Dear Kadeejah,

I was seeing a girl, I’ll call Nia, casually for a few months, but the timing was off. Nia and I haven’t spoken for five months, but now I’ve been thinking a lot about her. We had so much in common, and I really started to care for her. I know it sounds like total b.s, but I knew I wasn’t ready to be a good boyfriend. I was pretty miserable. I was frustrated about finding work, broke all the time, and very angry about my ex.

Now that I have a good job and have worked through some issues with my ex, I realize what I’ve lost. Nia is amazing, and I want us to have another chance. But I don’t know if I want to contact her because I was such a jerk. Instead of telling her the truth, I ghosted her in a pretty unforgivable way. We made plans that I fully intended to keep, but as the day wore on, I became more depressed about work and blew her off. When she texted me the next day to ask what happened, I felt even worse and didn’t respond. The more time went on, the harder it got to reach out, so I stayed silent. I feel terrible about it.

I’ve been testing the waters a little, liking her Instagram posts and checking in with her stories. I want to contact her, but I’m not sure if her silence toward me is because she’s already moved on. Is texting her too forward? Should I slide into her DMs? Or remain a ghost forever?

– Regretting being supernatural in Atlanta

 

Dear Ghost,

My, my, my, what a unique situation you’ve found yourself in. Oh, except wait, it isn’t unique at all. Now that we can connect with people outside of our social circles, pulling a disappearing act is as common and as easy as striking up the conversation in the first place. Ghosting is an epidemic. You are not alone.

However, you are no longer a ghost. You’ve made your existence known by lurking around Nia via social media, and I’m sure she can feel your presence. Now, Kadeejah isn’t one for labels, but I must inform you: What you’re doing is called helicoptering (aka orbiting or haunting). And it’s super annoying. Almost as annoying as being ghosted in the first place.  

When ghosts appear, we all want to know why. What is the intention of this ghost? What are they looking for? Will they just go away if we pretend we can’t see them? You are no different than the ghosts that haunt the homes in horror movies: You’ve appeared because you have unfinished business. But compared to the supernatural, your chances of effectively communicating your intentions are far better.

Start by being direct, which is where you dropped the ball last time. Send her a text that says, “Hey, I’ve been thinking about how awful it was of me to completely ignore you, and the more time elapsed, the more embarrassed I felt. It had nothing to do with how I felt about you in that moment. I’d love to catch up and give you the apology you deserve. Are you free this week?”

If she tells you where you can shove that apology, case closed and unfinished business finished. If she wants to meet up, who knows? Maybe you’ll find life after death.

—Kadeej