When your Tinder date stands you up , or God forbid, the guy you’ve been dating disappears into thin air, it can be mind-boggling to try to figure out what went wrong. Closure is an important thing to have when it comes to dating, and since ghosters rarely are able to provide it, you have to find alternative ways to give your feelings a proper burial. (I’ve tried everything from writing an un-sent letter to performing some weird-ass “letting go” ritual. Hey, whatever works.) Add another option to that list: write an obituary for him. Because the best thing for your sanity (and your ego) is to assume that he died and that’s why he’s not returning your multiple calls and text messages. All other options lead directly to self-blame. Buzzfeed made some sample obituaries for hot guys who disappeared accompanied by whimsical illustrations. Finally, a positive way to channel your rage. [Buzzfeed]
It’s really difficult to talk about the end of a relationship when you haven’t exactly had a breakup.
“Well, how did it end?” someone inevitably asks.
“Umm … I left him a heart-wrenching voicemail,” seems too embarrassing an answer.
I dated someone for more than eight months until he completely ghosted. I honestly thought this only happened to relationships in their infancy, after maybe a few dates — eight months seems like it deserves a breakup phone call at the very least. But he had stopped answering my calls and texts right around Christmastime, and I was left with no other option. Show up on his doorstep and demand some answers? Nah, not my style. So, I left a long voicemail explaining that clearly things were over, and I’d love to talk about it with him if he could summon some basic decency.
And I never heard from him. Keep reading »
I probably could have written the Modern Love essay, Exit Left, Wordlessly, in this past Sunday’s New York Times. Not that I could have penned it better than writer Aimee Lee Ball, just that I have a story which is frighteningly similar. Ball’s tale is about breaking up with a man only to have him resurface eight years later for round two. But instead of the happy ending that would ensue in Rom-Com Land, after a few months of “too good to be true” dating, the man disappeared from her life without explanation. “No message. No note,” she says. I refer to this dating phenomenon as ghosting — when a man disappears without a trace.
“Ambiguous loss” as Ball calls it, is a particularly heinous and cruel way to have a relationship end because you’re left without any indication of what might have gone wrong.”[It's] unfinished business, without closure or understanding,” Ball explains. Keep reading »
If anyone ever figured out how to bottle the ability to achieve closure after a relationship ends, they would be rich and famous. As someone who has stumbled in finding closure a few times in my life, all I can say for sure is how it feels. It feels peaceful; it feels freeing, like taking a rock out of your shoe. It is the moment a chapter in the book of your life has been written, read, reread, and filed away for posterity. No matter what the situation, closure is a feeling that comes from within. Sometimes you have the other person there to debrief with and that can be helpful, like when I met up with an ex-boyfriend to compare notes on our relationship. It was an incredibly therapeutic experience that helped me close the door on the relationship once and for all. But let’s be honest, it hardly ever happens like that … Keep reading »
When my boyfriend Alex and I broke up, there wasn’t any of that traditional end-of-relationship stuff. No drawn-out arguments, no trading-back of stuff, no dividing of friends. In a way, I suppose, this should have made things easier—no muss, no fuss. Looking back, however, I wish our breakup was harder and a bit more involved. Maybe that way, I would have come to a place of closure sooner (if “closure” actually exists).
Not that we even had the option of participating in a three-part soap opera ending. Alex and I had a long-distance relationship (which was ultimately our downfall), so even if I wanted to bring the drama or “see him one last time,” it wasn’t even really possible. Because of our physical circumstances, we had mainly connected online when things were good. In the bad times, and in the aftermath, however, I came to see that I was still attached to him by the internet. Months later, when I was still hurting inside, I realized I needed to end all virtual ties with Alex to move on. Keep reading »