Breakups and Recovery

Why Men Leave Women They Love

Sometimes it hits you out of the blue. Sometimes you feel it coming. EVERY time it hurts like hell, makes a wreck of your heart, and leaves you feeling crushed, empty, and bleeding…

It’s so hard to understand why men leave. Do you ever feel like you’re operating entirely on guesswork?

“Hey Claire, this guy I’ve been seeing for a YEAR seemed to really like me, then out of the blue he totally disappeared. We had 3 dates one week (3!!) and the next week he was “too busy” to see me. After a month of unanswered calls, texts that were ignored, and a few drinking/swearing/crying jags with my gf’s, I finally realized he’s gone for good. But I WISH I knew WHY?? We were good in bed, we had fun together, and I would have sworn he really really liked me. Nothing was going wrong!!! Please tell me why men leave like that. Any ideas?” – Cammie

Good gawd, that hurts. And he was a douche for not behaving like a man and telling you straight up that he was leaving; instead he just slunk out like a rat, feeling absolutely no shame at his little boy behavior. (Well, he may have felt shame, but he certainly didn’t let it move him to do the right thing.)

There are multiple reasons why men leave women they really like or even love, and while I can’t say which one it was in your particular situation, Cammie, I can make a couple of good guesses…

1. Why men leave women they adore: they fear the next step.

This is the main kind of situation you find happening when everything is going GREAT and then he suddenly disappears without a trace. He got creeped out by his own enjoyment of the relationship, because he knows on some level that he doesn’t want to have a long term relationship, doesn’t want to head toward exclusivity, isn’t ready to commit to one woman.

And yes, it’s a wee bit insane, because it’s clear things are going well. Smashingly, even! Guys aren’t always the Tony Stark type they imagine themselves in their minds; sometimes they’re naked little kittens who feel they’ve been left out on the doorstep in the cold.

You’re better off without a guy like this, because he has some emotional growing left to do. You need a man who can stick with you through sun and snow, and he ain’t it. Better to know it now.

2. Why men leave women they adore: they get fresh, hot offers.

This one stings a bit, but it’s nonetheless true: sometimes the reason why men leave is because they already know what their relationship with you is like, and they’re being petitioned by new women.

The new woman isn’t necessarily “hotter” than you are – but she is unknown, and therefore mysterious and intriguing to him. And since he doesn’t already “have” her, his chase mechanism kicks in and he’s off and running after her like an bank robber running for the border.

Text Your Ex-Boyfriend Back?

Text your Ex BackIf you want to get your ex boyfriend to come crawling back to you on his knees (no matter why you broke up and even if he’s with some other girl now), you need to watch this video right away…

--> Get your man back with txt msgs?

This video teaches you the REAL reason you’ve failed to get your ex boyfriend to come back to you so far…

And how to use tiny little text messages to create an obsession in his mind where he’ll do anything to be with you again (no matter how bad things were before.)

So what do you do about it?

It’s easy to develop a crazy fear that a guy will leave just when everything is going great. And that’s why you should NEVER decide that a particular man is “the one” until you know exactly how he behaves in a situation like this. He may not be at the same place you are when it comes to his willingness to commit. Therefore…

Don’t be exclusive until you are dating a man who is ready to be exclusive with you.

In other words, keep dating. Don’t let any single man believe you’re all his unless he has decided he’s going to be all yours, too.

Do be clear about your limited availability.

Don’t let a guy think you’ll wait around for him forever. Know your own timeline and find a way to communicate that with him in a calm, non-threatening way.

Something like this:

“Yeah, I broke it off with Nick because we dated for two years and I was pretty sure we weren’t going to ever become serious. I’m still looking for that man I want to build a life together with.


“I probably wouldn’t date a guy for more than a year if I knew it wasn’t serious.”


“A year is plenty of time to find out whether or not one particular guy is going to be the one I’m willing to stop seeing other men for.”

Remember this, strong woman…

You may encounter defeats but you are NOT defeated. Don’t forget how strong you are. That’s one of the things I love most about you, beautiful woman.

