By Chris Seiter

Updated on March 8th, 2021

Having someone you care about pull away from you is one of the worst feelings in the world. It is only eclipsed by not understanding why they are pulling away.

It’s all about your reaction to him pulling away really.

The first thing to remember is not to panic.

There are many reasons a man can have for pulling away.

  • He feels trapped or is afraid of losing his freedom
  • He doesn’t want to get serious
  • You’ve been stressing and he needs a break from it
  • Your goals don’t line up with his
  • You need to much validation or don’t provide him with enough validation
  • He just doesn’t see a future with you
  • He’s uncomfortable with where he is in his own life
  • He doesn’t get along with your family
  • The list can go on and on and on…

When a guy starts to pull away, your first instinct is going to be to panic and chase him. To be honest, that’s probably going to be your second, third, and fourth instinct too.

That little voice in your head probably looks a lot like one of the characters in the movie “Inside Out.”


I’ve got something to say to that little voice.

Take a chill pill.

No, seriously.

That’s step #1.

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Don’t Panic

Think of your guy as a huge jungle cat on edge.

No sudden movements.

Men cycle between wanting intimacy and freedom. Chasing after him when he pulls away undermines his desire for independence and shows no respect for his need for space.

Instead, you are going make calculated actions that are formulated specifically to draw him closer.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

It’s not.

It is just going to take some will-power on your part to shut that little voice up.

So, what are you supposed to do when your guy starts to pull away?

Well, we have a tactic we use in Ex Boyfriend Recovery that is highly effective in getting a guy who’s pulled away to come back.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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The Push/Pull Method

You do something that catches your guys attention. That’s the pull.

Based on your history he will expect you to continue showing him attention. Instead, you are going to go against your natural instincts to chase after him like he expects. Instead, you are going to either stop showing him attention or be indifferent to his presence. That’s the Push. The Push is what keeps him hooked.

That’s just the overview. It seems pretty simplistic, but it isn’t as easy as it seems.

You’d be surprised how easy it is to overlook the Push.

Have you ever been fishing?

Have you ever caught a fish?

Well, if you haven’t, allow me to explain how it works.

You start with the standard supplies, fishing pole, line, bait. Easy peasy, right?

Now, here’s something that is paramount.

Wait for it….


The number one reason people are unsuccessful in getting the fish… or the guy, is lack of patience.

They try to reel them in too fast and end up letting their little fishy get loose and swim away.

Why does it work that way?

I can give you a one word answer:


Just like when you throw a ball through the air and there is wind resistance that slows it down,

And there is a resistance pulling a fish through water that threatens to pull it off the hook,

He may not notice when you first start to reel him in, but his subconscious will. And his natural reaction will be to fight against the Pull.

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So, what can you do?

Well, what you want to do is lightly pull the fish in.Then, once you get him a little bit closer, you give him a little slack.

A mixture of the resistance and the sudden lack of Pull does an incredible thing. It drives the hook deeper and you get a better grip.

The more gentle you are with this process, the less likely you are to jerk the metaphorical hook out of his metaphorical lip and lose the fish.

After a  little bit of slack, you resume reeling the fish in, and then let off.

Again and again until the fish is reeled in completely.

Remember, that is the goal to have the fish reeled pulled in completely.

It kind of looks like this,

Do you see where I am going with this analogy?

You essentially want to make your ex feel like you are still interested and then make him feel like he has lost that.

Let me give you an real-life example.

Let’s say that you have gotten through most of the Ex Recovery process. You’re at the point where you and your ex have been talking on the phone. The two of you just had an amazing conversation. This can be classified as “the Pull.”

You do things the right way and leave the conversation on a high note, citing some vague yet exciting thing you have to go do. This is “the Pull.” You don’t really have to do anything except give him some space. His mind will have him hanging on until the next pull.

