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Random well-travelled woman on a camel

Random well-travelled woman on a camel

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Here is a situation that almost all women have experienced – you go on two or three wonderful dates with a guy, he acts really keen then, suddenly, nothing. He disappears. He cancels a date at the last minute. He stops replying to your texts. You never hear from him again.

You’re left asking – What happened? Why the sudden change of heart from him? What did I do wrong?

If you’re a successful, confident woman then here is my theory about what may have happened.

It’s only recently, after watching many Matthew Hussey videos and talking to Petra Kreatschman and another relationship coach, that I’ve realised what the root of the problem may be.

I recently read about a classic example of this type of situation on the 30 Dates blog. After seeing someone’s else experience laid out so clearly, the theory suddenly seemed more true than ever.

The theory
If you are a woman who is successful, intelligent, well-travelled, confident, financially secure and independent this leaves many men feeling inferior and wondering what they could possibly offer you.

The example
Miss29, writer of the 30 Dates blog, recently went on two wonderful dates with a guy who, after the second date, suddenly disappeared without explanation. From what I can tell from her blog Miss29 has a great job, she’s intelligent, she’s accomplished, she’s well-travelled, she’s confident and she’s attractive. The guy she went on these dates with was younger than her, a Masters student, not earning much and living with his mother.

The guy’s perspective
In Miss29’s eyes, this guy was perfect. Those aspects of his lifestyle didn’t matter to her. However, let’s look at this from the guy’s perspective. He is faced with a woman who seems so accomplished in every way that he was left wondering how he could possibly ever ‘be the man’ with her. What could he do to impress her? I’m sure Miss29 could have thought of many things, but to the man there was nothing he could have done in the traditional sense.

Being ‘the man’
The importance of guys feeling like they’re ‘the man’ is something that Matthew Hussey talks about a lot.
I’m not a man myself, so it isn’t something that had even occurred to me until I learnt it from Matthew Hussey. I now realise the male psyche is wired with the need to feel that they are being manly and powerful in their ability to provide for and protect a woman. If a woman already seems to have outdone him in every area of life – what can he possibly offer her? How is he supposed to take on that typical male role? How can he ever impress her? It’s at this point that he feel insecure, panics and disappears.

My evidence for this
Several months ago I went on a couple of dates with a gorgeous, tall and adorable Brazilian guy. Yes, he only worked in a bar but I was really pleased to have bagged myself such a hottie. I found him in the bar where he worked and by the time our first date came he had discovered a few details about me from Facebook. On our first date he told me he had been so nervous to come and meet me because, in his words, “You’re English, you’re beautiful, you speak three languages and have a really cool job and I’m just a Brazilian guy who can’t speak English very well”. I’m thankful to this guy’s Latin American openness for expressing what many other guys who I’ve been on dates with may also have been thinking.
Needless to say, we didn’t make it past two dates. He cancelled just hours before the third.

For me, I was totally in awe of this guy because he was A: foreign (something I always find interesting about people) and B: tall (there aren’t enough men around for us tall women!). Of course, it didn’t occur to him that those were simple things he could impress me with, without needing to buy me an expensive meal or anything like that.

I recently signed up to POF again (I know, I know, I hate online dating). After messaging about 50 to 60 attractive guys I’d had almost no replies and had definitely not been asked out by anyone. One day, at my wit’s end, I messaged a guy who was a doctor and asked him why he thought this may be. His answer was, I quote, “I fear many of the guys on here may be more interested in a lil blondie with a good pair of whammies, and less interested in someone with a masters degree”.

For example, many guys on their POF profile may say they like travelling. But what happens when he starts chatting with a girl who also likes travelling who has actually travelled to more places and more interesting places than he has? In his eyes, suddenly, that aspect of his personality that he had to offer has been reduced to something not so great after all. At the point, he stops sending you messages.

It’s a subconscious feeling
I expect many guys don’t even consciously realise why they suddenly start to get cold feet about a woman. If you asked them to put it into words, they wouldn’t say ‘She was so independent and accomplished that I couldn’t see how I could ever be the man and impress her’. I expect they probably interpret it for themselves simply as ‘I felt out of my depth’, ‘It was getting too serious’ or just a general feeling of unease which they can’t quite put their finger on.

If you’ve ever been disappeared on or rejected by a guy just have a think about whether that they guy may actually have been intimidated about how amazing and successful you were. I’m now convinced that this situation occurs for a lot of women.

So, what can we do about it?
1. The obvious answer is that us confident successful woman need to seek out men who are at least as confident and successful as us. However, we all know that’s much easier said than done. Only looking for this type of man would narrow the dating pool even more and we don’t need that.
2. The other option is to play down our accomplishments and successes. On my POF profile I considered removing my Masters degree from the ‘Qualifications’ section. Next time a guy on there asks me ‘Have you done a lot of travelling?’ or ‘What countries have you been to?’ I may think about playing down the amount of travelling I’ve really done.
3. If we meet a guy and on the surface it appears that we’re more successful than he is, we could make a special effort from the beginning to casually mention all the things about him that we find so awe-inspiring. I think this may be our best option.

