15 Reasons Why Guys Act Distant When They Like You (2023)

15 Reasons Why Guys Act Distant When They Like You (1)

Is it obvious that he likes you, and you want him too? Everything seems perfect until he starts pulling away. Then you wonder, why is he being distant? What could be happening? Before coming to any conclusions, it’s essential to know why guys act distant when they like you.

So, why do guys go quiet when they like you, or why do men become distant when they fall in love? Although complicated, there are many reasons why a guy acts distant but says he loves you.

Also, you must remember that a guy can withdraw at any relationship stage. That’s why a person is sometimes forced to ask, “why is my boyfriend acting distant but says he loves me?”

Thankfully, this article has all the answers you are looking for. If you want to know why guys act distant when they like you, or you wonder why your partner is being distant, ensure you read this article to the end.

We will help you understand guys’ intentions for suddenly pulling away from the relationship even when they like you.

Why do guys act distant when they like you: 10 reasons

If a guy acts distant, it can lead you into a spiral of negative emotions like frustration, anger, and insecurity. Understanding the reason behind the change in his behavior can give you a chance to assess the situation better.

Below we list some reasons that might explain why your partner is acting so distant and help you address your fears:

1. He is scared of commitment

Why does he act interested one minute and distant the next? A serious romantic relationship goes beyond the wooing stage where you are casually going out on dates. Maybe you feel like you’ve reached this point, yet your guy is suddenly pulling away. Why? Maybe he’s afraid of commitment and other responsibilities attached to a relationship.

He may also be scared to lose the freedom he’s always had before a partner came into his life. Besides, some men want to “test the waters” and date as many people as possible before settling down with a particular one. When a man feels like this, don’t be surprised when he starts acting distant.

2. He’s been hurt in his past relationships

Do guys distance themselves when they like a person? Yes, if they have been repeatedly hurt in the past. Again, this is a case of fear of getting hurt again.

Probably an ex cheated on them, betrayed their trust, or took advantage of them. Regardless of what happened in his previous relationship, if he was hurt, he will be hesitant to take a relationship to the next level.

You may think, “my boyfriend is acting weird and distant.” The answer to the question may be rooted in the unresolved trauma from his past relationship.

Related Reading: How to Heal From Relationship Trauma

3. He feels you are out of his league

15 Reasons Why Guys Act Distant When They Like You (2)

Why do guys go quiet when they like you? Another reason why guys act distant when they like you is because they feel you are above their level. He may feel you are too beautiful or classy for him to date.

He won’t have the courage to ask you out or make his feelings evident in such a situation. His friends or family might suspect he likes you, but he will never express his feelings.

4. He thinks you are in a relationship

Why does he act interested one minute and distant the next? Perhaps he assumed you were in a relationship, so he convinced himself it would be a waste of time to ask you out. This situation is quite close to the feeling that a person is out of your league.

Also, it usually happens with people with extraordinary beauty and charisma. So, when he starts acting distant, know that he does so because he thinks another guy already beat him to the chase.

5. He is shy

Why guys act distant when they like you might be due to their personality. Introverts or shy people generally have trouble meeting other people. When a shy guy likes you, many scenarios must have played out in his head.

He has already considered many options and given himself reasons why you would reject him, so he convinces himself not to ask you out.

Also Try : Am I An Introvert or Extrovert Quiz

Learn about the needs of introverts in relationships in this video:

15 Reasons Why Guys Act Distant When They Like You (3)

6. He is scared of his feelings

Many individuals can attest to the power of love when it engulfs you. It sometimes feels overwhelming for you to accept. It’s even worse if you have been in awful relationships before but suddenly find yourself in love again. Perhaps, you already have goals for your life and are working on them.

When a man falls in love, it may be hard to process those emotions in line with his current situation. That means some important things might take a secondary position, like a relationship.

Usually, when you are in a serious relationship, the late-night outs might decrease. You may also end up putting your solo trip on hold because of your newfound love. If your guy is still living as if he is single, he might be in denial of how serious his feelings have become.

Realizing the reality of the situation can cause him to take a few steps back and detach from the relationship.

Related Reading: 15 Signs Someone Is Hiding Their Feelings for You

7. He doesn’t want a serious relationship

Why do guys distance themselves when falling in love? Believe it or not, a guy may like you but not date you because your intentions are different.

Everyone has different aspirations in life. If a man sees that your needs are different, he will become distant even if he knows he likes you. Consider this a favor, as some men will date you only to break your heart later.

Maybe it’s best to tell you, but it can become messy. Therefore, a guy acting distant after a first date can be a good thing if the reason behind this action is that he doesn’t want a serious relationship.

8. He’s already in a relationship

Another reason why guys act distant when they like you is if they are already in a committed relationship. The decent thing for him to do is to give you space. Of course, he looks like the bad guy here, but you wouldn’t want someone to cheat on you if you were in his partner’s shoes.

