‘Yeap, he’s definitely breaking up with me,’ is probably what you are thinking right now. Your boyfriend, husband, or partner is pulling away, and you can’t help but think the worst.
So, is he going to break up with you? Maybe! Terrifying thought, right? But wait, is he actually being distant, or is something else going on when he’s pulling away?
Men are far more complicated than they get credit for. So, it is possible that he’s not pulling from the relationship. You do not want to think the worst but want to be ready just in case.
Unfortunately, running around with uncertainty could cause more problems in the relationship.
So, how can you tell that he’s pulling away from your relationship?
Even the most subtle of men can depict behaviors that indicate the connection is ending. I explore the red flags of pulling away in men in this article.
So before you take any drastic measures, confirm your suspicions below.
First things first, why is it important to recognize these signs? Well, it is more than just about preparing for the breakup. You can never adequately prepare for the split without letting him go emotionally.
Recognizing the signs he’s pulling away is about assessing the relationship, finding a chance at open communication, and determining if the union is worth saving.
Recognizing the signs in your guy could be the push you need to initiate honest communication. It can help prevent resentment and misunderstandings, leading to a healthier relationship.
Ignoring these signs will create a greater emotional distance, and it may lead to a breakup. So, if you want to rescue your relationship, keep your eyes open for the signs I discuss below.
Like most things, there are warning signs that he’s secretly distancing himself from your relationship.
Some men hide it better than others, but it does not mean it’s not happening. So, if you notice the following, know that something’s up:
Once upon a time, your phone was full of cute text chains between you and him. Half the call logs were him calling to see how your day was going.
Then, all of a sudden, your phone is dry– no more random calls and cute texts. When his texting and calling patterns suddenly change, it could be because his interests are somewhere else.
Some men do not cut off communication drastically. Instead, the response times change.
You will notice that he misses more of your calls or takes extra long to reply to your texts even though nothing has changed.
When this happens, be ready to re-evaluate your relationship because he could be drifting somewhere else for one reason or another.
Emotional space is harder to fake than ‘I didn’t hear you calling’. You will notice that he avoids conversations about his feelings, even though he used to share.
He will bury you in a string of I’m fine’ and ‘We can talk later’ to avoid sharing his thoughts and feelings.
Sounds a little too familiar? When this happens, he is trying to detach from you emotionally.
And it can get worse! Some men encourage you to share while they remain quiet.
You will see him as a great listener, not realizing it creates an unfair dynamic. He has no emotional reliance on you, but you have on him!
In addition, the lack of enthusiasm in your conversations could be a sign that his excitement is rooted elsewhere.
Conversations will feel like a monologue, and he may even ignore you. It will feel like he is there but not with you.
Does it get worse? Yes, there are brighter red flags below.
Behavioral changes are the next thing you may notice from him. Interactions will feel different, and he will slowly disengage from shared activities.
Instead, he will focus more on himself, deliberately excluding you even when you ask to join. Here’s a breakdown of what to look for:
When did he last initiate a date? He used to set up dinner reservations, take you out to movies, and other fun little outings just for the two of you. These days, it’s different because he’s no longer initiating things.
Date nights are becoming fewer and sometimes infrequent. He may even forget or brush it off because he’s tired. Some men even justify skipping date night because you ran an errand together all day, saying it is enough quality time spent together.
It is usually a sign he’s pulling away because he has no interest in the relationship or does not feel the need to try. Quality time is more than running errands or hanging out in the same room. So if you notice him deliberately avoiding activities that demand him to be present with you alone, he’s pulling away.
Some men still participate in date nights and other activities. However, you can tell that he is not fully present. He will look bored, have little enthusiasm for the activity, or try to end it as quickly as possible.
Shared interests will become your interests, and he will make you feel like he’s outgrown everything you used to love doing together.
Your boyfriend may prioritize his solo or friend activities; every other Sunday will become game day with his friends. It may be because something in his life has changed, and he is no longer interested in spending time together.
No matter what they say, men have feelings, and they speak loudly. If you have been together for a while, you may notice some emotional signs of pulling away. If not, it is time to put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and look out for the following:
Does your cuddle game seem like it’s been on pause for some time? The random hugs and kisses go missing-you can barely remember the last time you snuggled on the couch watching Netflix. Sounds familiar? It’s not just in your head- he’s pulling away.
Worse, the ‘I love you,’ and other words of affirmation sound less like Shakespeare and more like emoji replies. The language shift is a sign you should never ignore. It often leads to a nastier sign– irritable language and reactions.
It is normal to playfully pick on each other in a relationship. But when his usual antics start to feel a little mean and specific, take note.
When your partner thinks about drawing away from the relationship, they will find little things to justify it.
So he may act like you have changed or have developed new flaws. Your husband may display short-tempered reactions where he would once wait to listen, then react reasonably.
Worse, he will show heightened sensitivity to minor issues.
He will yell or get unreasonably upset when you squeeze the toothpaste from the middle or replace the toilet paper roll ‘wrong.’
Yeah, people get annoyed by these little things, but not enough to yell, let alone threaten to end the relationship. Irritability is hard to fake, so if you notice it, chances are that gut feeling is absolutely right.