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15 thoughts on “Why does a guy suddenly disappear? Here’s my theory.

  1. Hi Estelle! Very interesting blog. I write about international dating myself so you going on a date with a beautiful Brazilian guy really interests me:)) I agree with you, and I am also an independent girl, with an opinion about everything. Yes, I can tone it down, or look at him with wonder about all the wonderful things he has done. I have thought about it. I am not at all a feminist and I do believe a man should be stronger than a woman.. but I also feel it is wrong changing ourselves for a guy. At the end, he may have been the one guy who would have loved a woman with a strong opinion, a woman who has done a lot, a woman who speaks THREE languages. And if he doesn’t, that has nothing to do with you. That’s him being insecure. Yes, many men can’t handle a woman more successful then them. But if that’s the case, how will you ever marry this guy and share your achievements with him? Will he feel belittled every time you do something interesting? At the end, we need someone to push us forward, someone who can be our friend. And that’s the person that will never cancel a 3rd date. Best of luck in your search!

  2. I recently went on a few dates with a guy my age. After the last date I invited him over to my apartment. I work in the entertainment industry and he has sporadic construction jobs and not sure what he wants to do with his life. When he saw my place he asked if I wouldn’t mind telling him how much we pay (me and my roommate). This isn’t something I like to tell people, but I actually own my condo. He seemed kinda shocked that I owned the apartment – being in my mid 20’s and all.

    Anyway we slept together that night and then I never heard back from him. It might have not been because I revealed that I own a property, but it works with your theory.

  3. After meeting the guy I was seeing I was hopeful. I’m a mid 30’s single parent of 2, work in a very male domanated industry that is slowly opening up to women, I make friends with men very easly, I am an independent thinker and do’er…. The guy I was seeing was seemingly ok with everything, till one day he said to me ” You need to let me rescue you”.
    This had been a few months into us seeing each other. I was floored, how the hell do I need rescueing and how do I let him “rescue” me?? I thought for a bit and figured “hey I need some work done on my vehical” Sooo I asked him. He seemed more then happy to do it. I was happy he was happy.
    This would have been the 7th month we had been dating, this is going on the 6th week of nothing. I have tried more then a few times to talk to him…. all I get is silence.
    I have been racking my brain as to what happened. Im drawing a blank.
    Im hurt, I feel like I lost my best friend. My kids liked the guy, thou they didn’t know him as long as I have. When we all hung out, everyone got along great.
    Why get the cold feet now? This is my question.

    • I think it is awful behaviour for this guy to date you for 7 months and then suddenly start ignoring you with no explanation. He is clearly a coward. I think you have the right to tell him that the way he’s behaved is not acceptable and to ask him to explain what changed his mind.

  4. I’ve had this experience over and over again in the last five years since my marriage broke up. I lived with a fella for 18 months who did have some issues with his manliness. I tried building him up, spent hours “counselling” him, but was also worn out from work and other issues in my own personal life. In the end he gave me two days’ notice and left without a backward glance. Straight into the arms of a “nice girl”. Oh yes, a “nice, churchy girl” which I wasn’t. I never stopped him, but … ? I met up with a few guys after that rel ended. One told me I was impressive, beautiful, self-sufficient, all that. But he was a mummy’s boy and ended up disappearing too. Then another came out to my place last year saying he wanted to be with me, etc. I was blown away, as this was someone I’d written off a long time before that. Wind the clock forward a couple of weeks, and he decided, no, he didn’t want to “go there” after all. I kicked him down my front steps and told him not to come back until he had some guts about him. Oh weirdly, we still pick up the phone sometimes, although that’s few and far between. It’s like neither of us can quite let go, but need to. I saw him in the street a couple of weeks ago and the look on his face … well, I can’t know for sure, but he looked at me like I was the only woman in the world. Then kept walking.

    I’m not well travelled, but I sure am well read, strong and intelligent. I stayed with a control freak for 23 years and could never quite dig myself out from under his control. He turned mean after I left, and still loves to have a dig at me if he can should I ever see him. He’s remarried too, oddly enough. Men move on so quick it seems.

    I’m still on my own. It’s been nearly two years since my last relationship broke up and I’ve had no luck at all. I, too, rejoined POF in recent days and so far, have had very little interest shown. Is it because I openly said I write poetry, love art, nature … that I’m actually interested in learning more about men so I can understand them better? Is that a bad thing to put in a dating profile??

    I dunno. But that drawing board is looking good, because my current one is smeared, streaked, gauged and plain had it. I need a clean slate methinks.

    Guess this 52 year old will be on her own for a whole lot longer yet, because I refuse to play down who I am, what I can do or any of that stuff. Love me, that’s all I ask. You don’t have to SAVE ME.

    But these guys are too weak and only want “nice little wifey girls” which I am not.

    Pffft. I give up girls! Totally!!

