What to Do When He Pulls Back : Cyber Dating Expert
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What to Do When He Pulls Back

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aWhat to do when he pulls backDating issues seem to be coming in themes these days.

In the past week, three women have come to me with the same dating dilemma. They’ve met terrific guys online. One on OkCupid, another on Tinder, and one on JDate. All three men are super-successful and are very driven in their careers. They’re the guys who are too busy to be players and truly want to be in a monogamous relationship.

In all three scenarios, the men have asked the woman for exclusivity. Sounds great, right? Well, not exactly.

One woman has been dating a terrific guy, whom she met on Tinder. After six weeks they had the conversation about becoming exclusive. They both projected to the future. The problem is, she’s lower on the totem pole, as his work is a priority. The more she tried to spend time with him and fill his calendar with fun events, the more he pulled away. Eventually, he started spending weekends without her, even though there was no one else he was interested in.

The second woman met a great guy on OkCupid, whom she thinks is her soul mate. They’ve both said they’re in love with each other, but after six months of dating, he still focuses on his work and children on the weekends. The more frustrated she gets with the situation, the more distant he becomes. She sees a future with him, someday. But today, she’s walking on eggshells. What should she do?

The third woman met a fabulous guy on JDate. He told her on the second date that he thought he was falling in love with her and saw her in his future. He wanted to see her every night, until one day when he stopped returning her calls and texts. She’s devastated. She thought he was ‘the one.’

If you can relate to any of these situations, you’re not alone.

All three of these guys were building their castles and were defining their success as a man based upon their career success. While juggling children from a prior marriage, a busy career, and girlfriend, the girlfriend ended up in last place. It wasn’t that these guys weren’t crazy about the women they adored. They would do anything for them… if it was on their schedule. They were doing the pull back and these women were hurting at the sudden change of heart.

Between rebuilding from a divorce, keeping a family together, maintaining a career path to provide for financial success for the women, they couldn’t juggle it all. The more the women pushed to be with them, the more they pulled away. It’s the ever-so-common pull back and it’s gut-wrenchingly painful when it’s happens to you.

Ladies: When guys are in work mode, you’ll probably hear from them less.

There’s no need to stress and think it’s over.

My suggestion to all three of them, and to you if this is happening in your life, was to let them build their castle. Be at their side when it’s convenient for you. Don’t send text messages asking what’s wrong, or you’ll run the risk of pushing him away, period. No guy wants to feel like he’s dating his nagging ex-wife. Also, when a guy starts to fall in love with you, he gets scared. There are a lot of reasons for this. Before they make that commitment that seems to be permanent, they might want to view other profiles of singles on a dating site, even if they have no desire to go out on a date. They may fear never having sex with another woman again. A lot of thoughts go through their minds. As they’re processing all of these emotions, they often pull away.

I know it doesn’t seem right. If he’s crazy about you, he should want to be with you, right? Women are built to multitask. It’s in their DNA. Men are most often single focused, and when they’re in career mode, they’re thinking about work and closing the next deal or hoping to get a raise. When they’re with their kids, they’re in parent mode. When they’re with you, they’ll adore every moment of being with you.

Understand that you’re not playing a game. You’re just letting the man lead, which is in their DNA. If you ever feel that your needs aren’t being met at all, then by all means, have a conversation about it, but don’t beat it to death or give ultimatums.  It’s your decision to stay in any relationship. Men will come and go as rubber bands and often they’ll just need the space to be in their caves from time-to-time.  It’s really OK, if they come back to you. In time, your relationship will develop into a groove and you won’t have to worry if he forgets to send you a good morning text. Perhaps he’s just busy. It doesn’t mean you’re not on his mind. Give him his space and if you truly are ‘the one,’ he’ll return without even realizing he’s been gone.

Have you experienced the pull-back in a relationship? Your comments are welcome.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and the founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She was an early adopter of online dating and has been helping singles find love online for 20 years. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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Comments

38 Responses to “What to Do When He Pulls Back”

  1. Ursula on May 8th, 2014 5:03 pm

    Yep. I just dealt with this and realized the same conclusion – men are singularly focused and need space to focus on “their mission at hand”. Once I realized that he was just juggling a lot, I wasn’t insulted by it, I just gave him space.

  2. Julie Spira on May 9th, 2014 4:39 pm

    Thanks for commenting Ursula.

    You’re certainly not alone with this issue. It can happen either way with the woman pulling back when she gets close as well. Hopefully others will take the advice and give their partner the space.

  3. Michele on November 6th, 2014 11:30 pm

    How do we differentiate this behavior of pulling back for reasons of focusing on something important in his life (and trusting that he will come back to me when he is ready), from the 12 signs that a relationship is on its way out?

  4. Harriet on February 20th, 2015 4:43 am

    Hello,

    I have the same issue. I have been on ten and more dates with this guy, we both agreed to see how things go. We both admitted we are into eachother and we are not dating other people, however- we are not exclusive.

    He had suddenly pulled away without warning after consistently talking for 6 weeks or so.

    I am in agony right now as everything was going so well. I know men lie, but why tell me you see a future with me when he didn’t mean it!?

  5. Julie Spira on May 6th, 2015 8:40 pm

    Hello Harriet,

    In the world of dating, it takes time to get to know someone.

    Six weeks can be a typical time for someone to decide to move a relationship forward to become exclusive.

