This is part 6 of my Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus series.
The author of the book, Doctor Gray, gives a very interesting analogy for he intimacy cycle of men: he says
they are like rubberbands. They pull back occasionally, but can only go so far before springing back. They have to pull away to get close and intimate again. If a man never pulls away, he doesn’t get the chance to feel the strong desire to be close again.
As they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder 🙂 Unlike women, though, they do not need to get reaquainted before feeling close again. Once they shoot back, they are just where they were before (in terms of intimacy).
So what happens is, men get intimate and close, and then suddenly they feel the urge to pull away. They want a feeling of independence. Once they pull away, they may stretch quite far. Once they are fully stretched, they feel that strong urge and come back.
Why Men Pull Away
To put it simply, that’s just the way Allah made them 😉
A man automatically alternates between needing intimacy and autonomy (or independence).
Basically: men need their space. If you chase him while he is pulling away, he’ll never get to reach his limit and feelthat pull to be close again.
To a certain extent, a man loses himself through connecting with his partner. By feeling her needs, problems, wants and emotions, he may lose touch with his own self. Pulling away allows him to reestablish his personal boundaries and fulfill his need to feel autonomous.
I actually think that women need this too – especially mothers!
Interestingly enough, men may seem to pull away precisely when women want to talk and be intimate. This occurs for two reasons:
- A woman sometimes unconsciously senses when a man is about to pull away, and then tries to reestablish the intimacy by trying to talk.
- When a woman shares her more intimate feelings, it may trigger the man’s need to pull away. A man can only handle so much intimacy before his alarm bells go off, telling him to find balance and pull away.
It doesn’t have to do with the fact that she says these things that trigger his departure, but when she says it.
When to Talk
Obviously not when he is pulling away 🙂 He’ll be loving and supportive soon enough and want closeness. and that is the golden oppurtunity to talk. By this time, women usually either are too afraid to talk from feeling rejected last time, or they are waiting for him to initiate conversation. Miscommunication, again.
Men don’t talk to share, but if a woman initiates the conversation and talks for some time (without him feeling blamed or pressured), a man will start to open up as well. If a woman demands him to talk, she’ll turn him off by making him feeling interrogated.
A man who needs to pull away a lot before he can learn to share and open up will first need to listen a lot. He needs to be appreciated for listening, then gradually he will say more.
Directly getting a man to talk is not the best way. Start out by encouraging him to listen to you. Realize that Martians don’t feel the need to talk much. Let him know you appreciate him listening, so it’s important to let him know the listening is valuable to you.
It is more effective to teach a man to listen to open up and be vulnerable. As he learns to listen to someone he cares for and is appreciated in response, he gradually will open up and share more automatically.
How Women Punish Men for their Elasticity
Women often unknowingly obstruct a man’s natural intimacy cycle (his rubberband-ness, if you will 😀 ) by either chasing him when he is pulling away or punishing him for pulling away. They may exhibit either of these physically, emotionally, or mentally.
Physically chasing would of course be to follow him around. “Emotional chasing”might be constantly worrying about him. Mentally chasing a man could come in the form of asking him guilt-inducing questions like, “How could you treat me this way?”
Physically punishing a man for his natural cycle could be by refusing him physical, or even sexual, intimacy. Emotional punishment would be disapproving of him. She may mentally punish him by refusing to open up after he returns.
All of these behavior are obviously very unhealthy for a relationship. Pulling away is a natural process for men. They should not have to feel guilty about it.
Wise Men & Women
At the same time, a man needs to keep in mind how his sudden pulling away affects his woman. Whenever he isn’t pulling away, he can take time to initiate conversation so taht she knows he is interested in her and he does care. Also, he should reassure her before pulling away by saying something like, “I just need some time alone. I’ll be back soon.”
A wise woman doesn’t give up on her man. She waits, because she knows he’ll be back in a snap 😀