Is it normal for a man to pull back or withdraw in the early stages of dating, even when he's into the girl?

I've read about the pull back phase or a phase when a man withdraws. It's confusing because there are accounts from women who said that after their guy disappeared, he came back and the relationship got stronger. The pullback happened before the guy became serious. Then there are those who say that a guy pulling back means he is not that into you, and this pullback phase is not really a phase at all, it's the end.

So men, which is it in general? Do you pull back/withdraw when your feelings are growing and you just need time to process things, or do you do this when you're no longer interested?

Hmmm, I just thought of something. Could it be substance abuse? I know the more likely explanation for a guy acting all into you up until the day he disappears is that there's another girl. But I wonder now, is it also likely that the guy is getting high? I don't know him well enough to know if he abuses stuff. I know he always drinks on the weekend, always going clubbing, partying.


Most Helpful Guy

  • if you reffer to the phase after ~3-4 months then that's the first euphoria of love fading. Love is quite litterally a drug, and especially uring the first months of infatuation the brain tells the body to release a lot of it. After that time passes it might feel like we're withdrawing, but that's not entirely the truth.
    infatuation (blind love) is either replaced by true love or we find out you're not the right one (and we leave). (blind love turns into rational love)
    It's the critical phaze where you find out if it'll hold or not. And there's nothing you girls can do, nor is there anything we guys can do. It's just how it is.

    • What if it happens after 1-2 months of dating?

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    • He's almost 40 and has never been married. I've always wondered if this was a red flag and can't help thinking if this is his MO - that he pulls away when things are starting to get beyond casual.

      But you both are right that only time will tell.

    • being that old isn't exactly a good sign, no. Could be commitment issues too, maybe?
      But you just got to let time go, and be aware he might leave

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What Guys Said 3

  • I would only pull back if I changed my mind and no longer like her

    • And do you men usually change your minds overnight? This guy was asking me out, we went out 4 times. After the last date, he texted me that it was great seeing me. After that, all communication was initiated by him, except maybe 1 or 2 from me. He was regularly checking in. Until the end of the week last week when he asked if we could hang out this week, I said yes and gave him my sched, and he never responded to that. I checked in 2 days after, nothing. And then I texted again asking what was up 2 days ago, he responded that he had been sick but was better now, asked me about my Thanksgiving plans, to which I responded, and I never heard from him again. Yes, it seems he has changed his mind. But just like that, when up until the day he asked me out again, he was still showing signs of interest? I know you're not him, but how and why do you change your minds just like that, seemingly overnight, and decide you don't wanna pursue the girl anymore? It just seems so... bizarre.

    • Sounds to me like he was dating someone else out at the same time from the information given. I could be wrong though that's just what it seems like to me.

    • And he chose that girl, so he dropped me? Guess it makes sense.

  • I pull back when she's coming in too strong, but it doesn't mean I lost interest. I just want to balance and keep being interested in her.

    • Coming on too strong in what way? Like you're sensing she's starting to want more from you?

  • men technically withdraw or like you put it "Pull back" when they know that things are getting serious. so they have to make a decision, commit or go home.
    We are men, we don't want to commit, but during that time and while weighing pros and cons, we find out that she is either not worth it, or is invaluable. so then we can either leave, or come back and when we come back, its for keeps. thats why it gets stronger.
    Hey, when you women want time to figure stuff out, we are patient enough to wait, so its only fair that you do the same too... and wait.

    • I fully respect a guy's need to figure stuff out. I think it's better, in fact, when the guy takes the time to know what he really wants out of whatever this is we're doing. The painful thing is that the withdrawal comes with no warning! Why can't you just tell a woman, "I need to think things through. Give me time." Then I know what's going on. In my case, though, and in a lot of other cases, apparently, there's no warning. Everything seems ok, and then BAM... pull back! Why would you leave a woman hanging like that?

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    • How long does this usually go on? Or I guess you can only speak for yourself and your male friends.

    • thats true... all guys are built different so the time differential... varies

What Girls Said 1

  • Not a guy but...

    There is pull back and bail out. The fun for us is trying to figure out which it is. Only time will tell. Don't give in to the temptation to call or text.

    What I am finding is they always come back but it is just more of the same wishy washy BS and more confusion when they do.

    Let it be, like the saying goes "If you want something set it free..."

    I found all that advice to be conflicting as well. Depending on my mood I can take it however I want.

    Only time will tell. I found once I released him in my head, I was able to begin healing to the point that when he came back around... I dumped him on his "pull back" a$$. I am now getting involved with someone who treats me much better.

    • So in your experience, they always came back but stayed flaky? Wow, that's scary and very discouraging.

      It's awesome you're now with someone who doesn't do this!

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    • Haha the one who was "treating me right" ghosted and the one who pulled sway to start with is really trying to come back permanently. Life is stupid. Lol.

      They usually come back within a week to ten days. This guy? Way too long now with no communication of any sort. Sctrw him, you are right to move on. Yeah it does hurt.

    • So after almost 2 months of not contacting me, this guy texted me this weekend, wanting to catch up. Haha! I didn't respond and I'm not going to because, unfortunately for him, I'm now interested in somebody else.

      It feels good to have the last laugh! ;)