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 Melanie* who was ghosted by the first guy she ever had a crush on years after they admitted they had feelings for each other.
(Important note: Melanie asked us to blur out travel dates and names of locations to help maintain her anonymity.)
So I had a crush on this guy when I was in middle school, and I'm pretty sure he liked me back. However, by the time we both kind of, sort of told each other, it was too late. My family had decided to move and start a life in a new country on a different continent. So we just left it off as staying friends. After I moved away, we lost contact. Five years later, he contacts me on social media and we start talking again. It was nice to catch up after so long, and we hit it off right away without any awkwardness. We started chatting regularly. Sometimes there would be long gaps, but somehow we'd talk again and it would be a long conversation. He would even flirt and remind me of childhood memories that I'd forgotten. It was sweet. We had good chemistry. I was still a little bit cautious as we hadn't met for so many years, but he was always very confident and forward. Fast-forward two years, and I tell him I'll be visiting his country and ask if he would be available to meet. Now, we hadn't talked on the phone yet — it had been two years of just chatting/flirting on-and-off. But I was excited to see where it would lead once we met. He told me that, yes, he would be glad to, even though he would be in college. I finalized my plan and told him everything. We were to meet in a central city. He told me he would come on a train from his place to see me. Two weeks before my departure, and I still hadn't heard from him about his final plan. I messaged him, and I got a message back saying he wouldn't be able to make it due to some tests happening at his college.
I was very disappointed, but still understood. Then, he messaged me again asking how long I would be there. I got excited and told him my travel details again, thinking he might be able to see me after all.
He told me that he would try his best. Then, again, I hear nothing from him a few days before my trip. So, once again swallowing my ego, I messaged him saying that I understood if he was busy as it was his final year of college and his city is far from where I would be. I didn't want him to feel pressured, and I especially didn't want him to stop talking to me over this as we were always friends first (and I valued our friendship over a relationship any day).
I tried to make it easy for him. Maybe he didn't want to disappoint me again and didn't know how to tell me he wouldn't be able to see me. But I never ended up getting a response or any of sort of message after that day. I know we weren't actually dating and hadn't met in seven years or talked on the phone. But still, I don't understand the reasoning behind not responding at all. I didn't even show anger or get mad at him for not being able to see me, considering we might not see each other again for another few years. I was understanding. So I don't see a reason to stop all communication and "ghost" a friend like that.
I'm with Melanie in that I just don't really get why this guy felt the need to ghost her.
It seems like this was such a low-pressure friendship and meet-up that there was no reason not to respond. I mean, she was totally giving him an out and he didn't take it!
What do you guys think? Have you ever been ghosted by a friend like this? Or maybe you've been the one who ghosted your friend like this?
Either way, I always want to hear your thoughts! Feel free to comment here, or email your own "Boom, Ghosted" submissions over to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Name has been changed.