Dear person I recently gave my phone number to/ slept with/ dated for a while/ or was in a relationship with, then ghosted. Here’s what I actually said to you, by not saying anything:
To begin with, let’s be clear—I’m an absolute, grade-A coward.
Oh, and I also recently completed my Ph. D. in passive-aggressiveness.
I mean, you clearly didn’t do anything wrong. I willingly gave you my number. Actually, I think I even asked you to take my number and then text me.
Which you did–politely and diplomatically.
And although you nicely asked me out, or we dated a little while, I didn’t reply.
Who knows what reason made me change my mind about engaging with you, but I’m incapable of expressing it. Because I’m terrified of honesty. Or being direct. Or being assertive. Or maturely addressing whatever random apprehension I now may or may not have towards you. Or possibly all of the above.
And yes, I’ve been solving problems this way for my whole life. And by “solving them,” I, of course, mean, “avoiding dealing with them and hoping they’ll just go away.”
I’m petrified of open dialog because I’ve never done any real work on myself.
As a result, my plan is this: I cut off any chance of things ever developing by just deciding before things even get started that “you’re probably just not worth it.” That way, I never have to take a single risk in my entire life! Sometimes my reason is just that I have a self-loathing belief that no one ever “worth it” could ever really be interested in me, so by virtue of you demonstrating your interest in me, you’ve just disqualified yourself. See how that works?
My ignoring is you no different than when a toddler refuses to respond to his parents when asked, “Why did you break the toy?” or “Why did you hit your sister?”
Yep, I simply remain a petulant child who simply runs away any time a situation calls for me to express certain needs that aren’t being met–such as more privacy, or being spoken to differently or more of a commitment from you.
Instead, I just hide behind a ridiculous absence of expression.
I choose to just “sit this one out,” hoping you’ll just go away, demonstrating my staggering lack of empathy for a fellow human on this planet, failing to understand that ignoring someone is the most hostile thing you can do to them.
I mean, who are we kidding. If I were a real adult, we’d have a real adult exchange.
I’d say, “Sorry, I appreciate the invite, but I’m gonna pass.”
- Or, “Sorry, I know I gave you my number, but I’m dating someone else/ not emotionally available right now.”
- Or, “Sorry, I realize I gave you my number that night, but something about these messages since feels off to me, so I’m going to say goodbye now. Best of luck with someone else.”
- Or, let’s say we’ve dated a while but I’m upset with you over something. “Look, I can’t see you anymore. You really hurt me. I can’t be with someone who treats me like that.”
But it’ll be years before I’m capable of that. (Even though I’ve technically been an adult for a long time now.)
And the most ridiculous delusion of all that I base my actions on is this:
And in some instances, I’m just pretending I’m superior to you in some pathetic, self-absorbed fashion. I’ve decided, through an incredibly corrupt and cloudy series of self-flattering illusions, that I’m better off without you because that’s much more convenient than me looking hard at myself and realizing maybe some of my uncertainties right now are just due to my own lack maturity, or inability to keep my insecurities, neuroses, and anxieties at bay.
If I were a real adult, I’d put some work in towards dealing with my own baggage. I’d see a therapist, read some self-help books, or at least listen real close when a good friend tells me I have some big, self-limiting walls built up I should take down.
But instead, I do this.
I see your text come in, swipe away from it, and go right back to being the emotionally-blocked passive-aggressive jerk I’ve been for quite some time now.
And hey, if you ever meet anyone else who ghosts you for no good reason just like me, send this to them as well, just so they too, for once, can get a good look at themselves in the mirror.
Too-da-loo! I’m off to go screw up another perfectly good relationship now. Wish me luck!
Hey, Good Men Project readers! If you are yearning for relationships that last, check out MeetMindful. Date the way you live.
What’s Next at The Good Men Project? Talk with others. Improve your relationships. Join our Love, Sex, Etc. Social Interest Group
RSVP for Love Sex Etc. Calls
Join the Sex, Love Etc. FACEBOOK GROUP here.
We think you’ll like our SOCIAL INTEREST GROUPS—WEEKLY PHONE CALLS to discuss, gain insights, build communities— and help solve some of the most difficult challenges the world has today. Calls are for Members Only (although you can join the first call for free). Not yet a member of The Good Men Project? Join now!
Join The Good Men Project Community
All levels get to view The Good Men Project site AD-FREE. The $50 Platinum Level is an ALL-ACCESS PASS—join as many groups and classes as you want for the entire year. The $25 Gold Level gives you access to any ONE Social Interest Group and ONE Class–and other benefits listed below the form. Or…for $12, join as a Bronze Member and support our mission, and have a great ad-free viewing experience.
Register New Account
Please note: If you are already a writer/contributor at The Good Men Project, log in here before registering. (Request new password if needed).
ANNUAL PLATINUM membership ($50 per year) includes:
1. AN ALL ACCESS PASS — Join ANY and ALL of our weekly calls, Social Interest Groups, classes, workshops and private Facebook groups. We have at least one group phone call or online class every day of the week.
2. See the website with no ads when logged in!
3. MEMBER commenting badge.
ANNUAL GOLD membership ($25 per year) includes all the benefits above — but only ONE Weekly Social Interest Group and ONE class.
ANNUAL BRONZE membership ($12 per year) is great if you are not ready to join the full conversation but want to support our mission anyway. You’ll still get a BRONZE commenting badge, and you can pop into any of our weekly Friday Calls with the Publisher when you have time (Friday calls only). This is for people who believe—like we do—that this conversation about men and changing roles and goodness in the 21st century is one of the most important conversations you can have today.
We have pioneered the largest worldwide conversation about the changing roles of men in the 21st century. Your support of our work is inspiring and invaluable.