    I’m so sorry that you’re in pain, but did he really lie? You both decided to give it a shot and for some reason he wasn’t sure. Now I haven’t spoken to your guy so I don’t know if he pulled away because he was getting too close or pulled away because he met someone else or didn’t think you had enough in common to take it to the next level.

    My best advice is to move forward with your life and start dating again. You might be surprised to find someone you even like more than the guy who did the pull-back.

    However, you should know that sometimes guys need their space, go into their caves, and need time to decide if they miss you or not. The worst thing you can do if this is the case, is to chase after him. Just live your life and be open to meeting someone else and realize that this is the typical course of dating. If he comes back, it means he took the time to think about a deeper relationship with you.

    Keep me posted and do something special for yourself. Exercise or go to a movie with a friend.

    By the time he comes back, if he comes back, you might no longer be interested in him.

  6. Laura on June 2nd, 2015 7:44 am

    I have been dating this guy for about a month & 2 weeks into our dating he lost his job suddenly. He began to be more distant and I know he needs to find a job. SO he did send me a text saying sorry he was distant, that finding a job was his #1 he appreciated that I understand & would be available when he could be. I respected that and thought I was helping by giving him leads to another position. Now he seems more distant even though he tell me he crushed job interview and has been asked to an in person interview next week. I have decided to stop texting him & wait for him to come to me, as hard as it is I feel he will come back am I crazy? Thanks for any words of wisdom!

  7. Antonio on October 24th, 2015 9:26 am

    Harriet, the parragraph where Julie says that we guys need time to go into our caves, I would suggest you copy and read as often as you can. It is very difficult to find someone you can relate to. If you have gone to 10 on more dates, this guy is into you. We men just don’t want to give up our freedom and don’t want to be tied down. Even if he is interested in meeting and going out with other people, he will time and again come back to you because you are the one he feels comfy with and can talk to. That for a man is priceless, please don’t ruin your opportunity by being anxious and making him feel that what he gets you is not enough. Best regards.

  8. Amanda on October 25th, 2015 9:03 am

    My question is what do you do when he does start to come back a bit? How do you handle it without making him feel like he needs to withdraw again? And when he does pull back, should you not contact at all, not even a “hope you have a good day?”

  9. Julie Spira on December 7th, 2015 4:25 pm

    If your guy comes back from his cave or his alone time, welcome him with open arms. Don’t start asking too many questions as to why he withdrew from you, because it’s a natural instinct for a man to pull away, even when he feels he’s falling more in love with you. Once you understand this and he feels safe, he will be back if you have a strong bond. Give him some time to miss you for a few days and know that he might be overwhelmed with a work project and can’t juggle that and you at the same time. I know it’s upsetting and you will wonder what you did wrong. You probably didn’t do anything wrong, unless he started feeling smothered by you. Men fall in love with you when they’re apart and women fall in love with men when they are together. Take a deep breath and do something fun for yourself. Grab a few girlfriends and go out and enjoy your night. If it’s meant to be, he will find his way back to you. Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo Julie http://twitter.com/juliespira

  10. Julie Spira on December 7th, 2015 4:27 pm

    Thank you for chiming in Antonio with the man’s perspective. So very well said.

    Julie

  11. Jean on December 8th, 2015 3:17 am

    Hi l met a guy a year ago we saw each other casually for 5-6 months then he took a job (mining) across state. We have stayed in contact for 6 months we would talk and text often about all sorts of things and our feelings grew which included future plans. He quite suddenly stopped with the frequent contact when l texted him (twice over two weeks light hearted stuff. l hardly ever initiated contact) he answered immediately however he wasn’t as motivated as he was before. I know it’s not me but my God it’s so hard to let go of someone who encourages you to trust that the feeling is mutual, then when you surrender to it he completely backs off? l’m getting the slow fade and I’ve given him nothing but space the hard fact is some people are unnecessarily hurtful because they either realise they don’t feel the same way. or worse never did and disappear without explanation so you have to work it out as though you were complete strangers l just don’t get it..

  12. Tina on December 8th, 2015 6:32 pm

    It’s very upsetting. I guess after a week of talking for hours, laughing, and getting along great and getting to know each other, if he pulls away, he won’t be back. It hurts. If I knew I didn’t do anything to push him away especially after the message I sent, I would have been okay. Why can’t guys just come out and say, “hey, I need some space???”

  13. Ely on December 17th, 2015 12:26 pm

    Thank you for the great advice… I am dealing with that myself. Met a guy 1 year ago and there was a deep connection between us, but we were both in relationships and so we did not talk to each other about our feelings. Also, we lived far from each other so we kept in touch by email and texting. A few weeks ago we “confessed” that we were attracted to each other and we have been talking a lot since… We saw each other for a few days last week and it was amazing, but also very stressful because we were both in the same town for work that was hard on both of us. Now I feel he is pulling away a little (we are not talking as often as before), but still texting me everyday (without me having to initiate contact) and calling me “baby” and “love”. I guess he just needs time and space to figure out how he feels about all that… so I’m definitely going to enjoy this “me” time, trying to trust my intuition and giving him the space he obviously needs. At least I’m happy to see that it’s normal for men to do so! 🙂

