Understanding Men in a Long-Distance Relationship

Need help understanding how to tell if a guy likes you long distance? What can you do about a man who is pulling away? Discover how to handle the lag in his attention.

understanding menIs He Pulling Away?

“Dear Ronnie The Love & Dating Coach for Women,

I met this great guy online and we’ve been ‘dating’ long-distance for 7 months. I live in California and he lives in the U.K. 

The moment we started chatting, we hit it off and talk or message every day. We’re very attracted to each other and have already exchanged I love you’s.

I finally met him, and we had a blissful two weeks of bonding together. Of course, we were intimate (6 months of physically longing for each other is a long time!) and the sex was fantastic.

It was difficult to leave him after spending every waking moment together and he even introduced me to his parents, and I spent time with his 3-year-old son.

When He Pulls Away Should I Ignore Him?

Now, being back almost a week, I feel some anxiety. Maybe it’s separation anxiety? We’ve Skyped only a few times this week and he’s had visitors, so I haven’t ‘seen’ him. He messaged me and told me he loves me, but other than that hasn’t initiated contact in a day or so.

Maybe I’m overthinking this, but could it be that he’s pulling away from me? It feels like I have more of a need to see and talk to him than he does for me. It’s not that he’s cold, it’s that he’s become unavailable. When he pulls away, should I ignore him?

I knew going in that a long-distance relationship would be hard. It’s difficult to know what to do or how to act when he isn’t physically here. And maybe I have trouble understanding men?

What Can I Expect in a Long Distance Relationship?

Should I call or message him when he’s not initiating contact? What’s the protocol in a long-distance relationship and what should I expect?

I read with great interest your stand on women ‘pursuing’ men (don’t do it), but I hate to think that he and I haven’t already established an open line of communication by now.

He hasn’t indicated any level of annoyance when I’ve gone overboard trying to reach him, but I don’t want to push him away by appearing desperate or needy. (Even though I feel like I am!)

Understanding Men If He Needs Space

So, I wonder: Is it necessary to give someone ‘space’ when there is already an abundance of geographical space?

Is Skyping every day and chatting while we play an online game together too much?

I am really into this man and am hopeful about a future together.

Please help me with some of your amazing insight,

California Dreamer

An Anxious Attachment Style

Hi Dreamer,

You could be overthinking this and are showing signs of having an Anxious Attachment style according to Dr. Amir Levine’s book Attached.

It’s not a bad thing, but it is important to recognize what triggers your anxiousness. Distance could certainly do it, as well as, declining availability.

Because you’re anxious, you’re looking for a bit more security and assurance that your relationship is still on track.

However, you also admitted it’s only been a day or so since you’ve heard from him. That might be a change, but not necessarily a new pattern, right?

You are feeling insecure and that’s putting you on alert, which might be premature.

You probably need more time to know for sure if he’s pulling away. I will say that keeping up that kind of daily contact is not easy.

Sometimes after actually meeting, the excitement can slow down or even wear off. That certainly has been known to happen and something to know about understanding men.

When He Pulls Away, Give Him Space

understanding menWhile I agree, you’ve been ‘seeing’ each other for seven months, that’s not a true relationship. Skyping and gaming are not the same as a relationship with face-to-face dates.

Yet, even if he lived nearby, I would give the same dating advice which is this: Give him space. You have already seen that pushing is not working, so it’s time to back off.

When he pulls away and you give him space, one of two things will happen:

  1. He’ll come to you as you leave space for him to miss you
  2. You won’t hear from him which is your biggest fear

However, both of these options are BETTER than pursuing him further.

If he is just busy with visitors, you’ll look unappealing and desperate for his attention and that could muck things up for sure.

Give Him Space to Miss You

When it comes to understanding men, know that a relationship is often like a dance, even as years go by.

Sometimes you simply have to give him space to miss you. Otherwise, he can feel cornered and withdraw further which is not the reaction you want.

I could be completely off base, but I have heard this kind of story before. You think you are “dating” for months. It feels real even though there’s a bit of romantic fantasy for both of you. Then you meet and have an amazing time.

It’s fun and incredibly romantic. Sadly, this has nothing to do with building a future together. Nor does it indicate whether or not he is serious about you.

