SYBD: Share Your Ghosting Stories

SYBD: Share Your Ghosting Stories

Share Your Ghosting Story

Ghosting is NOT New!

Ghosting, the actual term, is fairly new.

I first heard the word from a former SYBD forum member, Serena. She mentioned the term during the summer – after seeing it used in the New York Times. In particular, the article mentioned Charlize Theron and Sean Penn. (She was ghosted by him, allegedly) – calling it “the ultimate silent treatment” – which is is.

But here on SYBD, I’ve seen these sorts of stories of men and women being “ghosted” – posted for more than fifteen years!

So yeah, ghosting itself is not new. Only the word – being used in that context – is.

I’ve always called it a “vanishing act” but regardless of what we call it, the experience is always the same. Awful.

I speak from personal experience.

Yes, it’s happened to me (a few times), but thankfully not for years…

One of my most memorable ghosting experience was the guy who chose to “disappear” the day after my 40th birthday.

I guess I should give the guy props for at least riding out my “big day”! We had an amazing night – in a five star hotel in Glasgow (!) – then….Crickets. Nothing. Nada. Vanished. WTF?

Though we eventually made up (as friends), I don’t ever recall getting a clear answer as to his reasons for leaving.

At this point, it doesn’t matter…

Do these exes assume they’re doing us a favor by opting to take the easier option – the coward’s way out? Maybe they mistakenly think it will hurt less that way?

Of course it doesn’t.

In fact, I don’t know about you, but I would go as far as to say it actually hurts more when someone just disappears.

Effects of Ghosting

When we’ve been ghosted, we are left questioning everything…”What did I do wrong?”, “Did I mean anything to him/her?”

Or in some cases we’re left wondering “Has something happened to him?” (Or her).

Like I often say, “This is not a gender thing, it’s a people thing.”

More often than not, the one who is left tends to make it about themselves. Like it’s their fault that the person is no longer responding to any communication efforts.

You know what? I think it says more about the person doing the leaving than the one who has been left.

Disappearing off the planet, and ignoring calls, texts, messages, emails etc – is not the actions of a healthy person.

More than likely ghosting is the action of someone who is operating from a place of fear, guilt and maybe immaturity.

For whatever reason, they are simply ill-equipped to handle having that conversation to say “it’s over” so they ghost.

What Not to Do…

For anyone here who may be thinking about ending a relationship, please don’t opt to make it a ghosting departure. Take on board some of the advice from this video, and end it “right”, preferably in person. Give the person the benefit of asking questions and getting at least some form of closure.


Have the courage to face them not ignore them. If you’re unable to end things in person, then write or call to say goodbye.

Disappearing on someone can be very damaging to them. It can cause pretty severe trust issues as a result.

Breaking up hurts no matter what, but ghosting amplifies the feelings of loss and confusion.

Think about the Golden Rule.

I have been fortunate in some ways, in that the guys who did disappear on me, eventually came back in some capacity (not for a relationship, but at least I was able to get some of my questions answered).

Because of that, when anyone disappears on me now, I tend to just let them go. I don’t keep trying to make contact (well, ok, not after the first two or three attempts!)

How would you react to contact?

What if your ex reached out to you now to say “Hello”? Would you want to hear from them? Of would you ignore the contact?

I only ask because I note with interest that the new video from Adele seems to be talking about this very subject… She seems to be apologising for breaking his heart a long time ago…(or is it just me who reads it that way?)

Would it help you to hear “I’m sorry” now or does it even matter to you still?

Share Your Ghosting Stories Here…

Share your ghosting story...If you have been ghosted, then please share your story in the comments section below…

Alternatively, if you were the one doing the ghosting, please share some of the reasons that you chose to leave in such a way. What made you avoid having any sort of conversation with your ex?

Either way – this is a safe anonymous place to share your experience but all comments are moderated. So feel free to share your tale but keep it clean and not too specific.

Thanks in advance – from a fellow ghostee!

 

Finally – I recommend checking out this Matthew Hussey video about ghosting: “He Ghosted You? 3 Days to Feel Better Fast”.

He actually brings up some super valid points – whether you were ghosted by a man or a woman…And recommends taking a look at yourself to see if there is anything to learn from it. Taking a step back – look at your own behaviour with the person – was there anything you maybe did or didn’t do that *may have* contributed even in a small way? Honestly anything?

20 thoughts on “SYBD: Share Your Ghosting Stories

  1. Miss Frozen

    My real life Ghosting story:

    This past summer I had an intense emotional relationship with a
    distant cousin of my. I know this may sound weird but he is distant
    enough to legally get marry! btw, in some cultures this
    is a very common custom. I did some research afterwords…

    In any case, after many, many years of separation and not seeing each
    other since we were kids we reunited this past summer and madly fell
    in love!!! So amazing and so intense, so special, so strong, so deep,
    so everything… just superb! However, we both are in our own separate
    relationships and each having one child. We had amazing time
    together, short but very emotionally intense. We even talked about the future together,
    even marriage was mentioned several times, mostly from his side. The summer
    ended, I went back to my reality, he went back to his reality and then THE
    SILENCE!

