Guys, is the rubber-band theory true?

There's an attraction theory that says if a man is pulling away, you have to remain firm and not go after him (he kind of stopped answering your texts, calls, and kind-of drifts) because he needs time to sort through his feelings and he'll be back when he's ready. If you try to interrupt this, he'll pull away more. If you let him go and have his "me" time, he'll bounce right back, wanting to get closer to you.

I let a guy go that told me he wasn't ready for anything and that I was pushing him (he initiated and text me every day), he didn't want to hurt me because he wasn't over his ex and couldn't get her image out of his head.

The reason being, he stopped talking after not replying to my message in response to his initiating text. I know for a fact he told his ex goodbye the next day and said he was moving on. I didn't hear from him for a week and a half. He comes back saying he thinks he's ready to start dating again. Things got heavy after I refused to take his bait to ask him to dinner (he's super shy) and then asked him to my place, which prompted him to blow me off by saying he fell asleep because of being exhausted by final's week. Before he told me that, I told him he had hurt me for the last time by blowing me off again. He said he was sorry and would be sure to not bother me anymore. I later told him it was okay, as I understood because he's going through a lot. I then text him saying I hopes he was having a good night, trying to forget his bailing and move on.

Now...he's gone again. Leaving him alone worked last time. He came back thinking he was ready to date. Maybe he's going to come back with a date proposal? The dating thing shocked me...the week of no contact really did something to him, but he just couldn't pull it off in the end.

I never thought it was true, but I think it is.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • " If you let him go and have his "me" time, he'll bounce right back, wanting to get closer to you."

    Yup. I don't always hear it referred to as the rubber band theory. But it's definitely true.

    I don't know if it's going to be true in your case though, because you didn't just let him go and bounce back. You may have basically told him to go away and not bother coming back.

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    • See, I didn't see it that way? I mean, how the hell did he expect me to react when he blew me off for the third time in a row? He's severely shy and has no self-esteem, so he really had to work up to see me for the first time. He'd want to see me again, but would talk himself out of it. I'd make plans, he'd bail. Then, I'm supposed to not blow up? I told him it was okay and that I knew he was going through a lot. Then, said hey and hoped he was having a good night. Why should he ignore me?

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    • I just want to say one last thing. You can never say I was just one if those girls that walked away and didn't try." He said all of his friends and lovers leave. I wanted to make sure he knew I was there and I wasn't the one making this decision. It was him. I talked to him while he was drunk one night - and he didn't know it was me - and he told me that he was so ready to let go, but nothing would be left. He's scared. I tried. He shut me down. Should I just let him go? Is he coming back?

    • Let him go.

What Guys Said 8

  • There's no such 'rule.' Every situation is different. Sometimes it's best to let someone have time to recover from a prior relationship, that's true. But at other times, if you let them walk away, they won't be back. I think this second time, you had better go afte him if you are interested, because he won't be coming back with a proposal.

    Instead, he's looking for someone who doesn't have this history to deal with. Probably.

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    • But, why must I chase after someone that has rejected me by blowing me off three times in a row? He almost didn't' meet up this last time by saying "one day" he'd like that and that he was busy with his roommates and when I didn't respond, he changed his tune and planned a time, only to bail on me by being "tired".

      HE BLEW ME OFF. I got upset and told him to rest for his bitches and brews and that maybe he could find one to replace the (crazy and abusive) bitch he lost...cont.

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    • Oh, I'm sure. He's got real bad insecurity problems. For some reason, I scare the piss out of him, though I'm here, waving a really big "HELLO, I LIKE YOU" flag. Lol. Maybe he'll get help after he sees that he isn't able to. But, from what he said to me, it's like he has given up. He doesn't want to move on from her. He's obsessed, though she beat him and treated him bad. The guy stills texts her, though he knows she won't respond. He needs therapy.

    • All you can do is find him a therpist.

  • If you want my opinion, I think you got lucky :)

    If it hadn't been space and time he needed, but rather something like an affirmation of interest, then the situation wouldn't have played out the same. It's not safe to assume that just because it worked in the past it's going to work again.

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    • I don't know what to do. It don't matter how many times I tell this guy I like him and BREAK MY NECK TO MAKE PLANS, he shits on my feelings by blowing me off because he's scared. Then, when I naturally blow up at him for doing so for the third time, he says he'll be sure not to bother me again? Pity play? When I say everything is okay and I know you're going through a lot, then say hey, you ignore me? It's frustrating.

  • No it is not true at all. The best thing you can do is make sure he knows your feelings. If he feels desired then he will feel much closer to you.
    for me the only reason I would start to pull away is if i didn't feel the woman was that into me. if all of a sudden she is initiating things, texting or calling, complimenting me, letting me know how she feels, I am going to come back to her quickly if i am interested. If not, then you didn't have anything to start with.

    ****** BTW...I would not take any person seriously that cannot post under their own name. anyone that needs to post under Anonymous with a question so inert as this is not someone worth taking seriously ******

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  • its true but the guy needs to be trustworthy because imagine if you did this with a player he would be cheating every day here's the thing when girls have stuff on their minds and had a bad day or something they need to talk about it and be hugged or consoled when men have something on their mind or have had a bad day they just need to think about stuff and be left alone and relax maybe drink a beer watch some TV ect. that's just how we are then we are all better.

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  • Well that goes for everyone. IF someone's not contacting you, why go chase after them? I'm not in the dating scene so I don't really go long without contacting my SO...unless I'm pissed at her.

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  • yes, but you have to keep in mind sometimes he won't come back and you can't waste your time waiting for him.

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  • Yes, it's true.
    And for an astonishing number of girls, even though they know this, and have been told this, and have been told many many times that they have to leave the guy alone... they just can't fucking do it. And explosions ensue.

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  • Yes it's true. Because it shows that you understand what I need and respect it. And the good news for you is that it will make me cherish you even more and want to be a better boyfriend; so I will bounce back faster and closer.

    As for why we men need this alone time, I'd describe it as a feeling of overload. When I'm in contact with other people for too long, I feel like I need time to withdraw and reflect and think things through. And it affects not just girlfriends, but also friends and family. For example, one of my best friends lives in another city. I go visit him for a weekend a couple of times a year usually. After that weekend, I won't speak to him for like a month.

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What Girls Said 1

  • Yes girl, it's definitely true! Guys are just weird in that way. This is how things were with my ex. Anytime he'd start to pull away, I'd just distance myself and stop contact with him, which brought him back because he started to miss me.

    I know its a little tough, but you can do it. Just be patient, preoccupy yourself and he'll be back.

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