dating

'We'd been dating for six weeks when he went silent. Then I checked his Facebook page.'

Earlier this year I met a man named Jack.

We went on a couple of dates and everything seemed to be going well. I have had a number of awful relationships so I have known how to look out for the signs and he was surpassing all of them.

My heart fluttered thinking that maybe this could turn into something more than just “dating”. We both worked busy schedules so we spoke at night and often saw each other once during the week and then on the weekends. He would plan cute dates – dinner bookings, open air cinemas, beer gardens. He was always planning a date in advance so we had something to look forward to.

Then we hit week six, and it was February 11. I had an average health week and ended up in emergency on Tuesday night (two days before Valentine’s Day).

Casually, I let Jack know where things were at and he seemed genuinely concerned. He told me he was pouring his heart and soul into his job at the moment, to keep him posted on how I was feeling, and that he looked forward to seeing me Thursday night for Valentine’s Day. So, as anyone would, I kept him abreast of the situation, letting him know that I was heading home awaiting doctors results in the morning. I didn’t hear back. I wasn’t worried, he went to bed at 9pm most nights because he worked in construction and my texts were much later than that.

Wednesday evening, still no word. I messaged him to confirm plans for Thursday night, suggesting that instead of dinner out we just order Uber Eats as I was still under the weather. Nothing. I called. No answer. My anxiety started perking up as it rolled into Thursday with still no word. I assumed that we weren’t seeing each other that night but expected at least a “happy Valentine’s Day” message from him. Nothing. I sent him a cute meme, wished him a good day and went on my merry way.

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The weekend rolled around and I ended up in emergency again on Saturday so I messaged him to let him know. I thought seeing as he said he wanted to be kept up to date on the situation that this would be fair conversation. No response. Finally, on Sunday I sent him a message telling him that the way he was treating me wasn’t fair. I called him out on his bullshit and hoped for a “sorry work has been hectic” or “I don’t have time for this right now” or even just a “I’m not interested anymore” after all, we had made plans to go away for the Labor Day long weekend and so far, his actions were not adding up to the things he had been saying to me over the past six weeks.

Trying to play it cool I left it alone. Come Wednesday I was frustrated. I didn’t quite understand what had happened and where it had all gone wrong. Wednesday night, my anxiety was still a bit unsure that maybe something had actually happened to him. A casual look at his Facebook to see if he had been online lately showed that he had unfriended me. I was humiliated. Completely and utterly embarrassed.

There were no signs. Is this what ghosting is?

The internet is amazing. We can now meet and connect with people we never would have crossed paths with originally. But we can also take the cowardly way out and completely cut off contact with someone without even saying a word. Will I ever find out what happened with Jack? More importantly, will I ever get my picnic rug back that I left at his apartment?

Somehow, this still ends up feeling like my fault. Like I did something wrong to mess it all up. But ultimately, I need to remember that this is about him. Blaming myself for him completely cutting off all contact a day before Valentine’s Day is not a sound or reasonable way to deal with a heartache. Realising that I am stronger, that I deserve better, and that I must had dodged a bullet with this one, is the way I am trying to look at it.

If you are not interested, don’t see a connection or the timing isn’t right, just say it. Being straightforward may sting in the moment, but it results in a lot less damage and long term complexes.

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