Do you find yourself stuck in a pattern of dating men and starting to fall for them, only to have them lose interest and pull away?
Are you sick of waiting around for guys who don’t return your calls or texts because they’ve suddenly become disinterested and ghosted you?
When nothing in your love life seems to be going your way, you end up feeling rejected — so rejected, in fact, that you become fearful of dating another guy, not wanting to get rejected again.
This is how fear of rejection sets in.
Yet, when you’re not dating, you end up feeling anxious. Everyone around you is getting married, and you worry that you will be left on the shelf, all alone. So, you wind up feeling desperate to find that special person, searching hard while fearing the worst.
If you continually find yourself being rejected in relationships, there could be one single cause for why men pull away and lose interest in you: Your fear of rejection is sabotaging your dating life.
Sometimes, the more we fear rejection, the more we unconsciously push love away. The more we avoid feelings of rejection or feeling unwanted, the more effort we put into pleasing a partner so he will not leave.
This occurs when we don’t love ourselves, so we turn to men to feel good about ourselves. This pattern actually causes you to put your entire focus on them — not yourself. You become less attractive as a person when you give up yourself and make your partner the entire source of your happiness.
When you give up your hobbies, friends, and interests and make your partner your entire focus, you can lose yourself and become dependent on the relationship to pick you up. When they become your entire source of need fulfillment, then you have nothing real to offer them in return — you only want something back from them.
Guys become bored and lose interest when they see you’ve got nothing left to offer them, which is why men pull away. Plus, when your life revolves around theirs, you become unfulfilled within yourself.
If you have a fear of rejection, here 7 things you might be doing that make men pull away and lose interest in relationships.
1. You make him feel like he cannot be himself
Firstly, after the honeymoon phase, a man can feel secure enough in the relationship and not need to put so much effort into captivating your interest. It’s perfectly acceptable to just take some space, in order to get on with their own life again. This does not mean he’s not keen or he’s rejecting you, but if you start to feel insecure and demand his full attention, he may pull back so he can be himself.
If he feels that he needs to respond to your every need and cannot be himself, he will lose interest in you. If a man feels smothered, he will pull away from you.
2. You come across as desperate or clingy
People become clingy to avoid separation anxiety or being alone. If a man feels that you’re coming on too fast, without giving them the chance to get to know you and chase you, it can drive a man away.
You become less interesting if you are so focused on getting his attention, rather than being yourself. Let him get to know you, so he can decide whether he wants to pursue you.
3. You’re not happy within yourself
Men are like natural hunters who want to gather their prey. They like to do the chasing and have the choice of what they want. So he needs to see that you’re captivating for him to maintain his interest. This means being happy within yourself and not needing him to make yourself feel good about yourself.
If you come across as too sensitive, insecure, or needing their reassurance, he will think you require a lot of external validation. It can feel like hard work to focus on you all of the time.
He’ll become afraid to express himself, in case it easily upsets you, and no one wants to walk on eggshells around someone.
4. You don’t open your heart to him
If you don’t let a man in because you fear getting hurt, you can give the impression that you’re not into him, so he pulls away.
When he feels unwanted, he doesn’t want you either.
5. You criticize him
For example, if you perceive you’re being rejected when a guy simply forgets to return your call and tell him so, he can feel attacked for no real reason at all.
A man pulls away when you insult or criticize him, causing him to feel not very good about himself, so he thinks twice about taking you out again.
6. He feels unwanted around you
When you show no interest in him and talk only about yourself — even if talking it out is just a way to deal with your anxiety— this can make you seem self-absorbed or disinterested in him.
7. You attack or act like you own him
If you feel abandoned because he’s too busy to catch up all the time, then this can tell him that you’re too sensitive to rejection. He will feel attacked if he says or does the wrong thing.
He may even feel guilty going out and doing his own thing, to the point that he stops being himself and enjoying himself, in order to appease your fear of being alone. When a man feels unsatisfied in a relationship, he looks for a way out.
So, why do men pull away from you in relationships?
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Because when you protect your heart from getting hurt, you don’t make him feel wanted. When you protect yourself from getting hurt by not letting him in, you close yourself off from receiving love and giving it back.
When you’re afraid of being rejected, you can give off the signal that you’re not interested in him. This can make men pull away and sabotage your chances of love, without you even realizing it.
But when you become in touch with your feelings or aware of your fear of rejection, then you do not let them get in the way of forming healthy relationships. When you are in touch with your emotions, you stop protecting yourself from rejection.
Instead, you can express your feelings in a way that warms a man’s heart and brings him closer to you. When you can express your feelings of love, you make it safe for him to truly love you back, in a real way.
We all get drawn to those who can enhance our sense of self and give love back to us, so we can feel secure in relationships.
Nancy Carbone is a relationship therapist who works through the feelings of rejection in order to become unstuck from unhealthy relationship patterns, as well as restore a stronger foundation for oneself.