    Complete silence from his side! We are talking “No Contact” mode,
    ignorance to all my communication! At first I felt confused, WTF??,
    shocked, worried that he might be in a jail, that something had happened to
    him… I found out he is ok just “overwhelmed” with his life…”his head is
    full at the moment…” those were the words he gave to his mom who happened to be my distant aunt that I speak to regularly. After asking her why he is not talking to me, my father anyone close to me, she said that he is perhaps not allowed due to his partner controlling/limiting his contacts with anyone she dislikes (including his mom/his sister) and me! :0 :0

    It has been almost two months since our last conversation. That last conversation lasted for over an hour, he was desperate to be close to me (we live in different countries), he was suffering, longing for me, he was opening his heart to me… he was saying that he doesn’t care about anything anymore, he wants to relocate to my residing country just to be with me…after that last conversation, the complete silence and ignorance. I did try to contact him several times (text/message/FB msg/email/phone call…but no response.

    I am surprised why he is still in my FB contacts, Skype, Viber and etc., as well as his
    partner? And everything is back to “normal”. Except that nothing is
    normal for me. I am broken hearted and I have no communication with the one I wanted to leave my present life for. Was I that naive and blind!? My feelings of confusion, hurt, betrayal and disappointment come from two directions:
    from a woman – man relationship, and also from a family member to a family
    member direction. Is this how we treat the one we love, the one he “loves more than himself” – those were his words… by just shutting down with no single word to say or to explain?? No decency or respect to end it with a word/letter/text/email/call… anything?? We are distant cousins after all, and we had a relationship long before this whole thing happened and is this how we go about it?? I am feeling hurt, disrespected, angry, confused…all kind of emotions.

    How do I sort this out and what do I do, which way do I go?? After trying several times to reach him, I realized that I should just stop trying. I stopped all forms of communication from my side too for over a month and half I haven’t send him any text/message or else. I also went on Facebook cleansing and I have been off FB for over 12 days now, not
    seeing his photos or anything like that. I decided to go FB cleansing
    due to a very nice/happy family photo he posted…when I saw that I felt
    crushed and decided to avoid looking his face/photos anymore to see if I can
    heal faster/better. Since then, I am doing a bit better but still can’t get him out of my heart or my head; it feels like he is camping there…The confusion is the worst, I guess. Not knowing what had happened and what had caused these rude actions from his side. Thea, please help, I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

    Anna

  2. Thea Post author

    Hello Miss Frozen,

    Thank you for taking the time to add your story, the first of its kind, to this new Ghosting post here on SYBD.

    As the post says, it’s nothing new – only the terminology is. I have had it happen (again, as I said) I few times over the years (thankfully not for many years now!) and it is absolutely soul crushing, baffling, disappointing, etc.

    >> “No decency or respect to end it with a word/letter/text/email/call… anything??”

    Yep. Ouch.

    This struck a cord too:
    >> “Complete silence from his side! We are talking “No Contact” mode, ignorance to all my communication! At first I felt confused, WTF??, shocked, worried that he might be in a jail, that something had happened to him…”

    I am sorry. This really is so hard to come to terms with, and even more so it’s hard to have empathy for.

    Our egos, particularly, in the beginning forbid any real empathy and compassion for what it views as completely cruel and juvenile behavior… “How dare s/he do this to me!!” It screams. Our egos like to attach a “story” to everything (the bastards).

    But really age, wisdom and a few of these experiences have taught me a thing or two. These may not be the case for you, or anyone else reading these words, but I can tell you they are my truths and viewing things like this works for ME…

    1) THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU….
    When someone leaves like that – without batting an eyelash – it’s about them! It’s not the actions of a normal, healthy, solid individual. There is something about them that makes them run or sometimes self-sabbotage. Some sort of insecurity, most likely, or yes maybe someone forbidding it.

    2) IGNORING DOES NOT MEAN NOT CARING.
    This silent behaviour doesn’t mean you meant nothing to him. In fact, I truly believe that he still loves, cares for and thinks of you – on some level – even though he’s ignoring your communication. It doesn’t mean that he wants to be with you but I am sure he still cares about you and you will cross his mind from time to time.

    3) YOU ARE STILL LOVELY AND LOVEABLE
    No matter when, how or why someone chose to leave, you’re still worthy of being loved. This was just one person’s inability to stay committed. Not everyone will behave like this in the future. It’s up to you to become better and not bitter over this painful experience.

    4) PEOPLE EBB AND FLOW
    My guess is you’ll probably be in touch again…I have intimated that this sort of thing has happened to me on a few occasions (sometimes with people who are just normal friends too!). Most of the time we have reconnected on down the road. Might be weeks, months, even years but often they circle back around into my life.

