The really crappy thing about being ghosted or suddenly dumped or inexplicably ditched by a guy you were dating is that it leaves the door open for him to contact you in the future. In the meantime, you are forced to fill in the blanks about what went wrong and wonder if you’ll ever find out. After more than 15 years on the dating circuit, I am going to share a nugget with you: You will almost always hear from him again, he who made a not-so-graceful exit from your life. And it will be when you least expect it.
I would say, based on my experience (and those of my friends) that this happens about 90 percent of the time. Even the guy that you think will never contact you ever, ever again. Even he will find you. Sometimes it takes him nine years, but one afternoon you’ll be sitting at your desk at work and you’ll get a Facebook message from him asking if you two can meet for coffee. This actually happened to me. While it feels exhilarating to have the opportunity to get the closure or the romantic reprise that you’ve been fantasizing about, don’t jump at the chance to reopen the lines of communication. Proceed with extreme caution because I’ve found that there are a few specific reasons why a guy will contact you out-of-the-blue. And spoiler … they’re never really about you.
1. He just broke up with someone. If he’s single, like even five minutes single, he wants to know what’s out there. And what’s out there includes people who he’s dated or slept with in the past. Chances are you aren’t the only girl who received a text/email/Facebook message from him. Probably every cool chick he was ever attracted to got the same, “Hey, what have you been up to?” message. And maybe even a few strangers on OK Cupid. The man is clearly throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. He’s not a bad guy for doing so, it’s just important to be aware that you are one of those pieces of spaghetti. And do you really want to be somebody’s piece of rebound spaghetti? Meh, you can do better. If he’s really worth it, wait until he’s had his fill of pasta to be back in touch.
2. He’s thinking about breaking up with someone. The less honest version of the guy above will start throwing his spaghetti at the wall before he’s even ended his current relationship. Ya know, just to find out what life would be like if he were available. Dig a little deeper, do a little reconnaissance, and you will discover that he is not, in fact, single. You really have no reason to be in touch with him. No, you do not.
3. He’s about to make a huge commitment. Maybe he’s not single or planning to be in the near future. Maybe he’s just taking a trip down memory lane. A man who is about to propose marriage or tie the knot or have a child may be a man who is panicking, taking stock of his past, questioning his decisions. All of us do this to some degree when making big commitments. That’s human. But people who aren’t comfortable talking about their fears or processing them act them out in other ways. Like for example, by contacting you oh lovely lady from his past, who may be available to distract him or reassure him or whatever it is he has in mind. If this is the case, you are better off recommending him a therapist because you are not taking on any new clients.
4. He is doing some soul searching. Oh. Yes. Navel gazing. I am not putting self-reflection down in the least. I think it’s really important and necessary. But often, when a man is soul searching — he’s lost a parent, become a parent, fallen in love, become sober or gone through some life-changing experience — he’ll start to feel guilty/sorry/regretful of how he’s mishandled situations in the past. You are one of those situations. If he wants to take it a step further — like meeting for coffee to “talk” or “apologize” — you should question it. You should be wary about his motives. A sincere apology never has strings attached. It doesn’t require anything of you. Sure, people make mistakes they change and grow, but a simple apology is sufficient. Remember, apologies and forgiveness don’t need to be accompanied by coffee.