It would be nice if we had a crystal ball telling us which romantic flings would work out at the very beginning so we didn’t invest precious time in the wrong people.
I can’t guarantee you’ll never be ghosted again, but I can make you a competent “detector of intentions” so you have the best possible chance of investing your time into people who are serious about a relationship with you.
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“A guy promised he’d talk to me again but has ghosted and disappeared for months now. How do I stop feeling defeated and move on after someone leaves me clinging onto their words like that?” Look, no one can leave you clinging onto their words. Never, ever, ever give someone else that power over you. Never give someone that responsibility of giving you closure. Closure is overrated. You’re sitting there months later waiting for closure. No. Don’t ever wait for closure from anyone else because you may never get it. You may waste your entire life waiting for closure from someone. “Why did they do that? Why would they just disappear? Why would they break my heart? Why did they do what they did even though they said that they had completely different intentions? Why did they do this instead?” Never ever wait for somebody else’s closure.
What you have to do is give yourself closure. Give yourself that closure. You know what? The only closure I need is that in this particular case, a guy promised that he’ll see me again and then didn’t. You may sit there and think how’s that closure? The closure is, you had it confirmed that this person is not a person of their word. You had it confirmed that this person’s actions don’t meet their words and try being in a relationship with someone whose actions don’t meet their words. It’s is going to make you deeply, deeply, deeply unhappy. So you should be glad by the way that you’re not in a relationship with that person, because you know what’s worse than someone not keeping to their word and you lost them? Someone not keeping to their word and you still have them. Someone you’re still in a relationship with who continuously breaks their promises, who continuously doesn’t show up. That’s worse.
This person gave you a gift. This person showed you they weren’t who they said they were or that their intentions weren’t what they stated and has now given you the gift of moving on and meeting somebody else. But you can only give yourself that gift at the end of the day, because if you’re sitting there waiting for closure or clinging onto something someone said, going, “But what happened? The reality didn’t match what they said.” Then that’s the reality, that this person doesn’t mean what they say and that you’re lucky to have them out of your life. For anyone out there, anytime someone ghosts you, anytime someone doesn’t show up for you, that is a form of closure. People are always showing you who they are. Maya Angelou said when someone tells you who they are, listen. If someone tells you they’re a selfish person, listen. If someone tells you they’re a workaholic and they’re never going to have any time for you, listen. Don’t ignore the things people tell you and don’t ignore what you see. If someone’s telling you something but their actions don’t match it, don’t ignore their actions either.
And by the way, some of you might say, “Well, how do you know whether to pay attention to someone’s actions or their words? Because their actions weren’t saying the right thing, but their words were.” Well, here’s an interesting scenario. Well, firstly, when someone is telling you lots of lovely things but their actions don’t match that, it’s their actions you should pay attention to. I’ll repeat this because I’m about to flip it. So watch this. You’re going to remember this for the rest of your life. It’s really, really fascinating. If someone is telling you, I love you. I want you, this, that, blah, blah, blah. But they’re not actually investing in you, watch their actions, not their words because their actions matter more. But what about the situation where someone is doing all of the right things with their … almost playing as if they’re your boyfriend, showing up, spending time with you, doing all of these things that you would think someone would do if they were really into you, but they tell you, “I don’t want a relationship.”
You may say, “Matt, what do I do in that scenario? Their actions say all of the right things, but their words say the wrong things. You said pay attention to their actions, not their words. But their actions say the right things.” Here’s the caveat. I want you to remember this rule, because it may sound a little complicated. It’s not. It’s very simple. Pay attention to someone’s actions more than their words, unless they’re telling you something that is inconvenient for them to say. Imagine a pharmaceutical ad. I live in America now. The pharmaceutical ads here are hilarious. You watch three minutes of two old people who used to have back pain who are now skipping in a meadow, feeling fine, feeling great, dancing away and it tells you about all the ways this pill rid them of their back pain.
At the end though, as quickly as they can possibly say it, they tell you all of the ways that this pill is going to make you depressed and unhappy, how it’s going to give you suicidal tendencies, how it might create a massive rash all over your body, how you’re going to have constant nausea, all of these things that the pill might do to you, it says very quickly at the end. And a pharmaceutical ad wouldn’t say them unless it had to. It says those things because it has to say them. Not because they want to, but because it has to say them. Not because it’s convenient, but because that’s the liability waiver. That in a relationship, when someone is playing your boyfriend but at the same time telling you, “I just really don’t want a relationship.” That’s like the disclaimer at the end of a pharmaceutical ad.
It’s like, “Don’t look at this thing I’m saying. Enjoy us skipping in a meadow together, dancing, having the best time ever. Focus on that. Focus on that. Focus on that. Focus on what this pill is going to do for your happiness in the short term. Focus on that. Focus on that. Focus on that. By the way, I don’t want a relationship and probably never will.” That’s the part you have to listen to because that part wasn’t helping him in that moment. Not going to make you more likely to sleep with him tonight. Not going to make you more likely to think he’s a great guy is the thing someone says because it’s truth. If someone says something that’s difficult to say, you can consider it as truth. If someone tells you what you want to hear, that’s when you have to watch their actions to see if their actions actually back them up.
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