Ghosting: when a relationship just disappears

August 26, 2015

disA recent story in the New York Times talked about ghosting–those times when a relationship ends because one party simply disappears without any notice.

Poof!  Gone!

Apparently, actress Charlize Theron did that to the complex-but-talented Sean Penn, which makes it Times-worthy.

NOT.  But anyway.

Here’s the story.

It reminded me of something that happened to me about a decade ago when I was single.  I was dating a guy in Florida. He was very nice, smart, interesting. He had a few secrets, I think. We were getting along famously: he’d even taken me home to meet his mother.

And then: radio silence.  Nothing.

Here’s the funny thing: I barely noticed.   That’s because I’d met someone else and was quite involved in that relationship.

Years later I ran across my “ghost.”

“So,” I said, “I’ve always wondered why you disappeared without a trace.”

“Well,” he said, “do you really want to know?”

“I do,” I said.

“To be honest, I thought you weren’t really a biological female.”

That’s right. He thought I was transgendered.

No joke.  I laughed anyway.

“Well, I promise you that I have always been a biological female,” I said. “Why on earth did you think I wasn’t?”

“You had so many gay friends…” he trailed off.

Uh huh.

Ghosting in Florida. Always completely logical.

So, have you ever been ghosted? Or ghosted anyone? Tell us about it.

22 comments on “Ghosting: when a relationship just disappears
  1. That’s hysterical! I’ll never understand why people can’t be honest and discuss their feelings, questions or doubts. Oh, well. All’s well that ends well in your case, Carol!

  2. HI Carol! HaHa! Your story made me laugh…Crazy the attention/news worthiness Hollywood characters get! I have never heard this term “Ghosting”, but I am pretty sure my little brother and his family of four are ghosts in my life…By the way, my FREE gift of armpit wipes arrived in my mailbox yesterday in the bright and shiny package. Thanks so much! Cannot wait to try them! Joan

  3. Hilarious! It’s good that you found out what happened and that it was something you could laugh at.

    If he had said something at the time, do you think you could have laughed? 🙂

  4. Mary says:

    Thank you for my afternoon laugh! Maybe it’s all the Italian in me, I don’t think I could ever just slink away quietly, I always have too much to say. I did have a friend do it to me…maybe I talked too much! HA!

  5. Laura Kennedy says:

    That’s HILARIOUS. Clearly, you are better off!

    I had a boyfriend disappear once. Contacted me 30+ years later and explained…he’d been dating someone else when we got together. She moved up to the foothills, so he went with her. She proceeded to sleep with all his friends… and then dumped him.

    That’s what I call a happy ending.

  6. Gary Mathews says:

    What a moron, sounds like you ended up better off.

  7. Theresa Wiza says:

    That’s hilarious! I can just see his internal conversation: “Should I ask her? Should I try to find out if they’re real?” Back and forth, back and forth. And then after much consideration, “No, I think I’ll just disappear.”

  8. Diane says:

    Ghosting. Wow.
    I’ve heard of being judged by the company you keep but this is definitely a first! Husby and I have many gay friends. It’s not unusual to find us in a group composed of six or eight women and Husby. For the first time, I wonder what others are thinking . . .? I’ve just decided: I don’t care.

  9. Wow, that’s so odd… It sounds like he might of had deeper issues. I’d write that one off as a lucky escape. lol.

    As far as I can remember I haven’t been ghosted. I really like that term though. Seasonal too with Halloween coming up!

  10. Bobbi Gould says:

    Oh my word!! Sorry, but that’s hilarious. I have never been ghosted but well, almost. I dated a guy for a while that was kind of a out of sight, out of mind guy. Very present when I was there, and then I’d leave, and boom–radio silence. Turns out he was just not that into me. lol

  11. Luke says:

    Haha! Laughed out loud at that! No fortunately I’ve not been ghosted yet…and fingers crossed it won’t ever happen to me!

  12. Becki S says:

    Oh heavens. This made me chuckle. I remember ghosting was certainly all the rage my first year in college, I was both victim and terrorist.

  13. Clare Speer says:

    Too cute… and funny! Most of my friendships are quite long-term… but I have had “seasons” where girlfriends were just in my life for maybe a year or two… and then we didn’t actually keep up…. sad but true….

  14. DT says:

    I have been lucky I guess 🙂
    — DT | Here I Scribble

  15. Paola says:

    :0….. I don’t even know what to say, but this is hillarious!!!
    OMG!!! heheheh

  16. olga says:

    This story was hilarious! Thanks for sharing. Although I’ve never had this experience, I’m pretty sure it not’s to uncommon in this day of age.

  17. Miss Angie says:

    Totally used to ghosting at this point in the dating scene-however-I’ve never had it happen after being serious enough to meet somone’s mother! lol

    Also what a crazy reason. He could have probably asked…

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