Have You Ever Been Ghosted?

Ghosting – ‘the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without any explanation withdrawing all communication.’

Have you ever been ghosted? I have, am, probably will be. It’s a no man’s land of doubt, a limbo of what if, a purgatory where you are left dangling in the wind. It’s a bewildering, baffling set of circumstances. One day you’re happily ensconced in a solid friendship, the next all contact is severed. There is no rhyme, no reason and you are left with nothing but untested theories and endless questions.

Ghosting often manifests itself on your phone. Calls aren’t returned, text messages unopened and e-mails unanswered. You find you’ve been unfriended, blocked or no longer followed. It’s a creeping death leaving you numb and raw. What did I do, say, write? You are left dangling in the wind, hung by your own petard. The sense of confusion and lack of closure can drive a person to the brink.

Those on the other end continue their lives as if nothing has happened. They will find others to replace you and make every effort to show the world that ‘life is great, wonderful, better’ without you in it. There is a sense of malevolent glee in their words and actions. They get a kick from the the power they exert over their hapless victim, who can only watch helplessly from the sidelines. They are gods.

Ghosting hurts, an icy, relentless pain that eats you up from within. For those with an obsessive nature, like myself, it can cause lasting damage. The unanswered questions spin round your head in a never ending loop. The confusion turns to resentment, then anger. How dare they? The hypocrisy and arrogance of those on the other side beggars belief. Let they who are without sin, right?

We limp on, politely fending off queries about the other party. ‘What about so and so?’ ‘Oh we’ve kind of lost touch.’ Awkward silence until the subject is changed. Meanwhile your ears continue to burn. What mistruths are being spread about you regarding this alleged transgression which you are supposed to have inflicted. How many others now eye you warily? ‘Did you hear about him/her?’ ‘Who would have thought it?’

You soldier on, there’s nothing else for it. Life goes on. Ghosting is a growing phenomenon in our increasingly technological age. People don’t have to talk face to face, there is no requirement to meet the other party and explain your actions and rationales. You simply hit the delete button on their involvement in your life. It’s the easy option and, for some, the cowards way out. Confrontation is a dying art.

Reconciliation, mediation, negotiation, compromise, these are also all redundant words in our insular, black and white lives. There is no middle ground any more, just a battle scarred no man’s land where none of us dare tread for fear of being blown to smithereens by sharp tongues and dark looks. We cower in our respective trenches, unwilling to raise the white flag of truth. No quarter is asked or given.

It’s a war of attrition, a fight to the death. Every yard gained is drenched in the blood of broken friendships and dead relationships. The ghosts of the latter endlessly wander this barren terrain, forever restless, always seeking. They will never find release, never know the peace of calm and truth. Theirs is a desolate existence as they haunt the realm of what might have been. We are the walking wounded, the victims of a brutal, invisible war.

Have you been a victim of ghosting? Please feel free to share your experiences?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 15 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

58 thoughts on “Have You Ever Been Ghosted?

  1. I am occasionally guilty? I only do it when I discover those with whom I am communicating hold views I find abhorrent; racists, antisemites, pro-lifers and those who otherwise disrespect the rights of women might be examples. Issues in other words where no genuine arguments can be presented for debate, and all attempts at reasoning will fail.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Similar thoughts – think we have all done it and had done to us – when people dont want confrontation because they probably respect you but dont agree with you – its easier to just withdraw. Is confrontation – a sign of caring/love or a waste of valuable time?

    isnt there an expression – if you trully love someone – set them free and they will come back if they really care. and if they dont – it wasnt meant to be

    Perhaps the ultimate ghosting – is when someone dies – you never get a chance to respnd

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I’ve been ghosted many times.
    Commonly ghosted after the first couple of dates. Tbh I kind of understand, I’m a weirdo of awkward social interactions and intense anxiety on the first couple of dates, so they probably think ghosting is the only way to get rid of me!

    I had an ex-friend ghost me. We’d been friends from 16, we went to the same University, we were in the same dorm first year. We shared a house in second year. In third year, she decided to move home and commute from there to University (1 hour drive) and cut everyone out of her life and pretended she didn’t know me when we passed in the street.

