Why Do Men Pull Away From Relationships?

I’m still sifting through the hundreds of responses that you gave me on yesterday’s survey:

In case you didn’t know, all I asked was this: What is the most important question you have about relationships that you’d like me to address in my new eBook? Next thing I knew, I was flooded with questions like this:

Why can dating be so difficult for educated, career oriented women in their 40’s?

What makes a man want to commit and stay committed to a relationship?

Why do men act like they like you and then when you express how you feel about them, they disappear?

What makes men run away from a relationship when you start asking where things are going??

Why do YOU think men pull away from women and committed relationships?

I don’t understand the guys that come on super strong over the course of a couple weeks, and then, all of a sudden, say that they are “not ready for a relationship.” If my behavior hasn’t changed (e.g. they are the one pursuing me), what has changed in their heads?

Why is it that men have follow-through issues? The first date goes well and then there is nothing.

Why do they pull away when things get serious?

I would like to know what to do to get a man really interested and how to continue to hold his interest so he doesn’t pull a disappearing act.

Why don’t men seem as interested in long term relationships as women are?

I’m not kidding when I tell you that I’ve got SCORES of these questions – slight variations on the same exact theme. So, my brilliant readers, since you have strong opinions on all things pertaining to dating and relationships, I’d love to hear from you:

Why do YOU think men pull away from women and committed relationships?

I know it’s a broad question, but I really want to hear what you have to say! Both women AND men, please…

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Comments:

  1. 91
    jacinta

    Yup, Evan, we need your help!!! Well, my thinking is if someone likes you, and they want something no matter what is happening in their lives. The guy I am seeing is going through alot of changes and difficulties with his family right now.. but in the end he still does alot of stuff with his friends and relatively doesnt see me that much (once a week).  If he was crazy about me he wouldnt be out of touch for so long and my presence would be a support.

  2. 92
    jacinta

    Oh and Ruby your comment “they want to believe they are ready cause they like you and want to have sex” I think hits the nail on the head.

  3. 93
    juniper

    I understand the “enjoy the process” “dont have expectations” “give the man time/space” points.  But then…that is exactly what i thought I was doing with the last guy I was dating…i was really into him but I did not really have an agenda, I was really enjoying dating him and spending time with him – he was the one who wanted to spend more time, he was the one who kept on inviting me to places – and then, he freaked out.  He claimed that I had expectations, that I wanted him as his boyfriend and he wasnt ready, and he pulled back.  I was pretty much surprised about his reaction, I did not know what to do and it threw me off.  I really find this blog useful, but in my life it is as if everytime there is a new surprise (and I mess it up).

  4. 94
    fashionista

    @CHARLOTTE, the man that you just described, IS A COMMITMENT PHOBIC, as in ITS NOT YOU BUT HIM, he’s the sort of man who doesn’t have your average/regular fear that he can get over by himself but the kind of fear that is so intense that the only way he will ever get past it is if he sees a therapist for it because he has a real bad issue and will NEVER be able to settle down with any woman ever unless he gets therapy, really. I know because I dated one once and his behavior was so bizarre–his intense come-on and then his disappearance once I gave into his pursuit of me–that I had to find the reason why he behaved the way he had and I did, you should read the book “MEN WHO CAN’T LOVE”…Commitment phobia is a real disorder, that can only be treated with therapy; its not about finding the right person for the commitment phobic because even if they did they would still find SOMETHING thing wrong with that person so they would have an excuse to break-off the relationship…see once they convince the person they want, to commit to them, its like a switch goes on in their head and they start thinking…”oh, no what have I done…I’ll have to marry this person/be committed to them forever now, and now I’m trapped”…really, that’s they way commitment phobics think, they are not normal, they think irrationally like that. They feel trapped and suffocated by relationships even if they were the ones to ask for the commitment. They are not like you and me, they are emotionally/mentally sick, and there is nothing you could have done or said to have changed the situation…that man needs therapy. Oh and by the way, if he calls you and says, “I’m sorry, give me another chance,” don’t do it, because he will just do what he did to you before but quicker. Or if he says “lets be friends”, don’t, its his way of trying to get back into your life without freaking himself out…but he will just hurt you if you trust him again.

