A few years ago, I met a guy while in the process of moving. I had posted furniture for sale on craigslist and he came over to buy some. After we met, he started sending me flirty emails and we went on a date. On our first date, he fell for me. After that, he called and texted all the time. He came to visit me at the pub where I worked. He pursued me like bloodhound. And I liked it. As we spent more time together, he started making plans. He’d say stuff like, “Next year, we should take a vacation to a tropical island.” “We should go to that sushi restaurant sometime.” “I want to be with you at Christmas. We should go to your parents’ house.” We had been dating a month and we already had plans to travel across the country and spend Christmas with my family. The guy was kookoo about me. And I began to like him more and more. We went to the east coast and had a very jolly Christmas with my family. But by the beginning of February, “He just wasn’t feeling that way” about me anymore. I was stunned. You’re probably reading, nodding your head, thinking, “That happened to me!” Because, shockingly, the more women I spoke with, the more I found that this behavior was really common. For most women, the experience was even worse because most guys simply disappeared. At least I got a flimsy explanation that he “just wasn’t feeling that way anymore.” A lot of times, guys would rather disappear than have a confrontation. Disappearing acts are confusing. Women go down a mental checklist of events trying to figure out where things went wrong. But it’s unclear because the men had been super excited from day one. They’d made all sorts of plans before they ever even discovered their dream girl’s middle name. That behavior, of course, infuriates women when it all comes crashing down. The most common question I’m asked is, “Why did he say that if he wasn’t even that into me?” Meaning why did he say, “Next winter we’ll go skiing in Aspen”? Or why did he say, “We should totally go sky diving”? Or “Do you want to get scuba certified together?” It’s a serious mindbender when six weeks or three months later, they’re totally and completely over us. We feel lied to, betrayed and all sorts of angry. The thing is, they’re not necessarily lying, because in the moment, they do envision the future with us. Because in the moment, they really do feel that way. (Unless you’re dealing with a total jackass player – but that’s the exception here.) They believe that they’re going to do those things with you. Until they simply don’t believe it anymore. Here’s a theory. (Please note, this theory is general – this does not account for every relationship or every man or woman’s behavior.) A lot of times, men start at super high heights. And women can take a bit longer to warm up to someone. Often, by the time a woman decides she’s crazy about a guy, his feelings have plummeted. The two end up completely missing each other. It might look like this: The bottom line is that men and women have a totally different approach to dating. Most women will settle down when they find a good partner. But most men have a tendency to decide when they’re ready to find a life mate. Suddenly, they feel that it’s time to go out and find a wife. They’ve had enough partying and they’ve been in enough wedding parties to realize that it’s time to drop the bachelor act. My leaguemates and I nicknamed men who are in that space “ripe.” Since ripe men are on a mission, they can be raring to go from the minute you meet them. And once they discover you’re not exactly what they want, abracadabra – they’re gone. On the opposite end, a guy who is still in bachelor mode probably enjoys the high of falling for someone and making romantic plans in sweat soaked sheets. He might just want to do it a few more times before settling down. So, the key is to count the “we should’s” and to be aware of guys who make a lot of plans upfront. Also, try not to rush into things. Why not slow down and enjoy the fun?