Ghosting. My least favorite thing about dating in 2016. What was once widely regarded as unacceptable behavior is now the norm. Don’t want to see someone anymore? Just cut off all communication and ignore them! Pretend they don’t exist! UGH.
(Unfamiliar with “ghosting”? Read this blog.)
I understand this after one date, or two. There should be no expectations after that, you don’t really know each other, you’re hardly part of each others lives. Fine.
But when a guy I’d been dating for 2 months- a guy who had claimed “crazy about” me, who had introduced me to his friends, who had begged me to hang out with him every weekend, who had told me who wasn’t interested in dating other people, who texted me “good night” every single night of those TWO MONTHS- when he started ignoring my texts I just….I couldn’t believe it.
I made the cliché excuses: “He just started a new job. He’s stressed. Give him space.”
So I sent him this text:
I was pretty proud of myself. It was strong, the message was clear. He didn’t need to respond to it right away, but surely he would respond to it. There was no way he could ignore a text like that.
Ha. Hahahaha. How silly of me. It’s 2016! This is NYC!
Men are shit!
Ten days later I hadn’t heard a peep. Nothing. I knew I was just supposed to let it go, pretend I didn’t care. Ha. Not only did I care, I was hurt. And why was that a bad thing? Why was I supposed to feel like the jerk for having feelings for someone I’d been dating for two fucking months? Why was I supposed to just let him get off scot free, never knowing he hurt me?
That’s not fair, I thought, fuck that! I’m not going to let you just waltz away with a clear conscious. If you’re a pain in my HEART, I get to be a pain in your ASS.
So I sent him this text:
That’s how to respond to being ghosted.
I giggled gleefully as I sent these texts. After days of hoping for a response, this time I was hoping for silence. My ghost complied. I was able to complete my entire comedic routine via text with out a single interruption.
And it felt great. Great to call out this asshole on his shit. To let him know disrespecting me is not okay and not something I take passively. I forced a reply out of him. It wasn’t an interesting reply, it told me nothing I didn’t already know. “I’m a little bitch and a horrible communicator! Sorry!” ya know, to paraphrase.
I certainly don’t want to date a coward who’s full of excuses and shit at communication. Case closed. Nothing left hanging, no more “what ifs”, I was delighted. I have no regrets about texting him. In fact, I’d encourage anyone in the same position to do the same. As I said in my previous post, I’m not a cool girl. If you’ve dated me long enough to know that, I needn’t pretend to be.
“Just let it go. Play it cool.” This is the common response with how to respond to someone who ghosts you. I agree with that on an emotional level, sure. But I think the only way to stop this shitty behavior that’s only becoming more and more common is to call people out on it. If a person makes you feel like shit, they should have to own that.
And so I close with this PSA:
BE A DECENT HUMAN BEING. DON’T GHOST.