  14. Amanda on January 27th, 2016 3:48 am

    I’ve been dating a guy for about 3 months now he is a great guy. He lives about 2 hours away. I’m struggling. He says good morning everyday and I tend to only text him when he texts me to allow him to to drive the contact. Even though we are in contact every day he doesn’t seem to be a planner. Do I leave him alone and let him plan or do I continue to do the same? He has in the most recent past said he’s missed me, thinking of me all of those wonderful things… And I’ve never asked him if things were ok or nagged him about his behavior. Lol. I think I’m just overthinking. Due to past relationships I’ve had. Afraid he’ll go away. Any advice?? And he’s got 3 kids and a job that keeps him busy also. He is very hands on. Another reason I’m interested. Thank you for your time 🙂

  15. Julie Spira on February 11th, 2016 8:29 am

    Hello Amanda,

    Three months is still a new relationship, but realize you are in a long-distance relationship if he lives 2 hours away. Traveling to see each other needs to be scheduled for a LDR to actually work. Don’t be afraid of having a conversation about your needs being met. Let him know you enjoy his company and ask if he’d like to go on an every other weekend schedule, where one of you drives to visit the other. If he can only see you on weekends where he doesn’t have his kids, then see if he can commit to spending time with you during those weekends. If he can’t commit to this, then he doesn’t have all ten toes into this relationship. It’s time to find someone who truly values spending time with you.

  16. Diwata on March 22nd, 2016 10:57 pm

    I met this guy online and started talking and flirting for a couple of months. He ‘s 8 hours behind my timezone, but were able to find time to talk whenever we can. I know he gets busy at work also and he travels a lot. I know he is interested in me and I am too with him. We are at our 5th month talking online and our usual routine suddenly changed. I tend to reach out to him first, and when I don’t send him message he won’t message me. I always see him online but never send me messages even to say hi. I just sent him good morning message last Saturday but our conversation was very short unlike what we had before. I don’t want to come out needy also as I might totally push him away. That’s why I decided to give him space. But until when? Has he lost interest in me? What should I do? Should I just move on? Or should I wait until he contacts me again? That if he ever contacts me again. But I really miss talking to him.

  17. Amanda on April 3rd, 2016 7:06 pm

    It’s now been 5 months we have been going very strong. Friday he apologized for being distant due to work and that he needed to get his thoughts together. Along with having lost a good employee. I last heard from him Friday. I called him Saturday left him a message the simple hey. How are you. Ttys. He didn’t respond. It’s Monday. No response at all. Things were good up until then. Is he taking space??? Do I just leave him alone??

  18. NARCISSE TAPLIN on April 24th, 2016 9:45 pm

    I’m glad to see this thread still going. It’s so true that men need their space and getting to know someone to find your groove in takes time. These moments should be cherished by both parties.

    Ladies, relax and be confident in who you are, first. Because if you’re not confident in yourself, you’re going to struggle with being confident in the relationship and especially when he needs space.

    Sometimes a guy needs space for no other reason but to recharge his masculine energy. And he needs that even if he’s married for 40 yrs.

    In dating, we seem to rush right past or through the “getting to know each other” phase which should be full of liberty for both parties. It is in our ability to be free to be ourselves that allows the other person to really get to know us. Not within limitations and expectations. Our expectations only set us up for a fall and unnecessary disappointments.

    I’ve been dating a guy, now, for 6 months (which for me is still getting to know). We are both finding our footing in this. When he first started spacing out, like many of you, I was like “what’s happening here?” But I had to find a way to acknowledge it that did not make him feel pressured, was not nagging and wouldn’t push him away. Eventually, what I learned, is that it simply was what he needed and had nothing to do with me. The only part of it that has to do with me is:

    1. Assessing his own feelings
    2. Wanting/needing to miss me
    3. Establishing a foundation for trust
    4. Needing to recharge his masculinity for himself, others and ME.

    What do I do while he’s gone?

    1. Occupy myself with business, family, chores, etc.
    2. Have FUN!
    3. Rest
    4. Depending on what’s going on, I may send him a text or leave a message (only if I feel a need to and it’s FOR/ABOUT “HIM” and has nothing to do with me. Or, I may just send a smiley emoji w/no expectation in return.
    5. I love him even in his absence.

    When he returns, I welcome him with love and peace as if he was never away because it’s not like we were fighting or had a disagreement. So I have no need to take it personal or start a fight. And EVERY time, he comes back in a more loving manner.

    Now, the distancing is less and less, but I give him time/space on a regular basis. For instance, if he’s watching a game, I let him watch the game without me calling or texting unless I need to. If we’re talking while he’s watching the game, I let him get back to it and just say “good night” without keeping him on the phone longer than I need to. I, also, thank him for giving me time while he did (after all, he did stop giving the game his full attention for me).

    In return, he gives me the same space. It’s healthy and I enjoy it. Because when I have his attention….I HAVE IT ALL.

    Relax and enjoy the ride, ladies.

  19. Chaun on April 26th, 2016 6:26 am

    Been dating a guy for about month and a half. We went to school together, we also live in different states. Conversation was good. I love you exchanges and talk of being in a long distance relationship. He stated he’s never been in a relationship or never felt the way he’s feeling, I asked are you sure you’re ready or even want to do this? We can just be friends. He does say he has a lot going on with his mom and work and he doesn’t want me to be last on his list. He says it’s my call on what to do. I was speechless, didn’t know what to say so didn’t say anything. His plans are to move back here, his kids and grand kids are here and me of course. Suddenly he started pulling back, no texts back sometimes and no return call when I call him. Had plans to meet one weekend to meet my family, never happened. He said he had to work but he would make something happen. Never heard from him, now a couple days have passed and he’s back to the daily morning texts….I’m so confused.

