Being ghosted is better than getting a bullshit text

And that’s all those “sorry, but…” texts are

People have taken up some serious arms against ghosting — crusades and cries rallying for ghosting to stop (because lol yeah that’s how that works.)

And, I guess, for good reason. Because sure, ghosting can be shitty.

But they say that they want explanations, and like… idk fam, but I’d rather just be ghosted.

tbf, I don’t take much offense to ghosting — I’m not sure if it’s ever happened to me, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t care if it had, and (most importantly) tbh I’d rather they say nothing at all then send me some garbage dramatic explanation like so many people say they need.

Because no thank you. Do not want.

1. You don’t need to hear someone’s sob story (“life is just hard for me right now,” etc.) Save the drama for yo mama.

2. You sure as fuck shouldn’t want their bullshitting. Which it is, because…

3. There is only one reason they aren’t pursuing you, and it’s:

They do not fucking want to date you.

This is enough in and of itself.

We don’t need anything else, especially since anything else on top of it is garbage. And sometimes I struggle to understand why others might.

“I just want an explanation”

Y tho?

Most explanations are just flowery excuses.

And ain’t nobody with self respect got time for excuses.

Frankly, 2 or 3 dates in, the “reason” they give almost doesn’t matter, because it’s just lipstick on the pig of the real reason, which is:

They do not want to date you.

Period. Full stop. Anything else they say is just beating around the bush of that pure and simple fact.

But so many people seem to want one anyway, on their knees pleading, “lie to me, baby! Make me feel better.”

Like these, suggested by @vernitagreen:

“I’m really busy with work” or “I want to focus on work for now.” Bullshit.

“I’m dealing with my own shit right now” or “I’ve been caught up/in my feelings and am really not able to be there for anyone right now” or “I need to get my shit together.” Bullshit.

The reason that all of these “explanations” are lies is because

We make time for what we care about — always.

If they’re not making time for you or responding to you, it’s because they don’t want to date you. They can make any number of excuses known to man, and I’m sure some even will, but why either of you would prefer this sugar-coated bullshit to pure and simple facts of the matter is beyond me.

“I want to know if there’s someone else”

Y tho?

You want to hear:

“I recently got back together with my ex.”

or:

“I’m seeing someone else.”

But who cares? Why does it matter?

If you really think you absolutely “need” to know if there’s someone else, then yes, there fucking is someone else — either someone real, right now, or someone theoretical, for whom they’re holding out.

But the only thing that matters to your universe is: it’s not you.

“I want them to accept blame and say they’re sorry”

But y tho?

Why the fuck should they apologize for two human beings not working out? Like, damn —

It’s not their fault it didn’t work.

From the same list of suggested texts:

“I really don’t wanna be that person that does this.” Yes they do. They very much so want to be That Person who moves on from a situation that isn’t working.

“Ah, I’m so sorry I didn’t respond to this [days/weeks] ago” or “I’m sorry for ghosting you a little bit”

“I’m sorry I’m such a bad texter.”

“I’m mad at myself for being a dick.”

“I’m really trying to work on it.”

“I’m so sorry.”

Look, why does anyone have to be fault here? Why does it have to be either you or them?

Nobody needs to feel like shit here.

And you certainly shouldn’t need to hear them putting themselves down or lying about feeling shame or guilt to feel good about you.

“I just want to feel better about myself, knowing it’s not me.”

Hey, at least you’re being honest. But if you spent half as much time investing in your own self esteem and generating your own reassurance as you did seeking it from others, you’d be a lot better off.

People want to hear shit like:

“Hey, I had a great time getting to know you, [but…]”

“You’re such a cool person, [but…]”

“I had such a great time getting to know you, [but…]”

“I really enjoyed getting to know you, [but…]”

“You’re totally amazing, [but…]”

You know these are bullshit, right? Because anything before “but” is bullshit.

More importantly… why do you need so desperately to hear that cliche line:

“It’s not you; it’s me”

Look, it *is* you. At least to some extent.

