Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and someone special asked me to make plans to go to the coast. I welcome the forethought as last Valentine’s Day was disastrous. After being exclusive with someone for 15 months I was ghosted (on Valentine’s Day which I spent in urgent care). We fell madly in love with each other rather quickly. We were surprisingly in sync, and seemingly shared an appreciation for each other as well as the season in our lives. Unfortunately, it ended as abruptly as it began. It was not the love story that I envisioned in spite of inspiring a plethora of love poems. Ultimately, I found he was not a man of quality or a keeper.

Really the only way things would have turned out differently according to his script, is if I never disagreed or was unhappy with him, if I was perfectly in alignment with his thoughts and what he “wants” in a partner (Note sarcasm). I have learned that if a guy leaves when things get a little rocky, it means he is lacking in the most important quality that you need in a partner – a man who is committed not only to you, but to making it work. He simply wasn’t ready to settle down, no matter how great of a potential partner I was, he didn’t want to make it work. He did not have the desire to overcome our differences, to get to a better place of understanding. He has an immature grasp of what it takes to work on a relationship in order to hit the amazing place of understanding and become more than simply in sync, but intimate and vulnerable with another. Instead when things get difficult, I predict he will ditch out over and over. There is no reason to blame myself or go through a long list of “should haves”… It doesn’t matter if he is not committed to making it work. A relationship is not about finding the perfect match it is about finding someone who you can form a meaningful, lasting partnership with. It is an active process. It is about working together. Something I have come to recognize that this man I loved deeply is incapable of. Should he continue this pattern, he will always believe in magical thinking – that there is someone better suited for him somewhere else.

Feeling bad about your latest break up?

  • Zayn Malik broke off his four year relationship and two year engagement to Perrie Edwards with a simple text message in 2015.
  • Russel Brand told Katy Perry he was divorcing her via a text on December 31, 2011.
  • In 2000, Laura Dern left the home she shared with Billy Bob Thornton to work on a movie, and while she was away, her boyfriend got married to Angelina Jolie, and she never heard from him again.
  • Joe Jonas dumped Taylor Swift in a 27 second phone call in 2008.
  • In 2006, Britney Spears used her Blackberry to indicate her intent to bail on her union to Kevin Federline while he was in the middle of taping an interview.

There are now mobile relationship-ending services. Simply enter your partner’s name and phone number, and choose from a list of reasons, and the application does the break-up calls and texts for you. It’s brutally honest and to the point.

Whether this behavior has become more predominant with the advent of technology is debatable, but perhaps now it stings more, since there are so many ways to see your beloved interacting with other people while ignoring you. Still, breaking up by virtually disappearing is becoming increasingly popular. Ghosting – Going dark (refusing to return a text, DM, Facebook message, Snapchat or, heaven forbid, phone call), seems to be the new power move.

Getting dumped is brutal. While bad break ups can haunt you, being the bad guy/gal by “forgetting to tell the person you’re breaking up with them” is – in the long run – by far more damaging to the person who is unable to have the difficult face-to-face conversation. Long-term relationships, even celebrity ones, require certain standards of decorum. To disappear is to avoid accountability. So, no matter how inseparable you were, how sizzling the sex was, or how sentimental the memories seem to be, you are better off without someone who believes the silent treatment is acceptable behavior.

I can attest to the fact that it leaves you confused, frustrated, and disrespected as you search for clues to explain the disappearance. At the end of the day, it is the other person who is broken.

While communication failures happen all of the time, avoiding confrontation or conflict is a character flaw. The lazy ghost hopes the problem will just go away if they avoid the other person forever. In fact, you probably already observed this behavior (in interactions with their ex, their child’s other parent, in their work or family relationships, etc.), it simply wasn’t directed at you at the time.

Sure, perhaps you did something to contribute to the break up, but bailing out is not acceptable unless there was abuse or you fear for your safety or sanity. It is clearly cowardice. I contend that being a good human, let alone a partner or parent, requires courage and caring. At the very least a civil conversation, the courtesy of closure.

Interestingly in the age of technology where one may have “too many options” with easy access to social media and dating applications, it becomes more difficult to choose and be happy about it. Knowing that these choices exist might make it more difficult for people to commit and stay committed to their partner. If this is the case, you are likely better without that particular person.

After a long period of personal pain and reflection, I have come to embrace that it was not about me at all… And, in this particular case, there is no upgrade after me. My star will rise and his sun will set. Sad but true. After a phase of flirtation and frolicking, I remain happily eligible until someone equally amazing and worthy wins my heart.

“S/he’s just not that into you” humiliation with ghosting, the trend of — poof— disappearing into thin air is unthinkable to me. There is no shame in being hopeful. It is a shame to be dishonorable. Hanging onto false hope may not be the best way to heal your heart; yet, I take consolation in that it is a heck of a lot healthier than not taking the high road in the first place. It is unlikely that the heartless will have a change of heart, so resist hunting or haunting them as it really only hurts you.

Go ahead admit they are an a-hole, accept the disappointment that the fantasy person you fell in love with doesn’t exist, and let the healing begin!

After ghosting me, Allen (Yes, he has a name) once said to me “I don’t want to talk (apparently ever), and… I don’t care what you say to me or about me, but leave my friends and family out of it.” I laugh at this statement now, as I see clearly that the few friendships he is able to maintain are mostly long distance (with good reason) and I am quite certain his family already knows him all too well.

I only wish I would have recognized the red flags sooner, stopped seeking ways to figure him out, and healed my broken heart long before now, nearly a year later.

weak-heartThis Valentine’s Day my hope is that we all commit to truly loving each other outside of our comfort zone.

With affection for the life lessons in loving, Just L (January 15, 2017)

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