    As such, I have an open door policy, because that’s what works for ME. (I can imagine some people’s outrage at that statement and that’s fine. You do what works for you folks…)

    5) I TRY TO REMEMBER WE ARE ALL FLAWED AND I FORGIVE
    I will be honest, I have done things to hurt people I cared about in my life. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t. Though I am not someone who would ever permanently ignore someone, I might for a while until I could work out what to say or what I felt.

    When I have hurt someone, I have taken responsibility for what I’ve done. I have always reached out to apologise for being a complete b**ch. It was up to them to forgive me or not. Some have. Some haven’t. I forgive everyone who’s ever hurt me in my life and “let it go” because, to me, holding on to the hurt, pain, confusion, anger, and bitterness only seems to hurt me and it ties me to the person and situation longer)…

    6) CHANGE THE STORY
    Our minds create all kinds of stories and frankly most of them are painful. So find a way to put a spin on it. Change “he doesn’t care about me” to “he cares too much”. Perhaps he doesn’t feel worthy of love. Perhaps he is just in some dark place, burying his head in the sand. I have an ex does that still (it’s been nearly a decade of it) – I just assume he’ll come back out when he’s ready and remind myself about # 1 up there.

    7) FIND THE GOOD
    I’ve blogged before about a phrase from a bumper sticker that was on my mom’s home salon mirror. It read “look for the good and praise it”.
    Though it’s painful, and it hurts right now, it’s great that you felt love and connected to someone. That is a rare thing. The trouble is when we get it we expect it to last forever etc and it often does it. But switching to an attitude of gratitude makes you more likely to experience love again.

    8 ) TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
    Perhaps it’s time to see if you can channel that love and gratitude into your current relationship and family? Or maybe it’s time to get out of it. Maybe this ghost was only brought into your life to show you what you’re missing…A “sparkler” or a “symbol” – as I like to call them. Maybe this gentleman was just solely brought into your life to implement some changes. He’s done what was meant to be done and it’s now time for you to look at your life, your relationship, your family and your role in all of this.

    In the early days of SYBD, I was far more judgmental about affairs and infidelity. While I don’t condone that, by any stretch, I would say I understand them more as I get older. Refer to # 5 above. You both had the potential to do something that really could have hurt and effected several lives here.

    Maybe he worked that out and so that’s why he left. Maybe this is all a massive blessing in disguise. I suspect it is.

    Though, of course I can’t know anything for sure, if I had to, I would surmise that his departure stems guilt and fear. Also, I suspect you’ve not heard the last of him, (even if you weren’t related).

    For now, just focus on getting your own life back on track. Try to find the light in this dark time. Stop asking the wrong (painful) questions (about him), and ask what you can do to learn from this. How can you find a way to turn that pain into gain…in some way.

    Be grateful you didn’t give up everything for someone who clearly was unable to share your level of feelings and commitment.

    Trust that everything always works out for the highest good of all concerned…It’s hard to see it now but trust me on that. Imagine a time in the future where you come back and update me saying how this situation was a catalyst for change for you. Trust you’re going to be ok, because you will not only survive you’ll thrive. If you want to. xx

  3. Dane

    My girlfriend of four years went into a mental health clinic for depression and anxiety. We as a couple were perfect for each other in almost all ways and we wanted to get married and have children, however i didn’t propose. We have lived with each other for 3 and half years and got three cats together. We were two crazy cat lovers involve.

    Two weeks into her stay in the hospital she starts ignoring me and lying to me as to why i can’t visit her in the hospital or why she can’t visit home. She eventually told me it was because i wasn’t letting her heal properly in hospital and i was too needy. I took this to heart and stop texting so much and visiting less often. Eventually she wanted nothing of me and i realised something else was going on. I eventually found out that she is having an affair with another woman. (Her emails showed me she was going to this girls house almost everyday. I called her and said i saw what you two did, as a bluff, and then she told me she was involve with her. Now i haven’t heard a word back from her, she is still in hospital and she has driven me so crazy and sducidal that ironically i need to go to a mental health clinic tomorrow.

  4. Thea Post author

    I am sorry to hear your story and that you’ve been led to feel so terrible you’d been driven crazy and suicidal. I’ve been there (after a 3.5 year relationship too). You may have seen my story on here. One of the hardest things to deal with when someone cuts us out like that is we feel like we must never have known them at all if they can do such a thing. I don’t know about you but I was like “I never would have thought he’d have betrayed me like that in a million years.” I mistakenly thought I knew him better than he knew himself (ego talk there). I know it’s going to be a hard road ahead for you but it’s better to find this out now then on down the road if she carried on going behind your back for 5, 10, 15 years.

    Think about what she said and if any of it was actually true. Were you needy? Or was she just placing blame? Can you take anything on board so when you heal on down the road you’re better for the next relationship. That won’t be soon I am sure as you won’t feel like it for ages yet but I would like you start thinking about your role in the relationship and what was healthy and what was not.