9. He’s taking it slow

Why is he acting distant all of a sudden? Maybe he’s taking his time or keeping his options open. Guys who want committed relationships don’t rush into it. They take their time getting to know their partner and learn how to build the relationship.

The risk of falling in love without due diligence appears scary to them. Therefore, they take a break when they see they are falling in love. In this case, you are convinced a guy loves you but keeps his distance.

Meanwhile, he may also have other potential partners. So, when he starts acting distant, know that he is weighing his options before making his final decision. Be sure to give him space and the time he needs, while respecting the fact that you have no control over his final choice.

10. He’s waiting for more signs from you

Do guys distance themselves when they like a girl or guy? Yes, if they are not convinced the person loves them as much as they love that person. Some men might like you but don’t want to look desperate. They believe you might want to take them for granted.

You will agree that it’s weird when someone likes you and they suddenly back out. This guy knows his disinterest in you will make you get close to him. So, he acts like the perfect lover boy today, and the next day, he goes mute on you.

It’s all in his plan to play hard-to-get. This inconsistency will eventually force you to discuss the situation with him and declare your love for him. This isn’t the best way to go, but it happens.

What do you do when a guy starts acting distant

15 Reasons Why Guys Act Distant When They Like You (4)

When he starts acting distant, it can be confusing and frustrating. However, don’t rush to make any decision. The following suggestions will guide you further:

1. Talk to him

When you notice the sudden distance between you and your boyfriend, communicate.

Research shows us that communication is key to enhancing all aspects of a relationship.

Tell him you’ve observed the tension recently, and demand he tells you why. While he tells you, listen to him without judgment. Whatever his reason for acting distant and weird, be open-minded and understand his perspective.

2. Give him space

If your boyfriend is acting distant, your first reaction might be to force him to talk and act right. However, it’s best to give him space to process his feelings and make a decision. Eventually, he’ll come around.

3. Make him trust you

Guys mainly act distant when they are uncertain of their feelings or yours. Please don’t give up when you notice a sudden change in his demeanor. Instead, make him trust you more by assuring him of your love.

Let him know you value the relationship and hope you build it together. Make him feel comfortable and safe around you. If he has the chance to get to know you better and sees that he can trust you, in time he may also open his heart to you.

Related Reading: 15 Ways on How to Build Trust in a Relationship

4. Assess your behavior

Sometimes you might not notice you act cold around him or give the wrong signals to a potential love interest. When he starts acting distant, check if you have done anything wrong. No one likes to be at the receiving end.

If a man feels you aren’t reciprocating his love, he’ll back out. Thankfully, there is a way to show you are as interested in the relationship as he is.

5. Take it slow

Taking it slow at the beginning of a relationship is crucial. You probably want to get down to business as soon as possible. So, you wonder why he is wasting time.

Use this slow period as an opportunity to check your personal goals in the relationship and observe him as well. It is better to take your time now than rush into a premature partnership riddled with uncertainty.

6. Move on

If you’ve tried to get your partner back without any luck, the best decision sometimes is to move on. Though hard at first, moving on saves you from unnecessary heartache.

Moving on can give you a chance to be with someone kind with whom you can share mutual intimacy and love.

Final thoughts

Many partners want to know why guys act distant when they like you. The reasons highlighted in this article might explain your partner’s sudden behavior change.

Ultimately, you can salvage your relationship by taking steps like communicating with him, giving him space, making him trust you, and taking it slow. If you need professional advice, relationship counselors can help. They provide you with insight into your relationship and help you get back on track.


Can a guy distance himself if he likes you? ›

Do guys distance themselves when they like a girl or guy? Yes, if they are not convinced the person loves them as much as they love that person. Some men might like you but don't want to look desperate. They believe you might want to take them for granted.

Why is he acting distant all of a sudden? ›

One possible reason that he is acting distant is that he is having doubts about the relationship. The reason behind these doubts can be just about anything. The cause for his doubts can range from having feelings for someone else to not feeling satisfied in bed. Or maybe he does not get along well with your family.

Why do guys pull away when they like you? ›

There are a number of reasons why guys pull away when they like you, such as fear of commitment, loss of interest, doubts about what they want, or unresolved feelings about an ex.

Why is he distant after being close? ›

If you are wondering why do guys distance themselves after intimacy, it might be that he is scared of loving. Some men don't want to open up to anyone or feel vulnerable because it makes them less male. Therefore, when a man sees signs of a possible loving relationship, he pulls away after intimacy.

Why would a guy avoid a girl he likes? ›

It's possible for guys to try to ignore his romantic or sexual feelings if he's shy, uncomfortable, unsure about them, can't handle his emotions, or he thinks things are moving too fast; however, it's more common for guys to try to pursue these feelings instead of avoiding them.

Why do guys seem interested then back off? ›

He may have detected that you're interested in more than just hooking up, and he's trying to back away slowly. His sudden lack of interest could signal he wants to end things, or that he wants to keep you at a distance. Either way, if he's not interested in more than sex, and you are, it's probably not a good match.

Am I overthinking or has he lost interest? ›

You need to find out first if he is putting in no effort because he is losing interest, or he genuinely has a lot of other things going on in his life that are taking more of his time. It is important to open up a conversation and check in with him to see how things are going with him and if anything is bothering him.

Why do guys send mixed signals? ›

Mixed signals can simply be a miscommunication—or they can be an excuse to hold you at arm's length because they don't want to commit (or make you believe that they are ready to). “Usually, it's used to create distance,” Feuerman says. “It's a way to say, 'I'm not totally sure I am into your or not.

How do I know he's no longer interested? ›

Look out for body language cues that signal that he is uncomfortable or disinterested in your interactions. He may try to move away from you, cross his arms in front of him, or turn away from you while you are talking. He may also try to avoid physical contact, like a hug or you touching his arm, he is not interested.

What to do when the guy you like starts pulling away? ›

Give him space; stop worrying about what you did to turn him off. When he withdraws, it can negatively impact your ego and self-esteem. So, shift your focus – get busy or distracted. Don't stop your daily routine and don't feel guilty about focusing attention on yourself.

Why do people pull away when they like someone? ›

Fear of intimacy

Pushing people away is one way of avoiding intimacy. In fact, this avoidance can act as a defense mechanism for people afraid of getting hurt in relationships. This could be because a past relationship ended badly, perhaps with rejection or even bereavement.

What happens when you stop chasing him? ›

You get to find out his true feelings for you

Stop chasing a guy, and his reaction will let you know if he cares for you. This will save you a lot of time guessing the nature of his feelings. Getting to know his true feelings is one of the benefits of halting your chase.

When a man is emotionally distant? ›

An emotionally unavailable man has a difficult time knowing how to engage in the real-stuff conversations. In some instances, he may have some capacity to listen, but is emotionally shutting that part of himself down so that you don't get too close. If that's the case, you will likely feel shut down and alone.

Why do guys act hot and cold? ›

He's acting out his insecurity. When a guy runs hot and cold on you, it's highly likely that he's insecure. He is blowing hot when he's feeling strong emotions about you. After the first few months of dating, he begins to panic.

Can a guy ignore a girl he likes? ›

It's possible for guys to try to ignore his romantic or sexual feelings if he's shy, uncomfortable, unsure about them, can't handle his emotions, or he thinks things are moving too fast; however, it's more common for guys to try to pursue these feelings instead of avoiding them.

Does a guy ignore you if he likes you? ›

There is a line though and although it's perfectly plausible that a guy you know likes you may not pay you as much attention as you'd expect or be as talkative — it's pretty unlikely that he would totally ignore you.

What are signs that a guy likes you back? ›

10 Ways to Find Out Your Crush Likes You Back
  • They Look At You. ...
  • They Are Interested To Know About You. ...
  • They Ask About Your Status. ...
  • They Are Nervous Around You. ...
  • They Make Extra Effort To Talk To You. ...
  • They Find Excuses To Surprise You With Lovely Gifts. ...
  • They Always Look For Excuses To Spend Time With You.
Jan 13, 2022

Why does he act like he likes me then ignores me? ›

What Does It Mean If A Guy Ignores You? If a guy truly starts to ignore you, it's usually either because he is upset with you and needs you to give him space, he is losing interest, he feels like the relationship is moving too fast, he is playing games with you or trying to lead you on.

Why does he act interested one minute and distant the next? ›

He may think he is not in your league, you are with someone, want to keep his options open, and want you to approach him are the common reasons for acting distant. Men who do not want a serious relationship or are already committed can act distinctly to women they like.

How do you know if he likes you without talking? ›

How To Tell if a Guy Likes You
  • He is touching you.
  • He remembers small details about you.
  • You two are social media friends.
  • He gives you eye contact.
  • He makes an effort in the conversations you have.
  • He's using “alpha” body language.
  • He asks if you have a boyfriend.
  • He gets jealous when you talk to other guys.
Dec 29, 2022

Can someone ignore you and still like you? ›

Yes, it absolutely can. But it usually depends on how much he is ignoring you. There's a chance that he doesn't want to be too obvious about how he feels, but has misjudged it and now it just looks like he's ignoring you.

Why would someone ignore me if they like me? ›

It's not uncommon for someone to hold back their emotions until they have firm confirmation that the person they're interested in feels the same way they do. In their minds, it's easier to ignore someone they're attracted to than to go out on a limb and risk being struck down.


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