I didn’t know what ghosting was until a few months ago and I sure as hell never thought it would be happening to me just a few weeks later. And I gotta tell ya, it is fucking brutal, extremely painful, and completely unnecessary unless you’re in an abusive relationship. Some relationships are prohibitive and restrictive. Some are controlling and manipulative. And some are just unhealthy as fuck. And if any of these are your scenario, then by all means get your ghost on. Otherwise, do the right thing. Be a fucking adult. Grow up and just say Goodbye. Jesus. ( And no, I’m not bitter. I’m hurt. There’s a difference.)
Ghosting Definitions: Breaking off a relationship (often an intimate one) by ceasing all communication and contact with the former partner without any apparent warning or justification, as well as ignoring the former partner’s attempts to reach out or communicate. The term originated in 2011.
Ghosting is not specific to a certain gender and is closely related to the subject’s maturity and communication skills. Many attempt to justify ghosting as a way to cease dating the ghostee without hurting their feelings, but it in fact proves the subject is thinking more of themselves, as ghosting often creates more confusion for the ghostee than if the subject kindly stated how he/she feels.
Also called “the slow fade”, ghosting is dropping all forms of communication with a person without actually saying goodbye. It’s brutal, often inexplicable, and it’s happening to a lot of us.”
Yah. So this is a fucking thing now.
You know what? I get that it’s not always easy to have the hard talks. To do the mature, grown up, and not always comfortable thing. To actually talk and be honest about the messy and sometimes painful shit you’re feeling before you end a relationship.
But when did actually saying goodbye at the end of a relationship become optional?
You can’t make someone love you more. Stay with you longer. Be more compatible with you. Come back to you. Or even just be your friend. But in an intimate relationship where love has been acknowledged and feelings run deep, if it feels like there is no where else to go, and for you, it’s over, don’t you think the decent thing to do would be to acknowledge what you had, be as kind as you possibly can be (again, not always easy) and then actually say goodbye to the person who at some point was the loving center of your universe?
I get that saying goodbye is not always an easy thing to do. It can be really tough. I know. I’ve had to say a few goodbyes and they all kinda sucked. Especially if there are still lingering, unresolved feelings lingering and unresolved. But if you feel that saying goodbye is what you need to do for you and your well being, then for the love of all this is right and good in the world, do it in person. You owe it to your ex-whatever and to yourself to be brave and actually say the things that need to be said.
Second option? Do it with a phone call. It takes away the awkward discomfort of the face to face, and if things get crazy, well, you can always hang up.
Lastly, and only if you absolutely feel you have no choice, send your goodbye in a text or an email. Still kinda ball-less, but at least you’re not ghosting someone and you’re allowing for them to have some kind of closure.
The point is, say goodbye any way you need to say it, but just fucking SAY IT!
Don’t just stop communicating with someone who you once claimed to love or even just liked a lot, and ignore their attempts to talk to you. It’s not only brutal, heartless and cruel, it’s also incredibly cowardly. Sorry ghosters, but it’s true. You guys really suck!
And the worst part is you’re leaving the ghostee stuck in a story that can be devastating and emotionally crippling. And because you took the easy way out, you could potentially leave them forever stuck in the painful “Why?“.
I know this to be true cuz I am stuck in such a story right now.
I keep asking myself when did I become the enemy? Why wasn’t I good enough? Why wasn’t my love enough? How could she have once loved me so much that she couldn’t imagine life without me ~ even after she left me ~ and yet be so cruel as to one day simply ghost me and leave me feeling shamed and worthless? Why would she do that to me? What did I do to deserve such unkindness? I thought I meant more to her then that. Could I really have been so wrong? Yah, that is the shit that fucks you up.
And then those ugly doubts from the past begin to resurface. You know, the ones that begin with saying maybe you weren’t good enough in the first place, and end with you somehow taking the blame. After all, you must have done something to deserve being ghosted, right?
And now I am to be forever stuck in the story of she never really loved me like I loved her, otherwise she would never have ghosted me. I would never have done that to her. Ever. I’ve begun believing again that I never satisfied her emotionally or physically. That coming out late left me without the experience necessary to fit comfortably into her idea of what a lesbian relationship looked like. That even if I had gone back to her after she left me, and then wanted me back, I still wouldn’t have been enough and she would have broken my heart a second time and then, ultimately left me for good.
And to be honest, it was that story that kept me away. Even though my heart ached for her, I know her mind is fickle and ever changing when it comes to love. One of her favorite expressions on how she wants love to embrace her is, “Can you love me without touching me?” Kinda says a lot doesn’t it? She dreams and fantasizes endlessly which leaves the imperfection of reality little to be desired. And me – or any other living, breathing, human woman – often can’t live up to those dreams and fantasies. And in the end, we always disappoint. This is her self-fulfilling prophecy.
She is not an easy woman to love.
