Skip to main content

Is He Performing A Disappearing Act On You?

My passion is writing about love, sex, dating, and relationships. I write based on my own personal experiences and those that I relate to.


Abracadabra, now you see you don't! Unfortunately ladies, this man is not a magician so the anticipation, thrill and excitement of wondering when he will return again is not the same.

Disappearing acts can be exciting—when magicians do them—the anticipation of revealing themselves again can have you at the edge of your seat, not wanting to blink in fear that you might miss the finale. However, the feeling is not the same when a guy you are dating disappears out of your life. Poof! rhyme or reason—unbeknownst to you—that he has personally shared or text explaining why. This magic trick is not only lame, but also emotionally unsettling.

Why do men “disappear?”

  • He has decided he is not that into you—aka; don't see a future—and does not know how to tell you.
  • He is emotionally unavailable—he is still in-love with an Ex, has divorced parents/siblings—believes marriage doesn't work, or hasn't gotten over the hurt of a past break-up—keeping women at a distance.
  • Thinks the grass is greener—wants the freedom to date other women.
  • He is already in a committed relationship—and clearly never mentioned this to you.
  • He has an unrealistic idea that relationships should be perfect and when they are not he runs away.
  • Does not believe he deserves love—this fear will cause him to self-sabotage relationships.
  • His feelings towards you have unexpectedly grown stronger and he doesn't know how to deal with his emotions.

When a guy decides to vanish from your life—without giving you the adult courtesy, as well as the respect of informing you why—this can make you feel rejected, unworthy and can leave you with so many unanswered questions. Let's keep it real, this completely sucks!

If you're dealing with a guy who thinks there is nothing wrong with disappearing out of your life—it definitely gives you an idea of the type of guy you are dating, as well as his maturity level.

Immature and emotionally unavailable men tend to have a hard time communicating their feelings effectively.

Instead of communicating, this type of man will take the path of running and hiding. Yikes! This is why there should be a basic rule of thumb when ending a relationship. The length of time you date should determine how he respectfully ends the relationship:

  • Dating a few weeks—sending a text message can be an appropriate way to end the relationship.
  • Over a month—a phone call.
  • Two months or more—in person.

Either way, a guy needs to say or send something instead of leaving you playing the guessing game in your head.

Do as I say, not as I do...

Most men think it is OK to just stop calling/texting when something you might have said or done has rubbed them the wrong way. However, when they have rubbed you the wrong way—they will expect you to understand and forgive. Understanding that they are not perfect and because they like or care about you, things should be worked out. Why does this same understanding fall short when the tables are reversed?

The more baggage a guy has—a bad break-up or divorce, work stress, toppled with possibly juggling kids, financial stuff, and anything else that makes his world like a roller-coaster ride—the more he can be quick to judge and sometimes compare you. These things will ultimately make him more controlling and less understanding when you make a mistake in the relationship or do somethings that he can't comprehend.

Also, if he is not seeing a future with you, finding faults can be his way of keeping you at a distance. Keeping you at a distance can also occur if he develops unexpected feelings for you and is afraid of getting rejected or emotionally hurt. Unfortunately, with lack of communication, deciphering the cause of his apparent distance can be hard.

Instead of properly communicating any concerns or fears he has; he will instead judge your life, your choices, your opinions and much, much more, to make excuses to not be with you. He will deflect his guilt of the things he has done onto you. He will also compare you to his past relationship(s)—again, to keep his heart guarded—and he will find excuses why he can't spend significant quality time with you—filling his time with work, hobbies, activities, friends and family.

I say this often, no one is perfect.

We all have our stuff. The trick is working hard to not let your baggage get in the way (or potentially be the reason for a relationship to end). Most importantly, understanding it is not fair to unload all your crap onto the person you have just started dating—and expect the romance, chemistry and relationship won't be effected—because it will. But, is disappearing the best solution when things get hard or feelings start to develop?

