Sexless in the City

Ghosting…so that’s like a thing now?

07.06.15

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Like ghosting.

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?

Say whattttt?

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!

XO,

Kat

19 comments on “Ghosting…so that’s like a thing now?”

  1. I don’t know if I am relieved or disgusted that we have an official verb for this action. On one hand, creating a language means we are starting a conversation, but on the other no person deserves to be treated like this. My very close friend was recently ghosted. After meeting through a mutual acquaintance, girl in charleston continues to talk to boy in Washington DC. He comes to town and they go on a few dates. He was applying for a job in Charleston and got the job. They start talking a few hours every night. She helps him find an apartment. He is supposedly on an airplane en route to see her in Charleston, she text to confirm pick up time, and in response gets: “some things happened, I will call you when I figure it out.” This was the last communication between ghoster/ghostee. The tornado of emotions she was subjected to because he chose to be a coward is inhumane. If you are a grown adult, pick up the phone and have a two-way conversation that lets both parties move forward.

  2. I’ve never been ghosted myself (probably because I took a long time off from dating after a bad breakup) but it’s happened to a number of my girlfriends and it’s always horrible. Every single one -whether or not they were really into the guy- would’ve rather heard something, anything, other than silence. Because then at least you KNOW. It’s the wondering that drives a girl crazy. At least, my girls. 🙂 Plus like you said, I think it’s just the respectful thing to do, the way to give someone the dignity of a goodbye. We live in an era of instantaneous communication in just about any way possible. So the idea that someone completely stops communicating with you, with zero explanation, is extra hurtful.

  3. I haven’t experienced anything like this myself (engaged to my HS sweetheart … Whoops!), but I have a couple of friends that have both been ghosted and have ghosted others … I think it must have something to do with the digital age and online dating. Where you can be having meaningful conversations and getting to know someone and then all of sudden … Nothing. I seriously don’t know if I’d make it! I would end up doing the exact same thing that you did … Good for you for sticking up for yourself + seeking out the reasoning behind what hurt you!

    Chelcey | http://www.chelceytate.com

  4. Oh my gosh, yes. Why is this even a thing? I went on three dates with a guy — we had good conversations when we went out, and we texted a bit throughout the week. He went out of town for a weekend and we tentatively agreed to meet up again when he got back. But I never heard from him. I didn’t reach out, and thankfully I didn’t feel super hurt as we had only just been getting to know each other. Still, I think the respectful thing to do would be to have a face-to-face conversation and be honest about ending things. It’s way too easy for people to simply disappear. I think it says a lot about a person’s character if they can be communicative with you — or if they lack the courage to be open about how they feel. And ultimately I want to be with someone who is as open and honest as I am. Who is just as excited about me as I am about him, and who is ready and willing to pursue me. We all deserve that!

  5. I’m currently trying to get over the person who ghosted me. We met on OKCupid and were long distance for 2 months (me being in China for work and him being in Toronto). He’d send me sweet texts and photos every day, told me how happy he was and how happy I made him, and when I finally returned to Toronto, we met for the first time.

    The date was nice and we really connected. We had become official a few weeks prior and continued to text and call each other daily. He had recently started a new job and we’d see each other about 2-3 times a week while maintaining the same sweet communication via phone and text.

    One day, communication just dropped. He texted me in the morning, we spoke for a bit, and I didn’t hear from him until he returned home from work (unusual because he’d text me during breaks). He sent me three really cold text messages then stopped messaging me for 2 days. I was devastated as I had sensed that something was wrong. I called him and he told me that he acknowledged his strange behaviour, said he needed space and time, and was depressed. I agreed to give him his space and after a week, I called him again. He told me he wanted to be alone, thought about breaking things up with me but was going through things, depressed, and unsure of what to do. I left him alone again, until 4 days later (today), I noticed that he’d removed our relationship status from facebook and deleted all the pictures we took together.

    Tried contacting him once more, but to no avail. I unfriended and blocked him off Facebook and deleted his number. I’m hurt, confused, and upset about this 🙁

  6. Thank you SO much for writing this post. I was being ghosted/faded on yet again, but this time I genuinely liked this guy and saw a lot of potential in a relationship. I decided to call him rather than face to face and I wasn’t expecting him to pick up, but he did. It was such a difficult and uncomfortable conversation to have, but I stood my ground and ask him straight up — “is everything ok between us?”. He wanted us to be casual and I did not. I told him it feel like losing a friend and it sucks. He then wanted to remain friends, but I know that never happens or turns out well when it does. So I said my goodbyes. I’m still sad and hurt, but I feel better knowing. I think it’s best to try and reach out and ask the guy “what’s going on between us?”, even if you think he’ll be a coward and ignore your texts/calls. If he does ignore it, accept that he is a coward and you don’t need another coward in your life who will just disappoint you.

