This is the complete guide for why guys suddenly get cold and distant.
In this in-depth guide you’re going to learn what I consider to be the ten reasons for why this happens.
- They’re entertaining the idea of someone else
- The “thrill” of the chase is gone
- Investment inequality
- It’s a defense mechanism
- They’re worried about hurting you
- Too much fighting or arguing
- They can’t communicate what they’re feeling
- Their avoidant tendencies overcome them
- They think the honeymoon period is supposed to last forever
- Stress outside of the relationship
So, if you’re ready to go “all in” on educating yourself then this is the guide for you.
Reason #1: Entertaining The Idea Of Someone Else
One of the things that I’ve always prided myself on with Ex Boyfriend Recovery was my ability to use real life data to back up my assertions. This guide is certainly no different.
When I entered the “research phase” for this article I went to our private facebook group full of men and women and asked them one simple question.
In all 70 people commented and after going through the data I was able to categories the answers into ten distinct categories. Those categories ended up being our 10 core reasons for why suddenly go cold on you.
So, what’s our first category?
Well, one of the reasons that a guy can become cold and distant is because he could be entertaining someone else.
Yep, it’s the 500lb elephant in the room no one wants to talk about.
What’s the best way to find out if this is occurring?
Well, I wish I could wave a wand and tell you immediately but the only surefire way I’ve ever come across is to simply wait and pay attention to their social media accounts.
Are they suddenly going out a lot or posting pictures with other women?
If so, it could be a sign that they’re lining up options and have you on the back burner.
One other interesting behavior of note.
They won’t ghost you completely if this is occurring. Instead, they’ll definitely play the hot and cold game. Meaning when things aren’t going well with “the other woman” they’ll come back to you and start flirting with you.
However, when things start going well with “the other woman” they’ll go back to her and entertain that.
Reason #2: The “Thrill” Of The Chase Is Gone
If you haven’t watched my video on “the 11 levers of love” I highly recommend you do so.
This iteration of the video is geared towards men but it certainly applies to women as well,
Now, watching that video should teach you a couple of things.
Firstly, we look at love the wrong way. We have a tendency to romanticize it. Instead, love should be looked at as nothing more than chemicals that, if the right stimulus is present, can be created.
And herein lies the problem with men who suddenly go cold.
Sometimes they get hooked on the “thrill” of the chase because they get hooked on the chemicals.
A long time ago a former member of our team wrote this amazing article called “the anatomy of a breakup” which talks in depth about what the chemicals that your brain produces look like when someone is in love.
If you look at the graphic above you’ll see that at the beginning of a relationship almost all the major “love producing” chemicals are elevated.
- Dopamine is high
- Norepinephrine is high
- Seratonin is high
- Cortisol is high
- Oxytocin is medium high
- Vasopressin is medium high
This is what “the thrill” of the chase looks like and some men get hooked on it to the point that it’s all the search for. They don’t care about going deep into a relationship because look what happens to the chemicals then,
All those elevated chemicals come down.
Perhaps the best comparison I can make is with investments.
Every investor has a different investment strategy.
Some look to short a stock.
Others look to “day trade”
Meanwhile the best investors usually buy low and hold on to the stock until it is maxed out and only then do they sell.
I always have looked at guys addicted to the thrill as the day traders. They are short term thinkers in love with short term gains but shoot themselves in the foot for the long term.
Speaking of investments.
Reason #3: Investment Inequality
So, this one is an interesting one because there are specific layers to it.
I just did an article on how to make a man commit to you and I make a strong case for why I believe getting “investment” is among one of the most important factors for commitment.
So, what is comprised of investment?
- Spending time with you physically
- Investing money into the relationship
- Spending emotional capital
- Texting with you all day
- Talking on the phone with you
These are just a few of the most common applications of investment in relationships. So, what ends up happening is when a guy senses you are “over-investing” into the relationship compared to them it can trigger their avoidant side causing them to go cold.
This comment to our Facebook poll puts it perfectly.
They’re no longer invested and slowly start getting annoyed and resentful when the partner tries to become closer
As much as I want to dive deeper into this I have a whole “reason” dedicated to picking this apart.
Instead what I’d like to quickly shift our focus towards is how to combat this issue.
As a general rule of thumb we only want you to be investing as much into the relationship is the guy is.
Reason #4: It’s A Defense Mechanism
This was without a doubt the most popular answer when I looked through the data.
In fact, the very first person who put it forth was a guy.
From the horses mouth,
It’s a defense mechanism to only protect myself. It’s also to teach myself or tell myself that it’s time to step away for my own good. That said, whatever I’m telling myself to walk away from or not care about has become unhealthy.
I wordsmithed his answer a bit but I find this incredibly instructive because there’s a lot of insight he’s giving us here.
We get the core reason as being a “defense mechanism” to protect a guy but he’s also saying he has to tell himself that the woman isn’t good for anymore (even if she is) to maintain that protection.
I think we can definitely draw some avoidant comparisons here.
As you well know (or should know) based on my research into attachment styles someone who has an avoidant attachment style will,
Those with an avoidant attachment style are extremely independent, self-directed, and often uncomfortable with intimacy. They’re basically commitment-phobes and experts at rationalizing their way out of any intimate situation.
Now, I’m definitely not saying our buddy here has an avoidant attachment style. I’m simply saying that “protecting yourself by pushing others away” is a core strategy employed by those with avoidant attachment styles.
Reason #5: Worried About Hurting You
Sometimes a guy will become distant with you if they’re worried about hurting you.
Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve strung someone along?
