Almost every woman who has dated someone in the past half-century has experienced the blowoff—also known as the fadeout or the cool pulling-away—at some point. One minute they are on the best date of their lives, the next she’s waiting to hear from him for weeks and is wondering … what happened?
Why do men do this?
This is common enough that entire books have been written about it, Oprah has done at least a dozen shows on it, and dating columnists and relationship gurus have made entire careers out of helping women understand this phenomenon. Understanding why you have become the victim of the blowoff will help ensure you never get caught in that cool fade zone again.
- It’s the chemistry, but not the chemistry you are thinking of. In all likelihood, the chemistry between the two of you couldn’t be better, but still he’s fading out. His own personal chemistry has everything to do with it, and it’s the little chemical called oxytocin that is the culprit. Oxytocin is a hormone that rises and falls according to what is happening with … our other hormones. When oxytocin levels in women increase, they feel bonded with the person they are with. Men may feel this effect as well, but they also feel others’. Their testosterone decreases and they actually feel more stressed. Read, pressured. Just when you thought it was going good, he started freaking out and pulled away.
- He’s feeling pressured. You’ve reached a point in your relationship where it needs to either move forward or stop moving. This will freak him out, even if he thinks you walk on water. You might be pursuing and pressuring a bit too much. If you are, and he’s getting quiet, it’s because he knows you need to move forward and is having his own quiet little freak-out about it.
- The Uncertainty Stage. John Gray, often referred to as the Mars and Venus guy due to his bestselling book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, says this is an actual stage ALL long-term relationships go through, and it’s an important one. According to him, your guy is just feeling uncertain and trying to figure it out himself. He’s torn between taking it to the next level and losing his freedom. The best way to get through this stage and come out WITH your man still on your arm is to let go of the pressure-cooker talks, encourage him to have his own freedom and still appreciate all of the benefits of being with someone as awesome as you.
- He’s actually busy. This is where you ask yourself, is he really fading out? Or is not answering your text messages in 30 minutes your version of the blowoff? Be realistic. He’s allowed to have a life, and if you don’t let him, you won’t keep him. He might just be busy. His grandmother is dying, he needs to put in extra hours before he loses his job, and you get the picture. Once again, pressuring him to text you immediately is going to work against you.
- You stopped being his biggest fan. Simply put, men don’t stay where they aren’t appreciated, and they marry the girl who they think is their biggest fan. If they marry that girl and she starts fading out, they will have the affair with the girl who is their biggest fan. You like being appreciated too, right? So does he. Be his biggest fan, 100% of the time, and he won’t want to lose you.
- There’s someone else. Unfortunately, this happens, but this in all likelihood happens most when the woman he is with has stopped doing all of the above variables, and has pressured him into moving things forward with her, without taking his perspective at all. If he’s found someone else, that doesn’t mean that hope is lost. It just means your work is a little more cut out for you. But if he has stopped contact cold turkey, this unfortunately may be one of the bona fide reasons why.
The bottom line is that this is another one of those situations where women do more damage to themselves than they intend to, even though their intentions are pure. They want to move things to the next level, he might even want that too, but they go about it the wrong way. When a man feels pressure, no matter what the situation is, he resists. Allowing your man to have the freedom he deserves as an able-bodied male, while still enjoying all of the benefits that come from being with you, will prevent him from fading into black. Pressuring him or forcing the issue is simply going to raise his hormone levels to a place where he won’t know which way to turn—except in the other direction.
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