A guideline to the Man Cave

photo from bethesmartwife.com

photo from bethesmartwife.com

No I’m not talking about his manly room stacked with beer, a pool table and video games that can usually be detected by smell first before entering.

I’m talking about the metaphorical place men like to go when they need some alone time.

It’s a universal term recognised by every female and male around the world, describing when men retreat away from females to gather their thoughts and “have some space”.

It drives women insane and is often the cause for crazy “over reacting” behaviour or strong annoying words otherwise known as “nagging”.

It’s a strange phenomenon first tapped on to by the well know ‘Men are from Mars , Women are from Venus’ bestseller, but whilst we have already established that men are from another planet it doesn’t help how we feel when they choose to step off our planet completely without so much as a warning and into their cave!

And he’s off and running…..

Agh the joys of dating and relationships, one minute it can be fine and dandy and the next your man has started to retreat, grow a little distant and then before you know it he’s heading for the hills!

Sounds a little like a wildlife documentary “the male lion starts to withdraw…he sees his chance of escape and takes flight…his destination is that of a large hole, where it’s safe, warm and secluded. All the female can do now is wait.”

Hmm sound familiar? (and I never did look at the Discovery Channel the same way again!)It’s probably something we have all experienced, maybe to different degrees depending on your relationships and the situation but at some point you have had your man go into his beloved private space where none shall enter ( except all other males) .

Let him run, you’ve started to see the recognisable signs so step back and give him a head start. Sounds crazy but the more you step back and let him be, the shorter the stay in the cave will last.

Silent treatment

This works both ways, when guys go into their own little world, chances are the communication will be cut right down , don’t take this personally just understand it’s one of the side effects.

As women we tend to get a little frustrated when men don’t communicate with us properly so this is probably the toughest thing to master, but remember the golden rule: Men don’t respond to nagging, men respond to no contact (thank you Sherry Argov!)

Don’t even speak to him (unless you’re living or married to him), wait for him to contact you and just keep busy talking to your friends, family, neighbour , dog, yourself , just anyone but him!

Men already use half the amount of words than we do on a daily basis so he really isn’t going to elaborate on answers like: “yes”, “ok then” and “good thanks” so don’t interrogate him and over analyse everything he is not saying!

Relax, it’s just part of the process, don’t take it personally, just don’t speak to him for a few days or wait till he contact you.

Time is your friend

Yes it is, don’t sit there and stare at your phone willing it to light up with his name, girl get him off that pedal stool, he’s in his cave so get busy with your own life!

It shouldn’t matter if a man decides to take some space, because ideally you are always doing your own thing and emotionally independent to a healthy degree.

It’s normal and actually necessary for men to have “alone time” it’ll make you appreciate each other a lot more. If it does your head in then get busy and keep yourself distracted, but it also might be a tell tale sign that you need to stop pinning your happiness and emotional outcomes on a man, be a whole person, be comfortable on your own.

We all have a fairytale time fame in our head (that never actually seems to go to plan), so don’t force things, go with the flow, give him space, take some time out for yourself, don’t stress about the future and just enjoy the season now.

Men like to be respected, if you show him that you can respect his man cave, chances are he’ll want to come out of there sooner to be with you!

When he emerges

Hallelujah! He cometh forwardth ! (But of course you were so preoccupied being independent and fabulous with your own life you barely noticed!?)

He will emerge when the time is right, thing is there is no rule or specific time frame, all I know is that if you leave them alone then they will be out sooner than expected.

Don’t bombard him with a million questions and a Gestapo light in his eyes demanding an explanation, give it a few days, smile and act normal and if you feel like you need to bring up anything then chat with him once your emotions have calmed down.

Better get use to the Man Cave Syndrome as it is something that never goes away, so learn to how to deal with it now so that you can keep the peace in your relationship and your mind.




  • Wow, this post is pleasant, my younger sister is analyzing such things, thus
    I am going to convey her.

  • margarita says:

    Love this post darling! Keep em coming!


  • shesca says:

    I might have had my divorce 8 years ago never understanding this phenomenon. But It only happened after 10 years together. And the cave men action lasted too long. It was probably 6 months long? Anyways.. am dating a wonderful man for a year now and he had done it to me more than 4x now.. stress stress stress. No matter how I try to think of it as the ‘normal manly’ thing, it still drives me nuts everytime it happens..

