Imagine that a dashing charmer sets his sights on you. You’ve known this man for a while. You’ve watched him, even wondered about him, but you’ve also intuitively read him, and he’s packed away neatly in your beware box.
Until that moment when the energy shifts. You are too irresistible…bewitching…he wants to spend some time with you…and so decides to crawl his way out of beware and into bedazzling. Decides to set his sights on you.
There are red flags. He tells you he doesn’t date and doesn’t know why. He has left a trail of broken hearts, and he lets you know it. He hopes you will hear him when he says he is not to be trusted, but not so loudly that you won’t also hear him silently begging you to see the good in him, to give him a chance.
He tells you he wants a family, and asks if you’d like children. He brings up kids again the next time he sees you, and at some point during that very magical day declares it a date. Mmm…it’s getting real.
Then comes the dinner date, complete with dessert. Your tongues dance…respectfully so. Along with an “I want to do this with you for a long time.” And he sets the next date for two days later. It’s on.
But then…on date day, the energy shifts. Something is up. What could possibly have happened in a day and a half’s time? For fuck’s sake…he was right there with you. Totally in the moment, totally engaged…just right there.
Your mind tries to find answers: there’s someone else he likes more…he’s not as attracted to you as he thought he was…it’s obvious you go deep and he’s not ready for that…his internal struggles have been activated—who the fuck cares. It has nothing to do with you, on that you are clear, but you are also intensely aware that something has changed.
You make it through the date. The flirting is lukewarm. He waits four days to contact you, and invites you to go walking with his dogs. He tells you he’s been depressed. He holds your hand on the ride to the park. He feels comfortable enough to ask you for a ride to the airport. Maybe the energy is shifting back to electric after all?
Three days later, you take him to the airport. He gives you a hug and a friendly smooch on the lips. Tells you he put you on the emergency call list for his dog, because he “trusts your heart with his dog.” Well that’s progress, right? And then off he goes for six days with an “I’ll make you breakfast in bed when I get back.”
You get a brief text nine days later. NINE. DAYS. LATER. And it comes the day before an event with mutual friends. You can’t help but think it’s damage control to avoid any awkwardness when he sees you. But, you have a prior engagement and don’t show up that night anyway. Phew. For him.
The blow off…the fade out. As if it will sting less or we won’t notice the blatant disregard so much if it is a gradual disappearing act. Both genders are guilty of this. And perhaps it’s become so ridiculously common that there’s a place for it when two random people have gone on a first date, even a good first date, and then one or the other of them have decided they aren’t feeling it.
But when it’s someone you’ve established a rapport with, especially someone you’ve known for a while, the blow off is such a cowardly act. Because they aren’t just saying, “I’m not interested in you romantically.” They’re saying, “Oh and by the way. I could care less about your friendship and hold you as a human being in very little regard.” Why? “Because I’m emotionally immature and unable to handle confrontation. So ghosting you is easier for me.”
Is it difficult to confront someone you thought might be a potential love interest with the truth? To say, “I just want to let you know I’ve enjoyed your company, but I think we’d be better off just as friends, with no romantic undertones.”
Sure, you run the risk of hurt feelings, tears, anger, possibly even getting hit by a vase or a coffee mug or whatever else is handy to throw, but you have a hard head, and surely you can hold space for a few tears. Tears are just emotions running through us. We’re washing you out of our system…so man-up, hold space, and let us get clean if need be.
Ultimately, by acting with integrity, standing in your truth, and sharing your clear intentions, you’re saving us both so much energy. Granted, it’s not your responsibility what we do with our energy or our thoughts of you, but consider this the next time you’re tempted to ghost someone: It’s much easier to get over the idea of you if you just tell us it’s over, rather than leaving us wondering when or if you will ever reach out. You save us both the awkwardness of having to pretend nothing ever happened between us and it’s all good when we see you next.
Because it’s not all good.
You treated us carelessly when you could have treated us with respect, acknowledgment, and decency. Had you just been upfront, YOU carry no blame, and WE carry no resentment. And if we do feel resentful, that’s not your problem, and it’s certainly not your burden.
You alone are responsible for your actions, and we alone are responsible for our reactions. So, even if you think we won’t like what you have to say, we still deserve to hear it. And from there, it’s all on us.
By choosing not to pursue us, you aren’t doing anything bad to us. You aren’t causing us sadness or pain. We might feel it, but how strongly we feel, react to, and let our emotions guide us, well that’s our responsibility, not yours.
Your responsibility is simple: Stand in your power, acknowledge the person you’ve gotten to know, speak your truth as gently but clearly as possible, and then leave us be to deal and heal if need be.
And let’s keep it real here. We aren’t healing from you. We’re never healing from you. Because as much as WE aren’t the cause of your disinterest, YOU aren’t the cause of our pain.
We just need a moment to wash away any hope of you, our almost lover, and the desire you ignited, the wishful thinking doomed to never bear fruit. We’re healing from the idea of you we’ve created in our magic mind. And it will blow gently away on the wind until the next almost lover comes…perhaps, dare we still hope, to stick and stay.
So, for those of you who think radio silence is an acceptable way to let someone know you’re done, do me a favor?
At least for the next one.
And for those of you who have been ghosted, please, my loves, keep the following truths close to your healing hearts (and egos, because man it’s a blow).
- Their ghosting is not a reflection of you. It’s a reflection of them.
- You did nothing wrong. Sooner or later, they were gonna bail. Thank Goddess it was sooner.
- You have not been the first person they’ve ghosted. And you will not be the last.
- They have the emotional capacity of a pea…and the emotional maturity of…well, there’s not an equivalent. That’s just how emotionally stunted people behave.
- They are incapable of real, authentic relationships…at least at this point in their lives.
- They are rude, inconsiderate, and disrespectful. But they are also wounded. Send them love, because you’d better believe they probably don’t like themselves very much. Not at their core.
- Chances are, they didn’t intend to hurt you. They didn’t intend not to, but their ghosting wasn’t malicious. They just aren’t all that evolved and can’t deal with confrontation. Their vibration is low, if you know what I mean.
- For them, disappearing is easier than telling the truth. And they’ve probably convinced themselves ghosting is the “kindest” way to let you down.
- You are being protected. The way is free and clear to call in a decent partner, baby! One who will treat you with the love and respect and caring you deserve.
And the most important thing: You are ridiculously lovable. And don’t you ever forget it.
For more information on ghosting and tips for dealing with it, read my post at the Glad Lash blog.