It happens without any warning: your relationship is humming along and you’re finally starting to really see a future with someone when suddenly, he’s gone so fast there’s no time to ask, “What went wrong?” If you really want to know what happened, read on for the true
reasons that these men stage their escape — and how you can help prevent this from ever happening to you again.
Reason #1: He assumes you’re ready to settle down (even if you’re not)
“After a few months, men often sense that the woman is interested in something more,” explains Warren Farrell, Ph.D., author of Why Men Are the Way They Are.
Even if you aren’t dying to solidify your relationship, he may just assume that’s the case based on past experiences. So unless you make it crystal clear that you’re fine keeping things casual, he could start feeling the walls close in: gone are the days when it’s fine for him to date other people or go out with the guys without asking you first. This perceived lack of freedom puts many men on edge, convincing them to make the leap back into singledom.
Reason #2: He does want to get into a serious relationship — but you’re not his Ms. Right
It’s true that lots of men aren’t commitment-shy and are genuinely looking to settle down. And if you’ve been dating for a while, your conversations have shifted away from superficial topics (like how much he loves your smile) to more meaningful matters — such as what your individual views are on marriage and having kids. It’s around this time that a man “begins to discover what values this woman has versus his own,” says Farrell. And maybe he’s discovered some major differences, too: you might begin talking about your dreams of moving to the country, while he is all about living the city life. Or he might be looking to start a family, while you’re focused on moving up in your career. Once these priorities become apparent, they can convince a man to cut ties if he thinks you’re incompatible over the long-term. Try to look on the bright side: he probably just came to the same conclusion that you eventually would have, too.
Reason #3: You’ve gone from being slightly cold to downright accusatory
In the beginning of the relationship, it’s easy to let small infractions slide. For example, maybe he was 10 minutes late for a date due to traffic or didn’t call one night when he said he would. At this early stage, it’s easy to say, “No problem! I know traffic can be unpredictable at this hour” or “Don’t worry, I know work can get busy.” But as things get more serious, your mellow attitude can transform into the very thing men dread: indications that you’re disappointed, or annoyed, or angry about the very things you once took in stride. “When she calls to say stuff like, ‘How come I haven’t heard from you in a few days?’ that’s when I get close to the pushing the eject button,” admits Rob Frankel, 48. We’re not saying you should just smile and accept bad behavior, but give your guy the same slack you’d give your friends and family, and he won’t feel like the long leash you once gave him is getting shorter and shorter…
Reason #4: He’s addicted to the thrill of the chase
Call it immature (because it is), but some men really just love the pursuit. Nevin Jenkins, 32, typically looks for the exit ramp when he realizes the relationship is no longer a challenge. “Once I proved to myself that I could get a date with her and be comfortable with her, I wasn’t interested anymore,” he admits. “I was in love with the chase, not the person.” Here is an inside tip on spotting (and avoiding) these cads: at every turn, they’ll be pulling all the stops to convince you to acquiesce to things you’re not quite ready to do, from your first kiss to a whirlwind weekend away together. If you feel uncomfortable stating any reservations or putting on the brakes, that could be a sign you’re uncomfortable with him
. Consider yourself warned.
Reason #5: You’ve gotten comfortable — too comfortable
Sure, it’s great to get to the point in a relationship when you’re no longer being painfully polite or self-conscious. But that doesn’t mean he wants you acting so comfortable it feels like he’s hanging out with his college roommate, either. “After a few months, a woman lets down her guard and shows us more of who she really is,” says Zachary M.C. Harris, author of The Men’s Dump Survival Guide and Field Manual.
Don’t worry, this is usually a good thing — but there are times you’ll want to be careful. Have you downgraded from appearing for your dates all dolled up to baggy jeans, sweatshirts, and flip-flops? Are you griping about your indigestion, work, or what your trainer said during your last gym session? These, dear ladies, are mood-killers and you gain nothing from telling him about these things — at any
point in a relationship. Keeping a little romance and mystery going is something that will never work against you.
Jonathan Small is a writer living in Los Angeles who’s contributed to
Glamour and other publications.
Article courtesy of Match.com