Here's the thing men, no woman enjoys playing the guessing game—unless she is trying to guess which hand he is hiding a piece of jewelry in.

Scroll to Continue

Communication is important for the survival of any relationship.

So often, men who disappear will also be poor communicators. They will justify (to themselves) that the reason for suddenly vanishing out of your life—without telling you—was due to something (or possibly a few things) that you have said or done, that they did not like. OK. Well, the problem, they never mentioned anything to you.

Not saying a word, is not communicating. And how can a woman fix something she doesn't even know is broken? The longer a guy vanishes, the less amusing he becomes—causing worry, questions and mistrust.

Trust is built and the connection deepens when a guy is consistent in his actions.

When a guy calls or contacts you daily, a few days a week or possibly certain times during the day, he not only creates trust and reliability, he also gives you a sense of security and something to look forward to. When his pattern all of a sudden changes or stops—it's not a complicated magic trick—most likely there is something wrong. But, as women, there is usually an emotional cycle we go through before getting upset.

When a guy disappears out of a woman's life, there are various emotions and thoughts she first has (usually in this order):

When we first don't hear from him, we give him the benefit of doubt...

1. Maybe he had an unexpected crazy work schedule and was too tired or forgot to call or didn't have time (although there is always time to send a text).

2. Maybe he has lost or broken his phone and will call soon.

After a while, we start to worry...

3. Maybe something terrible has happened to him: car crash, hospitalization, mugging, arrested, etc.

4. Maybe something happened to a friends, family member or his kid that he is dealing with and is emotionally overwhelmed?

Then after worrying if something happened to him, and still no contact, we start to think it is about us...

5. Is he upset with me—did I offend him (guys are more sensitive then we think).

6. Is he no longer interested in dating/relationship?

7. Did he meet someone else?

8. Am I not sexy enough—does he not fined me attractive anymore?

Finally, after getting over thinking his disappearance is about us, and still no word from him, we get mad...

9. Seriously, I’m not worth a phone call or working on the relationship?

10. He is disrespectful, immature and not worth my time.

11. I'm done!

When most men disappear they usually have a following act of reappearing—hurrah!?

The reappearing act happens once they have had time to think about what they want or realize they could be making the biggest mistake by losing you. Believe me, women who received this performance, are not clapping and asking for an encore at the end.

Although this second act might seem hopeful (especially if you care or possibly love him), how do you know he won't disappear again? The problem—when a guy ceases communication, it destroys trust.

Abruptly changing one's pattern is disrupted to the connection that was there and makes one question the relationship.

Consistency is important. When a guy switches gears from being consistent—i.e.: calling/texting daily, to no communication for days—it is a horrific feeling, especially if you have not met his family or close friends. If something actually happen to him, how would you know?

Only a man who is selfish and cares little about your feelings would put you through the process of worrying. Most women would rather receive a text that says, "Need a little me time to think," than nothing at all. At least this way we know he is not dead on a sidewalk somewhere.

Ladies, do you really want the unsettling emotionally roller-coaster ride from a man who doesn't know what he wants? If a guy thinks that performing a disappearing act on you is acceptable, chances are he will do it again.

Bottom-line, if he does comes back into your life and you decide to take him back, be very clear; the next time he performs this act—it will be his finale!



Marlene from FL. on September 14, 2015:

Excellent hub! I wanted to add that even the most commitment phobic/ emotionally unavailable guys will vanish after having gone out on a date with you. Even if the date was awesome, some will suddenly pull away with no explanation. They all start coming around again once you pull off completely. A woman should NOT invest her time in a man or a relationship if he's not serious about the relationship moving forward.

Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on August 18, 2015:

Btw Antonia.....I'm Very proud of you! Cheers to you!

And again thank you for sharing!

Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on August 18, 2015:


Amen to that girl!

And don't forget that you are also an emotionally strong woman.

There's an article on my HubPages that I wrote: Are You Teaching Him How To Treat You? And you just summed it up in a nut shell, "do we really want to be with someone with who we have to pretend we do not care about things that really hurt us and make us feel bad?" NO!!!! Unfortunately many women don't love themselves enough to realize that.