  5. 95
    ELLEN

    Man, I started reading a lot of this last night and it made me so anxious I had to go to bed (maybe because I’ve been dating a year and still no boyfriend!). And I’m 58! And I adore psychology!
    Despite my age, I am rather fearless emotionally, have gone on lots of dates in the past two years since my separation with all sorts of men, all ages, and generally have fun, am fairly wise about how to conduct myself, mirror the man, let him lead, yada, yada, yada….but…
    Bottom line: I’ve been hurt badly by men, women (friendships) my entire life. And the posters are right- it’s not the rejection so much, but the total disrespect of the disappearing act. You understand they are being cowardly, fearfull, but it still hurts….
    It all comes down to love- some have it, some don’t, some barely. Those that have it give it to those (the loveless absorb it like a sponge eventually- love is that powerful) who don’t in life I’ve found. We are constantly teaching one another. Try to find that person who can love you at your level if possible. Even a 25 year old marriage will end (imo) if your love styles/ability to love are deeply at odds. & “attachment styles” in my research are KEY also, predict how you’ll react before/during/after a relationship. They begin in childhood apparently and are HARD to alter. It’s why men can’t leave their wives while having an affair: They may no longer LOVE their wives, but the attachment (often a “Mom” attachment) is so strong they simply can’t leave…..
    I love Juju 22, Ruby 25, and Chai 45’s advice. These women could be dating coaches/shrinks probably! lol Their advice is spot, spot ON.
    Here’s my eastern mysticism/Buddhist mantra: Love unconditionally as much as possible. I start every meaningful relationship with this goal anyway…..In the end it hurts less no matter what happens to you! But know that the worst karma out there IS “hurting another’s heart”, deeply hurting another’s heart. Stealing, lying? Petty, beneath you, but intentionally disappearing without an explanation, esp. after a long period of time, is horrendous karmically for all involved. People need closure (’cause the ego gets involved. The ego is involved in our very breathing often), people grieve/can’t forget for a LONG time, unfortunately many of them, and there is no greater pain for the individual than to be cut that deep.
    A man like Karl who is very practical (which has its points undoubtedly), but limited perhaps in his ability to love, can’t understand someone who’s ability to love is greater, who’s ability to feel or feel empathically is so much greater. The bigger the heart, the more that is given often, the more that is given, the deeper the pain felt in the end.
     

  6. 96
    Kylee

    I might be reviving an old post here but I think timing is a major issue in forming relationships. Good men and good women want a true and loving relationship. Some people are very relationship oriented and that is their primary goal. Some people feel like they need to achieve certain goals before they can ‘settle down’.  Some people feel that their goals need 100% commitment and so, even though they might meet a person they could commit to had they met them at the right time, they will step back because they know that can’t make the effort required to foster a relationship.

    I’m currently in a situation where I’ve had to recognise that I’ve met a good man at the less than ideal time. His focus is on a long held goal that he is shortly about to attain. So I’m stepping back and taking the focus off him as I feel I can support him better as a friend at this point. Yes, I hurt emotionally but I don’t want to have to demonize someone for just being who they are and where they are at in their lives.  

  7. 97
    Tonya

    I think it simply has to do with a guy who is unemotionally available but still wants a way to have sex.  The hot pursuit and the backing off is pretty much this: Guys like the idea of being close intimately with women but because of whatever in their lives and head, do not want to expend the effort of being in a relationship.  They crave intimacy and being vulnerable like everyone else, but are fearful of what this can bring – for whatever reason in their mind.  A woman who has little boundries and doesn’t know how to read that the guy who is paying scads of attention to her is doing it as a ploy to get her attentions and into bed, will get sucked into this type of “relationship” in which she thinks there is a possiblity it can move into more, but the reality is the guy is feeding her just enough to make her think that while keeping it in the casual zone. If you’re busy accomidating his schedule, giving him ego strokes, being a booty call, and pretty much stalled in a stagnent situation with a guy – he’s just not that into you cause he’s more into himself and getting his needs met.