But it doesn’t matter whether it was you or not you. It doesn’t matter that this one single person of billions didn’t like the cut of your jib. Once someone doesn’t want to be with me, especially after a few dates, I don’t care how they evaluate or assess me. Why do you?

“But how do I know if I should wait around?”

You don’t. You don’t “wait around” if someone’s lukewarm on you.

Some people want to hear:

“I hope we can stay in touch”

“We can talk in the future.”

“I’ll hit you back if anything changes :)”

And like, y tho? If someone sent me this, they better be God’s gift to humanity or something, because I would be out so fucking fast.

“Look, I don’t need an explanation — I just want a text, yes or no”

Y tho? You already have your answer.

If they were serious about dating you, they would be. They wouldn’t be leaving you hanging.

I know most people think they just want a text saying “I’m out,” but actions speak louder than words. So if what you’re looking for is an answer to “is this still on?”, a lack of response is your “no.” And yeah, maaaybe they’re still on the fence or sort of in, but if what you want is black and white, then baby, here’s your sign:

If they wanted to date you, they would be.

It’s that simple.

“But I just want them to act like nice human beings.”

(“Is that so much to ask?!”)

Well, yes and no.

In theory, no, it’s not a lot to expect of a human being.

But also, yes, it’s a lot to ask of a human being who is not you.

You do not control other people. You only control yourself.

Worrying so much that other people who are not you are doing things you don’t like is a futile and frustrating endeavor, bound to end in nothing but heartache.

Better to accept that people are imperfect. And focus on you.

“But, feel is bad”

You — not anyone else — are in charge of your own emotions.

It’s nobody’s responsibility but yours to manage your emotions, and you shouldn’t go through life wanting people to handhold and sugar-coat to make you feel good. That’s on you, not them.

Give yourself the reassurance and esteem you crave.

Don’t accept — and definitely do not seek out — bullshit

You deserve better than being ghosted? Sure.

But you deserve better than bullshit, too.

All of the little moments I think about you

Tbh it’s like all the time

When I wake up

In the first few moments of the day, before I fully pull it together, when I’m looking up blindly at fuzzy strips of light reaching for me from the window. When I remember I’m still in bed and shit feels good and I don’t have to get up for a few minutes, you might as well still be there with me.

When I get an iced coffee from that place with the cupcakes you like

The only ones I’ve ever bought there were the ones I got for you, and sometimes while I’m waiting on the barista I like to guess which you’d order if you were there, too.

When it’s hot out.

Or cold, or raining (even a little), or humid, or foggy, or thundering, or just starting to snow.

Because every tiny change in weather makes you melt a little — either with “omg I literally can’t possibly” or sheer delight — and that spectrum is darling. For the most part.

When I see a blooming tree that looks even remotely like a magnolia

Because it reminds me of that one time I yanked down a magnolia branch for you to smell and pulled so hard I broke it. And then felt so bad I dragged it home with us.

When I’m driving your car

Which lately, is every day.

Especially most every time I shift, because I still do so poorly. Except for those few times I pretty much fucking nail it while accelerating, making a turn or switching lanes, and wish you were there to nod in silent approval.

When I see a particularly bad driver

And you’re not there to echo back to me in agreement, “holy shit, they are the worst!”

And there are a lot of them here in the south.

When I have a particularly ridiculous customer or my boss has found yet another new lunatic antic

Did he just address me as “hey, girl”?

I’m not even sure you like hearing these stories as much as I fucking love telling them, because sometimes ya just had to be there, but you’re the first and only person I want to tell, so I always immediately think of you.

Whenever a customer hits on me

Not by way of comparison, because there isn’t one. So it’s more a little like, “lmao… nah, son. No.”

Whenever I hear a woman with a super thick southern accent

Just because I know how much you fucking hate it, lol

Pretty much every time I see a cat gif

Which is damn near all the time.

I only send like 1/1,000 to you. Because I’m not a damn crazy person.

My first sip of my after-work beer when I’m still closing down the bar

I get to imagine you enjoying the same simple pleasure in some other bar earlier in the night.

