It can be bewildering to have a happy relationship suddenly grow cold—to have the woman who has always been your constant source of joy turn into a stranger.
But take comfort in the fact that this happens to most relationships…and even to some dates.
Most people—both men and women —have to deal with partners that would suddenly withdraw emotionally and begin walling off.
So why do they do this?
Well, in this article, we will explore 12 reasons why women pull away, and eight things you can do about it.
Before I give some tips, let us talk about the reasons why women might suddenly pull out of a relationship.
It’s important to keep in mind that there’s often more than one reason at play, so you have to see things from all directions so you can come up with a good strategy to win her back.
Here are the most common reasons women pull away.
1) You came on too strong.
If you’re still dating, one big reason why women pull away is that you simply came on her too strong.
Maybe you keep on texting her first, or you try to define your relationship way too soon. Maybe you’re just on your third hour and all of a sudden you’re making sexual comments.
Or if you’re new in the relationship, you are talking about marriage or how many kids you want after the second week.
Or maybe, if you’re just an admirer, she had noticed that you followed all of her social media accounts—even the ones that she hadn’t told you about!
Just think about how she might feel.
And, sure, you might think that you’re a “catch” for being so concerned or for thinking ahead (unlike other guys, who don’t think at all!).
You might even think “well, I would love a girl who does these things to me,” but the truth is that you’re most likely making her feel icky and uneasy.
You have to learn how seduction works. And if you’re doing any of the things above, you’re doing the exact opposite.
2) She realizes she’s just carried away.
Another reason why she might be pulling away is that she thinks things are happening a bit too fast.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be because of you—in fact, she might be responsible for why things are moving at such a rapid pace of her own doing.
For example, maybe you’re still in your first few dates, and she was still trying to get to know you a bit more, but the two of you got caught in the moment and skipped a few steps—right to kissing or even sleeping together.
A woman who values herself would take a moment to pause and reflect when the high is over.
She wants to take a step back to get a grip on her emotions—to recharge, regain control over the pace of the relationship is going, and figure out how she wants to move going forward.
3) She’s worried about her career.
As a man, it can be easy to forget that women pursue their own career paths. After all, when people imagine an ideal family, the wife usually stays at home while the husband is hard at work.
And yet, that’s not how it works, especially in this day and age.
Women can be just as motivated or ambitious with their work as men are. And sometimes love can, unfortunately, put that in jeopardy.
For example, maybe you had become jealous that her work has been keeping her away from you, and she had noticed that. Or maybe you outright tried to make her choose between work and your relationship, even.
You give her no choice but to choose and if she really values her career, she will pull away and think if a relationship with you is worth it.
How interested she is in you or how much she loves you doesn’t matter so much if she has priorities in life that can be compromised if she’s in a relationship.
4) You haven’t been meeting her needs.
All of us need something out of our partners. We need their time, attention, adoration, and what have you. The specific needs may vary from person to person, but if these needs aren’t being met, then she’d start to wonder “What’s the point?”
She may love you, but why would she continue to be with you if you aren’t even spending time with her? Or you might be spending time with her, but why should she stay if she feels like you aren’t listening to her?
There are times when there is simply nothing that can be done.
Earlier I mentioned that the specific needs vary from person to person, and sometimes two people simply have wildly different needs and it’s impossible for either of them to have a fulfilling relationship with the other.
If you are uninterested in sex, for example, while your partner is hypersexual, then your relationship might need huge compromises to work—such as settling on an open relationship—that you might or might not be willing to agree on.
But thankfully, most of the time the differences are small enough that by making small adjustments to your lifestyle, you can settle on something that can settle your mutual needs.
5) She realized her values are incompatible with yours.
All of us have values that we hold dear to us.
They are by no means static—they do change over time—but nonetheless, we aren’t generally willing to let others change them, or to make compromises just to appease others.
And perhaps it just so happens that she learned that your values clash with hers. This is especially likely if she began pulling away after you expressed your opinions on politics or whatnot.
Even if she had fallen in love with you, it’s just too hard to make things work when you disagree on the things that matter the most to either one of you. So she’ll begin pulling out—slowly, perhaps, to give you a chance to prove her conclusions of you wrong.
6) She feels objectified.
One way or another, you make her feel objectified—like you’re seeing her as less of a person and more of something you “own”.
