I Ghost Everyone I Fuck (If They Don’t Ghost Me First)
Foto via 'Scooby Doo'


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I Ghost Everyone I Fuck (If They Don’t Ghost Me First)

My life is haunted with the ghosts of Tinder dates.

All illustrations by the author

My dating life is tough for me to navigate, because different parts of me are looking for different things. I want to start the New Year by trying to address the root causes of why I'm perpetually single and why I think that's the right thing for me. Maybe there will be some positive and relatable reflection by some of the people who read this. More likely, though, it will just be a bunch of Facebook people commenting on how I'm a typical millennial loser who isn't a real journalist and that I don't deserve love. That's chill too. I agree with you for the most part. I don't think I'm better than anyone, so just let me have my Carrie Bradshaw moment.


Actually, only part of me is attuned to Carrie Bradshaw's eternal quest of finding real love. Somewhere inside of me I'm looking for that, but the moment I start to acknowledge it, I push it out of my mind. The dominant side of me is a shitty fuccboi who thinks he's somehow above love as a concept. I think of Gordon Gekko in Wall Street when he says that love is a fiction created by people to keep them from jumping out windows. I probably shouldn't reference a movie villain's outlook on love, but I watched it last night alone in bed, eating coconut cream pie, after I hooked up with a guy on Tinder, and it really struck a chord.

I use Tinder a lot. It works well for me because I'm an extreme introvert who reads as an extrovert online. Before I meet someone in person, I'll usually bring this up, in fear of being a borderline-catfish. Tinder works because I don't feel very weird ghosting people I meet on it. Usually, I'll go on a date, probably hook up, and 30 percent of the time, never have contact with them again.

But ghosting works both ways, and I don't feel that hurt when people on Tinder do it to me. It happens all the time. Maybe ghosting as a practice is symptomatic of our culture, which glorifies immediate satisfaction and condemns accountability. Or maybe they just didn't like fucking me. Regardless of its cause, my life is haunted by ghosts. Sometimes I can feel their presence, like when they like one of my selfies after we haven't spoken for months, trying to contact me from the other side. I'd bring in a medium to help with a reunion, but I'm not into threesomes. Once you've ghosted me, you're a ghost forever. No take backs.


Sometimes I'm the ghost. When I stop contact with someone, I expect to be treated like I'm invisible. If I see someone I've ghosted at a club, I don't want them to acknowledge me. More than once I've ghosted someone and regretted my choice. I stop talking to people for a lot of reasons. A lot of times, I'm just in a bad mental state and communicate it poorly. When I'm feeling better, I'll jangle my chains at them and hope for a response. Almost always the damage has already been done, and it's too late. I repeat this cycle often.

Relationships scare me. I have a lot of trust issues, and my cynicism can be pretty toxic to be around for extended periods. This is one of the reasons I am such a solitary person. It's hard to find a balance between wanting to be alone and wanting to have a lot of sex with people.

Another of my (plentiful) major flaws is how obsessive I get when I like someone. I get fixated and jealous. It brings out this awful person in me that I really don't like being. I don't know if that is what other people call "crushes," but I try to avoid those at any cost and keep things as casual as I can with the people I sleep with. When I start turning into that crazy version of myself, I disappear.

I have been running a pretty long con on myself for a while to get away with avoiding emotional commitment, and up until recently it's worked. I've been getting these "crushes" on people who live far away from me. That way, when we meet, the ghosting is implicit because it's geographic. We can have our little fling and leave it at that.  This plan worked really well until I flew across the continent to meet a guy and brought my feelings home with me. Now I'm obsessed with him but can barely stalk him from this distance. And that worries me. If I don't want to ghost someone who lives on the opposite seaboard, I'm totally susceptible to falling for someone in my own city.

I don't think ghosting is necessarily a good thing. It's problematic. But maybe it's just a natural evolution of our current modes of interaction that technology has shifted us towards. The anonymity I'm afforded by being behind a screen makes the impulse to ghost easier to act on. We have to accept that we're all someone's ghost.

This is the part where I twirl a pen bemusedly in my mouth, look at the ceiling in thought, take a deep breath and type, "And I couldn't help but wonder… If we're all someone's ghost, are any of us really living?"

Jaik Puppyteeth is an artist in Vancouver. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.