How To Avoid a Sudden Disappearing Act

Name: Joyce
State: VA
Age: 52
Comment: When your this age finding a mate is much harder, few good ones to chose from.  I met the man I thought was perfect for me, on line.  We saw each other for one week (yes we had sex)when he called and told me he had just ended a 7 month relationship only two months prior and felt he still needed more time.  OK So I told him I had felt we had potential, was sorry that he felt that way, respected his wish, never called or tried to contact him.

One week later he texts and calls and asks me if I could help him with a gardening project (my main hobby) and could he buy me dinner. I agreed, we start seeing each other.  Taking weekend romantic trips, spending most days and each weekend together.  Doing projects around his house to make it more homey for him.  He was at my house or me at his 90% of our off working hours.  We laughed together to the point of tears, often. Spoke the love words, even talked about me renting my home and moving in with him. Then bammmmmm! He drops the I just want to be friends line on me.  Say’s we’ll be life long friends. What gives?

What gives is that it became too close to an actual relationship so he bailed. The first sign that this was going to happen was that he came back to you just one week after telling you he wasn’t ready to date anyone. He did what a lot of people do and he took the whole “dating” thing off the table, thereby removing the pressure and obligation. As long as things stayed that way, simple and uncomplicated and undefined, things would be fine. But if you started to appear to be applying pressure or developing expectations in any way, this guy was going to bail.

Spoke the love words, even talked about me renting my home and moving in with him.

Okay.Something had to happen between this and when he gave you the boot. I’m not suggesting it’s something you did. My guess is that the topic got brought up in passing, off hand.  It was just something to say because it felt right in the moment. Or it was a response to something you said and you heard what you wanted to hear. Whatever the case, you brought it up again, demonstrating to him that he possible locked himself in to something. So he bailed.

This guy was never going to stick around long term. Not in the capacity that you wanted. Like I said above, as long as things were easy to manage and involved little actual commitment, he stuck around.

The other red flag was his claim to still be grieving his 7 month relationship. Really? He got past all that residual stuff in a week? A couple months, maybe. But a week? Any time a man tells you upfront that he’s “just gotten out of something” avoid him. You don’t want to be anyone’s first post-breakup anything. That situation is fraught with all kinds of landmines. Online dating sites seem to be filled with men “just” out of a relationship or “dipping their toe back in to the dating pool.” Avoid, avoid, avoid. They are too beaten up and/or too caught up in the novelty of the whole online dating process to be available enough for a substantive relationship. Just looking to casual date someone? then give’ em a whirl.  But if you are someone who only wants a long-term relationship, these people are not for you.

Like we said the other night, usually when a man makes a decision to cut ties, it’s permanent. If he does come back and  behaves in a way that is inconsistent to his reasons for ending things, be on red alert. He either left in order to change the rules and get rid of them. Or he left because he met someone else and it didn’t work out. Or because he had no other options and figured you’d do for now.

There’s a reason why he dated his ex for 7 months, I’ll bet. My guess is this guy does this all the time. He meets someone, defines his terms in some way, and as long as things stay open ended to some degree he stays in the relationship. But the minute things appear to be becoming too serious or defined, he moves on.

You were just one more stop on his travels.

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9 Responses to “How To Avoid a Sudden Disappearing Act”

  1. offensivedan Says:

    Yeah, I agree with Moxie. Further, I will say that online dating is a bad way to meet someone for a long- term relationship in my opinion. Online dating sites are full of people, men and women, who have gotten out of a long term relationship or, as they put it, “just dipping their toes into the dating pool.” Or there is some other reason which makes them a bad choice for a long term relationship or unavailable. e.g. too busy. These are bad people to date because they will pull back and bail once a potential “relationship” is staring them in the face.

    Recently, I had this happen to me by a woman who I met on an online dating site. I just did not pick up on it even though she did mention– in one of her early emails,–that she had recentlty gotten out of a long term relationship. Once I started to earnestly pursue her, she was done and gone. It sucked but I learned my lesson. Well, at least I got laid as the band Spacehog sang in one of their songs.

