There's usually a reason why men pull away just when things seem to be going well.
If you've been in the dating scene a while, you know what it's like to be "ghosted."
What is "ghosting?" It's when things seem to be going great with your new date and then they suddenly disappear without a trace — and ghosting happens enough that it has earned its own term in the dating world. It can be painful to suddenly have to figure out what went wrong or why men pull away every time you think you've found a good one.
So why do men pull away just when things seem to be going well? There are a lot of reasons, ranging from him being emotionally unavailable to something happening that makes him feel more comfortable ghosting someone rather than breaking it off in person.
It’s likely that many of you have encountered this scenario: You meet a guy, you hit it off, lots of chemistry and great conversation. You leave the date thinking you have serious potential, but when a few days go by, and he fails to reach out, you scratch your head wondering what might have happened.
Why were you ghosted? You replay the date in your head over and over, searching for your fatal mistake that perhaps tanked things. Or maybe he does reach out, but what started with a bang is now slowly fizzling? The more interested you are, the less he seems, which is a key trait for emotionally unavailable men.
These experiences are not uncommon, but why?
Here are 5 reasons why men pull away and "ghost" you just when it seems like things were getting good:
1. You turned him off.
There may be something you said that made him realize that you're not a good match. This doesn't necessarily mean you have some bad trait or something you need to change! For example, you mentioned having three cats or that you want kids, and he instantly knew that you're too different or your goals in life aren't aligned. He may have even really liked you and enjoyed your date but did not want to lead you on — which is a good thing! On the other hand, if he picked up some hidden agenda (for example, that you are looking for someone to take care of you financially), then he may have been understandably put off.
2. You got too excited.
There’s no good reason to get overly excited about a first date. If it goes well, that’s great! But there’s no need to think too far past that date. You're at risk of getting too wrapped up fantasy or you end up investing too much emotion at the start. You simply don't know enough about him yet to judge if he is a keeper after one date, regardless of the chemistry.
You only know enough to decide whether to go on the second date. It is possible that he isn’t as into you as you are to him, and only time will tell.
3. He simply changed his mind.
Everyone is allowed to change their mind about continuing to see someone. There are many reasons he might have changed his mind that aren’t personal. For instance, he's in a different place than you in life. You may be ready to settle down, and he just started his career. Perhaps he's dealing with something serious (i.e., a medical issue, major stress), that he doesn’t wish to disclose. Either way, he may pull away because he's not ready to be emotionally available to you at this time.
4. He sensed you are desperate or too available.
If you lack life goals or seem unfulfilled unless you're in a relationship, you may have turned him off or scared him off. No one wants the pressure of being the sole source of someone’s happiness. It’s crucial that you are fulfilled and happy on your own to find someone that enhances your life and isn’t expected to fill a void.
5. He’s scared.
You may have a guy who avoids intimacy and fears getting close. This is the kind of emotionally unavailable man who may drive you crazy because he may give small signs of interest, but the more you pursue, the more he distances. This is the one who makes it very hard to get to truly know him or where he stands. It is much better for your own sake to move forward with someone emotionally available if this is the reason he pulled away.
So what should you do when men pull away?
You definitely shouldn’t push more for emotional connection if you see him pulling away or creating distance between you. This behavior usually won't create your desired outcome, and may push him even farther. There is no reason to "personalize" why he pulled away; blaming yourself for "why" isn’t helpful in these situations.
And finally, don’t obsess about it. There is no need to over-analyze, ruminate, or poll all of your friends. Your efforts would be better spent elsewhere, like finding a guy that you really connect with and who is emotionally available.
Remember that relationships work when both people want them to. When you both want the same thing at the same time, the relationship will progress organically. You won’t be left off balance or questioning yourself. Nothing will feel forced. Trust that the man who blocks your attempts at intimacy and closeness has given you a gift by pulling away!
If it’s the right one, it will work out, and you won't have to worry about him being emotionally unavailable or getting ghosted.
Dr. Marni Feuerman* is a licensed psychotherapist and author of Ghosted and Breadcrumbed: Stop Falling for Unavailable Men and Get Smart about Healthy Relationships available on Amazon and everywhere else books are sold. Sign up for her newsletter to keep in touch and get the latest content on love, dating and relationships.
*Author note: This article was originally written for and appeared on YourTango.com.