Hang in there, Cammie. There are lots of men out there who will be thrilled to win a woman like you. Your ex has lost you for good, and eventually he may look back and see that he made a mistake in giving you up. Hopefully he learns how to be a real man (and communicate directly with the women in his life), but meanwhile, you’re on to find a real man of your own. Best to you!

xoxo Claire

14 comments on “Why Men Leave Women They Love

  1. Hi Claire,

    Your words were
    “The new woman isn’t necessarily “hotter” than you are – but she is unknown, and therefore mysterious and intriguing to him. And since he doesn’t already “have” her, his chase mechanism kicks in and he’s off and running after her like an bank robber running for the border.

    My question is how does one go about being mysterious and intriguing to a guy whom we’re dating or let’s say already knows you, to get their attention back to you? Tips would be greatly appreciated!

    • Claire Casey

      That’s a great question, Mj, and that’s a BIG part of the reason I wrote Capture His Heart and Make Him Love You Forever. 🙂

      If you want to try a simple solution, get active in your life. Casually (but sincerely) date other guys, invest in and work toward your passions, and allow the world (and the man whose attention you hope to gain) to see just how interesting you are.

      I know you’re a fascinating woman, and there’s a lot that is unique about you. Shine it up and let it sparkle like mad!


  2. Hi Claire,
    This was a great read! I can definitely relate with a guy I had been seeing. Things were going really well and it seemed as if we were getting closer and that things were going from “casual” dating to something with more substance. Suddenly there was an abrupt distancing and drop in communication. We talked about it and then things seemed to be getting back to the usual. Well the distancing behavior happened again and was played off as “nothing was wrong” when I asked him about it. He has some baggage from his divorce and being hurt, and I was beating myself up that it was something I must have said or did to cause distance the first time. Looking back, how amazing things were going, I feel as if he saw how close we were getting and the direction things were moving and got scared getting “too close to the fire.”

    Thank you for your empowering words and helpful articles!

    • Claire Casey

      Hey Steph — Yep, sounds like your man had issue #1, and it might be the most common one of all of them. It’s a tough one to beat, too, because it’s really his issue to tackle, and has very little to do with you. Frustrating, huh?

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and thank you for your kind words! They are cream in my coffee. 🙂

  3. If he has pushed you away but still wants you there as well.. Is he playing games or will he eventually commit? Men are so confusing.. The instant we got to close he freaked and ran the other direction..

  4. #1 here, definitely. Was freshly divorced when we met, very transparent about not being recovered enough to be in a relationship, but we had so much fun, spark, open communication and closeness, we trudged along slowly. Then, we had an extraordinarily close long weekend right before the 6-month anniversary of our first date and then the next week he needed space and the following week we were done. I know it was due to his fears of the next step, he said as much. It was a tearful and sad goodbye for both of us, very mature, no fighting or blame, just crying and holding hands. I even told him that if I were his buddy or his brother, I would tell him that he didn’t need to be getting too close to me, which is true. This was almost 3 weeks ago. We are both dating others casually, but I know he’s still thinking about me and we text/email (very casually) daily now. The other day he said he wants to see me, to “catch up”, but his emotions are all over the place and he can’t now. I want nothing more than another shot at making this work, he’s truly an amazing human being and we had something special. Everyone who saw us together said that and we are both in our 40’s, so it’s not like we are wearing blinders. I have the Text your Ex back program and am trying to use the principals, except we have blasted past the no-contact period, and knowing him, I don’t think that’s the right path anyway. I think casually building back the good feelings of what we had is a better path. And then my working on patience when he texts something fun then abruptly pulls back for a day. I am getting good at that 🙂 Any other advice for me? Thanks.

    • Claire Casey

      You sound like a very smart woman, Melissa.

      You’re dating other guys and keeping a casual line of communication open. And you already know exactly why he froze up. The only thing you *can’t* do is help him grow and mature any faster than he’s already going. That’s on him. His divorce is fresh, and he still has some shifting gears to do to get to that next major relationship.

      So you’re doing all the right things, it sounds like.

      The only odd note in this is that you said “I even told him that if I were his buddy or his brother, I would tell him that he didn’t need to be getting too close to me, which is true.”

