10 reasons she pulls away when you get close (and what to do about it)

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So you’ve been getting closer with someone, but she’s suddenly pulling away?

Each circumstance is different and there could be a multitude of reasons for her behavior.

Here at 10 for you to think about, and what you can do to manage them!

1) You’re sending her mixed messages

If a woman has a hunch that you might be a player or that you’re not that into her, then it’s likely that she’s going to pull back from you.

As humans, we’re hardwired to protect ourselves from pain – so if a woman senses that you might hurt her, she’s going to pull away from you.

There’s a chance this might happen even if she likes you because she’s putting her emotional wellbeing first. 

If you sense this is happening, ask yourself whether you’ve been sending her mixed messages?

For example: 

  • Have you been hot one minute and cold the next? 
  • Have you been inconsistent in the way you’ve been with her?
  • Have your intentions been unclear?

Think about why she would have a reason to think it’s not safe being with you.

Consistency is important for a woman to feel secure, so consider whether you’ve been sending her mixed messages and be clear in your intentions

As a woman, I can tell you that you can never go wrong doing that!

Find the right words and be clear about where you’re at. 

2) You’ve not been giving her the attention she desires

We all have different expectations from what we want in a relationship. 

Some women might want more attention than others; some others want more space. Neither one is better or worse than the next… People are just different!

If the woman you’ve been getting close to needs a lot of attention from you and you know you haven’t been giving it to her, this could be a reason for her pulling back.

She might be thinking that you’re not the right kind of guy for her. 

For example, she might want to be with someone who has their weekends free to spend time doing things with her – from going to the cinema to going out for a walk. 

But you might not be able to give her all of this time because you have other obligations, such as sports.

Rather than communicating what she needs from you, she may have just decided that it’s not going to work because your attention is elsewhere when she wants it. 

If she is emotionally mature enough, she should communicate this with you and let you know where she is at and what she hopes for the relationship.

What’s more, you could take it upon yourself to initiate a conversation around attention if you feel like this could be the issue. 

Let her know that you’re willing to make compromises if you are and that you’re happy to work to a solution if it means you two can go forward together.

3) She’s been burned in the past

We all have emotional and relationship baggage, and we seem to accumulate more and more as we get older.

It makes navigating relationships harder – whether we’re conscious of it or not.

The girl you’ve been getting close with might have had some negative experiences with people romantically in the past and, as she gets closer with you, it might be triggering those wounds. 

In my experience, I’ve pulled away from potential new partners in the past because of a fear of history repeating itself. 

In other words, I’ve not let people get close to me because I don’t want to get burned again.

It’s like a defense mechanism

It could be that this is the case for the woman you’ve been getting close to; she might be pulled back to protect herself. 

Talking to her about what’s going on for her internally is the best thing you can do to iron out any anxieties and to allow you two to get close.

4) She’s afraid of commitment

There are many reasons people are afraid of commitment – stemming from what we grew up around to our own romantic relationships.

We’re shaped by our life experiences.

Maybe the girl you’ve been getting close to has never had a serious relationship or maybe she’s seen relationships around her fall apart. 

For example, I grew up with my dad saying he’d never marry again, and marriage is pointless because my mum had left him for another man. I was exposed to infidelity at a young age and became aware of what people are capable of. Subsequently, it made me afraid of committing to another person because I’ve feared that someone might drop me for another person.

I know my childhood experiences have had an effect on how I’ve navigated relationships in my adult life.

It could be the same for the girl you’ve been getting close to.

Whatever her story is, it could be contributing to her being a ‘commitaphobe’. Many people are like this and, again, it comes from a place of trying to protect yourself.

Think about it: why else would anyone reject love from another person?

There’s a deep fear lurking in there for someone to be like this.

When the time is right, ask her about her experiences so you can gain a greater understanding about what has shaped her. Share your experiences too so she can gain insight into the way you work and what has affected you.

This vulnerability should bring you two closer and mean she doesn’t want to pull away from you.

5) She just doesn’t think you’re that into her

Maybe the girl you’ve been getting close to has it in her head that you’re just not that into her.

You might not have given her any significant reason to think like this, but she can’t seem to shake the feeling. 

The best thing you can do is to think logically about where this could be coming from.

