I recently spent a couple weeks getting to know a man who I thought was perfect-ish . My god, he was handsome, tall, driven, successful, 2 years older, straight forward, kind, gentlemen-like, he texted back fast, returned all my phone calls, invited me to hang with friends, British (I am actually 1st gen British American) and a conversational breath of fresh air….. until the wind got knocked out of me. 3 weeks after we spent 4 hours together and had our first kiss, spent more than a couple nights cuddling and talking, a date night or two he disappeared without a trace. He wouldn’t answer the phone or return texts, I knew something was wrong when he didn’t watch my Instagram story…. fast forward 5 days later and I was still confused as to what happened but I experienced an emotional cycle that gave birth to some great lessons.
While going through a 3 day emotional conflict was NOT what I needed after dealing with past disappointing partners, being ghosted by Tall, Dark and British (TDB as he will be referred as) was actually huge dating lesson for me.
Ghosting shall be defined as ceasing all communication abruptly in such a way that signals to the Ghostee that you are done with them, that you don’t care how they feel, that an explanation is not worth your time- you are just done, out, finished. Whatever reason people ghost each other is on the individual but if you have been ghosted it is best to process the experience and move on to better things as soon as possible.
The 5 Stages of Being Ghosted
1. Concern/ Worry
When someone you care about stops responding or being present, you start to worry if they are hurt or in jail or a coma perhaps. You want to play it cool because you would never forgive yourself if you flip out and they were lying in a hospital bed unable to communicate with you. So you reach out, “Hey are you ok?” in hopes of getting a response, any response because you would never allow that person to worry about you, and a decent person would respond “hey, yea I am fine, just don’t feel like talking.” but when someone ghosts you, they leave your mind dangling on every worst case scenario.
This is because they are perfectly comfortable letting you worry about them, they have a callous disregard for your mental well being and it is an abuse of their power (the fact that you care about them). Even if this person thinks they will come back into your life at some point, they still allowed you to worry about them to the level you believed you may never see this person again. With no explanation, it took me 3 days to move into the next stage.
So let me tell you how I figured out TDB was not in a coma, locked up or had his phone stolen like I entertained for 3 days. I used a classic trick and had my girlfriend call his phone….. low and behold, this fucker picks up “What’s Up, Mate?” (British people can make being a dickhead sound so classy). BOOM there is my proof, I have indeed been ghosted, maybe I should have figured that out sooner but I really didn’t want it to be true. When I found out his phone wasn’t broken I let out 3 days worth of emotions, “You are a little bitch for not explaining yourself, fuck you!” I angrily texted and even left a voicemail. I surprised myself by managing to not let the crazy bitch out for 3 days but once I let that anger take control of me and I said those things to “try” to hurt this brick wall, I immediately regretted it.
Here was this person I had barely known for 3 weeks getting me out of my character. How did that happen? I know exactly how and why it happened. I, maybe you too, have subconscious abandonment issues from my past partners and my parent’s divorce. If you quit talking to me, quit watching my Instagram/ snap chat stories my brain automatically tells me “they have dropped you forever.” this must be how dogs feel when their owners leave for work. There is a panic that happens when someone abandons you, it’s probably one of the most unsettling things you can do to someone who cares about you.
Anger is a desperate cry to try to get a response and understand what is happening. After the initial anger of being let go subsided, about 1 day, I moved into the next stage.
“OH MY GOD, why did he ghost you? What did YOU do?” seems to be a popular question… thanks bestie *rolls eyes*. The truth is, I have no idea what I did or if I even did anything to make this man cower away from me. But right after I was angry enough to curse him, I started thinking about what could I have done differently. This is a slippery slope because the thoughts going through my head are: I regret coming over on Sunday, maybe I post too much on social media, maybe I talked about my health issues too much, maybe I got too comfortable, did I smell when I came over? etc. This is dangerous for a person who actually gives a fuck, we start to blame ourselves for the situation when in reality no matter how badly we behaved, the Ghost should have had the respect and the balls to address it- if they cared about you.
Being ghosted made me feel creepy, crazy, unbalanced- in my head TDB and his friends were laughing at what a crazy bitch I am and how he should feel happy to have gotten rid of me (I do not know this for a fact, that’s why it’s called anxiety). TDB never said “you are a crazy bitch” but he also never said, “this isn’t your fault, I met someone new or my feelings changed or I don’t have time for a relationship”. So in actuality, none of this could be my fault and I am a victim of my still healing mind (what’s the opposite of anxiety? When you think you can do no harm? Would be nice to be one of those types of people sometimes).
Anyone who cannot stand and face their issue with you is a coward and is undeserving of having someone who communicates on their team- It is selfish and a red flag to not communicate properly. Once you realize that you should have no regrets, this is not your fault, it is a personal problem they will need to deal with they intend to relate in the future, then you can move onto the next stage.
