Why men go “poof”

David CopperfieldVanish. Disappear. Do a David Copperfield.

I’ve pondered this a lot, as it’s happened often. I’ve interviewed men friends. The following is what I’ve gleaned.

If you don’t hear from a guy after one date, it’s clear he’s not interested. No problem, even though it’s classier to send a nice email stating such. But what if you’ve gone out 2, 3 or more times? You seem to enjoy each others’ company. You have fun. Laugh. Good conversation. Some hand holding. Maybe some kissing. Maybe more. Then poof. He’s gone. Without a word.

Here are my theories on why he disappears. He goes poof without so much as an “I’m not feeling it,” “I thought we were a match, but now I don’t think so,” “I’m looking for casual dating and it seems you want more,” “We want different things, so I don’t think we should continue seeing each other,” “I’ve decided to focus on someone else (or get back with my ex),” “You’re a wonderful woman, but I’m not feeling chemistry,” or “I just wanted a booty call.”

  • He doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, and doesn’t know how to say (in person, phone or writing) any of the above. So he thinks it’s best to stop contact and hope you’ll get the message.
  • He doesn’t want any drama. He’s had experience — or heard stories — of otherwise reasonable women going ballistic when a guy cuts her loose. Lots of yelling, crying, blaming, name calling, insulting his manhood or ancestors, perhaps throwing items — at him, down stairwells, out windows.
  • He doesn’t feel connected enough to you to feel he owes you any explanation.
  • This is his pattern and it’s worked for him in the past, so he sees no reason to actually communicate with a woman he’s been seeing and now decides to drop.
  • He doesn’t like something fundamental about you (your shape, kiss, laugh, personality) and he’s afraid if he tells you he’s moving on, you’ll ask why. He doesn’t want to have to tell you are a bad kisser/lover, have bad breath/BO, don’t dress sexily, aren’t smart enough, are too smart, etc. So to avoid an uncomfortable conversation, he disappears. (See “Broaching tough conversations.”)
  • He doesn’t feel he can satisfy you sexually. One man told me that if there have been a few attempts and a man hasn’t satisfied the woman he will leave, as he feels it reflects on him. So rather than face the possibility that he is a bad lover, or be humiliated if she tells him or tries to suggest changes, he’ll leave. (See “An excuse to seduce or how important is sexual compatibility?“)
  • He doesn’t think you can satisfy him sexually. He has ED and wants you to put everything back the way it used to be. When he can’t perform, you are history. He thinks there must be a sexy woman out there who can get it working again.
  • He doesn’t think he can make you happy. You have (or desire) a champagne lifestyle and he has a beer-budget job. He knows he can’t give you what you want or expect, so disappears into the night.
  • He prefers other priorities/activities (work, sports, kicking with the guys) to hanging out with you.
  • He’s involved with someone else. He’s auditioning you for spare gal (for when his alpha woman isn’t available) or to replace his current one. He decides he’s happier with his current squeeze. How would he possibly say that to you?

I’m sure women must vanish for similar reasons, but since I don’t date women, I don’t know.

Why do you think men disappear without letting you know they’re moving on?

(For suggestions on how you can say goodbye with class, see “50 ways to leave your lover? 4 ways NOT to leave your suitor” and “Hello — goodbye: How to say no thanks after meeting.”)

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Explore posts in the same categories: Dating after 40, Getting your dating attitude on, Releasing back into the dating pool

56 Comments on “Why men go “poof””

  1. uewoso Says:

    Got your list of requirements for “he’s baaack.”
    Good to get your list out front.
    BTW, what do you bring to the table by way of reciprocity? We live in a time of equality, so, what do you offer in the way of opening doors, calling every day, etc?

  2. Hi Joel:

    I list some of what I offer in the job description posting I referred to. In my research, it seems men don’t want tit for tat reciprocity. They don’t want me to open the door, and in fact, most don’t like it if I do. However, I am always appreciative for any acts of thoughtfulness and respond with a “thank you,” smile, touch on the arm, kiss and other affection. I am verbally affirmative and encouraging. I cook them homecooked meals. I laugh at their attempts to be funny. And I make ’em laugh!

    Also, I learn what behaviors mean for them that I care. If they don’t care that I cook, but really care that I acknowledge them, I focus more on that. It’s different for each of us, and I want to find out what they interpret as caring behaviors.

  3. Sandy Says:

    Why do men disappear? I believe because they can’t handle any type of drama little or big. They don’t want to deal with guilt, tears, or what ever their imagination tells them a woman is going to do. Most women over 40 can graciously accept I just don’t “fill in the blank” for you, they don’t need to exhibit any signs of drama. Disappointment sure, but hey, that is what dating is all about, you try it, if it works great, if not you move on. No sense in dwelling over a what if. Life is too short to wonder why some guy didn’t think you were the one. Ladies at this stage of our lives letting go is truly one thing that should be done.

  4. Bruce Daley Says:

    This is just one of the ways men are different than women. Most typically men will not call back because they don’t know their real reasons not wanting to see a woman. (And it is also true they don’t usually know why they want to see a woman) At some level they just decide these women are not for them. I know this is hard to for women to understand and from a female perspective is extremely rude. To a male perspective it is much more efficient that way – he avoids introspection, confrontation, drama, and leaves the door open in the future. One way to handle it might be to email him “if you ever want to see me again, I need to hear from you in X days”. That might do the trick!

