I am so sick of ghosts. I’m going to tell you why, but first, a little back story.
I am a human. I am also a Virgo and an INTJ. If you prescribe to these beliefs, you know that I am picky about people. If you don't know what a Virgo x INTJ is like, essentially, I am emotionally closed off to protect myself and I genuinely don't like 98% of people with other Meyers-Briggs personality types. It's also important to mention that I have been single for four or five years (when you've been single for this long, you stop keeping track) while actively trying my hand at dating over the past two years via Bumble. I have been on at least 14 dates over the past year and not one has ever resulted in a second. I have been ghosted by people I was interested in and people I wasn't interested in. I ended things with two of my dates via text, so you know I’m not a ghost. I share this with you as relevant backstory for your reading, not because I want your pity or affection. I'm single and quite comfortable this way, except for when the following happens.
Two weeks ago I went on a date with a super cute, super flirtatious (but in a not-aggressive way, an endearing way), and super smart human. His name was Corey (when you burn me, you don’t deserve anonymity). We had, what I thought, was a fabulous date (it was seven hours long. A bad date doesn't last that long)! We walked and talked. We went to my favorite Brooklyn bar and drank cheap beer in the dive-but-make-it-cute atmosphere. We played Minesweeper on the L train while listening to his latest music infatuation. We argued about the definition of art. We discussed our differing tastes in literature and works of fiction. We contemplated on philosophy. We shared our personal anxieties. He was an ENFP (the only other personality type I can tolerate)! We cuddled in a corner booth, made out a little bit, held hands a lot, and then I took him home.
I haven't heard from him since.
I rarely let my guard down, but I did that night and I was hurt. I NEVER find someone I connect with on such a deep, intellectual, funny, level. The last time I felt this intensely was six years ago. SIX. That night I allowed myself to feel deeply and it's this kind of experience (read: disrespect for other's time and emotions) that keeps me from regularly seeking companionship. It's exhausting.
Ghosting is bullshit. It's cruel and emotionally immature. It takes three seconds to write a text that says "I had a great time last night, but I don't think we should see each other again." Three seconds; maybe less if you have wicked fast thumbs. It's a definitive end that expresses intent and closure. It is much easier on the mind of the rejected than no "verbal" rejection at all.
Being ghosted, especially by someone that I felt deeply for, no matter how brief our interaction, hits me like a bus. It drags my innermost insecurities to the forefront of my mind and I can't help but think "What did I do wrong?" while simultaneously thinking, "Maybe I'm crazy and he isn't ghosting me." Both suck. Both aren't true. Both could have been avoided if any of my dates had had the decency to show me the intellectual and emotional compassion of a rejection text.
Dating is hard. Ghosting is bullshit. Don’t even get me started on those who orbit.
A version of this text was previously published in the Pink Things Weekly Newsletter.
Sarah Sickles is the founder and editor of Pink Things. She is also taking a break from online dating.