Why Guys Disappear Without Explanation: Reasons They Ghost

It may be coming up to Halloween, but we all know the scariest monster of all isn’t a vampire or werewolf, it’s the ghost. I’m not talking Casper here, I’m talking the emotionally unavailable Brett from accounting that you got involved with last month. In a classic trick or treat, you waited around for a “good morning” text that never came, and here you are with egg on your face, feeling rubbish and staring at the ‘read’ receipt on your texts. Crap. In the interest of understanding and demystifying this disappointment, here’s an insight into why guys ghost…

  1. They’re scared of commitment. It can be as simple as that. They’re like spiders – they’re just as scared of you as you are of them, in terms of fearing getting hurt. Because most men lack the quality and quantity of female-centered relationships, they don’t have an outlet or way of expressing their emotions a lot of the time. As a result, they make riskier, less well thought out decisions because they don’t have sounding boards or people to talk things through with. In turn, they begin to fear things they haven’t experienced, turning away from new stages in relationships because they don’t know what to do. Commitment is really hard, we all know that. But you have to look it in the eye and make it work with your person. There’s no rulebook, but if guys get scared that they’re in too deep, they will run because they don’t trust that they can swim. Of all the reasons why guys ghost, this is probably the most cowardly.
  2. They can’t picture a future with you. This is the reverse. On the occasion that the guy you were seeing has a good support mechanism or friendship group around him, he might actually recognize that he feels unsatisfied in the relationship. Terrible though it may feel, and badly though he may have expressed this feeling, he is allowed to not like you anymore. No one deserves to feel trapped in a relationship. Hopefully next time he will have an emotional crutch or template in which he can work through these issues and communicate what he wants and needs better. Both sides need to be heard and feel seen, not just you!
  3. He might have trauma. Maybe he has his own bad experience or horrible break up and he wants to avoid the whole drama by ghosting you. However, while he doesn’t want to have to say the words, he leaves an ambiguous space. Neither of you knows how to move on, still feeling connected to each other by that negative space of ‘read’ receipts. Sometimes we all just need closure, no matter how painful it might be in the moment. His bad experience might explain why he ghosted you, in an effort to save both of your feelings, but it doesn’t excuse it. It’s still cowardly and you both deserve better.
  4. He’s just lazy. Maybe there isn’t a proper reason. This is possible if you were in a particularly casual relationship. It’s more forgivable than doing it three months in after you’ve met the parents. Perhaps this guy was never taught the value of compassion or respecting another person, and that’s whatever. Clearly he wasn’t the one if he doesn’t see you as both equals. He isn’t willing to have the hard conversations. Honestly, he had better hope he doesn’t see you on the street and actually has to deal with the consequences of his actions.
  5. He found someone else. No one wants to hear this, but it’s a possibility. Maybe you never defined the boundaries of your relationship, and if you haven’t then he hasn’t ‘strictly’ done anything wrong. But that doesn’t mean that he didn’t know how his actions would hurt you. He knows that much, whatever he tells himself. It’s possible that this is his way of avoiding confirming that he has found a new person to mess around. You just have to trust that you’re better off without that drama in your life. When a guy ghosts you out of nowhere, your mind goes in all directions to quantify why that happened. The right person won’t make you doubt their love, nor make you question yours. Trust me. Guys who ghost really aren’t on your level.
  6. He likes you too much. This is one of those stock ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ set-pieces of break-ups. Sometimes it’s bullshit, sometimes it’s genuine. It can be hard to tell. But your friends will probably commiserate you with the latter when you’re all curled up together in the dark watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother in the early hours of the morning with a bottle of Ros√© or four. If it makes you feel better, believe them. You can pity your ex all you like. But, if he really cared so much then surely you would rank higher on his list of priorities.

So, in conclusion, don’t ghost people, it’s crappy. There are lots of ways to deal with ghosting, so exorcise them from your mind with this article and move on.

Hannah has a Masters degree in Romantic and Victorian literature in Scotland and spends her spare time writing anything from essays to short fiction about the life and times of the frogs in her local pond! She loves musical theatre, football, anything with potatoes, and remains a firm believer that most of the problems in this world can be solved by dancing around the kitchen to ABBA. You can find her on Instagram at @_hannahvic.