Honestly, up until a few weeks ago, I’d never even heard of the term “ghosting,” but when I looked into it a little more, I realized that it totally described who I was and what I did in the past. I was a serial ghoster — I’d meet someone that I didn’t see a future with and just stop talking to them. Luckily, I grew up a little bit and learned how to stop being so terribly immature. Here’s why I stopped:
Ghosting is the easy way out. I’ve always disliked confrontation, so I used to take the easy way out and just stop responding to text messages or phone calls. I’m not proud of it, but I am proud that I’ve learned from it.
It hurts to be ghosted. It wasn’t until I was talking to a guy for a few weeks and he suddenly stopped replying that I realized how hurtful it is. Even if you’re not emotionally invested, everyone deserves the truth as to why it won’t work out or you don’t return their feelings. Even if it’s something as simple as saying, “Sorry, but I don’t think we’re compatible”, at least it’s better than stringing an innocent person along.
I started to feel guilty. After learning what it feels like to be unceremoniously ditched, I realized how terrible the people I ghosted must have felt. Maybe they thought things were going great, but I didn’t have the balls to be honest. I learned that honesty is always the best policy in the dating world, even if it stings a little bit. Whenever I feel guilty for telling a guy I’m not interested, at least there’s a certain level of respect between us now.
I give myself a pep talk before ending things. I’ve developed my own little mini pep talk for my life that I apply whenever I really don’t want to do something. I usually tell myself I’ll be a stronger person after, then I think of the most uncomfortable situation I’ve ever been in and I know that if I could survive that, I can get through a 10-minute conversation. A short confrontation is much better than being a person with no respect for others.
I take my time deciding if someone is actually worth it. If I’m just talking to a guy, I make sure we have real potential now before going on a date. I don’t want to lead someone on just for a date and I definitely don’t want to waste my time when I have a feeling things won’t progress between us.
I feel awful for hurting people’s trust. Even when it’s the beginning of dating, we’re all vulnerable. It’s hard to find a happy medium of opening up to someone and spilling all your baggage right off the bat. After I was ghosted my trust was damaged. I know that I caused the same reaction for a few different people who never deserved that.
I wanted to be a better person. At the end of the day, I’m happy with who I am, but whenever I ghosted someone I realized that made me a really disrespectful person. No one deserves treatment like that and I wanted to feel better about myself by treating others the way they deserved.
I went back and apologized. Personally I can’t move on from things until I right my wrongs. I went back to the few people I had ghosted and I apologized for my unfair treatment of them. It went over pretty well and one of those guys has turned into a really good friend. It just goes to show that taking the high road really does pay off in the end.
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