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Bonny Albo

The Disappearing Date - Or - Why Didn't He Call Back?

By April 24, 2014

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Have you ever had a date that was so fantastic, so perfect, that you were on cloud nine for days (or even weeks) on end - just to have the other participant disappear? I know I have, and I've heard more than a few folks of late both asking for dating advice and posting in the dating forums about this very topic. I find the disappearing date phenomena seems to come in waves, in that I get a lot of questions about the topic around the same time every year.

Its not an easy question to answer either, i.e. "Why didn't he call me back?" or some variation thereof. There are so many variables to the question - how long have you been dating, did anything weird happen on your date, do you know if there is any behavioral history along these lines, have you been intimate - that there is no one-answer-fits all. But what I can say is this: there is always a reason why someone doesn't call back after a great date, and it likely has little to do with you.

Rachel Greenwald has written an excellent book the topic called, "Why He Didn't Call You Back: 1000 Guys Reveal What They Really Thought About You After Your Date." The book isn't just for women trying to understand why her date disappeared though, as there is a chapter that outlines women's top five dating deal breakers too. But the meat of the book discusses the main reasons why a guy won't call you back - even if things seemed amazing during the date - and how to prevent the same thing happening over and over again to you. Are the pointers surprising? Definitely. Will some women find the comments shared by some of the men quoted in the book abrasive? Without question. But if you've struggled with disappearing date syndrome in your life of late, its a book I highly recommend.

I should note however that I did read some of the chapter headings to a male friend of mine, who promptly said, "That's common sense for any guy. Trust me." So, if you can't get a copy of the book for whatever reason, ask your male friends about their biggest turn offs on a date, and why they wouldn't call a guy back.

But what about you? Have you ever not called someone back after a seemingly good date? Why? Or if you've been the one waiting for the call back that never came to be, how did you deal with it?

April 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm
(1) Jesse says:

Good advice. Not having a guy call you back is the worst feeling. I think it is hard sometimes to tell a person face to face that you are not interested so you just act like everything is going well. Then you just never call the person back.

April 22, 2010 at 6:52 am
(2) Very Naughty Dating says:

Just to break up a little this “why didn’t HE call back” myth: I am a man and it also happened to me, twice. First one I found out she was engaged with a man. Ok, it’s not excusable while she cheated on him and messed with my feelings but at least I have the reason.

As for the second one, I still have no clue WHY?!

I believe most reasons come from the fact something like meeting someone or realizing “hey, he is not the one, I do not enjoy his presence anymore” has happened. However, I find these practices rude and senseless, and I, as a guy, would at least try to contact her and tell her: “hello, you know, it doesn’t work, sorry bla bla” rather than just somehow vanishing…

April 22, 2010 at 12:25 pm
(3) AS says:

So here’s my thoughts on why a guy does not call after he asks for your number (based on feedback from a number of single males in the dating game). Often, when guys ask you for your number, at that precise moment he intends to use it. After that moment has literally passed, a new game comes into play. The next morning he will mull over it, questioning whether he had his beer goggles on? How well he connected with you – does he see any long term potential, or is it best left as a night of fun? Is he ready to, or can he even be bothered to, have a relationship? And the list could go on. But in a nutshell, if he hasn’t called you within 72 hours, he’s just not interested in pursuing things. It doesn’t matter how busy a guy is, if he genuinely likes you, he will find the time to contact you.

May 5, 2010 at 7:55 am
(4) over60dating says:

The reason behind one not calling back may be he is in search of someone better than you. Probably,what was a great date for you was not exactly so for him………forget it gal, why waste time on some insensible guy?

January 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm
(5) Eric Horwitz says:

Guys and girls sometimes change their minds or are distracted with their own lives to continue dating someone. It’d be nice if they all let us know, but more often they’d rather let it drift away.

April 21, 2012 at 6:30 am
(6) Jordan says:

I’ve blogged about this topic. All I know is that it’s frustrating and guys more often than not do it.

April 26, 2012 at 11:38 am
(7) Don says:

It might just be that you are not what I hoped for, and I don’t want to tell it to your face. What kind of pain would you prefer? The pain of knowing that some aspect of you is unattractive, or the pain of thinking the guy you dated is a jerk?