A man who can treat you so poorly this early of getting to know you Will do it again and you don't deserve that.

If you have to make excuses for his crappy behavior you're only prolonging your own happiness.

Always know your worth....and I can see that you do.

Antonia on August 18, 2015:

Dear Stephanie,

I asked God to help me about this issue and as usual He sent me a human instrument...You. I was feeling down these days because of this situation, but then I received the link to your article through a friend. And today, when I read your answer I realized it was exactly the way I feel but I did not want to accept it, why? because we always want to hear the answers from other people and we forget about listening ourselves.

I have always had problem to understand my feelings and it became even worst after my last love experience which caused a lot of pain.

I had received so many possible explanations from people I know about this guy behavior: something bad could happen (I know he is, he is on holidays, he is with family, he is taking some space, he is thinking about how to move forward with you, he is a man and that is what they do, he is coming from another culture, maybe it is normal for him and you are overreacting, he is not your boyfriend.....

It was not until I read your article that I realized how stupid I was trying to find the way he could be feeling instead of thinking how I AM feeling. It is myself who I should be taking care of. So I asked myself, putting out every other comments and opinions, how do I really feel?

I feel that this is fucking wrong, no matter what possible reason he has to not contact me during three weeks, this is wrong, it is disrespectful and shows any kind of consideration. We shared time, we shared experiences, emotions, feelings. No mater why, I deserve not to be left hanging. I do not even care about the reason, what really hurts me if he does not have the consideration to let me know he needs to be alone.

It does not mean he is a bad person, I am not even mad to him, it just means he is a person I do not want to keep getting to know. I know people feel lonely and we try not to see the red flags just to keep in the way of finding a person to be with us but I do not want just a person, I want THE person and even if I will be alone some more time I prefer to enjoy my time with my friends, family and myself that waste it with someone who does not deserve it.

I know who I am, I am an beautiful, intelligent, successful woman with a fantastic life and I am happy because my happiness does not depend from the outside, it is inside me, I decide to be happy so I am. So, if I know who I am, what and who I deserve and how happy I am, what a hell am I doing getting down for someone behavior that I cannot understand, I cannot control and now finally I do not even care. So I know how I feel, so I know what to say and what to do if he decides to approach me or not.

And that is everything I discovered from reading your article and your answer, so thank you again, thank you a lot.

And girls, please stop looking answers how to become better women for guys, how to behave so the do not run away, how to understand them and be the perfect girlfriend. Are they doing that for us? I do not think so. And anyway, even if you keep those guys following those stupid dating rules that people tell we really want to be with someone with who we have to pretend we do not care about things that really hurt us and make us feel bad?

Sorry I wrote such a long message but I am enjoying my free time these days and I really wanted to share how I feel now.



Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on August 18, 2015:

Hi Antonia,

I'm sorry that you are going through this emotional confusing situation.

I believe in being blunt so here it goes....unless he's dead, has been in a bad accident---seriously injured or in a coma or a parent or sister/brother as dies---which even then you can send a text....there is no reason to not reach out....You Deserve Better! Period.

Language differences or not the one thing All men have in common: they make time for who and what they are really interested in.

As woman we make excuses for their bad behavior. You were able to contact him while you were on holiday so why can't he contact you and give you the same respect?

Bad texter or not he can always pick up the phone. It takes 1 minute to call someone or text (5 seconds) to say "hi" and the excuse that he is busy with his family and friends is a poor excuse. I know that this is your assumption since you haven't heard from him, but regardless....a poor excuse.

I had also dated a guy who I was also not interested in right away, he pursued me and through persuing, I developed feeling. We hung out and spend time together--he was the initiator. Then all of a sudden his pattern changed---which didn't make sense since again he pursued me, convincing me how much he liked me. The more distance he created by not contacting me the more I realized that he was being verbal in a non verbal way....he wasn't interested and he was letting me know by his actions. Ouch...yes, but many men are just bad verbal communicators.

