What To Do When He Is Emotionally Distant

Written by Christian Carter |  7 Comments
emotionally distant men

Ever wonder how in the world you’re supposed to get closer to a man and connect with him, let alone have a real relationship, when he won’t even open up, listen or share what’s going on inside?

Like when you seem to be drifting farther and farther apart, and actually talk and share less as time goes on…but the guy doesn’t seem to notice or care?

Where did all the conversation, connection, attraction and passion go to?

I mean, is it really a woman’s “job” to be the one who does all the work just to get a man to actually COMMUNICATE and connect?

The answer is NO….

However, the reality is that lots of women have relationships with men that become stuck in a rut this way. But, guess what?


Keep reading and you’ll LEARN how men can go from “emotionally unavailable” and withdrawn with a woman, to intimate and connected, WITHOUT you having to do all the work.

But first, let me ask you…

Have you ever felt like you just weren’t able to talk to a man about anything “serious” or important in your relationship? At least not without things turning ugly?

And, forget about sharing your deeper feelings, questions, or doubts.

These would seriously FREAK HIM OUT and push his buttons, right?

What’s with men?

Are we completely immature and incapable, or do women share responsibility here too?

Good question.

If you’ve ever felt lonely, disconnected, or unappreciated because you didn’t have a “voice” inside your relationship with a man…

Or if a man didn’t ever “see” or “hear” you, even when you couldn’t have been more open, thoughtful and direct, then you won’t want to miss this email.


One of the most common, frustrating and destructive things men do with women in relationships is pull away or completely withdraw emotionally.

If you’ve ever had this happen and it dragged on, even just for a few hours or days, then you know it can feel like a slow “emotional death.”

Your creativity, energy, and passion all start to wither away and you get drawn into some weird “funk.”

Give me a silent nod if you know what I’m talking about and you’ve experienced the negative effects of “emotional withdrawal” with a man before.

Well, there’s something that lots of women don’t recognize that I want to share with you…

It’s strange, kind of bizarre, and hard for lots of women to believe…but it’s something I’ve observed again and again about men.

It’s that when it comes to emotional withdrawal and distance in a relationship, most men DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND what it is.

And therefore they can’t notice it or see it as a problem to address when it comes up.

Ok, let me repeat that.

Some men just plain DON’T GET IT.

Got it?

Now, why am I telling you this?

Because lots of women get upset when a man withdraws and pays more attention to his favorite sports team, work, or whatever, and they take it personally…as though the man is consciously doing something to ruin the relationship or to REJECT her.


The truth is that lots of men have no idea how important sharing feelings, emotions, and experiences are to a relationship…and they honestly don’t have much practice at it either.

So, when a great woman comes along that he could have an amazing time with and get close to…

And, she starts noticing that he has some emotional shortcomings that he doesn’t have all the answers for, or experience with…

Instead of identifying these for what they are (part of his natural “masculine” tendency to pull away and focus in an emotionally uninvolved way), she feels rejected, unappreciated or deadened by it.

How many men do you know who get together with their friends to talk about their feelings and discuss the details and meaning of the relationships in their lives?


That’s why it’s FASCINATING to recognize that lots of men actually value NOT SHARING these things (feelings, emotions, meaning behind relationships).

Men who are this way often say or think things like:

“It’s better if we don’t talk about it…”

Or…”Why do you nag me about this stuff?!”

Sound familiar?

So, what’s a woman to do with a man who thinks or talks this way?

Dump him and move on?

Ok, I can’t make that decision for you, but a man MUST BE willing to be part of the learning process that IS a relationship.

Translation – if he’s open to learning and growth in some way, then he’s not a lost cause.

So, how open to learning and growth is your guy?

And how open to learning and growth are you?

Or is all this talk about learning to understand more about men feeling like too much “work?”


Since men aren’t going to magically change their biological make-up, personalities, or brain chemistry any time soon, let me ask you an important question…

Have you ever thought about how a man’s “emotional withdrawal” actually works, and what brings it about?

I’m asking because I’ve noticed something crazy and fascinating…

Lots of women don’t take the time to think through HOW and WHY a man becomes distant.

(Just like lots of men don’t think through how or why a woman wants to emotionally connect.)