    • I feel for you. I wonder if you have met someone yet? I’ve had the same experiences, i have learnt to move on very fast though but i still can’t help but wonder WHY? I am the same, i have a degree, i do art, run my own business, work two jobs. I definitely don’t need rescuing. I don’t understand men. They are too unpredictable, one minute they’re fine, next minute they’re running off. Can’t be bothered with that nonsense. To be honest, all the women on here sound great, it takes a confident and strong man to be able to accept women like all of you! This isn’t our issue to fix, it is theirs. I certainly wouldn’t downplay my achievements for any man anyway!

  5. My doctorate has been an ABSOLUTE liability for me in dating. I chatted with a man with a PhD from Oxford for 15 months; he traveled to Florida to see me, I took him to the Bahamas, he went home & jumped back on line . . . I phoned to say “Happy New Year” and he thought I was another woman — stated telling ME about ME. Then he ghosted. I dated another one — this time Cambridge PhD. What an asshat. He was one of the most misogynistic men I’ve bumped into, full stop, and I’m AMERICAN. Wow. I have a thing for Brits (not sure why as I have hardly been impressed — my abusive ex-husband is also a Brit, but the pickins are SO SLIM). I cannot imagine that HIDING one’s education is a long-term winning strategy, though — it seems manipulative & not “girl-power.” But I have certainly considered it myself.

  6. I’ve been the “successful lady” for most of my life and I wonder about the third option of looking at the aw-inspiring aspects of the man. What do we do when inevitably the successful lady will appear later on in the relationship? If you love blue but settled for red, blue is going to surface sooner or later. 😋

  7. Ok so I have a small comment on the Hussey approach to men and also what I am learning about the psychological differences between men and woman. Hussey started with men, coaching them and so forth but he turned his attention to woman. He has a lot of info to give us, some of it we have already figured out for ourselves and some of it is new. The wiring to men is different in many areas of their make-up and at the end of the day I feel the work we need to do to connect with men is still there no matter what. Even if Hussey teaches us to be more effective, the work is still there. What exactly is the work for men? I’m not asking this with an angry tone just wanting to understand what work men need to know to be affective with woman? Our how-to and there how-to might be different, but it still requires work on there end. Does Hussey ever talk about the male side of the equation? What is he coaching them? I feel that if I knew that part of the equation I could better understand how men view woman. What is the art of dating for men? Do we ALL need to go to “Beauty, etiquette, manners, sociability, competency, hygiene, flirting, coquette ishness, seduction, romance, sexiness ….school? Maybe the answer to that is yes? Maybe men and woman have forgotten that the dance is more important than the institution because all relationships have an element of a boredom, familiarity, ritual, rudimentary base that helps to bind people through repetition and habit, but if men and woman know and remember the “romance school” they attended, relationships have a better chance of surviving with happy people in them. I remember that French movie La Femme Nikita, where the French female character has to un-learn her street habits to become an effective agent. One of her lessons is to learn how to use her femininity, charm, smile, sexiness to achieve a goal. She is awkward at first, even angry to have to learn these concepts, but she later understands how powerful they really are and how they come to save her life. Her coach said to her,” learn to smile, a smile puts others at ease, it’s feminine, easy, changes a room, makes you more approachable, shouts confidence, makes men weaker”… ☺️

  8. Becoming man’s perfect complement.
    Grace ; A smile
    Surface sweetness
    Almost a mood.

    …….let your pleasure be your guide…
    Your pleasure as a woman.. And don’t forget
    There are two things that have no limit..
    Femininity,
    and the means of taking advantage of it..

    Jeanne Moreaue
    “La Femne Nikita”

  9. You are right 100% I’ve been dumped recently by my boyfriend for the same reasons . I was tired to convince him that his emotional support adds a lot to my life .But he only saw that he can’t add anything to my life and I can find better and just walked away.

  10. Just found your blog and am enjoying it so far. I definitely agree with this one!! As a 27 (ugh, almost 28…) single attorney, competitive equestrian, who has done my fair share of traveling, I have actually had guys tell me this quite a bit. Something along the line of me being intimidating to approach–or once we do initiate some kind of relationship–the feeling that no matter what they do, they can’t match up. Even though it doesn’t matter to me what their actual college education level is, as long as they are intelligent or thoughtful, or how many countries they’ve been to, as long as they are open to going one day, or how much money they make. That seems to be the BIGGEST sticking point. Guys hate when I make more than them. I try to split bills fairly (if I make more than you, we should be splitting 25/75, for example, because that’s fair, right?) but guys hate this, and I’ve had guys tell me “I wish I could afford to buy you everything you want.” But what the heck do they think I want? Nothing money can buy. Just someone to share experiences with, to be my partner, someone I can rely on.

    I think I’ve recently come to the conclusion that men really are way different than women and this is something I just have to accept instead of trying to change their way of thinking. I like your option three the best though- I hate thinking we have to downplay ourselves or be dishonest about ourselves to get someone interested in us 😦

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