I’d like to take a moment to half-heartedly thank the Internet, social media and texting for making it so incredibly easy to ghost someone.
For those of you who are unaware, ghosting is "The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date."
Let’s be real, though: The fault isn’t yours Internet. It’s the person behind the screen.
The Internet, social media and all other technological forums have merely developed into the tools through which “bae of the moment” is able to use to make a clean break with no hard feelings.
Or so they would like to believe.
Ghosting allows the ghoster to break ties with the person he or she has been dating without the awkward tears that normally ensue during a face-to-face breakup.
The ghoster can also avoid the feeling of guilt from knowing that someone's feelings are about to get hurt.
So, you’ve been ghosted. Cue the questions.
Here are the four stages of emotions you go through after being ghosted:
During this stage of initial ignorance, you will find yourself asking if maybe he or she is just busy or missed your call.
Although you're slightly annoyed, there's no real concern at this point.
You patiently wait for him or her to return your call, but no such call comes in.
You’ll try texting him or her this time because the phone call didn’t work, or maybe you’ll shoot a Facebook message.
He or she will read the message and proceed with autonomously living life, but you will still get no response.
At this point, it’s time for a second opinion.
So, you ask your friends for some rational about the situation.
They reassure you that “bae of the moment” is probably busy, and you will hear from him or her soon.
They encourage you once again contact this person via the five other forms of social media you've seen him or her recently log into, though he has not responded to any of your attempts of contact.
It sinks in that your friends lied to you (probably with good intention) and that “bae of the moment” is ghosting you.
A pit in your stomach forms, and all the self-doubt you’ve ever felt late at night when your brain runs on overload will inundate every thought that crosses your mind.
That false sense of confidence you so easily exuded at the beginning of the relationship erodes beneath the harsh reality of knowing someone doesn’t want you, and it sucks.
These are merely hypothetical, as every situation or occurrence of ghosting is unique, but the result of every scenario is the same.
One individual moves on with his or her life without informing the second party, while the other wallows and spends many sleepless nights wondering, “Why?”
The search for answers is always a blessing and a curse.
We as individuals become plagued by a constant yearning to know the reason behind things.
When we can’t know why, the question becomes all-consuming.
So, what happens when we are unable to know why?
Enter self-doubt, a pity party and two bottles of red wine.
But, we aren’t alone.
You'll think about how everything was going so well, how you had so much in common and how this person seemed so perfect.
There are a multitude of clichéd thoughts that roll through your head when your Mr. or Miss Perfect has stopped responding to your texts, voicemails, Facebook messages and whatever other forum you’ve desperately tried to reach him or her at.
So, I provide to you the solution to nip that self-pity party in the bud and render “bae of the moment” completely powerless in conjuring any ill-sorted feelings you may have about your value and self-worth after being ghosted.
The answer is taking a vow of “singledom."
A vow of singledom is an undisclosed period of time — three months, six months, however long you’d like — when you devote yourself to personal betterment and growth.
During this time, you do not partake in any form of romantic relationship (no dating or courting, serious or otherwise).
Notice I said romantic and not sexual.
Sexual relationships during this period are fine, as long as you disclose to the individual beforehand that you have no vested interest in developing a relationship beyond sexual contact.
If you do, that’s fine, but you are not ready to partake in a vow of singledom if that's the case.
If you are worried you will miss out on the love of your life while taking a vow of singledom, you most like won’t.
However, if the right person does come along, don't be so quick to bail on your vow.
The right person will understand you are taking time for self-betterment and will still be around once you’ve completed your vow of singledom.
If that person doesn’t understand, then he or she isn’t the right one.
It's that simple.
How is a vow of singledom different from every other day of being single?
During this time period, you are making a conscious decision to have your main focus and priority be yourself.
Growth is measured by the changes (big or small) that occur during the undisclosed period of time.
Write in a journal and keep a log of the things you hope to accomplish by the end of your vow of singledom.
This way, you have a tangible means of holding yourself accountable for self-growth and personal changes.
It could be as small as standing in front of the mirror every day and telling yourself that you are beautiful, going to the gym or reading a bestseller.
As long as the activity contributes to some attribute of self-growth, you are adhering to the vow of singledom.
I recently discussed with a good friend of mine the prospect of taking a vow of singledom as a means to refocus myself and get over self-pity and doubt after a breakup.
The idea came to me from discussions I had with her regarding what I could do to quickly and efficiently get over “bae of the moment's” decision to abruptly end our relationship with no warning.
As a chronic over-thinker, I felt the need to know why things ended.
But in situations of ghosting, you most likely won’t get any answers.
In situations when you do get an answer, this may lead to self-doubt or provide little comfort in attempts to move forward.
The fact of the matter is, getting over someone will never be easy.
But by taking the time to develop into an individual who is completely comfortable with being alone, you won't be so quick to question your self-worth as the catalyst for the breakup when someone you’ve grown close to decides to leave.
Never forget that by working on yourself, you are guaranteeing your own happiness.
Depending on another person — more specifically, on someone you are in a relationship with — for your direct validation and happiness is like playing the lottery.
You may get lucky, and that person may make you the happiest person in the world.
He or she might validate your worth day in and day out, but more often than not, you will end up with a losing ticket.