Well, before you do anything, you should know that “had so much going on in my personal life” is usually code for: “had a girlfriend” or “was dating someone.” Sometimes there might be something non-dating related to the “personal” side of personal life, like a crazy roommate who believes he’s the “true prophet of jehovah” (any long-time readers remember that one?) or crippling and embarrassing debt, or a serious injury or illness, like cancer. And while those are all reasonable justifications for not calling someone for a date, you shouldn’t be asking women for their phone numbers if you know you aren’t in a place to date. Which is why I think most of the time when someone asks for a number and then doesn’t follow-up (or follows up for one or two dates and then disappears), it’s because he or she is entangled in another relationship and not truly available, either emotionally or physically (or both). I’m sure some people even ask for phone numbers knowing they are going to dump their significant others imminently and want to have potential prospects lined up for whenever they get around to doing the dumping.
As for whether you should respond to these men’s out-of-the-blue attempts to connect or re-connect with you after ghosting you weeks or months ago, it depends on what your initial impression of the guy was. Did you otherwise like him and feel genuinely sad that he disappeared or didn’t follow-up with you? If so, it might be worth a quick reply along the lines of: “Oh, hey. I’m still single and open to being pursued, but only if the person doing the pursuing is truly available.” And then the ball’s in his court. If he ghosts you again or fails to, you know, actually pursue you beyond just trying to hook up with you, then delete and block his number and MOA.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.