But I did.
When she left and broke my heart as it’s never been broken before, I tried to distance myself from her and the deep, unending pain she had caused me. But still, we stayed connected. We communicated. At first it was a lot. She said she’d rather have me in her life as a friend then not have me in her life at all.
I entered into a new relationship. I moved to another city. And I silently cried myself to sleep more nights then I can say. I missed her and could not move past her. Or love another the same way. And still we stayed connected. We communicated. But not as much. Just enough to be reassured that the other was out there. Still relevant. Still mattering. Still loving. Still loved.
In time, this blog became all I had to connect with her. Our communication had become random and scattered. One day she’d be chatty, the next, nothing. And through this blog I spoke of my feelings of loss and love and hurting. I spoke of these things because I knew she read me here.
I suppose I still do.
And now I know she still does.
Though it does seem odd to ghost someone and then continue to intentionally follow their blog.
Of course, I can see all the signs now. Hindsight really is 20/20. But in those initial moments of stark disbelief and denial, I made excuses for her non responsiveness. She must be too busy. Too tired. Too depressed. Too moody. There was no way in hell she was ghosting me, right? I kept reaching out. Randomly. And just as randomly, days or weeks later, she would respond making me feel like a weak and wretched beggar for scraps of her attention.
And why did I persist?
Because I still loved her, cared about her well-being, and wanted to maintain some sort of connection.
And I thought she did as well.
But I started to feel embarrassed by the quiet desperation that had me working so hard to get so little in return. Felt like I was making a fool of myself and felt ashamed of my erratic pulse each time she fed me a texted breadcrumb and deigned to light up my phone for a few minutes. Then simply drop out of conversation without any warning.
I must have begun to feel her emotional release of me but I was in shock, incredibly hurt, and utterly disbelieving. She would never do this to me. Not me. What she and I shared was so much bigger and better then to end it by ghosting. But the unanswered texts, days of waiting for some kind of response and the despair in the unending silence told me a truth I could no longer ignore.
I was being ghosted and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.
Denial gave way to anger. Anger gave way to grief. Grief and loss played on the edge of my heart spiraling me into a sadness that often overwhelmed. I wrestled with reality and disbelief daily. And then one day about 2 months ago she texted back. She was playful, animated and seemed happy to be connecting with me. I was elated. Felt like we would survive ourselves and actually become friends. She told me she’d be staying with a friend for the summer while renovations were happening at home and that she was at the hospital waiting for results about a possible knee surgery. We joked a little. Lol’d. I was supportive and encouraging, as a friend would be, and asked her to let me know when she’d be having surgery, since it seemed eminent. She said she would.
I reached out again. Asked about the surgery, and when she finally did reply, all she sent was the date. And nothing more came.
I was officially ghosted.
Just like that.
I had to reach out once more cuz I found it really hard to believe she was doing this thing to me that seemed reserved for the online antics of immature adults and online daters, not grown-ass, 60-something year old women. But there it was. And along with it came the unsettling questioning that an unexpected death leaves with you. Because that’s what being ghosted feels like. A death. Yours. And theirs. With no chance to say goodbye.
But to be honest, it’s even worse when the person is still alive. I know this now. At least with death you have a chance to go through all the stages of grief, and eventually you will finally come to acceptance. And the hole in your heart can begin to heal.
But with ghosting there is no healing.
There is just a story you get stuck in and may possibly never get unstuck from.
So, if you are someone who wants to end a relationship, any kind of relationship, and feel that you can’t say what you need to say in person, on the phone, or in a text or email, please think about this. If the person you want to stop communicating with has not abused you and in fact, has done nothing mean or cruel to you, please don’t ghost them. The damage can last a lifetime and at worst, could be fatal. You may not love or like them as you once did, and the reasons for this are too many for me to imagine, but the point is that you did have feelings for them once. So don’t they deserve more then to be ghosted?
It’s never easy to say goodbye, but actually saying it allows people to move on.
Everyone deserves that don’t they?
I had to ultimately beg for my goodbye. And I got it. How messed it that? And ultimately it did not make me feel better cuz no amount of rationalizing can change the fact that she ghosted me. And it hurt. A lot. I have no explanation and probably never will. I’ll be stuck in this story until I un-stick myself. And I will. After this post, I will not mention her again on my blog. Apparently, she has nothing left to say to me now so what would be the point? We’ve both become ghosts to each other. How fucking sad.
Don’t be a coward. Do the right thing. Just say goodbye.
It’s healing for everyone.
Fucking hate what social media is doing to our communication.
And our bravery. 😦
Addendum… If you’re reading this, I could have handled almost anything else, but being ghosted by you of all people, and having to deal with the feelings you’ve left me with now is unfair, unjustified and unforgiveable.
This was wrong.
And it was a shitty thing to do.
It really was.
And you know it was.