dating

'I got back with a guy who ghosted me. This is what he told me.'

When that dreaded text back never arrives, a million questions run through your head.

Was it something I said? Did he meet someone else? Maybe he forgot to reply and I should send another? 

Based on my track record, I would usually opt for the last one because I like to see the good in people. But being a seasoned ghosteree, I know that there’s usually a reason for a message left on “read”.

I’d been seeing a handsome British guy named Paul for four months. We’d met on a dating app and been on multiple dates. He’d met my friends, I’d met his and our “relationship” had even developed into regular weeknight sleepovers. But we’d never properly defined the relationship. When I casually asked where he saw it going, he said “I don’t know… let’s just see what happens.”

Dating translated… it’s a tough world out there.

Video by MMC

Not wanting to push it, I continued enjoying our time together until I returned from a brief overseas trip. After struggling to make plans at a time that suited both of us, my phone went silent. It couldn’t be, could it? Surely this one wouldn’t ghost me, too? We’d had such a nice time together. Fighting back the urge to send a “Did I do something wrong?” text,  this time I let it go.

I accepted that I’d been ghosted, once again, by a guy I’d started to develop genuine feelings for.

I joked to my girlfriend, “Another one bites the dust” (yes, we sang the song) and got on with my life. I plunged myself into work and training at the gym and redirected my energy into being fit and healthy.

I briefly saw another guy, and then another, before a familiar name popped up in my Instagram DM’s.

“Congrats on the weight loss, hope you’re doing great.”

It was Paul.

At first I was flattered, then I became angry – and then I was just confused. My mind went back and forth as to whether or not I should reply. And so, I started up a friendly conversation between said ghoster and myself. Eventually, he said something I wasn’t expecting.

“I’m sorry I was such a dick! You didn’t deserve that.” To which I replied: “Oh, when you ghosted me? No. I didn’t deserve that. What was the deal?”

Of course, it was first met with a typical “I don’t know”, but a few follow up questions later, the truth came out.

“I wasn’t looking for a relationship when we met. I wasn’t even looking for something casual. Then I met you, and I realised this could actually be something real. I guess I freaked out a little, because when I settle down and have kids, there’s a chance I might want to move back to England.”

Then another realisation hit me. Paul had pictured a future that might actually involve me. He saw me as a potential “the one” and aside from the fact that Paul had ghosted me, he had, at some point prior, briefly imagined a point in time where he would have to leave me behind.

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The hopeful romantic in me said “he deserves a second chance” while the recently ghosted version said “let him rot”. Of course, I didn’t want to live with any regrets. If there was even the slightest chance that this guy pictured a future with me, I needed to know.

We met for dinner and talked for hours. But I needed to know why he ghosted me. I felt like there was something more. I asked Paul, “Did your feelings for me scare you?”

I thought it was a simple yes or no answer, but what he said threw me. “I think you’re perfect and that terrifies me. I’m so sorry.” Everything I’d ever worried about or was unsure of with Paul, was immediately dissolved.

Paul deserved a second chance. So we started spending time together again. But things didn’t go back to the way they were. They were better. He started making plans to go on dates, taking initiative to ask me how my day was and genuinely care about my work and friends. He invited me to events with his mates – and eventually asked me to be his girlfriend.

Of course, the ghosting thing was brought up once again. I asked quite frankly, “What if you change your mind and ghost me again?”

I could see him struggling to spit the words out, but eventually he said this: “I wouldn’t have made a fool out of myself to win you back, just to come back into your life to walk away again. I wouldn’t have gotten back with you if I didn’t plan on being with you for the rest of my life.”

And like that, all my insecurities disappeared.

The former ghoster and I are now planning a future together. We’ve met each other’s families and have booked an overseas trip together and RSVP’d to a wedding that’s over six months away. While I wish every ghosting situation had a happy ending like this one, they don’t. Hell, I’ve had more than my fair share of ghosting and more often than not, they will pop back up (most likely in your DMs), but only briefly before disappearing again. I certainly didn’t expect to end up with a guy who had previously ghosted me, and I most definitely didn’t expect him to become the most supportive, loving and challenging partner I’ve ever been with.

If there’s any advice I can give to a girl whose been ghosted, it’s this: don’t chase someone. If they’re meant to be in your life, they’ll be in it. Focus on yourself, set your goals high and go out and achieve them.

In those four months after being ghosted, I’d made a lot of personal growth. In hindsight, I’m glad the relationship didn’t work out the first time – because now I know for sure that what we have is genuine. And I’m so much more appreciative of Paul, because I know how much it sucked to lose him the first time.

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