  8. 98
    Fee

    I think I’ve read this ENTIRE thread (a little time on my hands :-) )
    I believe everyone in this room is right but what I would like to add is that there are many many other reasons why a man/woman will pull away from a rship. As much as I want to be neutral on this topic, I have to admit that men tend to do this far more often than women.
    One of the most common aspects about rships in the 21st century is that people don’t want to take their time to get to know someone. Everything must be ‘perfect’. The slightest imperfection in our eyes, ‘we’ run for the hills. We forget that no one is perfect and we all have flaws and if you think that’s not the case, well…I hate to bust your bubble but this isn’t LaLa Land. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should date every person but what I am saying is to keep an open mind; you might be letting Mr. or Mrs. Wonderful pass you by. These things take time to decide.
    Dating has become ‘easy’, with the vast choices of men and women on dating sites, speed dating, etc. The choices are endless and so with that said, ‘we’ believe the grass is always greener on the other side. But where do we stop?
    I think most people focus on the negativity of the ‘rship’ instead of focusing on the positive sides of the time spent together or the qualities of a person. This is our world; quantity over quality. There are no values in anything we do anymore. I think it’s rather quite sad.
    The last guy I dated tried to turn the script on me when I simply asked if we could see each other a little more than once a week. Within 24 hours, he managed to call me bipolar, damaged goods and that I’m a write-off. He patronized me, deflected the issue I spoke to him as I would a friend. I went to him in peace. Never put a label on what we had; didn’t have time to do so…I was enjoying getting to know him. After trying to reach him for 4-5 days, he said the reason I was a write-off is because I tried calling/texting him and he got a glimpse of what it would be like if we continued to date. SMH….Nice way to say ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’.
     
     

  9. 99
    Beth

    I have to agree with Fee. I think people (I’m sure both men and women) don’t offer much opportunity to get to know someone. One mistake, and it’s over without much focus on the positive attributes the person had.
     
    Recently divorced, I dread being in this time of my life. I know I would be an amazing partner for someone, but I walk on eggshells when dating becuase I fear one mistake and I will be out the door. No one can live up to those standards.

    I do think the same holds true for both men and women, but I think men have more unrealistic expectations than women do about the perfection of his potential partner.

  10. 100
    Jen

    Who says it has to be a man.  I have found myself pulling away from the last handful of relationships and now after a full year of dating a wonderful man I have shut down.  I just don’t want to spend time with him.  Every time he asks to do something I make up an excuse.  Nothing significant has happened with our relationship but I have had a lot of stress with moving and my job.  Sometimes life is just easier solo.  It doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman.

  11. 101
    how to make a man want you

    because men are simply unfaithful.

  12. 102
    LLuna

    Here is the reason why anyone pulls away, disappears or never calls back. They fear confrontation and telling the truth about how they really feel which will hurt someone and create an uncomfortable atmosphere. They want to avoid an argument. They want to avoid appearing to be a bad person. They are basically cowards. Why do people date each other for long periods of time until things get serious? Many do this because they are simply bored and have no one else to go out with. Yes, many men  go out with the same woman a really long time just for the sex. It relieves so much tension but the tension really comes on if you have to marry her. You want a permanent relationship? Take your time, dont jump into bed so quickly and figure out all the nuances before you commit. After that, be willing to make changes for the betterment of your relationship and stop being so selfish. Signed: Just a good ole boy.

