The Five Stages of Ghosting Grief

Illustration by Brian Rea

Excerpt from this Modern Love column from this past weekend’s Sunday New York Times:

At 6:30 a.m. I was blow-drying my hair, getting ready for work and accepting the demise of my two-week relationship. The nail in the coffin was that at 10 the night before I had texted him something vaguely sexual, and he hadn’t texted back.

The morning had become a quick but emotionally turbulent journey through the five stages of grief.

First: denial. It was entirely possible he hadn’t seen the text. He could have been in a deep sleep. He could have dropped his phone in the toilet. He could have died! Any of these options were comforting.

I didn’t care if he was a non-texter — and what does that even mean in this day and age? If you’re a 20-something urban professional who doesn’t text, you’re pretty much impossible to be friends with. For a friendship to exist in 2015, people need to know they can text “ugh I love oysterrrrs” at 2:15 p.m. on a Friday and get a response by 2:30.

Of course, there would be pathetically little at stake if he failed to reply to a Friday afternoon “ugh I love oysterrrrs” text. But this was my first flirtatious text after our first physical encounter. By not responding, he was essentially shouting into the universe, “You are overly sexual, way too forward and deeply unattractive to me.”