Advice: "I was ghosted by a friend with benefits and I don't know how to feel."

Hey Kirstie,

Long story short, I texted a guy that lives in New York City that I was visiting this weekend from my hometown in Pennsylvania. We have a casual sex thing but since I was going to be in town, I wanted to see him.

I thought it wouldn’t be a big thing, since we recently talked and saw each other just a month ago. When we hangout, everything is GREAT too. We genuinely enjoy each other’s company and it’s never weird.

Well, I never heard back from him after I sent him that text. It sucks because, aside from the sexual aspect, we’ve been friends for over six years. So I’m just trying to understand why and how not to take this personally.

And it’s weird because he even recently liked a photo of me in New York with my friends. He clearly knows I’m here but is choosing to ignore me. I know I shouldn’t care about something so little, but it all just doesn’t make sense.

What’s worse is he knows I’m moving to the west coast soon too. So the chances of us seeing each other after this are slim to none for a long time. I thought he’d want to see me, but I guess I was wrong.

I just don’t know how to feel about this.

- Feeling Ghosted

Dear Feeling Ghosted,

First off, that makes complete sense that you would be upset about his behavior. How couldn’t you be? Regardless of anything, he was your friend before anything. The fact that he chose to disregard your text completely is hurtful. I’d be extremely upset if someone I cared about did that to me. I want to make sure you know that your feelings are entirely valid in this situation.

As for understanding why he chose to act this way: there are a million different answers to why this could’ve happened— the majority not even having to do with you.

Maybe he met someone else, maybe a parent of his is sick, maybe he was let go from his job, or maybe he’s been struggling with mental health issues. Who knows. And honestly, the more you wonder about it, the more you’re going to drive yourself crazy. Our minds are a tricky place; we think that if we give a situation enough thought, we can find the answer. But the fact is that only he knows why he decided to act like an ass hat ghoster. Unless you’re a mind reader (and if you are, I’d like to hire you), then you won’t be getting any answers by over-thinking his actions.

But what is important here is to take his complete lack of response as a sign that he isn’t willing to put in the effort that you want from someone that’s in your life. You deserve so much more than someone that ignores your text— especially when it’s the last time you could be seeing him for a while.

And at the end of the day, what he thinks about you and whatever his reason was not to text you back doesn’t determine your value. His actions, or any guy’s for that matter, will never change your value because I believe it can’t be lost or gained for any person. As a unique human on this planet, your value is inherent.

His actions are just a clear indication of his own issues, traumas, and fears. He isn’t brave enough to tell you that he just doesn’t want to see you or whatever his excuse may be. And it makes sense that you would be hurt, especially if you fear that he isn’t messaging you back because you’re not enough.

I know you say your friends and it’s just a sexual thing, but being physically intimate creates a bond with someone. Women have a lot more emotions and feelings than men do. To be rejected/ignored by a guy that you’ve slept with is triggering for basically any woman with a beating heart. You showed a vulnerable side of you to him, and now he’s not responding. That’s a lot to handle.

Since you’re moving out of the state though, I think it’s best that you didn’t see him. Friends with benefits relationships are tricky (as stated above)— why put yourself into a situation where you might muster up some hidden feelings? You’re leaving the city. Think of this as a clean cut off and focus more on all the incredible new opportunities your move has in store for you.

Think of his actions as a gift or a lesson. It’s not why did this happen to you, but why did this happen for you. Perspective shaping helps a lot with these kinds of situations. Perhaps this needed to happen, so you realized a friends with benefits relationship isn’t your jam. Or maybe to help remind you that you won’t put up with being treated like this.

Choosing to look at this situation as a gift, and remembering that it does not change your value in any way will help you to get through this.

So while your feelings are valid, just know these feelings will pass. In a couple of months, when you’ve (literally) moved on, you” ll look back at this and laugh to yourself that you ever felt upset over this guy. Because life is leading you down a path towards people that value you so much more than a boy that thinks ghosting is the right way to handle a situation.

Don’t give in to any urges to message him. Stay strong.


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