I recently made the brave decision to venture back onto the online dating scene after months and months of being comfortably alone and healing the emotional scars online dating had caused me over the years. The number of times I have had to reply to a tedious, ‘’Hey there how are you’’ uninspired conversation opener from another potential prospect had left me unenthusiastic of the prospect of returning back online to the world of filtered profile photos and misleading ‘about me’ sections. But this time it felt different. I felt confident, bulletproof, and for once not desperate.
I was looking for love but I would not let my quest for love define me.
Upon gazing the gallery of angled selfies and shirtless torsos I had finally come across someone worth my time, a diamond in the rough amongst the sewer and drainage the dating pool had polluted. He was everything I was looking for and more, charming, eager to know more about me, unapologetically romantic and pleasing to the eye, the butterflies had returned.
We spoke for hours and hours into the break of dawn exchanging banter and intriguing conversation. He stimulated me mentally and aroused me physically; it felt like we had a magnetic connection and we were drawn to each other with sparks flying off our every word. “What’s the catch?” I asked with my last ounce of scepticism leaving my mouth. “I was thinking the same,” my intrigued prospect replied.
“This seems too good to be true.”
And indeed it did feel too good to be true. He was masculine, young and .out of the closet. We shared similar interests; he was complementary and looking for a relationship.
I went out on a limb and asked him officially out on a date, and with no hesitation he accepted my offer to get to know one another more in person. The date was planned and the day was set, we spoke eagerly throughout the night about how excited we both were. I loved the way he texted back almost instantly always ending each message with an ‘X’. I went to sleep with a smile etched on my face. I would be meeting potentially the man of my dreams the very next day, as my head laid firmly on my cushion I closed my eyes thinking of him.
I awoke that morning with a message from him, the first word I saw was “Sorry.” I knew what was coming and my heart sunk deep into my chest. He claimed a friend of his had been rushed to hospital and that he was in the accident and emergency ward with her all throughout the night and as a result would have to cancel our date due to his lack of sleep. I believed him as from what I knew of him he was a gentle giant with a heart of gold. I was gutted that I could not see him that day but sent my regards to his friend.
We continued to exchange messages throughout the day but not as constant as before. Something felt odd, something felt off and my years of dating intuition was telling me something was amiss. I went out that evening with friends checking my phone to see if I had a lingering message from him greeting me, instead there was nothing but a static screen and no sign of life. For the rest of the night I drowned my anxiety with alcohol and tried to put him into the back of my mind. I went to bed that night with my head spinning, not just from the intake of beer and cocktails but because I did not know where I stood and how he felt about me. Something that was once so sure was now in the familiar territory of doubt and uncertainty. A place I had been to many times before and a place I had hoped I would never return to.
That morning I arose with a splitting headache and a thumping heart. I thought maybe, just maybe I would be greeted with a beautifully poetic message from him, asking me how my night was and if I was ok. But as I went to view his profile on WhatsApp I was not greeted by his handsome smiling face but instead a grey silhouette.
I had been blocked, my heart suddenly felt numb, numb like the empty profile picture that was staring right back at me.
I had been blocked on WhatsApp; I had been blocked on Facebook. I was erased from his life with just a mere touch of his thumb.
Disrespected, used, and disposable. This is exactly how I felt when I discovered I had been ghosted. How someone could go from seemingly so into you to make you feel like you are the only person in the universe to then disappear without a trace. I was bewildered, confused, puzzled; did he dig further into the pits of my Facebook page and discover sinister truths he did not like? Was I just one of many fish in the swallow water that he was contemplating?
To be ghosted is to be left without answers, to be left without certainty and ultimately left to wallow and wonder in despair and self-doubt.
One place where he had not blocked me was the very same dating site we had first encountered one another, where I first came across those adorably big brown eyes and cheeky smile. His status was online; just as soon as he had erased me from existence there he was, back on the prowl. Was he looking for better options? Were my flawed scales not considered worthy enough to explore?
The saddest part out of all of this was, he didn’t even give me a chance.