    You will be ok. It’s going to take time but you’re going to survive and thrive and be happy again. I have 15+ years of running this site and hearing stories like yours (yes really!!) and everyone who wants to heal and move on does so. But it takes time. It takes work. It takes forgiveness and healing…You hang in there! OK? x

  5. Miss Frozen

    Dear Thea,
    Thank you very much for all your comments and suggestions. It is greatly appreciated and helping me a lot. I am still processing everything you said, but also the whole situation. I am trying to comprehend what exactly happened and how did we go 180degree turn in a few days? As you said in a reply to Dane “I never would have thought he’d have betrayed me like that in a million years.” This is exactly that. How can we trust anyone after this!?? I am still angry, shocked and disappointed that I gave him so much credit and put him above everything else in my life. Now, I think he doesn’t deserve any of that and I made a HUGE mistake trusting him…how could I trust anyone after this? I don’t know…
    It would be very interesting to hear a story from a damper/ghost.Their reasons for silence and ignorance.
    It is a very hard period for me but am still trying to find something/anything positive in this whole situation… 🙂

  6. Thea Post author

    It is very normal to be angry, hurt and confused after ANY breakup – let alone one that pulls the vanishing act on you. I watched a show last night featured a character who’d bailed like that and threw himself into work, into not thinking about the woman and who months later realised that doesn’t really work. I am not giving you false hope as who knows what your ex will do but I will say that when people do this – they’re not BAD people but just bad at communicating what they’re feeling. So they vanish instead of facing a conflict. For as many ghosters out there that there are, there are different reasons for leaving.

    Fear, guilt, insecurity, self-sabotaging, conflict-avoidance, doubting true feelings, worry of messing up lives involved, and just a general not measuring up enough in some way.

    But I really do not think this one is about you. It’s not a question of apportioning blame to yourself or to him. He’s flawed like the rest of us. Confused of the right path to choose so he ducked out.

    I don’t suspect he’s happy now – living with how he’s hurt you and he’s not daft. He will know what he’s done. But for now it’s easier for him to inflict the “ultimate silent treatment” than to lay cards on the table and express his emotions.

    If you have read through the hundreds of posts over on How, When and Where Were You Dumped? – you’ll see how common this “ghosting” thing actually is. Far too common. Two guys I dated in the past decade or so have pulled it on me (one has done it repeatedly – next time he pops back up – I’ll ask him for his thoughts on why he chooses to go radio silent). I no longer take it personally or expect anyone to behave any different than they do.

    That won’t work for everyone but it works for me. I just assume “well he’ll be back at some point” and get on with my life. Again that won’t work for everyone but it’s more liberating than sitting around naval gazing about what someone else is doing. You know?

    Focus your energy on the moment – not reliving the past and worrying about the future. Be present in the now with your own family as much as you can. Work through your anger and release it when you can. Again not a bad guy just bad at expressing what he’s feeling. Odds are he thinks he’s doing you a FAVOUR. Crazy as that sounds. But it’s amazing how dumpers or ghosters rationalise what they’re doing to make themselves feel less horrible for their treatment.

    Suspect your ex is thinking those sorts of things now. He will be back but probably not to ride off into the sunset with you on the back of a unicorn.

    Hugs – you take care. Thinking of you and sending you some positive and peaceful vibes.

  7. Miss Frozen

    Thea,
    I thank you for your fast reply. It is so true what you are saying about the possible reasons for not contacting me. It almost feels like you know him :). I think it has a lot to do with guilt, fear and conflict-avoidance, the last one being the strongest feeling, I guess because I saw these traits before in a conflict facing situations. I agree that he is not happy where he is right now. By the way, yesterday, after two months of no contact I find an email from him saying: “we need to talk”. Being very busy during the day I only noticed it in the evening and I replied later in the night with just two words saying “do it.” Today later in the afternoon, the message arrives on my Viber saying: “We will talk later. I want to congratulate you and your husband for the birthday of your daughter…my big girl.” The message came with four attached photos; three of his daughter solo and one of the girl with him smiling innocently.
    I still haven’t replied because I am confused even more than two days ago when I was trying to forget him and everything about him and I was on the right path by trying to get him out of my head at least for a bit. Today, after that email and these messages I feel all kinds of emotions and am not sure which way to go. Do I show that I am upset and angry or do I hide my true feelings and pretend that I am cool and happy to receive the birthday wishes for my daughter?? If you can send some wisdom advice I would be so happy. If I am not mistaken and am able to read between the lines, he is missing us both (my girl and me), and is using this B-day opportunity to reconnect with me/us. What do you think? I decided to hold on before I type a reply, just not to make any fast mistakes. God, I hate these little relationship games…sigh!

  8. Miss Frozen

    Thea,
    forgot to say thank you for those positive vibes and hugs 🙂 🙂 . They mean the world to me as I am very lonely in this whole mess and can’t communicate to anyone about it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart :).

