A guy I was dating suddenly stopped speaking to me. I’ve called and texted him a few times over the past couple weeks and never get a response. The last time I saw him was during a weekend vacation we took together. I thought the trip went well, and there were no problems that would explain his current behavior. I’ve searched my brain to understand what happened. Should I give up on trying to reach him?
Yes you should give up. The ball has been in his court. At this point, chances are he’s not going to return the serve. This is because he has ghosted you, leaving you feeling haunted.
Urban Dictionary defines ghosting as “The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just ‘get the hint’ and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested.” The severing of communication occurs with no warning and no apparent justification.
Ghosting comes about abruptly and without explanation, leaving a person befuddled as to why they were left behind. It leads people to question themselves: Why did they disappear? What did I do? Often people blame themselves in the absence of a better explanation. Most people would rather be outright rejected than stuck in limbo with a lack of answers.
Take heart knowing you are not alone. This phenomenon happens in friendships and even more frequently in budding romantic situations. Reports of ghosting are common for those engaging in online dating apps. This is because it is easy to hide behind the anonymity of the screen and not take accountability, as if the person on the other side of the screen is not a human with feelings.
Don’t feel foolish. The very nature of ghosting is that you don’t see it coming. Their disappearance is less about you and much more about their inability to commit, to confront things and to articulate their feelings. Ghosting is not only rude, it’s childish. It means someone doesn’t have the maturity to end a relationship directly. The ghoster hides behind their silence, leaving the ghosted feeling confused at best and devastated at worst.
It is human nature to want to avoid sticky relationship situations. If we’re all honest with ourselves, most of us can look back and recall an acquaintance, friend or partner for whom we didn’t end things as eloquently as we could have. However, for some individuals ghosting is a pervasive pattern. They simply do not know how to confront feelings in the face of complicated interpersonal dynamics. Chances are they avoid and hide from conflict in most realms of their life. These are typically individuals with less self-awareness, driven by irrational motives they don’t understand or aren’t aware of.
Relationships come and go. Often they don’t dissolve gracefully in a neat and tidy manner. We all prefer closure. Ideally your ex could have asked you to meet so he could explain his feelings. This would have made it easier for you to move on. Instead, you must surrender to the fact that you may never get an explanation from him.
Let yourself grieve. Let go of your responsibility. Do not overthink or over-personalize what happened because it is not your fault. Stop grasping at straws to understand his reasoning. Realize that anyone so infantile that they resort to ghosting is emotionally lazy. Give up on trying to reach him because you deserve to be in a relationship with a grown-up, not a child.