  5. Sandy — thanks for sharing your views. It seems we’re pretty much in agreement.

    I don’t think we “dwell” on it — we just wonder how we could have had such different impressions of what was happening. She (I) thought it was going fine — perhaps even great — then he poofs. Although I think I’m a good reader of people, obviously I’m not (and I think many women are not) in this area.

    And yes, letting go is good. See my posting “They come, they go” for a zen take on dating.

  6. Bruce — “from a female perspective is extremely rude. ” I’m afraid you’re right — it does seem rude.

    «To a male perspective it is much more efficient that way – he avoids introspection, confrontation, drama, and leaves the door open in the future.»

    Yes, that open door policy. But doesn’t he realize that when he poofs he nearly always slams that door shut, with few exceptions? Or perhaps he doesn’t care.

    «One way to handle it might be to email him “if you ever want to see me again, I need to hear from you in X days”.

    Interesting. I thought guys didn’t like ultimatums?

  7. Liz Says:

    I am a woman, and more than once after one or two dates I have just stopped returning phone calls if I wasn’t interested. I didn’t see the point in calling somebody to say, “Hi. I just called to say I don’t want to date you anymore.”

  8. Hi Liz — I always at least email them if I don’t want to continue or shift to friends. I like completion and don’t like being left hanging so don’t want to do that to others.

  9. Bruce Daley Says:

    No one likes ultimatums, but because the power is in hands of the person being called (or emailed) letting him know that he will have to declare an interest in order to maintain his position does not strike me as unreasonable. Don’t be surprised after X days if he never calls, but then again that is the point of the exercise — to know where you stand.
    * Which Merriam-Webster defines as a “final proposition, condition, or demand; especially : one whose rejection will end negotiations and cause a resort to force or other direct action”

  10. Liz Says:

    Dating Goddess, I really can’t say that I have done this recently. I am actually thinking back a few years, and I don’t know that email was quite as prevalent at the time that I did this. I had email, but I don’t know that it was a normal means of communication at the time. I actually agree with you that at least an email should be sent. And I probably should have made a quick phone call or at least answered the phone. I mentioned it to point out that sometimes women think that way, not to say that what I did was actually the right thing.

  11. Liz — yes, I know what you mean. I work to consistently do what I know is right, but am not 100%.

    Thanks for reading and sharing.


  12. Mitsy Says:

    I think this is the #1 most disappointing thing about online dating for me. I am 46 and continue to believe that men should not play games with women like they did in their 20’s or even 30’s. Doing a disappearing act after so many dates is just not very chic in my opinion. In fact, it’s downright tacky. No wonder there are many discussion boards online which talk about online dating and the “ghosting” of these very men who claim to want long-term relationships. I am here to tell you that the majority of the men I’ve met online don’t know what the hell they want. Too many have unfinished business with their ex’s, have too many demands in their parenting roles, money issues, or they simply get bored with a woman once they are sure she’s interested. I swear once they know you might be a keeper, you don’t look nearly as enticing to them, so they quit trying very hard. This has happened to me more than a couple times. I think games are for kids and if a man cannot decide what he wants BEFORE putting his profile online, then he needs some therapy. I wish there were a better screening process for women to know before they get involved with one of these types. If I had known beforehand about some things, I would not have gone on even one date with some of them.

  13. Mitsy:

    Help us know what questions you would have asked before you met a guy for coffee or at the first date to help determine if he was ready for a relationship.

  14. Mitsy Says:

    I think I would have found out a bit more about his status with the ex-wife or about his parenting style/responsibilities. I remember asking the train engineer guy if he actually had time to date and he replied that he did. Turns out that his work schedule (not my work schedule) was a constant obstacle. I’m not saying a whacky schedule can never work–it just proves a lot harder and I’m finding a lot of men not willing to work around that in order to have a semi-normal dating life.

    I also believe it is paramount, and I can’t emphasize this enough…that the guy is completely divorced from his ex. Not in the process, separated, or waiting on the final papers to be signed. They need to be divorced completely and preferably at least have this a few months (or more) behind them. I don’t want to be a guy’s rebound woman.

    Since my bad experience with the train engineer, I won’t go near a guy’s profile after I see “separated” in the marital status column.

  15. Mitsy Says:

    Also on the parenting issue, if the kid is underage, that makes the odds of having time to date much harder. I don’t want a guy who isn’t going to live up to his parenting duties, but I also realize that “dating” might not be a priority for him either. Train engineer guy had custody of his daughter, but proved to be a pretty poor excuse as a father and as a dating partner. He could do neither well.

  16. I think he "poofed" on me, but... Says:

    I think the man I was getting close to from work has disappeared on me now.
    We worked together for 2 years, and the last year, 06, I thought we were getting closer. I say thought because now he’s just disappeared. We spent huge amounts of time talking after work, or just walking around on our breaks talking, even emailing each other outside of work. I thought we were connecting and we even hooked up after all this time talking and getting to know each other. I thought we both enjoyed ourselves, and that we could continue on.
    Then in Dec. 06 our company shut down and we were laid off. He said he needed some time to get things together, okay, he said to be patient, okay, he said to trust him, okay, he explained that things were complicated in his life right now and he needed to take care of things, okay, I knew about his past pretty much so I understood where he was coming from on that, then he said he knew he was asking a lot of me, okay, and wanted me to stay loyal to him, okay, and not to be jealous, okay, and that he wouldn’t cheat on me, okay, and he really liked me…etc. You get the picture I’m sure. Needless to say, a few emails here and there since Dec. 06 is about the sum of our contact since. And I honestly don’t know why he even bothered since for the most part they were pretty much generic. I haven’t called him, I haven’t hounded him with emails, I haven’t even gone to his house. I’ve just been waiting.
    I don’t know if I’ve been played or I’m being tested. Either way he’s disappeared and I feel hurt and disappointed to say the least. Why do some men feel the need to put on such a display just to get out of hurting your feelings if they really aren’t into you? Why put so much effort into knowing you just to disappear? I just don’t get it.