Whenever someone complains about their love life or partner

Because mines pretty rad

When I’m falling asleep

And tbh I totally imagine you’re there.

The sexiest thing you do as a dude

Since I got all up in your grill over pleasure

I guess I speak as a straight woman. It may be different for gay men, I’m not sure. But as far as everything I have seen and read and heard and felt, when it comes to straight women, our shit is consistently this:

Demonstrate security

Do things that suggest that you are secure and you offer security.

Financial security or physical security or emotional security — take your pick, but we all want at least one.

Maybe it’s such a fucking turn-on because:

  • Sex is a different act for women that it is for men, and enjoying it requires us to first fundamentally feel safe — or convince ourselves we do. So if you want to talk sexiness (which we are), we’re also talking security. You want us to open up and make ourselves vulnerable to you — with our bodies and beings— then you have to seem like a safe person with whom to do so.
  • Maybe it’s biological and we’re getting ramped up for babies, who also need security.
  • Or maybe it’s social. We look for this because we’re socialized to look for it.
  • Or maybe, shit, it’s just because we all look for security deep down. Because we do.

But either way, women want security.

Be emotionally secure.

This is my shit. If you do nothing else, do this.

Being emotionally secure — composed, stable, sane, and with healthy self esteem — pays dividends when it comes to sex appeal. Just being a human who can handle his shit without whining, clinging, manipulating, blaming, seeking revenge, etc goes really, really far. And if you drop the ball here, no amount of overcompensating elsewhere will make up for it. Nothing kills it for me faster than someone who lacks emotional stability.

I’m not as hot to trot on financial or physical security — I don’t want or need that from someone else — but if I am going to be in close proximity with another person, I do expect emotional security, self-sufficiency and stability— and I find continuous, consistent demonstrations of it insanely sexy. And most all women would agree.

Remember that scene from The Gladiator where Russell Crowe’s character went into the ring all stabbed up as fuck and still won? (If not, I mean, it’s a super cliché visual of masculinity — pick one you like.) I want that, but the emotional and mental version. I want a dude who can take what life deals out and more — and still kill it. Without whining. Without complaint. Without blaming others or making excuses or folding.

It’s not that I don’t have enough emotional security on my own (often the insecurity women feel with physical or financial.) On the contrary, it’s because I do. And I want someone who can match me or more.

Be *actually* secure — Not cocky. Not overcompensating.

Given my choice between them, I’ll pass on the dude with all the classic high-quality qualifiers (nice job, nice car or big truck, ripped build, etc) if he can’t make it a day without making excuses or being a shithead (and typically he can’t, otherwise he wouldn’t be overcompensating so aggressively.) I will readily choose the dude with zero “qualifiers” but strong AF in everything those are meant to signify: the guy who’s actually emotionally secure and, as such, emotionally safe.

Other types of security

Most everything we might think of as “masculine” — including physical and financial security — is just some more-specific manifestation, meant to remind us of these core desires.

From a random sampling of women asked what they find sexy:

  • “Suits,” “nice cars,” or, for the very blatant: “money.” These are financial security, i.e., safety.
  • “Hugs from behind” are really about “that feeling of utter protection & trust.” i.e., safety
  • “Open my door, carry my bags, make me feel protected.” Safety.
  • “Cooking” is about being provided for; i.e., safety.
  • “Tell me with your eyes that you know what you’re doing.” Safety.
  • “Want me,” or “do that little thing with your hands that I like.” Safety in still being valued the way she values herself.
  • “Remember the little things” or “care” are reassurance that she is emotionally safe.

The list goes on, but it’s fundamentally a single theme: offer security. be a secure person.

Happy independence for you and me, too

Let’s write it all across the sky

Let’s get outside. Let’s break out shorts; come as we are. Let’s get a little hot and later a little cold and remember sunscreen just in time.

Let’s grill some shit and dip some shit; let’s eat with our hands and fingers, standing, sitting in the grass, hang out with all our favorite people.

Let’s have a fuckin beer.

Let’s be without formality or gifts or pretense. Let’s forego all displays of romance or niceties. Let’s have fun without falseness or fake anything.