  13. 103
    Kaba4

    I have read through and appreciate the mens point of view, but as usual, their advise is when a man disappears, GET OVER IT!!!!  How about this guys:

    How about men get over this….  women will never ever ever understand or accept having someone act as if they are in love, then disappear.  It will never, ever, ever, ever, ever be okay to a woman.  We will never get over it.  You can say that someone like me shouldn’t be dating.  Well that’s a complete copout and frankly really angers me.  It is never okay to take advantage of another human being.  Why is it the woman who always has to change into a robot, instead of the men developing a set of balls?  

    I know, you are going to say that I have misunderstood you and that you don’t condone the disappearing act, but in essence when you tell us to get over it or we shouldn’t be dating, you are saying, this will never change.  Well either will a woman’s dream of finding a good, romantic, strong and courageous man who can either commit or if not, look her in the eye and say.  “I am sorry, but, this is not going to work out for me”, before they get her into bed, wind and dine her, charm her and then throw her on the discard pile.  How many women have to express the same thing with different words before someone starts a training program that teaches men to be real men instead of just trying to get women to accept their selfish, childish, coward-like behavior.  I am just sick to death of this.  

    The bottom line is that most men want to have sex with out the obligation.  They will do and say anything to get what they want.  They cannot be bothered finding out what is really inside a womans’ heart.  Remember, I said most, not all men..so don’t get up in arms.  For sure I agree with good ole LLuna…the last thing a woman should do is sleep with a man, not the first, second or third thing.  If you start with the orgasm, there is no where to do from there, you’re supposed to build up to it. 

  14. 104
    Nate G.

    From my own experience: It’s simply because us men get our hopes up so high when we first start getting along well with our dream lady friends… only to get a vibe that she doesn’t feel the same.  We try so hard for the women we love, and we’re lucky to get any kind of response from them – women 99% of the time are indifferent, and toy with our heads to make us beg and plead for them in the end (so it feels like anyway).  It’s because they can, and that’s one of the pains we’re forced to deal with as men. 

    That’s when we give up.  We lose confidence in ourselves to further pursue a woman who we feel is afraid to tell us what (we think) really is going on in her head… that she’s NOT interested, and that all of our efforts are no better than running uphill on ice carrying an anvil.  To us, if she doesn’t respond positively to anything we try, we give up, and move on from them hopefully finding a better (more receptive) woman.

  15. 105
    alterity

    Hear hear, Kaba!
    This player behavior, far more prevalent among men, is not only poor form, but is unethical as it deceptively leads the other person on.  At the heart of the matter, these men want what they can’t have: they love the chase but then are disinterested in the kill, and by pretending to have feelings they don’t have or are highly likely to stop having once they achieve their goal of getting the woman they’ve targeted, they are being dishonest. All the romantic promises are simply promises they never meant to keep. They feel no shame for this, either, and they end up blaming the woman for being “too needy” and “too pushy” when they are finished with her.  Truly sick and twisted.

  16. 106
    John Dear

    If you see this behavior as pervasive and consistent, maybe it’s time to stop thinking of it as a character flaw but instead as being somewhat fundamental to male biology. Personally, in relationships I’ve had, I wasn’t faking it when I acted romantic and close only for it to later slowly peter out — it was just the way I felt. On the same token, I recognize that a lot that may indeed have to do with the fact I’d “achieved the goal” of having sex, though I certainly didn’t consciously think about it that way, it’s just the way I felt. It may be a hard pill for a lot of people to swallow, but I think male and female approaches to relationships may be fundamentally different, and instead of trying to force square pegs into round holes, it might be time to reconsider the whole set of assumptions about the way romantic relationships are supposed to work, and what kind of social structures work best to provide the kind of emotional support we’re looking for. Read ‘The Female Man’ by Joanna Russ.