You didn’t do it to hurt the other person but rather to spare their feelings.
The first time I ever engaged in this behavior was in college. I was in a humanities class and spotted this girl that I thought looked kind of cute. I don’t exactly remember how I came to sit near her but somehow I did that.
But as is so often the case the reality didn’t quite meet the expectations. What I had built up in my head as this great love affair began to stagnate as I noticed some alarming red flags.
She had mentioned to me that she had a boyfriend which didn’t totally bother me (I was very confident with myself) but the way she allowed herself to be treated by this boyfriend began to worry me. She had caught the guy cheating on her constantly and still she refused to leave him.
Secondly she had mentioned that she was interested in witchcraft.
It sounds like I’m joking but I’m really not.
Yet I wasn’t man enough to simply just tell her that I wasn’t interested as she was already in a lot of pain. It got to the point that one day she literally told me she was willing to become friends with benefits with me.
And for me this was the final red flag.
It sounds like a dream for me, right? This is what every guy is supposed to dream about but I didn’t want a woman who was this desperate.
So, internally I had made the decision that I wasn’t interested in her anymore but instead of stating that outright I decided it would be easier for everyone involved to slowly become more distant to the point that I eventually ghosted her.
Analyzing my actions now I did it for one simple reason.
I didn’t want to hurt her but I see now that by reacting the way I did I probably ended up hurting her more in the long run.
Reason #6: Too Much Fighting Or Arguing
I’ve only ever had one relationship like this in my life. It seems like there was a fight every other day (usually about stupid stuff.)
As human beings we tend to avoid conflict as much as possible.
Which is kind of interesting when you consider that all the greatest stories we love are rife with conflict. So, it’s really a situation where we like to watch conflict play out for others but not for ourselves.
Yet when conflict does occur one of two things happens.
- We either fight back
- We “flight”
Which kind of covers the whole “cold” and “distant” side of things.
Not really sure I need to talk too much more about this one.
Reason #7: They Can’t Communicate What They’re Feeling
This commenter of my poll brings up a really interesting point.
“It could be because they’re not having their needs met or there is a love language mismatch. Predominately because they are not good at communicating what they are feeling, need, want or expect.”
Believe it or not but understanding children has a lot to do with understanding grown men. After all, the entire basis of “attachment styles” is predicated on the idea that our attachment styles are formed as children and are carried with us as adults.
Children are interesting because when they’re frustrated they often don’t know how to communicate that frustration.
Let’s say that you have a kid who is upset that another child took his toy. Instead of going up to that child and saying something along of the lines of,
“Hey, that wasn’t very nice you should give that back to me.”
The kid will pull the child’s hair or push the child.
Is that the right way to communicate?
But that’s often what occurs.
Having a guy become cold or distant with you is the “adult version” of that. You see, as we grow and gain experience we learn about the power of passive aggressiveness and we wield it with authority when we see fit.
Reason #8: The Avoidant Tendencies Overcome Them
This was my own addition to the list because I’ve seen it happen so often that it’s ridiculous not to include it.
If you want a complete breakdown of men with avoidant tendencies then I recommend you watch this video.
I know it looks like the video is geared towards “exes” but it’s really not. It’s a universal concept and definitely can explain why men can suddenly become distant.
So what does an avoidant attachment style actually mean for a guy?
The calling card here is a lack of intimacy. They’ll either avoid it altogether or keep their partners at a distance.
A lot of people think that someone with an avoidant attachment will avoid relationships altogether but this is simply not true.
They do form relationships; they simply find ways of staying distant within the confines of the relationship.
You see this a lot when it comes to expressing emotions or dealing with conflict.
They’ll withdraw or simply avoid it.
I’d even go as far as saying that they have a pretty big mistrust in depending on others in relationships.
So, what you need to pay attention to here is if they become distant after you have a really emotional conversation with them. If that’s the case then what you’re probably experiencing is the fallout of the avoidant tendency.
Reason #9: They Think The Honeymoon Period Is Forever
Remember above when I talked about “the thrill” of the chase?
This is essentially a sub category of that concept.
There are some men that have unrealistic expectations with regards to the honeymoon period in that they think it’s going to last forever. Perhaps the most interesting insight I’ve gleaned over the years is that this is something that on a conscious level they are aware as being unrealistic. However on the unconscious level they set their standards so ridiculously high that no one can ever live up to them.
And the unconscious mind almost always wins out.
Well, when the honeymoon period ends your serotonin and cortisol levels start to go back to normal. This happens so gradually that we aren’t aware it’s even occurring which sort of tricks us into believing that we can feel this way forever.
And that becomes our internal belief unconsciously.
And what’s fascinating is that men who believe that the honeymoon period will last forever end up in the self revolving door of relationships where no-one can ever satisfy them.
Thus, the begin to become cold and distance themselves from you.
Reason #10: Stress Outside Of The Relationship
We might think we are great multitaskers but science has proven that we are not.
In fact the longer we “multi-task” the more those tasks take longer to complete and we end up making mistakes on them.
And that’s just with seemingly simple tasks.
Imagine if something really heavy happens in your life creating stress outside of your relationship with a guy?
- Let’s say that your parents suddenly pass away.
- You have a final due in a week
- A huge deadline at work
- And you have a guy who desperately wants your attention
What do you choose to spend time on?
Sometimes the stress outside of your relationship becomes so overbearing that you decide you need to put things on hold to focus on it.
This can lead a guy to suddenly becoming cold and distant.
Make sure you pay attention to what’s going on in a guys life outside of his relationship with you.