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


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

  1. Julie Spira on November 22nd, 2017 2:26 pm

    Hi Emma,

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    You don’t indicate how long into your daily texting relationship with this guy that you separated from your husband, nor do you indicate if you’re divorced. Did you go on holidays together, while you were still living at home with your husband?

    It’s great that you have blended the families together and are so comfortable with each other.

    When he said he wanted to get married, but not to you, that must have hurt. Perhaps he’s saying this because you’re still legally married and he doesn’t want to get involved in the process or feels he’s the transition person.

    Add into the the guilt he might be harboring since you were spending time together before you separated, and he might be looking for a fresh start.

    If he cares about you and believes you’re the one, give him the time to miss you and think about your relationship. Two weeks isn’t enough time apart. In situations like these, you should allow a full 30 days of no contact. It’s not a punishment to him, but it will be challenging for you.

    Stop texting him and get your house in order. Once you are legally divorced, assuming you’re not yet, and 30 days or more have gone by, send him a note or a text to let him know you’re thinking of him.

    He doesn’t want to be friends now and has to find the time to miss you. If he remembers how great it was for all of you to be together, give him time to remember that. That might mean he will find a new girlfriend in between, but it won’t be you.

    Either he doesn’t think you’re ready or he might be feeling guilty. Allow the time for him to miss you and work on yourself so you’re ready for a new relationship.

    If he comes back, don’t push him away or punish him for going silent. Guys fall in love when they’re away from you. Give it time, but don’t wait around. Fill your life with friends and start dating.

    Wishing you much love and joy.


  2. Julie Spira on November 22nd, 2017 2:46 pm

    Hi Lynn,

    That’s great that you met a guy on Tinder, but after five months, don’t you think you should know where he lives, have seen his place, and maybe met a few of his friends?

    Guys often do the slow fade when they see it’s not working out, or if they feel the woman has greater feelings than he does. You only dated for five months, and in relationship cycles, six months is a big milestone for couples. It’s when they decide to get more serious and move towards a greater commitment. His timing of fading shows he wasn’t thinking of it for the long term.

    Guys also hate the DTR talk. When you sent him the text, he knew it was going to be serious and he wasn’t interested in heading down that path. Having an argument is an easy way to bring things to a head and then say it’s over.

    When you saw him on Tinder seven weeks later, both of you were on a dating app, hoping to meet someone. He probably thought you were just being friendly and saw nothing wrong with saying he was going on a date. Hey, you could have been the one with a date on the calendar that day.

    It’s apparent that you have more feelings for him than he does for you, or it wouldn’t have bothered you if he was dating almost two months later.

    I don’t think you can be friends until both of you have moved on and have found others, but do you really want to be friends with someone who tried to ghost you?

    My advice is to “unmatch” him on Tinder, so you don’t find yourself checking out his profile and activity. Do yourself a huge favor and do a digital detox. Don’t check on him on social media.

    He’s made it clear he has moved on and it’s time for you to find someone special who really wants to be with you.

    Wishing you much love and joy.


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