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You did it, you had sex with him. Everything seemed fine but now you notice him getting a little distant. Here’s why men pull away after sex and what you can do about it.
Why Do Men Pull Away, Especially After Sex?
As a professional dating coach, I hear a lot of the female side of things, but as a matchmaker, I talk to many single men. This allowed me to notice something really interesting. When I asked them the following:
Are you looking for a serious relationship or for hookups/casual flings?
Nearly all of them had the EXACT. SAME. ANSWER:
“I’m looking for something serious but I am not opposed to casual along the way.”
There you have it! Straight from the mouth of hundreds of men. Even the ones who are serious are ok with hooking up until the right one comes along.
The Goal Of Dating For A Man
When a man is on a first date with you, he is trying to judge physical attraction over long-term compatibility. He’s paying attention to your physical features, your laugh, your smile and how you make him feel.
If you laugh at his jokes he’ll feel masculine and confident.
If you compliment his outfit, he’ll feel the same.
All of these things are making him think one thing:
She will be really fun in the bedroom.
Even if he wants a long-term relationship, he’s looking for the answer to “do I think she’s hot?” before assessing anything else. His goal is to start the physical connection as quick as possible.
But men don’t look for physical attraction just because they are interested in sex. Men look for physical attraction to find love.
Men fall in love with their eyes.
So if a man is serious about finding a long-term relationship, he’s actually more likely to pay attention to physical attraction first than if he was just looking for a casual hookup.
A study published by Zoosk points this out:
“Studies have shown that men are more visually stimulated, while women tend to be more auditory. “As a result, men tend to fall in love with what they see, and women with what they hear,” says relationship coach, Dr. Tracey M. Phillips. “Men need to constantly be visually drawn to the person in order to fall in love.” But that doesn’t mean you have to be stunningly beautiful to attract love. Visual stimulation and attraction can build over time, or it may be where the initial attraction comes from but a deeper love builds as you both learn more about each other.”
If he is attracted to you and you don’t give off any crazy red flags, his goal is to have sex with you first, and analyze long-term compatibility later.
When you finally have sex, he’s going to start analyzing if he wants to be with you long-term – and sometimes, the answer to that is no. This is when he’ll start to pull away.
The Goal Of Dating For A Woman
Women have the opposite goal when dating.
When a woman goes on a first date, she is already trying to figure out if he has long-term compatibility. She’s trying to see if he shows any signs of wanting kids, the kind of job he has and if she feels safe and secure around him.
If all of those are a “yes” then she will go on a second date.
By the time you get around to having sex with a man, you are probably ok with dating him and seeing how things go.
So in summary: when a woman finally has sex with a man, she has already determined that she’s ok with dating him.
But as we read above, men are only starting to assess if they really want to date you, after they have had sex.
Hormones Can Influence His Mind
Another reason why men pull away after sex is because of hormones. A man who has the hots for a woman will release testosterone and his sex drive will increase.
He’s horny and he wants to fulfill this need., making him have rose-colored glasses. He’s going to shrug off red flags, or incompatibilities because he’s trying to fulfill an urge.
After he’s had sex, things start to get clearer. The need to have sex decreases and he will think about how his personality matches yours.
Oxytocin, The “Bonding” Hormone
A hormone that gets released during sex is oxytocin. This is the bonding hormone that makes women more emotionally attached to someone. This will increase your connection with a man after you’ve had sex with him, but he is not experiencing this same reaction.
A scientific study published by Psychology Today elaborates on this:
“In nature—and sometimes in the world of humans—after receiving their ‘feel-good dose,’ the males go back to being themselves,” she said, adding, “The female view is very different with this oxytocin release.“
Here is what happens with women.
After making love, a woman might mistake the oxytocin release for feelings that tell her, “This is your perfect partner.” As Breuning notes, “Despite those initial feelings, it does not necessarily mean that the person is trustworthy. The perception you have at the moment is an illusion you create about the person that may or may not fit what happens next.”
So you’ll start feeling very much in love and attached to him, but he will not be feeling the same way, chemically speaking.”
Sex will not make him fall in love if he wasn’t already falling in love before you had sex. If he satisfied his physical urge, and he’s not interested in you long-term, there’s no need for him to stick around, so he’ll pull away.
Ouch. I know it’s harsh, but now that you know why men pull away after sex, you can actually manage this and get his interest back.
Are You Scaring Him Off?
First things first is looking at your behavior. If you have had sex with him, your oxytocin is going to make you feel very close and emotionally attached.
