Recently, I’ve had a number of female callers who are upset and disappointed. They’ve met someone with whom they feel a real connection. It seemed to be a mutual attraction, full of sparkling interest. Everything appeared to be going great and developing nicely, with lots of future potential. Then, all at once (and sometimes after a really great date), he doesn’t call.
Of course, the main question is – why? There didn’t seem to be any type of problem. There was no conflict or disagreement that occurred. Everything seemed to be going so well. So what happened?
Two women who asked about this said it was bewildering, because they had actually known their guys for several months before they went out with them. These weren’t unknowns. They were people they saw on a regular basis, either at work or at different places they both went. One woman said that when she didn’t hear from him after their fourth date, when they became intimate, she became truly alarmed. She texted him, with no reply. She then called, with no reply. After this, she contacted a mutual friend who told her that, yes, the guy was alive and well.
The anger and outrage don’t come first. First, there is the bewilderment and alarm. Then the outrage and anger. After this, the questioning begins.
Well, I hate to tell these women, but many times what I see in the men’s minds is… terror. Yes, absolute terror. Sometimes, the guy feels that there is absolutely no way that this relationship is going to last, and that he had just better end it himself before he lets himself in for more heartbreak. Maybe he’s never had a relationship so good, and a history of past failed ones. (Of course, I’m sure he’s done the same thing in the past to other women – leaving them before they leave him.) On some level, as odd as it sounds, he feels that he doesn’t deserve this good thing.
Consciously, of course, he misses her and feels like a real jerk. Dropping her is not a rational thing for him to do, but he feels compelled to do it anyway. And I tell callers that I see that it’s very likely they will hear from the guy again, but to be aware that the chances are very good that he will repeat the same behavior.
The second group of men seems to have a real need for an ego boost, and get this by first dating, and then getting ever-closer to women. After they feel that they have at least one foot into a relationship, they pull the plug. They have reassured themselves that they are wanted by someone they perceive as attractive. But they are not good at relationships, so once their initial need is met, they no longer need to endeavor to be in a relationship.
A third group falls into the very basic type of category – the user. This is the type of guy that we’re all familiar with, the kind you meet in a bar or at a party, who simply wants the quick sex. He doesn’t care about getting to know you in a relationship, or even knowing your name! Of course, we’re all familiar with this type of guy, so we know to be aware right away. We seldom have heartbreak and disappointment occur with this type of person, as it is fairly clear and upfront what he wants.
The most dangerous to our hearts and egos is the one who doesn’t call after we have revealed part of our true selves. Some trust has developed between the two people, or so it seems. Steps have been taken toward what seems to be a mentally honest and physically intimate relationship. All at once, brutally, this trust evaporates, and the woman feels played for a fool.
Women do seem to be able to accept this behavior by some men when it is motivated by fear. Their anger evaporates, for the most part, when they realize that an emotional problem is behind this behavior. But as I have pointed out, with real regret, even if he does return, what do they have now? Sadly, they have a broken trust between them, as well as the very real chance that this will happen again. For behavior patterns to be changed, the man will have to make a big attempt at more constructive behavior, probably with the aid of a counselor. And as for the women they have been involved with previously, is it worthwhile to open themselves to the pain again? I don’t think so… but then, many seem to feel it is worth the risk.
What do you think?