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Why do men just disappear?



When you have spent years talking, thinking, and doing relationships … you get asked a lot of questions. A LOT!  Very soon you realize something … most people have the same problems.  Today, we re-visit one of the classics …

Dear SBM,

I recently discovered your website and became an instant fan, I am so appreciative of the feedback from men when it comes to advice on this site. Please let me explain my situation.

I met this guy on a dating website and we really hit it off. We have been dating for a month and a few weeks. It is clear that we are very physically attracted to each other (we have not had sex yet) however the part I find very refreshing is that we are spiritually connected. We are both into being positive and finding wholeness within ourselves. Since we began going out, we have been out every single weekend. He told me that he likes me and is always affectionate when we are out.

We would talk on the phone on a regular basis up until last week. He barely texted or called, I left him alone but finally cracked after 5 days and just sent him a simple text like “how are you?” He responded back very receptive asked how I was and when I responded back I heard nothing else. I am beyond confused. We both stated to each other that we are ready for a long term relationship leading to a potential marriage. I am 32 and he is 38, he has his own business and I get that he can get very busy. However how do you go from consistently talking to barely talking at all? I haven’t brought this up to him because I don’t want to scare him off. So my question is should I delete his number from my phone and count this as a loss? I really like him. I thought he liked me as well. Is there something I missed? Why don’t men understand that this is bothersome! Please help.

Lost Dater

Usually here, I would start digging deep and identifying the unique characteristics of your situation. I would talk about him being 38 and making him more ready for a relationship than your average 20 something. I would talk about the fact that you met him online and the potential impact that had on how things played out. I might have even taken an obscure fact like your use of the word “bothersome” and go on for half a page dissecting it.

See Also:  Why We Shouldn't Worry About Black Women Who Date White Men

But … not this time.

Being out the game has given me a clearer sense of thinking. As a single man I might have been a little defensive. Anything I talked about got a positive spin because I was badmouthing myself too … I guess. Now, I think I’m a little clearer of thought. Or … maybe it’s just because living in California now and the air downtown is laden with weed smoke … I’m always a little high and don’t know it.

Regardless …

Why do men suddenly disappear when everything seems good and nothing is going wrong?

Honestly … there probably isn’t a good reason.

Yes, maybe you did nothing wrong and your situation was going truly according to plan. This isn’t a male thing. Women do this too. People are fickle … at best.

Luckily, I have some solace for your pain. There are a handful of general reasons, which have nothing to do with you or make sense to you, which might apply. Basically, there are a couple reasons a guy (or woman) would just disappear in the middle of a good thing. Here are some.

Got Scared

I’ve always been surprised at how many people leave a good thing just because “it’s weird” and seems “too good”. People aren’t always as strong or bold as we expect. Maybe something about where things were going, or the thought of having to rely on someone else for something was too much.

See Also:  Why Has He Given You the Crazy Chick Title?

Got busy

Sometime, things just start coming up in a person’s life. The effort and energy to have a relationship is just too much. Basically, they decide to be smart and cut the unnecessary thing in their life. We all feel like we are owed a “break-up” and explanation, but we aren’t.  Sometimes they need to do what’s best for them.

He Stopped Feeling You and Didn’t Feel Like Telling You

As I said, no one owes us anything. He might have figured out for himself it wasn’t going to work and decided to end it. Why didn’t he tell you? As I said, he doesn’t owe you an explanation. And really, is it better for him to disappear or for him to hurt your feelings.


In conclusion, it happens. Start asking how to let it go and get over it and spend your effort looking for the next person.

SBM aka Nothing Surprises Me aka Cali-Living

Single Black Male Logo



  1. There could be many reasons why he decided to back off. But one thing I know for certain, you cannot drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out. The best thing is to have a mature conversation about your feelings. If you don't get the desired answer you hoped for, then maybe he is not the one for you. We deserve so much more than to be confused about another persons action. You have control over your own life. When you are not getting what you feel you deserve, its best to move on. Its his loss not yours.
    My recent post Yo New York….

