What getting ghosted taught me about self-love
We weren’t in love by any means. To be honest, we weren’t even committed in any way. However, we had made it crystal clear that we were mutually very interested in one another. We were just two people, enjoying each other’s company and open to whatever life had in store as a result. It was new, simultaneously exciting and terrifying, and full of potential. Then, just as quickly as we started chatting daily and calling each other on a weekly basis, he went radio silent.
I had fallen prey to the trendiest craze in modern romance — ghosting. The concept is almost as ridiculous at the name. The “ghoster” suddenly ceases any and all communication with the “ghostee” in an attempt to let them down easily. From the standpoint of the “ghoster,” I understand the reasoning. Creating conflict and potentially hurting someone’s feelings are things that everyone hopes to avoid, but this abrupt death of communication often creates more problems than it solves.
I went from hearing what sounded like genuine terms of endearment during late night phone calls and a constant stream of texts that made me smile down at my phone to absolutely nothing. A total loss of communication, without any explanation whatsoever. When confronted, he claimed he was busy. He said things had been crazy, but they would eventually simmer down. He’d be better, he promised, before disappearing once more into oblivion. It’s mind-boggling, to say the least. For a long time, I convinced myself that the whole situation was my fault — and it genuinely affected the way I viewed myself.
The mistake I made was allowing my self-worth to measured by what someone else thought of me. I was quick to believe his words, things he said to me because he felt like he was “supposed” to compliment me that morning or say something sweet before a long day of work. He was playing the game, and he taught me that sometimes, words are just words.
He taught me that I was lacking in self-love. When he would ghost me, my first instinct was to wrack through my brain, frantically trying to figure out what I had done wrong. That’s just it, I had done nothing wrong. I had subconsciously put him on this pedestal and lowered my own sense of self, making me believe that I was the root of the problem. He was him. He was so sweet and so good and he wouldn’t just stop talking to me if he didn’t have a reason. Again, we weren’t in love, we weren’t committed, but at the time, he was it. I thought the world of him. But I was spending my time and energy fighting for someone who, evidently, didn’t care. Or didn’t want to care.
He taught me never to settle for anything or anyone less than I deserve. Because at the end of the day, you’re left with nothing but wasted time and a broken heart. I’m smart, driven, talented, funny, kind. I’m a good person. And it took me a long time to realize that I shouldn’t have to settle and spend my time getting to know someone who didn’t have my best interests at heart. It’s okay to be selfish in that regard.
Your heart is a precious thing. And while it’s important to keep it open, it’s just as important to protect it, to love it. To love yourself, first and foremost. You absolutely cannot allow someone’s treatment of you to dictate your self-worth. It’s something I struggle with constantly, as I’m sure many others do.
I thank him for making me stronger. For teaching me that I deserve more than what little he was willing to give, and showing me how out-of-love I had fallen with myself. As a result I found the inner strength to love and value myself as I am, regardless of any other opinions or thoughts that are rattling around in my brain. Thank you for walking into my life. Thank you for walking out. Thank you for teaching me to love myself, first.
I’m worthy of a prince. Not a ghost.