(The Root) —
"Over the summer I met a guy, and he told me that he liked me and wanted to really get to know me. I decided to give him a chance, and as time went on, I started to really like him. After a few months, I asked him what he wanted from our situation. His response was he wanted to be my boyfriend. Here's where things started to go left. Since that conversation about where we were headed, I haven't seen him. We talked regularly, but no face to face. About a week or so ago, I wrote him this long text about my issue with this. The gist of it was that his actions weren't matching his words. He told me I was right and that he would do better. I dropped it and moved forward.
"This past week, he sent me a text me telling me he was having a bad day. I asked him what was wrong, and I haven't heard from him since. I've called him and texted; no response. One night after getting into some red wine and my feelings, I sent him a not-so-nice email. Still nothing. The next night, I sent him a text telling him, 'We need to talk.' No response. The day after that, I wrote another email, but this one longer. I really said the things I have been wanting to say about how his actions weren't that of a man who claimed to want me to be his girlfriend, how I am hurt by his actions, that I was hurt by all of this and this type of stuff wasn't acceptable. Still nothing.
"My friends say I should be done with the situation and not call him anymore, that I shouldn't be chasing after some dude and that I'm venturing into Kenya Moore-type of crazy. I don't what to be that, and I'm not that girl, but I just don't understand how he could go from zero to 60. My brain tells me not call and avoid being that lunatic of a woman. But my heart says something different, that I should call him one last time. What do you think?" —P.Q.
It's evident from your letter that you really like the guy you were dating, and you're very hurt by his abrupt departure, especially since he went "poof!" without an explanation or a goodbye. I know you want some answers and likely some closure, but you should listen to your friends, who are actually giving you good advice, and stop contacting him.
Your letter leads me to believe that you may be in denial about what's going on here. You seem to be trying to justify the unjustifiable, which I actually knew just by the length of your letter. In three years, I've answered more than 20,000 dating and relationship questions just via my Formspring account. Without fail, the really long letters always mean there's some level of denial, a hint of drama and definitely a relationship that's gone on well past its expiration date. Your query supports my rule.
Please know that he has received all of your messages. His phone is not broken, and his email account wasn't accidentally deleted by the Gmail gods. He always received your messages when things were good between you two, right? That means he's still getting them just as promptly; however, he's now choosing not to respond.
The timing of him going AWOL is no coincidence. He liked hanging with you while there were no strings attached, despite what he said about wanting to be in a relationship. When you indicated that you were looking for a commitment, he wasn't honest with you about what he wanted. He said he was in; his actions — no longer making plans to see you — said he was out. You noticed that he was sending mixed signals, and you gave him the benefit of the doubt. There is no more doubt about what he wants — or, rather, doesn't want. His actions say that whatever you were hoping to build with him, it's time to call it a wrap.
Unfortunately, your story, or something similar, is quite common. I've heard tales from a lot of women about men who would rather pretend they fell off the end of the earth than communicate that they don't want to be with a particular woman. The reason guys do it — not that it makes it acceptable — is to avoid being the bad guy or facing the drama and tears they expect when they say something like, "I don't want to do this anymore." Somehow, some guys don't realize that just making it plain gets them a whole lot less drama than pulling a disappearing act.
Also, unfortunately, although you aren't to blame for this happening and did nothing to cause it, there is not much you can do to avoid this happening again. It's clear you've taken an emotional hit here, but don't let the negative outcome of this situation keep you from asking for what you want or even "What are we doing?" in the future. This situation didn't work out the way you hoped. Another situation will.
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor to The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.