About ten years ago I met a man named Stephen at a birthday party for a mutual friend. We chatted, hit it off, and exchanged numbers at the end of the night. I was living in London at the time while he lived here in Toronto, but that did little to slow the flurry of phone calls back and forth.
We clicked over the phone just as well as we had at the party and it wasn’t long before we started trying to make plans to see each other again. But with schedules and distance and other considerations, it was about two or three months before we were able to settle on a date.
In that time, the phone calls got longer and more frequent and the anticipation built. So when the time came to head to Toronto to finally meet up with him I could not have been more excited. I had barely dropped my bags on the floor of my sister’s guest room before I was calling him. And texting him. And emailing him. And calling and texting again when I got no response. Not that night. Not the next day or the next night or the night after that. Despite doing everything short of beating out a message on a tom-tom I never heard from this dude again. He disappeared.
Stephen wasn’t the first to pull a Houdini on me, nor was he the last. But despite the maddeningly high number of times a man has gone ghost on me, I’ve never had the slightest clue as to what goes on in the minds of jackasses who pull this shit…until my favourite commenter on my favourite blog confessed the other day that he is a former disappearing act.
His explanation was charming; filled with sentiments like “leaving a great memory” and “relationships that were perfect in their incompletion” but as much as I wanted to I just couldn’t rock with it. I’m too familiar with the aftermath of a disappearance to have much sympathy for the perpetrators of this crime against humanity.
I’m not really sure whether disappearing men ever stop to think about what goes on in the minds if their victims after they’ve exited stage left, but if they don’t, they should. So today’s post is dedicated to my dear disappearing men…what happened after you went MIA:
1. Desperate attempts to contact you.
Every rule a woman has in her mind about when and how often to contact a dude goes out the window when she’s trying to stop a disappearance in progress. She will do anything she can think of to get in touch with you…and when she fails she will look back in painful humiliation at how pathetic she was.
2. White-knuckled resolve to not think about your disappearance.
Everyone knows that just as a watched pot never boils, a man who disappears will never reappear if you think about it too much. So the woman will do everything she can to get her mind off you; including getting down and dirty with some completely inappropriate dude who will only just end up crossed off her list. Then she’ll end up feeling badly about herself for acting like such a big whorebag.
3. Frantic re-examining of everything that happened between to pinpoint why you disappeared.
Once the sickening realization that all the phone calls and all the inappropriate rebound sex in the world will not bring you back sets in, she’s going to start to wonder what she did to make you go off her so completely. She will re-examine to the most minute detail of everything that ever happened between you. She’ll re-read every text, listen to every voicemail, and make her friends review in painstaking detail every encounter they’ve ever had with you just to find some teeny tiny shred of a clue what is going on in your head.
4. White-knuckled resolve not to think about you.
Once she’s completed her review of the situation and come up with nothing, she’s gonna go back to trying not to think about you. It won’t work though; it will just keep nagging at her. You’re not the kind of person who would do this – maybe something happened to you? This just feels so unfinished…maybe she should make one more last-ditch attempt to talk to you? As hard as she tries to push you out, your little asshole head is going to keep popping up in her mind.
5. Furious anger at you for being such a punk ass pussyhole panty meat.
After the mental gymnastics have thoroughly exhausted her, fury is going to set in. Friends who ask whether she’s heard from you will be answered with rage-filled diatribes about no and she hopes she never does and there is nothing you could possibly say for yourself. The anger isn’t real of course; it’s just covering up the hurt of being rejected and the embarrassment of trying to get your attention. Deep down she knows that and feels like a fraud.
6. Resigned acceptance and moving on.
Sooner or later she’ll get tired of not knowing what happened and tired of feeling like shit about it. She’ll push you to the far recesses of her mind and move forward. It will still nag at her; but she’ll do the best she can not to focus on it. She’ll meet someone else and get caught up in new-man excitement.
7. White-knuckled resolve not to think about what you did or expect the next man to do it too.
Ah see here’s the thing. She’s let go. She moved on. She found a new dude and is caught up in the fun of getting to know him. You should be the farthest thing from her mind. Except now she’s wary of everything new dude says. He seems sincere but then again so did you when you were new dude and we all know how that turned out. She used to be cool but now she needs a little more reassurance, she holds him to unreasonably high standards to prove his interest. She watches him more closely than either of them are comfortable with because she’s looking for a sign he might disappear. She’s become that girl.
So disappearing man, are you happy with yourself? Not only did you bounce without a backward glance, but you left in your wake a girl who is frustrated, confused, slutty, annoying, angry, and needy. Because you didn’t have the stones to just look her in the face and tell her why you were done. You suck.
But what do you guys think? Ladies have you been the victim of the disappearing man? Was it hard for you to get past it or am I some kind of psycho? Men have you pulled this on someone before? Why? Weigh in in the comments.