Risking our hearts when we've been hurt before is never easy. But when we know our value, we can afford to take a safe risk in things like love. Investing in quality over quantity is one of those mature decisions that can only be made when we're secure in ourselves. People who come around for a good time (instead of a long time) aren't worth the limited attention (or affection) they provide.
People tend to make relationships more complex than they are. If you love someone, the love between you is all that matters. The real deal is really rare. Like, once-every-50-years kind of rare. Whatever the obstacles may be, if you want love in your life, grab it when it appears no matter what "problems" you may anticipate in the future. Stop self-sabotaging and just be present. Relationships take time to develop, even if the love doesn't. That's where consistent communication comes in. Talking to one another allows for growth. If you don't talk, the relationship is effectively a dead-end. In other words, the amount of love and passion present between two people is in no way a guarantee a relationship will evolve, especially if there's limited communication. It's called being emotionally available. And it's crucial to the success of any healthy partnership.
THE INVISIBLE MAN (or woman)
Cutting off communication with an intimate partner cuts off the relationship. If you've both chosen to go no-contact as part of a mutual break-up, that's one thing. But a unilateral choice in the midst of an active relationship OR situationship (any intimate engagement between two consenting parties in the physical world) always leaves someone in the dark. For the most part, a partner who chooses to blindside a lover does so because they were leading the other party on--wanting the sex and not the emotion, despite the fact that those two elements are always intertwined. The moment things get serious in a romantic connection, the partner playing games will feel the need to disappear without explanation (aka "ghosting"). Why? More often than not, abandoning a physical relationship (or situationship) happens when someone is already in another relationship. This is usually at the root of any imbalance in communication.
As individuals, we can't control how others behave--we can only ever act with integrity on our own end. Miscommunications abound when problems are prioritized over people. A person who wants things to work out will give a partner a chance to communicate by inviting a continued exchange. Keeping the lines "open" is the only way for a new relationship to grow--that goes a long way towards co-creating a stable foundation built on trust and mutual consideration. When an intimate partner rushes in for passion but pulls out when things get serious, that person has commitment issues--or, is already married, has a live-in partner, etc.. That's not to say that things can't work out with a partner in the process of ending old social contracts--but when your connection pulls a Harry Houdini, you know they were lying through their teeth when they told you they'd not been intimate with anyone else since you met. It's so unnecessary to even say something like that--if you happen to hear those words from an intimate partner at some point, especially if unprompted, it's highly likely you're being manipulated.
Why would anyone want to manipulate you into increased intimacy?
A person in an unhappy codependency will spread their misery by finding other partners, mainly out of desperation to survive the nightmare they're in. While anyone in a codependent relationship should take action to leave that situation, just being in an abusive partnership weakens you. After enough time, you may not even be employable or feel you can be physically independent because of the mental toll the abuse can take. So, if a person you believed loved you disappears, whether you knew it or not, a previous attachment was likely still in play. The "ghost" in question went backwards instead of moving forward with you because of a financial/mental/emotional codependency. The invisible partner probably can't support themselves and if they acted as though their circumstances were different when you met, you'll see them detach pretty quickly rather than reveal the truth.
Bottom line: Intimate partners (in the physical world) who disappear without explanation have lied to you in some way. Rather than tell you the truth--which requires swallowing ego and pride--they'll simply leave you hanging. No, it's not the most honourable thing to do, but these people have no integrity because they also lack self-esteem. It's a sure sign of codependency, if not with an intimate partner, with other family members. And, even though it definitely hurts to realize you were just a distraction for someone you cared about deeply, you are 1000x better off without those sad sacks. People who can't help themselves can't and won't help you either--even if they'd stuck around, that individual would have only drained you of your precious resources. Finding an equal (at least on a spiritual level) is the only partner you should ever consider. Otherwise, misery will be the result of any future relationship/situationship you find yourself in.
Even if "unintentional," when any romantic partner causes physical harm (or makes threats to do so, whether covert or overt), you need to end that relationship as quickly AND safely as possible.
