BENGALURU: So, let’s say you both swiped right and one thing led to another, and you have been chatting up a storm on the app, thought you could trust each other, exchanged numbers and continued on WhatsApp and SnapChat, perhaps checked each other out on Facebook, commented on some cute pictures, looked around for any major red flags, and finding none, decided to step out and meet, which you did a couple of times - innocuous things like coffee and lunch, nothing serious, and you are coming to that stage when you like your mornings to start with the ‘Good Morning, Sweetness!’ message from this person.
Everything seems to be going just fine till one fine day, Nothing. No message, no call, no funny forwards. Nothing at all. You give it a bit of space, because, you know everyone likes a bit of space now and then, but soon, the silence gets to you and you actively try to reach out and find that you have been blocked. You can’t see this person on WhatsApp or Facebook or any of the other ways you have been connecting, and your calls aren’t getting picked up.
You resort to good old-fashioned SMS text messages, but no. Nothing. You have been ghosted.
Rejection is hard enough as it is, but being ghosted takes it to a whole new level because you are left high and dry without even as much as a “I am just not in the place for a relationship right now,” or “I am getting too involved and I know I will eventually have to agree to an arranged marriage and don’t want to get too involved.” Those, you could handle. Being ghosted is something else altogether.
The reason being ghosted is so tough on the one ghosted comes down to one single question that begs to be answered: Why? Why did this happen? Why now? Why you? Since the person has effectively blocked you and you can’t get through at all, you have no real answer at all. It can be most infuriating especially when everything seemed to be going just fine, and this was the last thing you expected. You (and maybe the BFF) go through your message chains and comments for any hint whatsoever.
Accepting being ghosted can be so hard that one might resort to sneaky means to try and get one meeting, one talk just to clarify why. You might create fake profiles on dating apps to see if that person responds, call from alternate numbers, ping through friends’ profiles or any number of other things, each attempt hurting your pride and self-image a bit more than earlier attempts.
You recognise there’s no getting around it. You have been ghosted. There is no real answer to the ‘why?’ question. No clues to be found. It isn’t about you. If anything, Ghosting is really just someone afraid of confrontations. Getting over being ghosted really requires just one thing: pick your bruised pride, accept you won’t know why and walk on.
(The writer is counsellor at Innersight)