It usually starts with a simple text. “Hey stranger” or “hey there.” It’s short and simple, but leaves you scratching your head.

Or maybe it’s something a bit more public.

You upload recent vacation photos to Facebook at 10 p.m. and by 10:05, you’re notified of multiple comments on your recent flicks. “Cute,” “Looking good,” or “You went on vacation without me? lol.”

It’s him. You know him. The guy you dated once upon a time and he mysteriously disappeared. No rhyme or reason; he’s just gone. Women are all too familiar with the disappearing act some men like to pull, but even more mysterious is the reappearing act. As quickly as he stopped calling, texting, and lost all ability to respond to any calls or texts, he’s back. Some re-emerge after a few weeks, others it’s months.

Your sense of confusion may quickly turn to feelings of “Ah yeah, I knew he’d be back.”

But as tempting as it may be to relish his returned attention, don’t.

Psst: I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Come a little closer to your screen. When he disappeared, it was for a reason, and now that he’s back, it’s for a reason.

Though most people think of women as being the more intuitive, men have a handy intuition as well. It’s a sixth sense that let’s him know: She’s moved on and isn’t thinking about me or there’s another man in the picture. And not just any man, a good man who treats her better than I did. This freaks men out. Even if he doesn’t want you, his ego can’t bear the idea of you not wanting him. And God forbid another penis may be getting close to what was once his vagina (because you know men like to claim stuff). That ego alert system goes off and he swoops right back into your life.

And he usually won’t make any bold attempts at first, like calling or immediately asking to see you. It’ll be something small, like the aforementioned text. That’s just his way of testing the waters to see if you’re super pissed at him for leaving without a trace. If you don’t respond, he may try a bit harder or just move on to another sucker. But if you do respond, he’s got you right where he wants you.

Another common reason men have for suddenly swooping back in is a woman they were really feeling (more so than you) is no longer in the picture. And c’mon, Clutchettes, us girls have done this as well. You’re dating someone, then you meet another someone who you like better than the first someone, so that first someone gets the boot while you focus on the second, better someone. That’s the way the dating game gets played. It just sucks when the first draft pick is no longer in the picture, so now you’re worthy of being picked up again.

Or maybe there isn’t some egotistical motive or sudden loneliness that’s the result of him returning. Regardless of the reason, do you really want to give a second chance to someone who didn’t think you were worthy of a goodbye?

They always come back, and when they do, don’t be so quick to dust off the welcome mat.

Weigh in, Clutchettes: Have you ever had a guy suddenly come back in your life? Are you forgiving or does he get the side eye?

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  • Cee Jay

    This is so on point right now. I am dealing with this, and months go by and then they reappear again. The reasons always sound legit, but deep down I know the deal. I just ran into him the other day, and was going to open up the lines of communication again. This article reminded me not to.

  • omg, this just happened to me. i took a quick look and deleted that mess.

  • Amy

    I’m totally going through this right now, never went more than a day in the past two years without at least a text haven’t heard from him in 4 days, been beating myself up mentally, but managed to survive. NOW I get the “Are you there?” text. Um, NO! not for you Mister. Nobody who truly cares about you will do the Hudini act on you no matter the situation. If I were in the hospital, I’d let him know so he would not worry, I did not even get a text after leaving my own, and calling several times. Forgetaboutit! Moving on. Don’t go back girls, they who disappear will only do it again and again when they get bored or find what they might consider to be “better” (which it NOT!). Let the losers go, get on with your life and be HAPPY!

  • Jameelah

    This was on point and funny too…lol

  • Edna Triplett

    I experienced this. When he tried to reappear I pretended to be excepting and led him on. I had him order lots of food , which was non refundable and I didnt show up. He called my phone to see how long it would be until I met him at the restaurant, that’s when I said “now you can go to hell” Lol. I wont trust him again. We even now.