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The lying liars who ghost women and how I unknowingly fell for one

On my first visit to his house, he told me he was crazy about me. I felt the same.

Megan Lam

We had three dreamy months before he left me with nine words: “I have things to think about. I’ll be back.”

Except the words weren’t true. He didn’t come back. The 49-year-old man I’d fallen for had ghosted me.

We’d met on the Bumble app, and from the start, our connection was smart, witty, caring, sexy, fun, and comfortable. Texts progressed to phone calls, calls to Zoom, and Zoom to real-world face time. I didn’t want our first date to end. After that, our time together was always effortless. We both said we were looking to invest in a relationship.

On my first visit to his house, he told me he was crazy about me; I felt the same. He invited me to spend Christmas with him and introduced me to his friends. He told me he wanted to meet mine. In retrospect, maybe it was all too fast, too much at once.

Every time we talked about ourselves and our dating pasts, he swore up and down that he was emotionally available, a great communicator, and that he didn’t play games. We joked about ghosting — we would never do that. Finally, it felt like I had found what I was looking for. I was happy. But then something shifted.


During our last week together, he was still texting me “good morning” at dawn and “sweet dreams” before bed, but he was in touch less often in between. And when he was, I felt his enthusiasm waning.

Gone were messages like “Thinking about you occupies a lot of my day” and “I’m glad my schedule allowed a visit with you this week.” The kissy face emojis became more infrequent. He seemed dodgy when I mentioned getting together. His phone clicked off the second — or maybe the second before — I said goodbye.


During our final conversation, it was as if I were talking to a different person, someone cold and distant, who no longer cared about me. He talked in circles — for the first time in three months — about the “distance and logistics” between us. I sent him a text after that call, urging him to remember our connection and to think things through. He said he would be back. I never heard from him again.

Maybe he changed his mind about me. That’s OK; I wouldn’t blame him for that. But I do blame him for leaving me in this gray space with no closure, no communication, nothing. Inaction that let him avoid confrontation at my expense. He made me question the past three months. I analyzed every text, conversation, and date. Was it real? Am I crazy? Did I do something wrong?

He robbed me of trust — in men and in my own judgment. My frequent middle-of-the-night thoughts left me rattled: How could I have chosen him when he would end up doing something like this to me? How was I fooled?

I lost focus as a mom, as a daughter, as a writer. For what felt like eternity, his actions monopolized my conversations with friends.

All because he couldn’t be a stand-up man, a decent human being, and communicate his feelings to me. He took the easiest possible way out. He did nothing. As a coward would.

My mind has been spinning over the possibilities — he got scared, he’s depressed, he’s dealing with scars from his ex-wife or his late mother. Maybe it’s all of that. Maybe it’s none of that. I don’t know and maybe I never will.


I do know that I’m strong and I’m healing. I’ve reentered the dating world cautiously and with more walls. Less free to share my feelings but doing a better job guarding my heart. I won’t be so hopeful. He took that from me.

All because he said he would be back. And that was a lie.

Judith Forman is a writer in Salem. Send comments to TELL YOUR STORY. Email your 650-word essay on a relationship to Please note: We do not respond to submissions we won’t pursue.