Unfortunitly there are men who like the chase. There is excitement and a thrill about winning a woman's emotions or heart and once that has occurred the thrill is over or they have met someone else who peaked their interest more.

Take this time before you see him in 10 days to remind yourself how beautiful, intelligent and worthy you are....over and over again. When you see him... Wait for him to approach you or initiate contact first...because most likely he will. Be confident and polite and see what he has to say first. If you still really, really want to be with him, then be Very clear that the behavior he has displayed will not be acceptable in the future and make him work to prove that he understands that. If he doesn't, know that it's ok....he wasn't the right guy for you and the right guy will come. Many times we are giving Red Flags from the Universe that We choose to ignore---are you listening? and if should. A man who can dissapear so easily is not a man worth your time and he will most likely do it again.

In order to build and maintain a healthy successful relationship communication and consistancy in ones actions as well as trust must be there.

Good Luck!

Thank you for reading and taking the time to share your story.

Anto on August 17, 2015:

Hi Stephanie,

I really like your article. I would like to share something of my own story and just know your opinion. I have met this guy for over a year. We are in our post graduate studies (same program). We hardy talked during that time because he is a very reserved guy (Swedish people are incredible reserved) but he was always nice when we interacted. Some time ago he started trying to approach me in a different way, at the beginning I did not understand why he was acting differently with me because I never imagined he was interested in me but then he made and obvious move. I was not interested before because I was dealing with a broken heart situation, someone who really hurt me and I loved so much. After getting to know him better, I started to feel interested, he is very different from the type of guys I have dated but I really liked how mature and sensitive he was. We kept seeing each other during two weeks (I said seeing and not dating because in this country the dating culture does not exist), every day (because an event we had to attend), the first week was just talking, he spent a lot of time with me and my friends and I was really surprised to realize how much he knew about me. We both shared very strong experiences in our life and he seemed to understand me so well that I was really impressed. We finally kissed and it was perfect, we then spent another week attending that event (during that time we were seeing each other every day, talking, walking, kissing...very romantic in fact). We came back from the event and we met again twice , everything was great, the last day we met we spent the afternoon together, he was talking about some plans and ideas to do when I come back (I forgot to say I was leaving next day for my three weeks vacations). We came to my place, watched a movie, cuddle, talked and he left saying we will see again when I am back. I had amazing holidays, during that time I texted him three times to keep in contact, he always answered very polite as usual (he has never being a good texter). Then I came back I sent him a message about it and telling him I was looking forward to see him soon (he is in his hometown right now), nothing, after one week I sent him another text asking if everything was ok he said yes and he hoped I was fine. And it has been two weeks, I do not even know if he is back. At the beginning I did not give to much importance but then I realized I have been the only one starting a conversation since I left (I am not at all in the games thing, I text when I want, but usually he used to text me too). I know he has being busy, on holidays, visiting family and friends but now it is obvious that it is weird. I am just disappointed because I wanted to getting to know him better and I thought he wanted the same. My concern is that we started classes in 10 days and it is gonna be a little bit uncomfortable. Sorry for the long message.

Thank you for posting this amazing articles


Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on May 18, 2015:

Hi Jacqueline,

I am so sorry that this has happened to you and please don't apologize for the long email---the more info I have the better.

From everything you have mentioned it sounds as though he freaked himself out---an article I have written which will be published on HubPages soon.

Basically, there are men that have a hard time being too vulnerable. They get caught up in the moment, think that they are ready to be in a serious committed relationship, but when things start to become "too real"--meeting each others families and friends, taking trips together and having discussions of "future talk" they panic.

A guy freaking himself out is just that---he goes full force--initiating situations and talks with a woman, and then gets scared...I know its frustrating!

From what you shared there is Nothing that you could have said or done differently.

