“What hurts the most; having so much to say, and seeing you walk away…”

No matter how many break-ups you go through, the next one is always going to hurt.

No matter how many break-ups you go through, you’ll never be truly prepared for when a girl just disappears [like a ghost].

What hurts the most was being so close
And havin’ so much to say
And watchin’ you walk away
And never knowin’ what could’ve been
And not seein’ that lovin’ you
Is what I was trying to do

The feeling of not being done yet, yet powerless to do anything about what’s going on or to ascertain what might have been. Powerlessness combined with the fear of the unknown. I don’t care who you are, there’s few things that match this particular pain. Even if you think you’ve seen it all.

It’s hard to deal with the pain of losin’ you everywhere I go
But I’m doing it
It’s hard to force that smile when I see our old friends and I’m alone
Still harder gettin’ up, gettin’ dressed, livin’ with this regret
But I know if I could do it over
I would trade, give away all the words that I saved in my heart
That I left unspoken

Recognize any of that?

After dealing with 4 ghosts in the past two years, one of which confused me, two of which hurt, and the one the rended my heart, I’d like to add to some excellent advice that my good friend Ace has already provided on the subject and answer some potentially frequently asked questions on the subject.

  1. Get a support group of people you trust to whom you can vent about the girl and (over-analyze it if you must). Having a large group of people is important, because you’ll get tired of talking about before anyone in your support group does. Telling the story to more than three people makes the story get old, to the point where you’re actually fed up about it enough to stop thinking about it so hard.
    1. My support group at one point consisted of (* = most important/helpful):
      1. Dad (vent/advice/sounding board)*
      2. Brother (vent)
      3. Sister (vent)
      4. Sister’s Husband (vent/advice)
      5. Mother (vent)
      6. Best Friend (vent/sounding board)
      7. Family friend (vent/sounding board)
      8. Family friend’s Mom (vent/sounding board)
      9. Mentor (vent/advice/sounding board)*
  2. Write it out. Write as much or little (and as meaningful) as possible on the subject as you can allow yourself. This will get some of the pain out of your head and on paper. It’ll help you think less of things because you’ll not worry about forgetting details, especially the good parts. Might help you come to terms with things or see them in a sober light if you take a break and come back for a review.
    1. Here a couple of examples of this in action:
      1. Russian-Thought Criminal
      2. Smarty Pants
  3. Realize there’s a reason for everything and sometimes it’s not you. Sadly, since you don’t know what could have been it’s hard to accept that things are over when you aren’t ready for them. Realize that ultimately, you’re better off that these relationships are over. Yes – I know. As someone who’s employed to get shot at and live, I never thought it could hurt so much to dodge a bullet either.
  4. Give yourself time to recover. Of course it hurts. Attempting to deceive yourself into thinking it doesn’t or that you’re perfectly fine doesn’t work. Often times, bottling your emotions just means that they’ll come out at a time you didn’t expect when you can least afford it. Try to give yourself a reasonable deadline to mourn the relationship. Allow yourself to listen to sad songs. Allow yourself to stare off into space. Allow yourself to drone on about it to your support group. In my experience, the pain leaves sooner when I let it go through rather than attempt to block it or otherwise bottle it up.
  5. Date girls who live close by. It’s easier to see the signs in girls who live close by. They’re less likely to ghost on you as they’re more likely to run into you and you can better gauge how they feel about things and more importantly, you. This doesn’t mean you can unequivocally stop a ghosting, but rather see it before it happens and prepare for it, at least.
  6. If you have something to say, say it. If you think there’s something you need to do, do it. A medium plan executed now is better than a good plan executed later. Women are creatures of the moment. If you don’t say what you need to say or do what you need to do at the moment it’s time, you don’t usually get another chance. So don’t worry too much about saying or doing the wrong thing, as you’ll always regret and beat yourself up over inaction over action. Every time. Sometimes all you can say is that you still like her and that she knows where to find you when she realizes her mistake.
  7. Vocalize your dislike for ghosting to each girl you start to see. Say it’s because you don’t want to waste your time or hers. You may not (ok, probably won’t) get the whole, complete, honest answer why things are over, but you’ll probably at least get clear message that things are over. This will stop you at least from wondering where you stand what you could have done about your heretofore unsure standing. This won’t work 100% of the time, but it’s worked so far for me.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) Does it ever get easier? Does it ever stop hurting?

No. It doesn’t really get easier and it doesn’t stop hurting. Eventually, you find it within you to carry on despite the pain. To my mind, the quality of girl and circumstances around the ghosting determine the recovery period from a measly couple of weeks to many miserable months.

2) How do I make it hurt less?

Make yourself busy to the point where you don’t have time to sit around and be sorry for yourself (that is not saying do not deal with it!). Eventually you don’t think about it because you don’t have time to and therefore won’t dwell on the pain, cutting old wounds afresh.

3) Is there anything I can do about her leaving?

You can do nothing. Anything else will make it worse and in time you’ll regret. Contacting her in hopes of the small dopamine hits you get from talking to her, seeing her, will take their toll on you when the withdrawal from what you really want from her (everything) hits you.

4. Will she ever come back?

No. Don’t even go there. Out of 6 ghostings, one girl messaged me back 9 months later after no contact, to tell me that she found out she Ovarian cancer shortly before she broke it off and blocked me on all social media. She didn’t come back to me, she just got in touch with me to let me know what happened out of guilt and because she thought I was over her. She was mostly right. Regardless, the more you accept your fate (it’s over) and that there’s nothing you can do about it, the more likely you are to get a second bite of the apple.

Hope this helped.

~Wald

A Speedy Brush With a Smartass & a Sweatheart

Dear Smartypants,

Even though you won’t read this, I hope this short note finds you well.

Our short ride together has been a series of broken expectations.

I didn’t expect to meet anyone special that night in the pool hall. I didn’t expect you to remember me well, despite asking for my phone and tapping your number in. I didn’t expect to enjoy talking to you as much as I enjoyed kissing you. I definitely didn’t expect to like Coyote Ugly or Burlesque, your two favorite movies.

How can I fault you for taking the information I freely gave you and making a decision? I can’t.

I didn’t expect to like you as much as I did when that Saturday morning came ’round.

The phrase “good intentions, poor perfomance” is highly underused and underrated and I owe you thanks for giving me (albeit unintentionally) a lesson with that. That, your curves, and your smile will stick in my memory long after I fade from yours, like tears in the rain.

I wish you and your Father all the best.

~Wald