Why men go “poof”

by Dating Goddess on September 22, 2006

David CopperfieldVanish. Disappear. Do a David Copperfield.

I’ve pondered this a lot, as it’s happened often. I’ve interviewed men friends. The following is what I’ve gleaned.

If you don’t hear from a guy after one date, it’s clear he’s not interested. No problem, even though it’s classier to send a nice email stating such. But what if you’ve gone out 2, 3 or more times? You seem to enjoy each others’ company. You have fun. Laugh. Good conversation. Some hand holding. Maybe some kissing. Maybe more. Then poof. He’s gone. Without a word.

Here are my theories on why he disappears. He goes poof without so much as an “I’m not feeling it,” “I thought we were a match, but now I don’t think so,” “I’m looking for casual dating and it seems you want more,” “We want different things, so I don’t think we should continue seeing each other,” “I’ve decided to focus on someone else (or get back with my ex),” “You’re a wonderful woman, but I’m not feeling chemistry,” or “I just wanted a booty call.”

  • He doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, and doesn’t know how to say (in person, phone or writing) any of the above. So he thinks it’s best to stop contact and hope you’ll get the message.
  • He doesn’t want any drama. He’s had experience — or heard stories — of otherwise reasonable women going ballistic when a guy cuts her loose. Lots of yelling, crying, blaming, name calling, insulting his manhood or ancestors, perhaps throwing items — at him, down stairwells, out windows.
  • He doesn’t feel connected enough to you to feel he owes you any explanation.
  • This is his pattern and it’s worked for him in the past, so he sees no reason to actually communicate with a woman he’s been seeing and now decides to drop.
  • He doesn’t like something fundamental about you (your shape, kiss, laugh, personality) and he’s afraid if he tells you he’s moving on, you’ll ask why. He doesn’t want to have to tell you are a bad kisser/lover, have bad breath/BO, don’t dress sexily, aren’t smart enough, are too smart, etc. So to avoid an uncomfortable conversation, he disappears. (See “Broaching tough conversations.”)
  • He doesn’t feel he can satisfy you sexually. One man told me that if there have been a few attempts and a man hasn’t satisfied the woman he will leave, as he feels it reflects on him. So rather than face the possibility that he is a bad lover, or be humiliated if she tells him or tries to suggest changes, he’ll leave. (See “An excuse to seduce or how important is sexual compatibility?“)
  • He doesn’t think you can satisfy him sexually. He has ED and wants you to put everything back the way it used to be. When he can’t perform, you are history. He thinks there must be a sexy woman out there who can get it working again.
  • He doesn’t think he can make you happy. You have (or desire) a champagne lifestyle and he has a beer-budget job. He knows he can’t give you what you want or expect, so disappears into the night.
  • He prefers other priorities/activities (work, sports, kicking with the guys) to hanging out with you.
  • He’s involved with someone else. He’s auditioning you for spare gal (for when his alpha woman isn’t available) or to replace his current one. He decides he’s happier with his current squeeze. How would he possibly say that to you?

I’m sure women must vanish for similar reasons, but since I don’t date women, I don’t know.

Why do you think men disappear without letting you know they’re moving on?

(For suggestions on how you can say goodbye with class, see “50 ways to leave your lover? 4 ways NOT to leave your suitor” and “Hello — goodbye: How to say no thanks after meeting.”)

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