    Anyway thanks for a great site, it’s become a daily stop for me now. 🙂

  17. Gatti Says:

    “Some time to get things together” was the big clue. Whenever anyone says this, man or woman, it means “I am giving you the gentle drop”. And it does hurt when it happens.

    I think you’re doing the right thing to not contact him. The best thing to do now is to get out and do stuff that is fun, even if you don’t feel like it. Waiting for that call or email to come will hurt. Trust me, I’m speaking from VAST experience here!

    And as we say…”Next!!” Good luck and I agree with you, great stuff here at DG’s, I stop in most days myself.

  18. Shawn Says:

    Oh, please. I am a man, and only one thing stood out to me that made sense in your list.

    Think about this: 90% of men have an affair because the woman does not satisfy him.

    75% of women have an affair because of an emotional need for closeness.

    #1 reason a man goes poof: The woman he is seeing just does not do it for him in the bedroom. This is assuming that it is a good man that can “bring it on!” in the bedroom.

    #2 reason: This particular woman is bringing all the typical woman problems: No job, or low paying job, health problems, does not take care of herself (how could she possibly take any care of a man?), medical problems, emtional problems, mental problems from past relationships, etc, etc.

    If you want a really good man, then work on yourself, bring something to the relationship,

  19. Gatti Says:

    I have to disagree with you, Shawn. Sometimes a woman thinks that everything is fine, and then he’s gone. No reason.

    For your reason number one: gee, you mean he just noticed that she isn’t hot in bed? What was happening before? And is it only she who is the keeper of the flame? Isn’t this a two way street, keeping passion alive? And what about the fellow who doesn’t take care of himself, doesn’t wash, gets out of shape, is too tired, is more interested in his mates or sport?

    And as for number two: ask the Dating Goddess about women with high salaried jobs, perfect health, good grooming, sorted emotions and STILL the guy goes -poof-, due to cold feet, commitment issues, or the many other reasons that DG listed in her post.

    If you want a really good woman, then work on your yourself, bring something to the relationship.

  20. Mari Says:

    This is my first time visiting the site but found it helpful in my quest for answers to the misteries of the male mind. I’m not over 40, I’m actually 30 but I’ve found that no matter what age men are most, if not all, act the same. I was recently dating someone for a little over two weeks. He was 6 years younger than I but I thought he was very mature for his age. We spent countless nights on the phone, went out on dates frequently, he was a gentlemen, he was attentive, and every comment that came out of his mouth was how great I was and how great each evening was. He even made me promise not to cheat on him and that if I ever found someone better than him to let him know and to be honest. I agreed and asked the same from him. We even spoke about not wanting just booty calls, that we wanted to continue to date, have fun, and let things evolve on their own. During this time, his recently separated father is dating my friend. He was happy to see his father happy but didn’t approve of their PDA in front of him and his father’s constant conversation about my friend. Needless to say, the last time we were all together he almost got into an agrument with his father regarding his needing to man up and not get taken advantage of by women. I asked him not to argue with his father at the restaurant and for him to wait until everyone was sober and clear minded. He agreed but was still steaming. Before and after the “almost” agrument, he was great with me. He was starring at me lovingly, huged, and kissed me. But right before I dropped him off at home he turned and told me he didn’t want to get into a serious relationship with me right now. I then reminded him of our previous conversation and that we both agreed to take it slow. He then said he has always been in a serious relationship and that right now he didn’t want to get tied down. Which he told me of, he was with his ex for four years and was engaged to her but they broke up at the end of 2005. He then exits the car but before he gets out gives me a kiss and tells me to call him. I called him the next morning to discuss conversation from the night before but to my surprise, did not answer nor has he called. I was assured by others that he’s not with another girl. So what went wrong? What in the world happend? How could he go from hot to cold in a matter of hours? Earlier that day he was making plans for us to go out the following weekend. I just don’t understand. I’m so confused, not to mention hurt.

  21. Gatti Says:

    Good luck, DG….

  22. Gatti Says:

    Maybe because he’s only 24 and has, by your accounts, been in a relationship since he was 19? Maybe he’s just too young for you…

  23. TAS Says:

    Maybe he freaked out a little seeing his Dad date a woman your age. I’m assuming she’s close to your age since she’s a friend and most likely in your age group.
    Maybe there’s issues between him and his Dad you don’t know about. Maybe something he saw that night or was said really got to him. It’s hard to say. Age can play a huge part in relationships too. Even though we deny it in the beginning, a lot of relationships end because of it. I would give him some more time, email him and let him know you are concerned. Give him the ball, it’s his move. You’ve done your part. It’s just a thought. I’m not an expert either…

    In my case he just disappeared after we had known each other for 2 years (friends & lovers). I haven’t given up yet, but it’s not easy. Sometimes they are beyond our control. I hope in my case he comes back soon.