    1. If you don't take control, someone else will for you. Truest sh!T I ever read on a card.

      He thinks that you will always be there in case he ever wants to come back. If he can't reach you, he will go crazy. Think it's time you let that happen.

      Also, don't make excuses for him, you are doing this in your letter.

      He wanted to sleep with you and finally gave up is what happened. He did really like you but not enough to keep waiting, sorry sweety :(. But at least he didn't get the goods, right?

      Funny I'm on this thread again bc a guy just reappeared in my life, think he want s to be friends cuz any other ship has sailed since we last talked but I can't hold his hand and tell him how to do that step by step. Snooze you lose.

  2. Wow I could have wrote this letter. This exact same situation happened to me several months ago. I thought we had great chemistry and hit it off well. But one day he just fell off the face of the earth. I was so confused. I would ask all my male friends to decipher this behavior. I never got a satisfactory answer. But recently I was in a situation where I was in the opposite role. I met a guy who was real cool. I enjoyed his company but after about two dates, I pretty much knew there was no future relationship there. I saw him a few more times after that thinking maybe my feelings would change but they didn't. Once I realized that I fell all the way back. To my credit, I broke all this down to him.
    My point is that it obviously wont all that to him as it was to you. Sometimes enjoying someones company and having a good time is just that. Take your time when liking a guy because it all comes out pretty soon. Delete his number.

  3. Dear Lost Dater,

    Honey, the 'why' doesn't matter. The bottom line remains the same–he stopped checking for you. Do not try to have a conversation with him about why. You'll only frustrate yourself. Do you really think a man who couldn't tell you why without being prompted is going to tell you why (the truth) he disappeared if you ask? These closure conversations are pretty sad because most times, the person initiating doesn't want closure. They want to give the other person the opportunity to beg for forgiveness. But why?

    Did it ever occur to you that while he was dating you on weekends, he was dating someone else during the week? Maybe he chose to invest his weekend time with that person. But guess what…It doesn't matter because, see paragraph one.


    1. +1 …that's tough love Ms.Smart…. Truth but tough.. People don't want closure; they usually just want another chance.

      1. And this what most men won't tell you. For some reason, men won't break the code and tell women it just doesn't matter. And the why's of that don't matter either.

        1. True. But honestly she said she “ask her male friends” opinion and didn’t like their answers. I will say some guy friend’s do break the code for you, sometimes we just don’t like the answer.

        2. Right. They probably didn't tell her, "Stop asking. It doesn't matter." They probably hit her with reasons instead of challenging her on why she cares so much and introducing her to the idea of it not mattering,

    2. Amen & Allelujah Ms. Smart.
      My grandmom used to tell me as a child – "Let Go & Let God."
      There is also a great song about it called "Let Go" by Dewayne Woods
      "As sooon as I stop worrying
      Worrying how the story ends
      I'll let go and I let God
      Let God have His way
      That's when things start happening
      I'll stop looking at back then
      I let go and I'll let God have His way"

      1. Truth be told ladies we need to "put on our big girl panties" suck it up, get over it and move on.
        Most times it's not even worth your time and energy to worry about Why that person stopped calling, texting and coming around with no explanation. If a person cares enough about you, most times they will give you an explanation prior to or soon after they stop calling texting and/or coming around. If they don't then they don't care that much about you, so why do you care so much about them?
        Why do you feel the need to know why? As Ms. Smart stated why is irrelevant. The obvious answer is this person is just not that into you or they have other things that begin to take precedence over you.

        1. One other reason not mentioned is sometimes men & women are in "relationship transition." Meaning they are involved with someone and/or married but seperated and they are in an "it's complicated" type of situation. They won't always tell you this though. When things have become uncomplicated with the person they were with and they go back to them, that leaves you out. Most people will Not admit to this.
          Not saying it's right, but it's real and it is what it is.

        2. My advice – stop wasting your time and energy wondering and trying to find out why. Delete said person from all forms of communication and social networking and move on to the next one.
          Take that energy and time and refocus it on finding someone who clearly and consistently demonstrates that they strongly desire to be with you and only you for the long haul. Focus on the guys that want what you want, when you want it and are consistent and honest, instead of the ones who are not.

