Ask Our Men: Why Do Men Magically Disappear?

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After a very successful first post where our men weighed in about their turn-offs, our panel is back to advise on another mysterious boy behavior. There were a lot of good questions asked, but we could only choose one. Remember—if we didn’t pick yours this go-round, submit it in the comments and we’ll consider it for next time.

Our next question comes from from Noelle Landis:

“Um, why do you disappear with no fair warning? The Houdini act is NOT cool and I’m in my early 30s!!!”

Interesting that you refer to the Houdini “Disappearing” act! Houdini himself was not the subject of the “disappearing” act, but rather an elephant or some other object did the disappearing. Houdini was actually an escapologist getting out of things such as the Overboard Box, Suspended Straight Jacket, Being Buried Alive or a set of Handcuffs. You need to ask yourself: Is it that the men you date a few times “disappear” or are they “escaping”? Dating is tough. I went through my share of guys who would leave the evasive “It’s not you, it’s me” voicemail. I too found it frustrating. What I really needed to know was: what were they escaping from? What did I need to do differently? I mean, who wouldn’t want an extremely hot, short, bald, animal-loving man who can cook? Alas, after lots of trying, I finally found someone who I loved…I set them free…and they came back…now I’m stuck with them!

-Mr. Love Boys Too SEE BIO NOW>

Why do we disappear? There are a couple of reasons:

1. I met someone else and at that point you have become insignificant in my life and I don’t want to have a big dramatic fallout.

2. This was clearly more serious to you than it was to me and I’m taking it as casually as I can, and that means not calling when I lose interest.

3. I think you’re a psycho and I want you to go away…fast.

4. I’m a chicken shit and simply not mature enough to have an “I don’t want to see you anymore” conversation…so being the weenie that I am, I just fade away and hope you will go away quietly as well.

…You know the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech? Well most of the time, it’s you. You read too much into the situation and don’t go in with your eyes open. Nine out of 10 times your friends can tell that I’m the terminal bachelor and will never change, but they’re too busy being supportive. That’s like telling a bald guy that he only has a slightly receding hairline.

-Mr. Noncommittal SEE BIO NOW>

Guys disappear for all of the same reasons that a girl who gives her phone number at a bar doesn’t return calls the next day. We just do it over a longer timeframe. At the beginning hooking up seems like a good idea, but after we’ve been in the relationship for a while (which might be around the moment it starts getting called “a relationship”), and the guy has gotten what he wanted (usually sex), the realization might set in that while hooking up was fun, he’s not ready for a full-blown commitment. Not returning phone calls is just the passive aggressive wimp way of conveying all of those truths. That said, I often engage in the painful “this isn’t working” conversation, but to be totally frank, it rarely works out better than “the Houdini,” both for her and for me. Once it’s over, it’s time to move on, not to keep talking over what went wrong.

-Mr. Sensitive and Scientific SEE BIO NOW>

I sound like a Sex and the City episode, but if a guy disappears, he obviously isn’t interested in you. It could be that he met somebody else, that he wasn’t interested in the first place or just wanted a cute date to impress—but in the end, you’re much better off with the guy disappearing. Get closer to a guy who cares.

-Mr. In a Relationship SEE BIO NOW>

MEET THE GUYS BEHIND THE ADVICE>

GIRL TALK TIME: What question do you have for our men? Comment with your question below and they could answer YOUR issue next time around. PLUS, you’re earning 2 OMG Points every time you comment.

61 Comments

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  • Ella:

    Hey guys and gals, so glad I found this tread. I’m a woman in my early thirties, and had just started dating a guy I met online after healing over something long term. Apparently he had been single for nearly a year after his long term, so I figured we were in the same boat. Right of the bat, he was telling me how crazy he was about me. By date three, he said he wanted to be my boyfriend and even used the word “love” a couple of times (though I wasn’t sure how literally he meant that). I was flattered and really attracted to him, so I probably ignored the overly eager red flag more than I should of. I did however, tell him that I wanted to take things slow and get to know each other before getting to serious – that’s healthy and normal, right? Well, he started getting flaky and cancelled a couple of dates. By the third I got ticked off and said he wasn’t respecting my time and that his actions didn’t match his loving words. Well, that was it – I haven’t heard from him since. Not an explanation, not even a goodbye. It’s too soon for me to be heartbroken, I’m more just confused and ticked off. So why.. why does a seemingly normal, smitten guy pull something like this?