You might not necessarily know that you’re doing this, especially if you grew up around people who think the same way.
But there are some red flags that you can spot (and hopefully correct) with some introspection.
One such example would be that you would keep speaking of men and women as if they’re worlds apart. “Women are emotional, men are rational,” and variants of it such as “men and women simply think differently,” is one such train of thought.
There are some differences between how men and women think, for sure. But many of those assertions are often condescending or outdated—straight-up sexist, at times.
And it’s not like the gap that cannot be bridged either.
For a relationship to work, everyone involved has to try to connect and understand one another, and reinforcing the existence of a gap is a huge hindrance to that.
7) You’re lacking in self-confidence.
It’s often said that women aren’t too fond of weak men. That doesn’t mean a man who is willing to be vulnerable or isn’t strong all the time. All of us have our weaknesses, and it takes a certain strength to acknowledge that.
No, what these means are men who are lacking in self-confidence. Men who would rather deflect the blame rather than own their mistakes, and refuse to do new things in fear of failure.
If you act or think like this, a woman is going to find herself wondering just what kind of future she’ll have together with you.
8) She’s stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Sometimes, the reasons why people pull away are not just hard to figure out, they can be downright obscure.
And one of those obscure reasons is that she is stuck between two hard choices that she simply can’t find a satisfactory answer to.
An example of this would be that one of your childhood friends creeped her out, or angered her. It might be easy enough to assume that she should probably tell you—but she does not. After all, what if you don’t believe her? Or, alternatively, what if she doesn’t want to ruin your friendship?
In this scenario, you can replace the childhood friend with a boss or a parent, or even an ex-girlfriend of yours who is just now your friend.
As you can see, not all problems have an easy answer, and rather than have to choose between one or the other, she might simply opt to back off.
Oftentimes, you won’t even know or even begin to guess that she was facing such a dilemma in the first place.
9) She might be reeling from a previous relationship.
It’s not unusual for people to jump into a relationship before they have healed from their previous breakup.
And if this describes her relationship with you, it’s almost inevitable that she’ll pull out at some point.
See, rebound relationships are so intoxicating because they fill the void left behind by a breakup. The need for appreciation and affirmation to help soothe a shattered sense of self, as well as the need for touch.
In short, your relationship serves the same function as a Band-Aid or a cold compress.
But as she gets over her breakup and those wounds begin to heal, that Band-Aid becomes useless, and she will inevitably begin questioning whether she truly loves you, or if she simply thought she did because she was hurting.
Sometimes the answer is yes, and sometimes the answer is a heartbreaking no. And unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it.
10) She noticed that you’re reluctant to commit to her.
Men don’t like it when their partners string them along—refusing to commit and yet at the same time not quite letting go. It’s the same with women.
By being reluctant to commit to her, you’re basically telling her that you’re just playing with her.
This might or might not be the case. For example, maybe you’re reluctant to commit because you had issues with being in a committed relationship before.
You might also think that she wouldn’t be able to notice your doubts or hesitation. After all, you might be doing a good job keeping it in your head.
But the thing is that your feelings will show in your actions, and women are often perceptive enough to tell.
And hey, if you’re not willing to commit to her, you’re simply wasting her time. So she might as well pull away—even if she loves you—and look for someone else.
11) She has feelings for someone else.
One likely reason why she would pull away is that she has feelings for someone else. Maybe she had always loved someone else, or maybe she simply fell out of love with you.
This is often the case when she starts a rebound relationship with you. She isn’t quite over her ex, and her heart still belongs to him. So when her emotions stabilize, she might question why she settled for you when she could go back out and chase her ex all over again.
Unfortunately, there’s just nothing that you can do if she simply loves someone else. It’s not like you can just wipe her mind and make her love you alone—and even if you could, would it even be love if it was forced?
Many of the other issues here can still be fixed. But this, sadly, is one where the best course of action is to let go.
12) You aren’t opening up to her emotionally.
Some men—a lot of men, in fact—like to think that they must be “strong” and stoic, and that showing emotion is a turn-off. That will make them seem “weak” or “unmanly.”
Maybe you think this way or have been subconsciously acting out this ideal for one reason or another.
It doesn’t help that there are some women who agree with this way of thinking as well.
