I am a criminal and I am here to admit my crime and also to make amends. No, I am not responsible for causing someone bodily harm. I am, however, guilty of breaking someone’s heart and expectations. I have committed the sin of ‘ghosting’.
What is ghosting, you may ask. This is an act of disappearing in a phantom like fashion from someone you are seeing and is prevalent in today’s dating culture. It is of course an unpardonable offence. And, I am guilty of it. In today’s day and age when most 20- and 30-somethings are huddled over their tech gadgets, online dating has become a common phenomenon. I am a young, attractive woman myself and it did not take too long for me to fall into this loop too.
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Like many others, we met on a social networking website. Soon after getting to know each other, we began chatting all day long. Days turned to weeks and weeks to months. It was three months since we had been talking to each other. We began exchanging information beyond need and manners. Right from which shade to apply on the tip of my toenail to the different ways of bleaching his faded old shirts, we were discussing everything.
Neither of us had asked the other out and no one even suggested dating. But we assumed we were a couple; I did and I knew he did too. I was very comfortable with the way things were working out for us.
He was the first person I spoke to in the morning and the last name that glistened on the surface of my mobile screen at night. My day felt incomplete without informing him of anything and everything that happened during the day and the same applied to him. We became friends, then best friends, and were slowly cosying up to becoming partners. However, all of this was happening virtually.
And then one fine day he suggested that we meet in person. It just happened out of the blue. He lived two hours away by flight from where I was and he offered to come over. I panicked. I am a woman who is afraid…no, the right word would be…terrified to commit. It is not that I am promiscuous by nature. In fact, I am quite the opposite.
However, commitment means being vulnerable to someone. And I have systematically shut myself off emotionally from everyone around me. I wasn’t prepared to let go of this power for anyone.
Moreover, the idea of feigning attraction in an attempt to get someone into bed was nonsensical to me. I did not want to surround myself with expectations, wants, demands, disappointments and worse, heartbreak (if ever!). He texted me nonstop and I began to panic even more with each passing day.
Related reading: You promised we’d have a good life together
Every time he reached out, I made excuses about how work was keeping me from catching up with him. I was juggling a fulltime job while living alone, so this was plausible. Soon after, the momentum of our communication came to a startling halt. A week later, he thoughtfully asked if I had time for lunch one day soon – a date with a built-in timetable for a busy woman like me and he would book a flight for himself accordingly. I blankly stared at my phone; waiting for my fingers to move themselves and type in a response until eventually I blinked and realised what had happened: I was going to commit a crime. I was a ghoster!
I had known the man for four months and we had gotten pretty close. However, my fear of commitment drove me away from him in a flash. Today, months since I committed the sin, I suddenly felt a pang of guilt within me. Should I apologise to him for what I have done or would it hurt him even more for coming back into his life, merely for an apology, only to disappear once again? Perhaps he is already over me or maybe he never really was that interested? Will I ever find out? I wonder.