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To my surprise, I learned that around the time we were dating, he had lost his job and became very withdrawn from life.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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