What does it mean when someone you’ve been on a few dates with suddenly disappears and no longer wants to communicate? He or she may not call, or return calls, or somehow make it pretty clear that they no longer want to be in touch with you.
The stage of dating starting after date number one ending before “boyfriend and girlfriend” can be the hardest and most confusing. It’s always best to ask your date what happened or if his or her interest changed. It may be awkward to do, but it’s the clearest, best way to get feedback, assuming the other person has the character strength to give you an authentic answer.
Unfortunately, in the dating world, we don’t always get to have that conversation. Instead, we’re left with an empty, nagging feeling that we missed something very important. What could that “something” be? Well, it could be any number of things.
First, try to think if you are aware of any tense moments between the two of you. Was there a subtle conflict, one that went unspoken? You may find that your date became uncomfortable, but just wasn’t able to verbalize it. Was it something you said or did? It can be hard to know, since the same event may not upset your next date or the previous one! Do you have a trusted friend or mentor that can give you some feedback? This is a time that it may be helpful to share your perception of what happened with someone else and see if you might be missing your own role in their disappearance.
Have you noticed your date slowly pulling away? Were there other signs? If so, then the cut-off may not actually be out of nowhere, you may just not have wanted to see the warning signs. Is it normal for a person to cut you off if there has been no other signs? Sadly, it happens, as there isn’t a license for permission to date. I f there was, then you’d have to agree to at least tell the other person that you’re no longer interested, instead of just disappearing.
Next, remember that even if you have developed feelings for your date, you really don’t know them very well yet. In only a few dates, you don’t have a complete picture of that person’s ability to be authentic or to tolerate disagreements. Some people tend to idealize everyone they date and then abruptly leave when the person is not perfect. It may not be anything you said or did, it just may be that the other person isn’t mature enough to navigate the less romantic aspects of a real relationship – like talking about needs, wants or conflicts. If that’s the case, then the relationship you were wanting was not going to be what you imagined.
The real answer: sometimes you don’t get to know what really happened. When your date disappears, the only thing you can know for sure is if he or she was interested, then they would be available to discuss conflicts, to pursue the relationship, and to take responsibility for their part. Allow yourself the time to grieve the disappointment, and then move forward in faith that the right person will appear.