As the large body of writing on the subject indicates, women spend a great deal of time trying to figure out why men we are communicating with or have recently begun dating (say, within the first three dates) sometimes disappear.
In a perfect world, the nice thing would be if these men simply said, “Hey, I’ve really enjoyed emailing, texting, talking with you, or dating over these past few days or weeks but for reasons X, Y, and Z, I don’t think we're quite right for each other."
We know all too well this is not what typically happens and we are instead left wondering where the object of our affection has suddenly gone.
In their quest for answers, some women will actually call a man out on his disappearing act, demanding an explanation for his flighty behavior.
Afterward, these women may even plead their case, arguing why the man with whom they were briefly involved was mistaken for moving on so quickly.
But, as we know, no good magician ever divulges his secrets. Likewise, a guy will not usually share with a woman his true reason or reasons for disappearing, if he is even conscious of what those reasons are, because, oftentimes, his decision stems from a feeling he has or, alternatively, does not have.
Despite any reason he may provide under “duress,” what his disappearing really comes down to in the end is his lack of interest because if he had been interested, he would have stuck around in the first place.
It is at this point some guys will second-guess their initial impulse, renege, and give a persistent woman another pass. More often than not, however, that second chance will be short-lived (hopefully) because the reason(s) for disappearing before will still exist after.
This, I argue, is how “bad” relationships begin, those that are lacking at the outset and continue to leave both parties wanting more as time goes on. These “second-hand” relationships often look something like this: one party bides time while the other party struggles to get what he or she needs from a partner who is not all that interested in giving it.
But without a full understanding of why guys disappear, women may never fully appreciate why they should not be in a particular relationship to begin with should that guy backtrack under pressure, because of his own insecurities, or both.
So how do we get the intel we need?
In fact, we already have it. That is because the knife cuts both ways. Women disappear as much as men do, and when they do the guy with whom they have been corresponding or dated briefly is left standing with his, ahem, phone in his hand.
Therefore, all we must do is consider why WE would disappear (and have disappeared) under similar circumstances. Chances are a guy’s reasons will not be too far off the mark.
Admittedly, disappearing is not great for anyone’s ego. But what is far worse in the long run for everyone involved is pursuing a relationship with someone whose interest is waning right from the start.
Men or women, the bottom line is this: If someone is not interested in you from the get-go, the only thing you should do is move on. I know convincing me to stay will not help in the long run even if I break down and come back. The truth of the matter is at the moment I disappeared, I was already long gone. And because timing is everything, the odds of me coming back in the way you want and, more importantly, when you want me to (usually immediately) are stacked heavily against you.
Below are 11 reasons why I have disappeared and why you should let me go if I do.
1. I am recovering from a recent split. Husband, boyfriend, friend with benefits, it really does not matter. Maybe I am still talking to that person. Maybe I am still trying to deal with my feelings from that split. Maybe I am waiting for Brad to leave Angelina. Who knows? Not you because it is not for you to know because we barely know each other! Just because my online dating profile says I am active does not mean I actually am. Healing takes time. Are you willing to bring me back and wait for me while I do?
2. I have personal problems I am working through. This is a corollary to number one because not every personal problem I have revolves around a guy. In fact, most do not. Maybe I lost my job. Maybe my cat recently died. Maybe I am simply down in the dumps because it is my time of the month. Whatever my problems are they likely have nothing to do with you. Despite what your mommy may have told you, you are not the center of the universe. So please do not invade mine. Make a wish upon another falling star.
3. I was never “all in.” You know that guy I mentioned I had been dating for the past few months? You know, the one I was dating a couple of times a week, emailing, texting with, and talking to on the phone? Well, what really happened is I caught his sorry ass on Match and now I am going to date other people to not only make myself feel better but piss him off, too. When he reacts, you will go by way of Trump’s last apprentice because the last one hired is always the first one fired.
4. You said something that turned me off. Come on, you know the feeling. You are having this great banter with a guy and are daydreaming that you may have finally found your One. You envision a house with a white picket fence and a pet unicorn in the yard. Then he goes ahead and says something to you straight out of left field, leaving you asking, "What'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" The problem is most of the time you do not like Willis' answer.
5. I realized somewhere along the way I am not attracted to you. Let’s face it. That online photo of yours is only our first "date." Every text, email, phone call, and meeting that follows helps me get to know you better. As with anything in life, there are no guarantees. I gave us a go. Now I am going. Going. Gone!
6. I started talking to someone else. Honestly, I think you are really nice. Kind of cool. But, you know how it goes. This other guy came along and turned my head. He is just a little cuter, a little smarter, and a little more persistent. I said a little. You, on the other hand...
7. You became downright annoying. At the first sign I was losing interest you started going all Sleeping With The Enemy on my ass. Stalking me and shit. I know people say the squeaky wheel gets the grease. This may be true in some instances, but not necessarily with someone you are dating or, worse, with someone you have not even met! And if, for argument’s sake, the saying is true, there is a fine line that must not be crossed. You, my friend, crossed it when I said I would call and did not, and you called me instead -- over and over again. That is immediate grounds for dismissal in my book.
8. I got busy. Yeah, we all joke that getting “busy” is really only another way of blowing someone off but it does actually happen. As a single mom who is working full-time, things can get a little crazy around here. I am not going to make time for just anyone because my time is limited. If for whatever reason I do not think you should be one of my priorities, by all means I will not make you one. But, again, that belabors my initial point. I am never too busy for someone I am interested in getting to know better.
9. YOU disappeared first. And when you finally did come back, I had already lost interest in YOU. That, my friend, is called bad timing. Or, better yet, good timing because you have now freed me up to meet someone else who is interested in me.
10. You treated me badly. In which case you DEFINITELY were not worthy of a goodbye. Or perhaps more simply...
11. I got the sense you were 'just not that into me.' So I beat you to the punch and disappeared. The truth of the matter is if you were really as interested as you are claiming to be after the fact, I am pretty certain I would have known. And if by chance you think there has been some kind of misunderstanding, by all means check it out! Once. Not 10 times. For God's sake, stop sweating it! Not everyone is meant for each other even though it may seem so on paper. If you are already ambivalent about me because I am not giving you what you want, you believe I do not like you enough, I rub you the wrong way, or whatever, trust your gut because it is rarely wrong. You deserve better. And so do I.
How do you approach dating?