do these things:

• Feel your feelings
• Pamper yourself as if you’re a goddess
• Wait for him to reach out to you
• Tell him how you feel and what you don’t want to feel in a relationship: “I feel sad and lonely, even though I also feel happy to hear from you. …I don’t want to feel sad and lonely in a dating relationship.”
• Don’t say anything else and wait for him to dig himself out of a hole

Or, you can wait further for him to become accountable to you, repeating these steps over and over until he does!

Sounds easy enough? It is! It’s going to be hard emotionally but that’s okay because what’s happening is that you are retraining yourself not to fall to pieces with him. You’re also retraining him to be a gentleman and a good partner.

It’s like with dogs or children — you stick to your guns and you politely, patiently repeat the boundaries until they respect them. He gets it or he gets lost. Period. If you truly start to follow this theory, he’ll feel how serious you are about being respected, and if he’s at all serious about you, he’ll get aboard the good boy train very fast. He’ll know that if he doesn’t, he’ll be left at the station!

When men pull back, dazzle them!

I always want a goddess to be herself with men. I never want you to think I’m asking you to be someone other than who you are. I am asking you to be the best version of yourself. I want you to shine!

Women are so afraid to shine. We’re afraid to step into our power and be queens who sparkle with fire and glitter, who glow with guts and glory! We’re scared to death to stand out and then be criticized for wanting too much, for being too great, for thinking too highly of ourselves!

But you can’t control how people treat you or what they think of you. You CAN allow yourself to get more and more comfortable being powerful, gorgeous and magnificent!

How can you shine, sparkle and glow? How can you radiate romance and magic?

Take the time to give yourself attention, love and praise the way you are dying to give it to your man. The love you want from him is already inside you right now! Think about it — a man doesn’t actually implant love in you, he just taps you into the love you already have!

Write down five things that make you feel happy, that give you a buzz for life. Close your eyes and think about each of those things; fantasize about them until you feel yourself physically relaxing and mentally lifting.

Do this often. Take the time to indulge your senses too! It’s one thing to radiate happiness; it’s another to radiate happiness and sensuality.
That’s when you sparkle with romance and magic!

Getting closer to him us also about sharing your vulnerability (Goddess Tip #1: Be Vulnerable):

When men pull back, nothing I just wrote means anything if you don’t know how to use your feelings to enchant your man. If you can’t be an “emotion master,” then he’ll take space all over again. He’ll get bored, drift away, and label you crazy or needy.

Sharing your vulnerability when men pull back, without coming across like a “wet blanket” victim is a very tricky thing to do. If you do it right, you’ll hook him for life. If you don’t, you’ll push him away forever. And I share the secret to how to do this in The Prism Effect!

Kristina Marchant is a relationship and dating coach Kristina Marchant helps women gain confidence and learn to connect with men on a soulful and honest level.  Sign up for her Goddess Newsletter and receive her latest ebook The Prism Effect: How to Get a Man to Love You

Source: Your Tango

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