    Good luck, remember to breath.

  24. Mari Says:

    Thanks for the insight and I have thought about it, a lot, and I’ve finally come to terms with this whole situation. I just need to let it go..another bites the dust. The age difference was a huge issue with me but he kept telling me that it didn’t matter and to give him a chance. I do know that there are other personal issues going on with his family. As for my friend, she’s 43 and his dad is 46. I know that his dad getting serious with her this early was bothering him because he kept telling me it was. But whatever the case may be, I thought he would “man-up” and just text, email, or call me and just end things on a good note. I did leave the ball in his hands. I told him that if he was still interested that I would be happy to give us another chance to date slowly. As of yet, one week later, I haven’t heard a thing. All I was looking for was closure and to know what in the world happened. If I did or said something then I want to correct it so that I won’t do it with the next guy I meet. That’s all but I guess that’s too much to ask for. Although, I must say I do feel much better now that I’ve vented a little. Thanks.

  25. jules Says:

    I just had a confusing “poof” experience as well and I can’t quit wondering what went wrong.

    A couple of months ago I reconnected online with my boyfriend of 13 years ago. I broke up with him when we were 21 and I had always thought about him alot. Turns out, he never married or had kids. (I’m divorced with 2 kids)

    We began emailing and then IMing and it was going great. He was definitely the one pursueing and he said so many nice things and how he wished he was with me, we had so much fun dating long ago. (He lives 700 miles away.) He was near me for business and begged me to come see him, but I didn’t have a babysitter, it was short notice and I just couldn’t.

    We made plans to meet in a week and we were both extremely excited. Out of the blue, he IMed me “could you deal with someone who has to travel a lot, but always came home and gave you lots of attention and respect and made you a priority? I said yes, he said that’s good, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

    That was 3 weeks ago and the last time we IMed. He did send me an email a few days later explaining that he had to go to Japan on business and he’d try to email me, he even told me when he’d be home and said maybe he’ll get a break soon and we can meet. But his business is all of the sudden beginning to take off and he needs to take advantage of that while he can.

    I know he is a total workaholic, travels all the time, works 18 hour days, but to not have time to email someone in almost 3 weeks seems like a “poof” to me! I don’t know why he couldn’t just be honest and say he doesn’t have time for a relationship.

    This is a very unsatisfying ending to something I dreamed about for 13 years. I have not contacted except to say initially “have a nice trip, email me if you get a chance, if not, it’s ok, I know your life is hectic right now. ”

    I don’t know if I should just let it go, keep hoping, or email him myself?

  26. Jules — I think when some men get a confirmation that a woman will be there, as you told him you would be OK with his travel, they stop “wooing.” I’ve seen this. Once they think everything is hunky dorey, like if you aren’t seeing others, they get complacent and stop trying.

    So, keep going out with others. And if you’re available when he gets back, pick up. But don’t wait for him.

  27. NY Sharon Says:

    To Mari: “I did leave the ball in his hands.”> I think that you handed him his “balls” in front of his father. He probably felt critcized or that you were acting like his mother.Depending on how that went down. The only way to find out is to ask specifically about this and apologize if you think he was
    To:’I think he went poof on me’>> Sorry but I think he is probably seeing someone else and you are on the back burner for awhile in case it dosen’t work out with the other/others. Also, no seeing you so much at work may have reduced the flame. It is good you don’t call him. You are worth being on the front burner after all the history with him.
    From my experience it is usually that they think there is something better out there and want to keep that door open, or that they are avoiding an uncomfortable discussion. In my personal policy is if I don’t hear from them after 10 days, I cerimonisly delete them from my mobile phone, email list, and im buddy list. If they want to get together or communitcate, it will beup to them. Sometimes they do.

    My own exp

  28. […] truth is, most of them have just gone poof, even after seeing each other 5-7 weeks. Very few men officially “break up” by […]

  29. […] truth is, most of them have just gone poof, even after seeing each other 5-7 weeks. Very few men officially “break up” by […]

  30. Nikki Says:

    i just discovered this site, quite by accident, and it is fascinating. i just had a “poof” experience that has left me feeling disheartened. It was via an internet dating site. we communicated a few times via email and then made plans to meet. the date went GREAT (at least, it seemed to). At the end, I said, “This was fun. thank you.” He said, “Me too. Can we do it again?” I said: Yes. That nite, I emailed him through the Internet dating service’s website simply thanking him for lunch (he paid) and saying it was great to meet him. He wrote back: “Same goes for me. let me check my schedule to see when we can do it again.” That was 10 days ago. no word, nothing. why would a man SAY he wants to see a woman again to her face and then PUT IT IN WRITING and THEN disappear – he just found a profile he liked better on line? I was not only surprised, but i also found it pretty rude.

