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.

71 Comments

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  • LAA:

    I am in the middle of separating from my husband, and was saving up to move out on my own when I met a guy who I thought was pretty great. We really hit it off, went on one date. Had a great time, lots of talking laughing and a kiss to knock your socks off. Long story short, he had broken up with his ex a few months before, and still felt a bit shaky with stuff. So we decided to be friends. We talked near daily, but unfortunately never had time to go out again. After 2 months of this, I finally moved out on my own. Hoping that maybe we could get to know eachother better and maybe date eventually since we got along so well.
    We had plans to go out together the week before my move, and he seemed very excited about them, up until 5 days before. He dropped off the face of the earth.
    I literally thought he got killed, cause he wasnt answering my text, I only sent 2, 1 to plan our day together a bit better, and one to tell him obviously there was something wrong and I was sorry if I offended him in anyway, but that I would leave him alone. A week later, a duckfaced (6 years his junior) chick tags him in a facebook post about how they were going out for beers. This set huge bells off in my head, since I knew he was not drinking, and was on a vegan kick for the last few months to get healthier. Within 12 hours, she tagged him as in a relationship with her.
    I sent a text to him, “well I guess I know why you aren’t talking to me anymore. You could have just told me you were seeing someone else. I feel silly for even talking to you at all now. Oh well, no real harm done. Hope we can be friends still, good luck with everything”
    I guess the party-life, easy sex and no baggage, lives with parents still was more appealing than a girl with integrity, honesty and a good outlook on life that doesnt include excessive alcoholism and was too scary a prospect for him. ;)

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  • Shay:

    I have a guy do this to me recently – for the last time. He kept telling me he loved me and even told my family he was going to marry me. Then one day he stopped calling and he stopped taking my calls. After a week, I just gave up on him. Then from not hearing from him in about a month, he told me he was sorry but he didn’t mean to hurt me and he had to get his life together. Really? He must think I’m some type of fool. I hope whoever he was with he was happy, because he did me a favor by disappearing.

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  • Hope:

    I find thie disappearing act completely disgusting, cowardly and extremely disrespectful. This has just happened to me for the first time in my life and it is hurtful beyond words. In my case there was no slow fade, no change in behavior. We were more than just dating for several months, he asked for a comittment early on and since we had such a strong connection I welcomed it. This man put me up on a pedastal, made me feel very secure and this is the last thing I ever expected from him. We never as much as had a disagreement, had a blast every time we were together and communicated every day since we met whether it was talking or texting. The last night we went out it was just like every other time, awesome. The only difference was that rather than me staying at his house I went home, he gave me some bs story which I believed at the time. He asked me to text as soon as I got home so he knew I made it safely. I did and no response. I figured he must have fallen asleep. The next day no text or call which was the first day ever of no contact. I actually began to worry that he never made it home the night before. So the following day I was legitimately worried, called him several times, left voicemails expressing how concerned I was that he was not ok. No reply. I noticed however that when I called it seemed like he was hitting ignore the last few times and putting me to his voicemail. So I sent him a text saying even if you dont want to talk to me for whatever reason can you plz just text and let me know youre ok?? Nothing!! Ater 3 days of no reply from him I called from a friends phone, a number he wouldnt recognize and he answered!! As soon as he heard my voice he said he was sleeping and he would call me back in an hour. I started questioning why he was ignoring me and if he got all my messages and he said he had to call me back then hung up. I never heard from him again. This was last week. Yesterday I checked his fb status, he got back together with his ex girlfriend ( they had been broken up for over a year and he spoke horribly of her). I NEVER saw it coming. Granted after all the bad things he had said about her he would have looked like a fool if he was honest and told me why he was ending things with me. But he could have at least ended it rather than having me worried and confused. A call or even a text saying just about anything is better than NOTHING. Lets face it, nobody enjoys having to hurt someone and end a relationship but its the right thing to do. This man always portayed himself as honest and genuine, loyal and true. He always said actions speak louder than words. Ironically he ended things with no words, just the actions of a total pussy.

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  • Ti:

    Damn, ladies i’ve been in a similar situation too. Long story short i was in love with a man who from the jump took days and days to talk to me. alot of the times he had to get off the phone late night because his “grandmom” was calling him. he cancelled plans plenty of nights because of errands with “grandmom” and before when i used to go to his dorm, one time he pulled the “there’s no girls allowed in the boys dorm” because he probably had another girl in there. man i tell you these men out here… that disappearing act is hard. but i realized i’m so much more than that and i’ve let him go. he’s someone that’s behind me and i’m glad i found the good in goodbye. it’s been a month since he talked to me. so ladies, you think im going to answer that phone call or respond to that text whenever he does so? HELL NO!

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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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    1. Ronni:

      I went through the same exact thing. He wanted to move to my city. Said he loved me etc. Then all of a sudden he was busy all the time. I asked him about it and he said it was work of course. But he was breaking his neck to get my calls before. Then he said stop thinking so negatively. Then never heard from him again.

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    2. Conny:

      Sex, Ella. I wish you could read your post with the eyes of a person who’s not emotionally involved in this like you are. To me, it is really obvious: A guy takes things really fast, gets flaky as soon as you tell him you want to take things slowly and then disappears. He tested you by being extremely charming and saying things any woman would like to hear. As soon as he realised that you’re not a girl for a night or two, he takes off. I am really sorry! Keep your head up and keep looking, no good hearted woman deserves such a guy. Fingers crossed for you!

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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. sophia:

      janice, thats the best answer ever…!!so true!i had something wrong in my stomach whenever i heard the he s not that into u quote….no!!!its not that…!!!it s just that they re so fucking cowards…and that s it!full stop!!!as simple as that…i want a real man…not a fake one…because i m a real woman and i deserve it damn it!

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    2. SAMMYGIRL:

      True, if he’s not that into you then why hang around for 18 months, text or call everyday lots of love you etc. then one day nothing? Now been 3 weeks of nothing and I ahve tried to send a few texts but nothing.

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    3. 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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    4. 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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