Individual needs and interests
Moving away from each other in a relationship frightens many of us because we are strongly committed to a romantic relationship. We want to build a close relationship that provides us with emotional security. We expect our partner to show us support during difficult times and help with childcare. The problem arises when he starts going out on the town with his friends. Many of us forget how important time for ourselves is in a relationship. When we fall in love, our whole life starts to centre around our partner. This is often seen in the conversations we have with our girlfriends. They suggest we go to the lake together on a Saturday afternoon, we procrastinate, saying we’ll let them know when we’ve discussed it with our partner. Love also makes us forget old passions. We stop attending book-lovers’ meetings. We visit the tennis court less often, where we used to spend every other afternoon. When we fall in love, we allow ourselves to be completely consumed by our feelings for our partner. Time for each other in a relationship is very important for each party, but it is usually the men who seek it more. We misinterpret this as distancing and losing interest. We feel anxious that he will leave us for another. Anxiety says a lot about ourselves, usually stemming from a lack of stable self-esteem. Deep down we think we are not attractive or good enough for him, so we fear abandonment. When a man distances himself by going out with his friends, he is usually not acting against us. Every human being has two opposing needs – connection and autonomy. We form a happy relationship when we strike a balance between the two. We can love someone and at the same time want to spend time away from them. There is nothing wrong with this, because the moments we don’t share carry great value. They allow us to miss the other person, gain new experiences and become an attractive partner/attractive partner again. Happy couples do not spend every moment together because ‘symbiosis’ is not conducive to the development of personal interests and friendships. At the same time, it weakens mutual desire, as the element associated with mutual fascination is lost along the way. Physical attraction arises where there is a certain aura of mystery. By doing everything for two, we strip each other of attraction. We can communicate very well, but we can also stop seeing the other person as our lover/our mistress. If we want to create a happy relationship, let’s give ourselves space to pursue our own interests and nurture old friendships. This will allow us to maintain a balance in life and derive greater satisfaction from it. In addition, such an attitude has an invigorating effect on the relationship.
Why does he choose the company of colleagues?
When a man distances himself, we often take it very personally. We perceive his going out with colleagues as an act against us. In doing so, we forget that we all have a need for autonomy, which we satisfy in different ways. We also have passions, and old friendships still give us satisfaction. Why does he/she choose the company of colleagues? Below are the most common reasons.
Partner pursues his passions with colleagues
Try not to torture yourself with the thought: your partner is moving away from me. Look at the big picture. Consider what he or she is spending time on with colleagues. Sometimes we allow automatic thoughts that are destructive to take over. We begin to see the future together in black colours, even though there is no indication of a crisis in the relationship. He goes out with his friends to pursue his interests and passions. Men do not give up what used to make them happy. If they used to run marathons together with their mates, repair motorbikes, play football or scuba dive, they continue to do so. This has a positive effect on their wellbeing and level of satisfaction with life. In addition, being active together serves to cultivate friendships with other men.
Men nurture old friendships
A happy relationship is easiest to build for men who do not break up past friendships. When a partner becomes the whole world, we subconsciously start to expect him to meet all our needs. We put a lot of pressure on him that he is unable to meet. It’s worth looking at all your friendships and understanding that each one enriches us in some way. With one friend we go to the theatre, with another we discuss books, with a third we browse the shops. Men do the same. They play football with one friend, talk about work with another and discuss their love of fantasy with a third. Ask yourself, would you want to cater to all his needs, including those he fulfils with his friends?
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He needs excitement and adrenaline
It’s great when you share a passion with your partner, such as enjoying a city break together. This usually gives us great satisfaction, but it doesn’t meet all our needs. It’s likely that your partner occasionally wants to do something exciting that provides an adrenaline rush. Men enjoy climbing mountain peaks with their mates, scuba diving and windsurfing together. There is no substitute for friends, so let them experience the excitement in the way they have planned:)
Partner running away from relationship problems
Sometimes the thought: my partner is distancing himself from me is justified. If, when considering the matter in a broader context, you see that he has rarely gone out with his friends so far, but since the relationship crisis he has been doing it every day, he is probably running away from his problems. Open communication based on assertiveness and respect allows you to discuss contentious issues. It creates a space that enables an agreement to be worked out. If a partner is running away from problems in the relationship, let’s consider whether this is due to the way we express ourselves. We often don’t pay much attention to how we phrase our statements. Let’s ensure that we send messages that are free of resentment and accusation. Assertiveness does not bring improvement? The way a partner reacts in conflict situations says a lot about him. Sometimes it shows his emotional immaturity. Let’s consider whether this man is right for us.