  31. walt Says:

    I’m a guy, and I wonder if women should be able to tell if the guy they are on a date with is potentially a “poof” kind of guy. While I have broken up with women, I’ve never “gone poof.” Generally, if things aren’t working out on a first date, both of you know it, and there’s no need for any further explanations. But once things have gone to a second date, I think that some conversation, however brief, is necessary if one of you doesn’t want to go further. But I know that a lot of guys don’t observe that rule. It doesn’t matter why he doesn’t want to see you again, it could be for any one of a number of reasons, disappearing without a word is rude and insensitive. So, what is a “poof” guy like? If you cut through any chemistry that may exist between you to try to take an objective look at him, does he seem insincere? Does he look you in the eye? Does he seem self-centered? Is he more interested in talking about himself than knowing you? Has there been an absence of long-term relationships in his past? Does he seem “stable? Is he very into going out drinking with the boys? What say you ladies, is there any way to tell?

  32. Christine Says:

    Walt, if you find the answer to this one, you can start your own talk show!!! How can you tell when a man is a coward? Or when he has learned to avoid conflict at all costs? Or when he feels acting respectfully isn’t edgy enough? These guys come in many fine disguises and fool some of us all of the time.

  33. elyse Says:

    This is a great site… I just came upon this site, & found the input/thoughts on dating interesting/intelligent/helpful.

    I recently had a ‘poof’ dating experience – 1st time in my life – and was a bit blindsided. We had only 3 dates – 1st 2 dates he was 100% into me, 3rd date he was into me, but also seemed a bit in ‘thinking’ mode. After reading a few of the articles here, & thinking about my ‘poof’ experience – I think that at least part of what happened was that I CHANGED in my behavior/manner on the 3rd date – out of fear. Here is what I think happened, in my case – would like to know what others think, overall, about this:

    By the 3rd date, I became overwhelmed by the chemistry/attraction. (mutual attraction)
    This made it difficult to get to the friendship; 2 things happened:
    1. I couldn’t think as well in words (attraction ‘flooded’ my brain), I felt like I was losing my boundaries, in a way (attraction ‘flooded’ my body)
    2. I felt I needed to put up walls, a bit, to slow down/lessen what I felt

    As a result, I started to ‘constrict’, feel smaller/dwarfed by emotion.
    And as result, I found it difficult to ‘take up space’ in a naturally positive way – was less comfortable talking about what engages me, good things – and started to say the negative version of things instead…. Even when the negative version was less than authentic – just as a way to ‘ward off’/slow down the attraction.

    And as a result, I came across as somewhat complaining, not involved in doing life-affirming kinds of things.

    And as a result, I wasn’t someone fun to be around.

    End of story.

    Moral of the story (for me, at least):
    Try not to get too attracted, too soon
    If you do, then still be willing and able to be fully yourself – without putting up false walls to retreat and hide behind.

    What do you think?

  34. hunter Says:

    ……..most men know that, it takes a woman 3-4 dates to warm up to him. He may, not have much dating experience…..

  35. Gayle Says:

    Had a “poof” experience….although, I saw the signs of the man stressing out at work…quitting a job of twenty years….overwhelmed with stuff in his life. We were fine. For months talked everyday…knew exactly when to get a hold of each other…no secrets…I could be at his place when he wasn’t there. Many overnights….confiding in very personal stuff.
    Then…”poof”…I went over to his place, into his house…etc. he was home, but avoided me. Then some weird messages…..telling me about silly little things…..then nothing for over 2 months. I believe a great degree of depression may have happened …this guy is over 50…very professional, and all signs indicate he would be completely forthright with any need to split with me.
    My conundrum is…”do I assume…and there are many indications…that he is depressed and I support him…or, do I act like I normally would when someone disappears….very confusing on knowing what to do. I have asked for a note..e-mail text..whatever to tell me if I should stop contacting him..made it very clear that I only need to be told once…then, on the other hand, I’m willing to stick by if it’s a health issue….
    Any thoughts? Appreciated.

  36. Cece Says:

    I completely Gayle’s experience. I have the exact same questions. I met a guy online 8 months ago. IT was also a long distance (400 miles apart) relationship. I have a daughter who attends school in his town. He has 2 young children which he shares custody of. He was also legally separated. We spoke regularly, i.e., almost daily by phone. We called each other anytime. After 3 months we met. I was worried that the physical chemistry would not be there, but the attraction was instantaneous… we both said. After that meeting, we continued our almost daily conversations talking 1-3 hours at a time. Three months later we spend another 2 days together… this time it was more wonderful. We felt close… he told me he felt secure and content with me. Several weeks later we met again. Still good. We continued to talk still for several weeks. He talked about coming to visit me and all the details about the logistics, specific dates, where to stay, how to travel. That conversation lasted an hour. then “poof.” He disappeared that was 6 weeks ago. I cant reach him on his cell or home numbers, he doesn’t return my messages. So I finally wrote an email 2 weeks ago asking him to please tell me he wants to move on. Very nice. He also has depression issues at times and I offered to be here for him if he is in a depression now. Today is his birthday and I sent a text just wishing him a good day. Nothing. I think I know now that he’s ended the relationship. And it is so shocking because he seemed to have so much integrity I just would not have expected it.

  37. […] be the best way to go. Remember the adage “What you don’t know won’t hurt you?” The article “Why men go poof” cites one of the reasons a man disappears on you: he probably just wants to spare your feelings by […]

  38. Tim Cane Says:

    How about you call her a few times and she never calls you back. This followed by the fact she is sleeping with your friend while dating you. This did it for me.

    I cut off all contact and will not speak to her again. Go play games with someone else.

