Updated: Mar 24
I have been dating Sam for just over a month now, and for the last five weekends we have met up and had a date, it's always gone really well with lots of great conversation, a good dose or passion! plus a lot of texting in between, as usual he asked me out again last Friday night, it was our fifth date, he came over to watch a film and drink some wine, oddly I noticed this time that his energy had changed completely, he didn't seem to feel like talking so we just watched the film in silence, he told me he was feeling tired as it had been a long week, he ended up cutting the date short at 9pm. My instincts told me something wasn't quite right. So on Sunday I shot him a quick text, his response was very lack-lustre and the conversation ended there. Wednesday I reached out again with a joke, but he left me on read. By the time the weekend came around I was pretty anxious but I expected he would still make plans as usual. He didn't. It's now Sunday and it seems he has ghosted on me. What gives? I don't think anything changed, it seems like he just lost interest! Have I lost him for good? Help!" - Bethany
Honestly if I had a dollar for every time I heard this...
The good news is, this really isn't the crisis that many women think it is. Actually this is perfectly normal in the early stages of dating. It can even be an incredible opportunity to strengthen the connection and secure his devotion further.
It can be quite baffling when everything has been going so well and the man has seemed highly engaged and communication or dating has been moving forward quite effortlessly, to suddenly find him cooling off considerably or even backing away to the point where things stall completely.
In a situation like this most women jump to the assumption that he is ghosting her, but actually this of often not the case and it can be due to something we call "The uncertainty phase" which is a natural part of the cycle towards deeper intimacy and commitment. Generally when this happens, there appears to be no reason, nothing has changed particularly, it's just that suddenly the guy isn't feeling it, even if he can't verbalise why, as a result he simply pulls away with little to no explanation.
Hand on heart I can tell you that nine out of ten men return suddenly after a pull back like this, BUT this is highly dependent on how we handle the situation from our side as a woman. It is important to understand what is actually taking place below the surface when this happens.
How do you know if it’s the uncertainty phase and not just a man ducking out permanently?
Firstly if things were going great and he was pretty hot towards you before this, it’s a good indication.
Secondly most guys won’t just ghost if they are truly finished, generally you will get some awkward excuse like: “Sorry I need to focus on my career” “I don't think I can give you what you want” or “it’s not you it’s me”... you know the type of thing.
But if he hasn’t done that and you two were in a great place before, you’re probably good to go.
Sadly many women handle this all wrong, they try to coax him out of his shell by sending cute and funny messages, they take the lead and ask him out, they feel a deep need for reassurance and seek it at precisely the wrong moment, or they become angry and impatient, resenting his behaviour and concluding that he is "not interested".
Although these reactions are common, they will not tap into his male psychology or get the guy feeling strong emotional attraction once again, in truth we need to deal with this in a way that nurtures his masculine energy so he feels a sense of urgency to return before he loses her attention.
It is possible in some cases that the mans attraction has been dampened by over extending ourselves or stepping forward too often, too early, but generally this is a moment in dating where the man "comes up for air" and analyses his feelings and the potential of the relationship. Because nothing is actually wrong, most times he will send a quick text or call later to re-engage her.
This means not resisting the process by running after him, but instead confidently allowing him to do what he needs to do, even if that means him drifting further away, so that he then springs back fully, usually when we have the confidence to do this, not only will he return but he may even return ready to take the relationship to the next level.
But this is only half the battle...When he finally does reach out, it is crucial that we understand how to receive his reignited attention and interest in a way that enables a strong interest to keep building between us, instead of to die off there and then.
Although this scenario instils panic or dread in most women, in many cases it is actually a gift in disguise, whether he realises it yet or not, it can even mean you have aroused his emotions, so much so that he is now taking some time to think seriously about a relationship.
If you would like help in dealing with this common scenario, please feel free to contact me. My Coaching sessions are highly effective, completely confidential and don't cost the earth!