Love 101: What Happens to a Man When a Woman Pulls Away?

what happens to a man when a woman pulls away

A truth universally acknowledged is that love hurts. Especially if it’s a great love you thought was going to last forever. As sad as it is, it’s very common for women to become estranged from their partners. And though men have a reputation for being very reserved with their feelings, you’d be surprised how hard this estrangement can hit them.

So what happens to a man when a woman pulls away? Keep reading to discover the fascinating mechanics of love and heartbreak.

What Causes a Woman to Pull Away?


There is a reason so many poets and writers have written about love over the years. It’s one of the most compelling forces in the world. In fact, researchers have discovered that being in love has the same effect on your brain as cocaine or other addictive drugs.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that losing someone you’re head over heels for is so devastating. However, it does happen — and surprisingly enough, women are more likely to check out of a relationship than men. A 2015 study showed that women were 70% more likely to initiate a divorce.

The reasons for this are many and varied, but a few stand out above the rest.

1. Higher Relationship Sensitivity

You’ve likely heard that women are much more in tune with their emotions, from subtle expressions to furious yelling (read more here). And to some degree, this is accurate. However, while that makes women, on average, better at expressing themselves, it also means they have a higher relationship sensitivity.

Namely, they are much more aware of any relationship problems, such as a lack of communication, no emotional support, or inadequate affection. What’s more, these issues can hit them a lot harder and cause them to pull away from their partners.

2. Women Don’t Tolerate Unacceptable Behavior

Historically, women depended on their husbands to survive. Consequently, they were forced to put up with a plethora of unsavory behaviors, such as immaturity, emotional and physical abuse, or even adultery.

However, the modern woman has the ability to support herself and craft her own career path. Therefore, women no longer have to tolerate men who aren’t on the same emotional and mental level as them. So if a man consistently makes major mistakes and depreciates his partner, then she is more likely to leave and find someone who will treat her better.

3. Women May Feel Held Back By Their Relationship

Though gender roles are quite outdated, the truth is that they still play a prominent role in many heterosexual couplings. Women can sometimes feel that the expectations placed on them to be a homemaker are holding them back professionally or preventing them from self-actualizing as an individual.

How Do You Know If a Woman Is Pulling Away?

Pulling Away

When you’re in love, the last thing you want to admit is that you may be losing your partner. However, this happens quite frequently — and a lot of people miss the signs.

So, if you suspect your wife or girlfriend is not as enthusiastic about your relationship as she was, here are a few things to look for.

1. She’s Emotionally Distant

If someone doesn’t like you, they’ll go out of their way to avoid talking to you. The same applies to your partner. If you’ve noticed your significant other is emotionally distant, aloof, and unwilling to talk to you, then this is a good indication that a breakup may be in your future.

2. She’s Suddenly Very Secretive

Let’s get something straight — everybody has the right to privacy. Having a life outside of your relationship is a sign that you’re a healthy, well-adjusted adult. However, if your girlfriend or wife has suddenly become very private about things she wasn’t secretive about before, beware. At the very least, this could mean that she is no longer willing to share her life with you.

However, in the worst-case scenario, it could also be that she’s cheating on you.

3. She No Longer Asks You About Your Day

In a relationship, it’s often the little things that count the most. And there is no simpler expression of love than asking your significant other about their day. Consequently, if your wife or girlfriend has stopped doing that, it probably means she no longer cares.

4. She’s Stopped Making Future Plans With You

One of the hallmarks of a strong partnership is making plans. Be it something small, like planning a trip together, or something big like a wedding, talking about the future is the surest sign your partner wants to be with you. So the moment these conversations stop, you should pay attention. Your wife or girlfriend may be looking to build her life with someone else.

5. She’s Uninterested in Sex

The biggest stereotype in the world is that women don’t like sex. This isn’t true. While every woman’s sex drive is different, you know your partner best. And if she’s been uninterested in intercourse with you lately, then it’s likely she is no longer feeling the spark.

6. She Doesn’t Text Back Anymore

This one is very specific to modern dating and online relationships. Since a lot of people find love on the internet, texting plays a huge role in flirting and building a strong partnership. Therefore, if you notice that your loved one is no longer responding to texts as fast, or keeps ignoring your messages, then it’s likely she’s trying to pull away from you.

What Happens to a Man When a Woman Pulls Away?


If the stereotype for women is that they’re too emotional, the stereotype for men is that they’re not emotional enough. Men don’t have the same opportunity to outwardly express their feelings the way women do. Therefore, it often looks like they don’t care if their woman is pulling away. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Men feel the pain of a breakup just as keenly. In fact, many studies suggest losing their significant other hits them even harder than it does women. While women experience greater emotional pain immediately after a split, they can recover much more easily if they have enough time.

Men, on the other hand, never truly ‘get over’ a breakup. A lot of men say that they are still dealing with the pain of losing a woman, even if the loss happened decades ago. This once again harkens back to the expectation that men should be tough. Men don’t have the same emotional support system as women do. Therefore, they can’t properly express their feelings and vulnerability in a way that helps them move on.

So, far from being indifferent, a man will be devastated if a woman pulls away from him. He could end up feeling guilty and inadequate or like less of a man for not giving her the love and attention she craved. However, the difference is that a man will suffer these feelings in silence and try to act like he doesn’t care, even though he cares too much.

Gretchen Walker
Gretchen is a homemaker by day and writer by night. She takes a keen interest in life as it unfolds around her and spends her free time observing people go about their everyday affairs.