Rule one when in a relationship: never underestimate how fast it can all go tits up.
It doesn't matter if you have been with someone 12 days or 12 months, feelings can sometimes change in an instant. Either that, or the feelings they had were never real in the first place and they were just swept up in the excitement of a new person.
One evening you are being bombarded with texts about how much they love you and talking about where you want to go on holiday together next year and 12 hours later he's gone forever. There is no good morning text, no phone call at lunchtime and by the time 6pm comes around, you begin to feel a bit worried and confused. Are they okay? Have they had some sort of accident?
So you try and call them out of concern and it goes right to voice mail. Then you send a text saying "is everything okay?" and it goes unread or, even worse, read and ignored.
There are two things you can do in this situation:
My way is to think: 'sod you then, prick', drink some lager, have a scroll through Tinder and move the fuck on with my life, because life is far too short to waste your time over someone who can't be arsed to stay in contact, no matter how in love with them you think you are. Self respect is far more important than scrabbling around for scraps of another person's affections.
The other, more popular way for those who are not as hard nosed as me, is to constantly bombard them with texts and phone calls begging them to contact you and message their mother on Facebook asking if she knows what's going on.
For God's sake - never stoop to messaging any of his family members. Nothing says bunny boiler like a sending a crazed 2am message to his cousin you've met once asking if she knows what is going on.
If someone has suddenly switched on you and starts ignoring you, then they are either dead or they don't want anything to do with you anymore and have taken the coward's way out rather than be honest.
It's usually the latter and no amount of phone calls, texts, emails, whatsapps, tweets or Facebook messages will change that. You will try and contact them by all the above means and it will only make you look like a crazy stalker.
Barring death or coma, there is no reason that a person cannot send a quick message, especially to the person they proclaim to love. So if someone who you are in a relationship with doesn't contact you for any length of time, the chances are that they just don't want to be with you anymore and are too scared to tell you. It's a sign of weakness on their part and nothing to do with you.
I don't care how ill, busy or tired you are, it takes seconds to send a text. I was texting photos of my baby to my family ten minutes after being stitched up from my caesarean section, so there is rarely an 'I didn't contact you for a week because...' excuse that washes with me - barring proof that they have been in intensive care and lost the use of their arms.
There is a real danger time for ghosting in a relationship.
It's usually around the two month mark when things in a new relationship (if you can call it that after eight weeks) start to go tits up. Up to the two month mark, everything is usually exciting and new: the sex is amazing, you can't keep your hands off each other and you both think you have found the most wonderful person ever.
You are both on your best behaviour and he has probably never even farted in the same room as you.
You text each other all the time and live in each other's pockets (little tip here - never do that. Keep living your own life and seeing your own friends, you will thank yourself later) and can't keep away from each other. You even text them while you are on the loo at work.
None of that is sustainable in the long term and the initial excitement always slows as both of you feel more secure with each other, but you still do keep in regular contact and share stories about your day.
Sometimes communication on one side really slows down as one person starts to seem less keen than the other, so you get a feeling that something is starting to go wrong. But sometimes it can come right out of the blue with no warning.
There's a script to ghosting that all men and some women (but I have found that men are more likely to ghost) follow to the letter. These poor, tortured souls all think that they are the first ones to feel that the best way to end a relationship is to disappear, but they all unwittingly follow the same script and if you know what it is you can see it happening in the way they communicate with you.
While some men go for the full on ghost, dropping from loads of contact and declarations of love to disappearing off the face of the earth, others prefer to take what they think is the more subtle approach of gradual ghosting.
This is when they systematically drop contact and change the tone of their communication over the space of a few weeks. This is ridiculous, as who has the time and the energy, and how much do you have to think of yourself that you have to 'wean' someone off you by gradually reducing contact? If this is happening to you and there is no valid reason, such as one of their family being ill or nuclear war, then do yourself a favour and ask them right out if they want to end things. Or just do it for them and spare the precious snowflake the worry.
If someone is into you then a relationship really shouldn't be hard work. You shouldn't have to second guess if you can phone them, or wonder why they are being off with you - you should be able to talk to them openly.
I once had a boyfriend who lived a couple of hours away and was due to come and stay with me for the weekend. At 4pm, I had a text saying that he couldn't wait to see me and he'd be there in two hours.
It's now 9 years later and the bastard has still not arrived yet.
At the time, I was a little bit put out because I had cooked him dinner, shaved my legs and gone back on the pill and everything, but when he didn't turn up, I thought fuck you then and drank the cans of lager I'd bought him.
I did think about sending him a text asking if he was okay, but I didn't. It was quite clear that for whatever reason, he had changed his mind and didn't have the balls to tell me, and quite frankly, even if he had have contacted me again, I would have ignored him right back for being a rude bastard and wasting my time.
I know he's not dead, because he tried to friend me on Facebook five years later.
Ghosting someone is the worst way to break up ever. At least have the bollocks to say thanks, but it's not working out, it's not you, it's me. Anything.
Another time I was ghosted, the guy phoned me after two months of silence, to say that actually, he didn't want to see me again. No shit! You haven't bothered to contact me in 8 weeks, I took the hint a long time ago. When I asked him why he didn't just tell me that he didn't want to see me anymore he said he was worried that I would cry and get really upset and he didn't want to deal with it. I took him down a peg or two when I told him that the six weeks we'd been seeing each other meant so little to me that I would have just said, "no problem, have a nice life".
So, what to do if you are being ghosted? Delete his number, block him on Facebook and think how lucky you are that you have got away from such a coward - and remember, never, ever contact his mum.
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