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Disappearing Act, Part 4

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

Jody    The gay woman’s perspective: Jody Fischer

Hey, EMS, I wouldn’t be so quick to pin the disappearing act exclusively on guys. Girls do it too. Trust me. Without talking to this vanishing varmint of yours, I can only guess why he took off or what he was or was not feeling about his actions. What I can do is look at the story that you present and let you know what comes up for me.

First, has this disappearing dude act happened to you before? I ask this because you write that guys do this so easily. Of the guys friends I have, gay and straight, some have run like the wind away from a relationship without so much as a “see ya” to the other person. Others have not done this. Also, if this has indeed happened to you before, perhaps you are unconsciously placing the guy in a situation where he feels like he needs to escape. For example, let’s talk about this brunch of yours.

I’m curious to know if you told him that this “casual brunch” included your parents. Meeting someone’s parents after only three weeks seems like a big deal to me and I certainly wouldn’t want that small little detail left out of the story. Perhaps this is why he leapt away.

And of course there’s the first time sex with this guy. How was that for you? How was it for him? Perhaps it didn’t rock his world and he couldn’t figure out how to tell you.

Does the person who leaves abruptly feel badly about it? Some do, some don’t. Just because he doesn’t communicate with you about it doesn’t mean he hasn’t had numerous conversations in his head about his lousy actions. He could be really beating himself up about it, but you may never know.

Bottom line, EMS, I’m sorry it happened to you, but not every guy you meet and date will jump ship like that. And if he did, obviously he’s not worth keeping around for the meet-the-parents brunch anyway.

Check in next week for another Q&A series by The 4-Way.

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.