Let’s be lighthearted and casual; unencumbered and undirected. Let’s be chill, let’s laugh, let’s love a little. Let’s just be.

How to date nowadays

You don’t need an app

“Children on the Swing,” Louis Gan

In the flesh

I get the appeal of dating apps. I understand their place in the market. I’m happy when people get what they want from them. And I guess I’d have no problem using one if it came down to that.

But I don’t want to. Mostly because it would make a formality of something that I like organic and a little raw. I stay flesh to flesh because I don’t want to strip away the little bits of rough-around-edges intimacy I so love.

I like that human messiness of cold opens and candid exchange; micro expressions, casual touches, and building old-school from the ground up.

I’ve always been more than happy with who I meet IRL, so I’ve never felt compelled or curious enough to look elsewhere for more. It’s the same way I also wouldn’t use Uber if I could get a cab anywhere, at any time, with like 5–10 minutes notice. I only use it because rides for hire aren’t that easy to come by.

But people are. There are so many amazing individuals out there; there’s not nearly enough life to know them as it is.

Good is good, and good enough

Another thing with dating apps — and an increasingly open, virtual world — is how it has skewed our sense of selection.

When presented with too many options, we get overwhelmed. We start to make arbitrary comparisons just to differentiate; start to draw lines in the sand over silly shit just to navigate the scene.

My darlings, it’s just not this hard. Love is not about partner perfection — you do not need to Build A Bear. Love is an act, more dependent on your own daily commitment than the subject of your desire receiving it— so just pick your cookie and take a bite.

I don’t get off on chasing long tails. I don’t need to optimize that final one — or even ten — percent. I only want 2.5 things in a partner, and sure, I want them deep and hard (non-negotiable, all in, double-down), but once I get them, boi, this shit’s as good as on.

Good is good, and good enough.

In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz introduces two types of people: satisficers and maximizers. Satisficers “make a decision or take action once their criteria are met.” That doesn’t mean they’ll settle for mediocrity; their criteria can be very high; but as soon as they find the partner that has the qualities they want, they’re good to go.

Maximizers, on the other hand, “want to make the optimal decision. So even if they see a partner that would seem to meet their requirements, they can’t make a decision until after they’ve examined every option, so they know they’re making the best possible choice.” And in the world of online dating, that is literally an impossible feat.

Incidentally, satisficers tend to be happier than maximizers. Because maximizers spend a lot more time and energy to reach a decision, and they’re often anxious about whether they’re making the best choice — whereas satisficers move right along with love and actually living their lives.

I choose imperfections (because such is love, and humanness, and that intoxicating rawness of real life, see above, I most prefer) because I choose happy.

Lightly, lightly

“It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

― Aldous Huxley, Island

My darling, why make such a mess of this? Love is one of the best parts of living! There’s no need to overcomplicate it and overlay anxiety where things can be so easy and light-hearted and fun. No cause for stress and frustration and preoccupation — especially in the early days.

Lightly, child. Lightly.

…And then with love

Friendship first, and then forever.

A devotion to figuring out — and then honoring — their values; their goals; their wants and needs.

My job; your job — how to get from 0 to 1

It’s just your classic “boy meets girl.” We both commit to openness — warmth, extension, receptivity — an exchange, however small at first, is bound to happen.

Why they ghosted — and what you should do

A tough-love love note

I get your point of view

As someone on the other side, I understand that you just want a response, yes or no. I understand how not getting one could be hurtful, and I get how you might be wondering “how is that hard?!” I acknowledge that you think I’m immature, or selfish, or rude. I know a big part of you just wants to hear me admit: I’m an asshole. Or a coward.

And even more than that, I know you just want me to care — even a fraction for you that you care about me.

I understand all of that about you and your viewpoint.

I’m just not sure you understand mine

And that’s what this is about.


First of all: I often *am* honoring The Golden Rule

Friends sometimes ask if I’ve ever been ghosted, and tbh, I don’t know. If I were,

  • I probably wouldn’t notice.
  • If I did, I probably wouldn’t care.
  • Either way, I definitely wouldn’t keep texting.

