What Dating (and Being Ghosted) Taught Me About Life

What Dating (and Being Ghosted) Taught Me About Life

Life lessons are some of the hardest ones to learn. Here is what I learned from being ghosted after six months.
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Dating is fun, but I think we can all admit that sometimes it can be hard. So much effort has to go into this whole idea right? Think about it from the beginning. Someone has to like someone, get the courage to ask them out to do something outside of what they usually do, the other person has to like them back and say yes to doing something, then you both have to have a good time, maybe one of you will be courageous and go in for the first kiss, and maybe someone will even be daring enough to have ask for a second date, but maybe not. So many things can go wrong when you are dating. You can be hurt, lied to, or cheated on. You can even be ghosted. A phenomenon that my generation is too familiar with.

I think most of us can honestly say that it feels good to have someone cheering for you on the sidelines. It is fun to have someone to go on adventures with. It can be exciting to get to know a new person. Starting the day off with a text saying “Good morning” or falling asleep after hearing “good night” is a great feeling. And let’s not forget the triumphant feeling you get when your family members don’t have to ask you why you are still single! So what happens when that all disappears after days of talking, weeks of dating, or months of a relationship without warning or explanation?

Any of my friends can tell you that I am the girl who gets way too attached to someone that I talk to. I am the gullible person who believes all their sweet messages and only sees the best in someone and cares way too much way too fast. So when they disappear I get confused, hurt and angry. Why wasn’t I good enough to capture (and keep) this person’s attention? What’s wrong with me?

I’ve taken some time recently to think about my most recent experience with being ghosted.

Unlike some women my age, I am relatively new to dating. In high school and most of college, I was never really interested. Sure, I wanted a boyfriend to take to things and so my family would stop asking why I'm single, but I was never interested in actually having the relationship. I was more concerned with school and where I wanted to be in five or ten years when it comes to my career. When I pictured my life in that time-frame, sure I saw myself getting married and having kids, but I didn't want to start that until I had the rest of my life figured out. I went on a couple dates here and there, but I coasted my way through college without being in a serious relationship until the second semester of my senior year.

In March of my final year in college, I met Tim*. He was sweet, caring, funny, and he loved baseball. We immediately connected, we never ran out of things to talk about and we couldn’t get enough of each other. At the end of our first date, Tim told me that he felt so comfortable and at ease with me that it felt like we had been dating for years before and I completely agreed.

We spent 6 months of going to baseball games, trying new restaurants and goofing around together until one day, he disappeared. The first week went by and I was hopeful that he would text me and say that his phone was lost or something tragic had happened that would explain his absence. But after that week hope turned into hurt. I was hurt that he didn’t respect me enough to even text me and tell me he was done.

One day about three weeks later, he finally texted me saying I could meet him to “exchange our belongings”. I went over there expecting some sort of an explanation and all he could say is that he hates endings.

While I was upset for obvious reasons, it was never really that I was going to miss talking to someone 24/7 (to be honest, that’s a lot of energy and time that I could spend doing more productive things). It was never really that I was so hurt by him disappearing without an explanation. It wasn’t really that I wouldn’t wake up to the “good morning” text or fall asleep after hearing “goodnight, sweet dreams babe” on the other end of the phone. It felt as if my life was less full because he had left.

But what dating and being ghosted taught me is that my life is no more valuable because a man is witnessing it. My life is valuable because it is my beautiful, adventure filled, and somewhat chaotic life.

The truth is that I am going places. How many 22 year olds do you know that have a college degree, who are pursuing a master’s degree, AND who are working full-time in their field of choice? I know who I am and I have a good head on my shoulders. My heart was broken when he suddenly decided that I wasn’t important enough to give an explanation to, but as Emily Dickinson once said “The wounded deer leaps the highest” and so will I.

I’ll find someone someday who will share in my adventures and enrich my everyday life. But I’ll always remember: having someone there witnessing my life is a perk of my adventures, but it does not determine the value of my adventure.

*Name has been changed for confidentiality
Cover Image Credit: Google

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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Yet Another Reason To Never Set Foot In College Station, TX

Part 1 of a 2 part adventure in College Station

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After that night with Cesar, Mallory and I settled down a bit. We went out of course, but we were just us doing the usual, going out, having fun, making little memories that we can cherish on our personal time. Nothing too significant happened between the time of our experience with Cesar, and what I'm about to explain next.

So, long ago, way back when, UT and TAMU had once been CRAZY rivals. The ultimate Texas rivalry was something that most people would call iconic, historical, and of course traditional, which explains why now that the rivalry is gone, TAMU continues to be obsessed with us *cough* *cough*, but that's beside the point. The point here is that even though we were considered enemies by tradition, I still had very close friends that went to TAMU, which brings me to my reasons as to why Mallory, Cesar, and I made our way down to Yee Haw central. Here's where you can grab a snack and make yourself comfortable because of this story...WHEW CHILE...this story is a wild ride. (get it because they ride horses to class lmao).

