Is your guy growing distant?
Despite differences in personality and attachment style, women in general tend to develop the same combination of bad habits when they are in a relationship. And without even realizing it, these negative patterns cause women to self-sabotage otherwise healthy relationships and make men pull away.
If you’re worried that your guy is growing emotionally distant or pulling away in your relationship, it’s only natural to start looking for the underlying cause. How else are you going to fix your relationship and re-establish your connection?
However, this all-too-common response could actually be the real reason why men pull away from you in relationships.
As you spend more and more time with your partner and your feelings develop, your focus of attention goes away from yourself and your needs and, instead, toward the thoughts, feelings, and body language of your partner, in order to sustain and nurture your relationship.
In and of itself, focusing outward on your partner and tuning into them is not a negative behavior pattern — it is actually a skill that’s essential for thriving, healthy relationships. The danger is when it goes too far and these actions get in the way of authentic connection.
Why do men pull away in relationships?
When in relationship, we naturally want to understand and take care of our partner. But this essential aspect of relationship can take a negative turn when fear and worry start to creep into the equation.
As the relationship deepens, fear of it ending can arise — particularly if you have experienced multiple relationships fizzling out or are in a relationship that regularly fluctuates between periods of deep connection and periods of icy distance.
If this type of “loss” is a regular experience, then naturally, you would look for it coming down the pike and probably develop tactics to try and avoid it once you spot the signs its coming.
When the fear of and worry about looming disconnection begin to take over, women often make the mistake of turning away from themselves and toward fixing the anticipated problem.
When you sense he’s pulling away, becoming distant or acting emotionally unavailable, you begin to watch your partner very closely — you watch his facial expressions and body language, listen for shifts in his tone of voice and analyze his behavior — because everything he does (or doesn’t do!) could be a sign of impending doom for your relationship.
You feel that if you can catch it early, you can stop the freight train of pain that’s coming in its wake. The problem is that your focused negative attention actually makes your partner want to withdraw even more, because they feel scrutinized and not trusted.
Ultimately, you end up self-sabotaging your relationship and creating exactly what you feared experiencing in the first place: unwanted distance between you and your partner.
But what’s the alternative? Are we to just ignore the signs, slap on a happy face sticker, and sweep our fears under the rug when we sense our partner pulling away?
Absolutely not! But you also cannot make your fear and worry your partner’s problem, either.
The solution is to turn your attention back toward yourself and feel what you are feeling, rather than ignoring it or trying to control it by being vigilant or constantly in detective mode.
While it can temporarily feel safer and like you doing something to make your fears go away when you drift outside of yourself and focus your attention outward, that will never work. The fear is not “out there.” It is inside of you, and it’s yours alone to deal with.
Addressing these deep-rooted fears may sound intimidating, but realistically ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?”
If you took a moment, begin to breathe slowly and simply tuned into the sensation of fear in your body, you would quickly realize that your fears can’t actually hurt you, and you certainly won’t die from processing them.
If you allowed your fears and worries to be there, experiencing them as a wave of flowing energy, you would notice that each wave passes through your mind and body in 90 seconds or less.
Plus, when you allow the fear to surface, sit with it and watch what pops up within you as a result, you actually make yourself available to what is really going on. At last, you can hear yourself think.
Now, you can finally listen to all those self-sabotaging stories you have going on in your head about your current relationship that are based on past pain and the ones you anticipate happening in the future. You can recognize that those stories are everywhere but in the present … where your current relationship actually exists.
When you acknowledge your fears and allow them to flow through you, on the other side, there is space for you to tune into what is actually happening in your current relationship.
As you sit with that new revelation, you then get to observe what you think and feel about your relationship — as it is right now.
Your relationship may, in fact, be absolutely fine and exactly what you want. Or, you may find that there are things you would like to be different, which will require you to make some changes or make some requests. You may find the idea of making changes scary — so then, you get to sit with that and work through it, as well.
The truth is, your fear is not your partner’s responsibility, so putting your attention on them never solves the problem.
You are always the source of your own pain — and you are the source of your own answers, too.
This post was originally published on YourTango.com