But unfortunately, it just doesn’t make for a healthy relationship at all. Bottling up your emotions like this makes it hard for her to connect to you and at the same time prevents you from managing your emotions well.
So the end result is that you become a ticking time bomb, and someday you’ll stumble upon your last straw and unleash all that repressed emotion. Violently.
More and more women are realizing this, and would slowly back out when they notice that the guy they’re dating is simply emotionally vulnerable.
She might think that if she settles down with you, you’ll simply turn her into a mother figure, there to listen to your whining and nurse your wounds when you’re down.
And, well, who wants a life like that?
What to do about it?
1) You have to make the right moves now—get help from a relationship coach!
If you can see clearly that your woman is pulling away from you, you’re running out of time.
Instead of trying random tips and just praying to the heavens that one of them works, go straight to the experts for guidance.
While this article explores the main reasons women pull away, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your specific situation.
Relationships can be confusing and frustrating. Sometimes you’ve hit a wall and you really don’t know what to do next.
I’ve always been skeptical about getting outside help until I actually tried it out. It was the best thing I did for my relationship.
Relationship Hero is the best resource I’ve found for love coaches who aren’t just talking. They have seen it all, and they know all about how to tackle difficult situations like partners pulling away.
My coach was kind, they took the time to really understand my unique situation, and gave genuinely helpful advice.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
2) Think about the issues on your end of the relationship.
It’s not enough to simply be aware that there are issues in your relationship, and that some might be on your end. You should think about the issues themselves, and the reasons they exist in the first place.
For example, if you have been neglecting her needs, ask yourself why that is so. Is it because you have come to take her for granted, or because you simply don’t know what to do in a relationship?
Understanding these reasons will help you find a solution to your issues. It isn’t always easy—you might have to confront your demons—but it will be worth it.
3) Try to talk to her about it.
Communication is key to maintaining a healthy relationship, and it’s also key to repairing one that had begun to fall apart.
So you should definitely talk to her about the problem you noticed in the relationship.
But while you might be tempted to tell her that she’s neglecting you, don’t. That is an accusation and would push her on the defensive.
Instead, tell her that you have noticed that she has been engaging with you less and ask her why that might be so.
Try to be diplomatic, and hold your tongue should you ever feel like correcting something she has said. After all, you’re here to listen with both ears (and a big heart).
4) Try to negotiate a compromise.
After she’s shared what she’s willing to share, ask her if she’s still willing to keep going with the relationship, assuming you’re willing to change.
And if she’s willing to keep going, then definitely take time to talk over the things plaguing your relationship.
Find a middle ground that would satisfy both of you.
5) Don’t be afraid to let go.
But if she would rather say no, then don’t force her. No means no, after all, and consent isn’t contented when it’s coerced.
Likewise, if you are willing to keep going, but can’t find a satisfactory compromise, then you might have no option but to let go of each other anyways.
It’s also great that you know it sooner so you won’t be wasting your time.
6) Don’t be afraid to apologize.
If you feel like you’ve done wrong by her, then apologize.
This goes a long way to earning her trust and making her feel like you’re being genuine.
And sometimes, a genuine apology is all it takes to pull her back in.
7) Work on yourself.
Words are air. You can’t simply agree to work on your problems, and yet do nothing to fix them. So after you’ve agreed on a compromise, do your best to fulfill your end of the bargain.
And if it’s too much for you to do, then perhaps you should tell her that you can’t do it and decide to part.
8) Keep an open mind.
It’s incredibly important that you keep an open mind. Change can’t occur if you shut your mind to new things.
For example, if you have an issue with wildly incompatible values, then instead of just trying to tolerate each other, you can try to instead learn more about her values and morals, and to see if you can understand or even take her side.
If she’s happier being in an open relationship, then don’t close that door shut.
Be flexible and open because that’s where you can find solutions.
Just because she had grown distant doesn’t mean that the relationship is now over.
If you’re truly willing to work it out, then you most likely can. You just need to be genuine in your efforts to reach out to her…and make the right moves to reel her back in before it’s too late.
I mentioned earlier the importance of having a relationship coach.
They’re really your lifeline if you’ve already reached this point in your relationship. I mean it when I say your time is running out and you only have a few “moves” left to win her back.
Check out Relationship Hero and find a coach that specializes in difficult relationship problems like a partner pulling away. They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge so you can be sure you get the right guidance.