  7. I’m in the process of my second ‘ghosting’. This guy didn’t seem like the type of scoundrel to engage in this. Older, previously married. I thought he was ‘safe’ from this type of behavior. Slowly but surely, he started cutting off communication. When I gave him an easy out via txt “hey, if you’re not interested, please feel free to let me know. I’m a big girl, I can take it.” He didn’t even have the courtesy to text me back. It completely minimizes the relationship as if it never even existed. Three months were not at all meaningful to him. Or at least that’s how it feels. It would be nice to have closure because I’m in a state of confusion, shock, disbelief. And do I feel sad? It’s so difficult to know how to feel. Oh I hope this isn’t the new norm.

    1. Krista,
      Since I am writing this 2 years later, I truly hope that you are over this horrible experience.
      The same thing just happened to me. I met this guy on Tinder and we just clicked. It felt great being with him. We just got along so well. He told me I made him happy and made him laugh. Every day started with a good morning message and every day ended with a good night. We texted every day for 3 months, morning, day and evening and spent every Friday, Saturday and Sunday together for 3 months. It felt great – to me. Then I started noticing that something was up. He wasn’t asking to see me, had parties to go to – work and family Xmas parties. I asked him twice if he wanted to keep seeing me – once casually in conversation. The last time I asked him that, I actually called him on purpose. I was calm and just said – Do you want to continue seeing me, if you are not feeling it, that’s OK, Just tell me. His response was – Yes, I do, why would you think that I don’t….
      Well this was 3 weeks ago and I haven’t heard from him since..i sent him a text 2 days ago and got no response.
      Really makes me question if any of it was real and how I could’ve misunderstood.
      I feel like the pain will never go away.
      Take care.
      Anna

      1. The pain will go away. As it did for me. After being ghosted by 2 men, I realized that it was more about our relationship being at a cross roads when they both ghosted: either it would become more meaningful and serious or it was just a casual thing that was going to end. They took the ‘easy’ way out by just cutting off communication instead of actually telling me face to face that they were not interested in pursuing a long-term relationship. I suspect that this is a similar scenario for you. Their behavior is not about you or anything you may have done wrong, it is more about the timing and their not being able to commit. Maybe they aren’t ready, maybe they aren’t willing to give up being single or maybe they have to resolve some things in their own lives. My best advice is to let go. You have already made one last attempt to contact him. I asked my previous ghosters for some resolution and they never responded. Instead of getting an answer for them I came up with my own conclusions: this is not the right person for me. And now I’m in a better healthier relationship with a man who would never dream of leaving me hanging. I hope that for you too

        1. Thank you Krista,
          I really appreciate your response and glad to hear you are with someone amazing.
          I will move on, eventually, even though at the moment this is consuming every minute of my life.
          Anna

    2. I was just ghosted after a 4 month relationship by what I though what’s a nature, straightforward and genuine guy. Communication dropped gradually without any warning. I’m heart broken, confused and angry. He’s 47 by the way, so you’d expect some type of maturity level and just plain respect and communication. I’d very much hear it’s not working for him anymore that get cut out of his life suddenly.

  8. I’m currently going through this right now with a guy I’ve only known for about 7 weeks. He just up and started ignoring my texts since last Thursday and I have absolutely no idea why smh. I am left feeling very confused, I am not even mad or upset, I am somewhat sad at times, but mostly just confused as to why he is just ignoring me. I told him from day 1 to never go silent on me if he was experiencing a change of heart and loosing interest in me, to just be honest and let me know what’s up. He said ok, all I’ve ever wanted from him was honesty, now he won’t even respond back to a simple text. I am sending him messages telling him that I just want some closure, let’s just end things on good terms with one another. Nothing. No response. But he’ll read the messages, just not say anything back. I said lets just have a friendship together because we clicked, we vibed, I enjoyed his company and everything. Smh, I don’t understand this. Funny thing is a day before he started to ignore me we talked over the phone, he called me to initiate contact, now this? Out of the blue, out of nowhere. We talked about making plans and hanging out on the weekend, even during this conversation I told him to be honest with me about everything, and he said “Do you think I would still be calling you if I have lost interest?” Which makes perfect sense because why would he still be calling me if he had lost interest? But now he is ignoring me completely and I just want to know why :-(. He has no reason to just do me like this now.

    1. I had a similar experience with a relationship I was in for over two years. About a year after we met, we were talking one night and he mentioned that in the past he had just stopped talking to women he’d dated and never spoken to them again. I was horrified and made him promise he would never do that to me. I told him I would never, ever be upset with him if he was just being honest, that I’d rather hear the truth, even if it’s not what I want. And he was also older, mature, kind and loving. He wasn’t into social media at all, just emailed for work. Didn’t even have a computer, he did all his writing (he was a writer) longhand and sent it to the typist. The love of my life, I was close with his family, supported him through a rough time in his life, the story of how we met was epic, you couldn’t write it better. He had told me he felt like he had always known me and I felt the same way about him … and then at the end of our relationship, sure enough…he starting a very slow fade-out where he communicated much less and stopped seeing me in person, that lasted a couple of months, followed by another few months where he didn’t reach out at all but would respond briefly if I spoke to him first, and in the end made a string of attempts to see me only to cancel last minute – when I finally broke and sent a “why do you do this…” message, he responded in one line: “seeing somebody.” Let’s just say I’m still in therapy.