  20. A. on August 6th, 2016 3:20 pm

    Wow! I’ve been researching the web for answers for about a month now and it seems like your article just answered all of my questions.

    I’ve dated a guy for 3 months. It seems like he was the one and made me feel like I was the one too. He never said “I love you” but I felt like he was in love… He was texting me at least twice a day, we saw each other every 2 weeks (we had a long distance relationship and he had his son every other week).

    He wrote me a beautiful birthday card, I met his son and BAM, a week later, he left just saying he was scared and that maybe, he didn’t love me enough to continue in this relationship. I asked to discuss more but he just disappeared.

    Note: he is also getting through some stressful times at work + his last relationship with his son’s mom ended very badly.

    A month later, I still haven’t heard from him but I still think he loves me and made a big mistake. I know it was stressful for him and he probably just was overwhelmed. It was a big deal for him to introduce me to his son as well.

    Anyways. I am still hopeful. What do you think? Can he realize that it was all about stress? How long can it take? I am slowly moving on but he was “my man” and I still feel that our story is not over…

    Thanks 🙂

  21. Julie Spira on August 10th, 2016 1:42 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re guy had to pull back and couldn’t handle a serious relationship with you. Timing is always an important factor in relationships. The trick is to meet the right person at the right time and have a relationship move forward effortlessly.

    Unfortunately it’s often not the case. Either someone is in transition from a previous relationship, has work issues that are higher on the totem pole than a relationship, or needs space. You might be the right person at the wrong time. I can’t tell you that for sure, as I’ve never met nor spoken with your now ex-boyfriend.

    What I can tell you is that men often need space and time to figure things out without having outside pressure.

    That being said, if he comes to his senses and realizes what a prize you are, he’ll come back.

    The big questions is, will you still be available? At this point, you need to start dating and maybe you’ll even meet someone who’s a better match for you. This can’t happen if you’re pining away for the guy you adored for three months.

    Go and be confident and available for love. The right person will find you. Your guy just isn’t ready for anything serious, or isn’t ready for anything serious with you. (sorry)

    Be grateful that you could have such strong feelings for someone, but if he comes back, it will be because you aren’t needy and he is ready. For now, there’s no reason to chase him or expect your guy to magically come back.

    I know it hurts. I’ve been there and can tell you, often they do come back. It comes down to a question of timing.

    Perhaps if and when he resurfaces, you’ll no longer have a relationship status of “single.”

    Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.

    Julie
    @JulieSpira

  22. Julie Spira on August 31st, 2016 4:14 pm

    Thanks for sending in your story Joanne.

    As you’ve said it many times, he’s got a complicated and busy life being a dad. Connecting with you was probably a bright spot in his life. Since you never connected in person (IRL) throughout the time you were texting, your new beau was a digital pen pal. Texting is fun, easy, and doesn’t require a commitment. In your case, it didn’t even require a reply to your texts.

    You ask if you’re crazy. No of course now, but you’re holding out for a man who already told you he wasn’t available.

    My best advice is to listen to what he has to say. The more you listen, the more you will find out about someone’s intentions to determine if they are right for you.

    Your flirtation was real. It made you feel great every time your phone chirped and it was a text from him. He wasn’t your boyfriend and he has his hands full with an ex-wife and children, so he doesn’t have room in his life for anything serious.

    If he thinks you deserve someone more serious, than I have to agree with him. You do. Stay friends. That’s what you were and that’s what you still are. At this point, make him a distant friend and don’t text him. Open your heart to the possibilities of meeting an available man who wants to get together with you and have a relationship.

    Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may swipe or roam.

    xo

    Julie

    @JulieSpira
    Cyber-Dating Expert

  23. Tara on September 1st, 2016 8:45 pm

    Dear Julie,

    First of all, your post is absolutely amazing thanks for your insight. I went on OK Cupid and this guy messaged me, we started talking almost everyday for like 5 days, till like 5am sometimes very intense and I have to be honest, I did stupidly say things like I would cheat on a man and I am not ready/don’t believe in love.. so I know that was bad of me. Anyway he really opened up about his past and said he never tells anyone about it, which made him feel very bad and I told him I just didn’t trust men and he told me he really wanted to be with me and try to see if we can do long term but take it slow. He said he just feels I’m different than other girls and more mature and he wants something different and he said he would prefer long term as he doesn’t want to get hurt especially as we have a connection. Anyway, I kept pushing him away saying things like ‘I’m traveling’ and ‘are you sure you want to be with me’ and ‘are you sure you are attracted to me I am not pretty’ and ‘you can find someone else who is more fun.’ Because he is younger I said ‘you are too young and inexperienced for me.’ I even told him about my ex being a model. Anyway we have a very strong connection and he said he wanted something long term even if I said no but I have to be honest I was insecure because he is super good looking and playing a lot of mind games which is sad like saying yes, no, yes, no…I guess I was scared. Anyway he asked me what I liked to do in life and I said ‘as if you care?’ after that he just went into a cave and said he wasn’t feeling too good and didn’t chat much and I didn’t hear from him for a few days. I sent 3 messages asking what happened etc. etc. and after 3 days he got back saying he was sorry and super busy with uni and work and will be on and offline this next week as he is busy and he said sorry he didn’t tell me. During the time I didn’t hear from him for 3 days. I would see he was online often. I Guess he did respond and said he was busy but do you think he is seeing someone else and just doesn’t like me anymore or probably thinks I am crazy as I was just confusing him with yes no yes no regarding being with him and even saying I am not a faithful person. I guess he has just said he will be on and off the site this next week and I just said ‘thanks for letting me know, just thought I did something wrong and I enjoy talking to you. Have fun’ this is what I said… What do you think? We also haven’t exchanged numbers he did ask for mine subtly but I didn’t give it and he gave me his because I said I didn’t believe it wasn’t working, he wanted to prove it wasn’t commenced yet.. but I’m not going to message. I will appreciate your advice thanks.

