I have written posts on friendship and loyalty lately–two areas of my life I find incredibly important. I am passionately loyal to my close friends and try to be a good friend to my acquaintances who can come and go. With close friends, there is that extra level of loyalty and respect I provide, but I also expect it in return. They are the friends I know will always be there no matter if we have disagreements or move away from each other. I can just say I’m sorry and vice versa and all is forgiven. I love them like I love my family members. There have been a few times a close friendship has ended but it was mutual. I can still look back on that person with respect. Its when that person just ups and disappears with no word that I find completely confusing.
Its called ghosting.
Ghosting is when you have a relationship going–a very close friendship, or romantic relationship and the other person disappears with no trace. Just stops returning calls, texts, email, etc. Poof. Its like there was never any kind of relationship at all.
Ghosting isn’t the same as someone leaving an abusive relationship for safety reasons or cutting contact after telling you they can’t talk to you or have contact with you anymore. Its a disrespectful way of being told by someone that you no longer matter to them. Your friendship or relationship is done with no words, closure or goodbye. Its heartbreaking, its sad, and its incredibly cowardly.
I’m sure there are many reasons people ghost their close friends. They are afraid to confront them with feelings. They have no idea how to communicate why they need to cut them from their life. It can be a myriad of reasons.
For those who are ghosted–we get left wondering what happened and why, feeling like we did or said something wrong. We aren’t worth being friends with this person anymore and it leaves us confused and sad. To not have texts or phone calls returned is like saying, “I don’t care about you at all anymore. You are no longer in my life and you don’t deserve to know why. You mean so little to me that I just prefer to delete you from everything. Our fun times, memories, and conversations don’t matter to me at all.” The hardest part is trying to separate feeling horrible from feeling logical about it. We are really left feeling we are horrible people for caring about this person.
I’ve really only been ghosted once in my life. Its still fresh and I still wonder what I did or said that he wouldn’t want to talk to me. Was it because I cared about him? Was it because he thought he couldn’t talk to me if he was seeing someone else? Maybe I thought we were better friends than we were, but we had dated at one point so he was already more important to me than other friends I considered close. Maybe it was my fault for thinking he cared for me, too. I guess I never ghost anyone who I care about because its not in my nature. I can’t imagine doing it. I would rather him (or her if its a close girl friend) know I couldn’t see him or talk to him because its about me not him. Its my personal way of moving on. I would give him the reason and communicate why. I would never in a million years leave someone wondering what the hell happened.. Even if he betrayed me, I would still let him know why I couldn’t be friends anymore.
The irony here, is that I was seeing someone else yet still considered him a friend. But he dropped me so quick and fast that I didn’t even know it when it was happening. I was just texting him silly stuff to make him laugh because thats what I do with a lot of my close friends. I still enjoyed meeting up with him because I adored his laughter and how he made me giggle.
Now, I’m left feeling like a piece of garbage. I have no idea why I don’t matter. Did I do something? Say something? Someone who was important to me doesn’t feel the same way. Even worse, I’m forced to think unkindly of him which is so very hard for me. I like to trust and believe people are good. When they show me they aren’t, I don’t quite get it. I want to remember our friendship kindly, but now I can’t.
I just know that my sense of loyalty and honesty would never allow me to ghost someone I considered a good friend. I have much more respect for the people I have in my circle and I always want them to know that. If I need to move on for some reason, I will let them know so they can understand its all me, not them.