Is there a formula for the perfect relationship and all the stages? Unlikely as it’s the eternal search that so many of us have, either when we are single or even with someone. Trouble is, they rarely go how we think that ‘they should’.  We all seek an inner path, a clue, a map.

One area that probably keeps the Chardonnay industry in business is the uncertainty about why men tend to pull away and what to do about it.  Hours have been spent dissecting the minutiae of each movement, each conversation, each potential nuance.

It will sometimes happen, but why?

  1. He’s just not that into her. Tough to take, frustrating to acknowledge, but a harsh reality of a number of new relationships. Could be because he’s stopped fancying her, that he’s a bit of a cad and told her what she wanted to get her into bed or that the initial fizz flattened swiftly.
  2. She’s too clingy. Death knell for any healthy union and something that would make him make Usain Bolt look like a three legged tortoise, such being the pace he would adopt to get away.
  3. She’s moving too fast. Most men simply don’t think a long way beyond the end of their noses. Yes, they might get excited about an upcoming sports match, indeed, the thought of seeing their favourite film character behaving with characteristic derring-do would titillate them but when they’re with a woman, they’re generally happy in the moment. Not known for putting pressure on the female half of the relationships, it’s common that the request to ‘take it to the next level’ can seem too much to bear.

Many men will read this and nod sagely, possibly adding their own experience as well as expanding the list. Never really the fault of the man, you understand, but that’s the way men are…

However, there is a common theme between all times a man pulls away from you – I’m afraid it’s because you are more interested in him than the other way.

Take a moment and put yourselves in his shoes and imagine if he was wild about you, wanted to take you to his parents’ house on Date 3, thought that the pair of you would look glorious old and wrinkly together and just seeing your face glowing as the latest version of the next generation was growing in your tummy would be second only to heaven (which was experienced on your wedding day) – anyway, I’m sure you’re getting the (exaggerated) picture. But that’s what causes it, in whichever guise it plays out.

If a man came up to you in a nightclub and said that he fancied you rotten and wanted to snog you, your reactions would range from revolted to receptive. Most of the time it would probably be at the former end of the spectrum or else a) you would be snogging a lot of men and b) you really wouldn’t have many friends.

An imbalance in interest can grow at any stage of a relationship, right from the nightclub to the nightcap, the first date to the fifth child – a common occurrence and one that needs addressing. No relationship survives reality without work.

What can you do about it?

A number of actions (and deciding to take no action is an action in itself so no getting off easily there…) can deal with this.

Admit it and work out how you might be more interested than him

  1. Realise that pressuring him to match you will kill things even quicker
  2. Give him his space without compromising your values
  3. Make yourself less available
  4. If he comes back, maintain the effort to continue appearing less available and make him the more interested one
  5. If he doesn’t, I’m afraid it’s Chardonnay time

Honesty is a ruthless enemy to have but a powerful ally to use. Treating yourself, your relationship and your man with honesty can seem brutal (mostly because it’s a rare quality in relationships) but it’s worthwhile. You don’t have to batter him with honesty – velvet gloves can caress whilst being directed by hands of titanium.

It might sound too simple, it might sound too fatal, but believe you me, if a man’s interested in you, you’re going to know it. He might try ‘to pull away’ but he won’t. And wouldn’t you rather be with the man who wants to be with you than the man who you are fruitlessly chasing?