My Ex Ghosted Me But I'll Be Okay

What's the number for Ghostbusters again?
The term 'ghosting' has made a sudden appearance in our lexicon at just the right moment for me. In short, it's where one person suddenly decides to shut off communication with another for no apparent reason, usually where the relationship was romantic or sexual.

I've never discussed my dating life particularly openly on the internet, mainly because any of my close friends, family and colleagues will know that it's pretty tragic, and I joke a lot about it being so. At this point, I can only accept the world has decided to work in cruel, mysterious ways to avoid me meeting 'the one'.

When it comes to ghosting, you can imagine it happening to someone after they've had a casual fling or maybe even after a few dates, but what I experienced was somewhat different. Back in April, I met Zak* and we began to meet up every weekend, spending a lot of time getting to know each other. We'd go out all day, talking endlessly about anything and everything - often interrupting our own conversations to admire dogs (why not?). In fact, we were getting on so well, I saw him in action at work** and was introduced to his friends and even some family. We discussed our pasts, things we loved, hated, fears, difficulties etc., as you do when you're developing a close relationship with someone.

About two and a half months in, he had to go away for a month, restricting our communication to social media. I'm not at all clingy, in fact I relish independence, but even accepting the wifi was poor, messages were growing far too infrequent after a week or so, and Facetiming was out of the question. I'll add he wasn't working at this point, and I work full-time so I was hardly bombarding him.

One Monday, he said that he was in a bad mood, but I didn't think much of it because we can all agree that Monday is normally the worst day of the week. We exchanged a couple of messages, and I felt a little helpless from so far away, but I thought gentle encouragement would ease the tension, if only slightly.

Long story short, I was wrong. I have never heard from him again. I sent a few follow-up messages, but even to this day, I'm still left on unread on the avenues I tried to make contact on. I spent a good couple of weeks confused, then upset, then angry, then worried, in fact I took myself on such an emotional rollercoaster (excuse the cliché) that by the time I had a week off from work in July, I was exhausted.

I'm not one to divulge the innermost thoughts of someone else and I'm not about to. I'd like to be able to say that knowing Zak had had his difficulties and dark days makes his treatment towards me valid, but it doesn't. I spent many hours, days even, genuinely feeling as if I was wrong for choosing not to chase him, to make sure he was okay. You fear the worst, the very worst. But then he began to come and go off social media, he'd been given space, I was never anything but positive and supportive of everything he did, and I still got the ghost treatment. I like to think I'm fairly thick-skinned and can brush most things off but this is a true test because you don't know why the relationship ended. Maybe I did say or do something wrong after all? 

Perhaps some of you will disagree but as someone who has dealt with anxiety since they were 16, I've had to recognise that eventually you have to put yourself first. You are number one. Be there for others, be attentive and empathetic but don't let their burdens become your own. I still don't know why Zak ghosted me, and perhaps I never will and it's the lack of closure that makes it hard not to overthink. It's hard to wrap my head around the idea I just needed to take a hint when all prior behaviour had suggested he was very much into me. Was it all an act? In the end, it's key to work on just accepting it and focusing on your own wellbeing. If you're made to feel as if you're not enough for someone else, or even 'too much', that is not your problem. Keep your opinion of yourself positive and don't question your self worth.

Ghosting is in no way a new concept, even if there wasn't a term for it before, but the correlation between its everyday use and how popular it's becoming is, well, scary. In fact, as a final point on the subject, even more recently, I went on a date that went incredibly well, only to be ghosted a week later. To add that awkward cherry on top, I see this person on my commute home sometimes (yes, this is really my life).

I can already hear the inevitable "Hannah, maybe you're just cursed" ringing in my ears, so I think it's time to finish by saying while my dating life is definitely beginning to represent a haunted house, I'm just going to keep laughing at myself and hope there is someone genuine out there for everyone, me included. 

HD x


*definitely not his real name (sorry decent guys called Zak)
**you don't really need to know his job, sorry again

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