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Ghost Buster.

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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.
Alone.

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,
each

…hello? 

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).

 

In conclusion, 

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.

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13 thoughts on “Ghost Buster.

  1. **AFTERTHOUGHT**

    Let me make it clear that I understand that ghosting can definitely be circumstantial. I understand that people with outgoing or unique personalities often get misinterpreted or misunderstood by attracted individuals. In this case, the other parties might feel that they’ve been ghosted, when in actuality, they’ve just been naturally phased out.

    No harm, no foul; just a misunderstanding. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    I sent you an entire monologue about my thoughts, but here’s the summary version:
    1) Ghosting sucks. Just be direct. I had a guy ask me out once and I told him I was seeing someone else, then a year later he asked me out again and I realized that I just didn’t want to date him. So I just told him that I wasn’t interested in going on a date with him and I was just doing me and I wish him the best. Then he responded THANKING ME for my honesty.
    2). Fukbois suck. This is nothing new, just a sad truth that we unfortunately have to deal wtih.
    3) Your article resonated with me at a pretty perfect time, so thank you for that.

    xx

    • 1) YES YES YES like honestly, if you give your honest answer, that’s the best you can do. The ball is in THEIR court now, but at least you worked up to your own potential, so if they get a little cray afterwards… well, that’s on them lol.

      2) Yeah basically.

      3) You are so fucking welcome xxxxxx

  3. ANDY says:

    I’ve never been “ghosted” before, but many times I went on a date and they don’t ask to hang out again. No calls, text when we’re meeting next. I think its the SAME thing. Just questioning myself, what was wrong with me? why wont he ask me out again? I also had cases where they do call me, text me, want to hang out (time to time) but never really fully devoted, it’s only on their own convenient time, aka “he’s just not THAT In To You” situations…. That is SO MUCH WORSE. Some men did share with me that they don’t call girls back anymore or ghost for one reason only. They are NOT interested, and because they don’t want to hurt your feeling by ghosting or not reaching out, he/she will eventually give up or get the point. If a guy is not calling, texting, reaching out to hang out, it’s just simple. 100% he ain’t that in to you PERIOD. I used to be so annoyed, and sad whenever this happens. BUT! you just got to change the way you think… Before we start asking ourselves, is he in to me? is he gunna call me back? is he gunna be my next boyfriend? why is he not that in to me? did i do something wrong??? Lets ask OURSELVES first, “Am “I” even in to this homie?” “Is he worthy of “MY” time?” “Is he good enough for ME?” “Does he deserve a 2nd date with ME?” “Does he have all the qualities I want in a boyfriend?” And most importantly, whats his shoe size?” Asking all these questions, and pretending like I’m the boss/employee and he’s the candidate puts so much less pressure when it comes to dating, and puts us girls in control. At least it made me feel less pressure and gain confidence, with that said, all this talk made me wanna order pizza and fries.

    • Yes yes and absolutely YES by turning all of these questions into “what’s wrong with ME” to “is HE/SHE worth MY time” — I love it and I want you to get your pizza and fries immediately #ubereatsLA

  4. G says:

    At first I shut you down, I told you we were looking for different things and that we weren’t compatible but you tried again. And I gave you a chance because if you tried again that meant you we’re willing to make it work. And you were sweet, kind, understanding, and really frustrating too. But I loved it all. Every flaw you had I loved more than your perfections. The way your lips pursed when you finished smiling and how you shook your head when conversing with me in approval or disapproval to whatever weird thing I said. When we kissed, how you would sit back and smile midway and when you looked at me in deep thought in those intimate pauses. Every time we would sit in the first floor at the library and you would grab my laptop to show me a song you thought I’d love. But then that abrupt moment hit me like cold water while asleep. Everything beautiful left, you gave me the bad. And I took it in like a sponge. I absorbed every bit of your sourness. And I loved it as much as your sweetness. To this day, i want to know why. Why did you think it was okay to leave? Why was it so hard to look me in the eyes and tell me how you felt? Why did you seduce me into it and halfway chose whats best for me? Only i know whats best for me and leaving endless questions unasnwered isnt. You are.

    • I hope he/she sees this one day and realizes what a fucking beautiful writer he/she missed out on. And my favorite part is your realization, understanding, and acceptance of the fact that yes, YOU know what’s best for you.

