The Real Reason He Stopped Calling

Confused why some guy who seemed so into you just vanished? Read on for an explanation—and how to prevent disappearing acts in the future.

By Jonathan Small

t happens suddenly without any warning: Your relationship is humming along and you’re finally starting to really see a future with this guy, when thud! He’s gone so fast there’s no time to say, “Um, what just went wrong?” Honestly, even if the guy was man enough to deliver some sort of explanation, you probably can’t take it at face value. If you really want to know what happened, read on for the real reasons men stage their escape—and how you can help prevent this from happening to you again.

Reason #1: He assumes you’re dying to settle down (even if you’re not)
“After a few months, men often sense that the woman is interested in something more,” explains Warren Farrell, Ph.D., author of Why Men Are the Way They Are. Even if you
Unless you make it crystal clear that you’re fine keeping things casual, he may start feeling the walls close in.
aren’t dying to solidify your relationship, he may just assume that’s the case based on past experiences. So unless you make it crystal clear that you’re fine keeping things casual, he starts feeling the walls close in: Gone are the days when it’s fine for him to date other people or go out with the guys without asking you first. This perceived lack of freedom puts many men on edge, convincing them to make the leap back into singledom.

Reason #2: He does want to get serious—but you’re not Mrs. Right
It’s true: Lots of guys aren’t commitment-shy and are truly looking to settle down. And if you’ve been dating awhile, by now your conversations have shifted from superficial topics (like, say, how much he likes your butt) to more about meaningful matters—like, say, your views are on marriage and kids. It’s about this time that a man “begins to discover what values this woman has vs. what he has,” says Farrell. And maybe he’s discovered some major differences: You might begin to talk about your dreams of moving to the country, while he is all about city life. Or he might be looking to start a family, while you’re focused on your career. Once these priorities become apparent, they can convince a guy to cut ties if he thinks you’re incompatible. Think of the bright side: He probably just came to the same conclusion you would have eventually.

Reason #3: You’ve gone from cool to accusatory
In the beginning of the relationship, it’s easy to let small infractions slide. For example, maybe he was ten minutes late to a date due to traffic or didn’t call one night when he said he would. At this early stage, it’s easy to say, “No problem! I know traffic can be unpredictable at this hour” or “Don’t worry, I know work can get busy.” But as things get more serious, your mellow attitude can transform into the very thing men dread: indications that you’re disappointed, or annoyed, or angry about the very things you once took in stride. “When she calls to say stuff like ‘How come I haven’t heard from you in a
“When she calls to say stuff like ‘How come I haven’t heard from you in a while?’, that’s when I get close to the eject button.”
while?’, that’s when I get close to the eject button,” admits Rob Frankel, 48. We’re not saying you should just smile and accept bad behavior, but give your guy the same slack you’d give your friends and family, and he won’t feel like the long leash you once gave him is getting shorter, and shorter…

Reason #4: He’s addicted to the thrill of the chase
Call it immature (because it is), but some men really just love the pursuit. Nevin Jenkins, 32, typically looks for the exit ramp when he realizes the relationship is no longer a challenge. “Once I proved to myself that I could sleep with her and be with her, I wasn’t interested anymore,” he admits. “I was in love with the chase, not the person.” Inside tip on spotting (and avoiding) these cads: At every turn, they’ll be pulling all the stops to convince you to acquiesce to things you’re not quite ready to do, from your first kiss to a whirlwind weekend away together. If you feel uncomfortable stating any reservations or putting on the brakes, that could be a sign you’re uncomfortable with him. Consider yourself warned.

Reason #5: You’ve gotten comfortable—too comfortable
Sure, it’s great to get to the point in a relationship when you’re no longer being painfully polite or self-conscious. But that doesn’t mean he wants you acting so comfortable it feels like he’s hanging with his college roommate, either. “After a few months, a woman lets down her guard and shows us more of who she really is,” says Zachary M.C. Harris, author of The Men’s Dump Survival Guide. Don’t worry, this is usually a good thing—but there are times you’ll want to be careful. Have you slid from appearing on dates all dolled up to baggy jeans, sweatshirts, and granny panties? Are you griping about your indigestion, cramps, or what your shrink said during your last session? These, dear ladies, are mood-killers and you gain nothing from telling him about these things—at any point in a relationship. Keeping a little romance and mystery in a relationship is something that will never work against you.

Jonathan Small is a writer living in Los Angeles who’s contributed to Glamour and other publications.
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