Top 10 Reasons Why Men Disappear

Posted by in breaking up with grace, dating in midlife, first date success | 5 comments

why men disappearI write a weekly dating expert column for Better After 50. This week’s article was so popular, there were 800 hits in the first few hours! I thought you might want to see what all the fuss was about, so I’m sharing it here. Don’t you want to know the top 10 reasons why men disappear?

He kissed you passionately after date two. He said he had a great time, you’re beautiful, smart, sexy and amazing, and he’ll call you soon. And you wait for that phone call. A week goes by. Cue crickets… You’re left scratching your head. Is it me? Did I say or do something to turn him off? Was I a bad kisser?

You probably don’t want to why he didn’t call again. Would it make you feel better if you knew he disappeared because he’s not really divorced? How about if you knew he made out with three other women that week and whispered the same sweet nothings in their ears? Sometimes, you just don’t want to know.

It’s important that you don’t take the vanishing man personally. Let go and move on. It often has nothing to do with you. But sometimes it is about you. You may have said or done something on a date that turned off a good guy. I want you to find love. So, here are the top ten reasons why men disappear.

Top 10 Reasons Why Men Suddenly Vanish

1. One or two dates do not = a relationship. Just because you felt like you bonded, doesn’t mean you’re in a relationship. It’s only been a few dates. Even if you slept together, it doesn’t mean he wants to be in a relationship with you. It just means he slept with you. If you don’t like that, don’t sleep with a guy until you’re in a committed relationship.

2. He doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. Maybe he thinks if he tells you why he thinks you’re not a good match, you’ll get upset. Most guys would rather say nothing than hurt your feelings and have to deal with your emotions in the aftermath.

3. He’s shallow. Maybe he’s looking for someone with a bigger butt, blonder hair, or someone more sexually available. Would you want him to share that with you? Some things are better left unsaid…

4. Do you really want to hear ‘It’s not you. It’s me’? Men are tired of saying it, and you’re sick of hearing it. In today’s world of texting, sexting, and Facebook status updates, communication has become a lost art for many. It’s easier to say nothing than feel like a cliché.

5. It’s safer to date women he cares less about. Some men are so scared of commitment; they’d rather date a lower quality woman (i.e. who are will sleep with them with no commitment) than someone as awesome as you. You don’t want to date a commitment-phobe, do you?

6. He wants to be Mr. Nice guy. If he says nothing about why he left, he might feel like you’ll still see him as a nice guy, even if he made false promises and created the illusion that he was very interested in you.

7. You’re boring. Maybe you’re so afraid of saying the wrong thing; you just smile a lot and agree with most things he says. You’re afraid of expressing your opinion. I don’t recommend that you’re so outspoken on your first few dates, you shut him down (see tip #9). But do express yourself. Show him who you are. Read the newspaper, have an opinion, ask good questions, and bring your personality! You don’t get a second chance to make a great first impression.

8. You seem unstable to him. Most men don’t want to feel responsible for a woman who seems emotionally unstable. You may have said or done something that gave him that impression. Maybe you were overly reactive about something during dinner? Did you bash your ex? If you are a stable woman, think about what you might have said to give him that impression.

9. You brought your work self to your dates. According to Dating Coach, Rachel Greenwald in her best selling book, Have Him at Hello, one of the biggest problems in dating in the 21st century is when women bring their work persona to a date. They take charge, pick the venue, argue that the guy is wrong about many things, and appear to be bossy, not assertive. What works in the office doesn’t work in dating. Leave your work at work, and bring your more feminine nurturing side to the date. I’m not saying you can’t be yourself. Bring your spunky, funny, passionate smart self to dating. Don’t be overbearing. This is the number one reason why men disappear.

10. He’s not emotionally available. He is separated for two years and thinks he’s ready to commit to a new relationship. He’s not. Or he is recently widowed and signed up for online dating hoping to fill a hole in his life. He compares every woman to his deceased wife. He’s not ready for a new relationship, but he doesn’t know it yet. It’s not your job to tell him. It’s your job to stay away from emotionally unavailable men. Unless you are looking for a casual fling, I recommend you date men who have been divorced or widowed for at least a year.

Want to avoid the disappearing man? read the rest of the article at BA50

* A special thank you to dating coach, Evan Marc Katz, for writing a great book, Why He Disappeared. His work has been very influential.



  1. Re Number 3. When women have preferences they’re being selective. When men have preferences we are shallow. Dating double standard No. 341

  2. Double standard? I think not. There’s a big difference between preferences about character traits and preferences for physical standards such as blond hair for women and over 6 feet tall for men. I believe that men AND women seeking a serious long-term relationship should focus on the character of a person rather than their physical appearance. Sure, attraction is important. You don’t want to date someone who turns you off, but personality and character make someone even more attractive. That’s what I meant by number 3. I don’t think a guy would appreciate hearing from a woman that she didn’t want to date him again because he didn’t have a round enough butt.

  3. I partially agree with you. I feel though women generally get a pass on shallowness. I’m not trying to engage in a gender war. It is however frustrating to see men bear the brunt of criticism for shallowness. Two words, short men. Unfortunately this isn’t rare, it’s pretty much a given. Sad. Just as sad as some guy turning down a great catch because she doesn’t have a firm enough butt. Can’t we all just get along 🙂

  4. I appreciate your point of view. I mostly coach women, and I’ve talked them down from shallow pursuits, especially on the height issue. I married a short man and have dated many amazing guys who were under 5′ 11″. There are distinct advantages; I never had to adjust the car seat. When the lights are off, does it really matter how tall a person is? A great personality and a loving, fun connection are so much more important. I am aiming for us all to just get along, trust me!

  5. I got this note from a man who’s on my email list. He added a few more reasons, and I thought they were worth sharing here. Thank you, Morris, for your comment.


    I reread the article and the following thoughts came to me based on years of comments I have heard men say about why they walked away. When combining the reasons in your article with the 3 below, I believe most men have fit several of the reasons sometime in their lives, and sometimes at once.

    1. Afraid to be financially embarrassed or drained.

    2. Erectile dysfunction, and too embarrassed to discuss it at the time or call her back. This has become a growing discussion among men I have spoken with or overheard, especially with the advent of Viagra, and other help aids. For instance, some said that they wished they had known about Viagra before they let So and So go, or have (to see) if they can get a prescription before approaching So and So..

    3. Lack of intellectual stimulation…while others said too much intellectual stimulation and challenge, as you framed it.

    Nevertheless, your article got me to thinking about it.


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