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  • Pandora Spocks:

    So, I’m not making that up after all. Men do disappear on women. That happened to me just recently. He disappeared on me for over 5 months last year, came back into my life for another 2 months, and now he went MIA on me again since last mid-January. I sent him a message on FB, nothing. Sent him a message on his phone, nothing. He’s been silent for 2 months now and still nothing, not even a fuck you leave me alone, nothing! WTF is wrong with men??? I know I didn’t say or do anything wrong or hurtful. He is 33 years old and single, and likes to be left alone watching cartoons on his brand new laptop. He also has pets to keep him company, so it’s not like he needs a woman in his life or something. He told me a while back that women always leave him. Now I know why. I’m tired of being the nice one always initiating contact with him. It’s time for me to move on, and away from him while I still have a little bit of dignity left in me.

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  • Aries princess:

    My guess is that some of these guys want to test the waters. Unfortunately, they are on the fence with whether or not they want you or someone else. Then, after weeks months or maybe even years, they decide they really are still in love with someone else. But, because they fail to tell you about this someone else, they just bail on you without handling it like a man and communicating what’s going on. Believe me, I know. I was that girl, only I was on the other side. He disappeared, realized the grass wasn’t greener and came back. Three months later we got married, and we have been for 11 years:-)

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  • pany:

    a problem: he is my sponsor in a project, and his disappearing is led to break down!!!

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  • Emily:

    This happened to me for the second time recently. We were engaged for several months. He was deployed for the 4th time 3 weeks ago and I haven’t heard from him since. I expected that there wouldn’t be much communication but then I discovered his facebook page was missing. I thought he deleted it so I got upset that he’d had internet access and didn’t bother to respond to my e-mails. I found out today that he didn’t delete his profile, he deleted me and blocked me. Why ask someone to marry you and spend months planning a future with them, and then disappear like that? I can’t understand it. :’(

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    1. gutsandgrace:

      I’m sorry Emily! :( I’ve had a guy pull the sudden disappearing act (coward) but I was not engaged to him. I don’t know why they do it.

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  • guysrscum:

    sorry bu all I hear about how are guys who get played and want a relationship. these same men meet women like me..educated gorgeous and kind and abuse us. and are chasing crazy weird women. men love psychos!

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    1. gutsandgrace:

      guysrscum: SOOOOOOOO true! the ho’s are getting wifed up while here I am…I am beginning to think you are right and they love psychos!

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  • guysrscum:

    lol are you joking me? what its as if the GUY is perfect and the girl has issues and is apsycho and he has to disappear..sorry but guys who disappear are scum and crap..not worth the girls time in the first place. Guys call me psycho left and right for no reason. im kind caring nice beautiful….men in fact do not like great and perfect women..they cater to psychos and abuse nice women. im very pretty and men seem to be bothered by this..no matter how kind nice I am during a date…many will bail. The odd thing is…I will accept any of them..even if they are ugly weird rude. This makes no sense to me. Why is it that a perfect and beautiful woman will put up with any guy, but if she smiles the wrong way the guy leaves. Also the guys on dates will be rude ot me– stand offish mean sometimes. I’m the one talking and being charming and nice. And still they try to bail. Most of the time they sit there staring at me silent…as if its my duty to talk and cater to them. Men are despicable seriously.. I think there is more sexism today than in the 40′s… oh yeah and if a girl sleeps with a guy on a first date its “bad” but the guy can sleep with anyone anytime? double standard NONSENSE. Men are worthless these days…the world caters to them and they can do what they want and and arrogant snots and women are the ones being told its them. the fact that a guy DISAPPEARS so fast and has no morals or decency are a testament that he has serious issues….most of them do. However, its like the world caters to men or something. society caters to them. for every man there are 100 desperate women. For every woman, there is a crazy psycho male trying to use her and abuse her and move on. yes ther are flaky women too and psychos but we’re talking about the men here and in 15 years of ‘dating’ I cant even find a boyfriend and someone even willing to be in a relationship. just shady weird jerks….

