Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Disappearing Act

by The 4-Way Panel

Dear 4-Way,

I recently started dating someone. Things seemed to be going very well. We went out eight times in the course of three weeks. We went to dinner, told stories, and spent a day and evening at the beach. On the seventh date, we slept together. My parents were coming to town and I mentioned to him that I was having some people over for a casual brunch. I invited him and he accepted. Date number eight happened the night before my parents showed up. Then I didn’t hear from my guy. And then it happened. I got an email that said, “I needed some time to think. I know you’re busy but we should probably talk. Please call me or let me know when to call you.” I phoned him immediately and that’s when the disappearing act began. He called me back two days later, then sent an email saying that he didn’t mean to bail completely and that he wasn’t happy with his own behavior. One more voicemail from him and then … silence.

What’s with the disappearing act? I understand things were moving pretty quickly, but was I on an island by myself with this? And finally, how do guys so easily duck out and not feel bad about it? I’m sure it happens in both the gay and straight world, so I’d love to hear everyone’s responses.—EMS

Darren    The gay man’s perspective: Darren Maddox

First of all, it’s a good thing he didn’t try this Houdini act after he actually met your mamma because if he’d suddenly reappeared, she would have likely smacked a knot on his head for hurting her baby girl. Next, thank you for acknowledging the fact that this does indeed happen in the gay world as well as the straight world. Too many times people think that it’s a guy/girl miscommunication. That hasn’t been my experience, nor has it been the case with several others that I know. Unfortunately, it’s just human nature for some people.

With that said, let’s look at a few things here. Clearly it was the parent thing that freaked him out, but in your defense, it was an odd position to be in and it makes me ponder what correct form really is. To invite him or not to invite him after only a few dates? Was it a serious “I want you to meet my parents because I really like you and I think they’ll like you too” invite or was it a more casual “Hey, I’m going to have a few people over to meet the ‘rents while they’re in town, wanna come” kind of invite? (Option B is always a better choice, for the record.)

Also, how did he email you when clearly his fingers were all broken and he could not call you to discuss this for days? Seriously! You probably stayed up late and lost a few pounds pondering these answers. You also probably missed out on some of the parental enjoyment due to his jackass behavior.

I know it isn’t fun to hear, but just rest easy in the fact that you discovered this side of his personality early on. The point of dating is to shop. We look around for the ones that fit and cast aside the ones that rub us the wrong way. This one was a mismatch and you’re too good to settle for that. Smile knowing this will happen to him too at some point, if it hasn’t already. Karma is a bitch.

Check in tomorrow for the straight woman's perspective by Rebecca Brown.

The 4-Way is published monthly. If you have a question for our 4-Way panel, please send it to them in care of the editor at rbrown@realgirlsmedia.com. To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.