1. Something better came up.
There's a party. Another Tinder match messaged him. An ex told him she misses him. Whatever the reason, he was pretty ambivalent about your plans in the first place and decided to go with the "better" choice.
2. He freaked himself out/had a panic attack.
He might really like you. He might like you so much he freaked himself out and canceled until he can recover. But this doesn't happen very often so don't hang your hat on this one too much.
3. He's broke.
Date night rolls around and he's getting bills left and right. That "I'm sorry I came down with something" is really a "Let's wait until next payday."
4. He has no intention of ever actually going out with you.
He has fun flirting with you, but that's about it. He only scheduled this date to buy himself more time so you can keep sexting or whatever.
5. It's a power move.
He just wants to see if he can cancel on you and still get you to go out with him a different night, the egotistical bastard.
6. He is actually sick.
Statistically speaking, it's entirely possible that someone would get sick on a night they have a date planned. Relatives really do die, and "family emergencies" absolutely crop up from time to time. Maybe he's not lying at all.
7. He's gotten himself into a super weird, dangerous (possibly also zany) situation that would either freak you out, put your life in danger, or both if he told you the truth.
Maybe the fact that there's an emergency is legit, but he's using "taking his dog to the vet" as an excuse because he doesn't want to tell you he's really driving a pound of weed up to Baguio. Maybe he has to go "help his grandmother with her car" because he actually is the target of a vast national conspiracy after he accidentally recorded footage of a top NSA official assassinating a congressman, like Will Smith in Enemy of the State. Maybe he found himself in a body-switch situation like in Freaky Friday. Maybe he Freaky Fridayed with Will Smith.
8. He has some rare disease or disorder he doesn't want to tell you about.
He might have a disorder or disease he's uncomfortable talking about. If he's in the bathroom all night because of diarrhea, he might not want to go into graphic detail before you two even have your first date.
9. He catfished you and was hoping things would never get to this point.
That online dating profile is totally fake. He thought maybe he could avoid ever meeting in person and blowing his cover. He even waited until the last minute in a Hail Mary attempt, hoping you would cancel first. If he ghosts on you right after this happens, it's because he's not a real boy.
10. He is a ghost who had one night back in his human body, Casper-style.
That cute guy who got your number at the bar? He made some kind of weird pact to get back into his human body. Now he can't text you because he can't use a phone with ghost fingers.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.