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The Case of the Disappearing Date

Q. I’m a 25-year-old woman who lives in a big city where it should be easy to find a mate. Unfortunately, though, I’m finding it almost impossible. I’m attractive enough that I can get dates pretty easily, but they don’t ever turn into solid relationships, even when I think they are going really well. For example, I recently dated a man I met at a restaurant. He was so attentive and seemed very interested at first. I went out with him four times. We kissed a lot, but didn’t have sex. He told me how pretty I was, and how much he liked me. Then, out of nowhere, he stopped calling and texting. It’s not like he was pressuring me for sex and I said no, either. This is not an uncommon occurrence. It’s happened not only to me many times, but to several of my friends. We are baffled. We know there is supposedly a man shortage, but does that mean that they just all want to play like kids in a candy shop? Any ideas on what these men are thinking, or if they are thinking at all?

A. Well, I guess things haven’t changed much in the last 20 years, unfortunately. Yes, I’ve been a “victim” of the mysterious, disappearing man, too. In fact, this “common occurrence” is probably even more pervasive than you might think. I have two bits of good news. The first: My many experiences have afforded me a more useful perspective I can now share with you. The second: I finally found a man who never stopped calling so they do exist!

There are many reasons a man who seems interested in you may suddenly go astray. Here are my TOP 10:

1. There’s someone else in his life you don’t know about.

2. He’s got too much going on right now to get involved more seriously.

3. He’s starting to have real feelings and is too frightened to pursue them.

4. He’s unsure of his feelings (or yours) and stepping back out of fear.

5. He likes you, but not romantically, and wants to avoid confrontation about it.

6. He’s selfish and doesn’t think beyond his own desires at any given moment.

7. He’s inconsiderate and unreliable, in which case, good riddance to bad rubbish.

8. He may have realized before you did that you’re just not right for each other.

9. He likes to keep things light and fun and sensed you wanted something more serious.

10. He’s been abducted by a UFO.

Whichever one of these reasons makes you feel the best, grab onto it and assume that’s the right one, because ultimately it really doesn’t matter why he never called you back. The fact that he didn’t means he wasn’t Mr. Right.


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18 comments on “The Case of the Disappearing Date

  1. Mark Halton says:

    Ladies, what is the best way of letting someone down gently then? When i’ve said early on that I don’t think it would work on a long-term basis i’ve had intelligent, professional girls go absolutely insane on me! I never get this, as what are they expecting, me to stay in a relationship which i’m sure won’t work?

    • Hi Mark. Thanks for joining in the conversation! From my experience, telling someone that you just don’t think you are right for each other, but wish them well, has been a cordial way to end things. Of course they are not going to be happy about it in most cases, but people usually understand that feelings are feelings. If they don’t, and go ballistic from something as simple as that, I’d ask them if they’d rather you had just stopped calling. Then say that you thought too much of them to just disappear, and that you’re sorry if telling the truth was the wrong thing. Even if someone is angry or sad, after some time they will most likely respect that you ended the relationship like a man. If not, then at least you know you did the right thing.

  2. Well, this explains a lot, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy to accept. I really loved explanation 10 though. Most of these guys do seem like the type to get abducted by aliens. ;)

    Although it is hard, it’s pretty nice thinking about it as you said, he wasn’t the one. Waiting for the one sucks, but I know it’ll be worth it in the end. :)

    Great advice!

    • Thanks, Emerald! It’s true, it’s a hard thing to deal with, but hopefully it helps to know you are definitely not alone! And when “the one” shows up, your memory of the others with fade away like yesterday’s news. Here’s keeping good thoughts that he hurries up and finds you! xx

  3. Anneli says:

    Excellent advice, as always, Bonnie.

  4. This has happened to me so many times and it makes me feel so worthless; so easily discarded. I have always told myself that someone who disappears like that just isn’t the right guy, but it still hurts and makes me feel like all of the time I spent with the person was wasted.

    • I know, Meredith. Sorry any of us have to go through it, but never let anyone make you feel that way! I suppose, like it or not, dating is for figuring out if someone is the right one. Unfortunately, most aren’t. Thanks for sharing and I hope you find him very soon! xx

    • God, it’s awful when that happens. I had a guy disappear on me years ago, then resurface months later only to ask my younger sister out on a date. Good riddance to bad rubbish is right. But, yeah, it still sucks.

  5. Even though it is upsetting, feel relieved that you didn’t get more involved and then have him disappear. Then make some plans with your BFFs and move on! Mr. Right will appear when you least expect him.Don’t stop believing.

  6. Brea Brown says:

    Number 10 is my favorite. That MUST be it.

  7. One word… “Next!” Great article :-)

  8. I like it, Bonnie. If he can’t be bothered to call, he’s not worth losing sleep over. :)

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