How Men Think: Do Men Play Sick to Avoid You?

How men think can be quite perplexing. If you have dated a man who early on cancels a date due to feeling poorly, you’re probably wondering, is he really sick or blowing me off?

Keep reading to find out what that’s about.

how men thinkUnderstanding Men and How They Think

Maybe this has happened to you. You go on a date or two with a great guy. He’s funny, seems like a great catch and appears to be interested.

You’re excited to get to know him. He sets up the next date and then…cancels because he’s under the weather.

Then a strange thing happens…he slowly stops texting, calling and disappears without further explanation. And you are left wondering what the heck happened.

How could this be? Didn’t you just have a great date or two? You could tell he enjoyed himself right? So what’s the deal?

You find yourself wondering how men think and what is going on. You question how men communicate. Why did he change his mind?

Could you have done anything wrong that pushed him away? Would he fake being sick – that seems so strange doesn’t it?

Maybe you start asking friends what they think and gathering opinions. Or you read blog posts and seek experts for answers.

So as a dating coach for women and experts, let me share what could be going on behind the scenes.

So let me address this and open your eyes. Would a man feign illness to get out of seeing you again? Yes, absolutely.

Even though it seems hard to believe, this is just one of the many ways men rely on to slink away when they feel done and don’t want to continue dating you.

The Illness Excuse – Is He Really Sick or Blowing Me Off?

Example #1 – Sally Had 11 Dates

Is He Really Sick or Blowing Me OffOne of my clients, Sally, who is 54 and divorced, met a guy online.

They emailed a few times and then switched to phone calls. Over the one week period, they spoke several times for hours.

Sally had to cut things short because Dave was a talker. She didn’t mind; in fact, Sally really enjoyed these conversations.

Finally, their first date arrived and everything went really well. They had such great rapport after all those chats. Appetizers became dinner and then they decided to go back to his house.

This was the first night of 10 consecutive dates that made Sally’s head spin and her feet leave the floor.

She was floating on air and wondering how this whirlwind love could be happening to her.

Day 11, Dave gave her the heart-shattering news that he was ill and had a dismal diagnosis.

At this point, Dave explained how he had to sadly put a stop to things so he could focus on his medical condition.

I’m Sick & Can’t See You Any More


He said he had to cut things off completely – it was the only way. Sally was emotionally devastated for two massive reasons:

  1. She was concerned about Dave’s situation which sounded serious
  2. She was brokenhearted to think her love story was coming to an end

She reached out to him by text for several days, offering support. She sent him notes and a little gift, hoping to entice him into communication.

She got nowhere. Sally was incredibly sad and honestly a little frustrated and confused.

How could he just cut her off cold turkey like that? Didn’t he want to support and someone loving to comfort him?

Well, maybe not.

Months later, Sally discovered that while Dave did have a medical situation, it wasn’t dire. But it sure was an excuse that she couldn’t argue with. So he used illness to get out of dating her.

Example #2 Tricia Had One Hot Date

I'm Sick & Can't See You Any MoreTricia, who is 42 and never married, met Jason online and had a magical first date.

He asked her out again and on the second date, she felt such a strong connection, she decided to go for it and sleep with him.

He stayed the night (which was really wonderful by the way) and then in the morning said he didn’t feel well.

Maybe it was something he ate, but he had to rush home.

Tricia checked in with him over the next few days and was surprised that he didn’t engage much with her.

In fact, the texting dwindled down to no response at all in just two days. She wanted to know what that was about.

Was he really sick or did she do something wrong that turned him off?

In both of these cases, my dating coaching clients were left wondering about how men think. These women did nothing wrong. Here is the difficult truth:

Dave and Jason enjoyed the romance and
connection too. They just didn’t have
the same desire to keep it going long-term.

The “I’m sick” excuse is similar to the, “I’m too busy at work to see you” excuse and the ever-popular “I’m traveling so I can’t see you” excuse.

If you hear your date talk about not feeling well, he might be sick, or he might be on his way to ghosting you. Pay attention because this might be a sign things are over.

How Men Think about This Excuse

Now, I’m not saying anytime a man says he’s sick that he’s lying to you. That would be ridiculous.

But look at why he might choose to say this if he doesn’t want to see you again. As a polite and kind-hearted woman, you would never dream of forcing the issue when a man is sick.

What woman would argue or plead and ask too many questions about illness? You offer sympathy and drop it because that is the appropriate response to someone not feeling well.

Can you see how great this works from the man’s point of view? He’s counting on your kindness and knows this is the perfect excuse and “get out of jail free” card to not to see you that night or make a quick exit.

Then he can disappear knowing you won’t push it too much because…you feel bad for him since he must be really sick.

Otherwise, he’d reconnect, right? You’ve got to admit its a brilliant strategy.

What Can You Do to Safeguard Your Heart?

how men thinkAre you the type of woman who gets attached quickly? If that’s the case, don’t sleep with men right away!

If your heart will break when the guy doesn’t call again, hold off until he proves his interest consistently for several weeks and dates.

This dating advice is all about guarding your heart. When you date with your head first and not your heart, you will save yourself from unbearable heartbreak time and time again.

The good guys don’t care so much if you sleep with them quickly. If a guy likes you, he likes you.

Trouble is there is no way to know how a man thinks before you sleep with him.

That’s why the best solution is to hold off until he proves himself worthy over several weeks with consistent weekly dates and good communication not just texting between dates.


Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony,, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

60 thoughts on “How Men Think: Do Men Play Sick to Avoid You?”

  1. Hi Ronnie, I met a guy off a dating app and our first date was amazing! We talked about everything and it was a 4 hour date. We’ve texted and have FaceTimed since then, our date was a week ago. We had plans for today, but when I messaged yesterday to see what he wanted to do, he said let’s play it by ear. This morning he said he has food poisoning, he didn’t suggest rescheduling, but I did to be thoughtful. We didn’t have real plans and I feel he used “food poisoning” to get out of seeing me, but I’m not sure. Everything has been so good until now and I’m worried I might be overthinking. The worry that he is ghosting me is even bigger. I’ve been ghosted before and it really sucks.

    • Hi Addie, Sorry to say I agree with your fears. He is ghosting and using illness as his way out. However, what’s important to look at here (and I say this with kindness) is how attached you are to a man you had one date with. I know you liked him, but you don’t KNOW him. So you had fun – that’s good. But he’s not the right guy or he wouldn’t be avoiding another date.

      This is a message from the Universe not to get tied into any guy so quickly, but learn to vet them better. You need to meet lots of men to find out who will pursue you and want the same kind of relationship that you want.

      Here’s what to think about in your dating strategy – Did you do all the reaching out? If yes, you want to avoid that in the future and wait to see if the man pursues you. This is vital sign of interest. If you pursue, then you won’t discover what you need to know about his interest level. Read this post – it will help clarify a lot of signs many women often miss.

Leave a Comment