The Pull Back Phase Part 2: Consider What REALLY Matters

OK, so I was looking at my Blog Stats, and almost all of my “new” traffic (which, I can’t believe I actually have traffic, haha) is because of what I wrote about the pull back phase.

Here’s what I wrote:

Another topic: The rubberbanding/pull-back phase/pre-attachment freakout. Does it exist?


Ok, yes, I think it does exist for some couples. But what I’ve seen is that usually the woman in the relationship ends up feeling so hurt/abandoned/annoyed that by the time he returns, she’s not into it anymore. Some of my friends say it doesn’t exist when it’s *right.* Myself, I think that love is like the lottery – some people win it big, and others have to chip away at that grind stone but they will still end up OK in the end.


Personally, I’ve definitely had guys freak out/pull back/say they didn’t want anything and break it off and then return a few weeks -3 months later. And almost always I have no longer been interested. But does that mean I wasn’t truly interested to begin with? Maybe.


I’ve had a little more experience since then, so maybe I’m a little bit wiser. I’d like to add to what I wrote.

If you are searching for the pull back phase because the guy or girl you were getting to know is suddenly less…present, in your life, then really, you are not going to know why, or what happened, or if you did something. Accept it. I’m sorry if that seems tough, but I wish someone would have just said that to me.

Because you know, your friends, they are all well-meaning, and, “maybe he’s just busy” or “well, you need to not want it as much, that turns guys off…yes I know you don’t think you want it or act like it, but I know deep down you do, so that’s what’s making them run.” Gee. THANKS.

You can analyze every text, sentence of a conversation, action you made or they did, but at the end of all this analyzing you won’t know exactly what happened in the other person’s mind unless they decide to tell you. And trust me, ASKING them is NOT going to work. Guys, especially, will not open up that much emotionally unless THEY are the one initiating the conversation.

Here’s what matters: Your life, now. I know it sucks and doesn’t feel good to have someone you were starting to like, that was making your life a little happier, go silent on you, or give you breadcrumbs. I’ve been there too many times to want to count.

But chances are, they aren’t bumming out because they’re the one kind of leaving you in the dark. They are doing whatever they feel like until they decide…IF they decide to address whatever it is they’re feeling, and get back to you.

So, unfortunately, you’ve got to find the strength to end your own pain over this situation. I’m not saying hate them, I’m saying let it go…for now. And if they suddenly snap out of it, and return to you, you can decide what to do…THEN. But, basically, YOUR best option is to pretend like they won’t. 

I’m sorry, I know you really just want to know that yes, the pullback phase is real, and yes, everyone always comes out of it and decides they want to be with you!

But, the truth is..(and, I would rather have the hard truth than some fluff that makes me feel better now, but worse in the long run…) the truth is, sometimes people decide they don’t want to be with you. 

No matter what, though, if the person you were interested in has backed off a little, you HAVE to remain as cool as a cucumber about it, at least from their perspective (even if you are dying inside). At least if you want the best possible chance of a future with them. If not, then hey, tell them exactly how you feel if it will make you feel better. But expect that to be the last of whatever it is you had.

This means, no cryptic Facebook lyric statuses, no “did you get my text/call/voicemail” or IMing in any way/platform, it means pretending you don’t see them online on Facebook, or whatever other IM you use, it means NOT texting them if they haven’t texted you, no matter what funny story/thing you want to tell them, even if it relates to whatever you talked about last time you saw/talked to them. Trust me, they will see through it.


…No, you don’t do that. 🙂

Instead you act like, no time has passed, you’re not mad, etc. etc. etc. But blog writer, you think, isn’t this not being true to myself??? Sure, you’re right, actually. But it’s choosing your battles and ignoring this one for the greater good. Eyes on the prize.

Then, later, when you’re happily in coupledom, you can be like, Hey, remember that time when you kind of stopped talking to me? OMG I was so mad at you, hahaha. And then he’ll be like, Really? Yeah IDK I just didn’t know what I wanted (or whatever), I’m sorry, I had no idea it affected you like that. And THEN you’ll find out what happened. 

But for now, all you really have is today, so you might as well try to put aside your hurt feelings and enjoy your life. In whatever way that means to you. Hang with friends (and DON’T TALK ABOUT IT), watch a good TV show, go for a run, play with your pets, whatever it is that makes you happy and made you happy before this person showed up. Even better, do really cool exciting things, so when they do show up, and ask how you’ve been, you can be like: great! I climbed a mountain and volunteered at a soup kitchen. Then they’ll not only be impressed, but realize they have been wayyy out of touch with you. 

To summarize:

  • It doesn’t matter the reason, or if they are coming back from the pull back phase or not. 
  • What matters is you and your life RIGHT NOW and the things you CAN control (which isn’t them).
  • Let it go (for now).
  • Be as cool as a cucumber when/if they get back in touch (I call this being a “Dumb Fox” – learned that phrase from Why Men Love Bitches or something like that) to give it the best chance of a good outcome
  • Hang in there. Truth is, it’s all bullshit til you find the right one anyway. 🙂 Just consider it dating practice!