Many men will overly analyze and think, dive into their work and other obligations---all so they don't have to worry about their heart being broken. This fear trigger I have found from my dating experiences occurs when they are too happy, that it flashes them back to the last time they were "this happy with a woman" and their heart ended up getting broken so they subconsciously pull away or start a stupid fight that will cause the relationship to end.

Do you know how long the last relationship he was in lasted and when it ended?

There is also the possibility that an old flame that he still had unresolved feeling for came back into the picture. Again, something that is out of your control.

You sound like a lovely woman and frankly, its HIS loss for not holding on to you.

Since you have a mutual friend and will mostly likely cross paths again---however I wouldn't be surprised if he reaches out on his own--take this time to really decide what you really want and how a life partner should ultimately treat you. And if he wants you back are you emotionally ok with the possibility that he could disappear again?

Know that the right guy for you wont disappear and let you go so easily.

Hope this has helped.

Thank you for reading and sharing.

Light and Love,


Jacqueline on May 15, 2015:

Hi Stephanie,

Great post! I recently had the guy I was dating for a little over 3 months pull the disappearing act and have been stumbling upon articles on the internet and I must say you're words are very encouraging. I apologize for my long post but i'm interested to hear what you think.

What's crazy is that this is the first cousin of my best friend's husband so there's a very good chance I will be seeing him again. We actually met at their wedding back in December. We would see each other once a week for the first couple of weeks while communicating via text almost every day. Then after about 2 1/2 weeks we started talking on the phone just about every day sometimes for an hour or longer and started seeing each other 2 or more times a week. We're both in NY and he has a shore house that we had gone to multiple times over the course of us dating so we've spent quite a few nights together. For 3 and 1/2 months straight we were both so excited to talk to each other and he couldn't wait to see me (he would actually say that to me) and vice versa. We both seemed to be liking where things we were headed but never had any conversations about being exclusive nor did i ever question where it was going. However, in January he said Valentine's Day is coming up, you want to be valentine with a cute wink, and we planned to go back down the shore and cook dinner and hang out. He also said "welll you know my family already, when am i meeting yours?!" I said wow I didn't realize you would want to . He said oh if you think it's too soon we don't have to. I said no you totally can, I just didn't realize you would want to. He came out to dinner with my family in feb for my birthday. He's met most of my friends and I've met his. I've hung out with his family. Anyway, things were going great until the end of march when things were getting busy at work (he's an engineer) and he has a side handyman business where he does different work on people's homes and he's also on the board of the beach club community where his house is as well as his mom's. He goes down there a lot to get them ready for rental and for board meetings. I completely understood that things were getting busier due to the upcoming beach season and him being in charge of construction permits and what not down there that his spare time would dwindle. Now he would say oh you'll come down with me for July 4th right? and talk about plans in the way future. We still spoke a decent amount at the end of march and nothing really seemed wrong. April 10th came along where we talked a bit on gchat and that was it! I called later that night and left a casual voicemail saying safe trip down the shore and hope you have a good weekend, give me a call when you can) ... nothing. A week later, I decided for my own sanity and wanting closure I would send one last text that read, "hey, happy friday!! i know things have been crazy, just wanted to see if you'd want to do something next week" and then never heard from him again and I haven't reached out anymore.

What hurts the most is that things were going so well and we spent multiple weekends together throughout those few months and had a lot of great times hanging out whether it be with our friends or just going to dinner by ourselves or the movies or bowling, etc. His actions and words were leading me to believe that he was into me. Now I think he definitely was at some point I just think things got busier and he wasn't looking for a relationship or something and then was like shit and freaked/decided to take the cowards way out.

I know I need to move on it just hurts knowing that a guy who was so great all of sudden pulled this disappearing act and the fact that it's not like we randomly met. We have a mutual connection and I'll probably see him again in the near future. I wish I knew why or if I did anything wrong although I don't think I did since it happened so abruptly.

Again, i apologize for my insanely long email.


Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on April 13, 2015:

Hi Mary Lynn,

One time---maybe give him the benefit of doubt, twice---shame on him!

