Tarkesha’s boyfriend stopped having sex with her. “He said he needed some space. The next thing I knew, he was breaking up with me. We got back together 10 years later…and he did it again!”
Angela’s fiancé woke up one morning and said, “I want my life back. I need you to move out.” “I was so confused and wondered what I did wrong,” she said. “He told me we were still together, and I tried convincing myself he was telling the truth. He got increasingly harsh with me. It was like talking to ICE! We broke up a few months later.”
These sisters were confused and heartbroken by what seemed to be a breakup that blindsided them, and as a result, they both took a long time to recover before they tried dating again.
Do you wonder why men pull away, especially when they came on strong in the beginning, claimed you as their girlfriend, and seemed committed to a future with you (with the ring to prove it)?
Do you find yourself freaking out when he starts slipping away and try to prove to him that you’re a good girlfriend, investing more time, buying gifts for him, running errands, taking care of his kids, making yourself available whenever he needs you, and doing everything you can to prevent what you know is inevitably coming?
If so, please pay close attention to what I’m about to reveal to you, because it can be the difference between you tearing up your apartment like Isa did on the latest episode of Insecure, or walking away with confidence, knowing that there is a partner out there who will commit to you.
There are two ways men pull away:
- The Slow Fade
He comes on strong, pronounces his affection for you, sells you a dream of the future he has planned…and then slowly things change. You may notice it but chalk it up to his job loss, or his busyness at work. Maybe you try to talk to him about it, but he denies anything is different.
You don’t talk as much (maybe only 1 night per week).
You only hang out on the weekends.
You feel disconnected.
And before you know it, the relationship is over before it really got started.
- The Overnight Breakup
Sometimes it can feel like your man’s feelings for you changed overnight. He picks a fight, or he just walks in and announces he doesn’t want to be with you anymore. He says he’s no longer “all in” to the future HE proposed for you. He may blame you for suffocating him. He makes you the enemy and accuses you of being the source of all relationship problems.
He stuffed all of his negative feelings inside and then projected them onto you.You are deeply hurt because it seems like he’s out to hurt you on purpose. Where is the man who made you feel safe, loved, understood?
If a man withdraws unexpectedly from you, chances are he has an avoidant attachment style. Authors Amir Levine, M.D. and Rachel S. F. Heller, M.A. say attachment theory can explain how we connect with another person and how we define love. A person who is avoidant desires intimacy but feels suffocated when someone gets too close and will suddenly pull away. When there are relationship problems, instead of talking it out, they act out, projecting their feelings of anger, guilt and/or fear onto their partners. Instead of being direct about their needs or feelings, they’ll do something to cause irreparable damage to the relationship to get out of it (like cheating, for example).
If a man pulled away from you, chances are it’s not you, it’s him! I know it’s heartbreaking, but you did nothing wrong, except dodge a bullet because these people make for difficult partners.
Have you ever dealt with a man who pulled away? Was it a Slow Fade or an Overnight Breakup? Tell your story below