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    1. Kathy:

      Yes I agree, they pull a Houdini on you, and you have no clue. They leave you hanging, there was no problem at least none that I could see. So you text, no answer, you phone and leave a message. All of a sudden it dawns on you that he is truly MIA. Then he takes himself off the dating side, then off messenger and to top it off he defriends you! Really what on earth provoked that? So all this was to make me feel like now I am stalking you! How am I suppose to know that it is over for you, before I start to make a fool out of myself! So I stop and do No contact. But, it hurts because I thought he was real. Maybe he wasn’t and he got caught.

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  • Dave:

    If you don’t communicate with your guy expect us too disappear. Not replying to emails phone calls and text messages is a no no. It is OK to miss a few but if I’m doing all the talking and she nenever spontaneously call or text don’t be surprised if we leave. I once called a girlfriend on a Saturday night. I called her from Toronto. She was in New York. I wanted to tell her ho much I enjoyed the trip. A guy answered her cell phone. I asked for her he was very rude and hung up. I called again hoping I called a wrong number. The line was busy. Don’t even think of playing games with the phone email or text. It is the kiss of death. BTW I wanted a relationship. I just hang out with young people I don’t date anymore. The stress is yoo mucch

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    1. Kathy:

      That was not it on my part, we talked daily about everything for hours. If there was no communication it was all on him. Some people think he was really married or found someone closer to him.

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  • anon:

    I thought females did this? Probably not as much.

    I am a female and I do this with people I know (not just relationship). Unfortunately, it’s almost an instinct for me. When I stop talking to someone and just “disappear”, it’s because I don’t get along, not interested, or because the friend has busy things in their life and I don’t want to interfere.
    I only had one relationship in my short life and the person broke it off with me. They wanted to be friends and still talk, but I said they weren’t right for me and completely disappeared, ignoring everything.

    Some people just have the lone perk. I can understand most females don’t have this because they are the sociable gender with less tendencies to being a lone person. But don’t blame people for disappearing … a few have the “don’t look back” mentality… and that’s fine. Very fine.

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  • Jess:

    ughh this happened to me except that we were in a relationship for over a year and he just stopped talking to me one day :(

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    1. Dave:

      You may have said something that scared him off. Not picking up, not returning calls or emails is asking for disaster.

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      1. Pandora Spocks:

        Dave, I’ve been in the same situation, a guy did that to me once, came back, and now he went MIA on me again. I didn’t say anything rude or hurtful. Let’s face it, most guys will pull the “disappearing” act on a woman because it’s easy, he doesn’t have to give you an explanation and he can always come back with a lame excuse. When a guy does that, ladies, just run. Run as far and as fast as you can away from him. He will do it again and again. I think that guys who do that are selfish, insecure and rude. That is so friggin rude!!! Give at least an explanation on why you took off the way you did so we can move on with our love life.

      2. Ellen:

        Or maybe the guy is an idiot and got scared for no reason? And you seem to think that it’s girls not picking up or returning phonecalls….maybe it’s the guy who isn’t returning or making them.

  • Janice:

    Almost every woman has experienced this and sorry guys but it is so very unmanly. We may examine ourselves initially but at the end of the day, we determine you were the low hanging fruit and we move on to something great.

    My advice to the men is to be honest from the onset, not after you’ve slept with the girl. Ladies, keep your clothes on as long as you can because there is just so much low hanging fruit out there.

