Dater X: Adventures In Ghostbusting
On my fourth, excruciating day of not hearing from GQ, I was still racking my brain for possible reasons he could have ghosted. But I knew it was time to accept the fact that things were over between us. I knew I needed to reactivate my OKCupid profile— the one he suggested I take down to focus on “us.” But there was no “us” anymore. There was just me. And him, somewhere out there, avoiding me.
Feeling deflated, I logged back online when, to my surprise, I saw that GQ had reactivated his profile. To say that I was pissed is an understatement. After reaching out for days without any response, I was furious that GQ had no problem deciding to date other people without even bothering to give me one simple phone call to let me know I’d been dumped. A dick move. I made the oh-so-mature decision that probing him with questions (okay, and maybe some name-calling) wasn’t worth my time and energy. His message was coming through loud and clear: he wanted nothing to do with me.
Then, later that afternoon, he texted me and said: “Sorry for not getting back to you. I’ve been in Boston with family and am just seeing your messages now since my work phone has been off.”
Aware that he was lying, and poorly, I took the high road and sent back a quick, thoughtful response about how I hope he’s feeling better, hoping he’d feel unthreatened and maybe come clean without me having to bust him.
Nothing. No response. For three more days I didn’t hear a peep out of GQ. At least not until I saw he was logged onto OKCupid at the same time I was. I was so angry at this point that couldn’t stop myself from calling him out.
“So do you want to tell me why you ghosted me?” I wrote.
“I was sick for a few days,” he pinged back, “and I’ve been deciding between some job offers. I was going to stay in New York, but ended up accepting a position here in Boston. I’m moving and didn’t want to waste your time.”
A pathetic explanation, at best. The irony was that he was wasting my time by not giving me the courtesy of letting me know sooner. He could have sent a simple text that said, “Hey, I’m moving. This isn’t going to work,” and that would have done the trick. I didn’t even know he was entertaining job offers in other states!
“That’s your excuse?” I wrote, deciding not to let him off the hook so easily. “That has nothing to do with why you would just stop talking to a person. I thought things were going well. Apparently I was wrong.”
“They were going well, but now that I’m moving, it doesn’t make sense to keep talking. I’m sorry it didn’t work out the way we both wanted it to,” he responded.
At this point, I realized the sweet, fun, chivalrous guy I knew for three weeks was, in fact, a selfish douchelord of epic proportions. But despite his character flaws, I still felt terribly rejected. GQ was basically telling me that I wasn’t worth getting to know, and that hurt. At least Officer Handsoming, who also decided a relationship with me wasn’t worth pursuing, gave me a freaking heads up that he was moving. He had the common decency to tell me that a job transfer was a possibility before it happened. He didn’t just fall off the face of the earth and then blame it on his phone.
The conversation ended with me telling him that I deserve better and asking him to ship my pajamas back and him telling me to “have a good night,” which made me want to punch him in the nads even more than I already did. A “good night” would have been one that ended with a kiss, not a kiss-my-ass.
Even though I got the closure that I wanted so badly, I felt— and still feel—terrible. I put myself out there and hoped for the best, but in the end, I was left feeling like an easily discarded piece of trash. Disposable. And I suppose that until you meet “the one,” every relationship is disposable in a way. None of them work out until they do. But every time I’m set out on the curb, waiting to be picked up again, I feel a little bit more like garbage, and a little more hopeless.
[Photo from Shutterstock]