Fear of intimacy and commitment
When he prefers mates to me, it is worth considering the fear of commitment. We usually assume that every man is looking for a close relationship that will provide him with emotional security. In doing so, we forget that we are all different. Sometimes the different needs go back to childhood, when an attachment style was formed. Children are completely dependent on their parents, so they want carers to show interest in them. Unfortunately, not all adults are able to tune in to the young person. Sometimes they neglect his or her needs or respond to them in the wrong way. The child then adopts one of two main adaptation strategies. He or she stops reporting his or her needs to his or her parents and forgoes proximity (avoidant attachment style), or closely observes the caregiver in order to tune in (anxious-ambivalent attachment style). Non-avoidant attachment styles are often underpinned by a fear of proximity. If a man distances himself whenever a bond begins to emerge in a relationship, he is probably distancing himself. Going out with friends is part of his avoidance strategy and a kind of defence mechanism.
What to do when he prefers to spend time with his mates?
When a man withdraws, we often wonder what we can do to keep him at home. Our attitude does not serve the relationship. He feels that we are taking away his freedom, making the atmosphere more tense. Let’s treat his outings with friends as a gift. We gain time that we can use for our own pleasures. Renew old acquaintances, go out with friends to the cinema, theatre or shopping mall. Let’s do what we feel like doing and what we gave up when we were in a state of love. Has he gone fishing with his friends? We finally have time to read, watch our favourite youtuber or apply a cleansing mask to our face. The need for autonomy in a relationship is very important. By satisfying it, we develop our own interests and sustain important relationships. Let’s not give up on passions and friendships. It is worth treating a relationship as a complement to your existing successful life. We often make the mistake of assuming that a partner will fill all the emptiness we carry inside. If we identify what we are missing, we can offer it to each other. Let’s remember that the man we are building a relationship with will not meet all our needs. We won’t fulfil all his expectations either. Let’s surround ourselves with many acquaintances and friends, because each of them has a different role in our lives. Let’s hang out with them, let other interpersonal relationships beautify our everyday life. By having our own passions, we better understand a partner who wants to go off to the mountains or the lake with his or her friends. We consider this to be perfectly normal, as we are pursuing our own interests with satisfaction ourselves. By experiencing fulfilment in different aspects of life, we bring good energy into the relationship. We have more patience, which makes it easier to work out an agreement with our partner.
Communication in a relationship
Pursuing one’s passions and nurturing relationships with friends is the basis of a fulfilling life. Sometimes, however, the partner leaves using an avoidance strategy. His fear of intimacy dictates that he runs away from what he did not manage to get to know as a child. His attitude makes us feel confused and sad. Open communication of needs in a relationship plays a key role. By expressing our emotions in an aggression-free way, we can change the dynamics of the relationship. We show our partner that his frequent outings with his colleagues make us uncomfortable because we feel left out and unimportant. When we think to ourselves: he prefers his mates to me, we often do not realise that the partner may perceive the situation very differently. Sometimes he or she is not aware that there is a greater need for connection within us. It is possible that he himself is used to a lot of autonomy, having lived as a single for years. Some people also feel a greater need for independence than others. Talking often opens us up to the partner’s/partner’s perspective. Open communication in a relationship is not a one-sided activity. Accept your partner’s comments without aggression. We happen to represent different attachment styles, which complicates many issues. A person with an anxious-ambivalent bonding style often pushes their partner to spend every free moment with them. She is afraid of losing him because her parents have not always been responsive to her needs. In contrast, those of us who have developed an avoidant attachment style are uncomfortable with close relationships because they don’t know them. When these two non-avoidant attachment styles meet, one begins to chase and the other to flee. A vicious circle is created from which one manages to break out by becoming aware of the mechanisms that govern it.