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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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.

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.

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!

I Ghosted Once.

I ghosted once. It was about 3 years ago and I still feel guilty about it. We met for coffee, then halfway through coffee he asked if I was up for an adventure and took me to an improv show around the corner. I didn’t think we hit it off, but the date was fun. He asked me out again and I told him I was busy (which was true, I was going to school full time and working full time). He texted me constantly. I think I may’ve tried a second date if it weren’t for being bombarded with texts. At first I sent delayed responses, but it got to be too much, and I didn’t have the guts to tell him that I didn’t think there was any romantic spark between us. Instead I just stopped responding. After a few days of my unresponsiveness he sent me a text telling me that he got the hint that I wasn’t interested, but he thought I was a great girl and he’d be there if I wanted to be friends. Maybe I wouldn’t have felt guilty about it if he’d just stopped texting me, but that last text effectively stopped me from ever ghosting again.

Sent from my iPhone

[Intro] Let’s Talk About the White Ghost In The Room

As Aziz Ansari quips, gone are things like the phone call when questions like “Want to hang out sometime?” demand an immediate response.

Instead, texting buys time and the anxiety of waiting for the ellipsis to end is what keeps us hanging on.  Maybe this will be the clever, romantic one liner we’ve been waiting for-the one where they show that they care.

Except it isn’t.  So your response back isn’t.  But that’s ok, it’s too soon.  No hard feelings.

And just after you’ve told them about your family, your siblings, the chic coffee shop on your street corner, your career goals, and the first three digits of your social security number, they’re gone as quick as they came.


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