Let me first say that my dating history is very bare. I can't get a guy's interest, and when I do, he ghosts me in a pretty short period. I met "Dave" about two years ago through a dating app. We talked for a while and then he ghosted me for a couple weeks. He came back and promised not to do that again, so I gave him a chance. I didn't have any other prospects and he seemed sincere.
We met and really hit it off. But after four or five great dates where I felt like he was rushing out on me at the end, he ghosted me again. I knew he was getting hung up on something but I didn't know what. He was supposed to come to my place and I'd hoped to work it out, but that's when he ghosted. I tried everything to reach him but he wouldn't answer.
A year later, almost to the day, he messages me. He wants to meet and see if we can try again. I was hesitant. Dave really hurt me. But I met with him and we talked things through. I knew I still wasn't getting to the crux of his problem, but we set another date and I was hopeful. Even when I felt like he rushed off again. Then he ghosted me again. Now he's back. Again. And I'm in the same position I have been. No prospects. He wants to start over and I'm explaining to him how we can be friends – I'd love to be friends – but I need him to make a change before there can be anything more. I want him to get therapy to figure out why he runs and how to stop. I can't trust him with my heart until he does. Am I in the wrong here? Am I asking too much of a guy I barely know, because I really want to get to know him? I'm conflicted because I believe in fate and I think there can be something between us, but he literally has to change in order to make that happen. I really need some advice!
– Torn and Lonely
Why would you want to be friends with someone who treated you this way? Why should you devote more time to the relationship when he's proven he's likely to bail?
The answer, I assume, is that you "have no prospects." You'd rather give the wrong person another chance than continue to swipe, hoping for first dates. I understand why Dave appears to be the better option – you wouldn't be starting from scratch with him – but really, he's not. Being with him sounds more difficult than staying single.
It's easy to mistake the excitement of drama for something that feels like fate. This might appear to be a star-crossed situation, but it's not. Some of the best relationships aren't dramatic at all in the beginning because both people want to show up, so they do.
I'm not big into dating terms, but this does count as "zombie-ing" – when someone who's ghosted keeps reappearing in your life. It's not romantic, it's intrusive.
You're not asking for too much, but you are asking the wrong person. Don’t let Dave back in. Balance your dating life with friends and activities that mute the loneliness. Save the work for someone who deserves it.
Readers? Is this fate or a zombie?