Do you keep texting, shoot off an angry reply or seek all-out revenge? One STELLAR staffer found out firsthand when she encountered this shitty dating scenario. Here's what she did...
Ghosting sucks, as I unfortunately found out recently. I was dating this guy, let’s call him David (though trust me, I have a few other choice names for him) and things were going great. Like really great. We’d been on three dates, and we’d had the LOLs on every single one. We seemed to be on the same page, had a stack load in common, and if anyone had asked me where we were headed I would have told them with almost-certainity that I reckoned we were heading straight for relationship status.
And then POOF! He vanished. No texts. No contact. Nothing. Had I done something wrong? Had he been involved in some sort of horrific accident and lost the use of his texting thumb? What? I’d been left with a tonne of questions and a whole lot of hurt.
“Opting out of a relationship, or ghosting as it’s now called is nothing new,” confirms relationships counsellor Bernadette Ryan. “It happens most often after a few dates, but really it can occur at any time.”
After a few non-responses it’s probably best to assume that you’re not going to see them again.
But why the vanishing act? Surely an explanation is a much more direct, and certainly less hurtful way of ending things? “The term breaking up is hard to do didn’t fall out of the sky,” says Bernadette. “No one wants to be responsible for hurting someone else, and so it’s tempting to take the easy way out by cutting contact.” For the ghoster in other words, it’s much more convenient to simply disappear than to shoot off an ‘it’s been fun, but I don’t see this going anywhere’ message.
So what should you do if you’ve found yourself the victim of this crappy dating situ?
“After a few non-responses it’s probably best to assume that you’re not going to see them again and let it go,” recommends Bernadette. “If they’ve stopped communicating, whether it be in person, online or via text, the sooner you can see it for what it is the better.”
Once you’ve accepted that you’re a victim of a ghoster “try not to endlessly second guess what went wrong,” Bernadette advises, “and try not to take the blame yourself. The problem is them and not you.”
My response? After a week and a half of no contact, I eventually gave in and text him, but not to initiate a convo. Instead, I confronted him on his shitty behaviour. “A heads up for the future,” I wrote, “If you’re seeing a girl, and hanging out with her on the regular, doing the whole ghosting thing just because you’re not feeling it anymore, is a total dick move.” A cathartic and sassy move if ever there was one.
To my surprise I got a response. “Okay, you’re right. I’m sorry,” it read. Did it make me feel better? No not really. But taking charge of the situation, and showing my ghoster that I wasn’t going to stand for his crappy behaviour certainly did.
Luckily, David is the first and hopefully the last guy to ghost me, but if it’s a regular occurrence for you Bernadette suggests making sure there is clarity about where the relationship might be headed from the get-go. “If one of you is looking for a relationship and the other is just looking for a good time, it won’t be a good fit from the beginning,” she warns.
The thing to remember? “There’s nothing wrong with you and you are not to blame for their behaviour,” reminds Bernadette. “Besides,” she asks, “do you really want to be with someone who would treat you like this?” Speaking from experience, I can honestly say no.
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