  17. 107
    Mel

    The guy I’m seeing now is so incredibly different from any other guy I’ve dated. He doesn’t act aloof and leave me guessing wtf is going on. In fact HE is the one that has asked if we’re on the same page in regards to where we’re headed (both agree we eventually want a relationship) and if I feel the same way about him! We both aren’t interested in being with anyone else and not because we think that’s what we ‘should do’ but because that is how we feel. And although we aren’t in a relationship yet he has communicated very clearly what he needs in order to be comfortable to make a full commitment to me. A lot of guys would never tell you what they need. They would just kinda expect you to get it and then take off if you didn’t. We aren’t all mind readers! So yeah there are cool dudes out there. 

  18. 108
    Ray

    I’m not a religious person, but the best definition of ‘love’ I’ve ever seen is in a popular religious text (aka the Bible).  If you are dating someone and they don’t have or aspire to at least some of these qualities, you will be challenged in the long run.  Other religions have equally valuable descriptions. 

    The one line that is relevant to this post

    “Love does not dishonor others”

    What that means to me is that ‘love’ should never create regret, nor am I going to knowingly create part of someone else’s ‘regret’ story. 

    These days, dating is treated as sport… with the idea that the way we treat these supposed strangers or not-so-strangers somehow has no lasting consequence to ourselves or others.  This way of thinking is the biggest reason I will never go back to dating online. 

    There are worse things than being ‘alone’… and that is having my spirit and soul polluted by thoughtless people.   I prefer to date out in the real-world where people have more reason to behave honorably and I can check their ‘references’.   

    So, to answer the original question… why do men pull away from relationships?  Because they can.  

    I agree with some of the other posters that it is pointless to wonder why.   These men wouldn’t make good friends, much less good partners.  
      
       

  19. 109
    Christy

    I must admit I fell victim to the disappearing act. The first date he came on strong, the attraction was intense. He told me he was looking for a relationship with a good real woman. The second date, intense intimate details about each others lives are exchanged. He tell me he hasn’t had a connection like this in years. We both doable our profiles on the dating site we met on. Third date I again state my wish to move slowly, get to know each other better before sex. He invites me into his house, I go, he comes on real strong, reassures me that we are good, I’m not gonna name a mistake by sleeping with him. So I caved. We agree we are dating after that. We see each other one more time. Fantastic time, very intense, he tells me how much he is attracted to me, what an awesome person I am, blah blah blah. I had to go on a cruise with friends that weekend, so I sent him a text when I left, telling him how I had thought of him that day, and I couldn’t way to see him, he sent back that he wold miss me. I get back, text him im back, he texts back how he missed me and he was gonna call me that night……..and that was it. All done.. Nothing else.. I waited three days for him to call. Sent a text asking what’s up..nothing…..sent an e mail asking him to let me know where he
    stood with us…..nothing…so I sent one last e mail two days later said goodbye, told him that the way he treated me was wrong, and to please never treat another woman this way again, cause it’s just wrong, so very wrong.

    This thread has helped me to understand that I may have to deal with this again, don’t succumb to intense sexual feelings, and try to not take it so personally. He’s a coward, and a coward is not someone I should be involved with in the first place.

  20. 110
    bumblebee

    Oh no, no, no.
    Every relationship problem is caused by ONE thing: Sexism.
    A human being, as a citizen of the united states, should be able to pursue, life, liberty, and happiness. Unfortunately, men are the only people who got this message. They break up with people left and right, cheat around, decide when they feel like getting married, move around, go out and blow you off, hit you, etc etc.
    Women missed the message. The men were covering their ears.
    Act like they do. Talk the talk. You have to communicate with people in their own language. YOU ARE AN AUTONOMOUS ENTITY. Pursue YOUR dreams, who cares about other people. Pursue YOUR career goals. Sure, date dudes, but when you get tired of them DO NOT expend more energy. Dump them just like they dump you. Text it to them just like they text it to you.
    Are you tired from work and really don’t feel like dealing with your boyfriend all over you, even though you had plans? CANCEL. Go out with your friends and only answer or check you phone when you HAPPEN to pick it up.
    You’ll never be happily married, or anything like that, but nobody is. Have you seen divorce rates?? People who end up happily married are a minority. And they are lucky. You could be too. But most likely you won’t be.
     
