Here’s a common problem when dating someone new: They go off the radar without warning.
You’ve been dating each other for a month or two. Things seem to be going well. They’re hinting that he wants a serious relationship with you. They have been a good communicator. Suddenly, one day, you don’t hear from them at all. Cricket.
So, swallowing your anxiety — or pride — you try to contact them. They eventually get back to you with a one-word reply. You’re getting worried, so you express your concern and try to get them talking. Finally, they give you a reason: work-related, something happened to a family member, or simply not feeling well.
You want to be there for them, so you ask them if there’s anything you could do for them. No response from them. You send them more texts and calls; all go unanswered. Now, you’re wondering whether you’re right to be hurt and their behaviour is a red flag, or you’re being ridiculous.
This is actually the text from a post I came across in a forum and, let me tell you, all the responses told this woman that she was in her head and needed to chill out (e.g. “You’re toxic and selfish.”) Meanwhile, empathy was poured in for the disappearing guy.
My reaction? I’m mortified!
If you’re in this situation, first of all, yes, you’re right to be hurt by a partner’s sudden drop in communication, regardless of the circumstance.
If they have agreed to be in a relationship with you, they can’t just choose when to be on and when to be off with you. Even if you’re not official yet, clearly, they’re not worried about losing you. They should have, at the very least, asked you for space if they really need it instead of ignoring you.
Show your concern and check in with them after some time if you like, but don’t make it about yourself; it’s about them. You should take this situation as an opportunity to gather information about them: what’s going on in their life, how they deal with stress, and how they see the relationship with you.
You’ve only been with each other for a short amount of time; you’re not seriously committed to each other. You do not need to be there for them unconditionally or take on their burden as your own, especially when they don’t choose to be with you right now.
They’re capable of taking care of themselves, and you need to take care of yourself.
When they come back around, it’s very likely that they’re not fully emotionally available due to whatever it is they’re going through. They might even try to carry on like nothing happened to avoid a difficult conversation with you.
Remember to not accept their crumbs of attention.
Instead, you have to be clear with them about how their behaviour made you feel and have your boundaries in place.
I know you care about them and want to help them, but it’s not fair to you and you’re not qualified to deal with their problems. Even a long-term relationship might hit a break after one partner faces serious personal issues, let alone a new dating situation.
So, while they’re missing in action, it’s best if you consider this relationship to be done and focus on yourself instead.
If you have an anxious attachment style…
You have to set hard rules for yourself to not contact them after they have ignored you.
Repeat after me: “Their silence is not my fault. Their availability is not my responsibility. They do what’s best for them, and I have to do what’s best for me.”
Do not delete their number or chat thread — it might signal a sense of loss and intensify your anxiety. Just leave it be, and carry on with your days. Trust that clarity will come to you in due course.
If you’re in an official relationship and their absence persists, at one point, you’ll have to make the decision to end the relationship yourself. If you want closure, don’t be afraid to communicate it to them without expecting a response.
You’re in control of your love life.