Human behavior will always fascinate me, and for that I will never be bored or stagnant and will always be exhausting. I try to keep a lid on it, and have come to the conclusion that I’m the luckiest person in the world to have friends who after all these years, no matter how many times it happens, put up with my philosophizing, my ranting, my spinning mind and my compulsion for answers and reasons especially when they’re not available to me.
Would someone like to highlight for me (preferably in pink highlighter) the moment it became a trend to not break up with someone? To instead just decide that not answering the person or cutting communication will eventually lead to the disintegration of the relationship?
I can’t believe I have to ask for this, but, really gentlemen, I’m going to need you to break up with me. With words. Especially if you’ve given me the title of “your girl” or “girlfriend”. If you can give me the crown, you should be able to tear it off my head in a fashion worthy of a beauty pageant meltdown. How you choose to correspond those words is entirely up to you. Verbally, textually, Facebook, or an image on Instagram with me tagged in it. Preferably, the first two would be best, but anything is better than that confusing, confounding, disrespectful, deafening silence.
I’m both happy and sad that I’m not the only person who has experienced this (yes, I recognize ladies do this too, its not just men. But I’m writing this from my POV, so the culprit will be referred to as a male). Hence this beautiful homage to the new found art that is “Ghosting”.
Amazing. Brilliant. Captivating. Validating. These ladies get it, and shine a spotlight on this terrible behavior in the most victorious and hilarious way I’ve ever seen.
BUT WHY MUST THIS FEELING BE VALIDATED?! This is something so seemingly simply to correct!
“Ghosting” someone is completely unacceptable. When did we become a generation of cowardly lions and tin men?! Even the actual Tin Man had more a heart than the people who do this, same with the lion actually having courage! No one likes to get dumped or do the dumping, but frankly, it has to be done. So tear off the band aid and let the air hit the wound so everything can start to heal! Because that’s what people do after break ups- they HEAL! They move on. And I am no stranger to moving on, or resiliently dealing with this absolute nonsense.
Here is an outline of the mentality that goes through the mind of someone getting ghosted:
Hmmm…I should just give them space. I don’t want to come off too needy.
Its been 4 days…just a little text to let them know I’m thinking about them! 🙂 (RE: Don’t press send.)
It’s been a week. Surely something is terribly wrong now. What could I have done to deserve this? *Rack brain and memory for some terrible wrong you could’ve done* (Hint: Don’t do this. You didn’t do anything wrong. Or, you did, but they should have told you. Again- communication!)
They’re posting to Instagram/Facebook/Twitter. Good to know they’re alive and just actively choosing to ignore me, and that their phone isn’t in fact broken and they’re not deserted in a barren wasteland. (Also: This is a part of the nightmare that I just don’t get. You know you’re connected to the person through social media, do you really think they’re not going to notice that you’re accounts are active but they’re still being ignored? I mean really, what the hell).
Okay. Its been two weeks. To HELL with you, dude. *Send angry message about how shitty it is they aren’t responding to you*
Damn, I was harsh. I feel bad now. *Send message about how you’re totally diplomatic and just want to know where you stand* (RE: DON’T PRESS SEND)
Still receive nothing, so you basically have completed a one sided conversation with yourself. Finally stop pressing send and move on with lingering thoughts of person coming back into your life. (Hint: They won’t. Which is a blessing in disguise).
I never said these lessons would be pretty. This one was particularly annoying because I need communication in a relationship. I need it, even when its about something unpleasant. Life isn’t always going to be pleasant. I’ve figured that out in my 28 years. I also know that when things don’t add up, my mind reels trying to make sense of it all. When things are left unresolved, I find it incessantly irritating. Whether time elapses over a few dates, a month, a few months, whatever the length of time may be, if you’ve giveneth the interest you shall taketh it away!
So how does one recover from this relationshit nightmare? Here’s how I handle it. Works every time.
Step 1: Have amazing friends you can always count on. You need to feel supported, loved, and not like a complete failure/lunatic. Go to these people. They will build you up, buttercup.
Step 2: Hit the gym. Hard. After you spend a week sulking, pack up your gym clothes in your old kit bag and kick some ass. No need to let your body suffer. Also, exercise = endorphins! So really, you’ll feel good, look good, and think clearer with a bit of exercise. (If you’d been at the gym from the get go, you probably wouldn’t have hit send to begin with. Or, maybe you would’ve).
Step 3 (Which technically should be step 2 but I’m too lazy to go back and switch them) Make a playlist of music to get you through. Again, during sulk week, you’ll probably be listening to all those great songs about love lost and people coming back, realizing they were wrong…and then you’ll realize that this isn’t helping. So hit the iTunes store and pump up the jams. P!nk, Lorde, Katy Perry, RuPaul, B.O.B, New Politics, etc have been in regular rotation.
Step 4: Never put up with this shit. Don’t chase anyone who doesn’t recognize just how remarkable, smart, caring and generous a human being you are. Realize that this has nothing to do with you, or your lack of respect for yourself, and everything to do with the other person’s behavior and actions. Take yourself out of the equation entirely. You reached out, you made yourself available. The other person has (spinelessly) pulled back and deserted. That is a reflection of them, not you. Its okay to feel angry, disappointed and mad. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel a little bit of each of those.
Treat this as you would any learning experience, but don’t let it make you cynical or cold- remember:
“You can’t go through life thinking everyone you meet will one day let you down.” – Danny Glover, Angels in the Outfield
Don’t give up ladies. I haven’t.