A friend, let’s call her Nina, told me that she had recently been hanging out with a guy that she had been acquaintances with for the past few years. Things were going great, the chemistry was there, and she was really going with the flow — yay! A few dates in, Nina was pretty pleased with where this was going,
until she suddenly realized that she was going nowhere.
All of their mediums of conversation (IG, FB, Snap, text) became barren. She had heard of people being ghosted before, but had no clue that it would happen to her, especially since he apparently couldn’t tap his thumbs to text her back but was still double-tapping on all of her photos.
I think the most irritating part for me was that I was very upfront about my intentions. In hanging out and getting to know each other, I was looking for a partner/bae/boyfriend/husband/baby daddy. I told him right off the bat that we were both big kids and should just be honest about everything. If he wasn’t feeling it, why couldn’t he just say it?
I’m an adult.
The heartbreak? I could handle.
The “not knowing” was the part I couldn’t.
Dating isn’t something easy to do; you’re putting yourself out there, you’re sharing bits and pieces of yourself with a stranger, and you’re learning things about another human being that will somehow shape who you are in ways you might not ever be aware of.
You’re being vulnerable and finding unique bits of happiness in each word you exchange,
each textual conversation you have,
each meme you tag each other in,
After talking with Nina, I wondered what the psychology and rationale behind ghosting someone entailed.
What makes you so entitled to simply decide that this person isn’t worthy of your time, and that being unresponsive is the perfect way to end it? Why can’t you muster up the courage to give an explanation on why you just aren’t feeling it anymore? Are we not adults (for the most part), and can we not be upfront with how we are or are not feeling anymore?
Another friend told me that she was ghosting a few guys at the moment, and her justification was that she believed it wasn’t anything serious, and it was their faults for not clarifying how they felt. She mentioned that she didn’t feel too bad because that’s how dating seems to be nowadays:
“With how instantaneous dating and meeting new people is (thanks to apps and social media), ghosting just seems like regular practice — like just how it ebbs and flows. I don’t feel guilty about ghosting because of how easily they can meet someone else, like how easily they met me.”
Sure, this might be the dating scene as of now in our generation, but is it our job to accept it as such?
You receive the love that you put out into the world; if you’re perpetuating this type of come/go behavior in your dating life, that is most likely all you’re going to receive on your end.
“Well it wasn’t that serious anyway.”
Alright, well if it wasn’t that serious, then it seriously shouldn’t be an issue to meet up with that person or shoot them a text to let them know how you’re feeling. Otherwise, you’re enabling the absence of closure, and with that comes the questioning.
That questioning, that constant wonderment of what you did wrong, or why he never texted you back, or if there was someone else —
that’s the most traumatizing part.
“When you get ghosted, it damages your ability to trust in the future, and also hurts your self esteem — rejection in general does, but at least with straight rejection, you can tell yourself not to take it personally, and the rejection isn’t a reflection of you. With ghosting though, you’re stuck like perpetually wondering.”
Inspired by this idea of perpetual wonder, I decided to pose a question to each friend who shared his/her #ghoststory with me. I hoped for this to show that the results of ghosting can be intense AF, but most importantly, I hoped for it to be cathartic for my once hurt friends:
Q: I want you to put yourself in the mindset of when the ghosting first happened, and think of all the feelings (good and bad) you went through. Using all of those emotions, as well as perhaps what you might have learned in life following the situation, tell me what you want to say to this person. Whether it’s asking a simple “why” or telling this person how shitty he/she made you feel, I would love to read it.
A: Your actions affected me way more than you will ever know, and I know that you don’t care about that. I’ve cried countless times, blamed the situation on myself, and tried to erase you from my head. It seems as if you are a permanent scar in my brain that I can’t get rid of. So I hope you’re just so proud of what you did.
A: There have been countless ways people have told me how to feel about you. Whether it’s a light admonishing or a passionate lecture, the end result is still the same. Regardless of people telling me to just forget about you and to consider that what you’ve made me feel makes you a person not even worthy of my attention, I still can’t help but feel sad that we don’t talk anymore. It sucks that it was around this time last year that we got closer and I used to tell you everything, both good and bad, that happened to me, and you would listen and reciprocate and tell me both good and bad parts that occurred in your daily life. I saw a mutual friend post on your wall congratulating you for making a team and not going to lie, it stung that I’m no longer in the loop. And yes, towards others that no longer talk to me, I have a very nonchalant, blase attitude because I simply choose to look forward and not care about those who choose to not care about me, but with you it’s different. For such a long time I denied my feelings for you because you were so kind to me and so caring and you listened to me. It’s hard to just believe you didn’t care, which is probably why it’s still difficult for me not to think about you everyday. I wonder each day if maybe this is the day you’d talk to me again but obviously, I’m always proven wrong. It really does sadden me though because you truly did teach me again to love myself, and even though you loved me not in the same way as I loved you, I still felt the genuine care you had for me. You were so gentle. I think that’s why I always found you to be so beautiful. My heart was used to being thrown and ripped but you cradled it in your hands the same way you cradled my face that one night in that parking lot, and that’s honestly why I fell so hard for you. I guess that though I miss you, I’m thankful still because you showed me how strong I can be and you taught me love again.
Anyway, congratulations on the recent happenings in your life. I miss you more than you can imagine. If I had to confess, the poems I always made you read were actually about you lol. Also, though I’d never ever tell you this personally, I can’t sleep well anymore. When you left, we never stayed on the phone anymore and it became hard to sleep again. It makes me feel lonely at night. But I guess it’s not something I can just ask from you again.
I do love you haha it sounds so cliche but even I don’t admit it to myself. But I mean if you had the chance to read this and guessed who I am, then I might as well admit that I love you. That’s all.
A: Why. What made you lose interest? What about me wasn’t “good enough” to even deserve a straight forward answer to the face. You approached me. You asked me to dance. You asked for my number. You asked me to hang out. You seemed so interested one day and then poof begone you were outta there so fast. I get it – you’re good looking, you have a lot going for you, and you’re adored by many – but that doesn’t mean you should be able to just get away with treating guys any way you see to your short attention span. Like who hurt you in a way that makes your hurt others HMMMMMMMMMMMM. And then you go and start dating another guy shortly after who was not as cute as me – JUST SAYING. (PS we’re friends now though so whatever~) but that didn’t last either.
But thank you. Thank you for throwing my head first into a community that is all about uncommitted assholes who are rarely honest with their feelings. Thank you for preparing me for what was to come. There have been LOTSSSS of guys after you and you were the first to prepare me for all the baggage and damage that comes with being in the gay community. I am so much stronger from all of it.
You’re a jerk and suck a dick. Glad we’re still friends after it all, bitch ❤
A: I get it. You ghosted me because maybe it’s the easier way out. I got to admit, I fell victim to doing this too and know that it’s easier to ghost someone than it is to break someone’s heart. But what we had to me, or so I thought, was something special, so I felt that the least you could’ve done was tell me why we stopped dating. Was it the lack of passion we had? Was it something I did? Was it that 4 day old pizza topped with extra onion I ate last Monday night? Regardless of what it was, I wish you had broken my heart instead of leaving me with all these insecurities about myself. I hope that for the next person you date, friends with benefits aside, you will at least let them know why you would stop going out with them.
Nina: Fuck you (and your shit).
It’s 2017. The least you can do is send a DM saying you’re not feeling it anymore for reasons such as _______, but TYSM for everything and good luck in the future.
have you ever been ghosted? what would you say to that person? get vulnerable in the comments below, or use my vulnerability box.
I promise everything will be on one platform v. soon.