The 5 stages of grief after you've been ghosted
We’ve all been there before: you give someone access to your genitals, then they won’t even give you a text back.
You’ve been ghosted, and it’s no surprise — in our modern dating scene, we’re somehow more accessible, yet less accountable to each other than ever before. When someone who saw us naked suddenly cuts all ties, the emotional roller coaster that follows can be nauseating. Like wrapping your head around any other tragedy, undergoing these five stages of grief after getting ghosted is to be expected.
It starts with an unanswered text. You’ll make up any excuse to explain it away: “maybe she went camping and lost her phone in the wilderness” or “maybe he’s doing humanitarian work in Puerto Rico and has no service, ” or “he’s probably too busy masturbating to photos of me to answer my message.”
You’ll start re-reading over your messages to one another, ensuring you adequately conveyed how hilarious, charming, and intelligent you are. Double-checking will calm your fears. Of course, you’re the wittiest mother-fucker this side of the Mississippi.
After waiting a little longer, you may grow worried that something’s seriously wrong. You check their Facebook page for tearful obituaries. They must be dead, you assume, because the idea that they’re intentionally ignoring you is simply beyond comprehension.
Inevitably, the moment comes where you stop asking, “is there something wrong with them?” and begin wondering, “is there something wrong with me?”
Comprehension sets in, and this selfish asshole is beginning to bruise your ego. Even if he’s busy saving lives in Puerto Rico, he can’t find 10 seconds to answer your text and put you out of your misery?
You consider typing up some nasty message. Tell her good luck with her broadcast journalism career, although she’s probably not pretty enough to make it on the news. Tell him you never wanted another zero-effort, too lazy to leave the house, Netflix and chill date night — his dog is hideous and his house smells like farts.
After all, it’s not as if you scare them off if they’re already gone, and your mean message might knock them down a peg.
When the anger subsides, you’re still left with the burning question of “why?” Your terrible tendency is to assume you’ve done something wrong, or something about you wasn’t good enough.
Other men have six-pack abs, where you’re making the best of a dad-bod situation. Other women are kinkier than you are, they’ll use handcuffs and do anal, but you don't like bondage and your butthole is out-of-bounds.
So you begin to ask the “what ifs” and “if onlys” — “what if I drank kale smoothies and did 500 crunches a day?” or “if only I got a little more adventurous in the bedroom.” You wonder, would they call me back then?
At this point, it’s impossible to think about anything other than all of your flaws and shortcomings. They instantly saw all those flaws, you assume, and they didn’t like what they saw.
You get hung up on the haunting idea of “if she doesn’t like me, nobody likes me, and I am unlikable.” You wonder if you should’ve tried hiding all those shitty parts about you.
But relationships shouldn’t be about suckering people in with some edited version of yourself, only to spring the real you on them later. After hitting rock bottom in your pit of despair and self-pity, you might start to wonder, could being ghosted be a good thing?
You’d started picturing your future with this asshole — picking fights at Ikea and buying adult diapers in your old age when your bladders begin to fail — and they couldn’t be bothered to explain why you weren’t worthy.
Sure, this isn’t the type of closure you had in mind. But it’s closure all the same. Clearly, that sad excuse for a human has done you a favor in vanishing.
Their disappearance ensures you won’t waste your precious time in a shitty relationship where you consistently feel inadequate. You’re spared hours of taking corny couples photos you’ll inevitably delete from Facebook. You never have to meet their terrible parents and pretend that you love their homemade flan when the truth is that it’s the worst dessert in the world.
So you thank that douchebag for abandoning you. Your cycle of ghosting grief has come full circle. By the time they come back from their mission trip to Puerto Rico and apologize for their lack of cell phone service, you’ll be long gone.