Ghosting: A Cowardly Act
Deeds That Drive Us Crazy
by M.K. Allison
May 14, 2019
I listened intently as my friend poured out her heart and her tears into the phone. The man she had been seeing for the last five months had suddenly disappeared without a word. It had been two weeks since he was supposed to come over and take her out to dinner, but he had not shown up or called. She had hung up on him twice when he answered his phone, so she knew he was alright, but she was distraught over what could have gone wrong? In her words, “everything seemed so perfect, why would he suddenly stop calling?”
After I hung up talking to her, I thought of at least two women who had shared a similar story at a friend’s recent bridal shower. They too, had been happily involved with a “wonderful man” and each had walked out of their lives without a word. One of them was “engaged” to be married, but had not yet received a ring.
Then I remembered what happened to me two years ago and I began to cry uncontrollably for the first time in months. I too, had been a victim of what I call “silence abuse,” but I had told no one. I suffered my heartbreak alone, because I was too embarrassed to let anyone know I had been dumped without a word.
My first date with John had blown me away. We had met in the parking lot of my bank and for me…it was love at first sight. He was handsome, self-assured and charming, and had the body of a body builder.
On our first date over dinner, he was gentle and open as he talked about his childhood and his love for his parents. He was accomplished at ordering wine and conversing with waiters and I was so impressed. When I got tongue tied, he rescued me with his wit, and my heart melted when he told me that I had the most beautiful eyes he’d ever seen on a woman.
I did so want him to like me and that night I held onto him tight when he hugged me at my front door. It had been about ten months since I had exited a very volatile relationship, and he appeared to be someone I could breathe with.
The second date was better than the first because we did something I had always wanted to do with a man…walk hand in hand along the beach. As we walked in the moonlight, I dropped a long kept guard, as I shared pieces of myself that I had never shared with any man.
As the romance blossomed, he loaned me a book on getting the best out of life and read poetry to me over the phone that he had written especially for me. As the days continued, our time together became more and more significant, but the words I love you, never came out of his mouth, though his eyes seem to speak them loud and clear. So I said it, and as usual, which is my pattern in relationships, I rationalized that he did too, because of his actions. He seemed to be always there when I needed him, and ready and willing to do whatever I wanted.
Then things began to change. First, it was my family Christmas party where he promised to come and he didn’t show up. Then the family dinner celebrating my birthday where he called with an excuse that he had gotten too busy to call, or show as he promised. However, what hurt the most was how the enthusiasm left his voice whenever I called him. Those brown eyes, which used to light up whenever I walked into a room, began to close in resignation whenever I came near. I wondered silently, if it was something I’d done, and I spent many sleepless nights worrying about it, but I said nothing.
Then suddenly, he was gone without a word. When I realized he was gone, I stopped leaving messages on his voicemail. I was devastated. I couldn’t work for a week. I stayed in the bed, and stared out the window in despair and bewilderment. After spending time talking to friends, I finally began to heal and review what happened to me. I was plagued by his silent refusal to communicate with me, but eventually I let it go.
This man left a gaping wound in my heart that was made bigger by no communication and I resolved from that day forth to never, ever give myself totally to a man again, unless in marriage.
For a whole year I believed that I was somehow responsible for the end to what we had, but I found out recently from a mutual friend that he had gone back to an ex-girlfriend, and he had taken the coward’s way out by not facing me with the truth.
This is the reason why it’s never smart to assume you know why a person does what he/she does, because you can’t go inside of another person’s mind unless they allow you in, and even then you don’t really know.