We all remember the episode. The iconic words spoken by the one and only Jack Berger to explain one of the greatest mysteries still numbing the female mind today. The mystery of dating someone you presume to be amazing. Someone who obviously finds you equally amazing. This is followed by the mystery of that very same person suddenly becoming (and staying) too busy for you. Till finally, here comes the wine filled investigation with your best P.I.’s/girlfriends on why- Maybe he really is busy? Nope. He scared of commitment? LOL. Maybe he’s sick? Wrong again. Maybe he’s out of town? Possibly- if the new town he’s visiting is named Veronica. And then of course, no girl rally is ever complete without someone fiercely declaring “It’s not you, it’s him!”. Well, that’s partially correct… because really…
“He’s just not that into you…”
And boom. Everything made sense. Just like that. 6 honest words was all it took for confused women around the globe to shove that loser out of their mind, strap on their Manolo’s, and get back in the game. No agonizing. No over analyzing. Just straight forward progression to meeting someone new. And it wasn’t because they were excited the guy didn’t like them- it was because they had CLOSURE. And logical closure at that. An understandable and relatable reason to no longer invest time or energy into someone. And then closure on your end would usually go something like this- “HE wasn’t into ME?? What an idiot. Well clearly the guy is delusional. And not to mention totally clueless on what size he actually wears. Thank God I found out now- I wonder if the Christian Grey look-a-like still goes to my Starbucks…? I need new shoes.”.
And just like that, you’re on to the next one. Not just the next one, but a sexier, funnier, smarter one. And hopefully richer. ALWAYS richer. If you’re not constantly upgrading the type of man you are dating, you are SO doing it wrong. #BombshellCode
But alas, that was then. And this… well, this is now.
Welcome to Generation Ghost.
The generation that decided just to skip the whole awkward “I’m sorry- I have to be up really early tomorrow” excuse and just straight up ignores you. This tactic can be deployed by either the male or female. Basically, whoever lost interest first, or found someone more interesting/hotter/taller/richer/dumber on Tinder. There are varying degrees of Ghosting, but in order for it to count as a full blown Ghost experience, the person must disappear out of the blue, with no logical reason or warning. I’m serious- you’re going to think they were struck by lightning. But usually a simple look at their social media will eliminate any doubt. In other words, if they can post a picture of their breakfast on Instagram, thereby confirming they still exist, but not respond to your text from 2 days ago, well… you can now consider your life the new sequel to Paranormal Activity.
So here comes the real question about this new phenomenon- is it good or bad? Personally, I believe the answer depends on how fast you accept it- and react to it. In one way, we have eliminated the awkward and sometimes painful last minute date cancelations. There’s no need to come up with clever excuses as to why- food poisoning/my mom is sick/I have to wash my hair/I was in a tragic car accident that left me paralyzed. Cause we all know- the more incredulous the lie, the more believable it HAS to be.
But we’re also avoiding being honest. And more importantly- communication in general. This kind of treatment can only lead to one feeling disposable. I believe that no matter what the reason, we all deserve the right to know. You don’t have to believe it, or adjust your whole life/personality as a result of it- it IS just someone’s opinion after all. Like, if someone judged me for having too many clothes, I would point and laugh, and then move on happily. To Saks. Cause NO ONE needs that kind of negativity in their life. And look at that- in addition to a new dress for your next new (hotter/richer/funnier/smarter) date, you got honesty AND closure. Fuck yeah.
But when someone goes Ghost, you have two choices. Choice #1, you can be smart and recognize it. And I mean quickly. I’m not saying you should assume this is the case because a whole day went by without a text. But I WOULD say that you should start doing damage control and accept this could be the case. What you DO NOT do is start sending text after text. Which brings us to Choice #2, refusing to accept that anyone could be dumb enough to lose interest in you. So you’re going to spend the next few weeks over analyzing, texting, and feeling bad about yourself while figuring out what you did wrong. The fact is, someone IS dumb enough to lose interest in you. And that’s exactly how you have to look at it. That’s the thing with Ghosts- there will never be solid proof. Just a bunch of urban legends as to why he disappeared.
Regardless of which route you take, this is the biggest challenge with Ghosting- the risk of OR belief in the Ghost coming back to life. With no closure, you can never really be sure. I mean, maybe he really WAS sick with the flu. For 3 months. With no ability to make contact cause he also had the Chicken Pox. And had to wear oven mitts. So he couldn’t text. I KNEW IT!!
Yep. He must be your Prince Charming. It just took 3 months worth of other women for him to see it.
You get my point? And just in case you’re still painfully unaware of the obvious, let me clarify- once someone goes Ghost, there is no coming back. Ever. Even Pet Cemetery couldn’t resuscitate this relationship. So exercise the demons. Preferably with a new man who actually does adore you. And puts you first. And puts all your fears of the paranormal at rest.
Take ownership and see the relationship, however long or short, for what it really was. Was it REALLY all that incredible? Or just convenient. Or maybe a little of both. Either way, chances are you’re going to look back and it will make sense as to why it didn’t work. And yes, a simple “Because he was a dick” is fine.
But finally, here is some good news with Ghosts. Unlike cheaters, ghosting is not an actual characteristic trait. So the whole “Once a cheater, always…” theory doesn’t apply here. It is still believed by both Ghost’s and Ghostees that when the right person comes along, Ghosting isn’t something to be worried about. Unless of course, he actually DOES get struck by lightning. And if that does happen, well, I would classify that as simply a case of good old fashioned karma.
So in the end, I guess we can put Ghosting in the Blessing category. Eventually. Way down the road when you’ve met The One, elusive as they may be. The real life man of your dreams who only makes excuses to spend more time with you (“Sorry Boss, I think I caught the flu….”). That’s when you can finally stop being afraid of ghosts, once and for all. And your scary dating past can become just another urban legend.
And finally, lets get back to good ol’ Jack Berger. What a piece of work this guy was. Do you remember how he broke up with Carrie? I know, I know- stupid question. Of course you do. It was the most incredible example of a douchebag you had EVER seen in your romantic life up to that point.
I’m sorry. I cant. Don’t hate me.
The Post-It. I bet it still makes you cringe. Except it shouldn’t. Not today anyways. Because we leave our own little break up Post-Its all the time. Except now we simply send them via text. So at the VERY least, thank Ghosting for saving you from having to deal with THAT.
And honestly, I have a lot to thank my own personal Ghosts for. They forced me to really look at myself and take responsibility. To grow up. And to accept that we don’t always get what we want- and that sometimes we SHOULDNT get what we want. And even more importantly, I gained the ability to take all the times that men made me feel like nothing, and then turn it into a big something. A voice. For you.
And as it turns out, I’m not as stupid as the ghosts in my life have made me feel.
And that’s the greatest self discovery of all.
So yeah- R.I.P. bitches.