        3. But aren't situations only complicated because people allow them to be? If folks are honest with each other and themselves, it erases complication.

        4. Very true Ms. Smart. As I said it shouldn't be complicated at all, but because very often people complicate and even over-complicate things it is complicated. But hey, they like it I love it. que sera sera.

      2. My father taught me this. I didn't listen at first. But as I matured, I realized my daddy is pretty much always right. He knows men–responsible, respectable men, because he is one. Further, my daddy has no reason to lie to me. Strange men do.

        1. Yup. The first time I was dating someone who was'nt acting correct my daddy simply told me " F him.. dont worry about him and focus on your school work", that simple.

          99.9 percent of things aren’t complicated, we just try to put some hope into a situation that is clear as day. If someone wants you, you will know; if someone is truly interested you will know; if some one drop off the face of the earth you probably know deep down the person isn’t interested anymore. Let it go

    3. Yeah that was some tough love issued by Ms. Smart but the last paragraph was so unnecessary even though it made me chuckle. I mean if there are to be any explorations it should be of self and not of him. For example, “Why would you treat someone as a priority when he or she views you as an option?” Rather than analyzing what has happened to cause him to disappear, why not ponder on how his absence has made you feel and what steps you can take to protect and build yourself up emotionally for the future if something like this should ever occur again. It is about you, Lost Dater. Why are you stressed out about someone whose not stressed out about you? Is that even fair or logical? Your ego is not your friend, lol. Beside, he knows his behavior has caused a bit of confusion, but the consideration is not there on his end to provide clarity. Why stick around with any futher questions when you can keep it moving towards a man who will meet your particular needs because at this point he clearly does not anymore. You had a connection with him, understandable, but why has that connection not been reconsidered when he departed without a decent explaination? It’s so funny how you care so much about what he thinks of you, but you have yet to adjust perspective of him in light current actions toward you. What he did is definitely not what he is doing now and at this point that is all that should matter to you. Consistence is key! Most importantly, to quote Ms. Badu, “All you must hold on to is you, so pack light” The way I see it you dodge of bullet, girl!

  4. "I would ask all my male friends to decipher this behavior. I never got a satisfactory answer. "

    I always find this somewhat amusing. A person is looking for an answer (man or woman) or some sort of plausible explanation and when one is given if it's not to their liking they completely dismiss it as a farce or unsatisfactory. This doesn't necessarily make it less true. But to be fair it doesn't mean it's always 100% accurate, too.

    And just to be clear I'm really speaking in general, not specifically to the person I'm replying to's post's situation.

  5. IDK what’s worse, a guy being a little shaky/flaky (you being interested) and him disappearing or him being (consistent) and interested and him disappearing. Both leave women wondering. IS it me? Is there something wrong with me?

    Unfortunately sometimes we think something should work out and it just doesn’t. While I know it can be frustrating to feel like your opening up to someone and they just vanish, sometimes it’s for the best. Look at the bright side you only spent 1 month and a few weeks hanging out with him (at least he didn’t drag you along) and you were never intimate physically (he could be the in and out guy , just stopping in for chex).

    Just charge it to the game. I know as a woman sometimes we get a little too excited when things seem to be going in the “right” direction quickly. I think you both opened up and expectation started to be set. Someone said up top, just take your time liking a guy, sometimes it’s best to just focus on enjoying someone's company before you rush to thinking about the next thing.

  6. Ummkay… it's only been a month and a few weeks. Like seriously, you barely know this man and you're already this devastated because of one week of disrupted communication? desperate much???

    1. I dont this she is being desperate per se. She may feel confused and perhaps even frustrated. She has devoted time into an individual and now is confused about the status of their friendship. Her feelings are valid.
      My recent post The Art of Seduction

      1. Agreed. Frustrated I can understand, but Frustration turns into to desperation, if you don’t let go and move on. He showed a lot of potential unfortunately potential doesn’t always turn into what you expect. That’s why you shouldn’t expect anything.

