Ghosting: A New Name for an Old Phenomenon

From my Capser The Unholy Ghost Collection, 2014

Only The Name Has Changed

Ghosting is not a new phenomenon; it’s been around for hundreds of years. Many men and women have been there. They were living their lives — thinking everything was fine — only to find a note that said, “I’m leaving you.”

Some partners don’t get any communication at all. Their cowardly abandoners quietly disappear, never to be heard from again.

Call it what you will: ghosting, relationship abandonment, spousal abandonment, desertion… is it all window dressing to cover the naked truth of what it is: emotional terrorism.

Few people are prepared for such a discovery.

At first, time stands still. Your senses betray you as you feel your body going into shock. At the same time, you become unable to look away from the terror befalling you.

The Shock of Sudden Endings

Your brain becomes incapable of remembering anything but the good times. It’s somehow bizarrely inversely proportional. The more your ghost is silent and unreachable, the more desirable they become to you.

Your emotions spin out of control. Your mental processes enter into overdrive, attempting to find a logical reason for what is happening to you. Our minds desperately want to file things in neat little boxes to deal with them, but you won’t be able to do this for a while. It’s natural to launch into detective mode, but you must be careful not to take up residency here. Doing so will damage your mental health.

The answers you seek are not that complicated. Accepting them is another matter.

It feels nearly impossible to accept harsh realities when a dagger is still in your heart and you’re bleeding everywhere. It may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but there are a few truths you must internalize to reclaim your life.

Getting Closure After Ghosting a Committed Relationship

You must accept the fact that you were played — plain and simple. People who love and respect their partners do not ghost committed relationships.

Partners who ghost are cowards — void of the emotional maturity to have the necessary conversations. Your ghost was more concerned about avoiding an awkward conversation than they were about devastating you and your life. They deflect guilt with a self-serving delusion, telling themselves they lessened your pain by disappearing.

They thumbed their nose at you and broadcasted that you are unworthy of even a modicum of respect. In other words, you are so far beneath them that they can’t be bothered with you or your pain.

No matter how good-looking, charming, and adult-like they may appear in their Sunday best — the hard truth is that you were never in a relationship with an adult.

You were in a relationship with a petulant child. A child who thought it was okay to throw you under the bus.

There’s More

It will be a hard pill for you to swallow, but you must also realize that they didn’t just up and leave you.

Yes, you read that right. They planned their exit for a while. In other words, they had ample time to think about its impact on you physically, financially, and emotionally. Yet, they chose to do it anyway.

Face the fact NOW that the relationship is DOA and cannot be resuscitated. Bury the dead and move on. Kill the notion now that you or your relationship is somehow unique and that your situation will turn out differently.

Remind yourself that no other person can make us happy. Your runaway did not abscond with the key to your happiness. You are the only one who holds that key. You’ve always had it, and their ghosting will never change that fact.

The magic to unlocking a better future with that key is your will. Only you have the power to will yourself to move forward.

  • Keep in mind that this can be a process and not a lightning strike event. Be patient and keep at it.
  • Never try to compete with ‘Shiny New Love’ or allow yourself to get sucked into the vortex of wondering what the new person has that you don’t. Your simple but elegant answer lies in the word ‘new.’
  • Right now, your runaway’s latest love is shiny and new. However, time stands still for no one.
  • You can take this to the bank: as the pages on the calendar flip, the person they left you for will become boring….
  • Your abuser’s fascination with this person will wane when they are no longer ‘shiny and new.’ They will become a tarnished used trinket, just like you.


Remember, you didn’t cause your abuser to do anything; they made their choices independent of you. They were signaling that they wanted a different life — without you by ghosting you. They essentially asked for their ‘space’ so give it to them unhindered — forever.

Delete their number and block them on all social media.

You may eventually forgive them (or not), but you will probably never forget how you were disrespected.

This realization and reminder become the secret sauce to keep you from ever yearning for your ghost again.


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