  24. Julie Spira on September 2nd, 2016 8:22 am

    Wow Tara! Thanks for writing in, but I think I’ve lost count on how many times you pushed this guy away. You put your worst foot forward instead of your best, which is not what someone should be doing if they are interested.

    I get it that you don’t want to be hurt, but this guy continued to communicate with you after you said you wouldn’t be loyal, that you basically weren’t relationship material, that you didn’t trust men, etc.

    You admitted that you pushed away. So this article, with advice on what to do when he pulls back hit a chord with you, but I’m actually surprised that he waited as long as he did before pulling back.

    He’s on a dating site, OkCupid and so are you. This means everyone should be talking to multiple people and even possibly dating multiple people until they find that one special person they’d like to see exclusively.

    The next time you feel bad about yourself and ability to be in a relationship with someone, write it down in a journal or stick it in a note in your mobile phone, but DON’T ever send it to the guy. Remember, you never met in person. You were chatting and flirting online. You don’t know how many other people he was chatting with, but you flat out told her you’re not relationship material. After being bombarded with those messages, he finally decided it wasn’t worth continuing to communicate with you.

    My best advice, since you asked, is to let this go. Work on your self esteem. Trust is important in a relationship and when you tell a guy you can’t be loyal, if you did become his girlfriend, he would never trust you.

    Take a leap of faith and be open to the possibilities of having a good relationship. The one you described that you would have had with him was destined for failure.

    The first person you need to love is yourself. Once you can look in the mirror and tell yourself that “You’re the prize” and that you’re worthy of a great relationship is the time you’ll stop sabotaging a potential relationship.

    Please do the work for yourself. Learn to love yourself and then a man will realize all the good things about you. He will want to be with a happy and confident woman. That’s who you need to become.

    Don’t contact him anymore. Let it go and learn from this experience.

    Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may swipe or roam.

    Julie

  25. Maria on December 27th, 2016 11:13 pm

    Hi. I’ve recently dated a guy I really liked (we’ve seen each other 6 times for the past 3 weeks or so). My dad died during this time and he even went to the wake several times (so he also got to meet my family and friends – and they all liked him btw). I had work out of town once and he even drove me.

    We last saw each other 9 days ago (we had lunch and went to a movie) and it was pleasant. The next 3 days he was just as sweet as before, and after that, his texts where noticeably shorter and far apart. It was Christmas time, so I’m not sure if he was just busy (as his family owns a restaurant which gets busy during the holidays), or was a bit “not in the mood” (he texted on Christmas night that he had some family “drama”).

    We exchanged good morning and goodnight pleasantries (and did not text throughout the day as we did before) on Dec 26, and good morning messages on the 27th. At this time, he said he fell asleep the night before so he initiated the good morning text.

    After that, nada. Didn’t hear from him. It’s now the 28th, and it just seems a little off that we haven’t been shooting text messages. It’s just that I feel that he isn’t as enthusiastic as far as text messages are concerned as he was in the past few weeks. I don’t think we both have done anything bad, and like I said, all our interactions have been pleasant so far.

    I’m just wondering what this “coldness” is all about; if I’m overreacting/overthinking for panicking. Lots of things are going through my head like, maybe he just isn’t that into me (though is it not too early yet to say that you’re not so much into someone especially since he had been showing that he was serious with us – meeting my family, attending my dad’s wake etc..?), he’s stressed these days, he needs time alone to process his thoughts etc…).
    Our convo was yesterday morning when we exchanged morning pleasantries.

    I know it’s just been over a day, but he used to text me several times in one day, so this seems weird.

    Should i worry?? 🙁

  26. Julie Spira on December 27th, 2016 11:29 pm

    Hi Maria,

    Thanks for writing in.

    You were through a very heavy and sad time with your father passing away. This can bring a couple closer or can easily spook a guy who thinks he needs to step in and take your dad’s place so early on in the relationship.

    Plus, text messages do become less frequent once a relationship gets to the comfy stage. I don’t blame you for being worried about his reduction in text messages, but it’s the holidays (a big pressure for new relationships) and you’ve had the family loss. He might be thinking things over, but still, it’s only bee a day since he text messages slowed down. I can tell you that most guys don’t keep up the same level of texting as they do in the first few weeks of a new relationship.

    Your relationship is brand new and it might be fading out, or he might be taking the time to see if he wants to sign up for a deeper commitment. Give him his time and space and realize that until you agree to become exclusive, he might be looking at other options that don’t include a recent funeral.

    I can’t tell you not to worry because the flow has been broken. What I will say is don’t chase him or ask him what is wrong. He needs to see that you can survive without your dad and without him for him to feel it’s safe to continue to pursue a relationship with him.

