IE068-032“I’ve had girls before where I just, you know, disappeared. I know, it’s bogus. But I just stopped calling, stopped returning her calls. Just ended all contact without a word.”

I wish I could have been more disgusted when one of my homeboys shared this anecdote with me the other day, but it was so unoriginal and common that I barely raised an eyebrow. In fact, he was the second man in less than a week to offer the same story. “I bet you have,” I sighed. “Men do this. It’s happened to me a few times. Ugh.” He didn’t really have much to offer. “Yeah, we do…”


Ladies, you know the drill: you meet a guy, you hit it off, things are going seemingly well. He’s interested, he’s calling, he’s being proactive. And one day, out of nowhere, he has decided for whatever reason that there is no longer any use for you in his life. He starts canceling or avoiding plans. Your phone calls and texts start to go unanswered. He’s gone, with no ceremony, no explanation. And you know that doesn’t work so well for us. We need ceremony, we need explanations. We need…closure.

Double ugh.

“I have a theory on this,” I remarked to my lady abandoning-amigo. “I think that most times, men don’t want to hurt us. But more than that, they don’t want to deal with us being hurt. They don’t want to see it, they don’t want a scene. They don’t have the courage or presence of mind to simply say ‘Yo, you’re good people, but I don’t want to continue seeing you.’”

I waited for him to tell me I had it wrong.

“Yeah…that about sums it up.” “Word?” “Yeah.” “It’s just too much for y’all to be honest? To just give a woman her walking papers? And let it be on her how she chooses to deal with it?” “Pretty much.”

Triple ugh.

There you have it, folks. I know my friend doesn’t speak for all dudes (and to be fair, he’s a moderately nice guy, so consider that). But I have experienced and witnessed the disappearing act from men enough times to know that it’s not some singular experience limited to just me or just the girls unlucky enough to have dated my boy. It sucks to feel like things are going well with a new person, only to have him dipset without warning. It gives way to confusion and self doubt, even though it shouldn’t. If you did something wrong, how can you even know what it was without an explanation? What if you do it again and run the next man off? OMG, so much frenzy to work yourself up into. Where do you even start? And for a man who doesn’t give two damns about your feelings!

I promise on everything, I will never again be the woman who is fighting against the will of a man who doesn’t want to see me.

I promise on everything, I will never again be the woman who is fighting against the will of a man who doesn’t want to see me. Not if we don’t have children or wedding vows involved. I’ve only made the mistake of relentless pursuing once or twice (perhaps three times…and we are only counting during adulthood, right?) and it’s not something I’m proud of. What I look like calling a man who can’t call me? Trying to bait a date with a cat who can’t be bothered to keep his word? I’m way too cute for that and so is everyone reading this. On to the next one.

All that to say to the ladies: if this happens to you, you’re in good company. Don’t beat yourself up too much or tear your hair out worrying over a man who didn’t have the heart to keep it real with you. Maybe it was something about you, maybe it was another woman…whatever it was, he’s gone. You can’t make someone come back and you can’t make them give you an answer as to why they left. Better to walk away with your own head held high. And for the fellas…the disappearing routine is cruel and cowardly. Be man enough to offer a brief farewell. More often than not, we can handle it. A little human kindness never hurt anyone. The momentary sacrifice of your comfort could cause a woman some undue frustration and yourself a few unwanted phone calls and texts.

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  • I dated a guy for a while, then he threw me a birthday party at his house (which was amazing), then he vanished! lol I laugh now because, looking back, I was so confused. I actually saw him in traffic about a year and a half after that. We exchanged numbers, again. We met up, and of course, I asked him what happened.

    That fool told me he couldn’t remember. Said he had no issues with me and I have always been a cool chick. When I told him in my calmest voice that that sounded like BS, he had attitude and told me again that he just doesn’t remember what happened!

    I just classify him as a weirdo for my own peace of mind and keep it pushin. Who really has time to try and understand a weirdo like that?

    Good read though.

  • Nicole

    I do it to men, and I know why I do it. I really just don’t want to have that conversation. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m saying that sometimes it’s better to just walk away and keep your mouth shut. Majority of the time it’s because the guy bored me or just wasn’t what I was loking for. Half the time I didn’t know why he wasn’t right. He just wasn’t. How do you explain that? Doesn’t matter, because I don’t want to explain. I may be wrong, but oh well. I like to think that becuase they’re guys, they know how the brush off works. I don’t respond to your texts anymore. I don’t confirm any plans. I’m always busy and promise that I’ll call you back but never do. It’s happened to me and I act accordingly; I chuck up the dueces and keep it moving. I don’t get upset and wonder what I did wrong or what went wrong. I just tell myself that he wasn’t the one for me. It’s not a mantra that I make myself believe, it’s the actual truth. I might be wrong and a bit of an a**hole, but obviously I wasn’t right for you anyway. Just sayin.

    • Ashley

      I agree with you 100%. I don’t think this is just a man thing (because I’m a woman, and I’ve done it, too).

      I also don’t think it’s as big of a deal as everyone is making it out to be. Especially if you were just casually dating, and not in an actual relationship, I do not believe a long, drawn-out conversation is always totally necessary. I’ll skip the drama, thanks.

  • Anthony

    I will confess that I did it once. I began dating a woman, and before I really got to know her, she made plans for us to travel out of town and meet her parents (who turned out to be from the same rural county as my father.) As I got to know her, I found her to really be domineering and annoying to the point where I had real difficulty rising to the occasion with her! As soon as the trip was completed, I disappeared!