What is the deal with ghosting? I keep meeting these super cool guys, and I think we totally hit it off and have a connection, but then I stop hearing from them without warning. I feel like there’s something wrong with me that I must not be aware of
Left Hanging in WA
Dear Left Hanging,
I understand and hear your frustration with ghosting! One of the dilemmas of being a human is how to deal with those times when we don’t get the “why” answered. It can literally keep us up at night – days or sometimes weeks on end – spinning stories and ideas about what we possibly could have said or done that repelled our love interest. It’s easy to reach the conclusion that something is wrong with us.
But what if there are other perspectives to consider? For instance: Is it possible that being ghosted might be a good thing?
Instead of ghosting leading us to self-recrimination, what if we used it as an opportunity to grow in self-love? What would it be like to be ghosted, then to explore all the reasons that person may not have been into us? All of the little things that could have triggered a negative reaction from our love interest? What would that look like? First, we could take a moment to write down all the things that could have repelled them. The list may include things you don’t like about yourself, such as:
- My nose is too big.
- I have too much cellulite.
- I feel needy when I don’t hear from someone often enough.
- They didn’t like my smell.
- I have too much drama in my life.
- I wasn’t available as often as they wanted.
- I am too tall/too short.
Then, perhaps, that would lead to observations about your compatibility (or incompatibility) as a couple, such as:
- We didn’t kiss very well together (but I’m sure we would have adjusted).
- We didn’t laugh at the same kinds of humor. (But that made the date more interesting, didn’t it?)
- They were rude to the waitstaff. (I’m sure they were having a bad day.)
- They didn’t want kids and I do. (I probably could have talked them into it.)
- I told them what kind of life I wanted to create, and it was different from the life they envisioned. (But we could have found compromise, couldn’t we?)
As you start exploring the details in your mind (or on paper) of all the potential reasons why a relationship didn’t work, you can start to see patterns develop. You can start to understand why, maybe, you wouldn’t have been a good match after all (and the ghosting was a good thing). Or, at least, how much you might have had to compromise to get there. And tell me the truth – how excited are you, really, to build a relationship that starts off with more compromise than connection?
Perhaps the person ghosting you just happened to come to that same conclusion a little bit faster?
“But, Goddess, I really don’t see any incompatibilities! We were a perfect match!”
Dodging a Bullet
Okay. So, maybe the person who ghosted you seemed perfect, in your eyes. But, you’re missing something important. Namely, if they ghosted you, then there was something wrong with them. At the very least, they have poor communication skills. Or, they are simply too fearful or insecure to communicate well. Any of those things could be major problems within a relationship; even those that start off as fairy-tale romances. So, what do you think your chances are, if that problem exists at the very beginning of the relationship?
Maybe, instead of wondering if there’s something wrong with you, you should feel relieved that you dodged a bullet. After all, do you really want to start a relationship with someone who can’t (or won’t) fully communicate with you? What kind of relationship can be cultivated without good communication? It’s really a rhetorical question, but let me answer it anyway, for the sake of clarity…
A bad one. A dysfunctional one. A go-nowhere one.
Are we clear?
So, how do you let someone go that you like, but know isn’t right for you? What is one supposed to say when everything about a person is wonderful, but something inside of you knows that they are not “the one”?
Are you supposed to tell someone that the little spit bubbles they form while talking are grossing you out? Perhaps they could do something about that, if they were told. But perhaps they can’t control it. Then, you might only make them overly self-conscious about it, and create an issue in their life. If you don’t say anything, perhaps someone else will come into their life that doesn’t even notice their spit bubbles!
I believe that we have many good match availabilities in a lifetime. Oftentimes, people find a variety of matches over the course of their lives. And they might each be wonderful people and excellent matches in their own right. Other times, we find people who are not-so-wonderful, but who we still match with for a time. I consider those “learning relationships”: the ones that come along to help us navigate our own issues and fears, so that we can grow as individuals.
The Spiritual Side of Ghosting
On a spiritual level, you might consider being ghosted so many times as an opportunity for you to detach from a particular outcome and just enjoy the moment. Or, perhaps some greater force might be redirecting these potential partners, to leave room for the love of your life? It’s very difficult to meet the love of your life, and put any kind of energy into getting to know one another, if you’re already in a relationship. It sort of puts a damper on the whole thing.
Of course, there are a lot of relationships that start that very way. By affairs. But most of those people, if not all, would likely say it was the hardest way to start a relationship and create a trusting and loving foundation.
When you’re ghosted, the message is clear: For one reason or another, that person did not feel like you were a good match for them. They have gifted you with the opportunity to not waste any more of your precious moments with someone who looks at you with less than loving eyes. As much as their rejection may sting, they have actually done you a great favor.
The Human Side of Ghosting
On the flip side of this, from a more human perspective, it really sucks when someone dogs you with no explanation. It hurts. Ghosting can feel demoralizing. And it spins the devil’s wheel.
In a perfect world, communication should be fluid, easy; reciprocated. We should naturally have the common courtesy to respond to messages in healthy, honest and kind ways. I’m not sure why it has become so difficult for someone to say to another, “I think you’re wonderful, but probably not the right fit for me. I wish you well.” It is not necessary to go into great detail about why someone isn’t the best fit. You can just leave it very general.
But, let’s face it, even when someone states it as kindly as that, it’s not always easy. Not if we really like them. It is still possible to spin our heads off trying to figure out what they didn’t like about us, or what they didn’t think was a good fit.
There simply is no right answer. People fit well or they don’t. Everyone communicates differently. We feel what we feel. It’s never easy to face rejection, yet it can be a really great opportunity for growth. If you let it.
I hope this has given you some food for thought, and helped you realize that you are precious. You deserve to be loved by someone who respects and values you. And who communicates well with you! Don’t ever forget that.