I Just Realized the Guy I've Been Texting Ghosted Me

Evie M.

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photo courtesy of the author

I surprised myself today. My sister and I were in the kitchen when I received a text. 

“Ev, your phone’s going off,” she told me, not looking up from her morning coffee. 

I picked up my cell, glanced at it before poking around for a second to find the right text, chose the wrong one, and then I realized the guy I’d been texting for a while hasn’t responded in weeks.

“Oh, okay,” I’d muttered. 

And that knee-jerk response made me so curious I wanted to talk about it. 

If love happens, it happens

I met my new friend — who we’ll call Lionel because I honestly forgot his name after our three minute date and he seemed like a “Lionel” to me — on a dating app. We met like, a month ago on Valentines day and talked for a few days, so no, ours wasn’t the love story of the century. He was sweet, though. 

From the start I went in with the mindset, “if love happens, it happens” — a mindset that makes all the difference when dating. Divorce helped me figure that out. Once the “worst of the worst” becomes reality and you realize it’s not so bad, you stop giving a lot of shits, knowing the right person will be out there and eventually you’ll find them. 

Or maybe that’s just me. 

Anyway. I decided to go speed dating because why not? Lionel was the last speed-dater I talked to. I liked the way he looked down at the ground when he smiled, as if he didn’t know he was cute. He was a nice guy, worked with the elderly. 

“I’m trying this out,” he told me. 

“Yeah, I figured I would, too.”

I lit up a joint and we chatted. Three minutes went by fast enough and we told each other we’d click on the heart so the app would give us each other’s numbers. I never checked if he hearted me as I went on a Netflix binge and forgot. It was as surprise to see his text the next morning. 

Hey! Remember me? 

I didn’t even answer his text until later that night —  (and almost didn’t but he really was cute) — which is so different from how I handled texting situations in the past. 

Once the world got AOL chat rooms it was all over.

Since the days of “A/S/L?”, clunky cell phones and outrageous texting plans, instant conversation has had some kind of hold on society. We are glued to our devices (I say as I scribble on an iPad). Maybe some of you are too young to remember — but we used to have to actually talk to people, look them in the eyes. 

Back in the nineties we all thought nothing could touch Tamagotchis, Once the world got AOL junk mail CD-ROMs and started going into chat rooms, it was all over. We all became spoiled. 

Before I got married and divorced — I was that girl — the one who’d cling to her phone after meeting someone instead of getting on with her life and letting fate work it’s mojo — or not. Considering you’re here reading this, (I’ll bet a good chunk of you are part of my tribe. Hi!)

The ease of communication also made the crushing blow of being ghosted that much harder to deal with. 

You’d sit there on the computer or stuck on your phone glowering as you muttered, “I can see you read my message, dick.” 

Even though I’ve totally ghosted people before and not always for a reason beyond being a tool.

(Being mean doesn’t feel nice, kids.)

My point is, I used to care, now I don’t, (and I really don’t think you should either), which is why I chose to talk to Lionel. 

The worst that could happen is you’ll fizzle out, I thought. 

We lasted like three days? I don’t remember and don’t care enough to go back and look. We texted when we could. People have lives, and I’m not much of a fan now of the “together forever” way of dating. What will you talk about? Lionel and I “hung out” over text one night, volleyed a few questions back and forth for a few days, and he never answered my last one. 

That’s it. If he wanted to talk to me, I’d talk to him, though I could go either way and be just fine. 

“You’re burning the eggs,” said my sister who removed the pan from the stove as I continued to stare at my phone. 

I shook my head once before moving onto the correct text message, answering it, and never thinking about the moment again (until now). 

There are a lot of reasons people ghost. Maybe they’re scared of conflict, afraid to tell you their feelings or why it’s not working out. Maybe, like Lionel and now me, this just don’t care enough to text back. The fizzle is nigh and they know it, and no one owes anyone an explanation, TBH. If you don’t want to talk to someone, you don’t have to. Sometimes it’s the only way to get the message across. 

Is it kind of a jerk move? Depends. In this case, a little bit. But I’ve done it, I’m sure some of you have. (This nationwide survey by Yikyak says it’s a yes for 65% of us.)

And being the recipient can be hard to accept. 

But none of that matters. Why waste the time worrying about outcomes you can’t control? If they ghosted — they’re gone. It’s called ghosting for a reason. 

Be grateful they didn’t waste your time. 

All you need to worry about is the short, sweet realization that came to me as I scrambled to save the scramble, which was now looking a little toasted. I think it might be able to help a few of you like it did me. 

Ghosting happens, it’s lame, but the truth. You can either let it get to you, or you can be grateful, because now your time isn’t being wasted, and who wants that?

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"Reader beware, you're in for a scare!--R.L. Stine"

Orlando, FL
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