Should I send a text for closure?

Hey – sorry about chat. We're choosing a new chat software for us, so we're testing a few things. I hope we can make a decision and be back up and running next week.

Dear Meredith,

I have been struggling for the past couple of weeks to get over a short term fling. I met a guy out at a bar about three months ago, and it was a bit too serendipitous to believe (until it wasn't). We had great chemistry, electrifying banter, and genuine commonalities. It was added luck that we lived close to each other and that I didn't have to source through five horrendous dating apps to meet him. The only inconvenient aspect of our relationship was the timing, as I met him in September, so we were inevitably heading toward the holiday season and lulls of no face-to-face interaction. I took an international trip for 10 days, and when I came back, I tried to set up a time to meet with him, which he blew off because of work and asked to reschedule. We agreed to meet that weekend, but I never heard from him at all. On Sunday night, he sends me a text saying hello without any apology or acknowledgement of the fact that he stood me up for the weekend. The next day he sent a generic "sorry I didn't reach out .. the weekend got away from me" message.

Throughout the week, I consulted many friends on how to approach the situation, and the majority said I should ignore him. So after the apology text message, we chatted briefly about my week over a few messages, and I let him have the last reply. I have not sent him a text in a week, and I have not heard from him either. I am really confused because he was always very responsive and assertive, and present. It was refreshing after going through multiple rounds of failed online dates. And despite the last couple weeks, he has been very sweet. He messaged me on WhatsApp while I was away, installed my roommate's blinds, offered me a TV stand, and gave me a wakeup call for a run. And we discussed how men are trash and he assured me he was a good guy (of course I shouldn't have trusted his word on that).

I am confused about where to go from here. I ignored him for a week and felt empowered at first. He was not showing me the attention I deserved so I needed to show him I could drop off too. However, now that I have not heard back from him I don't feel empowered anymore. I feel confused. I've scrolled through countless text messages looking for a sign, but this has only led to more confusion. He just did not seem like the kind of guy to ghost without an explanation. Over the past couple of days, I have been thinking about sending a text along the lines of "Hey I was going crazy the past week trying to figure out what happened between us, but I guess the reality is that sometimes it's hard to tell someone you're seeing that you're just not that into them anymore, which I assume is the case for you. At any rate, I hope you have a good holiday and new year. I hope you aren't too much of a stranger."

A part of me needs to send it for the closure, to bait who I thought was a good guy into giving me a response, but the other part of me feels like I already got my answer and I don't need to send a message. I just want to make sure we aren't in a game of being stubborn and not texting each other for the sake of ghosting or being ghosted. But then again, I think those are my feelings, and that I'm not recognizing the hard truth that if he wanted to see me he would've seen me by now. Should I send a text to end things, or should I just let things be? I want to feel empowered in this situation, but I also would like some closure.

– Ghosted

You talk about empowerment, and I do understand the desire to feel stronger after this experience. But what happened is a super-confusing bummer, and you're allowed to be sad and disappointed about it. I wouldn't put pressure on yourself to rise like a phoenix just yet. Be sad. Be confused. Empowerment – or being over it – will happen over time, probably when you're ready stop thinking about it.

For the record, I don't think this man thinks he's being ghosted. He's been blowing off plans in a very obvious way, and while travel and the holidays make life complicated, it's not that hard to make a date. Clearly, a non-answer from him is its own answer, but it makes sense that you want a better one. You had three-ish months of a relationship with this person. That sounds like more than a short-term fling. It'd be nice to have a real breakup.

I can't tell you whether to reach out to him. All I can say is that if you do, you should keep the message simple – and honest. Tell him you wonder what happened between the two of you. Don't put words in his mouth or break up with yourself on his behalf. Open-ended questions are scary, but sometimes they get answers.

Please don't tell him not to be a stranger. I mean, at this point, he just is.

– Meredith

Readers? Text?