  9. Miss Frozen

    Dear Thea,
    Just wanted to touch base with you and give you an update on my ghosting situation. After a brief contact from my ex that we had to talk and my reply “do it”, he sent me a message saying that we will talk later and just wanted to wish a very happy birthday to my daughter and that he loves her very much, attached were four photos of his daughter and one of him and his girl,… also in another message he had asked if I was OK?… nothing else after that. There was no conversation or communication or any “talk” that he suggested. I felt down again. It made me feel that he is playing with me and my feelings. Before that I had started a recovery process but had a setback when these messages came in about two weeks ago. I am not sure if he does this on purpose or is he really dumb and thinks that this ghosting doesn’t bother me at all. Mind you, I wasn’t supper friendly in my replies either, my answers were very short such as “do it”, “yap”, “thank you” … nothing more to suggest that I am happy to hear from him. Do you think he is afraid of facing me and opening up about this ghosting. Do you think he realizes what damage this has done to me/our relationship? I am starting to think that he is mentally sick as no normal/healthy mature individual would do something like this to a person s/he loves, at least the way he claimed he loved me…I am not sure what to think of all this and the hardest part is that there is no closure.

    Also, I came across this article about Ghosting and wanted to share with everyone. There are a lot of shared personal stories about Ghosts and Ghosted:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/26/fashion/exes-explain-ghosting-the-ultimate-silent-treatment.html?ref=fashion&target=comments#commentsContainer

    My favourite is this comment from

    “Karen Healy Buffalo, N.Y. June 27, 2015
    Well if this happens to you or anyone you care about you can take comfort in the thought that anyone who would do this is not worth grieving over. You haven’t been rejected you have been relieved of a relationship with a passive agressive coward.” I think is sums up and says it perfectly what the outcome is. On the rational level this is the answer; BUT the emotional part is hard, how do we explain this to our emotional part??????????????????????

    Love to all!

  10. Thomas Bilheimer

    I’m an older guy facing a “ghosting” situation at the moment. My “ex” and I have been together off and on for near 30 years (long breaks in between) but very close for the last 6. It’s been up and down but recently very up. Last July I finally asked her to marry me. She said yes and everyone including our grown families were happy. Two days later she texted “I’m feeling weird” and “I’m out”. Brief explanation was like gibberish. Later I tried to call but phone & text had been blocked. Email went unanswered. Snail mail went unanswered. Over the years I’ve noticed various insecurities, a bent toward self absorption and a definite sense that if something does not go exactly as she thinks”best” or “right”…arguments ensue. Yet when together things go very well…she seems very brave with email. However now she’s “disappeared”. Finally I had an email after months in which she said “good luck” (no explanations on why she “quit”) and oh by the way “I found someone I’d known before and I intend to be with him a long, long time”. Of course that knife pierced my heart in a way that’s hard to describe. I loved this person with all of me, promised much including relocation (which was not a lie and would have happened had I had half a chance). On the day I asked her to marry me she said “truly God means us to finally be together”. I’m older as mentioned…there simply are not enough years to await someone else to “come along”. She was the love of my life for so, so long. Now I’m alone, lonely and have given up hope of ever finding anyone nearly like her or how we did match. Meanwhile she happily “moves on”. I remain devastated, stuck and life has grown so black replacing the bright color we shared. The cruel ghosting continues. My heart is completely broken.

  11. Jan B

    So has anyone tried to mail a letter to their “ghost” to call them out on it? This is what my ex-bf did to me after 8 years. I am sending him a Christmas card with a copy (edited) of Thea’s response to Miss Frozen. My ex is so out of the loop that he wouldn’t even know what
    “ghosting” is. I know it sounds immature, and it is, but what have I got to lose? It has been 9 months.

  12. Thea Post author

    Ha ha. I don’t remember what I said!! Glad it was useful.

    I’ve done every thing you can possibly imagine when it comes to letters. To ones who left me. To ones I left. I don’t think it ever really had a desired effect as such but that’s OK…I guess I did it at the time. Eight years is a long time…so that’s interesting how long people carry stuff…

    I am not sure I’d bother with it but you follow your gut…We have a number of blogs about writing letter to exes (usually after being dumped).

    Let me know his response Jan x

  13. Jan B

    Hey Thea! What I am sending to my ex is the short article you did on “Effects of Ghosting”. I realize it is a waste of a stamp. I don’t care. It is his loss. Maybe he will learn something….at least the definition of “ghosting”. I haven’t sent it yet. Waiting until close to the holiday. I will keep you updated. Your site is the best. Your advice is honest, unbiased, and not sugar coated. I am so happy that I found you. I have not heard from my ex in 9 months. So the “birth” happening and I can let go and let God. Thank you so much!

  14. Jamie

    There was a guy I met on Bumble that I immediately fell in like with. He was adorable, endearing, and kind. I had just come out of a relationship with someone who wasn’t expressive at all and I had hated that he wasn’t. He never told me he enjoyed being with me, or that I looked pretty, or that he loved me. I generally feel confident in myself but I can’t help it, that relationship left me wanting to find a guy who was open and demonstrative. I know it might sound silly, but I was ready to say those things to someone and as much as I’m embarrassed to admit it, I was hoping to meet a guy where my words to him would be reciprocated.

