Give up the ghost

Joey Garcia

After four amazing dates in three months, my perfect guy disappears. We both have superbusy careers and didn’t have much time to get together but texted daily. Suddenly he stops responding to my texts or phone calls. I went by his office and the receptionist said he was not available. I left a note. No response. I left a note under his windshield a week after I tried to see him. Still nothing. I need closure and he owes me a reason for his change of heart. Please help.

Ghosting is on the rise. Dating partners often disappear (or fade away) when most of the relationship occurred through a screen (like texting or social media), and not in person. Regardless of how connected you felt, four dates in three months is not much of an investment. I bet both of you have been to the grocery store or the gym more than four times in the last 90 days. People make time for their priorities.

Please stop trying to convince yourself that this man owes you something. His silence is all the closure you need. The real problem is that you want to see him to convince him that he made a mistake. And that would be a mistake. Yours.

It’s likely he’ll drift back to you when he gets bored of whoever has his attention now. But if you let him in and he continues to limit his availability, or if he selects locations for your dates keyed to being seen and not to being with you, or if your communication remains primarily digital, expect to feel haunted again when he ghosts you.

Life is stressful and demanding. Does it have to be? Sometimes, when I’m on Instagram or Pinterest I get the feeling that everyone else has a better, cooler, more beautiful life than I do.

When I’m overwhelmed I ask myself if I am doing too much or if my thoughts about what I’m doing are overwhelming. It’s the latter, much of the time, and that’s good news. I can challenge my thoughts, then expand more fully into my capabilities. Or, I can confront my thoughts, realize I need a break and give myself time to recharge. Both choices are in my best interest. But social media comparathons are not. Social media offers channels for dipping into other people’s lives. But we’re seeing their curated lives, a catalog of carefully controlled online images. There’s often a mess (emotional, mental, spiritual or financial) in the story behind the screen.

I’m burned out. I’ve been working full-time for five years and I feel like I need a break. I would love to travel or pursue a completely different career path. I’m not sure how to decide what to do next, but I know I need something new.

If you’re burned out after five years of full-time work, you may want to re-evaluate how you work. Some people lack the ability to pull back from a 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. schedule of meetings, to-do lists, emails and quarterly reports. These individuals seem to believe that resting to restore mind, body and soul is for the weak-willed. If that description fits you, work is not the problem. The real issue is the need to identify why you don’t cherish yourself. Retreat and remember who you wanted to be. Think back to when you were 5, 7 or 9 years old and wise enough to believe in your capacity to create a fun and satisfying career. After all, when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” no child ever says: “Exhausted, unhappy and under-appreciated.” So consult your younger self for advice on work that inspires joy.

Meditation of the week
“I find that when I put my spiritual life first, the rest of my life is easy. When I put my career first, that's when I have problems,” says Ben Haggerty, who raps under the stage name Macklemore. Is there order in your life priorities?

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