And I guess, with bullet 3, that means: no, I never have. And never will be.

Because I’d move the fuck on with my life, and take the situation as is.

And frankly, if I got the sort of text you guys say you want, I’d honestly be like “wow, lol. That was dramatic.” That shit’s way more emotional than I need. Do not want.

Because I approach relationships lightly, and I don’t need others for my self esteem.

I don’t go into love looking for reassurance — I give myself enough security to stand on — and if things don’t work out or one of us walks, I don’t get hung up on it.

So part of me did Golden Rule and assume the same of you.

Why I left

Any number of infinite reasons, but also only one: it wasn’t working for me.

I wasn’t in it, there wasn’t enough, or, yeah, maybe you said or did something I didn’t like. Maybe you started pawing at me to solve all of your emotional needs — and clinginess isn’t cute. Maybe you started demanding more than I wanted to give. Maybe you started telling me how to live my life when you were barely a part of it. Maybe you started pressuring me to feel emotions I didn’t feel, or overrode the ones I did with dismissals or other explanations. Maybe you offended me. Maybe you got jealous. Maybe I just started to really not like the cut of your jib.

Or yeah, maybe it’s a slew of other “reasons:” work, my ex, my own emotions. Sure, lol. You can have that.

Honestly, the specifics don’t really matter. At the end of the day, I opted out.

Why I stopped responding

1.) I prioritized my viewpoint over yours

Going separate ways is no big deal to me (see above) and regardless of whether I know otherwise, I want it to not be a big deal to you.

2.) But you prioritize your viewpoint over mine, too

Like, you’re using big words like “mature” and “adult” because you’re upset and you think that’s what I’m not being. But my idea of maturity is just different than yours, and if you wanna talk big words, here’s some more vocab for you: “emotional self sufficiency.” Maybe, my dear, try that one on for size.

Because I want someone who has it, and that alone, just for starters, is one hell of an impasse with you.

3.) Maybe texting what you want to hear is a lie

You say you just want “a simple yes or no,” but I know you want to hear me take the blame for the fallout; want me to text you something like “I’m sorry, but

And the thing with that is:

  1. Explanations are excuses (and excuses drive me up the fucking wall)
  2. Explanations are often a lie. So you’re over there like “just say something — anything will do!” But I’m over here like “uh, it shouldn’t.”
  3. tbh I’m not sorry that this didn’t work out. (Why would I apologize that our separate humanness didn’t jive? That’s flat out dumb.)

You want “the honest truth text?” It’s gonna sound more like “I’m just not feelin’ it. Byee.” Anything more feels like a handhold-y white lie, and living like that just seems far worse.

4.) Maybe texting “no” feels premature

Maybe — maybe — I’m still on the fence and want a breather. Maybe I just need a minute to decide.

Like, just the other day, it was 2 hours into a friend’s cook-out before I let her know I wasn’t coming, because it took me that long to figure out if I was. And imo, 2 hours was still early enough I could’ve stopped by. (I mean, it was a cook-out.) Sometimes (see above) dating feels like that to us, too.

Maybe I don’t know yet. Maybe you want a formal yes or no where I don’t yet feel one, and I haven’t said anything because I can’t decide. Maybe if you gave me a hot minute, I’d be down. Probably not, but maybe. (And regardless, nobody’s telling you to wait around.)

5.) Maybe you won’t leave it at a simple text

And I do not want to discuss it. (See reason #1 — those are your needs, not mine.)

That “simple response” won’t solve your problems

You say you just want a simple text. But you also say that not getting answers keeps you up at night, wondering what went wrong.

Was it something I said? Something I did?

Me texting “I’m just not that into you” does nothing to answer those questions.

You already have your “yes or no”

Because actions speak louder than words. So if what you’re looking for is an answer to “is this still on?”, a lack of response is your “no.” If I wanted to be with you, you’d have one. And yeah, maaaybe we’re still on the fence or sort of in, but if what you want is black and white, then baby, here’s your sign.

