Today's new episode of the Love Letters podcast is about ghosting and goodbyes, and it features a great story from a psychologist that absolutely influenced my advice today.
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I was seeing what seemed like an amazing guy for about five weeks. We really seemed to have a great connection and awesome chemistry. Over the five weeks, we spent a lot of time together, and although the relationship was never intimate, it felt intimate because of the amount of time I had invested and the depth of conversations we had.
We talked about moving forward with the relationship and about what we both wanted. He said he had strong feelings for me and hadn't felt this way about anyone in a really long time. Maybe I shouldn't have believed him, but why wouldn't I? He said and did all the right things to make me think we were on the same page.
The last week we spent together we had hung out all weekend and had a really great time. Then during the week he suddenly and noticeably pulled back. I mentioned feeling some distance and again, and he assured me we were on the same page. But nothing changed. Hours to reply to a text or sometimes no reply at all, dodging making plans for the upcoming weekend, short replies with no real investment when he did reply. I questioned it again near the end of the week and he said it had been a “busy” week (eye roll).
That was the last time I heard from him.
I feel disoriented and like such a fool. Why not just tell me his feelings had changed? I want some sort of closure but I'm not sure what he could say to me to make it make any sense. Some time has passed but I still find myself thinking about him and I’m having trouble letting go. I just want to know what the hell happened.
And if I don't reach out, how do I move forward knowing I can't really trust my feelings for anyone? I thought he was a really great guy and clearly I was very wrong. How do I date anyone or trust anyone when I can’t even be sure that their actions or words mean anything?
How do you move on from the pain of being ghosted by someone you really liked?
Five weeks doesn't sound like a lot of time, but it can feel like an eternity when you spend it with someone new and great. I'm just validating your disappointment here.
You deserved a breakup conversation. A real ending. You can absolutely reach out to ask for one; just know that you probably won't get any perfect answers. Still, it might give you the chance to say goodbye. It could serve as a line you draw for yourself to mark the end. Really, it's about allowing yourself to call it over.
I just want to point it out that it sounds like this lack of communication was a problem from the start. You say you weren’t intimate (I assume you mean physically), and there's nothing wrong with that. But I do wonder whether that was a conversation. Basically, I'm wondering how often his actions were explained by words and vice versa, and how many blanks you had to fill in on your own. He was talking about next steps, but were you really there yet?
You want someone who tells you something about where you stand, and then keeps every promise. You want someone who can pace themselves so that they don't burn out. Those people are out there. This man is just one person. If you have a lingering question, ask, but let a non-answer serve as inspiration to let go.
Readers? Reach out? No?