This post is specifically for women who are wholeheartedly following Christ who have been dating men who are wholeheartedly following Christ who have a history of being kind, considerate, selfless, and loving. It is not intended for unbelievers or for those who are dating guys who are generally “insensitive, thoughtless, and unloving.”
If you are dating a guy who is generally emotionally toxic or who is an unbeliever, it may be best to let him leave and not try to pursue the relationship again – as God commands us only to marry men who are “in the Lord.” For resources about dealing with emotionally toxic relationships in a godly way, check out www.leslievernick.com. If your guy was abusive, please do what you can to be safe and please seek godly counsel so you can find healing in Christ for yourself. I don’t want anyone to be mistreated or abused!
So… things seemed to be going great! He was calling and texting and wanted to see you and then, seemingly out of nowhere, he completely drops all communication. WHAT ON EARTH JUST HAPPENED?
That is a great question, and one I want us to find the answer to, however…
OUR USUAL REACTION OFTEN MAKES THINGS WORSE
Most women panic and begin trying to re-establish communication immediately. They’ll call or text frequently, ask lots of questions, beg to know what is wrong so they can try to fix it. Women need words to fix relationship problems, but we don’t realize that words don’t do much for men. And, sadly, our intuition tells us to TALK to him right away to try to explain and fix things – and that is the opposite of what a guy usually needs in a situation like this. That is what a girl needs many times, but guys are VERY DIFFERENT FROM US!
Whether you’ve been seeing each other for a week or two, or you are engaged – when a guy suddenly seems to vanish, there is a REALLY good chance that he is feeling disrespected.
Of course, there are other possibilities, too.
So – maybe this is a place to start your investigation, but it doesn’t meant that this is all that is going on or that this is even the issue. It could be that he is overwhelmed by a crisis in his own life or that he may be dealing with his own sin issues or fears. That will take discernment from God to determine. I think it is valuable for us to seek to examine our side of things first according to Matthew 7:1-5 before we attempt to address what our guy is doing.
WOMEN DON’T ALWAYS NOTICE DISRESPECT – BUT IT WILL REPEL GUYS.
If you notice you are talking with your man and he suddenly seems angry or shuts down – he most likely feels disrespected.
It could be something very seemingly innocent, from a woman’s perspective:
- You used an “angry mother” tone of voice
- You tried to have “the talk” with him about where the relationship was going and he felt very pressured. In general, unless God is seriously leading you, don’t have “the talk!” Just wait and be patient and let him lead as he is ready. Trying to force his emotions will almost always push him away. Now, if he continues on and on indefinitely without wanting to move forward, that is something about which to fervently pray and seek God’s wisdom. There are times it may be necessary for a woman to leave and not continue to wait. But many times we do a lot of pressuring that is not super helpful – that is what I would love to see us try to avoid.
- You told him what to do – implying that he was inept, incapable, and unable to figure things out for himself.
- You tried to force your own plans or your way on him.
- You insulted him in front of other people. (This really hurts men. It is best not to criticize a guy or “tease” him by bringing up his weaknesses in front of others!!)
- You were critical about his dreams, his goals, his career, or something deep-seated in his manhood.
- You weren’t very enthusiastic when he planned a very special surprise for you.
- You took over and tried to lead in the relationship and control him.
- You expected him to think, act and have needs like a woman. He’s a guy. They are VERY different from us!
- Maybe you told him you didn’t think there was a future for your relationship with him and he believed you and walked away because he thought you were breaking up with him.
WHAT DO I DO NOW?
If a guy just quit speaking with you and cut all communication and you suspect that you may have been disrespectful and that was possibly the trigger for him leaving – the best thing to do is going to be exactly the thing you don’t want to do – let him have some time (once you know he is safe – by all means try to verify he is okay!). Most likely, if you give him some time, he will likely call you again when he starts to really get curious about you and miss you a lot. It could be wise not to assume what he is thinking – we don’t know the hearts and motives of other people. There may be a reasonable explanation – although, you would certainly want to work through things together so that this kind of reaction doesn’t happen again.
If you realize what you did specifically that was disrespectful, it may be a good idea to pray about if you should briefly apologize to him about your disrespect. When I say briefly, I mean – probably a few sentences. Most guys are not affected by words like women are (although there are some exceptions)! He may not want a big, emotional, detailed explanation. Sometimes it’s best to wait till he contacts you. Sometimes you may need to email an apology first. That will have to be a Holy Spirit-led thing.
You could say or email something like, “I just realized that I came across very disrespectfully to you last night. I am SO sorry. I was wrong to do that to you.” If you prayerfully examine your motives, your heart, and your life and don’t believe you have done anything disrespectful – then it may be something that is going on with him that doesn’t have anything to do with you. Ideally, you are walking very closely to the Holy Spirit and can listen to God’s prompting about what He desires you to do. That is the best thing of all!
IN THE MEANTIME
Pray and spend time with God. Pray for the guy to find God’s will and to draw near to God. Enjoy your life. Focus on other relationships and interests. He might call, he might not. You only control yourself, not anyone else. This is a situation where you trust in God’s sovereignty to work out things for your best interests. He may be sparing you from a lot of pain by removing this man from your life. But even if this IS the guy for you, if he has said he needs some time or space, it could be wise to just be patient for a bit.
IF HE CONTACTS YOU AGAIN
Be friendly, pleasant and polite. Be receptive and interested. Perhaps let him talk first and see if he will eventually bring up what his issue was. If you want to get back together, you’ll need some detailed answers as to why he disappeared. If you give him some time, and he doesn’t talk about it at all, then prayerfully seek God’s wisdom about how you may want to address the issue if this guy wants to see you again.
And if he was involved in some kind of sin – you will need to see sincere repentance and real heart change before committing to him again. You may need some godly counsel from a mentor/Christian counselor/older Christian woman. Let God’s Spirit and His Word lead you more than any human!
Check out the comments, they are pretty helpful on this post!