Dear Aunt Available,
Late 2020 i came to know this guy and start to have feelings for him. Things are okay (pointing in the right direction I suppose) and we’re still getting to know each other. As time goes by, i feel my insecurities coming back when i thought i had healed.
3 years ago, a guy seemed to have feelings for me, things went well but suddenly he started to ghost me on and off till it became a frequent thing. When we were supposed to go on our first date, he kept postponing it and eventually ditched me once the date was decided on.
Sometimes when i wanted to respond to my current crush’s IG story, i get really afraid that he won’t reply, even to the most normal question. It’s affected my train of thoughts and most recently because of this, i ended up forgetting to wish him all the best for his phd studies altogether. I’m worried that if I don’t also reciprocate, he might eventually pull away.
How can I move on from the fear of ghosting and reciprocate better?
Ah, the matters of the heart. To that guy who kept ghosting you 3 years ago, 👎👎👎.
I think firstly, we have to establish that if someone is interested in you, polite at the least, he/she will reply to you no matter what, even if it’s a delayed response. For me, it’s nothing more than 24 hours of no reply, unless you know the person well enough to establish that they are either bad text-ers (which is often an excuse we create for the other person) or they work crazy-long hours daily and are too tired to catch up with daily banters. The least I ask of someone, who I see potential romantic interest in, is to reply to my text. If they don’t, or they seem cold, I’ll back off and not be as engaged (this takes a bit of self-discipline to do so, trust me). This is also part of what makes up my self-worth.
As soon as you know what will break you and how it will break you, you set boundaries for yourself so that you don’t let yourself go too close and be hurt, but close enough to explore the potential of romantic possibilities. If you’re interested in your current crush, you can give it a go and see if he replies your IG reply, or send a text to wish him belatedly for his PHD studies. After you pressed the “Send” button, tell yourself that if he doesn’t reply, it’s perfectly ok! Go back to the boundaries you’ve set for yourself—if he doesn’t reply to you, accept it, don’t blame yourself, and respect the boundaries you’ve set. If he replies, then that’s your chance to follow up!
I know, it’s definitely easier said than done. But remember, he’s not the same guy who ghosted you 3 years ago. Mr PHD deserves a fair chance too.
Just curious, are you and your crush currently friends, acquaintances, or complete strangers?
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