    When I finally met a new guy through Bumble, I was super excited. He seemed like someone I had been waiting for and he said those things I had been wanting to hear from a guy for so long. We went on four dates and it certainly felt like we were moving in the right direction. Even in those handful of dates, he was able to express that he wanted to keep seeing me, what he liked about me, how he wanted to learn more about me.

    Imagine my surprise when he just… stopped answering after the fourth date. I was super confused. I didn’t get it. He had seemed so into us hanging out and then all of a sudden he just disappeared.

    After a week, the fact that he hadn’t responded to my text was bothering me. I sent him a message, told him that I thought he seemed like a really great guy, and that I hoped he found what he was looking for.

    He called me the next day. I had to let the call go to voicemail because of work, but when I listened to the message, he apologized for “ghosting out” on me. I had never even heard of the term! He told me he was confused, and that he had a lot to figure out about his own life. That was all understandable to me… I got it. We ended up hanging out one more time, but then he sort of ghosted me again. Right around that time is when the NYTimes article came out and I heard that phrase for the first time and realized that was what was happening.

    I still see this guy and speak to this guy but nothing serious has ever progressed. I truly feel like there are reasons why people drop off, and that they should be taken seriously. Not personally. I can’t agree enough with you Thea, when you say that it is more about the ghoster than the person who does the ghosting. I try to remind myself of that when I need to.

    Thanks for writing this article. I know a lot of people can relate.

  15. Bunny Unicorn

    So glad to have come across this post. My closest friend of 16 years, and boyfriend/life partner of 3 years ghosted me literally 10 hours after we celebrated our anniversary and made life plans. With a text. The text had a frowny face in it. That effing frowny face haunts me still..2 months later. He left me for someone else. Worst pain of my life. I am working to heal fast and am better off now than I’ve been since (understanding it’s only been a short-time) but the ghosting part is what really gets me. We had something so special for so long (his words–not mine) and he just tossed it aside for someone new. For the first 2 weeks, he’d throw me a “I just need alone time” and “I need to process all of my thoughts before I can talk” text but that he “loved me and would forever”. His strange turn of behavior left all of us worried he had a mental breakdown when in reality he was hiding out with his new girl, who happened to be his childhood BFF’s girlfriend. Once I asked him if that was true–no more communication. He never told the truth. Not even an utter of an apology. What a mess. In the end, I think it was a gift and I’m unwrapping the layers of soon to be happiness regularly. But the ghosting. The just cutting me out with no real conversation, nothing, is like emotional torture. Our entire friendship/romantic relationship was built on communication. I was more honest with him than anyone in my life and he just torched it. But your responses to comments here have really helped. It’s about him, not me.

  16. Brittany

    I’m 23 waiting to be accepted into nursing school so I can finally graduate and move on with my life. Still living at home. So last year My stepdads nephew came to live with us. He is a but younger then me 21. He came from India. We became friends little by little. One night when everyone was asleep we drank and stayed up. One thing led to another and we ended up having sex. Ok, so the next day I was pretty confused as to why I let myself, I knew it wasn’t all the alcohol. I had just gotten out of a horrible relationship and my partner was 7 years older then me. He was verbally and physically abusive. Around the time Anil (Indian boy) came to my house I was just starting to be normal
    Again and my heart was healed (at least I thought). We started to become closer and closer After that night and he said say I love you Eventually. Then he broke up with his gf from India and said to her “I love her and I’m going to marry her.” After 6 months of sneaking around and loving each other his mom came from India to visit him. She wouldn’t even let him talk to me at all. Remember we live in the same house. I remember in the last day she was here we went out to Hollywood for dinner and he stopped to show me some thing on the street. His mom literally said to him look look over here look at this. He finally said after the 3 months, “mom please can’t you see I’m talking to her.” I don’t know exactly what was said because I don’t speak Hindi but it sounded ugly. After she left he changed. He wasn’t as inlove with me as before. He stared acting distant. It was obvious she didn’t care for me too much and I think that rubbed off on him. We started but having little fights here and there and I felt a control problem on my end falling into affect. I couldn’t take the fact that he wasn’t that into me anymore. He wasn’t trying to talk to me and he was acting like what we were doing was wrong. After a month of being rejected I couldn’t take it anymore I started taking his phone not letting him use it. One night he lied and said he was going to work nightshirt. I saw his phone and he was planning on meeting up with his cousin. I was pissed. I didn’t want him to go. He ended up leaving abruptly and didn’t come back the whole night. I got so sick I started throwing up. Turned out I had good Poisen. That was 2 weeks ago. Now he just doesn’t even want to talk to me. My stepdad ended up finding out about me taking his phone and hitting him( yea I was slapping him around) My stepdad said never to talk to him. And now we are not even allowed to be in the same room. I still go to his room here and there cuz I can’t take this feeling I have. It hurts so bad. He always acts like he doesn’t want to talk to me or I’m bothering him. I try to act the same and he notices and flirts with me. Then he gets me back and acts distant all over again. Today he asked me to give him his iPhone back that I borrowed and I said no because the only thing he cares about is the iPhone. He will only talk to me for those reasons. He got mad and said “I don’t want to talk to you anymore ok I want to follow the rules now.” I couldn’t take it I started crying right in front of him. I left the room and came into my room and he came a few minutes later and said that he was sorry and that he did want to talk to me and he was only mad about his phone. I still sat there super hurt crying and he just walked out of the room went down stairs and started talking to my mom bout what phone stairs and started talking to my mom bout what phone to buy. Like nothing. He left me upstairs crying in tears. I dont know what to do at this point. Help me

