When He Won't Commit: Why Your Natural Reaction Is Wrong

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Relationship Advice For Women: What To Do When He Won't Commit
Has your man sudddenly grown distant for no reason?

There's a time in most relationships when a man suddenly goes from hot to cold. He'll seem to be more distant, as if he's starting to pull away.

This change can throw us into a panic, making us feel insecure just when things were beginning to feel so good. It's common to interpret this change of behavior as being our fault, and we have an emotional reaction that's way out of proportion. Old hurts and wounds from childhood get triggered and suddenly we're like kids again, afraid of losing the love we depend on for survival.

Our self-confidence, which received a boost with this romance, suddenly crashes into confusion and self-doubt. We thought we were strong, but we now feel like a helpless victim of his change of heart. Desperation overrides our good judgment and we find ourselves in our primal "flight or fight" mode.

This is when, out of fear, we revert to our primary survival patterns: If our survival pattern is fight, we'll run after a man who's turning cold. We'll go into pursuit, finding ways to make ourselves more attractive, or become more sexually aggressive. We'll text, email or call him, trying to get his attention. We'll seek him out and use any tactic we can think up — to get his interest back.

This approach is not helpful because we're coming from a place of fear: the fear of losing him. We just end up over-compensating for his lack of interest, making ourselves needy and desperate. And how will he react to our sudden onslaught of love and attention? He'll pull back even more.

If our survival pattern is flight, we'll run from his supposed coldness and leave him before he leaves us. We create our own suffering in the present by going for the safety of avoiding a future breakup. Flight also shows up in a kind of "tit for tat" mentality: if you're going to withdraw from me, I'm going to do the same to you.

This is another poor approach to dealing with a man going from hot to cold. Once we've withdrawn and shut him out, it's all too easy for him to do the same — permanently. All of a sudden, the woman he was getting to know has changed in her feelings towards him and he will take it as a logical cue to end the relationship. He won't figure out that our reaction is in reaction to him (that's confusing!). Insetad, he'll just feel that the woman who was looking so good has suddenly changed her feelings toward him.

So what's my relationship advice for women as the proper way to react when a man goes from hot to cold?

Do nothing.

Really! It's a time to pause. The only good thing to do is to get busy in your own life, and distract yourself from the relationship. It's easier said than done, but essential. Not only will you be taking care of things you need to do, but it will help you regain your confidence and self-esteem. You need to stay open; there may be reasons for his disconnect that you can't even imagine.

After waiting a reasonable amount of time (use your intuition here) you'll need to bring the subject up. You have every right to find out why he's gone from hot to cold in your relationship. If he's able to tell you what’s going on, the conversation could bring you closer. If he refuses to share his feelings and stays distant, then it's time to walk away.

In either case, you'll feel good about yourself for taking control of your half of the relationship and not letting fear dictate the outcome.

More relationship advice for women from YourTango:

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Virginia Clark

Relationship Coach

My book,  "It's Never Too Late To Marry: How to Have the Man and the Marriage of Your Dreams" is available for instant download. It will teach you the 6 essential steps you need to go from single to married to the right man for you!

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