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How to Tell When Your Boyfriend Is Backing Away From You

by Carrie Stemke

Few things are more upsetting than when the boyfriend you're becoming really attached to starts to pull away from the relationship. Withdrawal is generally characterized by a lack of emotional and physical availability in place of the affection and interest that was present before. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to change his mind, but you can notice the signs that he's distancing himself in case you need to emotionally and mentally prepare yourself to look elsewhere for Mr. Right.

He's Begun to Disappear

When a guy likes you, he makes an effort to call, text, and spend time with you on a regular basis. But when his texts start to become more infrequent and you're noticing that you see less and less of him, it's a red flag that he's losing interest. This shouldn't be confused with a couple of days not hearing from him here and there. True withdrawal from you will be marked by a significant change in how often he's (not) contacting you, and by a list of excuses when you bring it up.

You're Not Mentioned in His Future

He used to talk about how he'd love to bring you to his hometown, or how much fun the two of you were going to have that summer. Now, whenever he talks about the future, you find yourself curiously lacking from the picture. This is a telltale sign he's pulling away. A guy who doesn't see you in his future will be likely to use the pronoun "I" much more than "we," and he'll be reluctant to make any long-term plans with you.

He's Stopped Paying Attention

If your man has become both emotionally and physically unavailable to you, you have a legitimate cause for concern. Think about whether his behavior recently has become radically different. If he used to be very snuggly but now sits on the other side of the couch, or if he starts to continuously forget to ask about things in your life, he's showing signs of losing interest. When one partner is starting to look for a way out, emotional and physical intimacy are frequently among the first casualties in a relationship.

He's Become Very Critical

Overnight, the two of you go from having a great time together to him constantly criticizing you. While you might be tempted to brush this off as him getting comfortable enough in the relationship to bring up things he doesn't like about you, you're actually witnessing a defense mechanism. Unfortunately, some guys who are looking to exit a relationship will try to make you out to be the bad guy, just so he doesn't have to feel guilty. A word of advice: don't let this behavior bring you down. You deserve better.

About the Author

A New York native, Carrie Stemke is an avid writer, editor and traveler whose work has covered many different topics. She has had a lifelong fascination with and love of psychology, and hold's a bachelor's degree in the subject. Her psychology research articles have been published in Personality and Individual Differences and in Modern Psychological Studies.

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