real life

There is a right and a wrong way to break up with someone. This way is the wrong way.

The first time it happened, it was utterly bizarre.

Things were going very well.  There’d been a date. There’d been a “spark”. They’d slept together.

And then all at once, nothing. A disappearance act that magicians would marvel at.

My friend was perplexed. After a few unanswered messages, she could only surmise “I guess he’s not interested?”

Since then, this has happened more times than I can count.

Each time, my girlfriends and I sit and question what went wrong. We go over every text message, every conversation. The only thing we can deduce is the common thread amongst all situations:

1. Each felt there was a spark or attraction

2. Each had been talking for a while.

3. Each had recently slept with the other person.

4. Each had not received any resounding conclusion to the relationship.

Putting aside the questionable timing of the mysterious departure, each of my friends have repeated the same question:

“Couldn’t they just tell me if they weren’t interested?”

No. They ghosted.

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When I reached out to a male friend who has been known to ghost in the past in order to get an explanation for this seemingly typical behaviour, he simply said that he did it “because conversations are difficult.”

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At this point I should make one obvious thing clear.

I know it’s not just men who do this. Women are absolutely responsible for this bad behaviour, and I wish to hold all genders accountable to their actions.

Because whether you’re a man or a woman, in a short or a longterm relationship, a serial-dater or a one-off type,  the most disrespectful way to end it is by vanishing without a trace.

As a human, you owe it to the other person to give a half-decent explanation as to why it’s probably not going to work. As a rule of thumb, after three or so dates, this conversation should happen in person.

Yes, it’s awkward. Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, it’s very, very necessary.

I know that in the short-term, it’s not something anyone wants to do. But you should know that in the long-term, it helps the person you’ve been seeing feel like they’ve had a resolution, like they’ve received an explanation.

Because I am nothing if not helpful, here are some alternatives to use (note the compliment sandwich)

“I think you’re great, but I’m just not sure we’re right for each other. I’ve had a lot of fun though.”

“I’ve really enjoyed our dates, but I’m still trying to move on from my last relationship and I don’t want to drag you through that.”

“Hey, I feel as though the chemistry between us is more of a friendship one. I’ve really enjoyed hanging out.”

Use any, all or none of these. To be honest, you could say that you are moving to Mars and can only take one other life-form and chose your dog instead.

The important thing is that you do use something, though.

Male or female, ghosting is for tools.

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