This means you might start acting clingy.
You may text him more, want to hang out more, or even just become more overbearing in conversation when the two of you meet up.
If you want to get his interest back after he starts pulling away, you need to play it really cool. More now than ever.
This means paying attention to the 2:1 text ratio as well as mirroring.
The 2:1 Text Ratio
Mirroring is another thing I teach my coaching clients. The concept is simple. Only put in the same amount of effort into the relationship as he is. Let him take the lead.
When you do the above methods, you show him that you are high-quality. You’re showing him that he needs to make the effort to win you over and continue this relationship.
He needs to be a real man and take the initiative because you’re not going to help him.
Doing this does one of two things:
- It forces him to step up to the plate and not pull away OR
- It shows you that you’re dealing with a man who is not high-quality and not worth your time.
Win-win if you ask me.
If you want to find a husband who really loves you, check out this post.
Are You Expecting Too Much?
The other thing that happens to women after they have sex with a man is they feel they can start demanding things.
They tell him that he must spend the night at her place every other day or that they have to see each other every weekend.
She may even ask him serious questions, like if he wants to get married soon or when he wants to have kids.
If you’ve been dating for less than a month, you’re still supposed to be in the “this is fun” mode of the relationship.
Men love this mode, it’s the mode that makes them commit.
When you bust out all the demands and requirements he needs to fulfill, he’ll start to think this isn’t as fun as he thought it was and could start pulling away.
The relationship not being fun anymore is a big reason why men pull away after sex.
Remember, men are fun first, responsibilities later. It’s just the way they operate.
Turn Up The Feminine Energy
If your man is starting to pull away, now is the time to turn up that feminine energy.
Feminine energy includes the following:
If you are like my coaching clients, you might struggle with honing in your feminine energy. You are a strong, independent woman who is successful and career-oriented.
The problem is the qualities that make you good at your career are hurting your dating life.
Career women tend to be assertive, stern, planners, enjoy taking control and are blunt and direct.
All of these are classified as “masculine qualities.”
This hurts you in your dating life because dating is very primal.
Don’t click away! Just hear me out for a second…
Before you get mad and think I’m telling you to be a soft “damsel in distress” I need you to understand something very important.
I have all those “masculine” qualities and I’m proud of that. It made me a successful employee who reached top-level management and then a successful entrepreneur.
I didn’t need to act like I do at work with the men I was dating!
Feminine energy means to “receive”, Masculine is to “give”.
When I went out on dates, I would put the work personality away, and try to be more flirty and fun. I was not faking a personality, I was simply honing my feminine energy and using it to attract a man.
Flirting, being friendly, smiling and letting him take the lead wasn’t all just for show, it was just another part of my personality that I don’t use at work.
I was also patient and didn’t demand commitment or labels until the man I was seeing was ready to take those steps.
My strong personality and confidence got me through those times when I was tempted to text him too often or when I wanted to ask where this relationship was going.
If the man you are dating is high-quality, he will commit, text you and show interest in you if you let him take the lead.
If he doesn’t do those things, he’s not worth your time anyway.
He Might Not Be Interested, And You Need To Accept That
I mentioned earlier that I can be blunt so here it is.
A big reason why men pull away after sex is that they need some space to think things over. If you give him space and take away the pressure, it could be all he needs to start showing an interest again.
But if you give him that space, act really fun and not clingy and he STILL doesn’t reach out – he’s probably not interested.
Him Not Being Interested Is Not About You
You finally found a man you like, had sex and now he’s not interested. I know that this really sucks. It hurts.
But this is a little pinprick of a wound. You are strong and you have standards that he is not meeting.
You want a man who is charming, sexy, commitment-oriented and shows you how much he loves you. This is true high-quality.
You thought this man had the potential to be that high-quality catch but it turns out he isn’t.
And that’s okay!
You’re allowed to make a little mistake in dating, but your confidence and drive to find a real man with who actually possesses those qualities is a lot stronger than getting upset over this guy who is likely emotionally unstable.
So, on to the next one!
Keep your head in the game, you got this!
A Word Of Warning
Now that you know why men pull away after sex and what you can do about it, it might also help to know if you’re dating a guy that is not going to be a good long-term partner.
You can download my free dating red-flags checklist to save yourself from dating a dud who doesn’t commit.
Click here to download the checklist.
I hope you enjoyed my post on why men pull away after sex and what you can do about it. Here are some other posts you might find helpful:
With love from your favourite dating coach,