    She tried to reconnect three years after graduation but by that point I’d realised what a horrible friend she was and wanted nothing to do with her,

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh yes. Unfriended & block on Facebook by members of my own family. & some friends. Because of politics. They are mostly very conservative, republican, strict Roman Catholic, &/or some other fundamentalist Christian. I am a socialist feminist. I have learned to keep most of my political views off of Facebook but I still do not have access to these people anymore. Whatever. If that’s the way they want to be …

    I have unfriended & blocked people, too. But it’s only when they have been verbally abusive to me. Or men who think FB is some kind of dating platform.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I have, and by someone old enough (and, I had thought, intelligent enough) to know better. I left him a message telling him what I thought and making it clear that – being an adult – I would have accepted a word of enlightenment (if not excuse) without argument or reproach. He did at least have the grace to apologise – briefly.
    As a teenager I once stood someone up (we didn’t have mobile phones then to phone and tell him I wouldn’t make it to the pub before the disco. He’d been waiting in there with his friends and I’ve felt guilty about not turning up through all the decades since.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Hurtful ghosting from a really close friend who was upset by something a mutual friend had said/didn’t say about a teaching promotion. I did not get involved so she presumed I was ‘siding’ against her. I’d had to take early retirement, was hospitalised, and couldn’t talk about teaching without breaking down.
    The second was by my older sister and I know we will never communicate again. She lives in Australia and I in UK. I said something she didn’t like and has even threatened her daughter that she’ll stop seeing her if my niece communicates with me. In context, I’m 69 and she’s 79 and this happened when our Mum died in 1998!
    I’ve since been diagnosed with autism so added to mental health illnesses (bipolar 1, psychosis, BPD) I know I can come across as abrupt/blunt/rude/uninterested.
    Sorry to go on but that’s been a kind of catharsis. Thank you for the chance to air stuff I’ve never voiced before.
    BTW – checked out your book on Kindle and loved what I saw. I bought it and so looking forward to diving in. Maybe this isn’t the place but I just wanted to put a little ‘positive’ in your day. You’ve been going through a pretty rough patch it seems. Hang on in, and you’ll be Write-On! X

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Well as a recovering alcoholic I’ve ghosted many people myself. I’d often start relationships with people, get what I needed from them, and then move on without giving them any sort of closure. That’s not the way I want to live my life so it’s not something I do in sobriety. Sometimes it’s painful to tell someone that you think it’d be better if you didn’t speak anymore, but it’s better than just disappearing.

    And of course I’ve been a victim of it. I don’t think anyone is untouched by it in the digital age. I’ve a lot of experience with online dating and ghosting is pretty much the order of the day there. I don’t take that personally. I’ve been ghosted by a few women I actually knew personally and then started dating and that hurts BIG TIME. We spent at least a year as friends and then dated and then they just vanished without a trace. Sometimes they’d apologize months later but by then I had forgotten about it. Two such situations still sting though and probably always will.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I have been ghosted, both by a former close friend and an ex-boyfriend. It is painful, and a horrible, brutal thing to do to another human being without warning, unless that person is somehow harming you. I grieved over it for a very long time, and believe that it made it much harder to let go of those ties.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I have been ghosted before. I learned that people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder will ghost people as a way to exert control. It makes them feel powerful.

    And if you text them repeatedly to find out what happened they will continue to ignore you as they tell all their friends that you are obsessed with them and won’t leave them alone. And how they don’t understand why you are acting crazy. They know exactly what they are doing. And they enjoy the negative attention you give them.

    Then occasionally they might reply in an apologetic way. Saying they didn’t have their phone on them or they were out of range or in an important meeting.

    You are relieved when they finally respond to you, so you forgive them and give them another chance and then they start ghosting you again.

    It is a sick game to them. Manipulation at it’s finest.