    If it continues to fade, let it go. It was a brief relationship of a few weeks and not a long-term relationship. We all have high hopes when we meet someone we click with, but most new relationships fade away at the 3-6 week period. Add into it the holidays, and it’s a lot of pressure. Let him pursue you and if he doesn’t, move on and don’t wait for him to decide.

    Wishing you much love and joy.

    Julie Spira
    http://twitter.com/juliespira
    http://instragram.com/juliespira

  27. Lucy on March 1st, 2017 11:08 am

    Hi!

    So met a guy. Very nice. Lovely dates. Have been seeing him for about 6 weeks (7 dates in total). I’ve met his parents and his sisters (he’s not met any of my family yet). He was very keen, etc etc. We generally communicate by snapchat and whatsapp. Mostly Snapchat if it’s just general banter. So anyway, I was on the fence about him til about date number 5 but then decided I quite liked him. Anyway, last week I got an iffy feeling (for no actual reason other than a gut feeling). Anyway, he came to see me on Saturday and stayed over. Full 24 hours. We had a little fondle (hands only). We’d already discussed taking it slow in that respect. We’d discussed the whole sex thing ages ago and he’d said he wasn’t just looking for that and to take pressure off anything that we should have at least one overnight stay without sex so that neither of us felt pressured or thought it would be expected.

    On Saturday it came up in conversation again and was agreed that we’d still take it slow. He hung around until 1ish the next day and then went home. Only heard from him a couple of times on Sunday. I text him last night and he replied but was a bit dry and today he sent me a very generic snapchat of him flipping pancakes. Presumably one that he’s sent to everyone. So question is: is my gut right… is this the slow fade out? Or is my friend right in saying I’m just reading too much into it? Given that I used to get around 30ish messages a day (unsustainable, I know) is not hearing from him a bad sign?

  28. cathy on March 14th, 2017 9:21 am

    Dear Julie,

    I am so happy to find your site. I met a great guy on match. We had great long conversations, and eventually exchanged numbers. When we did we would text through out the day and he would call me when I got out of work. Our texts were fun and flirty. He told me when he falls he falls hard and that he was falling for me. He even hid his profile on match because he said he found what he was looking for in me. We had an amazing 2 dates full of passion. On our 3rd date he cooked me an amazing dinner and we were intimate. He was very attentive to me and my needs and he looked so deeply into my eyes I thought he might actually tell me he loved me.

    Then he slowly started to pull away. We still text, but they are not as fun and flirty. We were supposed to go out last night but he cancelled bc he had to work late, and then didn’t work late, but did need to get up super early (4 am for work). I said I was disappointed but understood. When I questioned if all was ok he told me he was in a bad mood about work, money and his son. Our conversation was fine at night, but not flirtatious like they’ve been. Today I received a good morning text and he said he would text me later when he had a break. I should also mention, when things seemed off yesterday I said to him if your feelings have changed I understand. I’d be disappointed bc I like you, but I’d understand.

    What do I do? I’m trying to play it cool, trying not to be clingy, but in the past when I’ve shared too much of my feelings and later expressed regret, he told me he liked that and found it sexy. I would love for this relationship to work. What advice do you have for me? I should add, my divorce is not finalized and this is the first relationship I’ve been in since my soon to be ex. Please advise 🙁

  29. alice on March 20th, 2017 7:23 am

    Hi. I know it’s been a long time since anyone posted. but I hope to get a reply. I’ve been dating this guy for over a year. It was alright we both loved each other. We had a bad fight and went no contact for 4 months, after that we got back together and everything was great. He talked about getting married (we’ve talked about it before). The next day when I brought it up, he said he doesn’t know what to do and he needs to think if he’s ready or not. I said that he can’t say something without thinking about it and then take it back! We agreed to not talking about anything serious for 2 weeks. Then after few days he stopped answering my calls and texts. I waited and a few days later he texted and we had short conversation (nothing serious). His career path is changing and he’s under a lot of stress. His job was always a big deal and I understand him. But I don’t like the idea that hes acting like I’m an option for him and I’ll always be there. Do you think it’s just a man cave thing or he wants to say something? else?

  30. Julie Spira on March 21st, 2017 10:05 am

    Hi Alice,

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    I don’t know what your fight was about, but going NC for four months and then getting back together, shows you two missed each other. Often when a man talks about getting married, he’s processing it in his head and speaking about it aloud. It doesn’t mean he’s going ring shopping and often he spooks himself.

    Men project to the future as they are processing things, especially about being committed to only one person and not leaving their options open. Pushing him on it too soon will scare him and any man away, unless that ring is already in his pocket.

    For men, they need to feel great in their careers, because that’s where they get the most self esteem. For women, often a relationship brings them their self esteem. If he thinks he can’t afford to have a wife right now and needs to focus on a career before committing to a relationship, then it’s important to honor that and not force the marriage subject on him. Chances are he’s thinking about you in his future. Let it evolve at the best pace. The last thing you want to do is push him away. Give him space to build his career. If you’re the one, he’ll stick around, if not, when a door closes a better one often opens.

    Wishing you much love and joy.

    Julie

  31. Julie Spira on March 21st, 2017 10:13 am

    Hi Cathy!

    Thanks for finding our site and this post.

    First, congratulations on meeting a great guy on match!