One reason that she might be thinking this is if you two were friends before you developed a romantic interest, and if, during that time, you confided in her and spoke about people you had the hots for.

Those memories might be lingering and causing her to think you have eyes for people other than her.

If this is what’s going on for her, let her know that the past is the past, and you’re here with her now. 

Women love honest, open communication so just be totally clear about where you’re at and how you want to be with – and you’ll be rewarded for doing so. Hopefully, this will mean she stops pulling away from you!

6) Because she’s catching feels and she can’t handle it

Maybe you and this girl have set parameters for your relationship, and that includes not being exclusive but just having a bit of fun together. 

You two might have established that you don’t want anything serious and that you’re just looking for a physical connection.

Many people are into this.

But something might have happened for this woman: she might have started catching feelings for you and wanting more than just the physical side of the relationship.

However, because you two have set down ground rules, she might know that this can’t happen and so she’s pulling away to prevent herself from falling in too deep.

Again, it comes back to not wanting to get hurt

During the time you two have been enjoying your physical connection, you also might have started developing feelings; if this is true for you, speak to her about it. 

You two might just be on the same page, meaning you might be able to reestablish what your relationship looks like and to go forward together in a committed relationship.

7) She has a fear of intimacy 

You and this woman may have got a certain point in your relationship where things are getting deep.

Maybe you’ve had loads of fun dates out, and you’ve been enjoying getting to know each other, but now it’s getting serious and you’re starting to open up more to each other. 

For someone with traumas – whether small or large – opening up to someone else might not a comfortable process.

Being vulnerable and intimate might not come naturally, and be an incredibly painful process. 

Simply put: intimacy might be deeply unsettling and retraumatizing. 

They might have buried traumas deep and, as someone asks personal questions, it might trigger them back to that place. 

If you’re just getting to know someone, you might be unaware of why they’re suddenly acting differently when things are going well on the surface, but trauma could be the reason for this

The best thing you can do is to reassure her that she’s in a safe space and that there’s no pressure from you. 

Let her know that you don’t expect anything from her and, what’s more, let her know that you’ll be patient and understanding. 

Ensure your actions follow your words and you’ll be able to gain her trust over time.

8) You came on too strong

Playing games and messing someone around never goes down well.

It’s not a case of making her think you’re not interested – if you like her, make it known – but things could go wrong if you come on too strong. 

You see, she might feel overwhelmed and taken aback by your interest if you’re really OTT about your feelings. 

Essentially, there’s nothing wrong with calling her but just don’t call her ten times a day. Flowers are also a nice gesture, but you don’t need to give them to her every time you see her. You get my gist…

These actions will make you seem too needy and it will almost certainly be unattractive. 

Worse than being unattractive, it might cause her to pull back from you. 

Take a moment to assess how you’re behaving in the relationship and think about whether you might have come on too strong and, in turn, scared her off!

9) She worried about her career

This one might leave you thinking ‘hmmm’ and wondering what I’m talking about.

Simply put: she might be worried that by being with you, she’s going to lose her focus and derail herself from her ambitious goals.

One of these could be in the realm of her work and career. 

In my experience, when I met my boyfriend my productivity started slipping. I got behind on projects at work and stopped spending my weekends and free time getting organized and ahead of my schedule. 

I just became that little bit more behind than I liked to be.

It could be that the girl you’ve been getting close to has had this play out in the past, and she doesn’t want to let it happen again!

Have a chat with her about the amount of time you two are spending together and ask her whether she’s feeling good about how balanced she is in different areas in her life.

Show her that you see the bigger picture too and that you place an importance on balance. 

By knowing you two are on the same page, she might not pull away but confide in you about her anxieties. Between you two, you might be able to work to a solution where you both feel good and productive while in the relationship.

10) She fears your values differ too much

When it comes to being on the same page as someone, values are a big one.

Now, if the girl you’ve been getting close to has reason to believe that you two have a misalignment with your values then it could be causing her to pull away. 

These values could be around your politics and how you see the world.

She might be assuming that you are of a certain stance without having asked you.

If you feel like this could be at the root of why she’s pulling away from you, have a chat with her about your values in a way that feels authentic, and let her know that you’re open-minded – if you are!

She might be worried that you are set in your ways about things and that you won’t be open to her perspective.

Just let her know that’s not the case if it’s true.

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

I know this from personal experience…

A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

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Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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