  5. bonnie says:

    Last year I was ghosted one too many times. One of them had been a guy I had wanted to date since I was 13 and he was 17. 6 years later I’m 19 and he’s 23, I found him on tinder and we matched, all was great, we were so tight, he was working in the same field I was studying towards, we loved scrubs (the tv show it’s the best ok) it was all just really, really good until I fucked up and went over to his place where we ‘netflixed and chilled’ but never got very far because I didn’t wanna rush it. we still spoke after that and then a few days later things actually happened ya know ya know so that’s when the ghosting started happening. He wouldn’t return my texts or took hours to text back and I’d see him watch my story during those times so I knew he was ignoring me. Then we planned an actual dinner date and the first one he made an excuse, the second one!!! Was literally so creative. That morning he texted me saying he had gotten attacked by a guy who stuck a pole through his car window and couldn’t make it because he had to fix his car and that was that. Albeit he sent me a photo of “what happened” but it didn’t even look like his car. Ghosting continued on from then and we never spoke again after I made it clear I didn’t believe a word he said

    • L O L wait I really enjoy his evidence of a pole in his window like that deserves 2 points for creativity and 1 point for commitment — though he totally doesn’t get that commitment point when it comes to your guys’ relationship (and I say relationship as in the connection between what you two had, regardless if it was platonic or romantic). I understand now that ghosting is v common, but if you’re going to ghost someones, especially in this era where communication is APLENTY via social media,

      WHY ARE YOU GOING TO WATCH THAT PERSON’S SNAPS?! Honestly, this was a blessing in disguise bc he sounds like a dumbass if he can’t even understand how snapchat works. GOOD RIDDANCE BABE!

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  8. I’m not sure if I’ve been ghosted, personally, but I feel like being the “victim” makes you feel like you did something wrong. Either that, or maybe there’s something about you that turned them off. Maybe they didn’t realize it before, but as soon as they did, they questioned their choice to choose you. I would personally like to know if there was something that I did or a certain way that I was, that way, maybe I could correct my error(s) or change for the better. I definitely feel like it does damage your ability to trust and is a definitely blow to your self-esteem. I believe that no matter how harsh the reasoning, if you or someone else isn’t feeling it, something should be said. I’m one for closure and to be left hanging like that, sometimes you think of a million reasons of what YOU did wrong, even if you did nothing and they just decided that they weren’t feeling it anymore. I know this doesn’t exactly relate to “ghosting”, but I have two friends that were together for several years and the guy had finally bought a ring and had planned on proposing. However, soon after, they broke up and the girl said she hadn’t been feeling it anymore and that it had been that way for awhile; she just never said anything. They both lived together too and she let it drag on without saying anything, hoping that maybe they’d be able to spark it up, but to no avail. They patched things up eventually and became friends, but recently, it seems like they’ve been subliminally at each other’s throats. Mostly through group chat texts and/or social media. I guess if I think about it now, I have sort of been ghosted like twice. Once was with someone who I actually considered my best friend, so it made sense to feel the way I felt for this person. Even though it may have not been intentional, I felt like I got ghosted without her even realizing she was doing it. It definitely felt one-sided for awhile, but I feel like maybe it had been because she was becoming busy and wasn’t looking for anyone in particular. Eventually, I left it alone and realized that we had been better as friends. In a way, I felt like I was lying to myself by saying “well, I don’t wanna ruin our relationship and I don’t wanna lose her as a friend, so I’ll leave it be”. But in reality, if I really wanted to be with her, I would’ve left it all on the line, no matter the outcome. The second time, I made sure that the girl knew exactly how I felt and if she had seen “this” going anywhere. She was straight up with me and as much as I hate rejection, I felt a sense of closure and it honestly did not hurt me as much as I expected it to. In conclusion, heartbreak is better than uncertainty. If you need to be a dick and let me know that it’s me, then tell me that it’s me. But without saying anything, how will I know how to be better for the next person, if I have to be better, that is? I’ll always feel like I’m not deserving of someone and vice versa. Even if you bullshit me with the whole “it’s not you, it’s me” bit, at least I know you tried to come up with something. Is it what I want to hear? Not exactly. But nowadays, something is better than nothing. Sorry such a long response. I probably should’ve sent this on Tumblr or sent this through DM. Lol. You make me want to start blogging/writing again. #RantsOnRantsOnRants

    • 1. TYSM for commenting from IG lol I just couldn’t bear to respond on comments there through my stupid little phone.
      2. Your couple friend anecdote just ended abruptly, HAHA, but I assume you brought it up to bring up the point about communication towards bettering yourselves in order to do any of the following: gain closure, fix the relationship, become a better counterpart in a relationship. Otherwise, the hostility can exist heavily, as it seems to be evident in their interactions that you’ve mentioned.
      3. Everything you’ve mentioned in regards to ghosting is what I believed in my writing; ghosting can make you incredibly insecure, the questioning can scare you, and just being informed of why the other person doesn’t want to be with you can provide a great deal of closure and self-growth, regardless of how dick-ish the person might feel. You’re part of a population of people who WANTS to better themselves, and that’s a great population to be in. I say this with newfound knowledge through discussion sparked by this ghosting article; people have told me that they have ghosted people who are batshit crazy. Again, ghosting is VERY circumstantial, and ghosting a person who is incredibly obsessed with you and acts abnormally is a bit more permissible than ghosting a person who is genuinely into a relationship healthily and with great intentions.

      Alright, I went off on a tangent. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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