The day I was ghosted by a guy was the day I found self love. The story started during the autumn season. I am not sure if it was the cold breeze, the falling leaves or how he made me feel which lessened my self-esteem. Okay, that was certainly quite dramatic but that is how one tends to become when captivated by someone. Our “situationship” lasted for a couple of months and each month I learned something new from all the ups and downs we had.

The mean girls in high school can be really mean sometimes and for this exact reason, after completing my last high school exam in 2021, I finally felt comfortable in my own skin for the first time in a long while. Until the universe decided that it wasn’t enough and gave me another deep-rooted lesson in “ How to not unlove yourself when falling in love with another”. They say the beauty of a person hides their vices and that was what made me go down the rabbit hole. Lets refer to him as “ghost” because he kept coming in and out of my life like a ghost in one of those conjuring movies. Ghost was someone I went out with once, with a few friends, as sort of a farewell meeting; we didn’t start talking until I wished him a happy birthday. The conversations began casually and then obsessively for the rest of our situationship. In late August, the obsession started as he began feeding my low self-esteem with sugar-sweet compliments; my whole self-worth became centered around what he thought of me. If he laughed at my jokes, the day suddenly became brighter, if he got offended, everything and everyone annoyed me. Later though, identifying this pattern became a major factor in helping me overcome my tendency to overthink; his toxicity taught me to happily forget to care about what others think of what I say or do; nowadays, my own opinions and happiness over my decisions matter more to me than anything else.

He was an excellent conversationalist. Talking with him was like taking a drug, once you started, you didn’t want to stop. It was sort of therapeutic for a while, to have someone you can vent to at the end of the day, until it was not. It went from venting to emotional dumping in the blink of an eye. And it hit hard when I recognized that I was the one doing it. I had issues with anxiety and body image insecurities and he made me acknowledge them. For instance, sometimes when I over-thought how short I was and how bad it made me look, it would unintentionally come out in text messages; he would boost my confidence by saying short people are cuter. It might seem ridiculous to an outsider but these small things can heighten up the confidence of an insecure person. This taught me to always positively affirm myself and so I learned how not to rain on my own parade.

Let’s dig more into the fact about why I named him ghost. When it happened for the first time, I thought he must have “forgotten” to text back, because I didn’t 

want to believe that he did not want to text back. This soon became a pattern, he would ghost and I would text, one reply from him and I would come running back. I always turned a blind eye towards his toxicity. His unhealthy behavior ranged from blaming me for pressuring him, to going MIA in the blink of an eye, to never knowing when he would get angry and shut me down. I finally broke this pattern though, sometime around November and he came back still, apologizing in December. When we reached the uglier part of our relationship, I became aware of the fact that when left alone with myself I was always unsatisfied, I always needed someone to talk with in order to feel valued and happy and that’s when I realized that I needed to start loving myself in order to feel content.

The day we talked for the last time was in January about a random Instagram story I posted and that was it. We just stopped talking: it was so out of the blue that it took some time to adjust to not always being on edge from how someone was going to react to every single thing I did. Sometimes we get to say bittersweet goodbyes but other times you just have to let them go. And so, gradually I learned to affirm myself whenever I had confidence issues instead of looking for validation from others. I understood by that point that happiness over others’ approval of your decisions and how you are is never going to last, it is all temporary, like ghost. Eventually, I stopped hoping for him to text one day and started utilizing that time to practice my hobbies; I started journaling my thoughts and desires; I started meditation to calm my anxiety and slowly I started loving myself.