Does Acting Aloof Make You More Attractive?

Question: I’ve been with a guy for a year and a few months. He’s very sweet and charming but also acts aloof,  cold and distant to a point where I resent him; because then I want him so bad. This is when I do everything I know how to draw him closer; but when he responds, I lose interest and start acting cold and aloof myself. He then becomes more interested in me but when I show interest, he breaks up with me. Right now, we’re not together and I know he expects me to make the first move. I’m trying to understand why people find those who act aloof and distant more attractive. And how can we have a normal relationship?

Yangki’s Answer:  Not everyone finds people who act aloof and distant more attractive. For some people it makes them want someone more, and for others it’s an instant total turn off.

When someone is intentionally making themselves inaccessible physically or emotionally; they’re trying to trigger the “fear of rejection” or “fear of abandonment” in another person. If you have this fear inside of you due to insecurities; low self-esteem, jealousy, controlling personality, co-dependency issues etc.; you’ll respond from that place of fear. You’ll try to “stop” the rejection or abandonment by drawing closer to the person who is triggering this fears inside of you.

Your words/language and actions will (sub-consciously) reflect that fear. For example, over-declarations of love, doing too much to please and all the things that look like you’re becoming “more attracted’ to someone; but which in reality are your fears being acted out.

Most people who use acting aloof and distant to make someone attracted to them are people who have issues themselves; insecurities, low self-esteem, jealousy, controlling personality, co-dependency issues etc.

This is why it’s important to be aware of what’s happening when someone is trying to draw you closer by acting aloof and distant. Some people have likened it to emotional abuse; where someone repeatedly withdraws physical and emotional access and attention just to make you feel unwanted and/or undesirable. It’s like someone hitting you on the head several times and you can’t figure out who is hitting you and why.

Can you have a normal relationship in this dynamic?

If you’re looking for hook-ups or one night-stands, this may work with certain men and women. But if you’re looking for a long term relationship, this strategy doesn’t stand a chance.

To make this work, one (or both of you) has to quit playing “the game” and create a different dynamic where you draw closer to each other at the same time.

Problem is, for most people acting aloof and distant is the only way they know how to get someone’s attention or interest (a carry-over from childhood), and so are just not willing or ready to give it up.

Sometimes what is best is to let go the person who thinks the only way to get you to be attracted/fall in love with him or her is to make you feel unwanted and/or undesirable. It’ll hurt now, but it’s better than hurting over and over every time they feel they want to draw you closer.

RELATE: 40 OMG Signs You’re A Classic Dismissive Avoidant

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  1. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: stephen

    I really need your help. At times I was emotionally distant with my ex and didn’t really open up to her. She is naturally very insecure but she loved me with all her heart. We broke up when I said I wasn’t sure if I could move in with her (long distance relationship). She asked for no contact because she was so upset. We didn’t speak for a month, then I changed my mind and made all the mistakes you say not to (apologising, asking to get back, begging etc for 2 months). How do I get her back? How do I show her that I can open up and be more loving without coming across as needy?


      You are in the right place. This is exactly what this site and my eBook are about… getting back your ex by being more open and more loving without coming across as needy.

      If you need personalized advice, I am happy to work with you one-on-one. Here is the link.

  2. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Chucky

    You say people are different and pain, bad and twisted is not the normal here. I’m interested to know if you are open minded enough to have a discussion on a kind of normal other than your interpretation.

    1. Yes, I am. I’m open to learning as much as I can in this lifetime. But that kind of discussion will have to be in my spare time. This is my “office” so to speak… when I’m here I’m at work helping those who need my help.

      Of course not everyone who visits my blog needs my help… there are people like you who need to have a discussion… may be debate. If you have a blog, send me a link by email and when I have some time to spare, I’ll drop by and chat (discuss or debate) — in your turf.

      Yes… I’m very protective of the energy around here… or less it’ll become twisted and dysfunctional.

  3. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Viv

    I enjoyed reading this. When I was in my 20s, men who were indifferent and aloof were most attractive. By then I was depressed and came from a dysfunctional home with lots of anger, drugs, emotional and sex abuse issues. As I grew up and also worked on my issues steming from my upbringing, I’ve found myself turned off by surly men that act as if they don’t care. It’s so tempermentally adolescent. Give me a guy with a broad smile that says he’s something to be happy about anytime!

    1. You said it!

      I think that when we’re young, we confuse having a deep-thought expression (a look of a sense of purpose, focus and responsibility) as indifferent and aloof. The former implies maturity, the later is… (I like your wording better)…(:

      Thankfully SOME of us grow up!

  4. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Yeah

    I played hard-to-get in a relationship and it killed the relationship. I played too aloof and she basically pulled the plug. I feel so stupid about it and I really want to make it up to her. I gave her (and myself) some time and now I am slowly starting to contact her again. I hope I can show her that I have changed, for I feel she is worth the risk (my pain).

  5. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: shakti

    I am the aloof type through and through. I know this about myself, but then I don’t see it as some sort of game.. I truly just enjoy my ‘me’ time and have become quite a bit more introverted as I’ve aged. Some people cannot handle that and attempt to cling or get jealous of such things as my wanting to stay in and read a book.

