A stab at some of that communication.
A while back Thought Catalog posed 30 questions you wish you could ask the jerk who ghosted you — a list of shit you’d ask the person who suddenly disappeared out of a relationship (usually casual), without explanation or closure and, most importantly, subsequently ignored all of your attempts at communication, especially texts. Leaving you with questions — apparently at least 30.
I’m not sure if author Rania Naim ever got her answers, so I figured hey, I’ll take a stab.
Technically speaking, I don’t think I’m a ghoster — I may roll to a slow fade, but typically I’ll deflect texts rather than ignore them altogether. But on the other hand, I’m definitely love avoidant and I have to imagine some of us probably ghost without realizing.
Either way — whether I speak from experience or empathy — here’s my effort:
1. Why did you bother talking to me in the first place?
Hold up. What?
I guess I’m a bit confused here, because the answer seems so obvious I have to imagine this question is just salty.
But either way, just to be clear: because I was interested.
I “bothered” talking to you in the same way we try anything in life even though we may later decide it doesn’t work for us. We’re interested.
2. What am I supposed to do if we run into each other?
Say hi? Or not say hi. Whatever you would like, I suppose. I will probably be cordial, but I understand if that doesn’t work for you.
(Big question back to you: if you avoided me, would you first tell me that you were going to avoid me, or just do it and expect me to “take the hint?”)
3. How many women did you ghost before me?
Heyo, sexism. Men get ghosted, too, girl.
But to answer: I don’t know. Just like I don’t know how many people I’ve had coffee or hung out with but with whom I am no longer friends.
4. At what point exactly did you decide that I deserved to be ignored altogether?
It doesn’t work like that.
First and most importantly: it was never a matter of thinking you “deserved” anything. We don’t ghost as punishment. In the same way you’re more focused on your feelings here, we’re also more focused on ours.
Second, there was very likely no single point, but rather a culmination — or lack thereof.
***5. How would you like it if I ghosted you?***
This is probably the #1 thing you should take away:
You’re hurt because you think I’m violating The Golden Rule. But the harsher reality is that I’m not.
If you ghosted me, I would move on and let it go.
This is a big part of the reason that I assume you will.
Tbh, I might not even notice. Someone recently asked if I’d ever been ghosted and I truly had no idea, because things “not working out” and us no longer talking are ordinary course of business.
But even if I noticed, I would really and truly chalk it up to “your loss, not mine” and move TF on.
I don’t spend my life mourning for or worrying about people who don’t want to spend time with me — and you shouldn’t either.
6. Was it something I said, or something I did?
Maybe both. Maybe neither. It’s case by case and tough to say.
7. Why did you change your mind?
8. Do you still think about me? Ever? At least a little?
9. Will you ghost the next girl too?
I don’t know. It doesn’t work like that.
10. Have you been ghosted before? Is this like a ghosting pay it forward thing?
As I mentioned, I honestly don’t know whether or not I’ve ever been ghosted.
But no, it’s not a “ghosting pay it forward” thing.
11. Did you do this to look *cool* in front of your friends?
What? No. Do people still think like this at this age?
12. What would your mom think?
Real talk: My mother probably wouldn’t care.
After all, how do you think I developed my avoidant behavior?
Technically speaking, I probably ghost her a little from time to time, too.
13. How would you feel if your sister was ghosted?
Sign of the times, honestly. And my sister is one of my favorite people ever. I’d say to her the same things I’m saying to you.
14. If we ever start talking again, would you have the guts to ghost me again? Is double ghosting your trademark or something?
Doesn’t this happen? Aren’t they called “zombies,” the ones who “come back from the dead?” Either way, I wouldn’t put it past us. See #5.
15. Why is it so hard for you to just text back?
It’s not “hard.”
It’s that our desire to not text back is greater than our desire to text back. I don’t want to continue, and texting is continuing.
