Dear Barb—Ghost with the Most

Dear Barb:

Hi, I recently began dating a really terrific guy.  We dated for about three months then he just disappeared.  I thought we got along great and had lots of similar interests.  We communicated well (or I thought so) and I believed we had a future together.  We were planning our first weekend away together, the reservations were made but the day we were to go, he didn’t show up.  I tried to get hold of him, but he didn’t answer texts or phone calls.  I considered going to his apartment, but I didn’t want to appear desperate and by then I was becoming quite angry and hurt.  I wasn’t sure which I felt more, rejected or confused.  When I finally got the courage to tell my best friend what happened, she said I had been “ghosted.” I had heard about that, but never really paid much attention to it.  Why would someone do that to another person? It is one of the most hurtful experiences I’ve ever felt.  Confused in B.C.

Dear Confused:

Hi, so sorry you had to go through this experience.  Ghosting has become almost the normal way to end a fairly new relationship.  According to Wikipedia, ghosting is breaking off a relationship (often an intimate relationship) by stopping all communication and contact with the partner without any apparent warning or justification, as well as ignoring the partner’s attempts to reach out or communicate.  The term originated in the mid-2000s.  In that following decade, media reported a rise in ghosting, which has been attributed to the increasing use of social media and online dating apps.

As evident by last week’s “Dear Barb”, it seems today’s society will do almost anything to avoid confrontation and when something doesn’t feel good, we want to get rid of it, or end it.  We don’t want to have to look into someone’s eyes and see the hurt on their face when we tell them we don’t want to continue in a relationship with them.

Often there are no specific reasons why we want to end the relationship, except it’s not as exciting as it once was, or we are simply not interested in them any longer.  We may also fear that the other person may be getting ready to break up with us, so we want to do it first.  Basically, it’s an immature response to something that doesn’t feel right.  Being ghosted tends to stir up all our own insecurities and feelings of self doubt, so this may be the perfect time to address these issues, either on your own or with a counselor.  We need to be able to love ourselves in spite of rejection or abandonment from others.  Our sense of self-love and who we are, needs to be at the core of our being and unshakable by others.  Try to take a positive view of this event and move forward.  Thanks for writing Confused.

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