Let’s talk about ghosts. No, not the spirits of the dead that occasionally come back to the land of the living. Those are not difficult to understand. They’re just lonely and miss us. The real supernatural phenomena are the alive and well who make their presence felt for brief moments, then disappear forever (…but hopefully not, if we’re being honest). Let’s talk about the guy or girl who ghosted you.
He probably came in hot. She maybe played it cool. Did he ask you out? She looked good on that date, didn’t she? What all ghosts-to-be have in common is they seem perfectly comfortable in their bodies here on earth when you meet them. They look, my dearest friends, as if they’re here to stay. And, oh, how we wish they would!
You, on the other hand, well let’s see. Maybe you came in hot, played it cool, asked him out, or looked good on that date, too. What is difficult to ascertain is whether you spooked whoever ghosted you or if he or she was a known ghost, just making the usual rounds, and you the unlucky and impersonal victim.
It’s a real slap in the face when the person who just yesterday so easily and eagerly swept you off your feet suddenly goes floating away. Surely you’re not getting ghosted. No, not you. You? No. No, no, no. His phone broke. Her iMessage is weird. He’s busy this week. She’s out for the weekend. He got arrested. Anything to avoid the confusing humiliation of being walked away from without explanation. She just missed the notification. Maybe you should send another text. Or five.
All ghosting comes as a surprise. It’s less likely to happen if you’ve been talking for a long period of time. Let’s say a year. But it can (and, sorry, will) happen anytime, especially when you least expect it, because you never really expect it at all.
It’s a real slap in the face when the person who just yesterday so eagerly swept you off your feet suddenly goes floating away.
You won’t see it coming, but you’ll know what it is when you see it. You’ll know you’re being ghosted because it’s not a mutual fizzling out of interest. It’s a stark and sudden one-sided abandonment. Whoever ghosted you did not, in a manner of speaking, get your consent in the matter. It’s a breach of social contract that, as far as you were concerned, was binding for a lifetime. The lifetime of your interest, at least.
And here we find the crux of the matter. We’re only ever upset about getting ghosted because we didn’t do the ghosting. See, nobody who ghosted you is the one. And you shouldn’t want him or her to be anyway. If someone is capable of ghosting you, who knows what else that someone can do. Or can’t.
Ghosting, as it turns out, is the ultimate turn-off. A non-negotiable dealbreaker. It’s only as deeply infuriating as it is because you didn’t see it coming, hence you couldn’t afford yourself the pride and luxury of acting on it. It was handed to you via a sucker punch without force but with so much impact. The ship had a big red flag but only raised it as it sailed away from the port. There’s no pride or luxury in that.
Then you make a fool of yourself. Suddenly you are running around town calling the ghost’s name. What happened was real! When it’s clear you should want nothing to do with said ghost, you instead want everything to do with him or her, but only for a minute, so you can get something done. Oh, you’ve ghosted someone in the past? Yeah, I’m not sure this is going to work. Oh, you’re ghosting me? No, come right back here so I can ghost you.
My advice? Expect everybody to ghost you until their behavior compels you to believe they won’t. Then up the standards of what compels you so you again expect them to ghost you. More important, be ready to ghost anyone at any given time. Do a few trial runs every now and then. You won’t be scared of ghosts if you go ahead and do the killing. Most important, let ghosts go. Attachment to the material world never does anyone good, but clinging to the paranormal… that’s just crazy.