All Articles Tagged "disappearing act"
I met a guy in Germany in July. I felt we had a connection although he was five years younger than me. We communicated every day when I got back to New York and I flew out there in September to see him. We had a great time and he introduced me to his parents and his sister. In fact, his sister and his mother hit me up on G-chat or Skype from time to time and they even told me that I must be something special for “Jeremy” to bring me around. Well, all was fine and dandy until last week when he essentially dropped off the face of the earth. Although I am devastated I’m more confused by the fact that he couldn’t just clearly break things off. Were his feelings all false? I couldnt’ imagine ignoring someone completely that I shared quality time with and who I exchanged emotions with. I’ve experienced before and I just don’t understand why men can’t man up and do the right thing and be clear?
“The Thirst Is Real.” Is it? Isn’t it? These days, “the thirst” has become a ubiquious term showing up everywhere from Frank Ocean’s tweets to ratchet reality shows. But what is the thirst? In our series “The ThirstFiles,” we decide to share stories and essays that communicate one angle of the thirst whether it involves a woman who develops a sexual addiction or a married man who stalks for affection via the internet. Just so you know, we’re not taking ourselves too seriously here but wanted to take a more focused approach to understanding this thing called “The Thirst” lol. Enjoy our fourth installment and let us know what other angles of the thirst you’d like to see explored.
By Darren Bell*
Repeated listening of my “G’s Up H*e’s Down” playlist wasn’t enough to purge the bitter feelings of resentment experienced by my ego when a woman I had been dating for the past three months apparently decided to terminate our relationship, unbeknownst to me. I certainly have gone through my share of relationships to understand sugar can turn to s**t, things fall apart, and all good things must come to an end, but what bothered me and left me confounded was that she simply disappeared. Number changed, Facebook profile deleted, twitter account non-existent, no responses from email. She went missing in action, absent without leave, leaving me in that uncomfortable state of suspended uncertainty, relegated to ponder the infinite lists of what’s and whys which could all be summed up in three simple letters…WTF.
The more time went by, the more preoccupied I became with attempting to find answers to the mysteries left by my missing lover. In all honesty I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. Her abrupt disappearing act engendered a wide range of emotions and the more I thought about the time she and I spent together, the private things we confided in each other, and the moments of intimacy we shared, the deeper I seemed to submerge myself in a convoluted sea of feelings and prospective actions I should or could take. While her contact information may have changed, I thought about the information I did have, like her email password which she voluntarily gave me earlier in our relationship. I could access her email account and snoop around, I thought. Or maybe I should do a pop-up visit at her job or her house. Until then, I’ve always thought that making unannounced visits to a significant other’s home or job breached the threshold of dating decorum and was a direct violation of the G-code so with all of these thoughts circulating, a conflict began to emerge. The strong, impassioned heartfelt emotion I was feeling was starting to take over the logical part of my mind. It was like I could literally see the good angel on my shoulder telling me to let things go, while simultaneously the bad angel was yelling at me saying “C’mon man, go to that b***h’s house and get some answers. Thankfully, my male ego wouldn’t allow me to act so desperately.
Before I let the situation turn me into a stalker, I called one of my homegirls to vent. My intent was to explore the female psyche, solicit advice, insight, maybe get some warm words of comfort. Instead, after pouring my heart out to my female friend, I was met with cynicism and laughter. She was surprised that someone disappearing without notice was something I hadn’t experienced before. Her take was that men pull disappearing acts all the time without the consideration of a phone call or text message. And while she didn’t mean to laugh at me, she confessed that she found a slight sense of satisfaction knowing that a man actually experienced something women experience quite regularly. (Some friend huh?)
Our conversation was surprising to me. She spoke of people ending relationships without notice in such a cavalier manner that she made it seem like it was common practice. While we debated the different ways and reasons why lovers disappear and whether men were more culpable than women, it became clear that leaving a relationship without notice is a form of emotional abandonment. While this may be the first time for me, after talking to several other people they confirmed that it happens quite frequently. I decided instead of devoting energy to figuring out why my ex-lover left, I would let the good angel win and put the energy into moving on. I can’t front, I’m still hurt, and when Gotye’s “Someone I Used to Know” plays on the radio, I definitely turn that ish all the way up. But when all is said and done, I’m still bumping a track from my “G’s Up, Hoes Down” playlist. Right now, Jay-Z’s “On to the Next One” get’s my mind right.
*Author’s name changed to protect the thirsty.
Have you ever gotten thirsty when a man disappeared on you?
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Dear Very Smart Brotha,
I don’t have a specific issue per se but a general question about the behavioral physiology of men. I gotta know, where do men go to vent and talk about their issues??
My ex-boyfriend told me that we women talk too much. And when I thought about it, it is true. I am no holds barred when it comes to talking about relationships with my girlfriends and vice versa. Isn’t that what friends are for? I noticed that many of my guy friends are mum when it comes to discussing their personal issues with their friends. So what do men bond over? And who are they supposed to talk to when it comes to their issues in relationships and in life (if they don’t have a girlfriend at the time)? Is this healthy? I’m only worried because it seems like men like my ex have no one turn to when they’re not in a relationship…and I’m a bit nosy when it comes to how men work. Please give me some insight!
I’ve been doing this “Ask A Very Smart Brotha” column for about a year and a half now. That’s 70 to 80 weeks worth of questions. Some good, some bad, some making me reconsider my citizenship. Anyway, I’m bringing this up because your question just now may be the most important one I’ve ever been asked here. Not necessarily the best, but the most important.
This — the fact that many men are either unable or unwilling to discuss whatever relationship issues they’re having — is a root for many of the communication breakdowns between the sexes. We’ve been socialized to keep certain things in (feeling, pain, empathy, etc), leaving many of us unequipped to handle the types of emotions synonymous with serious relationships. This is why you see many of us either completely shut down or supernova when forced to face them.
This socialization is large part due to the fact that men, “manly men,” are supposed to be strong, stoic, and unflappable. These are the types of men we (rightly) assume women are most attracted to and other men admire and wish to follow, so many of us do what it takes to become that type of man. Part of that process is the suppression of things that make us, well, human. We still feel the same things, but may be scared to express them because we don’t want to come off as less manly and jeopardize our status with women and other men. This is especially true with Black men. For many of us, there is really no other way to be than this hyper-hetero, uber masculine human-less cipher, and that has grave effects on how we communicate. I mean, there’s a reason why the life expectancy for Black men is like 43. All those years of holding everything in rots your insides.
Obviously, not all men are like this. There are many who are perfectly ok with expressing themselves and allowing themselves to be “open.” Many of us have friends, fathers, ex-coaches, and even barbers we’re able to bond with. But, as long as “sensitive” continues to be thought of as a feminine trait, we’re going to continue to create dangerously vent-less men.