You are in a relationship that makes you feel special. You two have built a pattern of frequently checking in with each other, talking every day for hours or sending text messages many times a day. And then, you notice that something in the way he treats you has started to shift. Signs of his withdrawal are subtle at first, and you keep telling yourself it is nothing you should be worried about. Still, as his detachment grows more apparent every day, you start to panic.
How It Feels
A guy who was once interested has started to avoid you, isn't answering the phone, and you simply don't know what to do. You feel hurt because you care about him. You play every possible scenario over and over in your head, wondering what it was that you might have done or said to make him back away. However, in many cases, the reasons for a man distancing himself lie in his emotional unavailability rather than with anything you might have said or done in the relationship.
He Calls Less And Less
It’s normal for calls between lovers to subside after the initial infatuation has faded. But if you feel neglected and it bothers you, it is probably a sign that he is distancing himself from you. Usually, the main reason why a man stops calling is either because he is feeling smothered, trapped or has lost interest in you, suggests psychiatrist Mark Banschick in his article “How to Fix a Clingy Relationship” published on PsychologyToday.com.
You’re Not His Priority
You are full of understanding because he has a stressful job and doesn’t have time to return your calls during workdays. You accept that his weekends are scheduled for his hobbies, sports or his buddies, so he can't spend much time with you and your kids. If you continue to get less and less of his time, he is giving you a clear sign that you and the kids are very low on his priority list. Your partner may have difficulties with trust and may choose to withdraw from his relationship with you. Underneath it all, he may be worried that his relationship with you won't last. So instead of sitting with those uncomfortable feelings, he will distance himself and let the relationship fade away.
He’s Avoiding Physical Contact
If he is angling his body away from you in those situations where the opposite would be logical -- for example, while you’re watching a movie together on the couch -- he is actually communicating his lack of intimacy toward you. If there are also other signs such as a different tone of voice or a lack of eye contact, his body language is actually telling you that he is feeling miles apart.
Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.