    I think this is what women are missing, and men get PISSED when you act this way.
    Because it is sexism. The whole attitude, is sexism.
     
    Women you will be a LOT happier in your personal and dating lives if you just worry about yourself. Don’t be selfish…but only WORRY about yourself.
    Men only worry about #1. And they are always their own #1.
    Thats why he’ll blow you off for a million things or make a million excuses. Because really its just HIM thats the problem.
    People can do anything they set their minds to, its amazing.
    If he wanted to live with you, HE WOULD. If he wanted to see you every night HE WOULD. If he wanted to move in with you, HE WOULD. If he wanted to get married, no matter how hard the obstacles, HE WOULD.
     
    Men will respect and hate you at the same time. Because they are born sexist and do not know how to handle you being an ACTUAL independent person. Not just independent to an extent. TOTALLY INDEPENDENT WITHOUT NEED OF ANYTHING FROM ANYBODY.
     
     

  21. 111
    bumblebee

    Guys will literally cry if you act like this, its the greatest thing.
    It goes from him never respecting a god damn thing and taking hours to return phone calls, to:
    “babbbbbe? uhmmmmmm what are you doing? i miss you. i’ll be over at 8 tonight”

    but see, you must maintain, and reply with:
    “i’m watching some tv right now. i’m going to be making some dinner and cleaning up later on then my friend is probably going to come over.”
    “uhmmmmmmmmm soooo when can i see you?”
    “i’m not sure, my show just came back from commercials, i’ll talk to you later”
     
     
    and then all of a sudden offering to buy you fancy things, or suddenly for the first time remembering you favorite kind of treat and bringing it to you, or actually giving a flying shit about how upset you are over your friend being a jerk.
     
    and all of this is funny. and then when he gets annoying, break up. when he calls you too much, break up. don’t be understanding. they never are.

  22. 112
    bumblebee

    Don’t let yourself be the victim. Don’t open your ribcage up and expose your heart.
    What type of effective animal would do this? They’d all be dead and weeded out by natural selection.
    Worry about yourself. Hook up with a guy and don’t feel bad about not calling them back. Date him for a year and then randomly end it when you just don’t feel like it anymore.
    People treat people how they want to be treated. And with all the bullshit men do to women, they are just ASKING for it.
    There aren’t nice guys. I literally do not care what anybody says. You can’t decide for yourself if you’re nice.
    Nice would be someone sweet and caring who cares about other people and their feelings. Someone who is courteous and respectful, agreeable, and thoughtful. someone you can have a deep conversation with.
    Men are only nice BEFORE you have sex with them. After they get what they want (biologically, emotionally, mentally, socially = sex), they abandon all consideration for you.
    Women are the only people who keep relationships going after sex.
    And men only do it before sex, but with ulterior motives, so it doesn’t count.

    1. 112.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      No triple posting, Bumblebee.

      That’s not sexist; it’s just one of the rules of this blog.

  23. 113
    Sayanta

    Bumblebee-

     I think that gets the award for most depressing posts(s) of the year. 

  24. 114
    Cher

    I read Evan’s book about why men disappear and followed all the rules.  I let him pursue, never making first contact, just responding when he did.  I had never tried this before so was optimistic, the relationship began to blossom, we were very compatible and even waited over 2 months to have sex.  Things were fine for about a month after that, then the fading act began.  I still did not pursue, I also never “had the talk” feeling that things should just happen naturally.  Over a period of a few more months, the dates were once a month and the calls once a week.   This is still the case and quite honestly, I am just considering not answering the phone anymore.  Wierd thing is, we haven’t even had sex on these once a month dates, they do feel like a date but thats not a part of it.  It’s like we are going forward, we aren’t breaking up and we aren’t hooking up.  Reading this blog has helped in that  you have all said, sometimes there is not explanation, doing everything right might still not be right and thats just what is.  I don’t think I’ll answer when he calls again, there really isn’t a point.  But Evan has also taught me that every man is different and there is someone that will act like a boyfriend and be one, hope springs eternal. 

