Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Disappearing Act

One of my favorite quotes (among many others) from the HBO series Sex and the City is when the single and fabulous Charlotte frustratingly states, “I’ve been dating since I was fifteen. I’m exhausted! Where is he?” I hear ya, sister. I’ve been dating for about that long with the exception of a 3-year marriage. So, I realized the other day that I too have been dating for fifteen years. Wow. That seems like a long time. And I believe, during the course of those fifteen years, I have probably encountered every possible dating scenario with every possible type of man. The man who’s afraid of commitment. The man who wants to marry you one week after meeting you. The man too consumed by his job. The man without a job. The man who wants to meet your kids too early. The man who never wants to meet your kids. The man who forgets you have kids. The man who doesn’t even like kids. The man who IS a big kid. The man with whom you immediately have a connection and start dating. The man with whom you are friends for years before dating. The man who can’t commit…wait, did I already say that? But I have recently encountered a type I had never met before and which, I am learning, is actually more common than I first thought: The Magician.

Anyone out there know the type? You date him for a while, things seem to be going very well, or at least pretty well, you are really into each other, he may even say things to you that seem sincere or genuine…and then…POOF. He’s gone. Vanished.

After having met one of these types for the first time, I had to do some research. It was as if I had stumbled across some rare breed of bird not yet discovered by the Audubon society. Or something. In my research I was surprised to find that apparently this is not such a rare breed. Apparently this is actually a type wandering around out there in the world in such great numbers that articles have been written about how to deal with the situation, poems have been written about the aftermath of having met them, and the book “He’s Just Not That IntoYou” devotes an entire chapter on the topic. The Disappearing Man.

Ok. So now that I have gathered some comfort from the knowledge that this has happened before (it’s not me, it’s them) I start to ask questions. Like “why?” Not a why me kind of thing, but rather a why do this at all? Is this really necessary? Was whatever happened or whatever you discovered so bad, such an enormous deal-breaker that you can’t even tell the girl what it was? And why is this? Do men think that women are all delicate little precious beings who will completely fall apart and have their worlds come crashing down if we hear that there ended up being something about us that you didn’t grow to like? Just tell us. Man up. Call us and say what happened to change your mind. Say what it was that suddenly made you decide not to continue with the relationship. Don’t make excuses. Don’t try to be coy or beat around the bush. Tell us. We’re big girls. We can handle it. In fact, you know what? We’d rather know what went wrong than to be left guessing. I always say that after a job interview for a job I didn’t get, I’d like to call up the interviewer and ask him or her why I didn’t get the job. Not to whine or beg, but rather to know what I did wrong (or what the hired did right), so that I can be prepared better for the next time.

Why can’t we all just be brutally honest with each other? Is it really to protect one another’s feelings? Since when did our feelings get so fragile? Yeah, it would suck to be told that something about ourselves is unappealing, especially to a person to whom we want to be appealing, but, trust me, knowing is better than not knowing. And, trust me, even though we will never see you again either way, we will have more respect for you, and you will probably have more respect for yourself.

Remember, all you Magicians out there: no matter how smooth your patter, no matter how good your slight of hand may be, the woman always steps out of the box fully intact when the show is over.

Posted by: Missi


  1. I don't get this, either. See, I think that when I want to stop dating someone, I have to tell them -- to make it official -- because I can't imagine anything being more painful for myself in that regard than to have this person calling me, emailing me, texting me without knowing that I'm out of it! And as the days go by, watching the change in said calls, texts, emails... I think that would be far worse to endure than the one conversation that ends it!

  2. wow! this was the first blog for me to read ov yours and it was so fitting to be so... as, this has been a pattern as ov recent for me in the world ov dating. though, being a male, it happens with both sexes. it is one ov the more confusing types to deal with as all seems wonderful with how things are going in the relationship, then without reason they are gone. i have found that this type typically only lasts no more than a couple ov months(at the most). the biggest problem i find with this 'magician' type is that, well for me, it builds up the walls that one has to protect the emotions... and those walls are hard to bring down when the 'real' person comes into your life.

    good write Missi.