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Was ghosted by a friend a few years ago and I'm still not over it - how do I move on?

Community Member

Ben (not his real name) is an old friend of mine from school. We used to be quite close. I had a crush on him in school, which didn’t really lead to anywhere until we both graduated.

After we graduated school, he moved to a different state and I went to university. We would catch up whenever he was in town and things were always very flirty between us.

The last time we met up we ended up hooking up at the end of the night...which ended up being pretty awkward in all honesty. And that was the last I saw or heard anything from Ben. While I haven’t made an effort to reach out to him, I have held resentment towards him because he didn’t check to see that I was okay after we hooked up (I wasn’t). I felt that this was extremely disrespectful towards me, especially given that we were meant to be friends and as a result, Ben not checking up on me made me feel used and humiliated. A few months passed after our last date and since he didn’t reach out, I decided to delete him off social media. He definitely noticed, because I quickly realised that he unfollowed me on Instagram.

It’s been almost 5 years since I have seen or heard anything from Ben. I am also now in a loving relationship with someone else. But yet, especially over this last year, Ben has crossed my mind more and more frequently. I am torn between being resentful towards him and missing the friendship we used to have. These thoughts are becoming a lot more intrusive and I keep finding myself searching for him on social media. I'm even considering reaching out to him, but I am unsure what to say after all this time or if this is even a good idea.

I feel like I can't go on like this - I don't know why I keep ruminating on someone from the past when I have a great boyfriend right in front of me. How do I move on?

6 Replies 6

Community Champion
Community Champion
Hi and welcome to beyond blue forums.

In your case not sure what might have started these thoughts coming back. In my case reactions can be delayed.

Not only were you ghosted and it sounds like you also did not get any closure?

Another possibility is that this person might not have recognised anything wrong or even to check-in with you. Perhaps if they did not, would not know how to respond to what you say. It might sound like I am making defences for them but these are ways I reframe my thoughts.

Talking about our past with our partners can be hard. Been there done that. Have you spoken to anyone about the effect this event had on you?

Maybe talking here is enough.

Lastly from a breakup perspective you did the right thing.

Hope you will come back to chat some more.


Community Member

Hi rani_94.

It seems that you are attracted to something about this Ben, something (a feeling) has you attached to this person, weather it's his appearance or the attention he gave you, you need to figure out why you are feeling possessive about Ben and how to let him go.

Especially that you are in a relationship, sometimes when one doesn't value or give themselves compassion, they lose track of their identity. This then can cause chronic and unhealthy issues within your existing relationship.

Try learning to let go of this person as they do not value or benefit you.

Speak to a health professional for advise on controlling your thoughts.

Good luck with your journey.

You're correct, I didn't get closure which makes this so much harder to deal with. I'm only left with my side of the story.

I had a bit of a medical drama that night which he observed so he definitely knew something was wrong. But perhaps the thought of checking up on me afterwards didn't cross his mind or he didn't think he had an obligation to since we weren't exclusive. Or perhaps he had regrets about the night and didn't know how to communicate that to me. This is what upset me the most...as a friend, even if he didn't wish to continue casually dating me, he had a duty of care to check that I was okay.

My partner knows about him and the fact that he ghosted me. Overall he has been supportive and has agreed that ghosting was a really crappy thing to do. I can tell that Ben ghosting me has had an effect on my current relationship - I feel like I'm always a lot more on guard now and get more insecure about things that previously wouldn't bother me.

I was definitely pretty heavily infatuated with Ben, or at least an idea of Ben in my head. Apart from when he'd come back home, most of our relationship was long distance. I think both his appearance and our chemistry is what made me so attracted to him. It's rare that I have had that sought of connection with other guys. I think I will start seeing a mental health professional regarding these thoughts as I really can't go on like this.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Or maybe "Ben" was scared? Not trying to justify his actions. We never really know how/we or another person might react until you/they get into a situation.

There are things from my past (my younger self) that I wish did not happen. But they did. I cannot change that either. In sessions with my psychologist I spoke about these situations. Sometimes I wished that I could the other person what they did. Or even write. BUT... would they remember? would they care?

And so I came to the realization, other than it would not change anything, but I also had to look at the where I am NOW which proved what was said to me was lies or more about them than me. The version of me that is this now is better than whatever might have been said and so they were also wrong in what they did/said and perhaps a way of moving on... at least for me.

Your current partner sounds a lot more supportive than Ben.

Is it possible that your current relationship has reached a stage that you are frightened your current partner will do something similar to Ben?

Remember he sounds more supportive already which also means he cares very much about you.

Community Member
It's such a shame that you guys weren't able to save the friendship. I may not know how he feels but for me it's simple. If he wants to talk to you, we would have done so, but it's been five years. That's ridiculous. Go on with your life and cherish the people who cherish you.