  17. Christina

    Before I met my ex I was so broken. I was an alcoholic, drug addict, and behaved recklessly. I seriously didnt care if I lived or died thats how much pain I was in. I met my ex online. He came after a marathon of unavailable men who would toss me away like a disposable cup as soon as they got what they wanted so I was feeling quite vulnerable to say the least. So in came my ex… charming, caring, affectionate. We were totally compatible it was the best time of my life. We were so in love. Two years to go by and i decided i wanted to quit drinking. He was a drinker. That’s when things started to go bad. we realized we didnt have as much in common without the drinking but we made it work. Third year we moved in together got a house together. I quit drugs and joined a program. I started having suicidal thoughts so I went to the hospital. I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I came home from the hospital and all of his things were gone. I was beyond devastated. How could he leave me now that i need him more than ever?! I couldnt believe it. I begged for him to return. He did for a little while then completely ghosted me again. I just cant believe this. The way he did it… took me out to a nice dinner dropped me off at home (we were living apart but working things out), said he would text me. And never did. I see pictures of him having fun on social media. I cannot believe he could do this to me. My heart is so broken. Im hurting so badly hes all I’ve known. He gave me faith then let me down. I dont know how to cope with this. Not to mention he left me with a house I cant afford. I lost my car because all my money went to my house. I cant believe this is happening to me.

  18. John Sanchez

    My own “ghosting” story is quite convoluted, and still being played out as I post this. I’ll try my best to provide the “cliff notes” to this saga.

    I met a woman who is the mother of one of my child’s classmates. We started conversing casually at dismissal when we went to pick up our children. I genuinely enjoyed our conversations. Eventually I asked her for her phone number, and we gradually got to know each other. The better I got to know her the more attracted to her I became. I finally confessed to her that I thought that I was falling in love with her. She said that the feeling was mutual. After that confession, and severalmore intimate conversations, I fell DEEPLY in love with her!
    I know that what I feel is genuine love for her, because although I was attracted to her, sexual tension was not the driving force behind my feelings. She is the first woman I ever met that I could COMPLETELY let my guard down with. We told each other things that we didn’t feel comfortable telling ANYONE else. I truly feel that this is the woman that I was MEANT to be with. This is another of many feelings that she agreed was mutual.
    In fact, it was quite some time before we actually had sex.
    Now, what makes our situation even more complicated is the fact that she and I are both married.
    When I met her, I wasn’t “looking” for anyone to have an affair with. I had never cheated on my wife, nor had I ever even THOUGHT about it.
    But seeing how much the other woman and I have in common is almost scary. During our conversations we realized that we had been in VERY close proximity to each other for a good part of our lives , but had never met until our children ended up in the same class.
    She was even in MY house before I owned it. She viewed it when she was in the market to buy a home.
    Anyway, all was good until this past summer. I felt the slightest hint that she might be pulling back a little. When I asked her about it. She told me that all was fine, and that her feelings hadn’t changed at all. Obviously, given the precarious nature of our relationship, caution, and discretion are paramount. To that end, despite our attempts to keep our interaction discreet, she told me that her husband was getting suspicious. So, what started out with us speaking several times a day, dwindled down to us only being able to speak merely MINUTES weekly.
    By the time September rolled around I hadn’t spoken to her in a month. She called me and told me that she had to limit her interaction with me because some her friends who also have children in the same school, commented on how much we talk. So now I can’t talk to her at the school anymore. I can’t call her, and because her husband has become even more suspicious, she can’t call me, nor can we even meet for coffee. He monitors her phone, and put a GPS tracker on her phone so that he knows where she is at all times. (I know this sounds like a bad soap opera). Occasionally she calls me and before I get an opportunity to ask her any questions about our relationship, she says “can I call you back?”
    But then I don’t hear from her for WEEKS!
    What makes this even more painful is the fact that I still see here at the school at dismissal.
    She won’t even LOOK at me!
    I am not a stalker, or a starer
    I make it a point to stay as far away from her as possible to avoid “speculation” from other people at the school.
    Despite how immoral I may appear, I (we) actually did talk about ending with our spouses so that we could be together without the shadow of infidelity keeping our relationship in darkness.
    As of this posting, it has been 3 weeks since we last spoke. (she said she’d call me back. FACE PALM! )
    Everytime I see her, knowing that I can’t talk to her, or hold her, I’m in agony. At this point, I don’t know if we’ll ever be together again. What makes it even more difficult to endure, is the fact that I have to maintain the facade of my normal personality at home, even though I feel like I’m DYING inside!
    Some may say that I deserve this pain. Be that as it may, I can’t help the way that I feel. I wouldn’t wish this on my WORST enemy!