    • crazybee says:

      I have been dating this guy for over 1 year and we moved in together when he ran out of his family’s home. His dad is highly abusive and both being alcohol lovers, they would drink together father and son. Often his dad would have a drink or two and take it out on his mom and him. Basically he grew up in an abusive family. He has also shared that he suspects that his parents are bipolar based on their frequent mood swings etc. 8 months into moving in together, we were pretty happy, had trips etc together. He started drinking heavily. Well he has been always drinking but in the last couple of months his drinking got worse, he’ll skip out on work or enter really late i.e. after lunch. He was also trying to build his own car as was relying on me quite a bit since he returned his family car. Despite my advises as to not purchase the old classic he wanted, he went ahead and embarked on a journey to fix the vehicle up. He also borrowed funds from me for certain car parts as was short of cash which I did not mind. Fast forward 2 months after- the car broke down. His drinking became worse and he had to borrow his parent’s car. His parents demanded that he returned the newer family car and he had to take an older car which also broke down. All of which happened on the weekend 2 days before his birthday. I proposed a holiday for his birthday he did not want to. We stayed in. He drank more and all of which he returned screaming and shouting on weekly basis. His screaming got worse leading up to his birthday. On the eve of his birthday, his family car was due to be towed but he had various issues with towing. He got drenched and had to skip out on work. John, I always have been helping him out in the past months when he was without a car etc. He befriended some neighbors and the boys got along well with him and assisted him in all of the incidents. So I was no longer the person in his life to go to despite me offering . He started mentioning about it

  • lisa says:

    Be alot easier if men just said something like – ‘I need time alone and Ill be back’ rather than let the women worry – have you noticed its always the women that has to pussy foot around a mans behavior…what about men doing what they need to do before they go into the cave so the woman feels safe and not crazy urghh!

    • Lisa says:

      Hell yeah! I wish they’d just say “Woman, my feelings for you are the same, but I need some alone time to reconnect with my own self. It’s not your fault, it’s just that time of the season again. Don’t worry, I’ll be back when the time is right and everything will be OK” because us women need constant reassuring and explanations. IF YOU SAY NOTHING, WE INTERPRET THE WORST CASE SCENARIO. By default.
      I’ve grown used to my man’s “male pms” and use the opportunity to be my own self and enjoy the pleasures of being a single woman 😀 except for the sex part… I just do my own thing when it comes to every day life, at my own time, no pressure, choose my own options and when it’s time to party, I doll up, go out with my friends, maybe even get a little flirty with the cute guys but that’s where it stops, I still love and respect my man. No one to nag me, smother me, ask me questions, no one to look after but myself, if I need attention I turn to my friends. Cute guys smiling at me, feeding my ego. And I live happily until my man decides to contact me. And it’s like starting all over again, I let him try and re-conquer me and he enjoys the chase. Never let your happiness depend on someone else.

  • Dave Sandler says:

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  • MM says:

    What if it feels like he never comes out of ‘the cave’? I refrain from messaging him during the day. He comes home with little to say. I give him his ‘space’, I keep to myself and stay occupied without asking many questions, and then he goes to the gym anywhere from 1-1.5hrs. He returns home only to get ready for bed. Rinse repeat. What am I even doing here? Do I even have a purpose?

    • Hi MM ,
      It sounds like there is a deeper issue going on here, wanting space is one thing but avoiding you and isolating you is another thing altogether. Your purpose shouldn’t be any man or relationship , but it sounds like he doesn’t want to prioritise you . Have you tried communicating to him about it? You have to say something otherwise you are rewarding his negative behaviour …hence why he keeps doing it. I would suggest talking to him about his actions and how they are making you feel and ask him if there is something wrong. You deserve more than what he is currently giving you
      Renee x

  • Such a common issue so many women don’t understand. But once they do, it can literally transform things in their relationship in a very short amount of time. No need to chase him – he’s not going anywhere. Just trying to figure things out. And when he’s ready, you’ll know about it. Thanks Renee. Good post.

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