I asked a question on the socials last night, “what’s been your worst ghosting experience of the decade?”, almost all respondents were women, some were still reeling from the shock, others, myself included were embarrassed to share. Ah, my good friend ghosting, so painful yet so familiar, a little too familiar of late. It never ceases to amaze me, how one can go from sharing the depths of their body and soul with someone to never ever speaking again.
I’m all too familiar with the concept of ghosting, defined in the Oxford online dictionary as “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication”. What a terrible, horrific practice. A practice that is increasingly and alarmingly becoming more of a norm than an exception, a practice SO familiar that should the topic come up over dinner, almost every single woman has a story to tell. What a terrible thing to experience.
I’m honestly still reeling from a ghosting experience from SIX years ago, I mean I definitely moved on since that day, but the PTSD never leaves. We meet people and continually walk on eggshells for fear of a repetition of such horrible experiences, and while it’s hurtful when it happens, there’s a familiarity when it does happen again, a new badge in the uniform of the hurt and betrayed. In fact, when a ghosting incident happened to me again this year, fear, shock and horror soon turned to “ah, I’ve been ghosted”. The art of gathering oneself and accepting your “L” is indeed quite difficult to master, but master it, I have.
Attraction and interest are such interesting concepts, how you meet someone for the first time ever and soon, a day feels like a lifetime when you’re apart – said person becomes an integral part of your day, as integral as eating and then one day, a random day at that, all communication is cut and you never ever speak to that person again. Earlier on in the year, as I was in the denial phase of being ghosted, I pondered out loud, “what if something happened to him or he’s dead?” and my good friend gave me the most important response – “nothing happened to him, he’s fine and just doesn’t want to speak to you”. It felt like having cold water thrown in my face, but at that precise moment, I fully grasped what had happened and I had to carry one with moving on.
I often wonder though, what is so difficult about telling someone you seemingly care for, that you are simply no longer interested. Is it difficult to extend courtesy to a person with whom you’ve likely shared your most intimate spaces? I actually boldly pose this question to men, because, despite the (very weak) rebuttal that women do it as well, the majority of ghosters are men. So why do so many men just ghost women? Such an unkind, heartless act – so terrible that when done to them (men) they hardly recover. How does it happen that one wakes up, and decides that as of that day, I will never ever speak to this person again? They must figure it out themselves because, well, ke life…
Break-ups are traumatic, but ghosting, oh my what a different kind of hurt. You know that anger or frustration that leads to one laughing out loud? Yup that’s the impact of being ghosted. I could preach all I want and say that one should speak up when they’re just not into someone, but it wouldn’t matter. Each and everyone one of us has a touch of sociopathic behaviour in us… ghosters simply act out on it and at the end of the day, it is what it is and nothing one says or does can change that.
Photographer: Lexon Photography