You've been dating for some time now and the more that you try to get close to him, the more that he pulls away. Even though it seems like he's into you, your guy simply won't let you get close. Not wanting to close the intimacy gap isn't completely uncommon when it comes to emotions and men. If you want to make your relationship work and develop a true bond, take it slow and get to the root of his problem.
If you ask your guy's last romantic partner if he had a fear of intimacy, his ex may not say yes. It's possible that your man didn't have any issues when it comes to getting close until a bad relationship blew it for him according to clinical psychologist Seth Meyers in his article "Fear of Intimacy in Men: Cause, Relationship Problems, Tips" on Psychology Today. He may have gotten close to someone else in a past relationship, only to have his then-love hurt or take advantage of him. This type of previous trauma can set the stage for anxiety when it comes to emotional closeness.
Past romantic relationships aren't the only ones that can cause men to fear closeness. Like the trauma that a former flame has caused, a parent who is emotionally abusive or neglectful can also make your man afraid to get emotionally intimate, notes Meyers. For example, your guy's mother skipped out when he was much younger, leaving him leery of getting close to anyone. This doesn't just include family, but also extends to friendships as well.
You Might Reject Him
Even if your guy hasn't had a traumatic past he may still shy away when you try to get close to him. If his self-esteem isn't all that it could be, he may fear that you'll eventually reject him. The fear of an impending rejection -- whether it's real or not -- may make him cool down when your emotional bond heats up. Instead of opening up to you and sharing his inner-most thoughts or feelings, he may put distance between the two of you. This type of behavior doesn't mean he wants nothing to do with you. In many ways, it's the opposite idea. He does like you, or even love you, on a deep level. If he thinks that you may not feel the same way or will reject him as your love, he will put up an emotional wall to keep his heart safe.
Not letting you get close isn't always intentional. Some guys -- especially teens and young adults who are new to romantic relationships -- may not have the emotional intelligence yet to read your signals according to the TeensHealth article "Emotional Intelligence." Intelligence in the emotional sense includes the ability to spot and understand other people's, and his own, feelings. For example, you're opening up and talking about your feelings. You tell him about how sad you felt when your BFF didn't invite you out with other friends. Instead of seeing that you need emotional closeness and support, he misreads your conversation as a complaint and quickly dismisses it.
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