    I have become painfully aware of my penchant for becoming involved in push-pull relationship dynamics. I desire that closer intimacy, but can never quite reach it. And I know I do this to myself by choosing the relationships that I choose. I even know that this stems from not feeling worthy and.. fear of that intimacy I desire. I’ve read the books, taken the classes, etc.. but it hasn’t changed a whole lot. Sure, I like me a lot more and that is good, but the pattern seems to always creep back in there.

    Its actually made me feel that maybe I should simply remain romantically alone. Which is what I have done for the vast majority of my life. So anyway, I’ve written this to simply ask, what in your opinion is the best way to break this pattern?

  6. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jimmy

    I think most people who act aloof and distant do so out of fear of rejection, at least I know I do. When I feel that I might get hurt I close off emotionally and sometimes cut of all contact. That way I don’t have to deal with the uncomfortable emotions.

    1. Good self-awareness there! Fear is a strong emotion that can make people act against their own best interest. In trying to avoid the uncomfortable emotions, you are at the same time keeping away the very love and intimacy you’re trying to bring into your life. But when you accept that in order to experience and feel love in it’s fullness, you might also have to feel those uncomfortable emotions, the fear disappears. You open yourself to what it is you really want – love and intimacy!

  7. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: MissyXOXO

    You’re right Doc. Most people act aloof so that you don’t think they care, but it comes off as mean, immature and small. I personally find it annoying.There are far more fascinating things on the earth than people who try to con people with an act. Pathetic and childish!

  8. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Ogle

    Yangki is right: No Contact is rubbish. It’s a silly manipulative game that may, but most likely may not get back your Ex. I entertained the idea of NC for a while, having read other so-called relationship gurus. But deep in my heart I felt it to be regressive, and wrong. Your Ex will likely spurn you if she knows this game and how it’s played. But why would you want to jeopardize getting your Ex back using NC, knowing its inherent risks? Limited Contact is better than no contact, especially if you are like me and need the time and space to heal from a relationship break-up. But at least keep in touch with your Ex even if she or he broke up with you. You leave the door to your Ex open, however ajar. And you may not be the only one who’s hurting; she or he could be hurting too. Keeping in touch is a way of helping one another heal in your own spaces and in your own time, but at least you’d both know you’re more or less on the same path, if not the same page, and surely that ought to be hopeful of reconciliation some time in the near future. Right?

  9. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Laura Alexander

    My ex of three years broke up with me over a month ago and has been deliberately going out of his way to avoid seeing or talking to me. I read on many forums that this is a sign that he is not over me. I want him back but I don’t want to be the one to contact him first. How can I make him come to me?

  10. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Fiona

    This post is so true. My boyfriend is more affectionate and very loving towards me when I tell him we’re breaking up and I’ve purposely always created some kind of drama to bring back the romance and passion into our relationships. I realize I do this because I’m very insecure and I think he knows it too.

  11. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Lou

    Acting aloof and distant to get someone interested is childish and immature. I learned that the hard way when trying to get my ex back. She said I needed to grow up and stop acting like a child every time I didn’t get my way – and she was right. Now I look at people who do that kind of stuff and see just how really emotionally immature it is.

    1. People who use this strategy are consciously or unconsciously sabotaging their love relationships by engaging in behaviours that could potentially drive their partners away. Most get their hearts broken because they’re always drawn to others who are like them. The people who aren’t like them just walk away the instant they realize what’s happening.

  12. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jay

    I’m using contact to heal and to stop myself from acting clingy desperate, begging, and calling her constantly. Of course, I’m holding out hope that we could be together again but right now I’m the one calling the shots and it feels good.

    1. I hear you! As long as you are aware that just because you’ve broken all ties and asked her not to call or write, doesn’t mean she’s going to come begging you to take her back. Some people after faithfully implementing no contact for months are rudely woken up when no contact doesn’t bring back an ex.

      Enjoy the feeling of empowering yourself!

  13. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jay

    I am in the EXACT same situation with my ex. One draws closer and the other pulls away. This time I’ve broken all ties and asked her not to call or write. I’ve vanished completely from her life. She’s texted and emailed me asking why I’m ignoring her but I’ve not responded. I’m trying to just trust the no contact rule and refrain from contacting her until she is begging me to take her back.

    1. I don’t know how else to say this, no contact is a great strategy for healing after a break-up and for moving on, not for getting an ex back – re my post: Is It Wrong to Do No Contact?.

      I personally believe that if someone is employing NO CONTACT with you, they aren’t acting from a place of love. Would you “fall in love” with someone you know is intentionally trying to starve you by refusing to give you food because he/she wants you to beg for it? And every time you beg for it, you’re either completely denied or given just enough to give you more strength to be able to beg again?

      You may become “dependant” on that person if you have no other food source, but don’t call it love.

      Just be careful that when she “comes begging”, it’s not because she wants you back, but because it’s pay back time! It happens a lot!

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