Experts Reveal The Harsh Reasons Men Might 'Disappear' After A Third Date

You might never know why he ghosted you. But you can still find closure.

couple chatting on dinner date F8 studio / Shutterstock

The "three-date rule" has fallen in and out of fashion so often over the years that it's moved out of the realm of cliche into a mythical realm occupied by other dating anachronisms such as "the guy always pays for dinner" and "don't call or text the next day."

Why limit yourself to some arbitrary number of get-togethers, anyway? If you want to go to bed with someone and they're willing, what's the difference between the first date, the third date, or the 20th date? It's no one else's business but yours.


Your reasons for waiting or not waiting — whatever they might be — are perfectly valid.

That said, it usually takes a while to really know someone well enough to determine if you're a good match for physical intimacy. Or a good match for emotional intimacy, for that matter.

For instance, let's say things with this new guy seem to be going great. You've had three fun and enlightening dates, maybe a nice dinner, drinks with mutual friends at your favorite pub, or a trip to the local theme park. You talked for hours about everything. You found out that you both like the same music, neither of you can stand the smell of asparagus, and you're both allergic to rabbit fur. 


Maybe you went to bed, or maybe you settled for a passionate kiss goodnight. Either way, you're beginning to think there might be something here. You'd like to pursue the relationship.

But then, just like that ... he's gone. You call. You text. No response. A week goes by. Two weeks. You're baffled, confused, and hurt. You want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but it's become all too obvious.

You've been ghosted.

The mature thing to do would be to chalk it up to a lucky break and move on. After all, if he's the kind of person who can simply disappear after sending so many promising signals, why waste your time with him? Clearly, you dodged a bad one there.


Still, you can't help but wonder what happened. Some closure would be nice. Was it something you said or did? How can you know? Should you have seen it coming?

With that in mind, we reached out to a panel of YourTango Experts to ask: What are the unfair or harsh reasons men might disappear after a third date? Their insight might bring you a little peace of mind.

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Here are three experts' takes on the harsh reasons men disappear after a third date:

1. He moved on with someone else

It’s possible you were one of many people he’s dating and he decided to move forward with one of the other women he’s dating.

- Alyssa Dineen, dating coach

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2. You weren't exciting or interesting enough

Sometimes a man disappears after the third date because he was just using you as a distraction and his primary focus has taken off. But there are also times when a guy disappears after a third date because you’re just not that interesting. Perhaps you have a good job, you’re nice, and you look good … but you are predictable.


We often hear of people being denied by Ivy League schools although they have a 4.2 GPA because they did not participate in extracurricular activities. We need to bring some complexity to the table. We need to stand out in some way. Humans have a need for certainty, but they have an equal need for uncertainty.

- Erika Jordan, love coach, NLP practitioner

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3. He simply wasn't that into you — or maybe life just happened

To be perfectly honest, there could be several different reasons why men disappear after a third date. The man could be "shopping around." He is probably dating a few women at the same time and compares them as he goes about it, and eventually decides to be exclusive with one.


The guy might not be emotionally ready or available, maybe he thought it would be nice to go out on dates, but then realized things are actually going somewhere and he is just not ready for that emotional commitment.

Maybe while getting to know you he learned something about you and it does not align with his values, beliefs, or general plans for the future. Perhaps you don't want kids and he sees his future self as a father of four. Perhaps the excitement of dating you wore off or he needed time to collect his own thoughts and feelings and figure things out.

There could also be reasons that have nothing to do with you. Maybe one of his parents got very ill, his furry companion died, his boss sent him to an island with no phone reception, or he got hit by a bus. Obviously, hopefully, none of that is the reason. But try to give a guy the benefit of the doubt. Life happens to everyone.


That said, I as a matchmaker would encourage everyone to not ghost your dates and just be honest about your decision, giving people some closure is good karma.

- Ella Scaduto, matchmaker, relationship coach

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Carter Gaddis is the senior editor for Experts and Wellness with YourTango.