A Curious Reason Explains Why Some Men Pull Away

A Curious Reason Explains Why Some Men Pull AwayThere’s not a woman alive it hasn’t happened to.

You think it’s going so well—

Until he pulls back.

He stops calling. He doesn’t reply to your texts. You have no idea where his attention has gone.

If you’re lucky, he shows up one day, acting as if nothing happened. When questioned, he just shrugs. “I’ve been busy.”

Busy?

So busy he couldn’t call you?

So busy he couldn’t answer your texts?

Of course he must be lying.

Maybe there’s someone else. Maybe he’s having doubts.

Whatever it is, you won’t rest until you get to the bottom of it.

And that’s the beginning of the end. He feels like you don’t trust him, or accuses you of suffocating him, while all you want is a guy who keeps in touch and lets you know what’s going on. That’s reasonable, isn’t it?

There are a lot of reasons this dynamic can occur, but one of the most interesting comes from attachment theory.

Understand it, and you’ll see why a man’s distance may just be due to his attachment style.

Attachment theory proposes that each of us has 1 of 3 major attachment styles.

  1. Securely attached
  2. Insecurely attached: Avoidant
  3. Insecurely attached: Anxious

The second attachment style, avoidant, is the one you need to know about, because it can cause a man to act distant even when he genuinely wants to be with you.

But first, what are attachment styles?

They’re strategies we use to get our needs met. They’re developed back in early childhood, in response to both our own genetic temperament, and how we experienced the bond with our primary caregiver.

If your parents were smothering or controlling, you probably pulled back. You wanted their love, but you needed more control over when and how closeness occurred. As a result, you developed an avoidant attachment style.

If your parents were inconsistent—emotionally volatile, or not always there—you may have looked for ways to keep them close to you. You were always afraid of losing their love or attention. As a result, you developed an anxious attachment style.

If your parents were consistently loving, able to bond with you emotionally without overwhelming you, then you had it made. You could confidently go out into the world, knowing help was available if you stumbled. You developed a secure attachment style.

Although there are formal tests to determine your attachment style, you can take a reasonably good guess which style describes you best by answering this question:

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4 Easy Ways to Enhance Conversation with Your Date

4 Easy Ways to Enhance Conversation with Your DateDo you have a strategy for making a real connection with a guy when you go out? Would you like one? How about four?

Because boy, oh boy does bad conversation get awkward when you’re on a date.

You know the kind I mean. You sit down at the table, the waiter takes your drink order, and then the two of you stare at anything but each other because the silence is wildly uncomfortable. He asks what looks good for dinner, and you say something about the chicken. Soon you’re reading—actually reading—the little “table tent” advertising the happy hour specials.

When the waiter comes back, you want to ask if you can leave with him.

Pure torture. And the sad truth is I’m not just talking about first dates. Sometimes long-term relationships get to that point, too. That hurts on a whole different level.

But the good news is there are ways to encourage conversation without making it feel forced.

A recent study found that there’s actually an ideal temperature for inspiring social interaction. (It’s 71.6°.) Similarly, there are ideal conversational habits for getting a good discussion going, too.

And the good news gets better. This stuff is easy. In fact, it’s stuff you probably already do in some situations. The challenging part is remembering to use these techniques when you’re on a date.

If you can remember to work these four conversational skills into your dating banter, relationship-building conversation will flow.

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Who’s Smarter in Love: Your Head, Your Heart, or Your Gut?

Who’s Smarter in Love: Your Head, Your Heart, or Your Gut?When it comes to relationships, no one can make decisions for you.

You’re the only one who knows what’s in your heart.

But there’s a problem with listening to your heart.

Your head doesn’t always agree.

In fact, they often tell you two separate things.

“Go ahead, text him and tell him what a great time you had!”
“No! Don’t do that. He’ll think you’re too eager.”
“But he seems like such a nice guy. And it’s just a friendly text.”
“You’re just going to shoot yourself in the foot, I’m telling you.”

Your head is the voice of reason. It believes in following rules. It warns you against acting impulsively. And it doesn’t trust your heart.

After all, hasn’t your heart led you astray before? Follow your heart, and look where you end up. You make better decisions when you think things through carefully … or do you?

Way too confusing.

That’s why I want to suggest an alternative way of making relationship decisions.

It involves listening to your second brain:

The brain in your gut.

Also known as the enteric nervous system, the 100 million neurons in your gut don’t just help digest the food you eat. They also affect your mood.

Ever felt sick to your stomach or got butterflies in your stomach? Then you’ve experienced the mind-gut connection.

Research into the fascinating world of the thinking gut is still in its infancy. But common sense urges us to trust our gut instincts. Because our gut is responding to a vast reservoir of subconscious processing.

Your conscious thoughts are like the tiny bit of an iceburg that sticks up above the water’s surface.  90% of your thought process is going on below the level of conscious awareness.  But your gut is like an antenna.  It picks up on all that subconscious processing.

It can be hard to tease out what your gut is saying when your heart is urging you to love freely and your head is warning you to hold back.

So here’s a trick I sometimes recommend.

Get clear on the question you’re asking. For example, are you wondering if you should go out with him again?

First, imagine what would happen if you said yes. Paint a clear picture in your head of what that would entail. Imagine yourself making arrangements to meet up, getting ready for the date, and waiting for him to arrive.

Then do this.

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Low Self-Esteem Linked to Staying in Bad Relationships

Low Self-Esteem Linked to Staying in Bad RelationshipsWe’ve heard it a thousand times:

Love yourself.

If you don’t love yourself, you’ll settle for a man who doesn’t value you.

That’s obvious, right?

But looking back on your relationship history, you may be able to pick out quite a few exes who didn’t value you. Even a few that you probably settled for.

Does that mean you don’t love yourself?

“Love yourself,” like a lot of feel-good sayings, is popular because it feels true.

But the more you dig down into it, the more you find it doesn’t actually tell you much at all.

Let’s say you’re talking with a friend about a romantic difficulty you’ve found yourself in. She looks you straight in the eye and tells you, “Girl, you just gotta love yourself!”

Of course you’re going to nod. Naturally,  you know she’s right.

But how has that comment helped you?

What can you possibly do with it?

Are you going to go home and start loving yourself from this day forward?

It would be nice if you could. But self-love isn’t that easy.

Here’s what we do know. We know there’s a link between low self-esteem and staying in bad relationships.

A study found that partners with low self-esteem avoid confrontation for fear of rejection.[1] They don’t want to bring up problems, because they worry that any complaint could cost them the relationship.

So is the answer to tell that person to love herself…

Or help her develop the courage to ask for what she wants?

I can’t give anyone the self-love they may be missing. But what I can do is help my coaching clients envision how it would feel to them to be in a great relationship.

When you know in your heart what a great relationship feels like to you, you can see the difference between the one you’re in now and the one you want to be in.

You may still struggle with feeling worthy, but knowing that what you have isn’t what you want will give you enormous power.

The power to ask for changes to your existing relationship … or release it with love.

So let’s look at some questions to help you brainstorm what your great relationship might look like.

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