real life

There's a name for those men who take you on 3 dates and then never call again.

I was dating a guy for a while, and it seemed to be clicking along nicely. He talked about long-term stuff, he told his friends about me, he even introduced me to his sister.

And then he got abducted by aliens. Or fell off a cliff. Or died in frozen aisle of the supermarket. I’m not sure what happened, but he completely disappeared. As I like to call it, he did a Ghosty.

One minute he was inviting me over for the weekend, the next minute, poof! He’d turned into a ghost. No more calls, no more messages. No responses to the voice mails I left (just to be clear, I was extremely far from stalker territory. I was very restrained, considering I wanted to beat his door down just to kick him in the shin and run away). Our plans for the weekend were left hanging in mid-air. I still don’t know if he actually died. We weren’t connected on any social media, so I was left typing his name into Google to see if any obituaries came up.

For an extremely mild-headed girl, I was absolutely livid. Any excuse under the sun would have made me a lot happier than a Ghosty. So, to all the dudes who have/will pull a Ghosty and disappear just as I had cleared you from the ‘potential asshole’ list, here’s what I want you to do.

Man up and lie to me.

I’d prefer to hear a bullshit excuse then nothing at all. I’d even find the bullshit excuse enjoyable – at least I can laugh at your tenacity, admire your creativity or roll my eyes and call you an asshole. It sure as hell beats silence. When it comes to getting dumped, silence is not golden. Silence is fucking infuritating. Silence makes me question everything I ever did/said/ate/messaged/cuddled/wore/watched/joked about with you. One tiny message would remind me that your disappearance is largely because of your own issues, and not because of something that I did (unless it IS something that I did, in which case sorry for eating all of your chips or whatever the problem was).

Like real poltergeist, Ghosties come in all shapes and sizes. There are Ghosties that pop up so fast, you’re not sure they were ever a real person in the first place. Maybe after just one date or one night. One time, a guy even turned into a ghost halfway through our disco dance-floor pash. One second he was there, the next I was kissing a cloud of mist as he floated on to the next life (or chick).  Some guys don’t even realise they are doing a Ghosty. They are just slowly fading away, like Victoria Beckham. Others are like ghosts from movies*:

Casper the Friendly Ghost.

The guy who pulls the ‘friendly ghost’ likes to act like he’s a good guy who might be a real boy one day (and hopefully dreamy  like 12-year-old Devon Sawa). He constantly texts hat you will ‘catch up soon’, but really, he’s totally vapour.

Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense.

This guy has yet to realise he is a ghost. He keeps up appearances in your life that imply he is a real-life boyfriend, but he’s emotionally hazy and not quite all-there. Soon enough… you both see right through him.


Patrick Swayze in Ghost.

He is sexy. He wants to touch you, and he doesn’t like other guys being near you. But ask him to stay, and he disappears for good.

Most ghosts from Ghostbusters.

These guys are just here to mess with you. Who you gonna call? Not them. Don’t waste your time.

The thing is, I get it. After a short fling, it’s way easier to just fade away than be brave enough to end it. But it’s better for everyone if the band-aid just gets ripped right off. You could go with an old classic, “I need to focus on myself right now” or “I’m not ready for a relationship” blah blah blah. OR, you could rip that band-aid off with a little pizzazz. To help you lame fellas out so that you don’t have to pull any more Ghosties, I have come up with a bunch of band-aid rippers. Here is some texts I would rather receive than silence.

Sweet lies.

Obscure lies.

Harsh lies (or truths, potentially).

Film-inspired lies.

Freddie Mercury-inspired lies.

The lie that all girls tell their friends about what the Ghosty was probs feeling about you, babes.**

Possible relevant truths that still aren’t addressing the actual reason for the Ghostie.


The most likely actual truth.

The truth hurts, but silence hurts more. Man up and lie to me. At the very least, it will stop me from bothering all the funeral homes, asking if they’ve seen the guy I was dating.

*Nothing against the ghosts in these movies, none of them wanted to die or be vaporous assholes. Except the ghosts from Ghostbusters, they were pricks.

**Girls are as good at justifying a boy’s shitty actions as we are at justifying blocks of chocolate. It’s a skill.

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She is probably on the phone to the Ghostbusters, asking for help.

Have you ever had someone pull a ‘ghosty’ on you?