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One of the challenges for women in relationships is dealing with a man when he starts pulling away. Have you ever experienced that disappointing feeling when you text your sweetie and it’s hours before you get a one word response? Maybe you’ve recently made huge strides towards opening up and he responds by making plans to hang with his buddies, leaving little if any one-on-one time for the two of you. OUCH!!

The very best response in this kind of situation is to nag, bitch, threaten, and tell your guy he needs therapy… right?! We all know that’s not the way to go, but if we’re truly honest, we’ve probably done at least one of these in the past.

First things first; don’t get all worked up! It’s going to happen to every woman. I don’t care if you think you’re the ugliest person alive or your Gisele Bundchen. Before you get upset and reactive, dig a little deeper. Take some time to assess the situation and understand what’s really underneath it. I don’t know what’s going on in your specific relationship, but the story you’re telling yourself is probably misinformed and only partially true, if not totally inaccurate.

When our man starts pulling away, deep insecurities we have about ourselves are triggered.  Without realizing it, we hold on to negative beliefs about ourselves. We think we’re too fat, too needy, not successful enough, or unlovable. We easily come up with reasons that explain the unwanted behavior of our mate; which simply boils down to, NOT BEING GOOD ENOUGH!  Even the popular film, “He’s just not that into you,” feeds right into this belief.

However, there’s another possibility; your man might be struggling with getting closer.  In the well-known book, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” John Grey explains that, “men have to pull away before they can get closer.”  Think about it; men are not used to emotional intimacy. There are very few if any appropriate places for a man to really share his feelings. Most of their lives men are told things like, be a man, don’t cry, and don’t be a sissy.  Even today, it’s still not socially acceptable for men to show their sensitive side.  Consequently, men may actually crave intimacy more than they know.

As women open up emotionally and feel comfortable talking about feelings. We get together with our girlfriends and spill our guts. We allow ourselves to cry when watching a sad movie and feel totally shameless watching Oprah or Dr. Phill.  These actions are seen as signs of our femininity.

A man’s relationship with you is one of the few places he can experience intimacy.  Yet being intimate requires him to become vulnerable, share his weaknesses and his deeper feelings.  He wants this but he’s terrified. No wonder he pulls away.

So what’s the best way to get your man to bounce back? Give him space. Let him, “think”. Let him get his masculinity back by spending time with the guys. And most importantly, DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY!

In order for your man to feel safe getting closer, he has to know that you are a strong woman. If he’s going to open up and get vulnerable, he has to know that you can handle him. He has to feel that you love him, but don’t NEED him. A fine distinction. If you are needy for his love, if you cling when he pulls away, if you cry or whine and complain, he will feel that it is not safe to get closer.

When my man pulls away, I take it as an opportunity to invest some energy in myself. I like to go shopping, pain my nails, clean my apartment, and hang out with girlfriends. When you start shifting your focus on yourself in a positive way, it magnetizes your guy. He wants to be with a woman who knows how to use her energy wisely. He can feel your power and strength, your independence, and that is what gives him the signal that it’s okay to open up.

Be patient, I promise, you will have a clean apartment, a great pedicure, and your man will come around!

that’s all for now!

-Autumn

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