Ghosted by my ex

Hi Meredith,

My ex and I were together for three years. We're in our late 20s and early 30s. These were three loving, adventurous, developmental, real years – based in a place where neither of us are from. We lived together for two of those years and had the same love for skiing, sports, being in the mountains, etc. We spent a lot of time with our shared friends. We complemented each other incredibly well – I was more of a future-thinker and planner, he was more along the lines of "I don't know what life will look like in five or 10 years, but I know it will involve you."

Fast forward to last year and I was laid off from my job. In a bizarre turn of events, I ended up coming back to my home state for a three-month job while I figured out what I wanted next career-wise. The thought was that it would be amazing to have three summer months with my friends and family at home before going back to real life. He was on the same coast as with his family for two of those months because of work, so we spent every weekend together. I had every intention of going back to our life together – until he told me he would eventually move back to my home state with me if I liked the job enough and wanted to commit to it long-term. I was so excited that he was willing to do that for me and for us, and was really sure this was the man I was supposed to marry and be with forever.

However, a couple of months after he left this coast, he changed his mind and told me he could never live in my home state because he loves where he lives too much. I was shattered and it hurt to think that he would choose location over our relationship. We mutually decided to break up because he was there and I was here. We spent the next six months after the breakup communicating about how much we still loved each other and wanted to be together. We saw each other for some amazing weekends during this time. With encouragement from my therapist, I had recently been understanding that anything is possible, and if I want to go back to him and that life, it is entirely possible and OK. I have always struggled with trying to please people and occasionally feel pressured by other people's expectations of me. I'd decided that he was worth it all and that I would be willing and excited to move back to be with him and fully commit to living in that state. Two weeks ago, we shared a few text conversations about me moving back, and after a particularly emotional one from me detailing pros and cons and how I felt about our whole situation and him, he didn't respond. I gave him two days, texted him again and said "hello" ... and still haven't heard from him. It is so strange. He has been more active on social media so I know he is alive and more than well. I know that having a texting conversation about something of that magnitude was not ideal, but it was the only option we had at the time of the conversation. I'd have flown out there in a heartbeat to really talk about it if he had been as receptive as I thought he'd be.

This situation of being ghosted has actually really helped accelerate the process of getting over him and I am even going on a set-up first date tonight. I know that I fully put myself out there and am glad I did. I know that if he can't even TEXT me back after three years of loving each other, obviously I deserve more than that. My question is, how do I handle this now? I want to send him a 10-page angry letter. I want to ask my friends out there who are friends with him and see what they know from his perspective because I can't even begin to imagine what is going through his head. I know none of this is healthy, but I am wondering what your thoughts are on how to handle it. I know he doesn't deserve my time and energy at this point, but this is also the man who just two weeks ago was talking about getting married and having kids together and I just want to know what happened and why he decided to disappear.

– Ghosted by my ex

Every now and then, we get a lot of information at once and we have to take a break to process it. We need to sit around and think. Maybe we need to sleep. Take a walk.

It sounds like your ex received a lot of texts from you, and based on whatever was in them, he needed time for himself. He should have told you he required some space, of course. He shouldn't have disappeared, and I don't know why he went silent. But his need for 48 hours (or more) doesn't seem unusual in any way. Technology makes it easy to talk about everything right now, but that doesn't mean we should.

The most interesting part of this letter is about your readiness to move on, and your willingness to work with your community to help you do so. You accepted a setup and are clearly interested in what kind of partner you might find at home. Also, you had a list of cons, not just pros, about moving, and you shared them with your now-ex. From where I sit, the "obligation" was returning to where you lived with your boyfriend. Maybe whatever was on that list communicated as much. Just a guess.

My advice is to share that list of pros and cons with someone who isn't a boyfriend, someone whose happiness is less tied to the outcome of your decision. Talk about it some more in therapy, maybe. Then let your ex know – in a text or an actual voicemail – that when he's ready, you'd like to continue your discussion. Explain that you understand a need for space, but that you're hoping to have a phone call.

It might not change much, but it should give you some answers. Just know that when I read this letter, I jumped to the conclusion that you want to stay put. If that's your endgame, that's OK.

– Meredith

Readers? Should the LW text again? Or call?