  1. Cast a line – Do something that will get his attention
  2. Get him hooked – Wait for his attention to be directed at you
  3. Pull – interact with him
  4. Push – Give him some slack, until you notice that he is starting to reach out on his own
  5. Pull – Interact again
  6. Push – More slack
  7. Pull/Push – continue pushing and pulling until he is unknowingly engaged in the relationship again
  8. Preventative Measures – start doing your part to keep him from feeling like he needs to pull away again… actually lets talk about this

Preventative Measures

This one I’m not going to go too in depth with, but it is important to consider what part you could have played in him pulling away.

Before you go jumping all over me, I am not saying it’s your fault. Definitely not. He chose to pull away for whatever reason and even if you did play a part, you should never feel wholly responsible.

What I am saying is that there are two people in a relationship. Each contributes different things, both good and bad.

You should be mindful of your contributions to that relationship.

Are you disengaged?
Are you clingy?
Does your family make him feel unwelcome?
Do you not like him hanging out with his friends? Or his family?

It may not be your fault, but you can choose to make the environment for a relationship as amiable as possible.

The truth is, most of the time when a guy pulls away, it as nothing to do with you. Most of the time it is just a general unhappiness with the relationship or a struggle he is dealing with that he wants to handle on his own.

Even though your feelings are bound to be hurt, try to be understanding. It will be hard to do, but in the long run it’s the only way to make his resistance to being pulled in less difficult.

One of these issues I find clients struggling the most with is not giving him a hard time about pulling away in the first place. Acknowledging it is one thin. But continuously harping about it will make him pull away again… and most likely not return.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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No, once you get his attention back, don’t mention that he drifted away in the first place. Just show appreciation for the fact that he’s in your life. Be appreciative of the things he does do.

Attention Grabber

No, I am not suggesting you do anything dramatic. But you should start considering some things you could do to catch his attention.

Social media is one of the best ways to do this.

Consider Instagram. There are two types of people that are on there: Influencers and everyone else.

Influencers consider every single thing they post to be an advertisement. They don’t post all willy-nilly. They put actually thought into it.

Their pictures are eye-catching and symmetrical. They include a caption that includes details, but not too many details.

And they tag other people when necessary, creating a network of people who seem “important.”

To be as indelicate as I dare to, there are some people that simply increase your perceived value by being in your life and some people who… don’t. That’s all I’ll say about that.

There is another extreme. If you are normally very active on social media, perhaps a temporary vacation from it is due.

This cuts him off from access to you. You get his attention simply by doing something out of character… like not posting on social media.

5: Enjoy Some Time to Yourself

Don’t look at a little space between you as a terrible thing. During the moments in between pulls you need to do something for yourself. Do something fun.

You definitely don’t want it to look like you are just sitting on your thumbs waiting for him to pull himself back in.

The only way to have a successful relationship is for you both to be able to balance being an individual along with being a couple.

So, how do you take care of yourself.

Well, you are going to avoid letting it look like you are focused on him 100% of the time by actually taking some time to do stuff that you enjoy that has absolutely nothing to do with him. You can choose whether or not to post it all on social media. But what ever it is that you do, you want to take your mind off of the situation temporarily and enjoy yourself.

For me, that might mean playing tennis with some buds.

For one of our writers that might mean going to see some live music.

For you that might mean a spa day.

Who knows?!

The possibilities are endless.

Just take some time for yourself. It is a great way to give him some slack anyways.

Let’s Tie This All Together

Okay so, quick synopsis of what we’ve gone over today.

Wow! we covered some complicated stuff. I hope that you will take all of this to heart because it really does work.

First, why were we here?

Well, there’s a guy in your life who has pulled away or is pulling away. Right?

And our goal is to get him back without losing him.

Got it.

It sounds a lot harder than it is. In fact, the most difficult part here is going to be that patience we were talking about. Everything in you will tell you to hurry hurry hurry. And I will say this one more time. Don’t. It will only push him further away faster.


