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Avoidance is the main coping strategy for the discomfort associated with anxiety, and what is more anxiety-inducing than rejecting someone? "Looking back, I really loved this girl and things were perfect, but I honestly was not in a place where I could let myself fall into another relationship."For other men—and let's be honest, plenty of women—the disappearing act is a regular habit."I decided to go right to the source and ask guys who have gone MIA what the heck happened. "There have been many instances in which I've met someone—almost always via online dating—and had two, three, or more dates, all fine and fun, and then I just dropped off the map," says Louis, 34."I don't want to rush into anything and regret it." "Don't worry," he responded. If I didn't, I'd be mysteriously gone." I wanted to believe it all. I left his apartment excited at the prospect of what we had started.But then a whole day had passed—the longest we had gone without any interaction since we started dating. "He is totally into you." But then another day passed. "I often hear clients beg for an explanation of why someone would do this. But for some, there is a struggle between what they believe is right and how they behave."Logically, I get it—but that still doesn't make it right.When Bill* and I first started dating, I had no doubt he was interested in me.We would text first thing in the morning and talk all day about everything and nothing, and often I would send him a text right before I went to sleep, and the first thing I saw on my phone the next morning was a message from him.I knew Bill was on deadline for work, so IWhen Bill* and I first started dating, I had no doubt he was interested in me.
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After meeting a woman on Instagram—which apparently happens in real life—they went out a few times.
Freddie was taken with her beautiful photos…just, not much else.
"I'm treating things casually, and I probably convince myself that the other person is too—that, hey, they're just having a good time, no strings attached—when in reality…[she] might actually be constructing all sorts of relationship-type expectations." In one relationship, he really had no explanation for why he lost "that feeling." "I felt awful and also completely unable to explain this to her…so instead I started blaming outside forces, like the fact that we didn't live in the same city, the fact that she was still in a serious relationship," he says. But why do they drop off, other than an inexplicable change of heart or fear of commitment? David, 33, says that the change in behavior is most likely to happen when the initial attraction wears off.
With one woman he dated, it happened like this: "After a handful of dates and getting to know each other better, I began realizing even though we had good chemistry, we had no shared interests or values," he says "I decided having the conversation' wasn't worth the stress."Freddie, 32, agrees with David's explanation—sometimes the initial attraction is enough to keep a relationship moving forward, even when it shouldn't.