Has this happened to you?
You meet a guy and the attraction is undeniable. He seems very into you. He calls you and wants to see you. You’re having a really good time with him.
But, then, he withdraws and becomes scarce. This can take several forms. Maybe he:
- Takes several days to contact you after you sleep with him
- Disappears after a deep conversation or particularly fun evening
- Comes closer, then pulls away repeatedly
- Disappears and never returns
John Gray, author of Mars and Venus on a Date, has an explanation for this manly behavior that is based on hormones. This is what I learned from John and it makes a lot of sense. Finally, we have something to blame for this hard to understand conduct!
Men feel love when a woman is happy resulting from something he did. This causes him to bond with her. Once he bonds, oxcytocin, another hormone, gets pumped into his system. While oxcytocin helps women relax and causes them to bond and fall in love after sex, this hormone makes men feel stressed. This is partly because their testosterone levels drop below normal.
As a result, men often withdraw to recoop. They need to remember their independence and do “guy stuff” in order to rebuild their testosterone to normal levels. That’s when they are ready to come back to you. Turns out this is all very normal for the regular guy. Too much closeness can cause him to retreat and this is a direct results of his hormones.
As a dating coach for women dating over 40 or dating after divorce, I hope gaining insight into a man’s brain chemistry and hormone reactions bring you some comfort. Particularly in this case, it’s not you it’s him and his hormones. For once, men’s hormones are the root of a problem and not yours!
There are a number of things that can happen to interfere with a man’s desire to return:
- Some men can’t handle closeness even if they want it, so they move on.
- Sometimes women feel a man pull away and in response they want to talk about what has changed. This unfortunately often makes a man want to run.
- A woman who understands this natural process, is willing to observe his reaction to see how he resolves the situation.
As a single woman, the very best thing you can do is give him his space. It might be just a day or two. If it starts to stretch into a week or more, then you’ll need to make your own decision on whether or not you should move on yourself. Don’t pressure your date or ask a lot of questions no matter how much you are dying to know what happened.
Thanks to John for providing this explanation of what happens to men and why some disappear just when things seem to be getting good. I hope it provides some relief knowing that you did nothing wrong and in fact, it might have little to do with you specifically. It’s just his hormones. Go figure.