Phantom Date

Have you ever had the most amazing date with someone, never to hear from them again? Or maybe it’s going really well, he’s texting and calling consistently and seems really into you…then poof! He’s gone.

Phantom date.

(Not that type of Phantom Date…that would be hot!)

Where did he go? What happened? He just seemed to disappear without warning. Did I say something wrong? Did I do something to turn him off? Maybe he lost his phone? Maybe he got back with his ex? Maybe he got in a car accident and he is in a ditch somewhere and nobody can find him and his phone is just out of reach and that’s why it’s still ringing but he can’t answer it, OMG I have to go find him!!!

Ok, bad things do happen, but maybe….just maybe, he’s not calling you because he doesn’t want to. Damn Karen! Harsh! I know, it’s the usual “he’s just not that into you” if he’s not calling speech.

I had a friend recently who had this happen to her. She is a strong and independent woman so she wasn’t going to reach out again since she had initiated the last contact a week ago. What was interesting was that her friends were telling her to contact him again, “Just text him again, for closure”. Him not calling you is closure.

My friend Sean Coughlan is a stand up comedian and he has a great bit about how this girl he was dating just disappeared without warning so he sent a funeral wreath to her house. She then called and yelled at him about how creepy that was. His response: “So you are alive?!! Ha! So why didn’t you call?”

Please do not call him for closure or to see if he is ok, or even worse….to find out why he didn’t call you. All of these options leave you in a position with less dignity. There are a million ways to reach you in a modern world. He is choosing not to.

Maybe he is an “emotional midget” (he has lots of baggage and gets scared off by a high quality woman), maybe he is too busy at work, maybe he is dating someone else he likes more, maybe when you belched at dinner by mistake he became utterly repulsed by you…..who knows! You can spend all your time thinking about it and discussing it over with your girlfriends but you won’t get any closer to the reason. Save some of your respect and don’t dig it up. He didn’t call. Next.

You don’t want to date anyone who can wait a week or two to talk to you. You are fantastic. Save yourself a funeral wreath and a lot of useless anxiety, get back online or go out with your friends. Someone who calls you is waiting to meet you.


  1. I have certainly been in the situation where guys drop off the face of the Earth after one date. This is an interesting phenomenon.
    I think women want to talk to these men for more than just the obvious reason. We don’t just want to ask “are you dead?” We don’t just want to say “lets go out again.” What we want is feedback. We wish that guys have the decency to say “it was nice meeting you but I don’t think we will work out. Have a nice life.” That feedback says the problem is chemistry.
    We will even accept very negative comments. “I think the restaurant was really bad, and I didn’t appreciate that you insisted I pay.” OK, feedback is I’m a jerk with bad taste in food. Noted.
    It hurts not to have feedback, because it means we move forward with dating new people with no new data. Flying blind is scary.
    One thing that may help is to consider first dates like job interviews. You know it’s true. We overdress, we try not to use too much slang and say things that make it sound like we’re good at things we’ve only tried. “I am a Photoshop expert! I love hiking!” or are willing to do when we’re really not “Filing sounds totally fine! Yes, we should see that midnight movie that’s playing in the Tenderloin next week!”
    Job interviews don’t come with follow-up guarantees. If they don’t like us, they’re just going to lose our number.
    Dates are the same.
    As you say, the lack of feedback is the feedback. You’re not right for the job. It might be you, it might be me, but it’s not meant to be.

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