Why Men Run from Intimacy and Commitment

advice: dating advice: relationship lauren gray

You took the next step in intimacy and commitment and now he’s disappeared, cooled off, or acting totally weird!

Why do men run away right when it gets good? And can you trust him after this?

Great questions. The good news is: I have answers and a path to peace of mind.

In this post, I’ll diagnose why men run (even though they care!), how the romantic hormones affect men and women differently (and why it matters!) and how to take your newfound intimacy to the next level.

Let’s hurry up and clarify this so you can enjoy your new level of love!

Dear Lauren,

I’ve known a close guy friend for over 20 years. We’ve been dating for three months. Things have been wonderful. He pursues me and I pace things. He called, emailed, or texted me daily just to keep in touch. Two weeks ago he told me he loved me and that he has cared for me for years.  

And then six days ago he disappeared!

All communication stopped. I’m trying hard not to take this personally. How can I tell him that I need him to communicate to me when he feels the need to pull away? We are not exclusive but that doesn’t make this okay. Disappearing acts, at least in my opinion, aren’t acceptable behavior.

– Sharon


Wow! That’s so romantic that you two came together after knowing each other for 20 years. Friendship is an amazing foundation for a relationship. Which must make it all the more confusing when he suddenly pulled an “I love you” hit and run!


Is He Innocent or Guilty?


Six days without him must feel like an eternity, especially after you shared such an intimate moment.

People don’t understand that brand new intimacy doesn’t make you feel more secure, it actually makes you feel less secure…for both of you!


You’re wondering:

  • “Does he really mean it?”
  • “Am I even worthy of love?”
  • “What does this mean for the relationship?”
  • “Can I trust him enough to love him back?”


Your insecurity and second-guessing make a time warp: every day you don’t hear from him feels like forever.

This is because you need reassurance right now. You just took a big step in the relationship and you need to be reassured that this is real before you can indulge in your happiness and connect with your loving feelings.

You’re not getting the feedback you need and it’s stressing you out.

Just know that your guy also has his own doubts and insecurities to deal with.

When men are under stress, though, time warps in a different way. It’s easy for a guy to play “outta sight, outta mind” and 6 days can feel like 1 to him. He may not even be aware that he’s leaving you hanging!

He may be entirely innocent in the matter.


Disappearing Acts (Knowledge Is Power)


I understand that “disappearing acts” are frustrating for you.

I think the majority of women stand with you!

Often times we get frustrated with our partners simply because we don’t understand WHY they do WHAT they do.

This makes it easy to take his/her actions personally.


When we stumble around in the dark, we naturally fear the unknown and assume the worst:

  • “When he said he loved me, he didn’t really mean it.”
  • “He’s changed his mind.”
  • “I’m not worthy of love.”


This is a nasty road to go down. So let me hand you a flashlight.

Once you see and understand what you’re dealing with, you can create the space in your heart to accept what he does and why he does it.

There are two reasons he made you the victim of an “I love you” hit and run…so keep reading!


Reason 1: Be Careful What You Wish For (You Might Just Get It!)


I know it seems like it took forever for him to express his true feelings for you, but to him, it feels like he suddenly moved too fast!

He revealed more of himself than he’s comfortable with, got scared and backed off.

It took a lot of courage to be vulnerable and tell you he wants more from this relationship than just friends-with-benefits and an occasional night out.

In case you didn’t know, in those three magic words, he asked you for a greater commitment.

He stepped up to a greater commitment.

Now he’s worried that he might not be capable of being the man he’s stepping up to be in your life.

It doesn’t mean he’s NOT capable, it means that he’s afraid to fail.

He doesn’t want to let you down.


Reason 2: The “I Love You” Hormones Influence Men and Women Differently


Oxytocin is the bonding hormone.

When a person says, “I love you” for the first few times it’s a huge bonding moment and the body experiences a rush of oxytocin.

A woman feels this rush and her body says, “This feels really good. I want more.”

A man can feel this same rush and have his body send the message, “Quick! Retreat!”

This may sound callous but let me explain.

In the presence of so much oxytocin, a man’s testosterone levels drop.

Men need healthy levels of testosterone in order to be happy and relaxed. When oxytocin rises and testosterone falls beneath a certain critical level, a man feels the need to pull away to recharge his healthy testosterone levels.

Pulling away and “disappearing” into his cave help him achieve this.

Women can’t intuitively relate to this particular need to pull away because in our bodies, oxytocin makes us feel comfortable, relaxed, and happy. 

In the face of intimacy, we tend to desire even more intimacy.

Most men don’t have an intricate understanding of what certain hormones do to them. So when he suddenly feels the irrational need to pull away and “retreat!” he doesn’t know how to explain it to you.

Cue his oh-so-charming “radio silence.”

How can he explain to you what he can’t even explain to himself?


When He Comes Crawling Back…


When he comes back around, which he will once his tank is full, let him know how happy he makes you.

This will boost his confidence and support him in making an even greater commitment to you.

Ask yourself what you want out of this new relationship and start articulating it.

The three magic words are out of the hat. Things will change. Just let him know that it doesn’t have to be fast or drastic.

Slow and steady wins the race!


With love,


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