Ah, ghosting. It's the dating phenomenon that happens when people are too cowardly to actually end things with the people they've been seeing, so they choose to just… disappear instead.
Ghosters are idiots. But if you've ever been ghosted, know that you're not alone.
In this weekly column, I share a tale of a time a reader was ghosted (with accompanying screenshots) so you can see the last text that was sent or words that were uttered before someone decided to disappear forever. I present to you: Boom, Ghosted.
This week, we have Katie*, who was ghosted by her on-again, off-again boyfriend (that's right, BOYFRIEND) not once, but TWICE. Oh yeah, and the last time he ghosted her? They had lunch plans he just never showed up for. Then, she had to find out from his parents he didn't show up for lunch because, you know, he just casually left the country without telling her.
It really is as bad as it sounds. No, actually, I would say it's even worse than how it sounds.
Don't believe me? Read her story for yourself here:
We met in June 2014 and had an amazing first date. Things really took off, and we were seeing each other so frequently. We were both timid to speak up, but finally summer hit. He was about to head to Nepal to hike through the Himalayas for Christmas, and told me how much he would miss me. Then he broke the news that he landed a job in the remote country. It was big news, but we both wanted to keep seeing each other. He half-asked me to move to the country with him. I declined the offer, but said we could definitely do long distance. It was only a six-hour drive; we could make it work. We spoke as much as possible when he was away hiking, and he came back and I helped him pack up and move. I visited him at his new country town and met his new work mates. We celebrated my birthday together in March, and things were going great. We missed each other, and things were getting tough. I started to offer to come up to him on weekends, but he declined a few times by saying his job was making him too busy. Our one-year anniversary was coming up, and we decided for him to come to the city and we would spend it together. He messaged me to say he couldn't wait to see me the next day. I replied, “Same xx.” The next day, he was due to arrive around lunchtime. There was nothing. No message was replied to, and no phone call was answered.
Fast-forward to November 2015. I donated to his charity as I still believed in his cause for goodness. I was not expecting anything in return, and boom, a message appeared on my phone. We literally picked up where we left off. He was coming back to the city for the summer break, and we organized to catch up. It was just like nothing had happened. I asked him where he had gone and what happened. "Why are you at my doorstep?" He could only reply with, “ I missed you.” We hung out every day. He went to NZ to see family for Xmas and New Year's, I went away with friends and we spoke all day, every day still. He got back from his holiday, and it was all normal still. We spent nights together. We told each other how much we missed each other. We also had a couple routines back together. One morning, he whispered in my ear how he felt about me. I got up to go to the gym, and he went for a surf. We both made plans to hopefully catch up that evening after we both had dinner with other parties. But, we also made plans for lunch the next day. He didn't show up after dinner. He didn't show up for lunch the next day. I called and messaged, and nothing again. I knew it happened again. I went to his parents' place. They told me he had left for the country a day ago. I called again — phone disconnected. I emailed — email account no longer active. I posted a letter — return to sender. I checked social media — blocked. All within 24 hours.
When telling me the story, Katie told me she actually found the experience "more heartbreaking and hurtful than being cheated on." Honestly, looking through these, I can totally see how that would be the case.
This guy held her heart in his two hands and was just COMPLETELY careless with it. They weren't some casual fling. They were in a serious relationship, they were willing to do long distance and she even knew his parents! Personally, I just can't find a way to justify his actions.
But what do you guys think? Do you think this story captures a unique and horrifying form of heartbreak like I do? Or, have you somehow found a way to justify his actions for me here? Maybe you've gone through something similar? No matter what the case, share your thoughts here, and let's talk it out.
* Name has been changed.
If you have any of your own ghosting stories you'd like to share with the column, feel free to send them over to me on Facebook.