  25. 115
    Goldie

    @Cher, IMO it’s time to move on. I read Why He Disappeared too, (after I did everything wrong, had a guy disappear on me, but not before I totally humiliated myself in front of him) and followed all the rules with two people that I’d met online at the same time. One kept flaking out on me, the other one kept following through, staying in touch and treating me well. Initially I had more chemistry with the flaky guy, but things came to a point where I realized I had to say good-bye to him and stick with the other one. Three months, so far so good, I’m having a great time and so, I hope, does he :) BTW in response to my good-bye email, the flaky one told me “I like you, but don’t know you well enough yet to commit, and actually I’m not ready for a relationship right now” took a good-bye letter to get that information out of him!
     
    IMO the goal of Why He Disappeared isn’t to get an unreliable guy to suddenly become reliable — he can’t — it is to protect yourself so the unreliable guy cannot do too much damage, as well as to avoid coming across as too needy and scaring the good ones off. Good luck!

  26. 116
    peg

    Thank you for sharing insights about the “disappearing act”… A man recently did that to me after a one year friendship/relationship.
    I am certain he will return. And not sure how I wil respond. He’s having an identity crisis at the age of 54, I am 47. He has sold or given away everything and is trying to start a new life/ career. He is doing some traveling and I have no idea where he is at the moment. I offered to travel with him but I thInk he wants to struggle on his own and finds “too much comfort” with me. I swear he is like a petulant child who doesn’t have the ability to express his feelings or explain himself. I feel we have a deep emotional bond and Im finding it difficult to let go. But it has helped me to recognize that his behavior and leaving with no explanation is an act of disrespect, cowardice, unethical and unkind. I also realize it may have nothing to do with me. Even knowing this doesn’t take away or minimize the hurt. If you love something set it free…I will now move on, and I hope I have the courage to stand my ground when he returns.
    Sometimes love is not enough.

  27. 117
    Shana M

    I am in the process of being a victim..I dated a guy back in 1996 we had a summer romance and it was lovely..We were in absolute love..than I had to go back to school and love came to a close.  Within that year after going back to college he would come down to my school and we were physical often..than as time went on years past.I moved on and so did he.  long story short he got married 2 kids than divorced.  I myself had a child but never married.  We hooked up by way of FB almost 2 years ago and that was it..almost 20 years later and we fell in love all over again.  After 1 year of being reunited I was feeling uncomfortable with how much he would be at the house of the baby Mama,,,I love the fact he said he was with the kids…but late in the night.  I voiced my concerns and he was upset.  I felt so bad until he broke one of our visits and showed up after 11 and said he was visiting the kids.  I got upset and really felt there was something a little bit extra going on with the ex-wife.  He claimed all allegations were false but I begged the differ.  But during our conversations about this more of his feelings came out about how relationships weren’t his thing..so i started feeling insecure..so I thought I’d get out before he really hurts me.  but it backfired because he totally withdrew after that short breakup.  he is not the same..no sweet text..he hardly calls me..when I see him its all love but away our communication is awful.  We have a long distance relationship to where were 4 hours away.  Those little things we used to do would sustain us between visits but now its drying up..I really do love him and miss him so much..at this point I don’t know what to do..I am so devastated and broken hearted..

  28. 118
    Jennifer

    They tend to freak when they start getting close to you and have to go to their safe place and regroup. They always come back.

