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Here’s a Ghost Month callout to the biggest ghoster I know—me

POV: Ghosters’ anonymous meetings are a thing now, and I’m the first loser whose sappy backstory you’ll have to sit through.

 

Oh, uh… I’m up first?

Okay, uh… hi, I’m Nea―hold on. Why is it called ghosters’ anonymous if I’m introducing myself anyway? 

Ah, whatever. Fine. I’m Nea, and I have a bad habit of saying “BRB” and never coming back.

Been a ghoster since… actually, I don’t even know. I’m not good with dates (the calendar kind, not the… actually, maybe that, too). 

I honestly can’t remember when I started. I didn’t even know I was ghosting, at first. I thought I was just riding the wave, doing what everyone else was doing so I didn’t realize it was a bad thing. 

Matchmaking and dating became easier thanks to technology: It was easy to find people to talk to but even easier to dip out of any convo whenever you like.

Most people would jokingly associate my ghosting habits with the school I went to for its notoriety with online relationships. People joked about it too many times that I actually succumbed to the rumors. 

I’ve always been a pretty reserved person. I was used to being the quiet one in most situations so I developed this annoying pattern of fading in the background and just letting others take the wheel. 

It extended to the way I communicate with people, in which I stay on the sidelines as everyone else talks over each other. I’d only talk when called on or prompted to. It’s my effed up way of avoiding conflict while eventually causing conflict later. 

I dip out and dissociate, detaching myself from the situation on the notion that I’m not causing any trouble. And that’s probably how I evolved into the ghoster I’ve become.

I ghosted for various reasons: awkwardness, impatience, emotional constipation and sometimes a gut feeling that I had to yeet myself out of there.

I ghosted for various reasons: awkwardness, impatience, emotional constipation and sometimes a gut feeling that I had to yeet myself out of there.

I ghost when I don’t feel a connection. (It’s not because I hate their personality. I just don’t seem to be vibing with them.)

I ghost when I just can’t stand their asses. (I ghosted this one person after meeting them because they wouldn’t shut up about their body count. Not judging them, but I’m not sure how it was supposed to be impressive either.)

I ghost when the conversations get drier than a desert. (I ghosted my ex of three years because we were in an LDR and I got tired of seeing strings of just my own messages in our convo.)

I ghost when I don’t have the energy to argue with people. (I stopped talking to this person I met online because they were insisting about children and marriage after two days of talking. Like, chill.)

I ghost when I remove my rose-colored glasses and see all the red flags. (I found out this one person is a member of a certain local pickup artist group, thanks to their recently created Facebook account and I knew I had to cut ties immediately.)

I thought that by detaching myself from situations like these, I’m letting actions speak for themselves and I’m saving everyone the trouble of facing the awkward truth—when I’m in fact doing the exact opposite. 

I’m not even going to try to defend myself at this point so I’ll just say it as it is: I suck for ghosting. It was a cheap cop-out and a cowardly move because I thought I was getting away with it easily.

I know now that I should have had the balls to talk about what I had in mind instead of relying on the assumption that these people would just take the hint. 

I suck for ghosting. It was a cheap cop-out and a cowardly move because I thought I was getting away with it easily.

The funny thing about this is Miss Karma got me good, multiple times—the tables eventually turned and I became the ghostee, too, crying silently at 3 a.m. with BTS’ “Love is Not Over” playing in the background because that’s the kind of person I’ve become.

It kinda fucks with your head, I realized. You start questioning what you did wrong when, to your knowledge, everything was going great. You start thinking that maybe you just weren’t good enough. You start longing for closure at the very least, until your heart’s just too tired to care anymore.

Looking back, ghosting’s a lot bigger than not wanting to text back: It’s being afraid to be vulnerable and honest with people whose expectations of me don’t include any form of baggage. 

I was afraid to be the only one baring my soul when I actually say what I mean so I ghost the second I get that annoying gut feeling that this isn’t going to work out (when I’ve barely even tried yet). 

I’ve held onto this mentality that I shouldn’t ever be a burden to anyone, and that I shouldn’t cause inconvenience to anyone if I want to foster better relationships. But no amount of social awkwardness from my end will change the fact that I owe people the closure they deserve. 

Ghosting’s a lot bigger than not wanting to text back: It’s being afraid to be vulnerable and honest with people whose expectations of me don’t include any form of baggage. 

I’m not on any dating apps anymore. I’m just trying to focus on other things instead of crying over people who drop off the face of the Earth or making other people question if they are enough.

But right now? Uh, I’m working on understanding my emotions and how I can communicate them better. They’re still pretty hard to talk about sometimes, but I’m trying to shed my ghosting habits in the process. 

This isn’t some fancy “road from ghosting to growing” yet, because I know I still have that annoying habit of dissociating to get rid of. My redemption arc’s gonna span for more than a couple of episodes, but I’ll make sure I get there.

 

Read more:

Ghost Month advice from Instagram tarot readers + healers

What happened when I met my internet girlfriend in person

My first time using Tinder as a dating app skeptic

 

Art by Yel Sayo

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