And finally, the eyes will tell you a lot about what he’s feeling and how he’s behaving.
Avoiding eye contact is often associated with guilt or shame. So perhaps he feels guilty about wanting to pull away from the relationship.
In addition, he could be feeling ashamed about how he’s acted instead of being upfront with you.
You will notice he avoids eye contact during intimate moments or conversations. He may also avoid looking at you when you ask him if something is on his mind.
You dread arguments. But at least you would always find ways to deal with them as a team. Nowadays, he seems to walk out on you when the topic becomes too complicated for him.
Walking out means that he sees no reason to explain himself. In addition, it means he is emotionally dissatisfied and would rather process his feelings alone.
If your boyfriend or husband is stressed at work, it can spill over to your relationship.
Long hours, tight deadlines, and demanding responsibilities could make him emotionally drained, so he will have no capacity for your union. So it probably has nothing to do with you; rather, he is overwhelmed with work.
Is his mom sick? Did he get a phone call from home that made him act weird? Perhaps he came across a social media post that ruined his day.
Triggers such as these could make him withdraw from your relationship so he can cope with the challenges.
Men want to fix everything by themselves, all at once. Of course, it is impossible, but that won’t stop him from trying! In the process, he will push you away, sometimes refusing to tell you what is happening.
Of course, this should not be the ideal reaction to struggling with something personal, but it’s just the hero instinct working overtime.
Past trauma can take away from your relationship. Those fights that never got resolved, conversations that never had a conclusion, and the emotional baggage he never checked could come back to affect your relationship.
Triggers can make it challenging to engage in the relationship entirely. Perhaps you’ve been acting too much like an ex who hurt him. Or maybe he’s noticed a trend with your relationship that he believes would lead him down a familiar but negative path.
It could even be a simple statement that triggers a nasty reaction from him. Whatever the case, it could cause him to be emotionally distant as he attempts to figure out how to fix it.
Do you know what happens when a man finally realizes that he loves you unconditionally? When he finally figures out that he feels deeply for you? Put your ring finger down; it’s not a proposal.
Most men panic and withdraw from the relationship. Why? Because they are scared to lose you. Yes, I know it makes no sense, but that’s what happens sometimes. They fear how much they feel for you, so they attempt to feel less or avoid showing it.
He will pull away to protect himself from the emotional risk. So yes, you can take five steps forward and then 10 steps back once he realizes his love for you.
Did you get that feeling to change some parts of your life because you graduated? Or you decided to quit a habit in the new year.
That’s normal because change triggers more changes. It makes you re-evaluate your situation and commitments.
So perhaps that’s what he’s doing with your relationship. Unfortunately, sometimes, the obvious answer is the right one.
A change in his career, financial situation, or even age could make him think about all the other changes he needs to make, your relationship included.
So, he will withdraw temporarily to figure things out or ease feelings of guilt.
Did you find a clear sign of him pulling away? Did it come with additional behaviors that tell you something is definitely changing? Don’t lash out with a speech about how he can’t commit.
There are strange and obvious reasons why he is acting this way. Getting to the bottom of things may not be as easy as asking ‘why,’ but it is worth a little drama. Here are two simple stress-free steps to take:
He’s pulling away; give him all the space he could need. Men seem to be able to focus on one thing at a time. So, if he is pulling away because of work, family, etc, give him space.
Succumbing to the ‘weird vibe’ trap will only distract him from what Superman feet he is trying to accomplish. With time, he will see you as a distraction rather than a helper.
Unless you are done with the relationship, this is not something you want to be.
‘But how can I give him space blindly?’ Close your eyes and hope for the best! You cannot push a man to share his problems; he’ll do it when he wants to.
So, during this weird time, visit your family, avoid calling and texting as much, and keep your interactions positive and short. He will come to you when he finally exits the thought bubble. And if he doesn’t, then you will have your answer.
The next step is doing nothing. Sometimes, being oblivious gets you farther than pestering him. You’ve probably asked him if something is wrong. He likely told you it was nothing. If that’s the case, then do nothing.
Do not act strange or continue asking questions. Instead, focus on yourself for a while. Do the things you would normally do alone. Support him as you would.
Taking this time to yourself could help you win him back or move on after considering the situation. Either way, you will be in a better place at the end of it.
If you are feeling the distance, chances are he’s putting it there. But to be sure, you now have a guide on the subtle and obvious signs of him pulling away.
Recognizing them could be the key to opening that always-locked emotional vulnerability door. In addition, you could take a step back and consider if your union is something you want to pursue.
So, keep your eyes open for the signs and your heart open for reconnection.
Decoding Relationship Dynamics: Unveiling Signs He’s Pulling Away
Explore the subtle yet crucial signs that he’s pulling away from your relationship. Learn to recognize shifts in communication, emotional engagement, and behavior.
Is your relationship showing signs of a shift? Learn to decipher the subtle cues indicating that your partner is distancing himself. Discover what to do if he’s pulling away.
Waithira, is a romance writer all the way from Kenya. She has been a full time writer for 9 years, and enjoys writing novels and blogging about how to improve your relationships. She is passionate about creating content that people can learn from and use to improve how they connect with those around them.