I met a guy at school and we had a lot in common and got along right away. We’re both very attractive, fit, and young. The sparks were immediate. We hung out a few times and I tried to do everything right. I wasn’t smothering or needy, we had great conversations, we kissed a few times before doing anything more serious, and we waited three dates to have sex. Before we had sex, I said I had one rule: monogamy. He said okay. We had sex, and then I never heard from him again.
I feel so used. I only hook up with people like that when I feel serious about them and think there’s a future there. This hurts so much. I’m going to let it go, but how do I avoid getting ghosted like this in the future? Please help!
So, first of all, I’m so sorry this guy acted like such a jerk. Being ghosted by someone after making yourself vulnerable feels really crappy, and I’m sorry you have to go through that. I can totally understand why you want to figure out a way to make sure this never happens again, and we’ll get to that in a minute – first, let’s go over what happened in this particular situation to try and find some answers.
I obviously don’t know what made this dude ghost you, but I can come up with two guesses.
One: he got totally freaked out when you brought up monogamy. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he thought he wanted to make things work at first, before realizing that he… didn’t. Either way, when he thought about it after the fact, it probably scared the hell out of him. He knew that now that you two had hooked up, things were going to get more serious, and he probably didn’t feel ready for that. So instead of communicating like a mature person, he bolted.
Two: this was the plan all along. Maybe he was only interested in hooking up from the beginning. Maybe he agreed to the monogamy thing in the moment because he really wanted to have sex with you and was willing to say anything to make that happen. That sucks, but it’s totally possible.
Of course, there could be other stuff going on, but I’m willing to bet good money that he acted this way because of one of the above reasons. This brings us to your question: how to avoid being ghosted in the future.
Asking how to avoid future ghosting brings up one more question: did you do something wrong in this situation to cause the ghosting? The simple answer is no. If a guy is going to ghost you, it’s because he’s immature, not ready for anything serious, and acts like a coward. If he’s going to ghost you, he’s probably going to do it whether you act like the stereotypical “perfect girl” or whether you act “crazy.” Maybe it would happen at different times, but it would probably happen regardless. And if ghosting itself didn’t happen, then he would just treat you badly. Think about it: if you hadn’t brought up monogamy, and he stuck around, it would be because he didn’t think things were going to get serious so quickly. So he would be assuming the relationship is casual, which isn’t what you want. You know what I mean?
If there is one thing I would say to change, it would be the timing of bringing up monogamy. I could be wrong, but it sounds like you brought this up right before you guys had sex. This is the kind of conversation that should be discussed when you aren’t in the middle of a passionate embrace. People say different things when they’re turned on that they might not really mean when they aren’t as turned on. That’s not to say this is your fault – it definitely isn’t – it’s just worth thinking about.
I love that you were honest with this guy and said what you want. That takes guts and is so admirable. The fact that he ghosted you shows that he clearly can’t handle that level of maturity. I would absolutely say to continue being this honest with future partners – just do it at a different time. Wait a few dates and see how things go, and then bring it up over dinner or some equally unsexy place. Say that before you go any further, you want this person to know that you aren’t looking for anything casual. Don’t start setting rules right away, or trying to make things too serious right away. Just say, “I don’t want something casual.” Then see where the conversation goes from there.
As for the succinct answer to your original question? There is no one thing you can do to avoid being ghosted. It can happen at any time from anyone, even from someone in a serious relationship. Being ghosted isn’t about you – it’s about the other person. You can’t keep them from doing that, you can just be yourself and know you were at least authentic.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org