      It almost sounds like you were trying to say that the whole relationship was a mistake from the start, which it wasn’t. He was testing out a new connection after a major breakup, you were attracted to each other, and that’s all. If he was in fact already divorced, there’s no “this is right/wrong” in that.

      Everybody has baggage. It’s just that we get it at different times and go at different paces as we try to learn what it has to teach us.

      Here’s an article I wrote about rebound relationships and whether or not you have a future together. Even though the situation is different, you may get some good out of it:

      You’re doing great, Melissa. Hang in there!

  5. Thank you, Claire. Just to clarify, I was telling him that. not to say that everything was a mistake from the start, but to agree that maybe continuing to go forward would be. I wanted him to know that, intellectually, I understand where he is and I believe him when he tells me what he’s feeling. I won’t argue or try to convince him otherwise. That’s all I meant. I also was trying to help make him feel better, as he was clearly upset at having hurt me.

    We were chatting yesterday (via text) and I made a comment about having so much to tell him whenever we do finally talk/meet that I might need a sedative to slow myself down. He responded by saying that ‘maybe next week’ we could talk, but it was still too soon, too many things he’s processing emotionally, but if I needed him, he would talk. I apologized for unintentionally pressuring him, I didn’t intend that, I just was making a bit of a joke (I am a pretty easily excitable person, he knows this, he likes my “passion”, he says). But I feel like we took a step back. I hate that. I am not going to text him at all today, just give him some space again. At the same time, it’s not fair for him to put me off forever, is there a time or a way for me to express that without making things worse?

    I go back and forth between thinking I really have nothing to lose, so I might as well just express myself authentically (I am quite a confident and understanding person, I am not a blaming, me-centered person by nature, so it’s not going to get ugly) and feeling like I really do have something to lose, so I must calculate everything exactly. I hate that. But, especially after having been on a blue-million dates, I KNOW this man is special and I want to give this the very best shot I can at working.

    Thank you again for your help.

    • Claire Casey

      You said, “I was telling him that not to say that everything was a mistake from the start, but to agree that maybe continuing to go forward would be.”

      Why would continuing to go forward be a mistake? I can’t see ANY reason, in what you’ve told me. In fact, you ARE slowly going forward, and I’m cheering for you in that. 🙂

      When you say “it’s not fair for him to put me off forever, is there a time or a way for me to express that without making things worse?” I think you’re missing a point. He gets to put things off as long as he needs to. His timeline is different from yours. But YES, you can determine your own goals and timeline and gently communicate that with him; then the two of you can negotiate a workable solution. An article on that:

      I know you’re feeling lots of extremes, but I agree that you need to be your authentic self while also being understanding of his needs, too. It’s a middle path, y’know?

      And it sounds to me like you’re doing that; you’re just feeling the craziness of being in relationship with a guy who is in a rough spot with his heart. Be patient with yourself and with him.

      Much love your way, beautiful. xoxo CC

  6. Oh, I am not saying that he can’t put off the relationship forever, I am saying I don’t want him to put off talking to me forever. The texting-only thing is fine to maintain some kind of casual connection, but I don’t want him telling me 3 weeks from now that he still can’t talk to me and me keep saying, “okay, whenever you’re ready”. I am respectful, but that would make me resentful and I don’t want that. Anyway, I do appreciate your help. Thanks, Claire 🙂

  7. If you are stumbling over what you say to this guy, remember that non-commital verbage not only gives the other person a no pressure reply or comment, but also makes you more mysterious. Found that many men do not like a lot of words, because they feel we are chasing them, instead of them on the chase. It’s strange but a simple LOL or Mmm can kind of drive them to be more verbose with you, while making them feel they are chasing you, and that you are there but not overwhelming them with your thoughts and emotions. Kind of a “spacer” in the communication that neither rejects nor pushes, and still intrigues.

    • Claire Casey

      So true, Mira. Smart way of thinking about (and doing) this. I didn’t even consider the “mystery” angle, but you’re definitely right — they often find it exciting in and of itself. 🙂

  8. Can I write to you about some strange behaviour I have witnessed from the partner I was in a relationship with???

Leave a Reply

What's Your Love Number? Take the Quiz!

PS: You look gorgeous today. 😍

You're in, gorgeous! Go check your email for a confirmation.