    I’m sick of the bastard excuses for this behaviour along with books blaming women for their part in it. If I hear “he’s just not that into you” one more time, I’m going to scream. Get over yourselves men and man up. Tell the truth if it ain’t there for you, period, end of sentence, full stop. Women hang around because of ambiguity not the truth. Stop making women out to be psycho stalkers because you are wishy washy.

    Many women want to be courted and pursued but their men can’t even change a light bulb. Women are always bending and contorting themselves to acheive some unrealistic expectations. Why don’t you guys pick up a book or old movie and look at some real men from the past.

    My father was an intelligent, articulate many who could also construct and wire a house. So many guys with their hit and run behaviour these days disgust me. Grow up and grow a pair!

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    1. Sahara:

      Very well said, Janice! And I agree. The overused and oh so tiresome “he’s just not that into to you” is merely an excuse for behaving like an immature jerk.

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    2. Sophia:

      Amen! Janice,

      It is always our fault or that we said something wrong! What are we not supposed to breath or blink really. This has happen to me recently the case of the disappearing man, after I asked him did he want to be in a relationship with me.

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  • Sharon:

    Men are selfish and only care about their wants and needs. The whole stage of maturing is men recognizing that other people matter more than them sometimes. Unfortunately, many never get to this stage. Even some married ones. Internet dating has exascerbated this problem even more and now boring,wimpy men can post a profile and suddenly they’re kings in the dating arena thinking they can date a 9ft. model or Kim Kardashian look alike. Adding false pride/ego to selfishness is a very dangerous combination. No, I’m not bitter. I just realize that men really do mature differently and at a later stage than women.

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  • Cali:

    I just realized after reading some of the other comments, then many of us believe men do play mind games. I have certainly had my share of them, but mainly from men I considered personality disordered. Sometimes it is hard to tell. How do you know they are playing games? Is it more of a hunch you get? I am getting this hunch from a man I wouldn’t mind sleeping with again but he was not that great for me for anything long term and it’s probably best I stay away. Now I feel he is doing the hot and cold thing and wondering if it’s to get a rise out of me. He knows it bothered me before. Anyway, what I am learning is to no longer let them see me sweat. And I love the advice of hold back a little more with these guys than they do you – especially if you get the vibe some sort of testing period or game is going on.

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  • Cali:

    What about the guy who you have had sort of a thing with and you are both attracted to one another but some things came up and it kind of took a break, then he comes back around asking about seeing a movie together and then never follows up? I guess any other things could have happened, but wondering if some men do this passive aggressively as well because you took a step a back or he is afraid of rejection possibly? Or maybe just thought better of it and decided not to go there again, or met someone else. Who knows. I answered my own question probably. LOL. It’s just whatever at this point, but I found this odd.

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    1. T.:

      Something similar for me! I had just went through a divorce and 7 mons later I am getting a Facebook msg from someone in my past! We reconnected after 31 years. He found me!! We started texting and within a few days he was telling me he loved me!i flew up to where he lived and we really got along! Three weeks later he bought me a ring! And wanted to get married this June. But my marriage was horrible and I needed sometime. I said yes but not till June 2014! He didn’t like that answer! His text started coming less! Even though I was getting a daily “I Love You Baby” on Mar 4th I recieve an “Love You” text and never here him from him again!! Yes, I am broken hearted!! I was/still in Love!!!!

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  • Blue Iz:

    My gal pal gave me a chuckle summing up men: Some are inside dogs, some are outside dogs. My corollary: Most are outside dogs, thus they can’t have adult conversations, e.g. “Something in this relationship that I need is missing.” OR “I want to play the field and sleep around” “I think a 9-foot-tall supermodel is going to throw herself at me tomorrow and need to be ready” etc. etc.

    It’s all about the character weaknesses of men 40+ years after birth control allowed sex to become anonymous and socially inconsequential. Best strategy for a woman is to ALWAYS hold back a little more than the man. If he is running hot and cold, YOU are VERY booked up and MUST turn him down every few times he asks to see you.

