Hello my pretties,
Join me, gather around my campfire, get warm and avoid the dark shadows that linger around us. It’s the perfect time to tell you a truly terrifying story of disappearance, mystery, and deceit. This cold and chilling tale happened to a good friend of mine; we’ll call her Mary. Mary was a beautiful woman with the strength of a lioness, a wicked sharp tongue, and a lovely air about her. She was caring, trusting, and in search of true love. One foggy and misty evening, Mary found herself alone staring at the glowing TVs of the local Pub. She wanted to get out of the house, have a drink or two, and then head home to bed.
However, this cold and unpredictable night had other plans for Mary. Enter Jamie: tall, handsome, and soaking wet from the rain. There’s a darkness in his eyes and he smells like leather and cigarettes. He slinks over to Mary as she sips her vodka-soda and asks if she might join him in a warm shot of whiskey, “to take the chill out of our bones” he says. Mary is hooked. As easily as the whiskey slips down her throat, she slips into a passionate, exciting relationship with Jamie. Through the winter, Jamie cleans snow off of Mary’s car and meets her every morning for a coffee and a kiss. They spend almost every night making dinner and discovering new things they love about each other. Two months later, Jamie and Mary drive the five hour trip to Mary’s hometown and Jamie meets her parents. Jamie is a hit and Mary’s parents share a look that is filled with hope and expectation. The young lovers return from the getaway and settle back into their routine of work, trying (and failing) to see their friends, and nights of cuddles and Netflix.
Then, as quickly as he clawed his way into Mary’s life, Jamie disappears from it. He stops all communication, removes Mary from his social medias, and avoids any place where she may turn up. He becomes a gutless ghost, only to haunt Mary’s thoughts with confusion and self-doubt. She’s not the only one haunted by the memory of Jamie’s ghost, he’s pulled this stunt before and easily proclaims that this disappearing act “is just easier than telling her that I don’t want to see her again.”
This cautionary tale pertains to a phenomena known in the dating world as “ghosting.” Google defines ghosting, “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.” It’s a swift, brutal death to any budding or (sometimes) established relationships. Think you’re in a serious, indestructible relationship and ghosting could never happen to you? Think again. No one is safe from this chilling phenomena, it can happen after one date or you could be like my friend, Jeremy, who was ghosted by his fiance. I’d love to make a joke, tell you that it doesn’t matter or explain that your skin is thicker than you think but that’s all just avoidance. What really happened is simply this: someone you liked or cared for didn’t feel the same way, to add insult to injury, they didn’t feel like you deserved an explanation and subsequently vanished into thin air. When this happens to you, (the chances are good that it will one day) you’ll want to lash out, think about texting them to say how much they hurt you or how you think they’re a coward. Don’t do this. It won’t make you feel better and they probably won’t reply, which will inevitably make you feel even worse.
In an attempt to view this behaviour as ridiculous or humourous, I’ve contacted people I know that are self-proclaimed jerks and asked for the excuses they have for ghosting people. So, if you’re searching for answers, here is a small collection of the hysterical bullshit they fed me.
Warning: This list may induce nausea, vomiting and eye rolling.
1) I was so into him that it scared me, so I ran away to avoid hurting our friendship.
2) She’s really great and I could totally see myself dating her but I just don’t have the time right now.
3) She’s lovely but I really like sleeping with other women too.
4) He’s so nice but he just became too nice. Ugh, like, it was too much.
5) I’m just a giant asshole, I kind of feel bad about it now.
Friends, always remember, when someone ghosts you and disappears from your life, this behaviour says nothing about you and everything about them.
Whether you’re single, taken or it’s complicated: I’m rooting for you.
Until Next Time,
STC is a monthly dating column that centers around the fictional character, Lily Hush. STC is based on real-life accounts from those of us living and loving in the Niagara Region.