Why did she ghost?

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Dear Meredith,

I've been divorced for for more than four years. During that time, I've had two relationships, one brief and one about a year.  Both of those people were unstable, needy, and emotionally unhealthy. One had a substance abuse issue and was abusive toward me.  Aside from that, it has been mostly crickets, even though I bring a lot to the table. Then I met someone amazing. We met for coffee and it went great. We had our second date, and it was a little steamier than we expected. She said, "I'm usually not so forward, but I'm really into you." A few days later, we had our third date and she stayed over. We saw each other again the next night.

We had a great connection all that time. Our personal goals were very compatible, and our personalities seemed as good a match as possible for people who didn't know each other extremely well yet.

Then, after those dates, she went on an annual family vacation. The first few days, we talked and texted. Then it was just texting with a couple of mentions of phone calls that didn't happen. We were supposed to have a date the following Sunday, but she cancelled because she had the chance to stay some extra days. She said she wasn't losing interest, but I heard from her once or twice more and then she ghosted.  Supposedly she had a rough situation with family drama toward the end, and I offered my support. She ignored my last three texts; my last message to her was just to see if she was OK. The whole time we were together I didn't ask for anything except to see her again.

Is it not an egregious dating violation to see someone four times, initiate sex, and then ghost him, especially if he has been really good to you? How is it that I keep treating people really well and get treated like crap in return? I can't unlearn how to treat people well, especially after many years as a counselor. I feel like my choices are to settle for someone who treats me like crap or be alone for the last 40 years of my life. Those are not good options.

– Options


Those are not the only two options. Your time with this woman was great, confusing, and then disappointing. Please don't compare the experience to your other, more problematic relationships.

I don't know why people ghost. It's not the worst thing to have a date with someone and then disappear. But to do that after four dates and sex? Maybe she's busy with family, but it only takes a few minutes to text, "I've changed my mind. I'm sorry." She could have even said, "Hey, let's talk when I get home from this trip."

My advice is to remember that you've had three connections with people in four years. What you haven't been able to do is find someone who can be a kind, reliable significant other. Everyone here can tell you that might take a while. Frustrating, I know.

Continue to treat people the way you want to be treated. Allow yourself to walk away when a relationship makes you unhappy. You might be a counselor, but you're looking for partner who provides mutual support.

I understand why you're tired of dating and down on the whole thing, but there are more opportunities, more people who offer different kinds of connections. There are possibilities, even if you don't see them now. If it's feeling hopeless, take a break to reset.

– Meredith

Readers? Can you explain the ghosting and help with dating fatigue? Is it one option vs. another?