“Anong nangyari? Bigla kang nawala.” [What happened? You just disappeared.] I was once asked.
I can remember how they all happened—my crimes—and what those guys told me when they got a hold of me again after I disappeared. They asked me why. They asked me to not do that.
“Don’t just disappeared on anyone,” one of my past flings told me, a year after I disappeared on him.
I’ve been told many times all throughout my life that I have a habit of disappearing. And I cannot deny it. I am what you would call a ghoster. I was, at least. But back then this millennial slang, “ghosting”, was yet to exist, and back then, I was just a young, reckless girl who would easily get bored and was quick to move on.
Image by Nono Astro Irareza (@nono.radke) on Instagram | via @theartidote
There was this guy, I remember, whom I saw for a short while. He was really nice to me. He would make such efforts to see me. One time we spent an entire day together, just going all around the city. He introduced me to his friends. Then we went to pick up the puppy I had just bought. He took photos of me and my new baby. It was really a great day, and I loved his company. At the end of that day though, when I got home, I received two long text messages from him that were actually the sweetest. As a girl, I should have been flattered. I should have felt delight. Kilig, even. But I didn’t. Instead, I felt fear. I realized how much this guy was into me, and that scared the sh*t out of me. Not long after that, he asked me out on a formal date for Valentine’s. I made up a lame excuse to decline the invitation, and he never heard from me again.
And then there was also that time when I was constantly talking over the phone with another guy for a few months, until one day I realized I didn’t like him anymore. One time as he called, I watched the phone ring in front of me but didn’t pick up. I never called him back.
Or that time I just disappeared on this guy in the middle of when things were really going great for us, that his best friend would contact me just to plead for me to talk to the guy again. Explain, at least. I flat out said I didn’t want to.
Those are just some—that I realize now that I’m older—really horrible things I’ve done. I probably really hurt some people. I am definitely not proud of it. I write this with much shame, and much sympathy to those guys whose hearts I’ve probably broken or whose egos I may have hurt. When I think about it now, I cannot fathom why I did all those. Why was I such a prick? I certainly am not a bad person, that I can say. But maybe I was just bad with…feelings.
It was always either I wasn’t ready to face feelings, or I didn’t have the feelings. And both were really scary to me. I think, at the bottom of it, all notorious ghosters have that in common…we’re all really just afraid.
Image: Jarek Puczel
And I left the way I did, by disappearing, ghosting, because I didn’t think about how they would feel. I didn’t consider how my actions could affect and hurt them. I was young, and I know now that I had been really selfish.
But, in all honestly, at the core of it all, I think there really is just one plain answer as to why people ghost. I know this is why I did it all those times in the past. Not to say that this reason justifies the horrible act, but I hope it offers some sort of explanation.
Why do we do it? This is the harsh truth:
You simply weren’t the one.
But here’s the thing. We also aren’t the one for you.
So when you lose a ghoster, think of it as a blessing in disguise. I promise you, it is. It’s a detour. Life saving you from so much more heartbreak. Life saving you from the wrong one. And you don’t deserve that, you who are so hopeful. So weep about your heartbreak if you must, but then move on.
And I know it sucks, the way you were left. The nasty disappearing. The ghosting. But know this—it really isn’t about you. It’s the ghosters. It’s a problem they need to face with themselves. Their inability to be brave and to tell you the truth: “I’m sorry, I’m not the one for you.”
So instead we flee. Because it is easy.
My ghosting days are long behind me, though. I am now in a happy, long-term relationship. Nope, no more ghosting for this one.
So if you’ve ever been ghosted or in any way left in a painful manner you didn’t deserve, please, please trust me on this—the right one for you will not disappear. No ghosts and no memories will be haunting you, because that person will stay. The right person will choose to stay.
So never mind the ghosts. The ghosts don’t matter, because the ghosts were never real.