When you’re in love with someone you want only one thing: to be close to them.
That’s why it hurts so much if they start pushing you away.
However, this can be especially hard to notice if they’re not doing it in a direct way.
It can also be hard to observe when it’s the last thing you expect.
That’s why I’ve put together this list so you can see the warning signs that someone you care about is actually trying to push you away.
15 signs someone is pushing you away when you’re trying to be close
1) They avoid your touch
It’s easy for people to fake words and play nice.
It’s harder to fake it physically. If this person avoids your touch and shies away from you in a weird or uncomfortable way, it’s not good news.
In fact, this is one of the clearest signs someone is pushing you away when you’re trying to be close.
It hurts and it’s perplexing. But it is what it is.
Now, they may have issues that are blocking them up, or they may be undergoing struggles unrelated to you.
But if this is happening with no other possible explanation then you need to look at the chance that this person is trying to get rid of you.
I’ve experienced it myself and it’s not exactly subtle. Someone goes from welcoming your affection to shrinking away from it like you’re radioactive.
It feels awful and it’s hard not to take it personally.
Let’s put it this way:
If hugging, kissing, affectionate touching, and body contact have disappeared then it’s either problems they’re having that don’t involve you or they suffer from haphephobia, which is a fear of being touched.
Or else it’s that they’re trying to push you away.
2) They ignore what you say
When it comes to glaring signs someone is pushing you away when you’re trying to be close this one is right up there.
Words matter, and even if you’re only making conversation, it’s still nice to know that the person you care about is listening.
When they continually forget what you say or don’t even listen in the first place, the frustration begins to really add up.
Then, when you do insist that they hear you out, they will often act as if you’re demanding that they climb Mount Everest or perform some Herculean task.
If it’s that annoying listening to what you’re saying then why are you together anyway?
This is hard, because whether or not it’s intentional the result is the same:
You feel neglected and pushed away.
Some part of this person is rejecting what you say and categorizing it as unimportant, tiring or bothersome.
This is where you need to think about how much you can tolerate.
“You need to save your relationship, but before that, you need to save yourself first. Think about yourself too and your needs.
“Not taking care of yourself will make you a mess and you’ll just become more clingy and desperate, not the person she fell in love with,” explains Angelina Gupta.
3) They cancel often and don’t want to meet up
All of us have to reorganize our schedules sometimes or cancel dates.
That’s perfectly understandable, and it’s no reason to scuttle a relationship.
But when someone wants to push you away you’ll notice that cancellations and not wanting to meet up are part of an ongoing pattern.
You may write it off a time or two, but by the fourth or fifth time, it’s a lot harder to just turn a blind eye to the cold shoulder you’re getting.
Nor should you.
It hurts because for one reason or another this person almost definitely is pushing you away.
They may still be interested in you or having other reasons for doing it than losing interest, but the fact remains they are trying to distance themselves from you.
This goes for texting and calling too, so be ready for a lot of dropped calls and unanswered texts.
“Usually, when a guy cancels and doesn’t reschedule, it means that he doesn’t want to see you.
“But if you think that the guy genuinely forgot to reschedule, give it a try.”
This is very good advice. Use your best judgment and you’ll be able to notice the difference between someone pushing you away or just being genuinely busy or having other urgent matters come up.
4) Their behavior is bizarre and cold
We all have off days now and then. That’s life.
But if you’ve noticed a marked shift in the behavior of this person you’re interested in then you know it’s a different issue entirely.
In fact, bizarre and cold behavior is one of the most worrisome signs someone is pushing you away when you’re trying to be close.
If you’re a confident person you may react angrily or by giving them the cold shoulder.
People with less confidence may react to cold behavior by questioning what they did wrong or did to “deserve” this reaction.
The truth is that it’s happening with them, not with you. And you should never be expected to read minds in order to get close to someone.
Even if there is some compelling reason why your love interest is acting like a cold fish, they need to do whatever they can to open up to you about it.
Otherwise, you can’t really be expected to stick around.
“People want to feel that you view them as a priority, and you should.
“Despite what the reasons are that your partner seems cold or distant, they should be willing to communicate with you so that you’re not in the dark,” advises relationship writer Anne Cohen.
5) You feel it in your gut
Never underestimate the power of your gut.
I don’t only mean this in a physical sense (gut health is really important!) I also mean it in an emotional sense.
Your gut instinct matters a lot, because this is your visceral link with the world and your experiences in it.
If your gut is telling you that this person is pushing you away I can almost guarantee that you are correct in some way.
The key at this point of realization is to not panic or overreact.
Relationships do go through ups and downs, so the fact that you are being pushed away does not necessarily mean the connection is doomed.
