Closure. We all want it, but is it ever really achievable? In today’s modern dating world, ghosting has become a common means of ending a relationship. This disappearing act turns our significant others into magicians who vanish without a trace of ever being there.
If not for the fingerprints they left on our hearts, perhaps we would question whether or not the relationship ever happened.
I have been ghosted a few times in the past, but upon being on the receiving end of silence from my friends-with-benefits of two years, I began to question societal standards for widely accepted dating practices, and thus, my own. Why do people ghost? Do they think it’s easier than having ‘the talk,’ and that they’re sparing us pain and heartache? Or do they simply not care?
Here’s my story. I began seeing a good friend of mine, and after a drunken night I began seeing him naked. After 8 months of non-committal bliss, I wanted to settle into something serious. I confessed my feelings and though they were reciprocated; he said he did not want to be in a committed relationship. This was the first sign that I had entered fuckboy territory, but the damage had already been done; I was in love with him.
After another year of mind games, on-again-off again sex and failed attempts at finding security, we ended up here, in the land of almosts.
After completing exams of our third year of college, we went on a 4-day spree of hanging out and having sex before starting full-time work for the summer months when our busy schedules would be less permitting. I texted him a week into work but to my dismay, no reply. This wasn’t an anomaly, he had been flakey in the past, but this time I left his bed on good terms. I gave it a few days hoping he would reach out to me, but nothing. Maybe he didn’t get my text? I tried calling him, no answer. Maybe he is just super busy. Or his phone is broken? I went to send him a Facebook message only to discover he had deleted me as a friend. What the actual fuck.
What I want people who ghost to know is that avoiding a difficult conversation by ignoring someone stirs up a lot of unhealthy self-talk within the ghostee.
Often times, uncertainty is worse than the truth, even if it’s a cold truth.
When you share your life with someone, whether it be for a year, a few months, or even one date, ghosting sends the message that the person you previously exhibited interest in is no longer worth your time and consideration. When he silently erased himself from my life, a series of questions flooded my insides with anxiety. Is he mad at me? Was the sex no longer satisfying? Did he meet someone else?
Self-doubt is a toxic river in the mind leading to a sea of low self-esteem. Confidence is shattered, self-worth is put into question, and lack of clarity becomes insomnia’s greatest companion. Night after night I agonized over his desertion. I felt inadequate and the confusion surrounding our demise left me cynical.
The hard truth is this: we make time for the things we want.
If he doesn’t make any effort to contact you, there’s a good chance he’s over you. But the good news? You deserve so much better than someone lacking the emotional maturity and basic human decency to be honest with you. He is straight up an asshole, plain and simple, and you are someone who looks for the good in people. He does not deserve the benefit of the doubt, and he is most certainly not worth the pain. By accepting that sometimes we will never get the answers we so desperately hope for, we can let go and move on. But don’t let it change you, because the world forever needs empaths.
In the words of Warsan Shire,
“If he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how