No End in Sight

The first was a guy I’d met on Tinder. We dated at least once a week, texted all the time, and he was overly romantic and intense, perhaps much more than social norms would allow. I remember thinking I really liked him, but he certainly wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea – his voice was quite high, he was really intense (e.g. talking about marriage), and he loved opera (he was a concert pianist and critical theorist). He also had a picture of an ex-girlfriend on his bedroom wall, which was a bit of a red flag. Anyhow, over the Christmas break in New Zealand we were both going on separate trips – he was going to Vienna and I was going to New York. I maintained contact when I was there, but pretty infrequently, especially since my phone died for 7 days. He seemed really keen to meet up, then less keen. I asked him if anything was the matter and he emphatically denied there was. That was the last I heard from him. Honestly, I think he may have been in the closet or still had a girlfriend.
The second was a guy I met in the trip on New York, which was a high-intensity fling. I met him on the first night in New York in a bar and saw him pretty much everyday for the rest of the 10-day trip, as he was friends with a mutual friend of the friend I was travelling with. He was very intense, shouting “Nooo!” when I was leaving. I knew it wouldn’t really last, because he was much more into me than I was into him, but we did really fun romantic things all trip long – Broadway, McDougal Street, Brooklyn Bridge, New Years’ night kiss . We decided to stay in contact and he wanted to come to New Zealand to study, as a transfer from New York. He started doubting how much I liked him, and I wondered whether I should tell him before he came. We Skyped often and one day the Skypes stopped coming. His mutual friend told us he thought it wouldn’t last between us, as the guy was an ‘in the moment’ person and would struggle with long-distance.
Just looking over these experiences, in my opinion, I think ghosting happened to me because intensely-romantic men didn’t know how to let go of the romance. They didn’t want it to end badly and ruin the experience, so they didn’t end it. I guess the problem is that it doesn’t ruin it for them, but definitely ruins it for the other person – it’s a pretty cowardly gesture that technology has allowed. I guess I’m also a believer that when it’s right, it’s right though – if something was perfect, no one would be ghosting that relationship.
Photo Credit: Ana Luisa Pinto
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Fair Weather Friend

[My ghosting story] isn’t a dating kinda thing. It was a girl I’d been friends with for 5+ years.

I had a friend, we’ll call her Jane, who I met when we were 13 and knew throughout high school as we were in orchestras and classes together. She came from wealth and was very popular but I’d say more people considered her a friend than she considered friends. She was sort of a fair weather friend, and people were very out of sight, out of mind for her.

After high school we didn’t talk for a year, but after my first year of school I reached out and reconnected with the friends from high school I still valued and wanted to incorporate into my life. This included Jane and another friend, we’ll call her Sue. Sue and I reconnected and stayed super close over the last four years since all this happened and if I were to get married tomorrow she’d be my maid of honor.

Jane and I reconnected and I moved out to California for an internship near where she was in school and we seemed close again. Sue, Jane and I hung out regularly and one Christmas a whole gang of us got together at Jane’s family’s farm and had an absolute blast.

A month later I realized Jane and I hadn’t talked in a couple weeks so I texted her and got no response. I called and discovered she’d changed her number. She’d unfriended Sue and me on Facebook. The last time we’d seen each other we’d all hugged, exchanged gifts, and repeated how much we’d miss each other as we left to go back to our respective schools.  There had been no fights, no sarcasm, nothing to indicate anything was wrong. She just totally removed herself from our lives.

I’ve had guys just stop responding as we start to get to know each other and things like that, but Jane just totally vanished from our lives after being in it for years. It was the most ghost-like experience with ghosting I could imagine. 

All’s Well

I confess that I have ghosted a guy I dated. Why? We met to have ‘the talk’. He told me he wanted nothing ‘serious’, and would prefer if I only ‘visited’ and left in the morning.

I never wanted anything like that, and I told him that when we first met. However, I guess he had his fun and only wanted to keep me on his speed dial list. Anyway, I didn’t want to do it, but I felt it was better than a long conversation about how he hurt me and why we should never see one another again, and an awkward goodbye.

My heart was broken. I haven’t dated anyone since. Its been almost 5 years. In that time I’ve changed my life, focused less on romance and more on my career and helping others. Although I have seen him since. The feelings I felt for him when we first met sadly still remain, so although I always suggest when we communicate that we “should hang out sometimes”, I don’t really mean it. People treat one another like they are disposable nowadays. It is an unfortunate reality. I wish people were more responsible with one another and realized the gravity of their actions.