The best move, if you’re experiencing an emotionally cold person, is to also move away yourself.
Trust your gut and where it’s leading you.
Your gut is deeper than your surface impulses to text a lot, call, get upset or completely cut the person off.
Your gut tells you to be silent, breathe and reflect for a moment.
It tells you to be true to yourself and settle for nothing less than what you truly deserve and what you have earned.
Listen to your gut.
6) Your texts and messages sit on read
I have to be honest that texting and messaging are one of the most stressful parts of modern dating.
It’s so hard to read someone’s emotions or situation when you’re communicating with words, emoticons, or short voice notes.
How are you supposed to know what to say or not say?
Have you said too much, or not enough?
It’s basically a perfect laboratory for overthinking and self-criticism.
And we all know one of the worst things that can happen when you’re into someone is to send them a message and get no reply…sometimes for days.
Even worse is when you can see that they have read the message and still not responded.
It’s hard not to keep checking for those little dots showing they’re writing back.
Some of us have even been so far down in the pit that we’ve watched someone start writing back and stop, only to continue leaving us on read.
It’s like a bad movie that just won’t end.
The best thing to do at the point you’re being digitally ghosted is to force yourself to focus on something else.
Seriously, just do it. Mechanically move yourself to do something else whether it’s going for a jog, painting, hitting a punching bag, or playing music.
The worst thing you can do is respond emotionally or anxiously.
“In the midst of being in panic mode, though, don’t keep texting. And please, for everyone’s sake, don’t call.
“It’s only going to make you come across as overly obsessive, desperate or clingy.
“Because if bae wasn’t really ignoring you beforehand, they certainly will after receiving back-to-back messages.”
Harsh, but true.
7) They have time for others but not for you
Another one of the biggest signs someone is pushing you away when you’re trying to be close is that they have time for others but not for you.
After all, if this person is pushing everyone away it’s a little different than if they’re specifically pushing you away.
Actually, it’s a lot different!
For this reason, take a look at their behavior as much as you can surrounding how they’re responding to others in general.
Are they in hermit-mode, never online, or clearly tuned out from social life in general?
Or are they going about their business with the notable exception of freezing you out?
Don’t be paranoid or try to over-analyze their behavior, but do be honest.
If they have time for others but not for you, then they’re clearly trying to push you away.
If you have no idea why, I strongly, strongly encourage you not to jump to self-blame.
That’s a losing game that has destroyed many people’s hearts and souls.
Just refuse to play.
Do your best in life and love and let the chips fall where they may! It may be painful when things don’t work, but don’t let yourself turn it into a story about you being unworthy or defective: you’re not.
8) They get offended easily by what you say or do
One of the worst signs someone is pushing you away when you’re trying to be close is that they’re very on edge around you.
Seemingly out of the blue they’re on you like white on rice: on what you say, what you do, maybe even how you chew your food.
The list of possible criticisms is almost endless.
After all, when you start looking at the things people do that could be considered annoying there is quite an exhaustive laundry list.
But when somebody is just focusing on the ways you get under their skin it’s not always spontaneous.
It can often be a calculated way for them to try to create distance between you as the pretext for a breakup later down the road.
If this is happening to you then keep a watch out for it continuing to deteriorate.
The feeling you can’t do anything right is awful, and even if you have plenty of faults (and we all do) nobody deserves to be gaslighted in such a way.
If it’s real criticism that’s not designed to undermine your relationship, you’ll know. The truth is that valid criticism of a partner or loved one can be very helpful: it all depends on how it’s delivered and why.
“Check your motives and check your heart. If you have something important to share that will benefit your marriage and family, then share it…
“Loving feedback can make a difference for us if it comes from someone who truly has our best interest at heart.”
9) They minimize eye contact and conversation with you
Eye contact can often be the start of a romantic connection. You lock eyes and then you want to keep looking.
I know this sounds like the Mickey Mouse version of love, but love can actually be pretty cheesy!
But it’s still great, because when it’s real you feel it in your heart and you can’t get enough of being around your partner and being close to them.
This includes those deep conversations you’ll always remember, where your hearts connect and you share this special energy and authenticity that’s irreplaceable and will always stay in your heart.
That’s why it hurts so much when someone pushes you away by stopping talking to you and avoiding eye contact.
You feel that magic die down and disappear and it’s a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach.
For whatever reason, they are pushing you away.
10) They don’t want to keep seeing you
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing.
If your boyfriend or girlfriend – or potential love interest – specifically says they want time alone, then they’re pushing you away.
It might be their issue causing this desire, but either way, it impacts you.
There really is no point in arguing this one.