    And when men disappear after a few months, painful as it is, remember — better than disappearing after 20 years and a few kids. If you look at it that way, this moron did you a favor.

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  • Elan:

    I reconnected with a guy I dated almost 17 years ago during Memorial Day weekend of this year. 17 years ago it was all a dream. We vacationed in South Beach for 2 weeks and had the most amazing time, but right before I returned home we had a huge blowout and inadvertently I ran back into the arms of my then-ex. Little did I know until we reconnected that this guy held a grudge for the last 17 years. I would see him here and then, but he always kept it VERY short. I just left it at that.

    Anyway, Memorial Day weekend we run into one another at an event. We start talking and next thing you know he starts opening up FINALLY about his feelings and the last 17 years. We talked for almost 2 hours and the chemistry was just crazy. What we did not do 17 years ago, we finally did. We were now adults. That was the beginning of our summer romance.

    I thought everything was going well with us. We both stayed at each other’s homes. He opened up to me about his entire past. Talked to me about ex g/f’s, his family, his adolescent days, how he felt about me way back when. He remembered conversations we had back then that I could not even remember. He came to meet my son, went to his games and even met my ex. We went away for weekends, spent most weekends together. He gifted me with small items, as well as sent my son a few things. We always had the same interests. It was almost like we were one and the same.

    I honestly thought this was it….either way about a month before it ended I felt the vibes were off. He would tell me it was him, not me (duh?!) – that he enjoyed me and he was just getting used to his new work hours and winter schedule. I even asked if he needed space or time and again he responded that he could not put his finger on it and that he enjoyed me.

    2 weeks go by and I hear nothing from him..I finally wrote him a letter and just told him that I expected a little regard from him that I even asked him what he wanted and would have respected his wishes, but at this point I felt betrayed. I have not heard from him and its been a week since I sent it out. He literally side swiped me…he would always state how much respect he had for me. How I was a wonderful woman, sexy, strong and smart, etc….and then he disappeared? I just do not get it.

    A part of me feels like there has to be more to this than him just walking away. We have history…and we both opened up so much in one another? Its all so bizarre to me.

    I guess I should just forget about him again for the next 17+ years…and walk away? We are not children. We are adults…him 40 and I 37…why do men act like teenagers?

    {Reply}
  • Zara:

    It’s tough with guys. They know how to mess with your mind and there are always games. I am in a complete mess. I met this guy through work it was the relationship I had always dreamed of until he told me he was leaving to go back to his ex girlfriend, his reason was he was scared of a mixed race child and he thought he should give her a chance. I was devastated. I never kept in touch,but I had in the past left messages that really told him how much I felt he had made the wrong choice. He returned 2 years later, we patched things up and we were so happy. We began planning moving in together, our work situations. He ven went as far as telling me that we didn’t need protection, if I wanted a baby he was ready for that. I was over the moon the possibility of the whole 9 yards wow! Blissfully happy…then one day he was in the shower and I just felt some urge to check his phone…turns out he was seeing another girl, they were sleeping together as the messages referred to hotel rooms, one said I have the vodka, the room and me waiting for you…can’t wait to see you xx his reply was me too xx
    I felt sick, I confronted him, he was silent. 2 weeks later after my friend called him to tell to finish off things. He called me, he shouted at me saying how low I was for checking his phone. He dumped me and said I obviously was far ahead in the relationship than he was and it was irrelevant about the other girl…again I was finished and just didn’t know what to say,
    3 weeks past I didn’t keep in tough, then by chance over a work situation I messages him and he responded… He also came back with an email saying he really wanted to regain what we had and could we talk. He asked me to come over to his house. We agreed to meet on a day.. Never heard a word from him..then he text to cancel saying he had a family meeting and work. When he has time he will contact me. A week passed and he never called or text. Just went silent on me.

