Heartbreak

Is Your Boyfriend Being Distant? How To Fix It (Or Know When To Give Up)

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couple laying in the grass together while boyfriend is being distant

Your new relationship is going incredibly well. It's exciting, and you and your new guy love to spend time together. Then, seemingly out of the blue, your boyfriend is being distant.

You're fairly certain you didn't create a problem, but it's obvious that he's pulling away and that he's grown less interested in you and your relationship.

You may be surprised to learn that this is actually a quite common behavior among both men and women in relationships. Yes, you read that right: women do this, too!

While we tend to think of it as a "man thing," there's actually no documented data that proves men are more likely to become emotionally distant in a relationship than women are.

Still, from the perspective of our experts', you'll more often than not find that it is, in fact, men who seem to get suddenly distant and pull away just when everything in your relationship seems to be going perfectly.

What does it mean when your boyfriend is being distant?

Melanie Gorman, Senior Vice President of YourTango Experts, asked a group of big-name relationship experts — including relationship and communications expert Fiona Fine, author and relationship coach Gregg Michaelsen, matchmaker and dating coach Jasbina Ahluwalia and biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D. — why your guy suddenly starts acting distant in the early stages of relationships when things seem to be going to well, as well as what you can do about it.

They all agree: if your boyfriend starts acting distant, it's completely normal.

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When this happens, it's extremely frustrating. You may begin to doubt yourself and your self-esteem may waiver as you try to figure out if you did something wrong, if he's not attracted to you anymore, or if this is even normal.

As terrifying as it may be for you, when guys pull away, it doesn't necessarily mean they're losing interest in you. In fact, it could actually be the opposite!

We're usually quick to blame ourselves and think that he doesn't feel anything for you — and yes, in some cases you may be doing something that caused him to pull him away from you. But the problem could just as easily be him.

There are a few reasons your boyfriend may get distant all of a sudden that don't have anything to do with you.

1. He might be running low on testosterone.

2. He might be scared (yes, men have relationship fears, too!).

3. He may be overwhelmed by his feelings for you.

4. He may be stereotypically afraid of commitment.

Unfortunately, the worst-case scenario is that your boyfriend's distance does have something to do with his relationship with you.

If that's the case, there are a few signs your boyfriend is tired of you that you can look for.

For example, his visions for the future may not include you, he may get angry or annoyed with you easily, he may not want to talk about your relationship, or he may no longer want to have sex with you.

There are so many different reasons why he may suddenly grow emotionally distant that it's important for you to avoid making any assumptions.

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He may not be getting ready to ghost you at all. He may just be dealing with his feelings in a way you don't understand.

And the good news is that there are things you can do to help your relationship get back on track when he's ready. Here are a few expert tips for dealing with a distant boyfriend.

What to Do if Your Boyfriend is Being Distant

1. Let him have his space ... but not too much.

One of the main reasons men pull away is a lack of testosterone.

Women love to cuddle to de-stress because it increases their estrogen levels. The trouble is, it does the same for the estrogen in men (yes, men produce estrogen, too!). While the increase helps to calm women, it creates stress in men as it also lowers their testosterone level.

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Let your man go do some "manly things" to build up his testosterone levels again and he'll come right back to you, ready to handle anything.

Just don't pull away entirely or he'll be left confused and think you don't want him back so he won't come back.

2. Don't rush your relationship.

Think back to your relationship and be honest with yourself: are you moving too fast?

It's a big transition from, "I'm single and ready to mingle" to "I'm in a wonderful relationship with this one woman." That can be jarring for a man, which is why when a woman comes around that seems to be worth it, they take a step back to understand their feelings and determine whether she's worth giving up the single life.

But if you're not giving him a chance to slowly adjust and jump from going on the first date to saying "I love you" and talking about your future, you're only going to scare him away for good before he can work it all out.

3. Encourage him to have his own social life — and have one of your own.

Men are also scared that you'll take them away from their friends. Yes, on some level they want you to occupy most of their time. But they don't want you to be completely controlling and the only friend they have.

Yes, you're in a relationship but while your partner is — and should be — the center of your world, your world shouldn't revolve entirely around them.

Encourage your man to have a guys' night out or to invite his friends over for the game. And take time for your own girls' night without texting him every two minutes.

Ignore your man every once in a while and he'll find he can't stop thinking about you whenever you're not with him.

4. Offer to pay or at least chip in.

Whether right or wrong, men worry that the woman they're dating or interested in dating might only be interested in them for the money and the things they'll buy you.

Show him you're not interested in him for what he can give you. Offer to chip in on your dinner date or pay for your own drink when you go out to the park.

He may turn you down, but genuinely making the offer proves to him you're attracted to him for who he is not his bank account.

5. Keep things interesting in the bedroom.

Most guys do want to commit to someone they can go to sleep with and wake up next every day, but often, that distance you sense is his fear that being in a committed relationship with you will mean he won't ever experience the thrill of having sex with another woman — ever.

So keep things interesting. Switch up your positions or try acting out some fantasies. Keep him coming back for more so you don't fall into a boring routine he'll get tired of.

6. Most importantly, do not chase him!

Don't go running after him! It's so important that we had to say it twice!

Instead, do things that make you happy to keep your mind off the situation until your partner returns. Take that pottery class you've been wanting to take for months or catch up on your scrapbooking or finally sit down and start that novel you keep talking about.

If you mope and worry about it, you'll be too hurt to stay with him when he returns. So turn this time to something else you're passionate about and you won't feel as if you'd wasted all this time waiting.

Even when you're in a loving, committed, and healthy relationship, sometimes you just need a break.

It's normal! Just because he pulls away doesn't mean he's not your soulmate.

Stay happy and optimistic about your relationship. Give him a chance to catch his breath and realize how perfect you are together and how you are worth overcoming every single one of his fears.

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Melanie Gorman is the Senior VP of YourTango Experts.

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