    Second, your divorce isn’t final, so technically you’re not the available one.

    Until your divorce is final, you might run the risk of falling into a transition relationship, one with deep love and passion, but not necessarily the one who will be with your forever.

    The third date cooking together evening was one that typically ends up in the bedroom. Cooking is intimate and romantic. It’s just a sexy thing for a couple to do. I always advise to wait on the cooking date if you’re not ready to sleep with someone.

    But many couples do sleep together on the third date, which bonds women deeply through hormones and sends men running into their caves to think about what just happened and if they really are ready for that type of relationship.

    Give this guy his space. He needs to think of you as a happy confident woman, not one who questions him or who is needy.

    Your relationship is way too new to call him your boyfriend, so let him chase you and keep busy with things that make YOU happy without worrying about him. If it’s meant to be, he’ll be back on your doorstep with flirty texts again.

    Wishing you much love and joy.

    Julie

  32. Julie Spira on March 21st, 2017 10:20 am

    Hi Lucy,

    Thanks for your comment.

    It’s great that you’re taking it slow with this new guy.

    Know that when it comes to texting, in the beginning, you’ll get many more texts when the man is chasing you. Once he feels he’s caught you, the texting lessons, but that doesn’t mean anything is wrong. It just moves to a more realistic pace, so don’t put too much pressure on his texts, chats, or communication unless they’ve come to a complete halt. If that’s the case, then he enjoyed the pursuit only.

    Hearing from someone a few times a day is a lot for a guy. He wouldn’t be contacting you that often if he wasn’t into you. Give it time. Thirty messages is not sustainable. A few times is more realistic.

    Wishing you much love and joy.

    Julie

  33. Salster on March 24th, 2017 12:59 am

    Hi Julie,

    I’m going through this at the moment with a new guy who I am absolutely smitten with. We both have kids from previous marriages and are in our early 40’s. My eldest son has multiple special needs and can be quite challenging.

    Things were great, saw each other for two months then out of the blue got the “I need space” schpiel. He’s not happy at work and wants more time with his kids. I’ve always encouraged that, taken the backseat and have said I would never put him in the position of prioritising that over myself.

    He pulled back and I understood his need to. Two days later he’s back but all my walls have now gone back up. I let them down this once and was hurt by him.

    Add to that my youngest (11) has been incredibly jealous of this relationship.

    I received a text from guy and he wants me to go to a function with all his friends tomorrow. I’ve said yes but so hesitant to feel that initial hurt again if he decides to check out again.

  34. Annie on March 24th, 2017 9:25 am

    Been dating a guy for 8 months. In the beginning it was great. I always mention to guys upfront that I’m not comfortable calling guys but I always answer when called and always text back. We got really close over these 8 months spending 4 days a week together talking 3-4 times a day. He did begin to mention after about 4 months how he doesn’t like being the only one to call most of the time. I told him I’d try to do better but it would take time b/c it’s ingrained in me….I explained it’s likely rooted in fear and insecurity. Recently he went on vacation and b/c he was out of country I let him enjoy himself and text only to see how it was going and if he was busy which he always seemed to be so I didn’t call. He would check in briefly in the mornings and then at night and I’d text him during the day. Well he fell off his last day and didn’t communicate at all with me. Once back I text him and he didn’t respond so I decided to wait until he reached out…2 weeks later and nothing. We both began posting subliminal messages (which I did as reaction to his posts – something I’ve never engaged in and said I wouldn’t and feel low b/c I didn’t take the higher road). Well we both read too much into the posts (b/c we were not communicating with each other) and assumed things were over especially after 2 weeks of no convo. So he finally texts me and blew up at being disappointed over the messages I was sending and how he couldn’t believe how easily things ended and how he was pissed that I acted like I didn’t care b/c I hadn’t called….he put it all on me…he said he was tired of being the one to call all of the time and the fact that I could be ok with him letting things end says a lot to him…well after a few days of this we both decided to try to fix things and make them work…I am calling and texting more but now he is not doing anything…I mentioned it to him and he says he just decided to not do as much calling since he realized I couldn’t change overnight he’d back off and allow me to “step up” but it has made me feel like he’s withdrawing and what he’s doing is actually discouraging me from calling more b/c now he isn’t “available” until he wants to be. So I’m confused as to what I should do. If I back off then he may see it as not doing enough but I don’t want to continue to reach out and he’s being sometimey when he accepts my call or gets together. I asked if he wants to be close again and wants to fix things and he says yes, but his actions say different. He says he doesn’t want to ever feel the same again that I made him feel not calling for two weeks and “allowing” things to end so easily… so I don’t know what the best way to respond in action… I know this is a lot but maybe a objective perspective will help me see/make sense thanks in advance! 🙂 – trying to be hopeful and make it work.

  35. Julie Spira on March 25th, 2017 9:56 am

    Hi Annie,

    I’m sorry you’re going through all of this frustration on your relationship status.

    In the beginning, it’s usually the guy who makes the most calls, sends the most texts, to show his level of interest in pursuing you. Having a conversation about how the two of you should communicate is something I suggest early on, once you know that you’re in a steady relationship.

    It appears after four months (when the honeymoon stage ended), he felt resentful and frustrated that he had to do all of the heavy lifting. There comes a time in a relationship, where a man needs to know the woman wants him as much as he wants her. If he relayed to you that he wanted you to call him, he’s telling you what he needed in a relationship. To balance it out, you should also be the one calling him.

