It’s a condition more prevalent than FOMO and teen angst combined. It’s affected all of us at one point or another. Whether it’s you ignoring the nine mundane boys on snapchat or worse still, your one true love from college suddenly ignoring your social media existence, we’ve all felt it. That crippling uncertainty – did we say something weird? Were we not clever enough? Did my most recent Instagram have too many chins?
So many questions.
So few answers.
I’ve been ghosted more times than a middle aged man on Plenty of Fish. I’ve been ghosted to the point where I’ve seriously considered changing my tinder bio to anything other than “Pessimistic trash” (fear not, it’s holding strong). I once felt the pain of ghosting so hard that I did something extreme.
I wrote a message.
Several of them, in fact. I wrote a message to all of the guys who had, through randomly blanking my existence, left me feeling like I wasn’t enough. Like I wasn’t worthy of even a brief “Sorry, I’m just not feeling it”. Of course I couldn’t remember every insignificant ghoster in my past. So I narrowed it down to all those who, months later, still left me feeling cold. Just like that, I was left with my top five.
If you’re reading this and recognise your name, then don’t worry – I’m not talking about you. All the names were changed to avoid me being a completely vindictive psychopath.
And yes, I’m aware this sounds awfully familiar to a Netflix movie with some melodramatic teenage girl writing letters to all of her past lovers. But what I can say, I love some poetic realism. Plus, unlike in that movie, I actually did this.
So, I wrote five messages. However, there was a problem. I still didn’t feel closure. Despite all of my reflection and profound emotional introspection, I still was at a complete loss as to why they’d stopped responding. Now, most people would stop at this point and accept that part of life is not always knowing.
But anyone who’s met me knows that I don’t accept mysteries. I had to know. I needed to know why. I did something that to this day some of my friends cringe at the embarrassment of.
I sent them.
Yes, I really did just say that. One late evening in November, I sent five different guys a message. A lengthy, reflective message designed not to guilt, but to question. I needed to know why. I was fascinated and infatuated with the mystery.
I didn’t really expect any responses. I mean, who responds to a message from someone they had chosen to ignore months ago? They probably had no idea who I even was anymore.
I was wrong.
In fact, I was wrong five times.
You may be wondering what the purpose of this article is. Well, aside from utter shock value, I learned some valuable lessons that day.
Dorian denied it. Apparently, I had been the one to ghost him. Don’t think he realised I had screenshots of our final conversation. Always have evidence.
Nick actually wanted to reconnect. Said he couldn’t remember why ‘we’ had stopped talking and wanted to meet. Six months later and this reunion has yet to occur but gosh have I been assured even recently that it’s ‘happening soon’. Never trust a ghoster.
Mark played it off as if I was overreacting. Apparently, I’m insane for sending a message beginning with ‘Dear Mark’. I mean, he’s not wrong. Still didn’t answer the question though. Always expect someone to let you down.
David apologised. I mean, like, cringeworthy level apologised. It was actually rather beautiful to read. Made me realise that I shouldn’t hate someone on the basis of a superficial rationale. Don’t assume that everyone will let you down.
Alex. Well, funnily enough, Alex actually ghosted me again. If you were looking for a final dramatic response, he did not deliver. Told you it wasn’t a movie moment story.
If there’s anything I learned from this little exercise of impulsivity, it’s that you should always do what you’re afraid of. Sure, I could have been mortified with the responses. I could have been ignored by them all, insulted in a million different ways, still no closer to what I truly wanted.
But none of that happened.
Instead I learned that the worst thing a ghoster will do when confronted is ghost you again. Best case scenario? You realise that ghosting isn’t necessarily personal. It’s just a sort of lack of drive to continue, which says more about the ghoster (them) than the ghostee (you).
I’ll leave you with this. If you’re not interested in someone, let them know. Anything is better than uncertainty.
And to anyone that’s ever been ghosted by me? What can I say – I’m a hypocrite.