Reappearing Act

by Patrice J. Williams

It usually starts with a simple text. “Hey stranger” or “hey there.” It’s short and simple, but leaves you scratching your head.

Or maybe it’s something a bit more public.

You upload recent vacation photos to Facebook at 10 p.m. and by 10:05, you’re notified of multiple comments on your recent flicks. “Cute,” “Looking good,” or “You went on vacation without me? lol.”

It’s him. You know him. The guy you dated once upon a time and he mysteriously disappeared. No rhyme or reason; he’s just gone. Women are all too familiar with the disappearing act some men like to pull, but even more mysterious is the reappearing act. As quickly as he stopped calling, texting, and lost all ability to respond to any calls or texts, he’s back. Some re-emerge after a few weeks, others it’s months.

Your sense of confusion may quickly turn to feelings of “Ah yeah, I knew he’d be back.”

But as tempting as it may be to relish his returned attention, don’t.

Psst: I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Come a little closer to your screen. When he disappeared, it was for a reason, and now that he’s back, it’s for a reason.

Though most people think of women as being the more intuitive, men have a handy intuition as well. It’s a sixth sense that let’s him know: She’s moved on and isn’t thinking about me or there’s another man in the picture. And not just any man, a good man who treats her better than I did. This freaks men out. Even if he doesn’t want you, his ego can’t bear the idea of you not wanting him. And God forbid another penis may be getting close to what was once his vagina (because you know men like to claim stuff). That ego alert system goes off and he swoops right back into your life.

And he usually won’t make any bold attempts at first, like calling or immediately asking to see you. It’ll be something small, like the aforementioned text. That’s just his way of testing the waters to see if you’re super pissed at him for leaving without a trace. If you don’t respond, he may try a bit harder or just move on to another sucker. But if you do respond, he’s got you right where he wants you.

Another common reason men have for suddenly swooping back in is a woman they were really feeling (more so than you) is no longer in the picture. And c’mon, Clutchettes, us girls have done this as well. You’re dating someone, then you meet another someone who you like better than the first someone, so that first someone gets the boot while you focus on the second, better someone. That’s the way the dating game gets played. It just sucks when the first draft pick is no longer in the picture, so now you’re worthy of being picked up again.

Or maybe there isn’t some egotistical motive or sudden loneliness that’s the result of him returning. Regardless of the reason, do you really want to give a second chance to someone who didn’t think you were worthy of a goodbye?

They always come back, and when they do, don’t be so quick to dust off the welcome mat.

Weigh in, Clutchettes: Have you ever had a guy suddenly come back in your life? Are you forgiving or does he get the side eye?

  • Elle

    Perfect scenario I was in. Till I decided hell nawl. I deserve better. Took me a while but won’t ever happen again.

  • Rocks

    Yes, and as comforting this post is, the point is, you don’t give them the right to walk back into your life. It just is what it is. Why be second pick?

  • Overseas_Honeybee

    Church! Never fails. It can be tempting to “catch up” but I’ve learned no good hardly ever comes of it. In the past I have sent a quick response back with a friendly reminder to keep it moving. Now adays I just hit delete.

  • Rosey

    I’ve done this and had it done to me. I hate it when relationships phase out and I’m not sure what exactly happened. Everything seems to be going fine…until, it isn’t anymore. Then they want to send that “whats up text”? Heck no! I’m done.

  • LA Red


  • Syreeta

    Been there and got the T-shirt to prove it!! SHAME

  • Tiffany

    This article came right on time as the one who disappeared on me decides to reappear on my birthday a year later. (Which was this week) He made it seem as if it was me that stopped speaking to him and claimed how he never stopped caring. Floored, Stunned and Anger quickly turned into You have alot of nerve but I’m not even going to give this “Happy Birthday Baby” much thought or energy.

  • ashlee

    Been there, done that. It always starts with a “you disappeared on”, placing the blame of a failed “relationship” upon me. And being way way too nice, I let them crawl back into my life by responding to them and building the communication that they suddently broke off. Its boring and repetitive and it is completely my fault for letting them back in. I will be better off if i mastered the art of deleting and ignoring.

  • Rochelle

    yes a dumb knee-grow did this some weeks back. After we did “the DO” he told me that he could not really call me or hang out anymore because he was studying for this really important exam, and that he has to be careful who he brings into his daughter’s life. GTFOH! I said ok and that was the last time I spoke to him. Fast forward 9 months I get e “what’s up text” and a phone call. I miss both. His number in my phone was deleted So i ask “who is this.” Talking bout he “sorry.” I told him you should never be sorry for being yourself. Thank lord I saw your true colors, and that I don’t hang around people of your ilk. I hope your daughters don’t meet a person such as yourself. Good luck in life” Never contacted me again:)

    ladies, never run back to a no good user azzh0le. They are pieces of garbage and you don’t need them. Especially when you are doing them a favor by givng them your time (like in my case). Im single and ready to mingle, making moves. He is a tied down single dad. I don’t need it. Never compromise your values and standards for no guy. That’s my word.

  • Rochelle

    Next time a dude does this, be pleasant and nice to him over the phone. Arrange to meet. I mean pick a place that is totally out of his way. Throw some highways and tolls in there. Then don’t show up. When he calls asking where you are, place him on ignore and have a good laugh:)

  • Overseas_Honeybee

    Not tolls!!! Lol

  • Sasha A.


  • Cee Jay

    This is so on point right now. I am dealing with this, and months go by and then they reappear again. The reasons always sound legit, but deep down I know the deal. I just ran into him the other day, and was going to open up the lines of communication again. This article reminded me not to.

  • Mademoiselle

    I do this, except I like to show up to see the look on his face when I tell him about himself in person–they never see it coming because they think I’m too sweet & gullible to peep game.

  • sblazer227

    omg, this just happened to me. i took a quick look and deleted that mess.

  • Amy

    I’m totally going through this right now, never went more than a day in the past two years without at least a text haven’t heard from him in 4 days, been beating myself up mentally, but managed to survive. NOW I get the “Are you there?” text. Um, NO! not for you Mister. Nobody who truly cares about you will do the Hudini act on you no matter the situation. If I were in the hospital, I’d let him know so he would not worry, I did not even get a text after leaving my own, and calling several times. Forgetaboutit! Moving on. Don’t go back girls, they who disappear will only do it again and again when they get bored or find what they might consider to be “better” (which it NOT!). Let the losers go, get on with your life and be HAPPY!

  • Jameelah

    This was on point and funny too…lol

  • Edna Triplett

    I experienced this. When he tried to reappear I pretended to be excepting and led him on. I had him order lots of food , which was non refundable and I didnt show up. He called my phone to see how long it would be until I met him at the restaurant, that’s when I said “now you can go to hell” Lol. I wont trust him again. We even now.

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