Why do men suddenly pull away when things seemed to be going so well? Growing up, I was conditioned to court a woman as a demonstration of my worth in hopes that she’d like me. Well, this overly romantic behavior often bit me in the butt because I was trying to impress someone I really didn’t even know or like yet. Isn’t that always the case? A man initially comes on strong because we are meant to be the hunters.
So here’s what often happened: If I wasn’t feeling “love” for this person after a while, I would pull away or disappear (usually getting labeled an asshole or player) only to repeat the cycle over again. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like the bad guy and that something was wrong with me just because I had doubts about a relationship.
As I peeled the layers of why this kept happening, I had an epiphany. I was seeking outside validation from another to substantiate my self worth.
Of course, I refused to believe it when I heard it from my friends, but it was true. For years I followed this co-dependent pattern of chasing love over & over again believing that’s how we achieve happiness.
Does any of this sound familiar? Have you ever met a man like this? Even dated or fell in love with him?
The Universe has a magical way of pulling your “stuff” out into the light for closer examination. Not too long ago I met someone who I didn’t have to chase and she seemed to like me just for me… how cool is that? Someone who liked me and I was terrified. Hearing her praise me and like me forced me to face something I didn’t know about myself… I’m lacking in self love.
Here’s the thing, I treated her with kindness, care, integrity and for the most part was a total gentleman. None of the so called game playing many men do, just an honest demonstration of getting to know someone. However, each kindness & compliment from her was like a dagger because (and I can’t believe I’m going to say this) I felt my self worth was almost non-existent and I had to face how little I liked myself at times.
The hard part was that two people were involved. And while I did the right thing by sharing my feelings with as much transparency as I’m capable of, there is still an unwritten expectation that a man needs to be the leader of the relationship. Because I didn’t have a clear roadmap of where I was supposed to go, it scared me and had me very conflicted.
Inner work is messy and painful at times. I’m facing some deep shadow stuff and it feels very uncomfortable. By the way, this had nothing to do if I wanted to stay or wanted to go, she’s a fantastic person. This is merely a reflection of the stories that cause our fears to rear its ugly head.
Many people have a deficiency when it comes to self worth and often our deepest wound is our “not good enough” story. You might be wondering why I share this with you… I do so because I believe most dating coaches don’t talk about the inner conflict men experience and it’s easier to suggest dumping a broken man rather than having compassion for his experience.
I firmly believe that it is only in romantic relationships that we can face or confront some of these deep wounds surrounding love & commitment. Men need to feel safe with a woman before they can open up about feelings of inadequacy and share what’s on their heart in a completely authentic way. One of the most important ways that you can help him to feel safe with you is by completely accepting him, warts and all. And the flip side holds true as well…you must love and accept yourself and have appropriate boundaries in place. If he sees that you’re emotionally stable, he’ll feel more comfortable and safe with you.
Inner conflicts are a big reason that cause men to pull away and once you understand how to make him feel safe and accepted, he’ll want to draw closer to you.
If you’ve found yourself in this situation a few times and want to learn more, you’ll love my audio program Why Men Pull Away. You’ll learn how to know a flight risk when you meet him and the secrets to getting him to want to stay close.