  7. "Start asking how to let it go and get over it and spend your effort looking for the next person."

    Totally agree. Even if he comes back out of the woodwork at a later date, you should be spending your time living your life and, if you want, actively pursuing new prospects. You should actually always have a few prospects. I know, there are some you're going to like more/less, but you don't know how anything is going to play out, so it's actually a waste of your time to go at it one at a time like this. Especially if you're looking to get into something real sometime soon.

    Just my two cents. And by having a few irons in the fire, I don't mean sleeping with a bunch of different dudes waiting for one to commit. I think you were right not to sleep with him if you're looking for something serious. Even though you like him, I'm sure it hurts less to let him go now then after fluids were exchanged.

    1. Good strategy for both men and women looking to get into a serious relationship. The days of dating one person and the probability of things working out are 50/50 as you get older because you never know people's true intentions or if they are looking for the same things as yourself, it's best to move through the dating game with mutiple potentials.

      1. Your last paragraph>>>> There is absolutely nothing wrong with having more than one log on the fire. In all honesty if your not having chex with the person, the first stages of dating are just two people (friends) getting to know each other. There’s nothing wrong with having one or two (or three) friends until one stands out from the crowd.

    2. Well, you and others here just answered the question–when describing the "irons in the fire" approach.

      The guy probably had a few "irons," too–and decided to go with one of those other options. Since this is apparently a common "dating" practice–with women co-signing it for themselves as well–he might well have figured that no explanation was necessary.

  8. The fact that she met him on an Online Dating Website tells me everything right there.

    This dude is still active on that website and he is still out meeting different woman; in which honestly is exactlywhat she should have been doing as well. She should never had put all her eggs in his basket – this is Online Dating Etiquette 101.

    Yes he may have had a spritural connection with her as she stated in her letter BUT he is getting his physical connection somewhere else – he dated you for a lil over a month and realized he wasn't getting a ROI (s.ex) so he decided to fall back and check his inbox messages.

    She may hear from him again if his other prospects don't pan out but in the meantime she needs to go on about her business and find someone else.

  9. Welcome to Cali! I hope you enjoy your stay 🙂

    As to the letter, why ask why? He is distancing himself for whatever reason and the best thing she can do is just move on. I know this happens to a lot of women AND men, but you two were just dating. You weren't in a relationship. You hadn't had sex, so there really were no ties.

    I hate the dating scene. That is all (sigh)
    My recent post Can’t Get Right: Kim Kardashian Maternity Edition

  10. Yea i would have to say he dipped out because he had better options for him(no offense). A month and some without anything sexual (i know you said it was clear you guys were physically attracted but im not really sure what that means), like somebody said earlier, probably checked his inbox and saw somebody was down for the cause. Its good you guys progressed without doing anything though, because you saved yourself the extra frustration.

    Just by experience i can say that personally if i dropped off the radar for some time (after being heavily involved on a daily basis) its either stressful issues or another women. Just to reassure you though if it was for anything stressful that this guy dissappeared (and he still was interested) he would have at least explained what was going on after your "hey, how are you" text. BUT we know how that went.

  11. In situations like this I always will reach out asking for an explanation through a phone call or text, not because it's gonna change anything but I want to give you a chance to be decent so that in 5 months I do not sit on my couch thinking what if, and that YOU don't get to come back and invent some reason/rewrite history to get back into my life. Because a guy will say "i thought you were no longer interested blah blah," once he finally gets out from under his crazy ex girlfriend titties who was acting sane for a second. I give people enough rope to hang themselves for my peace of mind in moving on. Because when you text/reach back and I am about to shyt /embarass you I am going to do it so lovely and smooth with all the piece of mind in the world and you will not know what hit you!

  12. Good ole alpha chasing. Textbook alpha widow. No sympathy. Ever!

    Women do not have dating issues. Women have entitlement issues. And that is why y’all stay losing.

    And I am here for all of it!

  13. We leave when y’all start preemptively trapping us. I work too hard to throw it away just cuz you’re bored and want kids out of the blue and think I need to prove how responsible I am or some other dumb shit. Keep that future husband talk for when I know you for more than two dates.