It took some actions I am not proud of (like apologizing to him for cursing at him when I really just wish I had left it alone the day he started ignoring me) and I had to forgive myself for acting a fool, but I am over the confusion and over TDB. Here are two quotes that helped:
“Don’t give anyone the time of day that makes you feel like you are hard to love”
“If you keep avoiding self-love, the universe will keep sending you people who don’t know how to love you”
I am not suggesting TDB was or should have been in love with me or even loved me because I didn’t love him, I cared about him, though. My goal (Idk what his goal was and it’s no longer my business) was to grow into something great together. Going through the self-blaming stage made me feel hard to love, I am woman enough to admit that I had a day of self-doubt.
I realized I have a lot more self-loving to do, I keep being pulled towards people who are emotionally unavailable, selfish and don’t consider how my brain works. I have accepted that I am not everyone’s cup tea, not every guy I like is good for me (especially if I pick him- seem to be blinded by all the wrong shit) and that my sanity is #1. I cannot accept the behavior of someone who purposefully takes me on an emotional roller coaster with them and TDB has done me a huge favor by disappearing now- imagine how hurt I would have been if he jumped ship in 6 months. Do not have regrets (I am willing to bet he feels nothing about this situation) do not doubt yourself and thank the universe for the lesson.
5. Lessons Learned
Day 5 and here I am writing this blog post because when I come out the end of an attack on my inner peace I must evaluate the lessons learned. So here they are:
I idolized him from the beginning.
As soon as I started getting to know him I treated him like gold, he was everything I never knew I could have (life will show me better)- and ironically I never got to have him. I set myself up for disappointment before he had the chance to prove to me the kind of man he actually was. So I probably experienced extra heartache due to my inflated interest in him. They say if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.
If people want to leave, open the door for them.
I shouldn’t have cursed him out, I should have just deleted his number and moved on. It’s a game of power, when you chase someone you give away your power. They know they can engage you whenever they want and they put you on their time. No matter how emotionally disturbing things are, never curse, fight, or get revenge back. Just let them leave, you can walk away without embarrassing yourself and won’t feel guilty later.
I stopped dating other people.
I do not like to juggle more than one guy, it makes me uncomfortable but guys need competition. If I had more than one guy going after my attention 1. I wouldn’t have been so affected when he dropped off the face of the earth 2. I would have been less available to him and the relationship could have been built slowly. Either way, it’s nice to have a replacement when your star player drops off the roster. For the record, we were not yet exclusive but I was only seeing him, IDK about him because, you know, he disappeared.
Anyone who will not communicate their concerns with you is a complete waste of time.
The first argument in a new relationship/ dating situation is make or break- If one of you shuts down, refuses to communicate when something is wrong…. RUN AWAY, GET OUT! Before you have deep feelings for this person, if you are a communicator and empath like me, they will drag you through hell. They will never be able to fully grasp how their selfishness affects you, you will go through these 5 stages every time something is wrong. I loved people who communicate by “needing space” but not actually asking for it, and they destroyed my inner peace over and over again.
99% of the time, they aren’t dead, save your worry for someone who deserves it.
I was literally asking “are you OK?” for two days and he couldn’t even say “I’m alive, but we aren’t OK”, had me checking my phone when he was probably staring at my message, seeing my plea to check on him and ignoring it. Lesson learned- fuck ’em, it is so selfish to make a person worry about you for no reason. They don’t deserve that type of concern from you and quite frankly they don’t care that you are the type of person to be concerned. They only care about saving themselves from an awkward conversation.
Don’t make excuses for them. No response is a response.
A person who cares, communicates. I don’t care if you have to borrow your friend’s phone, you find a way to contact those people you respect. So when a Ghost decides they are done, don’t try to figure out what’s going on with them emotionally, they aren’t going to tell you and making excuses only prolongs the 5 stages. Worry about yourself, go see friends, do something that makes you happy. Honestly, most people come back but remember how their flakiness made you feel, if it bothers you the first time don’t give them a chance to do it a second time.
TDB could have needed some space, he could be going through an emotional time, or he could be a straight up fuckboy- none of that matters. TDB sacrificed all benefit of the doubt when he chose to retreat rather than reveal what was really bothering him. I wonder what other uncomfortable situations people who do this have avoided and great relationships they missed out on. I rest well knowing that I can clearly express what I need for my sanity and it doesn’t matter if TDB or anyone else heard me when I expressed myself because the universe rewards those who are in touch.
So thank you, Tall, Dark and British for the lesson that turned into a 2300 word article, I needed the motivation.
Have you ever been ghosted? How did you deal with the confusion? Have you ghosted someone? Why did you avoid ending it properly?