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.

Long Past Dead

We had been seeing each other for six months, and I had come to feel that we were so perfectly matched.  Intellectually, socially, sexually.  It wasn’t a fairytale, but it felt as though it was. I allowed myself to relax into it because he had told me that he loved me, and that was my permission, right?  I often cooked dinner at his house, but I never got to meet his family.  We went to plays and events and movies, but he never came to my place.  He would call me at all hours, wanting my voice, my company, my help, my advice.  I felt wanted, needed, loved, and understood. 
And then it stopped. 
I went on holidays for 4 weeks – a trip he refused to join me on – and halfway through, he stopped communication.  No more replies to emails or texts.  I tried to call and he didn’t pick up.  It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that it broke my heart.  Chewed it up.  
When I returned, it was another 2 weeks before he texted me to say “So, you’re back”.  I think that by then I knew it was not worth asking for an explanation. If I had pushed for any answers it would have been the “crazy” behaviour he needed to dismiss me. So I just told him that I was disappointed with his behaviour & I wanted my stuff back.  
I lost 8kgs, many nights of sleep, and a pair of pliers that he didn’t return.  Looking back now, it was worth it, to be rid of him. 

The Polite Thing.

I was ghosted once. We had already slept together, he would send me photos of the new shirt he bought for work. I’d send him photos of beautiful sunsets from my bike ride home. We’d hung out several times but he was slow to make a move. Maybe he wasn’t totally attracted to me. Maybe he didn’t have the heart to end things and deal with confrontation.

I’d ask of weekend plans and he’d skirt the issue by saying he would be in the wood shop. I’d offer my availability but the concreteness of our plans became more and more abstract. Eventually, I just stopped hearing from him. I distracted myself with other dates but eventually decided that I deserve better. I deserve a response from him, or I deserve some type of closure.

So I wrote him a message, too long for texting so I sent it on OKC simply asking for a goodbye. That’s all I wanted. It seemed like the polite thing for him to do.

Within 10 minutes I received a text from him, apologizing. Claiming that his past relationship left him acting like a 7th grader and that clearly he had more growing to do. He offered friendship. I declined and simply moved on.

Sent from my iPhone

[Update]: We here at ‘On Ghosting’ love hearing about ghostees finding the strength to move forward and wanted to share that the writer of this submission was married on Saturday August 6th, 2016 (one day before we originally shared her story)!).  She says that after A LOT of online dating, each failed attempt at love helped give her clarity around who she is and the type of person she wanted to be with. Congrats!