If someone wants a break, time apart, or whatever other euphemism they use, the only real response you can have is to accept it.
Trying to push them to reconsider could easily stretch the relationship to the breaking point and bust whatever potential you have left.
Sometimes there is no potential left, other times there is.
If your partner wants a break, relationship expert Elizabeth Stone has a superb analysis:
“The answer varies from situation to situation, but when a guy wants to take a break, it’s generally for one of three reasons:
“He’s genuinely confused about his feelings for you and where he wants the relationship to go, he feels a need to reassert control over his life and/or the relationship, or he knows he wants to break up with you but is too scared to admit it.”
Find out which reason it is and act accordingly.
11) They often make plans without you
This relates to point number 7. When they’re specifically ignoring and repelling you then the biggest sign is that they’re still having fun with others.
If you find that the person you’re trying to get close to keeps going out and having a great time with other people but never has time for you, then you need to be aware that they’re pushing you away.
This may be no fault of your own, but it’s still a fact:
People have free choice who they spend time with, and if this person is choosing to spend his or her time with others then it’s inherently downgrading you to second choice or even further down the ladder.
You may feel so down that you don’t want to do anything.
But my advice – if you feel up to it – is to make plans of your own with your own friends.
If you don’t have friends (which can be a great thing, really) then go out on your own and have the time of your life!
There’s no better time than the present to enjoy your own company.
12) They’re absentminded and uninterested in your life
We all have lots of things going on in our lives.
I may not know you personally, but I’m willing to bet good money that you have some interesting events, people and situations going on in your life.
When you care about someone and love them, you want to know about these situations and events.
When you’re pushing someone away you turn away from their life and any involvement in it.
One of the saddest signs someone is pushing you away when you’re trying to be close is that they just stop caring about your life.
They don’t ask questions, they don’t pursue conversations and they don’t check up on you.
They just take you for granted and shrug or chuckle absentmindedly when you mention something about your life.
If this is happening to you with someone you care about then it’s a glaring sign for you to back down.
It’s important to respect yourself more than to go after someone who doesn’t care about your life.
As the lead singer of the British band the Smiths, Morrissey sings in his song “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”:
“In my life…
Why do I give valuable time
To people who don’t care if I live or die?”
13) They flirt and talk with other people when they’re out with you
If somebody is flirting and talking with other people when they’re out with you then there are only three basic options:
One is that they simply are clueless and don’t care about what you think, or come from a background where they believe it’s fine to openly hit on multiple women at once.
The second option is that they’re upset at you and want to make a point or are playing mind games and trying to make you jealous.
The third is that they actually want you to get upset and leave them because they are trying to push you away.
This is obviously a deeply humiliating and horrible experience.
If you’ve been there then I fully sympathize.
It’s important that you call someone out on this if they’re trying to pull it around you.
Unless you want to be in an open relationship or a third wheel or woman (or man) “on the side” then this scenario just isn’t acceptable.
14) They criticize your appearance, friends and life goals
One of the top signs someone is pushing you away when you’re trying to be close is that they start to become very critical of everything in your life.
What may have started as a nice connection with shared values somehow has descended into a tit-for-tat.
It’s disappointing and frustrating.
If someone you care about has suddenly started calling you fat or ugly, cutting down your friends, and mocking or undermining your life ambitions it can feel like your world is falling apart.
They may also even try to criticize and argue about your core values, beliefs, spiritual practices, and daily life.
The truth is they just want to push you away.
“I know how it feels, because I’ve been there having spent 4 and a half years with a partner who put me and my looks down.
“I constantly felt like I had to work on my body and appearance to live up to his exacting standards. It seemed nothing was ever good enough.”
15) They blame you for their problems
This is one of the hardest things to deal with in a relationship that’s headed south.
One of the most upsetting signs someone is pushing you away when you’re trying to be close is that they start to gaslight you.
This basically means they tell you that whatever you notice is incorrect and/or that their problems are your fault.
This can go as far as blaming you for them cheating on you.
It’s a toxic spiral and it only goes downward.
If you’re dealing with this it’s often time to move on and get out before you get even deeper into a nasty situation.
Like us on Facebook to receive useful articles in your feed.
Hack Spirit just launched a YouTube channel… And it’s awesome!
We’re sharing practical relationship advice in the form of videos. The early feedback has been incredible, but our channel is still so small…
We would love to get your help by subscribing to the channel below. It just takes a quick click of the button and means so much to us.
If you subscribe, you’ll start to see our videos in your YouTube feed. We promise to entertain and inform you with relationship advice and other practical self-improvement advice.
And check out our latest video: Spot a superficial person with these 10 signs they can’t hide
Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.