What to Do When a Guy Pulls Away: 5 Powerful Tips

These tips for when a guy pulls away will help you hold on to your power and take care of your relationship with yourself, too.

Published June 17, 2024
Man having boring date with talkative woman in outdoor cafe

He hasn't called or texted in a while, and it's perfectly normal for your mind to start making up some theories about why he's being so quiet. Knowing what to do when a guy pulls away can help you be prepared for the inevitable fluctuations that can happen in any romantic relationship (plus those moments when he really is starting to ghost you). We have tons of tips to help you get through this.

How to Tell if a Guy Is Pulling Away

Life gets busy, and sometimes, there's just too much going on for him to call or text as much as he did. At the same time, people really do pull away for a ton of emotional reasons. How do you know if he's pulling away or just busy?

Related: 7 Real Reasons Men Ignore Women & Potential Partners

The short answer is to ask him. Going the direct route puts you out there emotionally and can feel pretty vulnerable, but it's the only real way to know if a guy is pulling away. There are a few ways to phrase this, but these are some of our faves:

  • I've noticed you've been a little less chatty lately. Do you need some space, or are you just busy?
  • Are you feeling like you need a little distance in our relationship?
  • Have you been really busy lately? I feel like we haven't talked much, and I wanted to make sure things are cool between us.
Quick Tip

Worried that directly asking him what's going on might make you seem needy? Don't stress: being needy is normal when you feel an emotional connection with someone. Go ahead and ask him. If his behavior really has changed, you definitely have a right to know what's up.

5 Powerful Things to Do When a Man Pulls Away

You'll read lots of random stuff out there about how to act and what to do when a guy pulls away, but here's the thing: playing games is only going to make you sad. If you pretend to be less interested or are strict with yourself about how often you text or how long you wait to call back, you're going to end up feeling like you're not living your emotional truth. We've got some things you can do instead.

Give Him (a Little) Space

People sometimes get a little quiet and need some alone time to process their emotions or deal with a bad mood, and giving them some space is a way to respect that need — to a point. This does not mean you should ghost him or make yourself miserable. Just give him a day or two to feel better. If that doesn't make a difference, it's time to have a talk with him about what's going on.

Recognize That You Can't Change His Behavior

We get it. The way he's acting really bothers you. We've all been there at some point, and it's rough. There's something that's important to keep in mind, however: you can't change his behavior. You can tell him how his behavior makes you feel, but that's about it. It's up to him to decide if he's going to change.

Communicate How You Feel When He Pulls Away

Suspicious man listening a woman talking in winter in the street

While you can't change him, you can tell him why you need him to change himself. This is absolutely what you should do when a guy pulls away. Explain how you feel and what you need from him as clearly as you can while keeping things non-confrontational. This can be a little tricky, but you owe it to yourself to communicate your feelings. His reaction isn't within your control, but you deserve to be heard.

Do Something With Your Friends

Fluctuations in his attention are normal, and spending too much time worrying about it can be really hard on your emotional well-being. Instead of obsessing about what's going on with him, put some energy into your friendships. This will help you get some social attention and interaction that doesn't come from him, and you'll feel better.

Let Him Go if He Wants to Go

When a guy pulls away, what to do depends on how serious the situation is. If he's just needing some space, he can tell you that. But if he's not respecting or valuing you, it's important just to let him go. This is a really hard thing to do, but it can help to think of it as a way to show respect for yourself. You deserve a guy who wants to be with you as much as you want to be with him. Choose yourself, and don't chase after him.

Related: 5 Empowering Ways to Respond to Ghosting

Remember That Your Longest Relationship Is With Yourself

What you do when a guy is pulling away sends a message to him, but it also sends a message to you. Ultimately, the longest relationship you will have in your life is your relationship with yourself. Don't sacrifice that when you feel like a guy is pulling back on his attention or interest.

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What to Do When a Guy Pulls Away: 5 Powerful Tips