Ghosting: A Modern Day Break Up
"I feel like I’m mourning the loss of a connection that was never there, but I can’t help it because that connection felt so real to me."
I was ghosted for the first time and it fucking sucked.
I want to tell the story so that everyone can understand I’m not being over dramatic about this situation.
Ghosting is a big part of this story, but it’s not the actual issue.
I got back from a family vacation, tanned, confident and so content with life. A guy, who was a regular customer at the bar I work at as security, came over to the front door where I was posted. I had always been “interested-from-afar” in this guy, he was totally and completely my type; a tall, solid, dark hair, light eyed, bearded guy. When he came over he started up a casually flirty, drunk conversation;
“So since I’m into you, and you’re obviously into me, when are you going to go out with me?” He asked confidently.
“How do you know I’m so obviously into you?” I flirtatiously and arrogantly responded.
He proceeds to tell me that we’ve ran into each other at a party where we were both intoxicated and I told him I was into him (I do not remember this, but it is something that drunk me could have very well done).
He carried on the conversation by asking “… So why haven’t you gone out with me yet?”
“Well, I was told you had a girlfriend,” I stated.
“I did until recently,” he explained.
After a brief conversation about how he is recently single, which makes him fair game, he asked me for my number, and I gave it to him. He let me know that he’s not a “date guy,” and his idea of a date is shitty pizza and some drinks, which is totally my style.
After exchanging numbers, he invited me to an after party which I declined begrudgingly because I worked the next morning. However, he came back to the bar the next night, hung out with me the majority of the night, and invited me back to his friend's place after the bar.
We went back to his friend’s house, had some shitty pizza and a drink. When it was time for bed, we were getting into bed when he looked at me and said,
“Just so you know, I don’t have sex on the first date.”
“Okay,” I said with a slight giggle.
I completely thought that he was joking about this, because I had never met a guy with values like that before.
After a few minutes of cuddling and making out, he said with frustration “Ugh, I really want to though…”
To which I responded “OH! You were serious?”
We laughed about that, and I said that I thought it was sweet, and told him I wanted him to stick to his decision. We continued to make out, cuddle, and laugh.
Before we fell asleep, he says “I think we’re in trouble”
“Why’s that?” I asked
“Because I think I really like you and I’m pretty sure you really like me too.”
I was initially very taken aback, I usually run from my feelings, and deny them for a long time before coming to terms with them. But I took a minute to actually feel my feelings and determine that it was entirely possible I did like him.
I adorably said, “Uh oh, you might not be wrong” and giggled.
We continued to talk about random things, I asked him about his ex girlfriend, his job and his life. He was going through the loss of a loved one so he was having a hard time. He also mentioned that he has had his eye on me, and talking about me to his friends for sometime, even while he had a girlfriend (I know this is a red flag, but I was very flattered and I thought it was adorable). We fell asleep cuddling.
I left the next morning extremely happy with the evening, with that butterfly filled stomach you got when you had a crush in fifth grade. It was a feeling I hadn’t had in a while, if at all.
We texted a bit during the week. He initially told me that he was a horrible texter, which I said I was okay with because I’m an extremely busy person (I have three jobs). I realised pretty quick that I wasn’t actually okay with it. I would go four days without hearing from him, which drove me a little insane, but the excitement I felt when I finally saw his name on my phone screen seemed to make it worth the wait. I realised very quickly that I actually really liked this guy, and enjoyed his company.
One Week Later:
He asked me to go on a little road trip with him to see his best friend and his friend's family; I told him I would. He told me that I was “only the second girl to meet these people,” and that this was his second family, “but no pressure.”
Naturally, I felt some pressure, but I’m pretty confident and assume that everyone I meet loves me. I was okay.
We spend the night visiting, laughing and drinking. I made a great impression on his best friend and his best friends family. On the drive home we spent the whole ride holding hands and laughing about the night.
Another Week Later:
I heard from him maybe a couple times throughout the week… Which again drove me nuts, but I liked this guy so I was trying to cope. I was invited to an after party after one of my bar shifts, but I wasn’t able to make it, which I was bummed about. But the next day was Super Bowl Sunday, and he invited me to go out with him and some of his friends after an evening shift.
I got there around 1130 PM, I met another group of his friends, again I assumed I had made a great impression. We had a bit too much too drink, but we all had some fun. I ended up going back to his place with him that night. We were up until about 6 AM laughing and taking (we still hadn’t had sex at this point, due to lack of opportunity), I was too drunk and accidentally fell asleep on him Oops.
The next morning I woke up before him, he was staying at his grandmother’s house with his sister so I wasn’t too eager to leave his bedroom. I was remembering the night with a dumb smile on my face when he woke up.
“Stop staring at me.” He giggled
I just laughed, I didn’t realise it was only 8 AM so he told me I was crazy for being up so early. We cuddled and went back to bed.
It was a great day of lazing around in his bed in between naps and conversation. Then we finally got up at 3 PM and made our way into town for dinner (which was actually breakfast). He took me out for a bite to eat, again more laughing and flirting. We had a great day together, I was super happy with how things were going, and didn’t at all expect what was to follow.
Gone Like the Wind:
We were casually texting after our dinner date, I texted him before I went to bed. I didn’t hear anything back, which wasn’t too abnormal since he’s a bad texter. So, I didn’t think anything of it.
The next day I texted him something flirty in reference to a conversation we had had the night before.
