I just realized today it’s been exactly 20 days since I was ghosted for the first time in my life. I didn’t come to this realization by chance, but rather by sitting out in my patio, sipping on a drink, and going through my photos in my phone. So I found this picture from June 4th when I took a screenshot of an instagram page from which I had just been blocked. Being new to this ghosting thing, I didn’t really know how being blocked looked like. So, I took a screenshot of the confusing “no posts yet” showing screen and, of course, sent it to one of my friends to get confirmation. “what does this mean? I could see this guy’s page a few hours ago and now it seems I can’t see anything. Did he block me?”.
“It seems like it” she said. “WTF? that’s so weird!”. And yes, it was weird. I had met this guy (yet, another Brit) through Bumble about a month before. The bonus on this one was that for once, he was not in England. He lives on the same US coast I do, only a different city. Yes, again, not ideal, but hey- you can’t expect to find Javier Bardem living next door and why not being a bit more open, right?
We matched when he was down in Miami for work and started talking when he was back home. He was handsome, witty, polite, very successful, and kind, We exchanged the obligatory whole-day, mind-blowing conversation, bantering and finding things about each other we liked, and since then, we texted, talked on the phone, and planned our soon-to-come encounter. We did this for a month. Thirty days of saying good morning, and good night, and everything in between. In the meantime, he travelled, I travelled, we exchanged pictures of our trips, we told each other everything, from what we were having for dinner, to how messed up our relationships with our parents were. We expressed how much we were looking forward to get together on a very promising date.
And then, one good night, after exchanging a couple of messages about how our Friday night was going, and saying good night, he completely disappeared the next day. Vanished. Stopped replying. My first naive impulse was to think something had happened to him. Well, he’s not the type to not reply. I’ve never waited more than 10 minutes to get a reply to a text, so surely, something happened to him. So I asked. No response. I waited and asked again the next day “hey- is everything ok? If you don’t want to talk anymore that’s cool, but I’d just like to know you’re fine.” No response again. Next thing I know, my message never got delivered and I get blocked from Instagram.
And my question is: when did people lose their balls? how difficult it is to tell someone you have not even actually met in person “hey, I really can’t keep talking to you anymore, because _______ (insert whatever you want here; the truth, a lie, anything).”
I was floored; completely puzzled and more than anything, very disappointed. Yet again. Was it me? Did I say something wrong? Was I annoying? Was I too available? Did I share too much? Too little? Most likely, the fact that I was erased from someone’s life without a heads-up, had absolutely nothing to do with me, but go tell that to my forever responsible self, who is always looking for what I did wrong, instead of finding the blame somewhere else.
If you have never been ghosted, or don’t even know what the term means, you are either not single in 2017, or you have an amazing dating life and I hate you. I learned, the hard way, what the term meant: when someone who you have been involved with in some sort of consistent, rather intimate interaction or relationship, completely disappears on you, without notice. And not only was I ghosted, I was banned, which hurt even more.
I looked for reasons, I revised everything I said and did, went over conversations and questioned my own value and self esteem a hundred times, to come to the simplest conclusion: I will never know. But the one thing that I know is this- It’s not about me. It’s not about you (if you are reading this and you also got ghosted). Because even if I am annoying, obnoxious, too available, too little available, too frank or too unavailable, I am a decent person who always treats others with respect, and if I don’t like you anymore after talking to you everyday for 30 days, I am going to tell you. I can block you after that, if you will, but first, I am going to have the decency to let you know.
Because I am 37 years old, an adult, with balls and a high sense of ethics. Ghosters think they are doing you a favor not hurting your feelings by not telling you why they lost interest, but the truth is, they are only doing a favor to themselves, avoiding the responsibility of having the balls to be decent. Because, really, who cares to be decent in 2017? Well, I do. I hope you do too.