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Ghost Life: Why Do Some Guys Just Disappear?

“I’m done dating men!” my frustrated friend recently yelled at a house party. We were drinking Moscow mules, and I nearly spit mine all over him as he deserved. My friend can’t possibly mean that, can he? How am I supposed to live vicariously through him if he’s not dating anymore? I took a deep breath and pressed my friend for the reason. The explanation was surprisingly simple: a guy ghosted. All at once, it made sense.

You know how ghosting works: One day you’re happily texting, and the next, no response from the other party. Sometimes it’s a guy you’ve known for a while or a casual hookup. More often, ghosting is a product of casual dating. In my friend’s case, the guy just didn’t show up for a date––and this isn’t the first time it’s happened to him. A month before, a different guy stopped responding after a second date. My friend is really good looking, has a great job, he’s kind, and fun to be around. So why did this happen?

I’ve been ghosted a few times in my life, and in my early twenties, it was the hardest to handle. It was easy to take it personally. However, over the years, I realized that this has happened to pretty much everyone that I know, and the story is always the same: I thought everything was cool, and then, out of nowhere, he disappeared.

So, why do guys do this? Are these men commitment-phobes? Was he never interested in meeting? Or is he secretly just an 80-year-old man catfishing for nudes? Ghosting seems to be a mystery wrapped in another mystery, but I still tried to solve it––and the answer I found is pretty direct.

Since it’s impossible to know what someone else is thinking without asking, I solicited ghosters for their reasons. I read blogs and asked some friends, and while the answers varied, they had a common ground. One ghoster I spoke to admitted that he disappeared on a guy because he was no longer interested. Yet, the ghoster claims to be a “people pleaser,” and he didn’t want to upset anyone. Another ghoster said he slept with his last date, shared laughs, and even secrets. Suddenly, he felt in over his head and wanted out. When faced with the choice to talk or disappear––he screened every call, never responded, and waited for it to end.

From what I found, ghosters do it because they just don’t “feel it” anymore. One day, dating seemed like a good idea and the next, not so much. Whatever the motive, the ghoster usually felt bad. He knows that it only takes a moment to text or call someone. Sure, the other person might get mad, but if the ghoster can’t even communicate, he’s probably not ready for a relationship.

As for my friend, he’s back to dating and not taking it very seriously. This is good for me because I don’t have to stage an intervention or stop hearing the dirty details of his dating life. Hopefully, a future guy won’t disappear. If it does happen, I’ll take him out for a Moscow mule, and we’ll cheer that he likely avoided another dud.

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