  9. Honesty is just the best policy. And articles like this help a lot to kind of cope with your current situation. Nothing like this has ever even happened to me before. I had never heard of the term “ghosting” until I google search “why is he suddenly ignoring me ” I just need closure, to end things on good terms with one another omg.

  10. Wait, so you didn’t hear from the guy for two weeks, but then as soon as you confronted him about ghosting he responded and met up with you to talk? That’s kind of a bummer but… isn’t truly being ghosted in my book haha.

    I’m being ghosted right now and it’s one of the weirdest situations I’ve ever experienced. I only went on two dates with this girl but we’ve been talking for 3+ months and really clicked and are physically attracted to one another (she showered me with compliments, which I may need to consider a red flag moving forward). Both dates ended with pretty intense makeouts, and after the second date she begged me to go back to her place. I explained that I had something to do in the morning but that I could go as long as she wouldn’t be upset if I left so I could sleep at home and be ready to do what I needed to do in the morning. She said that was totally fine.

    We get to her place after a half hour drive and her vibe is totally different. She asks if I want a beer but I decline because I’m going to be driving. She puts on Netflix and asks if I want to lay down on the couch, so we do and she passes out IMMEDIATELY. I’m talking out cold until 6 am. I’m laying there stuck between her and the couch, not really able to sleep and feeling awkward. I couldn’t wake her up but didn’t want to just leave without saying goodbye…

    She finally wakes up and goes “are you seriously going home now?” and I’m like “uh, no…” since there was no point by then and I was exhausted. So we go to her bedroom and go to sleep (we were both clearly exhausted so nothing physical was going to happen). We wake up in the morning, she walks me to my car and we kiss goodbye, all while she just seems kind of miserable, but she said she was hungover so I leave it at that and tell her I hope she feels better soon.

    So over the course of the next couple weeks I make plans with her twice to get together (this whole time she was responding enthusiastically to my texts). She flakes the first time and says she has a commitment she had forgotten about. The second time I ask when she’s free, she tells me Wednesday and asks what time I can meet after work and I tell her. Then… nothing. A couple days go by and I ask “so does that work?” Nothing. A couple more days go by and I ask if she wants to hang out again or what. Nothing. A week goes by and at this point I’m pretty angry so I text and tell her that it’s clear she’s ghosting and that it seems unnecessary since I had already told her in the past that if a relationship doesn’t work out I’d like to be friends. I also say that if she’d like to explain what happened to let me know, otherwise thanks for the beers (she insisted on paying the last time we went out) and good luck with everything. Still no response obviously, and she deleted me from Snapchat.

    Now that’s being ghosted…

    **Side note: Wow, I just realized that spell check actually acknowledges “ghosted” and “ghosting” as words, how sad is that?

  11. I’m relatively new to the dating scene after being in a 20+ year marriage that ended in divorce and had never heard of ghosting.

    Is it ghosting when you’ve been dating exclusively (at least that’s what you thought) for a year and a half? After the last weekend together at his place, I left for work on Monday morning. Typical routine, we had coffee, he packed me a lunch and leftovers we had spent the day before cooking. We kissed before I got in my car and drove away. And that was it.

    He has vanished. No response to texts (he used to send at least a dozen a day) and not a word. I am perplexed. This is a 50-something year old man! Passive-aggressive? Dismissive? Manipulative? Attachment issues? I have NO clue. While any breakup hurts, being ghosted leaves you questioning how real things were, how “all-in” this guy was, and how could you have missed the signs. Ghosting is immature and cowardly. If you want to play, have the decency to end it with dignity. We’re adults. . Tell me the truth. It would be less painful than not knowing.

  12. Just happened to me recently. We’ve been seeing each other for 3 months and we had a lot of fun and she constantly tell me so! Then 3 weeks ago, her dog got hurt and she had to stay home to care of him. She showed me pictures of the dog’s injuries so I know it was real. I gave her time & space to let her care for her dog and we constantly texted and she kept me up-to-date with the dog’s progress.

    But then she started refusing dinner & date requests. Then quickly it became no responses to my texts at all. Direct phone calls went straight to voicemail.

    Now I watch a lot of Dateline NBC and 48 Hour Mysteries. So I started wondering if she had been killed by a crazy ex-fiance she had told me about. For days I would look at the local news to see if there was a story of a murder. And I half expected the cops to knock on my door to ask me questions about her just like in those TV shows.

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