Men who come on strong but then back off quickly tend to share these 7 traits

Have you ever met a nice guy who seems really into you at the start? But then with no warning, he quickly backs off. We’ve all been there, right? And when it happens to you, you swear you won’t be fooled again.

The problem is: it’s almost impossible to predict which guy is going to do it next. Or is it? 

I’ve seen this happen a lot, both in my own experience and through experiences my friends have had. Through it all, I’ve noticed something interesting, that might help us to spot these guys in the future. 

There are a few key traits that guys who come on strong and then back off quickly share. And today, I’m sharing 7 of those traits to help you and your friends avoid falling into this trap again. 

Let’s dive in. 

1) He’s cocky

It’s no secret that confidence is attractive but be careful, arrogance or cockiness is a red flag. 

If you notice a guy is constantly:

  • Talking about himself 
  • Showing off
  • One-upping you  

Watch out. These are telltale signs he’s a little cocky and he might just be the type of guy that comes on strong and backs off quickly. 

Guys like this over-value themselves and under-value everyone else around them. He thinks he’s above everyone, including you, so once he’s got your attention, he expects you to make all the effort. 

And when you don’t, he backs off quickly. 

2) He’s selfish

I’ve met a few selfish guys in my time but one in particular stands out to me. After meeting at a work event, we agreed to go for a coffee. He suggested a place and I went along with it. 

When I got there, he already had his coffee. I soon realized this place was a 5-minute walk from his apartment. And when he suggested we meet up again, he said he could only meet on certain days, close to work or his place as he didn’t like traveling too far for anyone or anything. 

We only had one date but this kind of selfishness is a common trait among the guys who show a lot of interest initially and then blow you off quickly. 

They’re thinking only of themselves and they’re only up for things that benefit them. If spending time with you isn’t benefitting him immediately, his interest fades and he moves on. 

If you notice someone is selfish in the early days, run away fast, because if you don’t, he will.

3) He’s immature

Ever feel like men are less mature than women? 

Well, you’re right. A 2013 study found that women reach maturity at age 32 whereas men reach maturity at 43, 11 years after their female counterparts. 

And I’ve noticed that the guys who’ve come on strong and disappeared quickly for my friends and I, have been extremely immature

These guys have the maturity of teenage boys, they’re full of energy, excitable, and easily distracted by new shiny things. 

They usually back off when someone new and shiny grabs their attention. 

Watch out for the immature ones.

4) He’s a thrill seeker

You know those guys who’ve got an adventurous spirit? They’re adrenalin junkies who live life on the edge and they’re just fun to be around. They know how to have a good time, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of it all. 

Sound familiar? 

James Bond is the perfect example of a thrill-seeking adrenalin junkie. He’s got a license to kill and he chases the bad guys by any means necessary, fast cars, motorbikes, jet skis, the list is endless. He saves some energy for the ladies but he never stays around too long. 

The thing is: these thrill seekers love the rush of something new and they’re always chasing their next high. Sure, they’re entertained and excited by the start of what could be a relationship with you. 

But as soon as that initial excitement dies down, so does their interest in you. They’re addicted to the thrill and when it’s gone they get bored and move on, quickly. 

Although dating a thrill seeker is super exciting, tread carefully, as it’s a common trait for guys who seem interested but disappear quickly. 

5) He needs approval from others

Have you ever been with someone who seems to thrive on compliments and attention from others? 

Turns out: even people who seem really confident and sure of themselves on the outside can actually feel quite insecure underneath it all. 

And because they have low self-esteem, their sense of worth comes from external things like compliments, relationships, and material things. 

This might sound harsh but, watch out for these guys. 

Let me explain: a lot of the guys that I’ve seen come on strong and then back off quickly are in desperate need of external validation

They can’t feel good on their own so they seem really keen at the start which encourages you to compliment and validate them. And once the initial honeymoon phase passes and there isn’t as much reassurance and validation, they’re gone to seek it somewhere else.  

6) He’s emotionally unavailable

Another reason why a guy might be all about you initially but quickly back off is he’s not comfortable with his emotions. 

This means he’s emotionally unavailable. Although he might genuinely like you, he’s not able to handle emotions and backs away as a result. It’s pretty tough for everyone involved. 

Licensed psychologist Dr. Lindsay Jernigan explains “When we say someone is emotionally unavailable, we mean that they are not comfortable feeling their own emotions, sharing emotions with others, or being present and responsive to someone else’s emotions,”.

Guys like this are usually funny, engaging, and fun to be around. However, when things start to get real and feelings come into play, they tend to cut and run to avoid having to deal with any emotions. 

Does your guy clam up at the first mention of feelings? If so, it might be a sign that he’s likely to disappear pretty quickly. 

7) He’s highly independent and scared to lose it 

My friend Melanie dated this guy, Greg for a few weeks last year. They were great together but I couldn’t help shake the feeling that Greg wasn’t the kind of guy that’d like to be tied down. 

He was very independent in all aspects of his life and seemed reluctant to get too close to Melanie. He didn’t even want to meet her friends, I only met him once by a chance encounter. 

Unfortunately for Melanie, I was right. When it came time to talk about a real relationship, Greg backed away fast. And I’ve seen this with other guys too. They’re so set on keeping their independence, they’ll avoid anything that threatens it. 

Guys like this have what’s called an avoidant attachment style and as the name suggests they avoid getting properly attached at all costs. 

If a guy has a track record of short, fast relationships and an undying love for his independence, it could be a red flag that although he’s coming on strong now, he’ll be gone quickly too.  

The bottom line

There you have it, 7 traits that men who come on strong but back off quickly tend to have in common. 

Here’s the thing: I’m not suggesting that guys with these traits won’t make amazing partners. I’m just saying that the guys who ditched my friends and me quickly and left us feeling puzzled usually had a few of these traits. 

How many of them do you recognize in guys you’ve dated in the past? 

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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