How To Tell If A Guy Likes You Long Distance? Let Go To Know

I encourage you to let go and see what happens. It’s not easy, especially when you are feeling anxious. But you’ll see how he responds.

If he comes back to you, then you know he really cares. If he doesn’t, better to know that he’s no longer interested.

One way or another, you might as well find out rather than waste several more months on a long-distance relationship with a man who doesn’t want what you want – true love.

Understanding men in terms of their interest is a whole lot easier when you simply watch how they treat you and what they do to keep you.

Watch What He Does

understanding menIf a man only has time to text, takes hours to respond, or lets days go by, he’s letting you know that you aren’t that important to him.

The most important thing to use as a measure of a man’s genuine interest is what he does to spend quality time with you. Far more telling than words which are easy and might mean very little.

If he starts talking about your next visit, then he’s planning to be with you again and that is a more positive sign for a future.

But if you don’t want to move there and you aren’t sure if he’d move to you, this long-distance relationship might not be going anywhere.

Dating Advice for the Future

In the future, should this long-distance relationship not work out, look for a man who is local. You will feel less anxious when a man lives nearby and it’s easy to spend time with him.

Figuring out how to tell if a guy likes you long distance can be very difficult, but if you managed to do the right thing, then it will be all worth it.

Long-distance relationships can be so romantic, fun and exciting, but if you want to actually spend time with someone special, the distance makes it nearly impossible.


Ready to find a quality man? Listen to my Free Audio Program 5 Surefire Ways to Attract a Quality Guy

Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony, MSN.com, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

258 thoughts on “Understanding Men in a Long-Distance Relationship”

  1. Hey Ronnie! I’ve been talking to this guy online for 5 months. We’ve had some vid chats and message almost everyday. We were planning to meet in 4 months but it also seems like the “relationship” has changed. We have not discussed our intentions towards each other. I am not sure if i want to discuss it right now because I’d like to meet him first before anything but I am also anxious that he is getting uninterested. Frequency has changed and takes hours to reply (different timezones) but get he is busy but how hard is it to just reply?

    When we do discuss plans for our meeting in a few months, should i discuss what we are and ask what his intentions are or leave it to see where it goes when we get there? Thank you

    • Hi Anony, This is a virtual relationship. How can either of you be committed when you have never met? If he lives in another country you have no idea who he really is or if he’s married, etc. You only know what he tells you. Now he’s losing interest. Why are you so invested in this virtual relationship and willing to wait months to see him?

      Most of the time people in long-distance relationships like this NEVER meet. He might be filling an empty spot in your heart but there are no kisses, no meals together, to physical touch, no true progress. After you meet, there’s still no guarantee you’ll ever see him again. You are putting your romantic life on hold for this guy that you don’t even have plans to meet! It’s time to date local. Then if this guy someday wants to meet, plans it, and shows up, you can see if you still have interest in him. I hope you go for the real thing locally.

  2. hello Ronnie, my boyfriend and I just started this LDR after living together for 6 years. We both felt we needed some time apart to work on ourselves. there hasn’t really been any issues, we talk , video chat, text each other numerous times throughout the day, I fly to see him at least 1or 2 a month and every time we depart from each other we are both sad but I can’t help but to always wonder what’s going to happen when he meets someone else and we have discussed that but this LDR bothers me. I Love him and He Loves me, He stays in contact with me more then I do him but all this time apart has me on the edge, Why?

    • Hi Special, I’m assuming he’s moved away? Also, I don’t know your age and why he doesn’t fly to see you. So this is my advice…How long will you put up with a long-distance relationship? Is there an end-date to his distance? Will you have to move there? It sounds to me like while he may love you, he doesn’t want this commitment. Or he wouldn’t have left. His reasons why don’t matter because whatever it is, that doesn’t include you in geographic proximity.

      This decision is up to you. If long-distance isn’t working for you, tell him that. Ask when he sees this coming to an end? My bet is you won’t get real answers. He might have to think about it or tell you he’s not sure. Those answers while seeming like “non-answers” are in fact REAL answers. If that’s what he says, what he means is that you are no longer part of his plan. Don’t wait on him. Make the decision that is best for you so you can move on if needed and find a man who KNOWS you are the woman for him.

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