If You Go Ghost, It Better Be Because You Actually Died
I recently went for drinks with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. She filled me in on the OkCupid guy she had been dating for a bit who just pulled a complete Houdini on her.
At first, he went almost overboard with the amount of contact. Just reaching out to her all the time, to the point where “if I hadn’t liked him, I would have been weirded out,” she said. First warning sign.
After very fun dates (and sex), she felt him pulling away. “So I thought, maybe it’s my turn to reach out to him more!” she explained. Warning sign two.
She upped the ante and got nothing back. She was wondering if she could ask him what had happened, and I told her that although that is definitely her right, it would be very hard to pull it off without him thinking she was batshit crazy. That’s just part of the unfairness that comes with the modern dating status quo. I said she could, but she’d have to go into it knowing that no matter how she framed it, he would think she was nuts. It would obviously just be a transference of his guilt about blowing her off, but he likely doesn’t have the emotional maturity to admit that to himself.
Luckily, she didn’t have to think this over for long. The day after she and I met up, she forwarded me this email exchange (posted with her permission).
Him: I’m sorry that I haven’t been more proactive in wanting to hangout with you. I’m realizing this week with the extra workload with the bike company that I’m not going to have any time for a social life for the next few months. On top of that I just got out of a long and serious relationship and I’m not looking to invest any time to date again and it would be unfair for you if you were looking for something more consistent and long-term.
Her: Yeah, I picked up on the hints. No worries – I’m fairly fresh out of a long-term relationship too, so I get it.
If you don’t mind my asking, though, I’m genuinely curious – what changed? It seemed like you were so enthusiastic for a few weeks there, and then that kind of died pretty abruptly.
Him: Nothing really changed…I was enthusiastic about hanging out but there’s still a big part of me that’s not over my ex…and I’m trying to figure out how I want to approach that situation.
I also realized that between the full-time job, freelance bike marketing, studying for my certification tests, and having to do community service (because of the whole getting in trouble) that I really don’t have any much time for anything else and I’ve always tended to half-ass / not complete projects in my life and for once this shit means a lot to me and I don’t wanna fuck it up while at the same time letting someone down because I can’t hang out on a consistent basis.
Her: Got it. I had a really good time with you – best of luck with everything.
Oooooh. It rankles.
Dudes. Ladies. People of all identities. You bored? Current person isn’t doing it for you anymore? Okay, no problem. It happens. Just don’t bow out with a long list of why you just cannot fit this person into your cuhraaaazy schedule. If you were a trustfund baby and had not a thing to do all day long, it would be well within your right to still not give a second of your time to anyone you weren’t madly obsessed with. On the flipside, everyone knows that when you are really into someone, you will find time for them. You will ask them to help you market bikes. You will ask them to watch Netflix with you while you make flashcards for your certification tests. You will make it work.
Also, hello?! You can’t just disappear if you have already played hide the banana. Rude. My friend is such a good sport. I would have not responded but mentally been like, “I hope your penis falls off since you obviously don’t know how to wield it with the power it has been accorded.”