May 11, 2012 at 8:44 am
(8) londoner says:

Girls disappear as well after a few good dates. The woman I am (I was?) dating is doing exactly the same, and it really hurts. Sorry girls, these things happen unfortunately.

February 3, 2013 at 6:19 am
(9) Alisa says:

I’m in high school and I went on a date with a guy from another high school. We went on an amazing date, even kissed. But right after the date I went out of town and I had tried to stay in contact with the guy but he ignored me. So weird, I thought we had chemistry but I guess I’ll never know.

May 1, 2013 at 10:52 pm
(10) Helen says:

It could be that the man or boy has ridiculos illusions of meeting a chaste religious girl who looks like a porn star. Or Victoria secret model. There are no end to men like that and even the balding, pudgy or just plain ugly and unwashed men fall victim to this delusion. Then they get mad at the ordinary good women they meet for not being that.
Or they are Gay and looking for an unwitting beard they can dupe into being their cover. There are more sexually confused men out there than you can shake a stick at.
They might want a doormat and you have too much self esteem for them.
You might be so damn cool they feel uncool around you.
Maybe they are being pressured into marriage by their parents and they don’t want to.
Sure there things you might have done but there are so many men that are almosts. You only need one. You only need one who values you enough to call you on a second date and beyond.
Honestly there might be another woman that dates him or marries him who wishes the dirtbag hadnt called for a second date.
Men arent going to tell you why. They might not even know the real reason because they arent in touch with their feelings. The most likely wont call you back because they are cowardly little weasles when it comes to emotions.
If he doesnt like you for who you are he isnt good enough for you.

August 2, 2013 at 6:50 pm
(11) Kristin says:

It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman and a man doesn’t reply to you, or a man who has a woman not replying to him. There is only one answer to your question.

Because they’re a rude douchebag.

Clearly, douchebags are not worth the air it takes to blow them up, so why are you bothered that they vanished? You shouldn’t be, you should be THANKFUL they demonstrated they were an asshat before you invested more in them.

It’s common courtesy to say goodbye, I’m not interested, sorry I can’t make it – if you can’t manage one of these basic things, I wonder how you get on in life in general, let alone the dating scene.

I mean, this is pretty standard stuff, you have to call in to your dentist or hairdresser with a cancellation – so why would you treat someone you want to date with less respect than the person who stabs you in the gums?

Because you’re an asshole.

August 4, 2013 at 7:37 pm
(12) illy says:

Hi :) I like your answer HELEN. This just happend to me recently it really helped me feel better and make sense of things.

November 4, 2013 at 6:39 pm
(13) Rose is a Rose says:

Awesome response Helen. So on point. I find more men having more hang ups then us women. I guess we have the cure of spilling our emotions, talking it over and moving on. That and we’re usually very grounded with our approaches towards men, relationships, family and commitment.
We also tend to take care of ourselves both physically and spiritually more than alot of men. We’re an awesome species. Sista’s have Sista’s who help them grow, Bro’s have Bro’s who help then stagnate over beer and booty.

November 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm
(14) Cameron says:

Interesting reading from Helen : Can the reason just not plain simply be that he is just not that into you ? Rather than there is something wrong with him that’s why he is not into you ?

Rather bitter vibes coming across in those last few comments. If heard those in a date, i would run a mile :-)

Am not perfect, just part of the dating game. Some times of course i just have to accept the fact that some girls will not be that much into me.

But then they must the lesbians rights ? lol

November 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm
(15) Suzanna says:

Yeah, I’d have to say, I am 100% with Helen on this one. If a guy is “just not into you,” or a girl, for that matter, it is common courtesy to let the other party know, rather than to just leave them hanging with a growing sense of insecurity, wondering what is wrong with them/what they did wrong on the date and didn’t even catch themselves doing, etc…And I find this kind of entitled behavior exclusively with dudes I’ve met online, which lends more creedence to the cowardly little weasels hypothesis. These guys don’t even have the balls to ask women out in person, probably.

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