Merriam-Webster Definition: (noun) The seat of life or intelligence, a disembodied soul.
MWP Definition: (verb) To disappear after having conversations of a romantic capacity without explanation; to stop returning phone calls and/or text messages; kind of a dick move.
So. You’ve been talking to this person (male, female, somewhere beyond the binary – because we know all identities can be shady), and everything is going well. You get along, love the same music, have the same hobbies, make each other laugh. Maybe you even go on a couple of dates. When you’re together, everything feels so smooth.
Then they disappear. Stop returning messages, not answering the phone. Maybe not even showing up for an event you were scheduled to go to together.
Of course, the natural reaction is to get worried. Our brain goes crazy thinking, maybe they got hurt and can’t get to their phone. Ask around, do a little social media stalking and nope; they are perfectly fine (or even worst, they’ve deleted you from all platforms). Worry becomes anger* and anger becomes self-doubt. The questions begin: what did I do? What did I say? Is there someone else? What’s wrong with me?
Nothing beloved. Nothing.
I think that one of the hardest things that we have to do is it to remove ourselves from certain situations, particularly those of a romantic type love. It is so easy to internalize someone else’s faults as issues of our own. When we aren’t loved the way that we want or need to be, often times people can have the belief that they have done something to be undeserving of a healthy and supportive love. Rejection is a power tool that can warp the way that we think and fuel our core beliefs and the way that we move. Descartes said it best: I think, therefore I am.
If we have the thought that we are not worthy of “you thinking of me, thinking of you, thinking of me” type love, then we are so much more willing to accept whatever is offered to us. Each time someone ghosts you, it has the potential to do damage to your self-esteem and your confidence.
I’ve asked a couple of elders (AKA baby boomers) if this was a thing that they experienced when dating and the overwhelming response was no. With the age of technology, “courting,” as my grandma would call it, has become much less personal. You can swipe right and send 3 months’ worth of text messages without ever meeting someone face to face. I think that this makes it a lot easier to just stop responding because this is now just a person behind a screen.
What I will say is this; we have reached real-ass-adult age. Everyone talks about communication being key, but in reality, it’s difficult to have uncomfortable discussions. Hence the ghosting phenomenon. If you have ever been on the other end of that, I am sorry. It’s a really gross feeling to be uncertain of yourself. With that being said, someone else’s inability to express their desire to end a relationship does NOT speak to your worth.
Take time to grieve the loss of that connection and bounce back. If you need help, then it is always available. You are so deserving of a strong, flourishing love that recognizes and appreciates you for all that you are without limitations or restraint.
*Fun Therapist Fact – Anger signifies the drive to right a wrong. It tells us that something is not fair. Typically, its not a primary emotion, but it feels safer and more comfortable then other distressing emotions.