Ghosting comes as sudden as a thief in the night taking your precious jewels. Jewels of good company, secrets, your mind and body.
We’ve all either “been there” or “done that” to someone else. Ghosting is defined on dictionary.com as “The practice of suddenly ending all contact with a person, especially romantic relationships.”
And boy, do I know ghosting all too well.
My junior year of college I was head over heels for my then beau of nine months. We talked daily, slept in each other’s dorm rooms, did homework together and shared some of our deepest secrets with one another. He told me he hadn’t committed to anyone even remotely since his high school girlfriend and things ended sour with her. As far as I was concerned, I was “different” and the one girl in his college career that was worth it.
During the week of spring finals, I suddenly heard from him less and less, and eventually not at all. I felt sick and uncertain of myself, but blamed on test jitters. But after each unanswered call and text my anxiety grew. Was he ok? I asked our mutual male friends if they heard from him, and they hadn’t either. We inquired if we should call his parents to see if he was around.
One day, my friend told me he finally heard from him. He was fine, and asked our mutual friend to relay the message to me that he was fine. He never responded to my messages. We eventually ran into each other at a mutual friend’s event and finally talked after weeks. His response for going mia? He was swamped with finals and really wanted to focus, and would let me know when his study schedule slowed down.
But time went on without us connecting, and I returned home for summer still pondering if he’d ever call.I couldn’t believe that someone I spent months with suddenly lost interest in me to a point of no response. I felt abandoned, and dare I say it unworthy.
It took me over nine months to mend my broken heart and the confusion associated with ghosting.
A study from Fortune found that 80% of millennials have been ghosted.
Ghosting can be a painful and embarrassing feeling that leaves you scarred. It is the ultimate form of no closure to the a relationship, so why do people do it? There’s no singular answer, but here’s a few I found:
He Doesn’t Know How To Communicate
He’s super good on paper, but boy oh boy does he have mountain hills of unresolved conflicts and miscommunication. We’re all learning and growing, and some people are learning conflict management, resolution and how to honestly express themselves. They thought they had a conversation with you about something you said which frustrated them and they never did. So, they’ve ended the relationship in their minds without ever letting you know and figure you saw it coming anyway.
He Doesn’t Know How To End It
He simply wasn’t that into you and didn’t know how to communicate this to you, so he decided he’ll just cut off communication altogether. Confrontation scares some people, and in our digital age where we’ve already lessened face to face interactions, letting time silently pass feels like can feel like a viable route.
He Has A Girlfriend
Your conversation seemed too good to be true, and it was. Why? Because it was a quick fling and he never thought he’d see you again unless time permitted him to really test the waters. It’s why you both felt so vulnerable and open about sharing your true feelings about family, friends, and life. This typically applies for people you have zero outside ties to and met on random occasions like on vacation or at a large party. Without social ties, its easier to lessen accountability – because who knows about it anyway.
You can usually sense out a flaky person before they make the ultimate flake of ghosting. He has endless excuses on why he has to cancel date night. One week you’re on Facetime for hours on end, the next you never hear from him. He jumps from one idea to the next without giving you a chance to respond. And, he’s never used language that suggests he’s thinking of you in a future, committal since. This language is as simple as an upcoming event he wants to attend with you to his thoughts on raising a family. He’s consistent with his inconsistencies, but you missed the red pattern flag.
He Only Wanted Cutty
After a few dates, followed by a few steamy nights in he’s no longer interested. The emotional attachment is gone and all he inquires with you on is when the next night in will be. The desire for a relationship was primarily sexual, and when the firework feeling fizzed out, so did he.
So How Do You Move On From Being Ghosted?
Allow Yourself To Feel The Feels
It doesn’t matter if you knew the person three months three years – ghosting hurts, period. What were the feelings that came up for you when you suddenly stopped hearing from a former beau? Were you sad, enraged, or feeling unworthy? Acknowledge how it made you feel so you’re equipped to rid those negative feelings properly.
Delete all social ways of connecting with them
It’s not petty to unfriend someone when they unfriended you in real life. Save yourself the mornings of Instagram stalking or drunken nights of angry texts and calls to Mr. Waldo. You don’t need to be reminded or tempted to pry into the life of someone who should no longer hold a place in yours. It seems like a small act of power, but trust that it isn’t. Delete them, and let it go.
Spend time with loved ones
Being ghosted can make you feel alone and unwanted, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth. You have family and friends that enjoyed spending time with you way before you began spending all your days and nights jonesing with your old flame. Don’t be down in the dumps about someone who didn’t value your time when you could be spending those moments celebrating with loved ones.
While ghosting hurts, know that you are so worthy and so loved, and the person who truly deserves your heart would not abandon you in this way. Have you been ghosted before? What’s the craziest story you’ve hear about someone being ghosted? Share in the comments!
Reflect On Your Dating Behaviors
Sometimes you never see it coming that you’re about to get ghosted. But be honest, did you see the red flags in your ghost but decided to ignore it in hopes you were overthinking? Were you giving more than receiving in hopes that it’d show him how great you were? Trust your intuition and yourself. You know when you’re potentially in a situation that has gone on longer than it’s needed to or you’re seeing someone that just isn’t that into you. You really are great, that person just didn’t see it – but that doesn’t mean another guy will not. Take time to reflect not only to heal, but to realize how you my need to set boundaries for yourself or others in dating so that next time, you’re dating with confidence.