Ghosting: The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just “get the hint” and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested.
No, I’m not proud of the fact that I am introducing an article by using a definition from Urban Dictionary. But it seems appropriate in this case because I did not know what this meant until I recently experienced it.
I think sometimes people can see my life on social media and think I live this glamorous, sexy, single New York City lifestyle. And yes, I am so grateful for the life I get to live. I love that I get to take pictures and travel and do what I love for a living. But I always try to remind people that the image on instagram is the one perfectly curated and edited moment of the day. Not that it’s fake; it’s just life is not as sexy as we make it out to be online.
Most of my 20s was not filled with endless dates and boyfriends or flings. Going out with my girlfriends on a Friday night a few things would happen:
- I was uninterested in meeting a guy at a bar or restaurant or anywhere really if I was out with friends. I wanted to be hanging with muh gurlz, not meeting new people. And here are my thoughts on dancing with a guy at da club: really how far can it go? It’s like you inevitably get to this point where it’s like well should we make out now? And then you do, and then you’re like ok well that was fun, bye. And if you’re all talk like me it just gets to that awkward uhhh I gotta go to the bathroom…bye. What I really want to do is dance by myself to Beyonce in a group of friends and not be bothered by some guy dancing up on me. I can’t be caged. Let me do my twirls for crying out loud. I understand this puts guys in a weird place. Because they want to go to clubs to meet girls. But I just want to work on my latest moves that I learned from the Who Runs the World music video.
- Guys tonight it’s stay out till you makeout. And we’d all agree YAAAAAaaAA! Tonight we’re going to make out with a stranger at a bar. This sounds like a great plan. But then we’d get to said bar, and all chicken out and dance with each other. I can only speak for myself but when the opportunity would finally arise I would always feel uneasy about it and duck out.
A kiss means a lot to me, and I don’t just give them flippantly to any guy. For me the physical is always a shadow of something going on deeper. So a kiss reflects that I care about you, I want to know your heart, I like you, I want to date you. So stay out till you make out typically ended in me doing the dougie on the dance floor with a bunch of friends, having pizza at 2 a.m., and then walking home linked arms with my best friends. Not a bad night if you ask me.
All that to say my 20s has not been this endless parade of men that some people might think it has been. I went almost 6 years without dating anyone or even holding a guys hand in my early 20s. And then after a bad dating experience didn’t date for almost two years. Until moving to New York.
You’ve read about some of my journey in Real Sex in the City Series (although I think I should officially change it to Sexless in the City). The highs and lows, and epic moments + winters heartbreaks.
Since I haven’t dated a ton, and now have dated more in the last year than I have in my entire 20s combined I’m learning there are some weird things that happen in the realm of dating that I had no idea about.
What the heck is ghosting?
One of my friends recently went on a few dates with this guy. And he seemed like a good guy. He took her on some really nice dates. Then all of a sudden: nothing. She completely stopped hearing from him.
My questions: Did he flee the country? Is he in the hospital? Did someone cut off his hands? Is that why he cannot pick up his phone? Where did he go and why did he drop off the face of the earth?
No. He ghosted her. This wasn’t the first time this happened to her. She shrugged it off, while I wanted to send out a search party. And then I asked a few other of my single girlfriends in the city, and almost all of them have experienced the same thing at some point. So this behavior has become somewhat normal and acceptable?
Not on my watch folks. Not on my watch.
And then lo and behold it happened to me. (Insert gasp).
I had seen this guy a few times, and thought he was a great guy. We’d text throughout the week little things here and there. Nothing huge.
The last time we saw each other it was great. Good conversations. Movement made towards each other. Connectedness. Feelings seemed mutual. A sweet good bye. Nothing that would lead me to believe this was the last time I’d speak or see him.
Then a day went by. Two, three days. By five days I was hurt and confused am I being ghosted? By a week I assumed ok I guess this over? But why does it have to happen this way? Day 9 I was straight pissed. Who does this guy think he is? I felt like an idiot. Like I had been played a fool. And more so I felt disrespected. Take the romantics away, to have a great connection with a new friend and then all of a sudden never hear from them again? That’s painful and really disappointing. No one deserves to be blown off.
Some of my friends said to just let it go. Other friends said it deserved a conversation. I was just straight up confused.
After two weeks of radio silence and a plethora of fake conversations in my head that included Who gave youuuuuuuuuu the right??? I finally reached out. Maybe that makes me desperate? Or maybe that makes me human for wanting to have a real face to face conversation?
I felt like I wasn’t just taking a stand for myself, but on principle for all people who have been the ghostee. We met up and sat outside on the curb in my neighborhood, a warm Brooklyn summer night, and had a face to face real and raw and somewhat messy conversation. But that’s life right? It can be messy, especially when dealing with other people’s hearts and that’s ok. I shared with him ‘hey when you did this, this is how it made me feel’.
Trust me, the last thing I wanted to do was have a conversation with a guy that obviously didn’t like me. I didn’t want to let him know that his actions hurt my feelings. I want to be an impenetrable superwoman. But the reality is that it did hurt. To remove my superwoman cape, and give myself the permission to even hurt was a huge personal breakthrough for me. I learned it doesn’t make me weak or desperate; it makes me free.
And what I also learned is that it hurts way less to just have the conversation of hey you’re great, I’m great…but I am not interested in taking this further, than no conversation at all. That is not a fun conversation to have, but in that you hold yourself high, you are treating the other person with respect and dignity, and you can walk away with your head held high.
So I’m dying to know…have you been ghosted? What happened? How did it make you feel?Have you ghosted someone else? If so what were you reasons behind doing it? Would you do it again?
I’m curious to know your thoughts!