It all began when one of my close girlfriends had been sad for a MINUTE over a guy. Her name is Cristal, she's smart, so determined, and when I say she's the most driven person I know I mean it to the highest of standards. She just so happened to go to college with an old ex of hers which, at times made things difficult as it would for anyone. Talking to Cristal and Cesar, and after realizing how much we all really needed to see each other together; Cesar decided that we would go to College station to visit Cristal. We decided this about the beginning of the week, so plans were changing constantly. We had planned to stay overnight, then last minute plans changed where we would come back the same night.

So fast forward to the day, we left to College Station. That day was interesting, we had originally planned on leaving early to get there a little early, but things changed. Cesar was driving, which from Austin, College Station is about 2 hours away. He picked us up around 6:45 pm and we didn't leave Austin until 7ish, mainly because Mallory was dying of hunger, so we had to make a stop at the nearest Whataburger. So finally, after we made it through the long line, we finally were on the way. The drive didn't feel too long and was very scenic. There were trees everywhere, so coming from the city and good cell service to trees and 1 bar E network was different, but all in all, it was a good drive! We made it to Cristal's dormitory and parked around 9-9:30ish, where we then headed up to her room. Now, Mallory and I had the bright idea to ware nothing but Longhorn gear on this campus and create a vlog for our YouTube channel on how the night would go. It wasn't until actually making it on campus and walking around in burnt orange EVERYTHING, that we had realized the bold move we had made. AGGIES HATE THE COLOR ORANGE! Let that be known! And they oddly love making this hissing noise, maybe someone should talk to them about that because it's actually kinda weird.

Anyways, after filming a bit of footage for our Vlog in her room and catching up a bit, Cristal decided to take us to the famous Northgate. Northgate is the Equivalent to our sixth street. Northgate just so happens to also be the only place in college station that students have to party at, eat at, shop at, etc. She took us to this super country burger bar, where we got harassed continuously for wearing and ROCKING I might add, our burnt orange gear. Eventually sitting and talking, we had concluded that the night was young, and we wanted to go out, so Cristal told us she would take us to this bar/club known as Shiner. It's apparently the place to be if you are a student, like to dance, and just have fun.

We had to walk back to Cristal's room so she could get ready to go out. While on our way back Dick had texted us that he was on his way to College Station as well to meet up with an old friend of his. We really do live in a small world, let me tell you because turns out this "old friend" was someone Mallory and I had gone to middle school with, someone who had already hit me up on snap saying we should all go out together in College Station since we were there. We hadn't put two and two together that this was the guy that Dick was talking about, until Dick mentioned his name, Rich. Rich is the last name that everyone calls him, and he is a first-year student at TAMU. He's honest, kind, humble, a die-hard country fan and a good country dancer at that. He's also the kind of guy that is so laid back that you cannot have a bad time with him, ever. After concluding that Dick and Rich had already known each other, we had told them we would be down to all go out together as a group, so eventually, after Cristal had finished getting ready, we met up with them and went to Rich's room to pregame.

Mallory and I didn't really drink much but a sip, while everyone else was drinking on various things. Cristal took a few sips of a drink to try it, but since it was her first time drinking anything, it low-key hit her LIGHTLY. After we had finished drinking, we headed out. On our way there, Rich was trying to teach Cristal and me how to hit a Juul, which was horrible because we did NOT know what we were doing, which led to us wasting a large amount of the pod.

We got to Shiner Park and one by one we made our way in, however, Dicks dumbass got caught using his fake by the bouncer at the door. So, after we handled that situation, we headed straight to the dance floor. Mallory and I danced country for the first time, got hissed at by multiple aggies, and made new friends. The night was filled with fun. Cristal enjoyed herself, for Cesar it was a new experience, and for us, it was a new form of fun, fun we never really had experienced before.

After the bar began to close, we headed out to find somewhere to eat. It was around 2 am when the bar closed, and we were searching for someplace open to catch a bite to eat. We finally found a McDonalds, where we wasted another hour waiting for our food and eating. Eventually, we had taken Cristal back to her room. She felt better after dancing off her buzz and eating something. She led us back to her room, where we left her at the entrance of her dormitory. The time now was about 3:30ish, and we looked at Cesar and he decided that we were still going to drive back to Austin at this time. Yes, I know, we're CRAZY. So, we piled up in his car and started our way back.

I fell asleep for the majority of the drive back and woke up around 5 am to go into my room. We walked in and immediately knocked out. Val had to work the next morning so naturally, we woke up around 11 am, When the phone rang. It was Dick and Rich. They called to talk about a recap of the night, something that has become a tradition with us. And then they said IT. They said the magic words that when said to Mallory, you instantly knew things were going to get interesting. They uttered the words, "Come to College Station tonight…YOU'RE NOT DOWN". After that was said, Mallory looked over at me, giving me the look, she gives when she has something up her sleeve. And by 9 pm that night, the same day we were on our way back to College Station. Stay tuned for the rest…

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