    In summary, OP you are better off not seeing this guy again and I will add don’t have sex so soon. Lastly, ignore his attempts at contact. You will need to be able to handle being “alone” for your sanity and well-being. People like this are a waste of time and do not care about you–only themselves.

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  2. Stacey Says:

    By the same token,online dating is full of people like the OP who are looking for a relationship, but the problem is, because the relationship is the goal in itself, they try to push the person they meet into that goal, rather than seeing how things naturally play out (as more likely happens in real life). For instance, I have gone out with several guys now who act in accordance with a certain rule, date 3, they say they are not seeing someone else, date 5 ask you to take down your online dating profile, a month of dating and the “i love you” comes. They seem to be on some timeline to get married and the other person fits their criteria- but that is suffocating to the other person who eventually bails (even though s/he may have stuck around longer if there was less pressure and demands).

    i think generally people need to relax about their goals and timelines, and just let things progress or not progress naturally. No matter how hard one person tries,it takes two people coming together to make a relationship.

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  3. jojo Says:

    Fear of committment is a big problem with people we meet online. Online dating has become the candy store. And people keep thinking there is sweeter candy in the store or why just eat one candy when we can try others.

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  4. Vox Says:

    I strongly agree with Moxie on this one. Two months after ending a seven month relationship he was claimed he still wasn’t over it? I find that odd. Seven months is a long term relationship when you are 23, but in your 50s it’s just a blip. I think he was laying the groundwork for not getting serious right from the start, probably because the OP really wanted this to turn into a long term relationship. It was just an out for him, one he invoked once things started getting too serious.

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  5. Saj Says:

    Yah seems to be a pattern when things seem to be going well (from her end). The guy puts on the breaks and then pops in later and the woman thinks “Great! maybe he changed his mind and we can progress where we left off” while he thinks “Great! Now we can hang out without her thinking I’m going to be her boyfriend at any point.”

    And then of course both people end up confused as they had different expectations and drama occurs. Just wish people wouldn’t do this but people are greedy for attention in any form.

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  6. Sapphire's mind Says:

    Joyce is 52. What is your hurry? Enjoy your relationship! The guy has issues about the past, and probably afraid of being hurt again. There is still turning point in this. Stay on contact with the man, and you will never know … the table might turn.

    If Joyce is 22, we will not suggest Joyce to hang on with the same man. If you like the guy, give him chance, he is lost at the moment.

    Make excuse to see him again, when the man is in need, and you are around, he will want you.

    At your age, marriage is an option. Not a must, enjoy what you have, and you will never know what the future will bring you.

    Keep the friendship like he suggested, the table might turn.

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    • Vox Says:

      The table is NOT going to turn. Believing it would is what got her into this position in the first place.

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  7. mari Says:

    This sort of thing is so annoying/discouraging – completely agree with Moxie – he wasn’t ready, will probably never be ready, but really likes the attention/companionship and then freaks out. Chalk it up to a fun period of time (except for the ending) but I would skip the friend thing – no point in being friends..suspect you don’t need any more friends..instead would like a boyfriend. Not sure it has all that much to do with meeting him on an online site. I’ve had people do this that I met in real life..may have more to do with being in his 50’s (IMHO). Anyway, after you feel better, go back out, but I would stay away from this guy..

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  8. Horace Says:

    For the early part of our dating lives, the advantage definitely goes to women. In our teens and 20’s, women generally tend to have more options, whether they realize it or not. However, somewhere around our 30’s, the playing field levels out. And while not being old enough to speak to it, I’d bet that there comes an age at which the tables turn, and the advantage flips to men.

    Most likely scenario? This guy probably meets other women, and they think he is a catch, too. I’d bet money that he met and is now interested in a new woman. Being a man, however, he doesn’t want to burn a bridge to a woman, so he plays the “life-long friends” card.

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