  14. Shoot, the same thing is happening to me right now (and has with many other suitors). It's pretty obvious it's on his part, and I don't feel like even trying to have a conversation about why he went ghost. Ain't nobody got time for that…

    1. Right?

      I'd take ghost and gone over the douche that goes ghost then pops up 3 weeks like like he didn't just drop off the face of the Earth and throws you a "I see you're too busy for me" text at ya.

  15. Ladies, I am sure that we didn't return every single phone call or jump up at every invite for a date. So, don't be surprised when men do it. Number one reason? Just didn't feel like it. He didn't feel you were worth the effort. Sounds ouchy, but women reject men way more often. Girl, count your blessings and keep it pushing!

    1. I do not remember spending a "nice" amount of time with a man and simply "vanishing". Generally speaking, women do not often do this. (might be because we catch feelings easy). But what you are talking about is an entirely different case.

  16. Women go ghost ALL the time. As a man, I have been conditioned to feel like a sucker for talking/writing about it and instead just focus on the 99 other problems.

  17. And really, is it better for him to disappear or for him to hurt your feelings.

    This! Why do people think that anyone should be ok with not having some sort of closure?! In the wake of this Amanda Berry thing I can relate not having closure to having a family member go missing and you have no idea whether they may be dead or alive! It's not easy to just go on about your day to day and "forget" that that person was apart of your life. And it's not that early in the stages (to me) for them to just brush it off and keep it pushing without a nagging feeling in the back of their heads that they drove them off somehow. Like she wouldn't be writing asking for help if she were just like "yeah, whatever" And while no explanation is owed, courtesy and sanity really should dictate that people speak up a little more. At the end of the day, i'd rather know that my lost family member was dead than to keep on going having no idea. Along the same line, I'd rather have my feelings hurt then to keep holding out for hope that he's just caught up when he's really not.

  18. Well from my perspective, its a lot of reasons of course, but communication or lack thereof, studying the person and understanding where you are at that present moment is the main cause. That is if we are actually interested in each other. Communication, because we all have communication styles, however if you're not sure where you are mentally and emotionally then you tend to send mixed messages to the other party. Any woman that I deal with I like to study her and find out what makes her tick. I also have to be in a place where I can communicated my intentions at that moment, so the only way that I've found is to be extremely honest… Its the best policy! If its just sex, then I communicate that based on what I've learned from studying the woman and her body language. I'd also have to know exactly what I want at the moment. That can change because we change often, when I was 20 I wanted one thing, 25 another, and 30 something totally different, so it changes periodically. When I was younger I probably would "disappear" but as I've matured I've learned that without communicating my intent at that moment and continuously as we progress, if we progress, then there is no need to "mentally and emotionally checkout". Everyone's happy… I guess!

  19. Women do the same stuff all the time, difference is that a man usually has to pay for the dates and all and end up getting dissed and in a way used. In her case, she didn't give up the booty and probably didn't pay for any of the dates so its really not that bad. Although technically nobody owes us anything, you owe it to yourself to at least tell the person your not interested. If the role was reversed I'm sure you would want that same respect.

  20. If you really want to know why he disapeared maybe you should ask him straight up instead of asking SBM…
    But then again you knowing will not change the situation. It will just make you sad, and supa dupa pathetic (been there, done that)… Move on honey :)!

  21. I would have called him instead of text him. I wouldn't have blitzed and been like "ni**a it's been 5 days!" LoL, however I would have just called and asked what's up and what's going on, seeing as though you did say you talked and saw each other often. You can get a different vibe and perhaps a more realistic one from a phone call as opposed to a text message. Especially considering the fact you guys saw each other every weekend and called each other often. It makes more sense. The aforementioned reasons he stopped could be accurate or just maybe he got caught up with another flame who gave him some 'cutty' whereas she didn't. Who knows? All in all I would say to her just let it be and be glad you DIDN'T have sex with him because you would've probably felt pretty low.
    My recent post If You Like It Then You Should Put A Ring On It – Not So Fast, Is She Worth It?


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