  19. Thea Post author

    Sorry for the delay in approving your comment. My SPAM guard has been over zealous. :-/
    When I first launched SYBD I was very “black and white” about such “moral” things but now though I don’t condone infidelity, I believe I understand it more and I am less judgmental (about everything not just affairs). In any event I am sorry for your pain and I hope you’re able to process and move on in due course. I do know how hard it is to have to see the person all the time. That does make things harder to over come…You will get through. Hang in there. OK?

  20. Valerie

    Hello – I have an interesting ghosting story to tell. I met a wonderful man when I was in my twenties (I’m now 64) and had a great relationship with him for over a year. We truly were great friends as well as romantic partners. Then he decided to go to California to visit a good friend for a few weeks. He sent me a letter about a week after he got there then *POOF*. Nada. The weeks turned into months, I called his brother and sister, his best friend, again and again asking where “M” was? Was he OK? All I got were polite but evasive answers. “Oh, he’s fine…just travelling around a bit.” Well if he’s contacting you why isn’t he contacting me??? Tell him to call or write and let me know what’s happening. Crickets. After many months I realized I’d been dumped but didn’t have a clue why. Needless to say I was horrible hurt and sad.

    Then, 10 months after he disappeared he called – I was ecstatic! He was evasive on the phone about why he’d disappeared but I didn’t care, I was just so happy he was back. We got together for dinner and the evening was a fiasco. He had changed so drastically I didn’t know him – he was smug, condescending and secretive. When I finally asked him if he was in another relationship all he could say was “Look, you and I are just friends, we can see whoever we want. We don’t own each other.” When we finished dinner he walked me home and I invited him in for a drink. “OK, but I can’t stay.” He was nervous, paced around my apartment and finally I said “come sit down, stop pacing around, I want to talk to you.” So he sat down, we talked, he evaded, and then I kissed him. Well, what resulted was about 20 minutes of passionate necking until he suddenly stopped. I lost my temper and demanded to know what was wrong, what was going on! He stood up, looked like he was about to burst into tears, said “I can’t do this” then grabbed his keys and ran out the door. I was dumbfounded.

    Several weeks later I was having tea with a good friend of his who had been a great support through the whole ghosting issue. I told him about seeing “M” and what a weird, confusing night it had been. He said he knew, that “M” had told him about it. Then he said “M asked me not to tell you but you deserve to know the truth. He’s behaved badly and I’ve told him so, but he just refuses to tell you what’s happening so I will. He met a woman in California and they’re getting married in 6 weeks.” You can imagine how I felt. So I went home, cried my eyes out, threw out all his letters and things he’d given me and just tried to get on with my life.

    Fast forward to early 2014 and we ran into each other in a pub across the street from my house. We chatted for a half hour or so, nothing was mentioned about his vanishing act, we talked about family, jobs, travel, etc. He asked if I’d married and I said I hadn’t – that I’d had a couple of long-term, live-in relationships but they didn’t work out in the end. He was still married but I got the distinct impression it was not a happy marriage. In any event we didn’t see or talk to each other until my phone rang a year and a half later, it was “M”. We chatted for a bit, he’d mentioned that he and his family had relocated from Ontario to British Columbia the previous year but he was just back in Ontario for a visit. Then he said “Can we meet for a drink, we need to talk.” I said OK, come over this evening. I was expecting an apology, thinking he’d had over a year to mull over what a prick he’d once been to me.

    He came over, we talked about superficial stuff for a while then he dropped the bomb. He and his wife had split up. She’d turned out to be rather a handful, that’s all I’ll say about it, and shortly after they’d moved to B.C. things had blown up badly. Nor will I go through the details of the subsequent divorce and her harassment of him to reconcile. She really needs therapy to help her deal with her demons. In any event, I was sympathetic, having gone through a couple of epic break-ups in my time. Then I said “Now it’s time for me to get something off my chest. You behaved like a selfish, cowardly bastard when you just vanished from my life and if you want to be friends, I’m not sure I really trust you. The first thing I expect is a sincere apology, then we’ll see what happens.” I got that apology and I can’t tell you how good it felt to hear it after 35 years.

    Now onto the interesting bit. We continued to see each other and I moved from Ontario to B.C. to be with him last year. He is deeply in love with me and vice-versa. He realizes he married in haste to someone he didn’t really know, but was swept away by her fame, beauty and charisma (she was a well-known singer when they met). But the interesting thing is, he won’t discuss why he thought ghosting me was the right thing to do. He prides himself on his honesty and openness but can’t explain what led him to do that to someone he cared for. I’d really appreciate your take on why he won’t talk about his actions. Is he too embarrassed? Has he deliberately buried the memory of why he thought it was OK to disappear?

    Much appreciated!

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