  39. […] be the best way to go. Remember the adage “What you don’t know won’t hurt you?” The article “Why men go poof” cites one of the reasons a man disappears on you: he probably just wants to spare your feelings by […]

  40. broken heart Says:

    why they poof or be gone with the wind? whatever his reasons are, it hurts.
    I personally don’t understant it. The funny part is that we talked about our “friendship” and if it didn’t work we still be friends (even worse, he worked for me) But I made sure he knew that if our relationship didn’t work I would never ever mix that with his job. He knew and thank me. I was cleared. So why did he poof? why did he said, I will be back and never came back? Now, I wonder what I did wrong.
    As time goes by, I learn not to ever mix pleasure with business. (doesn’t work) , But it hurts… so much that just the other day at the store, I though it was him, but no. it was someone else. (and thats not the first time its happened.) Is an open book that I can’t close. why the poof? why does it hurt?

  41. Another Broken Heart Says:

    I am going through the poof right now myself. I met this man online 3 months ago. Everything has appeared to be wonderful. He drove a very, very long distance to have our first date. It went wonderfully. He later started escalating the contacts – more frequent phone calls, more texts. Then he said he loved me and that he was sure that our relationship was going to have “a perfect outcome.” During Christmas, we both traveled separately out of the country. Our trips were scheduled before we met. I returned a week before he did to find an e-mail from him that wished me a Merry Christmas, Happiest New Year, and a wonderful trip. Then it said “Let’s stay in touch.” He’s been home 3 days from his trip. I haven’t heard a word from him. Maybe he is busy? Or exhausted? But he can’t take one minute out of his day to send a text saying he is home and fine? Has it not occurred to him that at the most basic human level that I might be concerned for his safety at least?

    I wish I could just say “Next!”, but right now it hurts too much.

  42. Another Broken Heart Says:

    Update: So I texted the internet guy yesterday and still nothing. I texted again last night, and he called me right back. Said he was very tired, but he was heading out the door. Said he would call tonight.

    And here I sit like an idiot waiting for him to call. I think I got my answer. He hasn’t called. He isn’t going too.

    So he gets to just hit and run while I’m left here to nurse wounded pride and a very broken heart.

  43. been there done that Says:

    The big poof can happen after three dates, three months or three years. In the olden days, we called it “fear of commitment.” It can happen the other way, too, but usually it comes from the man’s end. These individuals stay wandering and eventually all alone. Unfortunately those of us who have spent our time and affection on these commitment-phobics pay a bitter price in lost time and opportunities. I believe that these people are childish, that it is a rotten way to live life, and that men who cannot commit is an epidemic.

  44. r Says:

    this happened to me as well

  45. decisions Says:

    we started off strong 4 weeks..a lot chemisty compatibilty… until..
    we began talking of the future and it led him to decide to put his career first. so i think its the ” i cant give you what you want or expect” reason.

    The worst part is he disapeared on my birthday! didnt even call to cancel, just didnt show.

    The best part about this is that he did apologize ( a few days later) and I dont think he will ever forget what he did. Thus I left the door open for him to come back and be a better in the future if he chooses… my controlled understanding and senstitive reaction to a cowardly act made me an even better person.

    guys who do this, cant face you becasue they cant face themsleves and decisions they have to make.
    The lesson is never burn bridges, always walk away with a smile on your face and you will be a better person for doing the right thing.

    • Cindy Says:

      You did the right thing. Someday he’ll look back and know he’s a shmuck for being so cold. And maybe they did the right thing, maybe they know we’re better than they are. They are embarassed, they are broken. We don’t want a man like that. It’s been 2 weeks and I haven’t heard from my “poof” either. All the talk about marriage and grandchildren, all the hours and hours on the phone, it’s all done. And he said in two short/brief emails it was “timing”. That’s all I could get out of him he wouldn’t even take a call.

      So I figure it’s time to move on, to fix myself (know how to spot non-committal guys) and know that someday he’ll look back and wonder “what might have been”. Hopefully I’ll fix myself (and maybe he will too). It happens for a reason, sometimes we just don’t know why.

  46. alex Says:

    dated for 5 months , everything was perfect. Dont want to repeat all the stuff that all the ladies said here – chemistry, great time together etc. He vanished. With no explanation. He is 45 y.o. so not an immature teenager. today is the 6th day of a silence. It hurts and i’m trying to get over this relationship. I feel strange, I feel confused, it’s like a groud was swept away under my feet. I feel betrayed. God bless my heart, i’ll get over it.

  47. suzy Says:

    I need to know what to do or not do and it’s a little complicated.

    I have been in a year long friendship with a man who I have certainly developed feelings for. I am 44 and he is 50. He travels a lot for work so our friendship has basically developed through email. He invited me for a afternoon on his boat back in August. We had a great time and talked a great deal (we talked about everything and what struck me the most was that he admitted to being a mess since his divorce 4 years earlier and that he wasn’t a good catch) – when we returned it was getting late so I went home and no good night kisses were exchanged (which was fine, it was still a great time with a nice friend and besides he already told me he was a mess).

    Shortly after that he went out of town again and we continued our email friendship. We would email at least once a day and sometimes up to 15 times a day if we hit a good subject. Anyway, he would come into town and go out of town quite a bit – although here is where he owns his home. About 2 months after the boat ride he was away and I could tell by his tone not in a very good way. He seemed depressed and agitated and lonely. He asked if I would gather his mail and send it to him…when I sent his mail I also included a little care package, cookies, candy, gum, mints, sunscreen, antibacterial wipes (he was in ahurricane zone) to cheer him up and remind him he was cared about. I didn’t include a note or anything just kept it casual. He adored the care package!

