What Causes Men to Ghost Or Get Spooked? (Reasons Men Disappear In Relationships)
If you’ve been heartbroken, you might be wondering what causes men to Ghost or disappear when they have feelings for you, by vanishing from your life, for no apparent reason.
Ghosting occurs when someone you have developed feelings for suddenly cuts off contact with you. This can leave you feeling rejected and absolutely bewildered, especially if you felt hopeful about the relationship.
So why did he Ghost and vanish from your life suddenly?
One of the common reasons for ghosting usually occur during dating scene when the person is seeing a number of people and will chose someone else over you. The other reason is the discard or devalue stage of a narcissistic person.
What causes Ghosting in other scenarios?
What happens when he is totally into you and backs away? What happens when you’ve developed strong feelings for each other, and they start pulling away and then finally disappear?
So what caused him to ghost you, or was he spooked?
When someone is spooked or scared, they tend to run the other away or escape for emotional safety. They look for the quickest exit route or way out. This can occur for various reasons. They may freeze out of fear. It can refer to being frightened, being scared or startled. Sometimes an old survival mechanism kicks in.
As a relationship therapist, I heard men use the word ‘spooked’ to describe how fearful they were and wanted to get away, even though they wanted the relationship.
Children can feel spooked by a terrifying parent who scares them into submission, so they obey against their own will, to avoid punishment. But, deep down they want to escape and get out, so they can be free to be themselves.
If your man feels he must meet your needs, he may want to go the other way to be free of the internal jailer who entraps him. Relationships can feel like a life sentence in jail, when a person has a jury in their own mind, who punishes them.
When a man is scared to get close, he may have strong feelings for you, but he is afraid that the relationship will be scary for him. He enjoys the relationship when he has freedom, is not tied down and has no obligations.
It is a risk free relationship when he has no commitment to you, so he can feel close to you. He is not vulnerable to get hurt, so he can be himself with you.
As soon as you become attached, it soon becomes scary for him.
When you feel close and the fear of losing him kicks in, you can end up protecting yourself from getting hurt in ways that end up spooking him to vanish from your life, by scaring him away.
He doesn’t understand women’s emotions, needs or wants. He hears these as demands, attacks or control. So, he distances for emotional safety.
He may not have ghosted you, yet, but he feels spooked by your reactions, when he does not meet your needs, hurts your feelings or upsets you. He is afraid that his own needs for independence will destroy the relationship.
It feels safer to disappear and ghost you, then bring himself closer to express himself, because he fears your reaction when he speaks his own mind.
He’s not sure how to meet your needs or if he wants to. He hasn’t owned the decision to commit to you, or feels spooked when you bring up your feelings. It’s scary for him to lose himself in a relationship, because he feels obligated to meet your needs, even though he doesn’t want to yet.
Like the lucky band effect, the more you want the relationship, the more they resist the relationship, feeling backed into a corner, wanting to get out.
When he feels spooked, he escapes, when he feels unsafe to express himself and he comes back when he misses you.
You’ve become haunted by the feelings of closeness and then suddenly being left all of a sudden. The surge of hurt and anger can enrage you, and cause you to push him away. So, he disappears again, until he eventually vanishes from your life.
5 Ways spooking leads to Ghosting in Men
- Misreading his cues
It can be hard to read the signs that he wants to go slow. Instead you think you’re being rejected when he’s not attentive to you. So, you protect yourself by trying to get closer, when he wants space to get to know you.
When he feels you’ve misread his needs or misattuned to him, he pulls away to reassess the relationship and work out if it is what he wants.
- You seek reassurance.
When you haven’t heard from him straight away, you feel anxious about losing him, so you keep messaging him to seek his reassurance. When a relationship feels forced it can kill the connection and the other person loses the desire for you.
When a person is spooked they become scared of your emotions or needs. When they feel responsible for your feelings or making you happy, it can feel like effort that they have to keep putting into the relationship in order to satisfy you.
- You talk about your future early on.
You are afraid of being strung along, so you want answers and do not want to waste your time. This is actually a wise thing to do, but if you have this conversation too early, when the other person is not ready, it can push them away because they feel trapped into giving you something you want.
- You test his feelings for you.
When you fear rejection, it’s scary to put yourself out there to get hurt. So, you may test his feelings by saying things to make him jealous or let him know that other men are keen on you. You are trying to get a response from him to see how he feels about you.
Instead of letting him connect with your underlying vulnerabilities, you’ve pushed him away because he thinks you’re waiting for someone better. So, he feels spooked away from being interested or fears getting hurt.
- You take out your hurt and anger on him.
Like a toddler protesting for love and attention, you can end up acting-out your hurt by letting him pay the price for the pain you’ve endured. Blame, accusations or contempt are pathways that can scare someone away.
When a person feels spooked or afraid of your reaction, they do not feel safe to open up and get closer to you. They act like a deer in headlights; they freeze or become immobilized.
If someone is spooked, they can’t respond to your needs when they’re protecting themselves. They get away to clear their head and figure out what they want, rather than communicate with you.
Opening up can cause them to become anxious about your reaction, if they do not tell you what you want to hear. Of course this is not always about you. So do not take it personally. They do not realise they’re hurting you by pulling away.
The real antidote for bridging a connection is to take your hands off, instead of trying to get them to respond to your needs. Instead, tune in and listen to what they need or feel, and the chances are they will do the same, when they’re not spooked.
Once they feel safe, you can let them in, and break down your walls that protect you.
If you can get in touch with your underlying feelings and express them, rather than react to protect yourself, you can transform your hurt into bridging a stronger connection.
If you can take blame or judgement out from your vocabulary and replace them with statements that begin with “I feel”, you are more likely to be heard.
If you do not let your needs take over your relationship, you can truly listen by responding to what the other needs. Sometimes, letting go of seeking reassurance or love allows you to be truly available for each other.
The real reason why men ghost is because you don’t love yourself and require men to feel good about yourself. You deserve to be loved, but loving yourself means you don’t need a man to feel good enough.
Men will feel spooked if they feel you need them to feel good about yourself. This can cause men to Ghost in relationships.
If someone loves you, let them go and see if they’ll come back . You can’t force a horse to drink the water if the horse doesn’t want to. But you can be emotionally available, if you learn to love yourself and not rely on a relationship because you don’t feel good enough on the inside. If you love yourself, you do not need to protect yourself from feeling not good enough for someone, because you’re already good enough. If you allow yourself to shine, real love will come your way.
Nancy Carbone is a relationship therapist who has a M Soc Sc (Couns). If you’re exhausted of being ghosted by men and want to overcomes stuck relationship patterns contact Nancy at Counselling Service Melbourne for an appointment.
Back to Blog Home