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Why Do Men Over 50 Ghost Women?

By Michele Burghardt May 08, 2023 Dating

Ghosting is the phenomenon where someone suddenly stops calling or responding to your messages and disappears without an explanation. This isn’t a new behavior; however, if you’re new to dating it may be a new experience for you. We often think this is something that only happens to younger women, but in fact, it’s not uncommon for men over 50 to ghost as well. So why do they do it?

There are a variety of reason this can happen and here are the top five I have noticed:

He’s Afraid of Disappointing You

A man’s brain is organically wired to have a deep desire for recognition and success. So, if he disappears right when you feel the relationship is starting to blossom, it could be because he’s suffering from a medical condition that would impact his performance in the bedroom. Most men will go to great lengths to avoid this type of embarrassment.

He Got Scared

If a man experienced an ugly divorce which left him heart broken – or simply broke – he may be getting scared because he’s beginning to like you and not as ready to date as he thought. While women ‘talk it out’, men tend to retreat into their cave so they can figure things out alone. If that process takes too long, he could be too embarrassed to reach out again now that he’s feeling more in control.

Something Unexpected Happened

I was dating a man for a couple of months when – poof! – he disappeared. I didn’t know why until several months later when we bumped into each other at the grocery store, and he told me he was forced into early retirement. This timeline correlated exactly with the time when he ghosted me.

Again, some men have a tendency to retreat when things get emotional rather than sharing with you and dealing with the emotions head on.

His Journey Changed

Keep in mind that until you make it official, you’re simply dating with no strings attached. You never really know where he is on his dating journey. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to learn that he was also dating in rotation and decided to move to the next level with someone else. Yes, it would have been nice if he would have told you, but some men take the easy way out.

He Determined You Weren’t a Good Fit

Ghosting typically happens early on in a dating-ship. Although it’s frustrating, it’s not about you because he doesn’t know you that well yet. Men look for ‘fit’ just like women do, and he may feel you aren’t a good lifestyle fit.

Of course, you would prefer for him to tell you that, but men don’t always have the courage to be emotionally honest. Maybe that’s your sign that you dodged a bullet.

Getting Ghosted Is Not Your Fault

Ghosting is hard for women because we internalize so much. If a man disappears, we naturally feel like it’s because of something we did. That’s not always the case. To keep yourself from getting hurt, try dating more than one man at a time so you don’t invest too much too soon, keep your focus on who’s in your life, not who isn’t, and keep a pint of your favorite ice cream in the freezer in case you need it.

Understand that something positive comes out of every date, regardless of how it ends. You learn something more about yourself and the man you’re looking for with everyone you meet.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you have a ghosting story you’d like to share? How did you cope and move on? What tips would you like to share with our community?

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If you feel like it is not working out, the decent thing to do is to, at the very least, send a text. People who ghost are cowards. What they fail to realize is that the person being ghosted is going to take it personally and will internalize this rejection. If you are ghosted, you should realize that you probably dodged a bullet because that person was not a good person in the first place.

Michele Burghardt

Hi Kim, I understand why you in feel this way, Men are just more squirrelly about dating than we would ever guess. I always remind myself that it’s not about me. xxoo


Ghosting is ridiculous but I figured out that a couple dates before he does,he stops communicating as much,starts to withdraw and acts like he’s distant and no eye contact, I just bail at that point and do no contact, my time is too valuable to waste on juvenile behavior.

Michele Burghardt

Hi Beans, If you like the guy and he seems to be pulling back, you could try leaning back a little more and let him do more work to see you. It could salvage the situation so you don’t feel like you have to go no contact when you like him.


Not always. The guy who ghosted me had been in the relationship with me for 9 months. He had always been happy to see me, complimented me often on my looks (so that means then that he eyed me up). Acted like he wanted to continue the relationship, so I had no clue as to why all of a sudden he disappeared.


Did you figure it later ?

Mary T. Lynch

I think any man who Ghosts woman is a coward.


I agree. About 12 years ago I had started to date a man who was 61 at the time (I was in my late 50’s). He was widowed 12 years at that point. Everything had been going well. About 9 months into the relationship, he ghosted me and I have no idea why. I just guessed that something must have spooked him and perhaps he wasn’t emotionally ready for a relationship.


Or he was just a jerk.


Or he was a Narcissist

Michele Burghardt

Hi Randi, I agree with you, I’m betting he wasn’t ready snd didn’t know how to deal with his feelings. After 9 months that had to be painful. Sorry you experienced that and hope you’re out meeting great guys. Xxoo, Michele


You’d think that someone that age would know what he wanted and if it wasn’t the same thing I wanted, he should have told me. It’s OK, about 2 months later I found another guy who is great.

Michele Burghardt

Women ghost too. We all need to be more open about how we feel to keep dating fun!

The Author

Michele Burghardt is an author, speaker, and dating coach for women 50 and over with 20 + years of experience in the self-help area. She believes loving yourself is the first step to finding love. You can learn more about her transformational coaching style and her book at

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