I know that ending things with a guy whom you have a connection with and an overall attraction is hard, especially when he does reappear in your life things are great---which makes the disappearing even harder to understand.

It's not you! It is his issue and please don't forget that.

I commend you for choosing you. Tough love is hard to do, however if you want the right guy to find you, you have to weed out the wrong ones, no matter how hard the decision might ultimately be. And believe me, it's hard, but You deserve a man who wants to make you a priority, is a Can Do Guy and who respects you enough to be honest.

Men who do the disappearing act don't know what they want, but have no problem keeping a woman around for their own needs---for sex or when they are lonely and want companionship.

The guy who kept doing the disappearing act from my life had a deep emotional hold on me--because I let him. When this guy was in my life things were Amazing, so it gave me justification to come up with excuse after excuse to my friends for the reasons why he kept disappearing--really busy, traveling, dealing with his kids issues, etc.

Dumb, Dumb, Dumb! He did not respect me....period! To be honest, it wasn't completely his fault since I didn't love myself enough to realize.

Ending things with him was the very best decision. It cut the emotional hold I gave him and made me a stronger woman in the long run.

Although this was many, many years ago, I still think about him on occasion---I'm still human and its natural to miss someone who was in your life, but not because I wanted him back.

I learned to love myself enough to know that I deserve better---wanting a man who truly loves me.

Love is about making room in your life for someone else. Keeping them as a priority, communicating and respecting each others feelings. Love is about growing and being the best version of yourself for yourself as well as for the other person.

Love isn't rocket science or over complications or straining work. When you continue to question the other person or yourself in a negative way...that is not love.

Love will find you. Be proud of yourself. Stay strong and never give up hope.

Thank you for reading and sharing your story.

Love and Light,


Mary Lynn on April 01, 2015:

I've had a guy do this to me twice now. first time we dated for 2 months second time was 4 months. I heard all the excuses too busy with work my head not in the right place. I finally told him I couldn't do this with him anymore he wanted to stay In Touch I said no I'm not going there again. The worst part is I can't get him out of my head

Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on January 28, 2015:

Sorry to hear that Frankie. Three weeks of pursuing and nothing....definitely not worth your time. Move on and you will find someone who will value, love and respect you.

Thank you for reading and sharing your situation with me.

Frankie on January 21, 2015:

Going through this right now. Pursuit for 3 weeks then nothing. Nice one

Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on August 19, 2014:

Hi Kelli,

This did happen to me, everything I write is from my own personal experiences and if it's also happened to a friend then it comes form that as well. Thanks for reading. :)

ksturges on August 19, 2014:

Hi all,

I am a casting director, currently casting a new TV show about women dating a man that just up and disappeared.

If this has happened to you or someone you know I can be contacted at:



dashingscorpio from Chicago on May 05, 2014:

Voted up! and Interesting!

You made two very insightful statements back to back which I'm sure a lot of women would agree with. "Either way, a guy needs to say or send something." and "Most men think that it's ok to just stop calling/texting when something you might have said or done has rubbed them the wrong way."

With regard to the first statement both women and men need to accept Breakups are at the discretion and convenience of the person dissolving the relationship! It’s not about what seems fair to you, finding a way to let you down easy, or what day works best for you. It’s not about you. It’s about them.

Inherently when we dump someone it is a selfish act. We're doing what we feel is best for (us) whether we be a man or woman. The person ending the relationship is looking out for (their) best interest. It's all about them!

Whether you’re being let go by a company or by a mate you have no say in (how) it goes down. Some folks emit arrogance with their belief that they have a right to "tell someone how and when to end a relationship with them". The only decisions you can make are your own.

"Anger is the mask that hurt wears."

It’s natural to be upset when a relationship of any kind comes to an end especially if you’d like it to continue. However by the same token you really don’t want to be with someone who does not want to be with you. You deserve better than that!

As the theme song from the movie "Frozen" suggests; "Let it go."

Related Articles