    There are so many rules books out there that are outdated and the never initiating a phone call is one of them. Men have a lot of choices and want to know that they are making you happy, but part of keeping the momentum up is initiating a sweet text, whether it’s a good morning text or sweet dreams nighttime text. It helps connect the two of you when you’re not together.

    There’s nothing wrong with him going on a trip without you and doing his thing. The issue is maybe he did some soul searching and didn’t want to be in a relationship anymore. At the 8 month mark, you’re in a phase where you’re either moving forward together, or going separate ways. He could be testing you to see if you genuinely want to contact him and he’s holding all of the cards.

    So now you’re imbalanced again, where you’ve been through most of your relationship in his eyes. Let him know you care for him and respect the space he needs, but that like him, you’d like a balanced relationship where both of you make the effort to text, call, or get together.

    If he still isn’t interested in participating on his end, you could be in the slow fade faze of the relationship.

    Two weeks to ignore your text is sending a very direct message that your relationship isn’t a priority in his life.

    Ask him again if he’d like to push the “restart” button and start anew with you. Remember, the first few months of any new relationship are the exciting times. Communication and texting usually slow down the more comfortable you are in the relationship. Let him know you don’t want to call it quits and apologize for the social media posts (btw, everyone does that). If he isn’t on the same page as you about making it work, take a break and say goodbye. Relationships are where both people give and give, not where it’s give and take.

    Wishing you much love and joy.

    Julie

  36. Julie Spira on March 25th, 2017 10:04 am

    Hi Salster,

    Congratulations on meeting a new guy you’re smitten with. That’s the most exciting part of a new relationship, where all of the early dates are filled with hope.

    After two months of seeing each other, his request for space is not unusual. You’re still in the honeymoon phase (months 1-3), and most couples at the 3 month mark either go separate ways or sign up for a deeper commitment for months 3-6.

    For men, work is always a priority. If they aren’t doing well at work, they won’t think they can be a provider to you. The male ego is satisfied based on his work success. Give him the space he needs, because if he cares about you, he’ll be back even stronger, knowing you’re not suffocating him.

    Having him return after a 2-day pullback is not a long time at all. Many men go into their caves for weeks at a time. When he returns from a pullback, you need to be open and happy for his return, not dwell on why he needed two days of space, and welcome him with open arms.

    Go to this function with him and his friends. He’s obviously proud to show you off to people important in his life. He was also expecting you to be the warm loving person you are, so don’t punish him. Go and enjoy making new memories together. He doesn’t need to be punished for checking out for a few days. If it were a month, I’d be much more worried.

    Enjoy this relationship, because it does seem like it’s important to both of you and don’t let fear get in the way of love.

    Stay smitten.

    Wishing you much love and joy.

    Julie

  37. Julie on July 9th, 2017 1:13 pm

    I’ve been dating a man for a little less than three months. We get along well, he is about five years older than I am, and we seem to have a lot in common. I have met/had dinner with his friends twice (lots of fun) and he has told his son about me. He is a single dad. His son a college grad.

    We both had separate vacations previously planned at the two month mark. Everything was going great then the texting slowed to about every other day. We met for dinner, and he explained that his son got into grad school and he was just very busy getting him ready to leave in two weeks. We shared a nice evening of talking that ended with several kisses.

    His father also passed away about a month before we started dating. He also graduated with his master’s a few weeks after we met, so this is truly a busy guy. He is smart and sexy and accomplished, and hard working. . . you name it.

    When we were first together, his son was away in school. We talked, dated, and were intimate. When his son came home, things slowed down. Now that his son is leaving for grad school, things have really slowed down, but rightfully so. He is busy, and we can’t very well be intimate with his son in the house. Lol

    If I text him, he will (eventually) respond. I keep the texts short with Hello or How was your day? I realize he is very busy right now, so I would never say something like What’s wrong? I have even said Enjoy this time with your son. That is important. I know to give him space. I know guys need to work through things on their own. I just miss how much he made me laugh.

    My questions are, Do I keep sending ‘Good Morning’ messages? Do I wait for him to text first? How long do I wait? Will he come back? He’s been busy for over two weeks now. How long will this last? I am also busy with a full time job, a master’s, and and grown kids, too. I like to talk through stress. I know men don’t. I feel like I understand what’s going on, but it doesn’t make it any less hard.

    He last responded via text last night. It was just a sentence. Is he fading away or just taking space? What does giving more space look like? I can wait, but like others have asked, Why can’t men just tell us what they need?

  38. Julie Spira on July 14th, 2017 2:31 pm

    It’s great that you met someone who you are interested in and the feeling is mutual.

    It appears at this point, that a relationship is more important to you than it is to him. As you say, he’s a busy guy. He knows you’re interested, I know you’re interested, and you know that you’d like the relationship to move forward.

    Here’s the thing. You need to step back and let this man take the lead. If he’s interested in texting you, he will. If he’s interested in seeing you, he’ll make plans. If he’s interested in talking to you, he’ll call.

    All men need space, but during that time they can process whether they want to be in a relationship and even miss you, or not.

    I say, pull back and live your busy life. Let him come to you when he gets a gap in his schedule, but start dating other men. You might find someone who’s at the same place you are right now and will want to have a relationship with someone as wonderful as you.

    Keep us posted!

    Julie

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