Instead, they jump to immediately feeling frustrated that it’s happening… AGAIN. (Which usually leads to things getting worse, not better.)

And hey…I get that this would be frustrating for a woman, who’s putting so much of herself into the relationship, to try and make things better for him and her.

But, there’s a better way than becoming emotionally drained and resisting when a man acts like this…

So, what can a woman do to avoid a man’s “withdrawal response” in the first place to save them both the trouble?

And, how can a woman deal with this, unfortunately, common situation with men, in a healthy way and get back to an open, loving place quickly?

I thought you’d never ask…


The first step for a woman is to identify how the man withdraws.


So she can understand what’s going on when it happens, and not be caught off guard or get carried away with the fear of not knowing what’s happening.

As strange as it might sound, just knowing more about how a man withdraws will keep you in a better emotional and mental state.

Below are a few of the ways men can withdraw and avoid emotional connection. See if you can identify with any of these:

- He doesn’t listen at all or dismisses what you’re saying because he’s distracted, focused on, or more interested in, something else.

- He gets defensive for no good reason, tries to argue and turns the table with anything you say, telling you that you give him too much “drama” and points out your faults.

- He plays dumb. (And maybe he’s not even playing!)

- He immediately responds with irritation and frustration when you mention the distance between you, and tells you that you’re overreacting.

- He’s so wrapped up or stressed by his work or projects in his life that when you do spend time together, he’s still not really there with you. And he seems even more irritated when you try to get him to relax and open up.

- He tries to appease you by acting like he “gets” what you’re talking about, but he doesn’t really listen or take what you have to say to heart. It’s back to the same old guy behavior a few days or weeks later.

- He has no idea what to do or how to start communicating with you on the subject, so he changes the subject or tunes out to avoid talking about it.

Ok. Now, any of these look familiar?

You might even recognize several.

You might even have one or two of these that seem to happen over and over.

I want you to realize that these are the withdrawal behaviors that take place, and I want you to become aware of how they work.


Now, there’s another reason for doing all this that relates just to YOU…

I want you to take out a piece of paper right now and write down the thoughts that came to mind as you read this.

First write down, in detail, what it is that the guy you are with, or your ex, did in the past to withdraw.

Then, once you’ve done this, describe how the distance or withdrawal made you FEEL inside.

I’ll give you a minute.

Ok, now that you’ve got your thoughts down, there’s a second step after identifying how withdrawal takes place…

Our minds have a tricky and destructive habit that leads us to make faulty and negative associations between what happens in the world around us and the personal meaning we give them inside.

Let me give you an example…

You probably know people who are convinced that they have terrible luck, so when anything happens they think, “Of course, I’m such an unlucky person…”

These kind of people have a very negative view of everything that happens to them because they see themselves as someone to whom only bad things happen.

I call this “Limiting Beliefs”, and we all have some version of this that fits our own fears and life experiences.

Right now you’re going to identify some of your own Limiting Beliefs around what it means about YOU when a man withdraws or acts distant.

That way, you can better understand and make good choices if it happens with a man again.

Following me?


So what is the feeling you had when you think back to when a man withdrew from you?

Picture it in your mind.

Now, take that negative feeling and find the “internal state” that it created inside you, which is the general emotional state that you felt.

Realize that the feelings you had, and the state you were in, were a result of YOUR OWN BELIEFS about what the man’s behavior meant.

But, here’s the thing…

Our beliefs are NOT often the “reality” of the situations we’re in.

In other words, a man’s behavior DOES NOT have to equal a negative reaction or feeling inside YOU.

Read that line above again.

Good. Now…think about the negative belief inside your own head that created the negative feeling or reaction inside you.

What was that belief?

There might be more than one.

Take several minutes and write it down.

I’ll give you another minute…

So, here’s the whole point. It SOUNDS simple, but it isn’t. It’s very powerful…

I want you to try and remain AWARE of the Limiting Belief that you have, that you have identified, so you can start to “un-link” the faulty judgments and reactions that these Limiting Beliefs will try and make for you subconsciously.

And, once that happens, you’ll start to have your mind “freed up” to make new, productive choices that will naturally bring a man closer to you and make him start connecting with you.


We just did a quick exercise that can bring a lot of real, positive change to you and any relationship you have…including a relationship with a man.