If you've loved and lost before, meeting someone new can be triggering--you may know this person is a good fit, but are still terrified of moving forward. What if they hurt you? What if you hurt them? What if things blow up in a big fiery ball of eternal flames??? These are all unfounded (and unfair) fears. It's called projecting--or, letting the past rule our present (and subsequently, our future). This is part of why you may feel more comfortable in a relationship where you are not in love with your partner--it may feel "safer" in some way because you can't be rejected by a person you don't really love. However, you also feel very little joy, passion, love, or affection. Accepting a person we don't love as our partner (by rejecting the person we do love) is a sign that a past abuser is still in control of our lives--at least on a psychological level. That's something to carefully consider. However, in order to break that toxic cycle, one must first be honest with themselves.
When you meet a person you are interested in, and things seem to progress, it's natural to feel yourself pull back after surviving previous break-ups. You don't want to repeat your mistakes. You may even see the person you're interested in as "unavailable" or "unattainable" as part of unwitting self-sabotage. People can be seen as "unavailable" for many reasons--not the least of which include distance and previous attachments (like marriage, separation, divorce, and live-in partnerships). But we may also be dealing with our insecurities, too. A person we see as our "wish fulfillment" can seem like a fantasy--we may find ourselves asking, "How can someone THIS attractive really love a person like me?"
Regardless of the obstacles, if you have real love with another person (and they feel the same about you, too), be confident in your approach. If you see that person in your future, say so. Want to marry someone? Don't wait to express how you feel.
If the pandemic has taught me anything, it's that we don't have the time we think we do. There's no room for lukewarm love (or being tentative). So if you feel lukewarm about someone you're in a relationship or situationship with, tell them. When you know a person feels more deeply than you do, ghosting is actually cruel. Just say you aren't on the same page and help the other party move on. No, it's not fun to see a person you care for get sad. But be a grown up. If you're old enough to have sex, you're old enough to tell the person you've had it with that you don't see a future with them.
By the way, it's not just women who fall for their one-night stands. Men do, too. Casual sex may be fun, but there are at least two people involved and one may not be on the same page as the other. So, ALWAYS make your intentions clear right upfront. ALWAYS. To do anything else lacks honour and integrity. And, leading people on by coming around again a second time for the passion may be okay with the other party, but only because that person is in love with you already and is hoping things evolve. It's also possible the other party may see a request for more intimacy as the beginning of a new relationship. If you want to avoid hurting others, be honest about your intentions before being intimate or increasing intimacy.
No one wants to feel like an option. There are those of us in the world who know our worth and are unapologetic about it. We will demand respect and expect 100% reciprocity. Maybe you meet someone and things don't go as you expect--miscommunications can happen, especially when the exchanges between two people are limited by one and/or the other's disconnects.
Regardless of early speed bumps, when a person thinks things are on a progressive track in a relationship, they will be consistent in communicating their intentions towards their partner, following up those communications with clear action. That's the person to give your time and devotion to.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Where do you see yourself in a year? In two years? Five years? Ten? When you look into the future, do you have a partner next to you? Do you want that partner to be driven and successful? Do you want passion, intelligence--the traits that create a chemical attraction that makes you feel alive? Then go find it. And if you've already found it but somehow let it go, take a risk and communicate how you feel again. If you earnestly try to get in touch and nothing comes out of it, move your life forward until you find a person who can give you the love you both need and deserve. It is literally never too late to find and follow your bliss.
We all deserve a person we find highly attractive who can reciprocate our feelings by matching our passion. We also deserve a partner who will give us the same unconditional loyalty and love we are able to provide. A lifelong love who will help us to expand, evolve and grow is the healthiest choice we can make for ourselves. Someone to travel to new destinations with. Someone to enjoy a good meal with. Someone who will listen to our problems and encourage us to never give up hope. Someone whose touch makes every cell in our bodies come alive.
Stop wasting time on people who can't or won't give you what you both want and need. Let 2020 be the year you commit to yourself and your future. Stop settling for "good enough." Put an end to attachments that drain your energy, your resources and your patience.
If you want unconditional love, give it to yourself first and foremost. Let that self-love be your shield and your guide. Pause before you decide to cut people off, then, ask yourself if you're being reactive or proactive. And, when you feel real love for another human being, nurture that love--don't fear it. Believe me, our biggest regrets derive not from what we do, but what we don't do.
Live fierce and you will be happy...yes, yes you will.