My name is Rebecca and I was ghosted… In my last post, I shared the many reasons why people ghost others and explained that I had ghosted men myself. It was usually when I was too scared to admit to the guy that there wasn’t any chemistry between us.
My own experience of being on the receiving end was a shock for me in my newbie naivety. John Hoe was the first guy I chatted to online that I had chemistry with. An older guy, attractive and funny. The sort of man who you might find working in your office. Think about any of the offices you’ve worked in. Was there that guy that the ladies tended to swoon over? Did he charm all who met him, flirt easily and have a smile that made you want to run your lips across it before tasting his mouth and seeing if he kissed as well as you imagined?
That was John Hoe and I thought I was the luckiest lady because I was the focus of his attention. I was incredibly inexperienced when it came to being chatted up. I foolishly thought constant texting always meant an attraction that would lead to more.
After what was in fact a pretty short time conversing online, we swapped numbers and texted constantly. For a week, it was several hours during the day and then non-stop after work before finally dropping off to sleep and starting again the next day. The laughter from both of us seemed non-stop but it wasn’t just surface chat, we shared times we’d been hurt, our hopes and dreams and the events of our day. The photos messaged were relatively chaste, after all I was a newbie, but still flirty.
On one of the days spent messaging I broached the question of “Would you like to go on a date some time?” My heart was in my mouth. I trembled as I pressed send. Then I waited. Would he respond, would I ever hear from him again? I had no idea. I sat at my desk, anxious for a reply, keeping an eye on my phone, desperately waiting for that tell-tale vibration that would signal a new message.
People who tried to enter my office were forced to depart. I didn’t have time for any of their shit. I was asking a guy out, something I’d never done before!
And then the reply came.
I shimmied around my office, nearly twerking with excitement. The smile that was plastered across my face refused to leave its new home for days. In hindsight, I was desperately naive but I’d never asked a guy out and I truly believed that things might finally be going my way.
The texts that brought smiles to my face continued to go back and forth but there was no mention of the date again, no agreed time, the location wasn’t even a topic hinted at. But the chemistry between us, even via text, was still undeniable.
After six days of solid texting his messages suddenly reduced significantly. We communicated via Whatsapp, sometimes a useful message app. Although, sadly, it’s also a useful tool for men who want to send me pictures of their rock-hard tools.
John Hoe went from a message virtually every minute to maybe a couple of messages over the course of a day.
What had I done wrong? He was the cool, older, experienced guy, it must have been me who made the mistake, surely? But now, with the benefit of hindsight and experience I don’t believe I did anything wrong, he just moved on. He’d ghosted me. I continued to wait to hear from him. I didn’t want to put pressure on him and what I still, again naively, thought might grow into more. But the messages dried up and over the next couple of days I didn’t hear from him at all.
So, what did I do?
I’m cringing as I write this. I sent him a message that I wish I hadn’t. Maybe I should have been dignified and walked away but I was hurt and confused. I couldn’t understand how what had been great chemistry could suddenly become, at best, something insignificant and, at worst, rejection.
I don’t remember exactly what I sent but it could have been worse. Can you tell that I’m trying to justify myself? It was something like…
Me: I’ve really enjoyed chatting to you and I was surprised I hadn’t heard from you recently. I hope you’re okay.
Suddenly I was back to anxiously waiting in my office, wondering if I would get a reply, waiting for that phone vibration. I hoped against hope that he’d tell me that he’d lost his phone or had been really busy with work. But that didn’t happen.
No reply materialised and when I went back on Whatsapp I could see that he’d read my message and then, from what I’ve learnt about the app since, I’m pretty sure he blocked me. I was horrified and left questioning everything I’d said and done. Personally speaking, I don’t block people unless something significant has happened. In fact, I’ve only ever blocked three people, and that was for substantial reasons.
I wouldn’t have texted again, the lack of reply to my last message was enough. But he didn’t know me really, even after all our chatting.
So, what went wrong? I confess I got my friends to check the messages I’d sent, just to make sure they weren’t freaky weird. According to my experienced, knowledgeable friends they weren’t odd at all.
Maybe he just moved on to someone new, maybe I wasn’t what he wanted? I’ll leave you to mull it over because I’ve done enough of that in the past. I’ve seen John Hoe on a couple of sites since but I’ve never been tempted to speak to him again.
I reiterate a previous point, you never know what someone else is thinking.
But ghosting, especially after prolonged contact or dating, is unnecessary. Maybe in those situations tell the potential there’s no chemistry, you’ve met someone else or things have changed. Be as honest as you’re willing to be but still polite and if possible avoid the ghosting tactic because it hurts. You’d hate for it to be done to you.
On the flip side, you shouldn’t let someone who has ghosted you get you down or ruin your enthusiasm for dating; they were probably an arsehole anyway. It’s their problem not yours. Thankfully, I got “back on the horse”, moved onwards and upwards and eventually met other guys including Mr Fumble and Stallion Stan.
You can find out more about them in my blog post on H is for Heartbreak.