In any case, all’s well that ends well. I am now in law school, focusing on human rights, and trying to mend what’s broken within the framework of the law. Sometimes I ghost people who treat me badly, but I endeavour to treat those who care for me, with love and respect. I stay in touch with people i’ve met across the world, who I don’t have a hope of meeting again. However, our connection remains strong.

Here to Stay

As a woman (who dates women) from a generation where we actually learned the fine art of the breakup, I was disgusted to learn about “ghosting” and the “slow fade” well before it ever happened to me personally.

Yet, over time I’ve come to accept it as something that is here to stay. On the surface it seems rude, but what is the alternative? Ask for second date and get excuses back why she’s really busy? Or even worse, get a cold reply with specific reasons why she thought you were an awful date?

I try to rise above doing the ghosting to others, but when I get ghosted, I know it just simply means that “she’s not that into me” and that’s okay. It frees me up to chase someone else until I meet someone who picks up their phone frequently in anticipation of my message and is delighted when she gets one.

When ‘Ghosting’ Hurts

Ghosting sucks.
I was seeing this guy who I was beginning to think could become something more, especially after “dating” for close to 5 months.
We texted daily, phone calls almost every night, good morning messages, good night as well. First and last person I spoke to to start and finish my day.
We were texting one night, where he told me how perfect I was. The next day, after a long day, I texted him and never received a message back, I found this very weird. Called him the next day, he wouldn’t pick up.
Gave him a few days to maybe “cool off” from whatever was going on and called him again, voicemail once again.
After days of trying I finally got him to pick up the phone to be told that he was busy and would get back to me later.
Later never came. I just gave up. No sense going after someone who was clearly done with me. It hurt. 
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The DC Ditcher

Last year I was ghosted after dating a boy for about 2 months. We’d met on tinder, had a mutual attraction, and clicked immediately on our first date (at an art gallery happy hour event). He was cute, fun, dressed well, and had a great smile. We had great conversations and there was always more to discuss between us. We met each other’s friends. He told me personal stories about his family. We hung out multiple times a week, and I usually stayed the night at his place afterwards. The baristas at our neighborhood coffeeshop (we lived just a 6 minute walk apart) got used to seeing us come in together in the mornings.  
I thought we had potential together. I had real feelings for him, and he indicated it was mutual. We hadn’t ever fought, or even really disagreed about anything that I know of, at that point. But one Friday night I was leaving a concert with girlfriends, and texted him to meet up. I never heard back.
-Washington DC

Red Flags & Long Distance

From my easily-forgiving (and easily-forgetting) memory, I’ve been ghosted twice. I was actually dating both of them at the same time, so I can’t say much I guess!
The first was a guy I’d met on Tinder. We dated at least once a week, texted all the time, and he was overly romantic and intense, perhaps much more than social norms would allow. I remember thinking I really liked him, but he certainly wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea – his voice was quite high, he was really intense (e.g. talking about marriage), and he loved opera (he was a concert pianist and critical theorist). He also had a picture of an ex-girlfriend on his bedroom wall, which was a bit of a red flag. Anyhow, over the Christmas break in New Zealand we were both going on separate trips – he was going to Vienna and I was going to New York. I maintained contact when I was there, but pretty infrequently, especially since my phone died for 7 days. He seemed really keen to meet up, then less keen. I asked him if anything was the matter and he emphatically denied there was. That was the last I heard from him. Honestly, I think he may have been in the closet or still had a girlfriend.
The second was a guy I met in the trip on New York, which was a high-intensity fling. I met him on the first night in New York in a bar and saw him pretty much everyday for the rest of the 10-day trip, as he was friends with a mutual friend of the friend I was travelling with. He was very intense, shouting “Nooo!” when I was leaving. I knew it wouldn’t really last, because he was much more into me than I was into him, but we did really fun romantic things all trip long – Broadway, McDougal Street, Brooklyn Bridge, New Years’ night kiss . We decided to stay in contact and he wanted to come to New Zealand to study, as a transfer from New York. He started doubting how much I liked him, and I wondered whether I should tell him before he came. We Skyped often and one day the Skypes stopped coming. His mutual friend told us he thought it wouldn’t last between us, as the guy was an ‘in the moment’ person and would struggle with long-distance.
Just looking over these experiences, in my opinion, I think ghosting happened to me because intensely-romantic men didn’t know how to let go of the romance. They didn’t want it to end badly and ruin the experience, so they didn’t end it. I guess the problem is that it doesn’t ruin it for them, but definitely ruins it for the other person – it’s a pretty cowardly gesture that technology has allowed. I guess I’m also a believer that when it’s right, it’s right though – if something was perfect, no one would be ghosting that relationship.