Cold? Sure. Cruel? Maybe.

Clear? Certainly more than you make it out to be.

Your solution is with you and not me

Demanding to know why people ghost — or get them to stop — is just as futile as demanding that everyone use their turn signal and, when they don’t, to know why. That’s a fruitless obsession; move TF on and do you.

Because if you just go through life as a victim, spending your time hurt, raging against the machine, and preoccupied with whether or not other people could have/should have done things differently and why, then you’re setting yourself up for perpetual heartache. You can’t control others. You only control you.

So soothing your feelings of anxiety and rejection starts and ends with you, not me. Your solution is being able to stand on your own two feet, and loving yourself instead of depending on others for it.

Maybe you want me to say one more time that I’m a coward, or I’m an asshole. And if name-calling helps you move on, then I can.

But at some point it might pay to also turn inward, and instead ask yourself: but what am I?

What is it that you can do differently, besides linger on the hurt others do, or wishing upon a star for them to change?

Change you.

Your clinginess is never cute

Stop looking for “the one” who will think it is

“Big Raccoon,” Bordalo II

Thought Catalog recently published an article titled: “Date Someone Who Thinks Your Clinginess Is Cute.” In it, author Holly Riordan shares a slew of clingy acts that a partner should embrace.

Some of the things are okay — on the surface, a mutual desire to spend time together and communicate and touch are all fine and well, and sure, you should search for a partner who matches your speed.

The problem is that when you look for “someone who understands the only reason you might come across as ‘clingy’ is because you love him so much,” you both only bastardize the definition of “love”

Clinginess is not love, because love is not clingy

To “clingy” people, their thoughts and actions look and feel a lot like “love” because intimacy and connection is what they most deeply crave— they are the “pursuers;” the “love addicts” of the relationship world. They are preoccupied with proximity.

The problem is that this feeling — the preoccupation with closeness that can come off as clingy — is not love.

These are two very different things.

Love isn’t grabby. Love doesn’t need continuous reassurance by way of texts and touching and talking and time spent together. These things come with love, but in a much more relaxed, reassured way. There is no frantic, flailing fight for them.

The reason that “clingy” people crave these gestures isn’t because they love the other person too much, but because they don’t love themselves enough. They don’t give themselves enough reassurance, so they look to others to provide it.

Clinginess is anxiety, and anxiety is insecurity

And insecurity is never sexy.

Holly writes,

“[Date] someone who would love to hear from you fifty times per day, because you’re his favorite person in the world… Date someone who would never judge you based on how many texts you send in one day.”

My boy is my favorite person in the world, too, but if he texted me literally 50 times a day, I would have some wtf questions for him. (Because there’s an interesting grammatical difference here, between “texting each other 50 times a day” — which is totally normal, especially when it’s slow — and you texting him 50 times. Which is cray.)

The solution to clinginess isn’t to find someone who loves it — and loves you, regardless. The solution is to love yourself more.

The reality that clingy people have to eventually understand and sit with is that no amount of external embrace is ever going to fill their real emotional void — or fix the actual problem.

So if all you do is seek positive reinforcement by way of someone else’s reassurance, it’s just going to become a positive feedback loop, with you increasingly dependent on it and pawing for more.

“Date someone who is just as attached to you as you are to him. Who loves you just as strongly as you love him.”

No, do not look for the person who matches your level of clingy…

“That’s codependence, brutha”

I’m not saying you won’t find someone who finds all of this endearing — there are plenty of people out there who would, and you totally can.

The problem is that the sort of person who’d be into this is the sort of person who struggles with their own emotional or psychological problems.

They’ll get off on your love addiction, and it’ll run the risk of becoming a codependent circle jerk of desperately trying to make someone else happy while also desperately using their happiness to fix your own emotional issues.

Relationships are multiplication, not addition. When you take two half people dependent on one another to “complete them,” you don’t get one whole, you get 1/4.

If you want a whole, closed system relationship, you have to enter with two whole individuals who can stand — and love fully — on their own.