Naturally, I was wracking my brain, trying to figure out if my perspective had been so much different than his… Was I feeling something different than he had been?
I was so confused.
During the week, I was a wreck. I had no idea what had happened. Why would he ghost me, we haven’t even slept together yet, isn’t that what guys want? Maybe he’s injured and in the hospital? Maybe he lost or broke his phone? What had I done to drive him away?
I can’t imagine how annoyed my friends would have been having to hear me contemplate the different scenarios that could have been going on. But everyone seemed just as confused about it.
After some deliberation with one of my close guy friends, I texted him about a week later, just a simple “Hey.”
The whole night after I sent that text I was nervously and obsessively checking my phone. Trying not to obsess about it, but failing to ignore that lingering anxiety.
And again, nothing.
Here I was, a strong, confident, young woman crumbling at the lack of a response of this one guy. I don’t think so.
So I did what any strong, independent woman does, push passed the self doubt and try to move on with her life.
This took a while.
A month to be exact.
I would think about it and him often, I would question myself and my perspective on the matter, trying to figure out what I had done.
I would think about him, something funny he said or did… but then I would catch myself and correct it.
The thoughts slowly became less frequent, and more of a slight, annoying, itch rather than an obviously present throbbing pain.
To help me get over it, I would tell my friends and co-workers about it, I would come out and say “So… I got ghosted, and I’m pretty bitter about it”.
This helped me, and a month later, I felt truly over it, which was such a nice feeling.
It was actually exactly a month after our last date that I was at a family party when my cousin asked me why I was still single, he said I was so awesome that I deserved to have someone that thought I was this awesome, I laughed, thanked him and agreed.
“Well if you know anyone worthy, let me know. I was recently ghosted by a guy and I think I’m finally over it.” I explained.
And that’s when I knew I had made it over the bridge of being bitter and had reached true acceptance of the situation.
It's not over yet.
But, the Universe had other plans.
Not 12 hours after that conversation with my cousin, I was watching a movie with my mom before an afternoon shift, and I received a text. I looked at my phone to see his name on my phone.
My stomach dropped like it does when you’re on a roller coaster, my face was flushed and my heart started beating.
I nervously laughed to myself and immediately screen shot the message notification and texted my sister.
“Don’t answer, fuck him” She responded, as I would expect from any supportive sister
But I answered. As much as I would have loved to have had that will power, that feeling of excitement when I saw his name on my phone screen was still there.
“Oh, you’re alive?” I responded
He went on to explain he had broken his phone and finally got a replacement phone, I answered with short, to-the-point answers. He asked how I had been and I asked him too.
He told me, “I miss you, and I don’t miss people…”
Again, I wish I had better will power, but his texts made me melt. He was being so sweet and I couldn’t help but fall for it… Again.
We texted for a day or so, and he wanted to get together and hangout, I was okay with that because I had some questions I wanted to ask.
- During this month of being ghosted, my friends had seen him at a gas station with a blond girl in his vehicle. His sister was a brunette, and his “ex-girlfriend” was blonde. (Red flag, I know).
I wanted to ask him certain questions in person to get his true reaction.
He wanted to hangout and I suggested we go to his place, he just got his apartment back because his “ex-girlfriend” had just moved out, so it seemed reasonable.
"It would be weird because some of my ex’s stuff is still here," he said.
I know. Red Flag.
At this point, I’m pretty suspicious but still willing to hangout with him to see how it goes.
That night I notice his “ex-girlfriend” in one of my good friend’s Snapchat stories. I decide not to message her because I didn’t want to start anything, and it wasn’t my place.
But the next morning, I see the “ex” in another one of my friends stories, I took this as a sign from the Universe and messaged that friend and asked if she knew if the girl was still with this guy.
The answer shook me.
She answered something like this;
“Yeah, they’ve been together for about a year and a half. She moved out recently but they’re working on things. I think she stayed there last night.”
I thanked her, mentioned that I had heard he was single at the bar and was just double checking. I asked her not to mention it to the girl because it was nothing.
I didn’t want to get in the middle of that scandal. We hadn’t slept together so I figured there was no true harm done.
I deleted his number after that, and I haven’t seen or heard from him since.
I still think about him now and then, that whole situation has thrown me for a loop. I used to think I had a good sense of character, but I’m not too sure anymore.
It was very risky of this guy to do this in such a small city… Everyone’s paths cross eventually, and he didn’t really know anything about me. I could have very well contacted the girlfriend and told her everything he had said to me, and all our hangouts and dates we went on.
I’m glad we never slept together, but at what point is emotional cheating equal to or greater than physical cheating? I’m sure that would hurt just as much, if not more. It’s a different type of betrayal in my eyes.
I’m not one to get in the middle of these things. I hope they can figure out their shit, but I wasn’t going to be the one to break it up, I’m sure if he continues on the path he is he’ll be able to do that all on his own.
I think this is such a lingering pain because I felt something with this guy that I hadn’t felt in a long time, if at all. I was falling for him, and it was all based on lies and deceit so I have no idea how to feel about it.
I feel like I’m mourning the loss of a connection that was never there, but I can’t help it because that connection felt so real to me.
One thing that keeps me positive is thinking about the day he comes into the bar I work at, will I ask him how his girlfriend is? Say, "You know you're a piece of shit, right?" Or will I just smile and say hello, leaving him to know just how shitty his actions really were.
I'm honestly not sure which route the first conversation will go when I finally run into him, but I'll be eagerly anticipating it.