How to Understand Why Men get Emotionally Distant

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Women are known for showing their feelings, and men are known for being more distant. While both genders can buck this stereotype, it is common enough to form one in the first place. If you are with a man who becomes emotionally distant, it can be hurtful and extremely frustrating at times. Here is a look at some of the things that you can do if you have a stoic man in your life:

Be Compassionate
One of the most difficult but powerful lessons you can learn when it comes to other people is that you can control your actions and point of view, but not theirs. Because of this, compassion is one of the best tools you can have in regard to dealing with other people. Emotionally distant people can, with compassion, be better understood. In this case, it means asking why they are distant. Are they the product of an upbringing where they were told to keep their feelings hidden, because they weren't manly enough? Even if he doesn't tell you this, you can probably get a pretty strong clue based on the family and/or local culture from where he grew up. If you don't know him well enough to meet his family and travel to his hometown, then ask what his family and hometown were like growing up. Even if he doesn't explain his deep dark past, you will probably get some idea of what it was like based on the details he chooses to tell you, and the positive or negative spin he puts on them.

Be Patient
If this emotionally distant man is someone who you have just met, then it may not yet be time, in his mind, for you to see deeper into his heart. In this case, let him take the time that he needs to become comfortable, and don't pressure him. If you have been with him for many years and/or decades, then maybe it is time to suggest he move closer or move on, but do so gently if you ever want him to get closer to you.

Be Forgiving
Many men are emotionally distant also because of the pressure that is put on men to be the full providers for women and families, and to show no sign of strain or pressure. This is an unattainable goal for many, and they can feel a lot of guilt from this. If their emotional distance has caused you difficulty, then this can be compounded if they do have strong feelings for you. This is why forgiveness is so important, because it lets your man know that he is still loved in your eyes, despite his own thoughts and fears.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "How to Understand Why Men get Emotionally Distant," in, February 9, 2016, (accessed August 10, 2022).