  29. 119
    Amy

    I managed to read through the majority of these posts and have to agree highly that having a male vanish on you is extremely disrespectful.
    I too, have just been through the same situation however we were “casually” seeing one another and when feelings were both admitted he told me it was over and it was an unhealthy situation. I spent a week of whinging and messaging him in hopes he would return when eventually i realised I was over the games and started dating someone else. Of course, he returned admitting how strong his feelings were however saying he wished we had waited before discussing them. I returned to him and had one night of perfection. He had told me that night we should talk about the things discussed in our text messages. I told him it was best to wait until he was sure about what he wanted to say.
    Over the coming weeks his messages became less then I called for some closure and was told he needed some space and asked if that was not okay. I said yes however took to sending him a text message almost every single day for a month to either ask for my things back, to gain some closure or to just tell him i missed him. It’s now been over a month since I have heard a word and I can’t work out if I am at fault for having not respected his need for space or if “space” was just a polite way of bailing. I am aware that I need to move on (easier said than done) but I just cannot seem to get past the fact that I deserve a response, some honesty and above all closure.

  30. 120
    Jem

    Having recently been on the receiving end of a ‘disappearing guy’ act I can tell you it hurts. We were travel companions for a while – going into the city together on the train – and used to sit together and talk the whole journey long. Before Christmas he gave me his business card and said we should connect up via LinkedIn. I duly did when I got to my office and within minutes he emailed me with some jokey remark about not having enough to keep me busy in the office signing it off with his initial and a X (kiss). I was rather blown away as I really found him quite attractive physically and mentally but had no clue that he might like me in the same way. He then invited me to go for breakfast on one of the following mornings before work and we spent the whole time at the restaurant talking and laughing about stuff. When we left he kissed me and it turned into a full on ‘snog’ which is really teenager-ish for someone my age (50) but so nice! There then followed a number of get togethers at his apartment and I was keen for him to know it was a relaxed relationship (FWB type approach) which he said he needed as he was still married (10mths separated and very messy situation). it seemed the perfect set up – great physicality, great personality, great laughs and he was always on the text or email. He suggested we have a break together with hotel and theatre. He also invited me to his for dinner so it was not just wham bam thank you mam. After that dinner date, the contact almost dried up. I was very confused but cut him slack as I know his job and his wife/kids were all sources of stress and it was not my place to  hassle him on top of all that.  I had a birthday in between the dinner date and the weekend away and not a single word to wish me a happy birthday. I was really hurt but tried to just maintain a dignity and not be clingy on a text/email! When I hadn’t heard the week before our supposed weekend away, I text him and asked if it was still on. He said yes and apologised for being so quiet but that he had been very stressed with work/the family situation.

    We then had our weekend away in a fine hotel with a great evening show and drinks/dinner. We talked and laughed the whole time just like we had been before and it was just great. The journey home was going OK till I mentioned his new apartment that he was moving to at the end of the month. I said, I don’t expect I will see you before you move to your new place. He then announced he would not be able to say when he could seem me as he had ‘so much going on’. It was a total slap in the face after the weekend we had just had. The conversation was a little ‘strained’ after that but as I had to give him a lift home I just shrugged it off and hoped I was misreading the signs.

    A month on and apart from one email in response to one I sent (I finally cracked after days of silence)there is nothing. Not a single text, email, anything.

    I went up to town this week and there he was on the train. We sat together and chatted as we used to but I felt I was walking on eggshells and really wanted to ask why he felt it was OK to have treated me like my feelings didn’t matter. Of course I didn’t. I just chatted like nothing had ever taken place between us at all.

    He gave me a kiss on the cheek at the station and we went our separate ways.

    Now – if any man out there can tell me that he was not just looking for someone to have sex with over the Christmas / New Year break because he was on his own and feeling sorry for himself, I will call you a liar! I believe I went into the relationship thinking it was a growing one and clearly I was totally wrong.

    I am left hurt and confused and unable to articulate to him how I feel as there is now no contact other than if we bump into each other whilst commuting. It may feel perfectly OK for him, but I am the one feeling like he just did the squatting dog on my feelings!

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