“Maybe you’re coming on too strong.”
“You should play harder to get.”
“You’re giving them your phone number too soon.”
These are a few of the pieces of dating advice that my friends have tried to give me over the past few months.
You see, I keep getting “ghosted.”
My parents and older friends have asked what this means, because it’s a relatively new phenomenon. It’s when a person you’ve been dating or talking to romantically just disappears into thin air without any explanation. Poof. Like a ghost. They no longer respond to your text messages, calls, or social media attempts.
We’re not talking about those situations where things just kind of dwindle away. Nope. Ghosting usually occurs when you’ve been talking to and/or seeing this person on a consistent basis. Instead of telling you that they’re just not into it, or that they met someone else, or that they’re a serial killer—whatever the case may be—they just cut off all communication. Leaving you to wonder what YOU did wrong.
Really, though, us “victims” aren’t doing anything wrong.
Most of my single friends have been ghosted at least once before. And as embarrassing as it is to admit, it’s happened to me three times since this fall. Three. Times.
As I write this post, though, I question why I should be the one bearing the embarrassment. Shouldn’t these guys be embarrassed by their behavior?
I’m sure you’re probably still thinking that I’m doing something crazy to cause this to happen so frequently. So let me give a brief synopsis of each situation.
I went on five dates with Ghost #1 before he “poofed.” Five! He took me to nice dinners, texted me throughout the day, and even offered to spend an insane amount of money to transport me to a work event a state away. He talked about his family and how much his mother would like me. He discussed far away plans for the two of us. Then, one weekend, he just stopped answering. He finally responded days later, telling me that he was just too busy with work to date at the moment. I was pissed. But when he reappeared a few weeks later wanting to take me to dinner, I started to think that maybe his excuse had been legitimate. His execution still hadn’t been, but clearly he was still interested. We went out a few more times…then he ghosted again. What. The. F?
This one hit me way harder than the first. He was in his thirties, so he surely had his life together. Right? Ha. We went out for drinks and he passed a major test when I accidentally ambushed him with my friends (long story). He was so outgoing and cool about it all. The date was great. He texted me immediately about how awesome I was. He left the next day for a two-week-long work trip. We talked while he was gone. He couldn’t get together with me fast enough the day he returned, before he had seen anyone else. The second date was even better. He made comments like “how do your parents feel about you dating a Jets fan?” Dating? Oh? He wanted to see me multiple days in a row, so I made a joke about not wanting him to get sick of me. That maybe we should slow our roll. “I could never get sick of you. You’re perfect.” Bet you see where this is going. Disappeared into thin air. Ignored text after text. I fought the urge to say really passive aggressive things and deleted his number. His initial question should’ve been “how do your parents feel about you dating a man-child?” The answer is they feel pretty freaking negative about it. You’re on my dad’s proverbial hit list, buddy.
Last, but not least. This one’s really short. We hadn’t even met yet when this one said he was worried that I was going to “ghost him.” Those exact words. Spoiler alert…he ghosted. You just can’t make this stuff up.
I’ve spent too much time revisiting every word I said and every move I made in each of these situations. I’ve enlisted the help of friends. And while they mean well, the advice I shared at the beginning of this post is a huge part of why guys are still allowed to get away with this behavior.
The “right” guy, if he ever decides to come along, will love me for my strong personality. Not in spite of it.
The “right” guy won’t require me to play games. I’m too old for that, and it’s not my style.
The “right” guy will have better things to do with his time than count how many hours go by before I let him have my number.
If I’m not the right girl for you, that’s totally ok. Just be a big boy and let me know, instead of wasting my time. And your own.
Because you know what?
I’m done kissing ghosts.