  1. Don’t Panic. Nothing good comes from panicking.
  2. Initiate The Push Pull Method,  a tried and proven method to pull him back in without losing him.
  3. (also known as 2a, because it is part of the Push Pull Method) Grab His Attention. The most effective way to grab his attention is to utilize social media.
  4. (also known as 2b because you can start working on these during the Push Pull Method) Put Preventative Measures in place. The best defense is a good offense, right? Guard your future relationship against issues of the past by addressing the things you have control over.
  5. Take some Me Time. Don’t get so wrapped up in the situation that you don’t take care of yourself.

Alright. You think you might have all that?

Good deal!

Now, let’s talk about where you can get more information. Because, I know some of you just can’t get enough information.

Here is a video that will help you with getting his attention.

Yes yes I know it says “How to Make Your Ex Miss You,” but it can be used in this situation as well.

And don’t forget to check in on some of our other articles. We have plenty of topics to choose from that can help you further on your journey to get the guy. And, as always, we do offer Coaching with our experts for those of you who need help with more complicated situations.

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5 thoughts on “What To Do When A Man Pulls Away”

  1. Lee Anne

    July 3, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    What if YOU’RE the one who breaks up with him, but you never wanted to? Like, you had to because the relationship wasn’t happy anymore due to long distance (communication issues, differences in dealing with conflict, etc.) ?? He wants me back so badly, but I feel if I do it’ll just go back to the way it was where I was not happy, and neither was he. Yet he still wanted and wants to be with me and tough it out.

    Help, I feel like I’m breaking my own heart?

  2. Blair

    May 15, 2019 at 3:55 am

    Hi, so I, back together with this man and everything is going good. Until he told me that he still sees this girl he used to date when we were not dating (as friends-according to him). I knew they still were friendly because they sometimes see each other at work. But I did not know they hung out alone together. My man claims that he thought I knew, and is apologetic, but would not agree to stop seeing or talking to her. I don’t know where to go from here because clearly it is a huge issue for me, but I don’t wanna push too hard or be too controlling

  3. Sarah

    May 9, 2019 at 10:39 am

    In my situation the relationship has been very on-off for the last 6 months, he pulls away, I do NC he comes back. Last time he came back he suggested we make it official & change our facebook statuses to in a relationship, I was shocked, I agreed .. 100s of likes & comments later, he pulled the rug out from under me over a petty argument. I was mortified. I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s wrestling with giving up his independence & being hurt again (he’s had some bad breakups). I swore this was the last time, I unfriended him on facebook & went into NC with no intention of going back. I’m now 10 days in & thinking of trying again (I must be mad) but I can’t help thinking that if he let his guard down we could be great together. How can I stop this cycle?

  4. Sofia

    February 8, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Hi Chris,
    We were talking as per normal until a few days ago that we had a minor disagreement. In fact, he said something real and truthful which I couldn’t handle it. And so, whenever I get upset with my husband, I always say “Ouch”. This caused my husband to go silent and also said that I was beginning to upset him. He pulled himself away for a day. I called him several times but he didn’t answer at all. The next day, I called him again but this time, he did answered but his tone was sad and distant. I asked him if he would call me back, he said he would. But I really miss my husband and I called him again. We are in a long distance marriage and we will be seeing each other in a 2 weeks’ time. My husband wants connection and I want his attention to feel connected to him. I feel deprived of his attention. What do I do now?

  5. R

    February 8, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    I did no contact and reached out to my ex and it went really well, we’ve been talking again for the past two months. A few days ago we got into a small fight and worked it out and we were fine, still talking for a few days. Two days ago, I don’t hear from him until the afternoon where he sends one text, I answer, and then that’s it. Same thing with yesterday, one text, I answer, no answer. I texted him before I went to bed asking if there was a reason he was ignoring me and he said he wasn’t, I said okay just feels like we’re not really talking and it’s out of no where and asked if we were still good. And he said no and said I was crazy. Which is also very out of no where because he’s never really said that before. I’m just confused on what to do because this happened literally over night. Do you think the push pull method would work in this situation or should I do no contact again?