    However, not everyone that ghosts have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Some people ghost for different reasons.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Yep, and it hurts like hell. Sometimes I wonder if I’m really cut out for this friendship thing… but that is my depressive state talking. I know, know, know I have been made for community, to belong…and so I pick myself back up and hope against hope that it will be different this time. And every once in awhile, someone remarkable walks into my life–or continues to walk into my life. Those are the people who deserve my energy. The others, they need my prayer because well, clearly they’re the ones missing out. (I say that last part a little tongue in cheek!) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes I’ve been ghosted and it hurts like hell. I did not unfriended the person on Facebook, just unfollowed so I wouldn’t be reminded over and over that for some reason I don’t deserve attention. Maybe one day she will come back and we can pick up. But I’m not holding my breath. 😢

    Like

  12. I love this piece. It’s so relatable. Endlessly wondering what went wrong is the worst torture, a torturous feeling with end. A convoluted spiral of overthinking, Pain and resentment. It’s awful how a best friend becomes a stranger, how your true love becomes an enemy. How you can go from being number one in a person’s life to becoming zero to them… But in the end it’s life. A ying-yang relationship. Filled with sad and happy experiences. We learn to move on and accept even if we’d never truly understand. ‘cos what’s worse than death is being alive but stuck in the memory of a painful past… It’s never moving forward and remaining still in “has beens”…

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thanks so much for writing about this. I’ve been ghosted twice in the last five years by women I considered close friends. Like most of the other folks commenting here, I have no idea what I did “wrong”. The pain is in the disregard and disrespect. I would have appreciated it if they had said, “You suck Kat and I don’t want a relationship with you anymore.”

    Like

  14. Back in the single days, a guy did this to me after weeks of telling me I was so cool and smart and intriguing. It was pretty devastating because I had never been “played” before. Ugh, the modern dating scene is a nightmare I have no desire to enter again.

    Like

  15. I have been ghosted by ‘friends’ in the past. It was difficult and hurtful at the time. Every now and then I wonder why, but I think for them it was just too hard. I had moved just over 3 hours drive away, and they didn’t like travelling out of their comfort zone. I told myself it was their loss, and thet I didn’t need ‘fair weather’ friends like that. I don’t feel that I have lost anything in the long run though.

    Like

  16. Yes. The most recent was 2.5 years ago. After I asked about arranging a time to get together for a walk, the response was a request for time and space and a statement that they couldn’t be a friend right now. Funny that since I was never a demanding friend and had always given space for my friend’s needs. A week or two later, I was hit with an invitation to meet for a conversation, which turned out to be my trial and sentencing for crimes which have never been made clear. It hurt and it was confusing, but I also woke up the next day feeling completely at peace. While I didn’t (and still don’t) know what I did wrong, I recognized that the issue wasn’t ever about me. The issue was within my former friend, and they were not in a position to allow me further access to their life. Either they didn’t want my friendship anymore for an unknown reason or they were casting judgement on me that was coloured by their own internal turmoil. That doesn’t mean I don’t think about that relationship anymore. I’ve seen some of her close friends in stores and had moments of freak out, worried about what they had been told about me. This former friend has shown up in my dreams fairly frequently, and it never ends well. I hold no ill will towards her, but I also still, in a way, feel hurt and shame for how quickly and easily I was discarded.

    Like

  17. I’ve never ghosted anyone if I knew them for a while and had a connection with them. However, I have been ghosted by “close friends.” I think technology has allowed our society to grow cold & apathetic. We are also beginning to lose relational & communication skills, which are part of Emotional intelligence, which leads to interpersonal communication & intimacy (not just in the sexual aspect.) And unfortunately, many allow the media to tear apart friendships and family apart,not realizing that we’re all different, and we must accept the good and the bad—not toxicity of course. But we must have the maturity to accept people’s views and see where are they coming from and why. Anyway, I could be wrong. But that has been my experience. Great post! 🌹

    Like

  18. I’m sure I have been, and I have definitely ghosted people. I’ve been told I’m like coffee, an acquired taste. I’m fine with people not wanting me in their life, it’s an honest appraisal of what they feel I add to their lives. I’d prefer to be excised over strung along.

    Like

  19. That’s what my whole blog is about. Ghosted after 29 years of marriage. All of the things you described, and when a malignant narcissism is involved the ghosting extends like a wave rippling out into the periphery with people viewing you with the side eye … she must have done SOMETHING … tIt’s then that you see who was a real friend and who has real character or a lack of it. It’s telling to see who believes a smear campaign without first asking you for your input. It’s disappointing that people you thought were friends don’t stop and say, “Now wait, that certainly doesn’t sound the so-and-so that I know”.

    It’s a sad fact but it is reality. Our new times require us to have new strategies, I suppose. But I’m finding in my situation is the strategy is an age-old one; suck it up and drive on.

    Great post! Thanks.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: