What I Learned From The Guy That Ghosted Me

Plus, 5 men share why they've ghosted women in the past.

Love & Relationships

Lately, I've been trying to be more intentional about my dating life. In the past I've been afraid to voice the things I want and that's resulted in a few experiences I'm not proud of. One of the worst experiences is being "ghosted". For those who aren't familiar with the term, it's when you're dating someone and it seems to be going great, and then, poof, they disappear. Pre-Quarantine, I was actively making an effort to date more and become comfortable with transparency. That process made me wonder about a few mistakes from the past.

There was a guy I dated about a year ago. I always admired his hard-working spirit and honesty. We had a lot in common and always seemed to get along fine. And then one day, he disappeared. There was no argument or monumental moment to cause it, he just stopped communicating. Naturally being the non-confrontational woman that I am (sometimes to a fault), I stopped reaching out. I assumed all sorts of annoying reasons like: he made up with his ex, he wasn't attracted to me, I opened up too much, etc. But instead of confirming any of these things, I simply unfollowed him online, deleted his text thread and moved on. Looking back I feel embarrassed at my reaction; it was pretty childish.

Why did I assume I was at fault? Why didn't I feel comfortable enough to have a conversation? Recently, curiosity and free time got the best of me (blame Quarantine), and I asked.

To my surprise, I learned that around the time we were dating, he had lost his job and became very withdrawn from life. We ended up discussing a few of the hardships he endured and how we really enjoyed each other's company. "I've come to realize I don't do well dating when my life isn't in order," he said. That made sense. Actually, it made perfect sense. But it made me wonder how many times my girlfriends and I had gotten it wrong. Sometimes we assume the best or worst, when really we just need the truth.

So I decided to ask five guys to give me honest feedback on ghosting. Why they do it, and was it the woman's fault. And whew chile, the responses. Check out some of the stories below.


"I ghosted this girl once simply because she wasn't the kind of girl I was genuinely interested in. I could tell from the initial conversation we had. There was a vibe there for sure, but we were simply in two different places in life, and looking for different things. She wanted the house, kids, and a dog. And I just wasn't there yet. Unfortunately I wasn't as embracing of transparent communication then as I am now. So, instead of telling her how I felt, I just stopped talking to her. I'm not proud of it but it happened." - Sharod Virtuoso, 31


"I met a woman at a networking event and we discussed working together. I quickly realized that she was interested in me outside of work. We went to a park, fed ducks, meditated and had a nice time. But our communication was staggered afterwards and we didn't see each other for a while following the park. Weeks later, we ended up going to a Hawks game. I know people who work at the stadium so I greeted a few people, making sure to introduce her. A friend and his girlfriend even met us there. However, she was irritated most of the night and felt as if my attention was too divided. She left upset and didn't seem to enjoy herself. I called the next day to try and talk it out but she was adamant about my time being hers. I thought this was a bit extreme for us to just be building a friendship. So, I deleted her number and never spoke to her again." - Malachy Waco, 29


"I have ghosted a couple times but mostly for the same reason. I was taught 'do not introduce a woman to a lifestyle you can't sustain.' After taking a break from the dating scene, I was eager to get back out there not realizing I needed to take time to get my financial life in order. I went on a few dates but once wants and expectations were brought up, I knew in my heart I couldn't provide the services the particular ladies were requesting and had to bow out. It was nothing personal, just easier to nip it in the bud." - Carson Byrd, 31

Weird Sexual Encounter  

"I met a woman online from a dating site. I was laying in her bed while she freshened up, and I remember thinking something smelled strange. I assumed maybe her child peed the bed and the smell was just lingering. Once she came out of the bathroom, everything was cool, things started getting hot and heavy. I'm doing things to her; she's doing things to herself, it was fine. Then she stops and says, 'You wanna see something cool? I can make myself squirt.' She starts playing with herself and boom, she 'squirts'. I wiped myself off and caught a whiff, and realized she peed on me. Needless to say that's not the same thing as squirting. I left and we never spoke again." - Geraud, 33


"There was this woman in Houston that I met at an event. She was gorgeous and the conversation, vibe, and connection were on point! Then, she started asking about how I could big up her business on one of my radio shows. I explained to her how although I was a radio host, there is protocol to mentioning, or shouting out, a business on my show(s). After a week, or two, of getting to know each other, one night she tried to seduce me, hoping that I would make an exception for her. I explained how I could lose my job if I did that and got caught. She still didn't get it and continued to try to get me to give her free publicity on the radio. I was turned off and abruptly stopped communication. I ran into her at another event and she asked why I stopped talking to her. I told her that pressuring me to engage in payola for her business, with no regard to my job or feelings, turned me all the way off, and I realized that she was for herself. I then saw someone I wanted to speak to, wished her well, and went on about my evening." - KG, 41

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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