But, that’s just the first step…the tip of the iceberg so to speak.

There’s a TON more where that came from, and that’s why I want you to take the next step.


I’ll talk to you again soon… and best of luck in life and love!

Your Friend,
Christian Carter

Christian Carter is a leading advisor to women on dating, relationships, connection and love. An expert in psychology, communication and behavior, Christian Carter has developed foundational concepts that help women understand men, dating and relationships. Visit Christian's official website, by clicking here.


  1. Colleen Herring says:

    GOAL: “Keep Learning”.

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  2. Nakita says:

    This is a good article. I’m going to save it for future reference.

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  3. Nakita says:

    I’m going through this right now but I never met the guy yet. He now lives in Florida, he got a job offer as a Home Inspector, he’s planning on buying a house here by the end of the year. Right now he’s working 12 to 16 hours a day. But man, he makes it so hard. He deleted me off of his facebook… Well, atleast he told me why he did it. He said that he was extremely overwhelmed by everything that’s going on with his life at the moment that he needed space to figure things out, that was why he deleted me off his facebook so I won’t disrupt him. I told him that I understand… Well last week he contacted me from Facebook. He doesn’t even ask about me, it’s all about him, it’s like I have to start the conversation and he gives me like a few words or one word responses. I feel like giving up, but he so damn cute. What can I do to get him to open up to me? I really don’t know what to do at this point since I haven’t heard from him in 8 days now.

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  4. angela says:

    Ever see that movie “He’s just not that into you?” Well this guy is exactly that. He deleted you off his page because he has other prospects and you could cause a problem with that. He talks about himself because he is selfish and self-centered and could care less about you. I know he is cute. However, there are far more better options for you than this guy. If he does come around from time to time it is because he knows you adore him and are gullible. Please do not let this guy use you as a door mat! So many women get themselves involved in these situations and regret it later. Trust me. There are plenty of fish in the sea. Find closure by emailing him that you are moving on and leave him be. That is my advice to you.

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  5. linette says:

    I am a successful business women of 45 years. I just recently ended an off and on relationship with a bonafied committment phobic. I definitely blame my self because the signs were there and I chosed to ignore them. I enjoyed the chase and seeked validation etc. I was abandoned as a child and I know that my issues stem from that. Yet, having the knowledge makes it that much easier to avoid this kind of trap in the future. My advice to myself and others. If you know you are unhealthy, prepare in advance before getting involved in relationship. Know your weakness and read between the lines with men. Most of the signs are there, we just have to look harder and ask the right questions. Good Luck ladies. We need it.

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  6. ag says:

    I’ve been ‘dating’ this guy for about 6 months. I feel like things are consistantly “hot and cold” between us, but in a low key manner. Half of the time when i’m talking he is expressionless and he’s even pulled away from kissing me or cuddling with me on many occasions. I didn’t feel too threatened by his behavior at first, but after acknowleding his gorgeous ex- girlfriend–who he told me “broke his heart” by cheating on him in the beginning of their relationship–I feel really hurt. Am I just being an emotional woman? What would you do if your boyfriend always wanted things his way or never tried to resolve any conflict by running and being quiet? He had told me he loved me but not consistantly (which is good for i dont want it to be said all the time)…i’m going crazy over this! the first 2 monthes he was different.now that he knows more about me he slowly closed off, said he wanted to take a break but not see other people just take thing slow bc hes scared to get hurt. We had alot of passionate moments within the past 2 weeks and he even said at one point “how could you think your not mine after all the time we spend together? ” WHAT THE FUCK? Is that his way of “saying” we are back together? dont get me wrong- hes very respectful, has eyes for me when we are around other girls, we participate in fun outdoor activities, and when things are running smooth in this “relationship” its great! BUT UNPREDICTABLE! the next day he could be completely silent with one kiss. Why is he doing this to me. I want to be his open book. I want us to communicate and be comfortable with each other…

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  7. nika757 says:

    Me and my man been togther for three year and all of a sudden it feels like he is distance when i ask him what wrong he says NOTHING. We use to go at it (sex) 24/7 now its every blue moon he is not affectionate like he use. to be I’m just so ready to end this BUT I REALLY LOVE HIM .HELP PLEASE

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