Arvind, an aspiring playwright in his mid twenties, met Aarav less than a year ago.
Aarav, (a successful lawyer) was slightly older (and thus, slightly more attractive), slightly aloof (and thus, slightly more interesting) and knew his ‘writs from his wrongs’ – once Arvind heard the pun (over Mai Tai’s that the lawyer paid for), there was no going back. It was love at Act 1 Scene 1, a scene-by-scene straight out of one of Arvind’s unfinished plays.
Aarav was the right measure of roguishly charming and endearingly enigmatic – every time they met had been a flurry of interesting conversation, stolen kisses and rapid heartbeats.
And multiple lawyer jokes.
As he made his way home from their last date (they split the bill and dessert, before they split ways), Arvind had a strong feeling that Aarav just might be the One. It happens to the best of us. People stare, but you don’t care. You smile, and can’t wait to see him again.
Only you don’t, because Arvind didn’t either.
The phone wouldn’t ring. Messages lay bare, and unanswered. Emails came with automated replies. Was it real? Was he in trouble? Had he lost his phone? Was he dead?
It was worse.
He had been ghosted, and the future father of his adopted twins had vanished without a trace. No explanations were given, only regrets. Arvind had a funeral for the broken pieces of his heart soon after.
They never woke up from the dead.
That’s the thing about being ghosted – the Ghoster often disappears without a memo – which makes switching from ‘Honey! I am home!’ to ‘three unanswered calls’ as effortless as riding a bicycle, and equally daunting. How do you tell that he’s going to vanish in a puff of smoke? Or make sure that he’s not another cold case in your history of failed romances?
While it can be quite the rude shock (especially when you’ve already started planning the beach side wedding in your head), here are a few hints that show he might have been planning the greatest heist of them all for a while:
1. He’s always busy.
One second he’s feeding you strawberry tarts, and the very next, he’s so busy he needs a clone just to reply to your texts (see point 9). He’s always occupied with something slightly more important – a friend’s birthday. An office conference. His sister’s giving birth. His dog is sick. His sister’s giving birth again. But at the end of the day, when you check his daily planner (and don’t even deny that you will), you’ll see that it’s been emptier than his soul.
2. And if they are not, they cancel plans.
Cancelling plans is the first chapter in the beginner’s guide to ghosting. Sure, he’ll make plans with you, but he’ll seem less excited than someone who’s just about to get their root canal done.
And then one fine day, he’ll text you and ask you to meet him for a beer. He’ll cancel three hours later, when you are already half a cab ride away.
Congratulations! You are just two to four weeks away from being ghosted for good.
3. They’ve dropped hints that they aren’t looking for something serious.
By saying something that goes along the lines of ‘hey, so I am not looking for anything serious,’
4. You’ve never met any of his friends.
Does he have any? Who does he have those brunches with? Which school did he go to? Where have all those fridge magnets come from? Who are all those people in his pictures? If he feigns deafness at all of these questions, you are signing up for trouble – after all, the number of friends you know is inversely proportional to how difficult it is for a guy to ghost you. Don’t want to be ghosted?
Keep your friends close, but keep his friends closer.
5. You have a gut feeling.
And it’s probably right. Follow it and end things, before he ends your will to ever date again.
6. They have more excuses than the government.
And they are equally dubious.
7. Their texts are short, really short.
This is how it starts – their texts go from being giant anecdotes asking about your life, to monosyllables to singular grunts till they reach the classic ‘use-only-in-case-of-emergency’ K.
I am not saying that each text has to be a short story, but if you feel like you’ve had longer conversations with your pet dog, then you are clearly texting yourself towards doom.
8. They take forever to respond to your texts.
Apart from the following reasons, there is no other plausible excuse for a person to not reply to a text within the hour:
· He’s driving.
· He’s sleeping.
· He’s dying.
If he still takes forever to long, it’s time to forever say goodbye.
9. They don’t respond to your texts.
Well, if they aren’t responding to your texts, they aren’t just thinking of ghosting you, they’ve already ghosted you.
The fact is that being ghosted can be the death of you, and equally haunting (pun intended) – it can leave you sad, depressed, broke (the retail therapy won’t pay for itself, will it?) and terribly insecure. What do you do then?
Do you swear off men? Swear off romance? Swear off lawyers? Swear off scary movies because your recent heartbreak was such a horror flick?
No, you wait for the sequel to this piece.
Just like you wait for the sequel to the boy.