Have you ever been ghosted?
For those who aren’t familiar with the term “ghosted” is when someone you are in a friendship or relationship with abruptly stops contact with no explanation.
I’ve been ghosted. And it was the worst.
Ten years ago I made morning trips to the local dog park. My dog, a golden doodle was still a puppy and needed a lot of exercise. If you don’t frequent dog parks, you should know you meet a lot of different people there. In fact, I met “The Amazing Kate” there – still a good friend to this day.
One day I met “Matt” – not his real name for obvious reasons. Matt was a sports reporter from out east. He had a rambunctious dog, who loved my pup, so we often met up at the park and walk laps. I admit, I did entertain the idea of romance with Matt – he was super funny, quirky handsome, tall and well-employed. However, his spiritual life was not what I was looking for in a potential boyfriend and I was happy to remain his friend. I introduced him to some of my friends, continued our chats about life and basically grew into buddies.
Then one day I get a phone call. It was Matt. Could I meet him at the corner of such-and-such and pick up the dog and take her to the dog park with me. You see, Matt had gotten into a car accident and the dog was in the car with him. She was stressed and needed a good run. Of course, I could. I picked her up, gave Matt a supportive hug and went off to the park.
After a good run, I took the dog back to his place, along with a cup of comfort coffee. He was stressed too. When I got to the house Matt wasn’t alone. The ex-girlfriend was there. The ex-girlfriend which he shared ownership of the dog with. A quick exchange and thanks for the coffee and a door shut in my face.
The next day I went to the dog park as usual. Matt was there, along with the other regular dog park folks. I went up to ask how he was doing and he didn’t reply. I asked again – maybe he didn’t hear me? This time he turned around and walked away.
Obviously something was up, so I gave him space. Later on I texted him. I received a reply, “Leave me alone.”
From then on Matt did his best to avoid me at the park. And although we weren’t dating, I was a bit heartbroken. I had made a friend and for some reason unbeknownst to me, I lost one.
At this point, I didn’t want to continue a friendship with Matt, but I felt I deserved an explanation. I knew one wasn’t coming. I suspected, at the time, it had something to do with the ex, but who knows?
And wow, did this hurt. I would say it hurt worse than several of my romantic breakups. Why? Because of cowardice. I had thought well of a person and they disappointed me. They took the easy way out and left me high and dry.
Oh don’t worry. I got over it.
Yet, still, it challenges me to be brave. I would never want to hurt someone in this way. Be direct. Be honest. Chances are saying “no” – to relationship, a job, an opportunity – is going to hurt anyway. But at least show them why.
But what if you are on the other side? If you are being ghosted?
Place that relationship in a jar and put the jar up high up on a shelf. Let it gain some dust. Let it rest. Maybe, one day, it will be taken down from the shelf, dusted off and opened up. But for the time being, put it away.
Then straighten up. Hold your chin high. Walk on.
You, my love, are beautiful and worthy. It’s not about deserving. It’s about self-respect.