Why Men Pull Away: Is it to Make Women Move On?

If you wonder why men pull away, you are not alone. Check out my response to this reader who wants help with understanding men and why men withdraw.

Why Men Pull AwayWomen Are Confused Why Men Pull Away

“Dear Ronnie, The Dating Coach for Women

I’ve read a lot of your dating advice and got some great advice. My question is about a guy I met on tinder (I was his second date). First date was great, he asked me out for a second before it was done. He was honest, telling me he didn’t know what he wanted. I said that was fine as I just wanted to date and figure out what I wanted too.

We’ve been out on six “dates” in six weeks. Four long coffee dates during work hours because of his schedule and two others. He is dating other women, and complained how they are too demanding and needy. I told him it’s weird to tell me about other women. He said, “That’s just us, we are really comfortable with each other.”

I’m worried that I’m in the friend zone, but he explained that just because he’s not trying to get into my pants doesn’t mean that he’s not interested. He doesn’t want to rush that part as it changes a relationship and he really likes me.

That was a week ago from tomorrow. When we left, it he said he couldn’t see me for 3 weeks as he would be working 14 hour days and then he was on vacation for two weeks with his son. I texted him last weekend and got a couple short replies back. I haven’t heard from him since.

I know pulling back is the right thing to do, which I have done. I’m worried that I was too available, and he has now lost interest. So I have a couple questions:

1) What are the chances of regaining his interest if I was too available but he pulled back? Is it a tactic to get women to move on?
2) Would it hurt the situation if I text him tonight or tomorrow for him to have a great vacation with his son?
3) Am I in the friend zone because he complained to me about other dates? Or was he just not thinking that through?

Thanks for your help!

Hi Diana,

Why men pull away is something that all single women encounter and deal with, and I know it’s not easy.

Good job for recognizing his honesty when he said he doesn’t know what he wants. That usually means he’s not planning on anything consistent or serious. That said, it’s not surprising he is pulling away. I doubt this has anything to do with your availability.

Are you in the friend zone? Talking about other women is not appropriate, but he might not be making the distinction between romance and friendship.  He’s just getting his feet wet navigating the dating scene again after some time.

The fact that he’s not trying to get in your pants could mean he’s being smart not to jump into things. He sure is right about intimacy changing things. Or, (please don’t be offended), you might not be his type. However, you could be a great listener and the female attention and support feels good right now.

He’s too busy to see you. Being busy at work is one of the biggest excuses when men pull away. Problems with health and children are some others. In Manversation, it usually means he’s moving on. So yes, this is often a tactic to get a woman to stop contacting him.

Can you regain his interest? I know this might not be what you want to hear, but no, I doubt you can get him back. He’s not looking for anything consistent. He doesn’t want expectations or to feel any pressure. He’s exploring and not ready for more. Even if he does call again, he’ll still be unsure which will not feel satisfying for you.

Pulling away is your only option. You have enough dating savvy to know pulling back is the right next step. Texting a man in this case is not wise because you will seem needy and we already know he doesn’t like that.

Be honest about what you want. You want more than casual dating even though you say you don’t because uncertainty is what a casual relationship is all about. You desire something more consistent. Admit this to yourself and go for what you want.

It’s time to move on. He is not the right man for you. He isn’t ready to give any woman more of himself.  Since you want more, you need to move on, meet more men and find one who is relationship ready. Now that you know why men pull away, you will be better at understanding men in the future.

Wishing you love,

why men pull away




Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. So, she made a few tweaks and then dated 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late for Love to help other smart, successful women find love too! Her mission is to share her proven dating advice  and keen insights about men with women everywhere who are serious about finding love with the right man. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000’s of midlife women with her Love & Dating Coach services. She’s been featured on BBC’s 5 Live Radio, NBC, ABC, and Fox News, NPR, eHarmony, MSN.com, MORE.com, Connecticut Magazine among others around the world. An established author, you can find her 6 books on Amazon.

2 thoughts on “Why Men Pull Away: Is it to Make Women Move On?”

  1. Your so right I’m glad I found this page we all been there. Personally I begin to hate dating. I’m tired . Emotionally exhausted I see nothing but creeps or married men online.

    • Hi Paula, Many of my clients have been exactly where you are now – it’s normal to feel this way. The truth is, there are ALL kinds of men online. But if you expect creeps and married men, that is sometimes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you were my client your homework would be to think of the good men you know in your life. Pay attention to who is good, so that you can build a frame of reference where some good men DO exist. Then you can get back online and the results will be different. Those guys will still be there, but you’ll start to notice good options as well. There are some great mindset tools that would absolutely help you make this shift.

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