You’d exchanged GIFs on Tinder, the chat had moved to Whatsapp, you’d laughed over a bottle of cheap wine and handsily kissed goodbye in Soho. Your luck was changing, you could feel it.
“Hey. How’s the head this morning? Last night was fun. We should do it again sometime.”
Congratulations, you’ve just been ghosted.
Ghosting: a common tactic employed in dating warfare. You’ve lost interest in your recent conquest, but it’s far too soon and awkward to communicate that. The solution? Ignore them.
The efficient coward’s way out, I’ve ghosted a lot of men, and I’ve certainly had my ghosting comeuppance. But have you ever been ghosted by a friend?
I have. And let me tell you, it’s awkward. Like 674x more awkward than boy ghosting.
I met her in May last year during a circuit training class at our gym. She was perfect. If I could have dated her, I probably would have. She was witty, scathing and unpretentiously cool. She was everything I’d like to think I am, but taller.
From the moment we shared a sweaty, burdened glance in that class, we knew there was a connection, and within an hour we were sipping soy lattes outside a nearby café (OMG, you like soy milk too? SHUT UP).
Summer was in the air and love was blooming like the wild flowers in London Fields. Things were moving quickly – it had only been a matter of months but I’d already met her friends and received a preliminary invite to her birthday celebrations.
“So what’s the plan for your birthday?”, I text. A week later, there was no response – the only possible explanation being she lost her phone. So I took to Facebook messenger, “Hey mate, how’s it going?”. Nothing. Was she dead? She’s got to be dead… Right?
And then like a really big serrated blade straight to the heart, she uploaded a group photo to Instagram. She wasn’t dead. She was living it up with other friends.
I’d been girl-ghosted.
What had I done to deserve such a fate? Was it because I spilt red wine down my top that one time? Was it because I didn’t know who that DJ you cited was? Did your mega-bitch of a friend who doesn’t really care about you turn you against me?
WHY WASN’T I GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU.
I’m over it now*, but being ghosted by a girl is supremely more difficult than being ghosted by a man. When you’re romantically ghosted, it’s easy to box your emotions away: we wanted different things / he’s moving to Australia / his shoes were ugly anyway etc. But with a girl? ERGH. That’s cold.
I didn’t make the girl group cut. Is this how Latoya felt when she was extradited from Destiny’s Child? Who? EXACTLY.
If you’re in the midst of a potential ghosting, the only advice I can share is don’t fight the phase-out. I know you want the answers as to where it all went wrong, but leave what’s left of your dignity in tact. If you pass her on the street, try not to tell her about your ‘cool new friends’. Smile, chat and bury your misery in the darkest depths of your soul.
Yes. She was different, she was special. Please believe me when I tell you the right girl is out there waiting for you. It might seem like a distant impossibility now, but you’ll thank the loves-lost when you finally meet her.
*I’m not. We can still make this work.
Images via Giphy.