He does not get in touch anymore. What to do when retreating?

Does my contact have attachment anxiety? Take the free test! You spent a great time with your new contact, he was attentive, caring and loving: but he suddenly doesn’t contact you anymore

This is what it’s all about:

  • If the new contact suddenly does not get in touch anymore. What are the reasons for a sudden withdrawal?
  • What can you do when someone withdraws? Which strategies work and which don’t?
  • Letting go is often difficult, but at the same time you should fight for love, but never for being loved
  • How to find your way back to life after a rejection
  • Free test: Does my partner suffer from commitment anxiety??

What has happened? He does not contact us anymore

Or he has no time. Or seem aloof and strange. You seek his closeness – but he withdraws more and more. You make an effort and signal interest – it seems to put him off. What happened?

To every getting to know phase also belongs the retreat

Your relationship has reached a new stage: the negotiation phase is now in full swing. They got to know each other better, spent time together and became close not only physically. Maybe you feel euphoric, maybe you are in love. If everything went well so far you wish that it will only get better and more intense from now on.
In most cases, however, this closeness leads to it, because one of the two remembers that there was also a life before the new one or the new one and withdraws to deal with itself, to order – or even to make a decision. Often the two even alternate in it. By the way, this phase is not only normal, it is also the most delicate and holds the highest potential for mistakes.
Let’s first assume, not you, but your partner starts to withdraw. Sometimes it starts insidiously, most of the time you will experience it like a rupture.

One example described by Miriam L. from Frankfurt: "He disappeared at noon on Sunday without a hint as to when we would see each other next. Normally, when we said goodbye, we announced what would happen next. "I’ll call in the evening!" or "Let’s go to the movies on Monday, maybe.". But this time no comment and no hint. To me, it seemed as if he didn’t want to come back at all. Although I registered the turnaround, I pretended not to notice anything. Then in the evening I called and didn’t wait for him to get back to me."

For the partner left behind, a withdrawal can be worse than a clearly discussed and justified end. In fact, he usually does not know what is going on. At this stage, you will often hear the following classic conversation:
"Do you have anything?"
"No. Everything in order."
" Are you mad at me?"
"Why should I be angry?"
" I don’t know that. But you just act different and more distant."
"I am just very tense at the moment and have a lot to do. Do not worry!"

This is the time when the tax return is suddenly pressing, the job demands full commitment every evening or you just need "a day alone on the sofa" again. And where the person does not know whether to believe these reasons or not.

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How do you recognize the withdrawal?

There are numerous indications: Text messages are answered only after long pauses, even (or especially) the important ones. Rituals that are already ingrained are cancelled. You talk less often about future things. The partner increasingly does things alone without inviting you.

You are worried, get nervous. But you can’t really do anything about it, because you have no right to do so at all and you are not allowed to make any demands. It’s too early for that at this stage: there has been no decision or commitment yet. It’s just a retreat – which may challenge a decision.

But retraction does not mean standstill. But it can be a preliminary stage, especially if you behave wrongly now. Let’s look at what actually happens during such a withdrawal: In the phase before, you were getting closer, suddenly the pace is slowed down. It’s now a matter of overcoming your own fears of commitment.

If you often find yourself alone again after three or four months of even intense dating, you may be failing in the withdrawal phase. In principle, there are two variants here: Your partner usually loses interest or the end comes from you. In the first case, you might do something that sparks or stirs up the other person’s fears. In the second case, perhaps you are overreacting to signals because they are causing you to panic.

It is said: "Fear is a bad advisor!". So if we assume that the one initiating the withdrawal is doing so out of fear – and the one left behind is now panicking, then we have little potential for this relationship to continue.

Miriam L. went on to say, "When I called him, he was nice and polite, but he usually didn’t have time and had to hang up quickly. The talks remained noncommittal. I was worried that I had said or done something wrong. Just before his withdrawal, we had been at a friend’s party and I introduced him for the first time to my circle of acquaintances. I suspected that someone there had behaved badly towards him and was trying to make up for it. I bombarded him with invitations and sent loving text messages. But the more I approached him, the further he backed away."

Miriam’s story is typical: one partner experiences a situation (possibly at the party) that makes him realize the direction he is heading in. He slows down, because if you keep the present pace, three weeks later you would have to get married. He needs some time for himself. And you should definitely let him have it. What does persistence bring? Mostly not.

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Grant retreat possibilities!

You know the rule: "Have a lot of patience. You do not want to appear desperate and needy."In the withdrawal situation, it is almost always the case that the one who pushes has lost. Because by doing so you will only confirm the other person’s fears.

As hard as it sounds: There is nothing you can change now! Your partner has chosen you, has dealt with you – now he has to do it with himself. This phase has nothing to do with you!

I mentioned earlier that retraction can also be the precursor to a shutdown. This is actually the case. This often happens when the relationship takes a different direction than planned or agreed upon at the beginning. For example, if sexual attraction was the primary reason for dating and now, after a few weeks, feelings have developed with one partner that go beyond that. In such a situation, it often happens that the partner who is not emotionally involved wants to keep the status quo by standing still and refuses further approaches.

As painful as it is for the partner in love, he or she will not persuade, convince or otherwise "reason" with the other person. If the dating phase was not started out of a firm interest in commitment, the withdrawal phase will herald the end of the relationship.

"I knew very well that he felt something for me". He just did not dare to admit his feelings," said Francesca D. from Berlin. Such statements are often made and are usually the beginning of a long and futile struggle. Possibly the partner in love even succeeds in putting aside his own needs and credibly takes away the other person’s fear of closeness – but only for a short time. Then the withdrawal phase starts all over again. And with each repetition the relationship loses innocence and lightness.

There are many people who can’t let go at this dating stage and want to get another chance to show their very best side. Such efforts are unnecessary, because the courtship phase is long over.

"In the end I just wanted to know why she didn’t give us a chance.", Daniel W told me. from Cologne. "Was I too short, too ugly, or bad in bed?? I wrote her mile-long letters, but she only replied evasively, if at all." Whether an explanation would have really helped Daniel? What difference would it have made? but sure is: unrequited love hurts.

Recognizing if the partner suffers from commitment anxiety. Test

How clear are his signals?

His desire for autonomy

It keeps distance

His dealing with your weaknesses

Insisting on his limits

His idea of relationship

His wishes and his rules

Keeps his intentions open

Where do I stand with him? – Is my partner the wrong or right one?

Who suits whom and with which partner you can be happy?

Not always the withdrawal of a partner is the result of the previous approach. Let’s look at two other reasons:

Of course, the withdrawal may have been preceded by a problem. For example, an argument triggered by a partner’s genuine misbehavior can put a budding relationship to the test. However, this is not the situation described here and must be decided depending on the severity of the problem.
Also not to be confused is the case when the partner’s behavior changes in a way that has to do with dishonesty. Annette M. from Berlin said: "If I have the feeling that something is not right – then something is wrong! I do not mean groundless jealousy but small signals that indicate to me that the interests are different."

Often, withdrawal has something to do with the fundamental willingness to commit. If you find that regularly after two months you feel that your date is not suitable as a partner for a long-term relationship, it could well be that it is you and not the other person who is not a "fit", because ultimately you have decided to deepen the contact. It is possible that you unconsciously seek such partners as part of a strategy of passive relationship denial.

Some singles, for all the passion they put into finding a partner, are so afraid of a relationship that they do everything they can to avoid it in the first place. They look at it with interest at first during the dating phase – and when they realize that there are not only doors, but also walls, they panic. Such people regularly lose interest in others after an often very intense seduction phase.

This syndrome describes Christoph M. from Karlsruhe very typical: "I usually notice after a few months that I don’t really have time for a relationship at all. There’s the sports, my friends, the career. I probably want to be single after all!" Christoph is a typical retraction candidate. Just like Bianca L. from Munich: "At some point I noticed that I always introduced my new lovers to my girlfriends with a "but. I said, "He’s a great guy, but he leaves his stuff all over the place"." Or, "He’s great in bed, but I’m not really into hairy guys."

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Many aloof singles are afraid of commitment

Singles who look for faults in their partners, who pretend to be committed, but then want to remain non-committal, often turn out to be relationship refusers, they may have unconscious fear of commitment. Therapists distinguish between active and passive relationship refusers, i.e. those who actively express that they do not want a partnership, and those who fall in love with the representatives of this group and court them – because the lack of perspective in the relationship makes it possible to approach each other without fear. The passive relationship refuser is therefore sure of himself and can completely let himself go emotionally.

Don’t play games. If you discover signs of withdrawal, keep patience for the time being. Be as always, take a step back and give the partner more time for you. But don’t stop calling now. Or stop issuing invitations to the cinema. It is not that you show weakness, because you continue to testify your interest. You would only do this if you doubt yourself now and fire all the ammunition you have. Because you’re not showing any strength by playing hard to get now. On the contrary, the other person might feel strengthened in the feeling that all this does not make sense.

It is important that you now demonstrate independence and self-confidence again. Should this distance lead to the two of you moving further away from each other – then you will have to accept this. By urging, panic reactions, begging and pleading, however, you fail in any case. So you have nothing to lose by doing some things with other friends again and also using time for yourself.

The best reaction to a withdrawal of the partner is: "Keep a low profile!"Go away alone for the weekend, turn on the answering machine, create a little more distance. This will also be good for you.

A classic in such a situation, especially if the retreat merry-go-round has already been spun several times, is that the two are recommended by friends: "Why don’t you take more time for each other?!" This is water on the mills of the inferior, who longs for more closeness again – but poison for the superior, who tries to find time for himself through some distance. Maybe he even tries to pay more attention to the potential partner again, despite his doubts and fears, but already after a short time he will feel that his needs are getting shortchanged.

If you think this situation can happen just as later in a relationship or marriage: You are right. You will experience again and again – even after a commitment – that you are in the retreat carousel. And in the best case everyone is once challenger and backer or superior and inferior.

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