    I loved this man, with all my heart and all my soul. I don’t want him back but I wish I knew how to get rid of the pain inside. I feel like a nothing. Something used and then thrown away. He was my first on so many levels.. What I cannot get my head around is how cruel is he to email me to say he so wants to regain what we lost as he understands he will never find someone that will love and care for him the way I did..yet you disappear and never to be heard from. I have just lost my job, have no family close by. No friends that I can rely on to come home to me and cheer me up or take me out. I fell too ugly about me to go out, and too hurt to even want to do a rebound thing.
    The hurt runs so deep all I do is pray and beg for the day this feeling leaves me.. It is what I go to bed with and wake up like this demon pulling me down.

    I have not contacted him, not chased or begged. I have enough of that before. I have explained exactly how I feel and he ignored me.

    I wish I could run away from these emotions.

    {Reply}
    1. Sham.bfd:

      I no this is you why u making me out to be the bad 1 u moved on so hav I. How many times I called said sorry u the one who doesn’t want to no

      {Reply}
  • Mary:

    I was dating this guy for a little over two months ( I am in my late 40′s and he was 50). He seemed to be so such a great guy. He brought me to a BBQ with his friends and co-workers, he came with me to family and friend parties-(it was the summer so there was a lot going on). We contacted each other every day and he made plans to see me every weekend and during the week when he wasn’t working. Things were going great, we had an awesome connection on many levels. The last weekend we spent together was at his house down the shore where we had so much fun just hanging out, laughing, dancing…really enjoying each other so much that other people around us took notice- our enthusiasm was infectious!! We spoke a few times during the following week and then BAM! He was gone! The last text he sent me was “Hi” and when I responded I never heard from him again! I called, texted and messaged a few times after that and still no response!!! I was so confused and so very very hurt…
    The worst part was that we had so many conversations about just being honest with each other and that because we were adults, the truth would be easier to handle. His response to me was “I never want to hurt you”. It was worse than being hurt, I was completely crushed! If he had wanted to end things, why couldn’t he just say that? I wasn’t going to fight with him over it, as a matter of fact we never fought, argued or disagreed about anything!! We could have ended things on a better note and maybe stayed on friendly terms. I just really want to know “WHY” he took the cowards way out and ended it like that?!?

    {Reply}
    1. Cali:

      Are you sure he’s all right? I always worry something bad happened to someone.

      {Reply}
    2. jacqueline:

      Mary, don’t feel alone…my guy and I are in our 50′s and knew each other for almost a year. We spent 6 months as a couple then he disappeared. I called once and he didn’t pick up. Texted once and he didn’t respond. (Probably shouldn’t have bothered with the text but too late now.) Anyway, there’s no accounting for emotional maturity. And the real lesson is that you can never truly know someone. Ever.

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  • Gemma:

    I’ve been seeing a guy on and off for 18 months now, and it took me a while to realise it, but ‘he’s just not that into me’. Yeah, it sucks, and it hurts like hell, but that’s how it is. I’ve tried on numerous occassions to get him to open up to me and tell me what he really wants, but he won’t, he kinda bluffs his way out of answering. To be honest I think men are really scared to open up and tell the woman the truth because they don’t want to be the one responsible for a ‘melt down’, and they absolutely hate rows. I also think the little head in the trousers is alot more in control than the big head on their shoulders! Even thought he won’t tell me how he feels, I now have to assume and accept that this guy is not really into me, and try and move on gracefully.

    {Reply}
  • champwpd:

    Ok, so being new to this site, i began reading some of the old articles, and this one stuck to me something fierce. For a couple of months I was hanging out with this guy and we contacted each other regularly, or maybe I was regularly contacting him and he was just responding. What drove me crazy was when i didnt contact him or text him for a day or two, he would call me. But them one day he just stopped responding, WTF! I understand that guys dont want an ugly situation to arise when they decide they are no longer interested, but why the allusion of wanting to hear from me, when the end result was to just cut me off. That I dont understand.
    Hopefully an article like this is review and we can get a new outlook.

    {Reply}

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