    When he returned home he called me and asked me to come over and have a steak with him. He cooked and said it was in appreciation for the nice things I do for him. At that point, we became better friends, talked periodically on the phone and had dinners at his place, cooked by him every so often. We had great conversations and really enjoyed each other. There was absolutely no kissing (just a hug when I left for home) – just two people sharing and getting to know each other. I continued to send him his mail and little treats whenever he was away from home and we continued to email just about everyday. We also text messaged and spoke on the phone every now and then. The nights of the debates and the election we texted back and forth the entire time. (I voted obama he voted mccain but it didn’t matter we had a great time)

    For Christmas I bought him a candle, a book and a paper weight with his initials. I spent about $35. Now, I must say I am falling for him but I don’t want to scare him off because I value the friendship so i didn’t go overboard. He did though, he bought me a $50 gift card to the clothing store I shop at and some sandals, the sandals were $76 (the reason I know is because i had to exchange them for a different size). He also sent a fruit basket to my place of work for me and my coworkers to enjoy.

    We continued the email, the care packages, the steak dinners, the texting, the phone calls. In January he asked me to help him write a letter for his job, we worked on it together through email as he was away on business. In Feb he invited me for a dinner out – a place we went on the boat that I had liked. That night after dinner we had drinks and then went to listen to a band and drank some more. We ended up spending the night together and the next day I was covered in hickies! Now mind you I love him so it didn’t bother me one bit.

    I left in the late a.m. and noticed that he had laid a towel in the driver side of my car because we had left the sunroof open during the night (he doesn’t sleep well, has some depression issues or something like that so he had gotten up to get a lighter out of my car in the middle of the night). We had a great time but we did not make love because he could not get an erection and he wouldn’t let me touch him there. As I said, I love him, so just being with him was thrilling for me and I loved every minute of it.

    When I left he asked when I was coming back. I returned later and he wanted me to get back in bed and lay down with him. I couldn’t I had a cleaning job to go to and a raging headache. He was leaving for Lauderdale the next day anyway so we kissed goodbye. The emails and phone calls got flirty after that and we seemed to be more like gf and bf now. I called him once every other day when I got off work and if he didn’t answer he called me back right away. We still emailed good mornings to each other.

    I didn’t get pushy about what was going on with us because I just thought it was evolving and didn’t need any questions asked. He was using sexy little sweet nicknames now and talking about a do over when he returned home. In a joking phone call while flirting and making suggestions about the do over the date of my next period came up. A week later he told me that he was probably going to be home the weekend of the 28th – the weekend my period starts. I laughed it off saying I just wanted to his face anyway but that he had a little mean streak (kiddingly). I collected his mail to send to him and his cable bill was there and not sealed. I looked at it and the weekend that he told me his trip home would be the 28th he had rented porn. I’m not a prude I just found it interesting. I never told him I saw the mail.

    The week before he was expected home he seemed agitated and was complaining about clients and slow business and no money coming in and such and then he backed way off….he hardly emailed unless responding and by the end of week was not answering my calls at all. On the 27th I went by his house to check on it thinking he would arrive the next day. He was there! I called him and his phone was off so I left a message that I was there and happy to see him home but that I wasn’t going to knock because he may be sleeping (it’s a 10 hour drive for him). The next day he never called and around 5:30 pm I couldn’t take it anymore so I went to his house and knocked on the door. He didn’t answer. I called and he didn’t answer. I called and knocked once more and left a message that I was confused and was he mad at me or something. I left and called once more. This time he texted me saying “I just want to be alone please” I said I will do that for you but I need to know if you are mad at me about something? he replied “not mad just worn out, please understand” I said I’m trying, I was just excited to see your face.

    That was the last I heard from him all weekend. I didn’t contact him again until Monday morning and I just sent an email saying good morning in the subject and nothing in the body just in case he wasn’t opening email. Several hours later he came to get his mail at his box inside where I work and when I asked “how are you” concerned yet happy to see him – he said without looking at me, “I started dating an exgf in lauderdale, that’s what I was wanting to talk to you about”. I said oh, and felt my face turn red….he then asked if he had more mail and I went and got his mail handed it to him and then he just turned and left.

    Needless to say I am crushed – not only did I lose a man I deep inside love but I also lost my best friend. Why would he cut the friendship too? We only had one night of intimacy and we couldn’t even make love, we could have returned to friends very easily.

    Why did he say he was wanting to talk to me…he was ignoring me? I’m not even convinced there is an exgf because if the part about wanting to talk to me was a lie why should I believe any of it?

    Would a man throw away a great friendship just because he got cold feet about having to have a do over? Would a man throw it all away because he was too afraid that he wouldn’t be able to perform?

    I need help here. I haven’t heard anything from him at all, and I haven’t contacted him because at this point I am humiliated.

    Could he have just decided that I wasn’t that important to him? Would he have thrown out a budding new relationship for an old one that didn’t work?
    Is saying that there’s an exgf meant to prove he can have intercourse just not with me? I never made him feel uncomfortable about it, believe me I was thrilled to just be there. He once told me that “sometimes you meet people in life that you just can’t live without and you’re one of them”…. I’m very confused.
    Should I just never ever try to contact him again? Tell me what you all make of this?
    Thanks so much.

