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 Maureen* who was ghosted by a guy, who happened to be her long-distance lover, after he told her to "stop worrying so much":
I just had my first deliberate ghosting experience by a guy, and boy, it really does hurt. I wished I screen-grabbed my last few messages, but I deleted them right away, because reading those messages made me want to crawl under a rock.
We met on a dating app about four months ago. I was bored, so I decided to scan through my matches. We started messaging each other back and forth, with some light flirting. Surprisingly, I enjoyed talking to this guy so much that we moved our conversations to WhatsApp.
We'd never seen each other until a month after we started talking, because he lives in another country and was only in my town for a couple of weeks for work. The build-up of finally seeing each other was exciting. I even deleted my dating app (but I didn't deactivate my account). We exchanged photos (wholesome ones), we talked about our flaws, what we're proud of, our families, some lies we've told people, crazy exes... I thought, hey, this guy can handle my level of crazy. I wasn't interested in anyone else.
Finally, the first date arrived. We had dinner with some awkward flirting. Basically, he wasn't the type of guy I would normally date. It wasn't spark at first sight. I am a very shallow person, but I told myself that, this time, with a little convincing from my friends, I have to see beyond my superficial non-negotiables and know the person as how I liked him on WhatsApp. I felt that this was the beginning of something special, especially when he went down on me after our first date. I went home afterward, alone in my bed, well-spent, looking forward to the next time I would see him again. We pretty much made the most out of his two-week business trip.
Those two weeks (well, one week together, as he told me) were intense but amazing. They meant so much to me. I threw caution to the wind. He met my family, my dog liked him, and my friends were happy for me. I was under the impression that this was going somewhere, and I was totally ready. I felt this level of trust between us. Hell, he even shared some confidential work files with me. I wasn't bummed at all when I took him to the airport on his last day. Instead, I was excited for his next guaranteed visit.
The messages and calls were slowly getting less and less. I have read some of the "Boom, Ghosted" articles, and I could see some similarities. I couldn't take it anymore, so I had to call him out on it.
It's quite obvious that my dignity was all over the place, but hey, it got us back to talking again.
The damage had been done at this point. I had invested so much of my time and emotions in him, and I wasn't ready to let go.
I wanted it to work, so I decided to visit him back in his homeland for a few days, and he seemed keen about my plans. But being a citizen of a developing country, my passport has its limitations. I needed for him to write me a letter of invitation as part of the requirements to obtain a visa. I already had been granted a handful of visas from other leading countries, so I was quite confident that I would get this visa.
Our last conversation was about him participating in a march for marriage equality. These were basically some of the last messages I sent him that I deleted because they make me squirm: I asked him if he could write me that letter of invitation. He didn't reply. I asked him if that was his way of saying no. He didn't reply. I asked him if he was ignoring me because he was avoiding saying no. He didn't reply. I told him if he didn't want to, it was fine. NO REPLY.
Finally, these were the very last messages I sent him:
I sent the last one to confirm my suspicion that he blocked me on WhatsApp, and he did. I knew it was over when he unfriended me on Facebook afterward.
Hmm, this guy literally told her to "stop worrying so much." Why would she be so worried? Why could she possibly be so worried? Oh, I know. Maybe she's worried because some jerk still managed to ghost her even after specifically telling her to stop worry so much?!
You see, if behavior like this didn't exist, then nobody would have to be worried in the first place.
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