Relationships sometimes run their natural course and come to an end. Sometimes it’s just one person in the relationship that decides this. Sometimes the other person is never alerted to this fact. I call this the disappearing act.
My first experience with it was in my first relationship. At some point, early on, he mentioned to me that he would always rather have someone break up with him rather than doing the breaking up himself, just to avoid the guilt of ending the relationship. I didn’t think too much of it at the time as I was a teenager in puppy love for the first time and I was convinced that we would always be together.
When our relationship was over and he had moved in another woman to his house, he decided it was time to break up. He just didn’t tell me. For three weeks I called him, tried to see him, drove by his house like a fucking stalker. Finally, I cornered him when I knew he was home and confronted him. He never actually said that he wanted to end the relationship. He told me that he felt uncomfortable and he didn’t feel like himself and he didn’t feel this or didn’t feel that.
In the end, I broke up with him. It was like a suicide by cop. He forced me to end a relationship when I wasn’t ready and gave me no closure in my first ever romantic commitment. I tried to talk to him a few times afterward. I was reeling from the breakup and having a hard time dealing with it. I had no idea what happened, no idea what to think, no clue as to what I did wrong. And I was convinced that I did something wrong. But he wouldn’t so much as answer my calls.
He was completely done with me and to this day, I have never spoken to him again. Sometimes, it’s sad to think that someone I experienced so many new things with, that I spent 10 months of my life with, that I cared about so deeply just tossed me away when he was done with me without even the slightest concern for my feelings or emotions. But honestly, we started dating when I was 17 and he was 36. He was moody, closed off, fickle, and emotionally manipulative. I never should have dated him to begin with and the only way that our relationship was going to end was by me getting hurt.
But he wasn’t the last man to try the disappearing act on me. Another boyfriend, one that I had been very deeply involved with and really saw myself with in the longterm, did the same thing. In the end, I had to break up with his answering machine after 3 solid days of returned phone calls and texts. I was again left with no closure and just a lingering feeling that I was such a terrible person that I didn’t even deserve an explanation.
A few months later I did manage to track him down and asked him just what the hell happened. The truth was that he had gotten bored with me. If he had just been honest about his feelings and just told me that to begin with, I would have dealt with everything much better. But to just act like I ceased to exist and toss me away like nothing we had done ever mattered really hurt.
I’m not looking for a serious commitment this time around in my dating adventures, but I still find people disappearing. I’m not one to wait for someone to message me. So a lot of the time I find people that I was regularly texting with, seeing, even dating, just drop off the face of the earth. Personally, I would much rather have closure and just know what was happening rather than never hear from someone again.
It’s not as if my ego is so delicate, I can’t handle rejection. I regularly handle rejection and I’m fine with it. I’d much rather know that someone didn’t like my sense of humor or found my laugh annoying, rather than sit and wonder what in the world I did to offend a guy this time. Sometimes people make a quick exit out of your life and sometimes that’s for the best. But seriously, if I know what the person decided was something that they couldn’t deal with, it would be a lot easier for me to process and move on from.
Until the time when we all revere honesty for the amazing thing that it is, there will be more disappearing acts and more men performing them.