  48. vesna Says:

    Why does a guy just disappear after 2 months of solid dating?

  49. MB Says:

    Wow, so good to see I’m not alone. Although, I am beginning to see a pattern here, with the women, and in myself. It’s called low self-esteem. Who wants a guy that we have to “figure out, play it cool with, not pressure, or be casual with?” If he goes “poof” he goes “poof.” Not meant to be. What happened to the days when men pursued women, and not the other way around? If I’m going to give all I have to offer to a man, then he better be deserving of that. He should be the one doing the work! And if he is successful in that, he will be absolutely treasured, pampered, and adored. All said by a woman (47) who’s just been “poofed!” F-him! NEXT!

  50. Is there an Echo in here? Says:

    I too just had a guy POOF on me. 3 dates…all went super well. The guy was so interested in me he could hardly stop talking about how lucky he was to find me. It’s been a week now and he hasn’t returned any of my texts.

    I get that the guy may want to spare the girls feelings…after all…who wants to hurt someones feelings. But I personally (any guys out there paying attention) would rather have my feelings hurt once then go through the weeks or months of the the gazillions of scenarios that run though my head as to what possibly could have happened. Oh and the stalking him online to see what he’s been up to. Like any indicatin he’s found someone else…crap like that…it’s not neccasery…if only they would have the nuts to say something!

  51. Dee Says:

    I just wanted to add, it seems the online dating arena has added to the ‘poof’ problem. While I believe it is a fabulous venue to meet people you might have never crossed paths with ( i myself met and dated a man only a few miles away I never knew existed til then! ) I also think it can foster an arena of secrecy and lack of responsibility. There are so many folks signing up, the whole
    “bigger, better deal” possibility is rampant. The opportunity for both men and women to be unfaithful to their spouses/significant others with little chance of exposure ( lots of folks don’t put a picture up claiming they are shy or they don’t want their co-workers or firends to know…..) The internet also closes distances – it’s easy to chat and email and phone someone you met even if they are miles away.

    And yes, I had a ‘poof’ experience as well… We met online in Jan 2008, went from emails to IM’s to phone calls and continued this for over two years! These were not just ‘fiendly’ chats, these communications were both long, intimate and endearing. He would call during a meeting break, call just to say hi, call to talk about his job, mine, family and everything else from A to Z. Catch was, we never met in person. The reasons were never concrete and he was always the one to bring it up. I would have been thrilled to meet, he, however, would retreat whenever the possibility seemed too real. Was he married? No. ( had him checked out) Girlfriend? Possibly but never for long and as I was dating as well ( there was a 700 mile distance ) I expected him to be out and about. But for all that time, we stayed in touch very frequently. Did I fall for him? Yes, hard. Was it mutual? I think for a long time, it was. I was losing interest due to the lack of a face-to-face, but he persued me.

    The ‘poof’ just happened. The last call was February 2010 – he left no message and I did not call back that evening. I have sent emails, IM’s and left one voice mail. Nothing. I think he owes me an explanation….. after two years of sharing our thoughts and feelings. My cell rang one morning and lo-and-behold, it was him. Again, no message. When I returned the call, got voice mail, left a message. No reply. I called later that evening, he answered, much to my surprise, told me he was busy. When I asked why he called my cell that morning he simply said ” I don’t really know why” I thought that was strange and told him so. He simply said he was too busy to talk and would send me an email. Needless to say, that never happened. I have not heard one word since. I agree, people should at least say goodbye when they have moved on or lost interest or whatever. It does still hurt when I think that two plus years is now a memory,and I have had my share of people telling me that falling for someone I have never met ‘in-person’ is crazy. But it happened. He is a 52 year old man and I am a 50 year old woman – no high school drama here. and I agree witht the many posts, that hearing goodbye is tough, but being ignored is tougher. I wanted closure….so I closed the door myself. He is gone and that is that and I will never know why. He just doesn’t want to explain himself. period.

  52. Hal Says:

    I’ve had the “poof” pulled on me a few times. One was a guy I met online and we dated for about 5 months then one day..nothing. Just stopped responding to texts/calls. So frustrating. Eventually he sent me a text saying that I was a great girl, he had fun, but he didnt think we had a future. Fine! Why didnt you just tell me that in the first place? Once I heard the truth I was able to let it go and move on. Most recently I was dating a guy for about 3-4 months and he started ignoring texts and he was always “busy” when I tried to make plans.I finally just came out and asked him to just tell me what was going on. He said he was too busy with his career right now to date. Again, fine. Why not tell me that instead of blow me off. Then last weekend I had an amazing 1st date with this guy. He even said he had a great time and we made plans for a 2nd. Well, come the day of the date I never heard from him. Completely left me hanging. I know we only went out once but its so frustrating to not hear a thing. Just tell me youre not interested instead of leaving me wondering what happened?

  53. Jonathan Says:

    Your men sound like my job interviews. I can’t tell you how many times I’m being interviewed by someone telling me, you seem to have all the qualifications and we’ll get back to you next week. And then…poof!

  54. […] call every day and if more than a few days pass, I begin to feel he’s gone “poof” like so many men before him. I could call him — and I have — but know that […]

  55. […] truth is, most of them have just gone poof, even after seeing each other 5-7 weeks. Very few men officially “break up” by […]

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