16. Should I expect an apology at some point down the line, once you realize what an asshole you’ve been?
Probably not, honestly — because a.) we don’t realize we’ve hurt your feelings, b.) we probably won’t speak again, or c.) we don’t care.
For me, it’s mostly a. If it was pointed out to me and I cared about our relationship, then yes, definitely expect an apology.
17. Do you ghost your own issues too?
Wait. I think you’re skewing the definition of ghosting.
Are you now defining it not as a “lack of communication,” but rather “avoidance?”
Because uh, shyeah, I routinely do all kinds of things — stop going to restaurants, switch banks, move cities, quit gyms, etc — without a final text announcing my departure.
With most things in life, leaving is the communication. Leaving is handling it. So, if that’s what you still mean by “ghosting,” then, uh, yeah I definitely do that. All over my shit; all things in life.
If you’re really asking whether I “avoid issues,” then I think you’re projecting a bit.
Because I didn’t “avoid” my version of the conflict. My “issue” was the relationship itself, and my desired outcome was to no longer see each other. My actions — however flawed — resolved that.
I only “avoided” your version of the conflict. Your desired outcome is an explanation. And darling, I love you, but the very brutal truth here is that your feelings are no longer my “issue.”
Do I avoid things in life? Sure. Because we all do. But this isn’t like that — at least for me.
18. Are you at all concerned about your reputation?
There are two camps of people — those who are highly motivated by their standing with others and carry anxiety accordingly, and those who refuse to carry anxiety over what other people think and risk pariahdom. I am closer to the latter. That, and I’ll go ahead and be the asshole who points out that there’s more to reputation than how we close out casual dating.
19. Why is honest communication so terrifying to you?
It’s not “terrifying.” I can think of countless other things more terrifying than texting you.
Don’t assign emotions to me.
20. Why are you still following me and liking my stuff on social media?
Okay, so: I personally do not do this. I’m not active on social media, so this move ain’t my bag, baby.
But, hypothetically, if I did: the primary reason would be because a.) I assume we’re cool (again, see #5) and b.) I still like you as a person. So “liking” your shit now is the same as “liking” your shit before.
However, reasons other people may do it: they want to keep you for future options, they think you’re hot, they still like your shit, they want to be on your mind with minimal investment, etc. I don’t know.
21. Do you realize you’re making a normal person seem crazy?
Do you realize that you are in control of your own reactions, not me?
22. Do you regret it? Like, at all? Even a smidge?
See #5. If I don’t realize I hurt your feelings, I can’t regret it.
23. What goes through your head when you are ghosting someone?
Very little. Usually something similar to the text you think you want. Some variation of “nah, son” or “this ain’t working” or “I’m not feeling you right now.”
Most often, though, it’s simply: *heavy sigh*… “No.”
24. When will you realize that there is nothing sexy about it?
Do people currently think there is something sexy about it?
25. Do you realize that ghosting only makes you a coward?
In your eyes, sure. That, and an asshole. I get it.
But, to split hairs: I am only behaving cowardly. In this situation. That does not — necessarily — make me a coward. (Do you realize you don’t fight fair?)
Here are a few other thoughts that are logical on their own:
- There are many other things more cowardly than this
- There are many faults other than cowardice, many of which are worse
- We are all a little flawed and cause harm in different ways, yourself included
26. Do you ghost your bosses and colleagues too?
Sure. I don’t ghost them for real, in the long term, but sure, I might neglect to ever reply to some messages and emails. That’s kinda normal.
Some of the team members I manage ignore my emails, too— and guess what? I take the hint.
27. Do you feel at all guilty?
See #22. And #5.
28. Aren’t you concerned about your Karma?
29. How many ghosts will it take for you to settle down?
It doesn’t work like that. And I think you know this.
30. When exactly do you plan to grow up?
Obviously not exactly a question you actually expect an answer to.
But other than that, here was me on behalf of ghosters, thoroughly not ghosting. I hope it helps.