In university I hung out with a couple of people but I had one friend in particular that I spent most of my time with. We shared a lot of our classes because we were in a small program so it was easy to get to know each other. The more we hung out, the clearer it got that we genuinely had shared interests. We were similar and seemed to match each other in ways neither of us were expecting.
We hung out most days for four years starting from year two and then she went off to teacher college for her teaching degree. She was a two hour flight from where I was and a long ass car ride so needless to say I didn’t come visit her and she didn’t come down to see me. Nonetheless, both of us kept in contact through text, instant messaging, and e-mail. Both of us had wonky schedules so we didn’t really do phone calls but I didn’t miss her presence outside of her not being physically there.
She got back after a year and we hung out a couple of times and then our messages just stopped.
Before I’d ever heard of the term ghosted it had happened to me
I remember during the first couple of days I was confused but didn’t think anything about it — it’d been the first time we didn’t get back to each other within a couple of days but we all live lives and we’re all busy. It was more of a “huh, wow, that’s never happened before” moment more than anything. I think by the end of the week I’d forgotten about it and messaged her something random with no continuation of our last conversation. This time there wasn’t an answer either. I honestly didn’t really realize I was being ghosted until about a month and I realized not only were we missing each other but that she had simply stopped messaging me, period.
I remember talking to one of our mutual friends, another university friend who had known me just as long but with whom I wasn’t nearly as close. She had asked if we all wanted to meet up because it was close to our school and I told her what had happened. That was the first time I heard the term “ghosted.”
Ghosted is a phenomenon that only really started picking up around 2015. It’s not that it didn’t happen before, it’s that 2015 was just the right time for this behavior to come out of the evolution of social media and interpersonal relations.
The concept of ghosting was so foreign to me I didn’t know what it meant
I’ll admit, I was young, naive and foreign to the concept that someone could just and would want to simply disappear from your life for no apparent reason. The idea that someone could leave you without any particular cause was an impossible thought. And so I blamed myself for a while.
We didn’t get into a fight, but I thought maybe I’d said something she didn’t appreciate. Perhaps it was the tone, perhaps it was the frequency. Whatever it was, I thought I’d caused it. I remember opening Facebook one day and realizing my e-mail contacts had been combined with my Facebook. Besides some clients I had no intention of adding to my personal Facebook I also saw that university friend I hadn’t talked to in about a year.
I’d heard stories of people reconnecting over Facebook — albeit most stories were of people meeting their childhood friends, not someone they only really knew for four or so years. I added her.
I waited about a week to message her. Maybe it didn’t seem like much to her but I was nervous. I’d never stopped blaming myself and so I thought I needed to be forgiven — even if I didn’t know what I’d done.
She told me what happened
She responded to me the first time. But we didn’t really talk about why we’d stopped talking — I was afraid to ask and she didn’t offer an explanation. Eventually I’d asked her if she’d changed numbers — maybe she dropped her phone and never had a way to contact me. It didn’t explain the e-mails but who knows — you get desperate in your own head.
She told me the pressures of her life had gotten to her. She wanted a fresh start so she’d cleaned out her contacts and essentially made a new story for herself. She didn’t want her life to be stagnant so anything that seemed too solid was gone.
It seems silly to me when I type it out but who knows if it was true. I’m never one to judge how people perceive their worlds especially when they make major changes — you don’t know the circumstances so the best you can do is try to learn and respect how someone gets from a to b.
So I grudgingly accepted it.
We talked about where we were in live — we were both still fresh out of school but while I was working at my first office job she was vying for substitute teacher roles. She would tell me she had more time but that most of it was focused on her search — which is completely fair. I’m like that too when I get into my motivational days/weeks/months. What it all meant is that we never saw each other.
We started talking a lot. It was almost like before except I couldn’t help this underlying feeling of resentment. I don’t think it was justified but it existed. I know it’s selfish of me to think about myself when she seemed to be struggling to find her place but her decision to cut me out effected me too. Relationships of any kind are a two way street — I just couldn’t accept that a decision was made without me.
If you’re reading this you probably know where this is going. After about two months of reconciliation she ghosted me again.
The second time was just as unexpected as the first time — we didn’t get in a fight, we didn’t have some major event, she just disappeared.
I took the hint. I deleted her from my contacts and I dropped her from Facebook. Whatever the reason, I wasn’t interested in finding out. Clearly, this relationship meant more to me than it did to her.
She still shows up on my Facebook suggested list. For whatever reason Facebook has decided it really wants us to be friends. I see her name and I pass over. I do get annoyed, I’ll admit that. But more than that, I just get sad.
It’s never fun to learn you’re more invested than someone else. And clearly that was the case. For me, I think the important things in life are things you should strive to reconcile — even if it takes time. For this to happen twice and with no attempts to reconcile from her either time, it’s clear it’s not meant to be.
It sucks, and there isn’t much I can do about. Just suck it up, I guess. Relationships are two way streets but sometimes road blocks get put up without notice.