Anna Pulley, @annapulley
RedEye's sex columnist
10:49 AM CDT, May 22, 2013
I was with my boyfriend for about seven months. Everything was fantastic, as far as I knew, until one day he just decided to disappear. No, really, I mean disappear. I couldn't get in touch with him via text, phone calls, anything. One night we were on the phone saying "goodnight" and "I love you," and the next day he was completely gone. I've racked my brain trying to figure out what went wrong, but I can't figure it out. It's been over two months now, and I've stopped trying to get ahold of him, but I'm having a really hard time moving on with no explanation, no answers, no closure ... Any advice?--Disappearing Boyfriend
He straight-up disappeared? In the sense that he stopped returning your calls, or, like, he disappeared from everywhere? No more Facebook posts? No tweets or even LinkedIn updates? Is it possible he is a political refugee, hiding out from cruel dictators abroad? One time I got seriously lost in Gary, Ind., and returned home several days later with a crate of Pall Mall cigarettes and a Michael Jackson tramp stamp. If those are unlikely scenarios, which I hope they are, then I’m afraid you’ll have to chalk this up to an incredibly bizarre case of man vanishing, or manishing as it’s known on the street.
Manishing is sadly quite common these days (as well as its female counterpart, Missappearing), especially if it’s only been one or two dates, since modern forms of communication are all too easy to ignore. But seven months isn’t a blind date one-off; it’s a bonafide, meet-the-parents-and-drive-you-to-the-gyno relationship. Either way, I’m so sorry this happened to you, DB, and I sincerely hope your ex is chained to several yappy, incontinent chihuahuas right now.
You could drive yourself crazy theorizing why your beau disappeared, but I’d recommend you do that as little as possible. His disappearance is not about you--it’s his immature and cowardly way of dealing with his own issues, which I’m sure are plentiful. Does this knowledge help you feel less terrible about being shrugged off? Probably not. But you don’t need his explanations in order to have closure. Closure is something we cultivate on our own, like a Chia pet.
At this point, the “whys” of the situation are less important than the sheer gall of it happening at all. Remind yourself that, even though the months you spent together may have been great, in the long run, you deserve far better. In a way, it’s good he showed his true colors fairly early on in the relationship, rather than years from now. Stay strong in not contacting him, and when you’re good and ready, get back in the dating game, armed perhaps with a little more hesitance, but at least a strange story to tell those who end up being worthy of your time.
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