She recently went on a trip and now she’s distant. What do I do?

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DrianoBriscoll asks:

Hi guys, throughout November and December I was dating this girl introduced to me by a mutual friend. Communication was good, we’d talk every day via WhatsApp and met up whenever we had the chance. Our trajectory was very promising. Unfortunately she went home for the Christmas period and then went straight onto a college trip in January. So I haven’t actually seen her since the 20th December. Despite that, our trajectory was good. We made plans for when she was to come back and she’d still talk to me every day over the Christmas period. It was nice..

She went on a trip with her college class two weeks ago, I didn’t hear from her during it – fair enough – but has been incredibly distant since she got back. This is the ghosting kind of distance. Her replies dwindled to the point where she stopped replying at all. 24 hours ago I ran an idea for a date by her and she didn’t respond at all.

Now, I know it’s over. But it fucking hurts. Am I supposed to do anything? What do I do if she replies?

Demetrius says:

I love this question, mostly because it’s such a specific question for a specific situation that really only happens around this time of year. You’d be surprised how often there is a momentum change in dating right around major holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. So many people who meet around Thanksgiving and December experience a similar shift in momentum and attention that can easily be blamed on the holidays but could also point to a loss of interest. Which, to be clear, is exactly what happened in your case.

It’s the middle of January as I write this and the last time you saw her was almost a month ago. Sure, she was away on a trip for 2 weeks, but let’s account for the almost 2 weeks that she’s been back. She is being distant and has gone so far as to ignore you. That isn’t the sort of thing someone does when they’re just busy, that’s the sort of thing someone does when they’ve decided they don’t want to see you again. Dating should have some level of reciprocity to work. Whether its financial, attention, or affection. If you’re seeing someone for 2 months and they suddenly stopped showing you attention or returning your calls or texts and you persist in pursuing them without any reciprocation, you’re not dating anymore, you’re chasing them. You made plans for when she’d be getting back from her trip but I’m guessing those fell through, right? You didn’t hear from her during her ski trip which sounds fair to you, but I’m guessing that wherever she was there was either cell service or wi-fi. Even if she went skiing in the most desolate part of the world, why no follow-up when she’s back in civilization? If she wanted to reach out to you, she’d find a way. Once, long ago, I was dating a girl and about a month or two in to dating she took a 2 week trip through Europe. There was a major time difference, a complete inability to text, and yet she still managed to reach out in between traveling to 3 or 4 different countries. My point is, if she wanted to reach out to you, she would.

So what to do now? Let me just say, I know this situation hurts and I’m guessing it’s because you saw things progressing with her. It’s okay to be hurt by all of this, but try to look on the bright side. Better she flaked out early on, rather than 6 months down the line. I don’t think you should do anything in terms of reaching out, because she’s closed the door and it’s clear she isn’t receptive to seeing you anymore. If she stopped responding, she’s not interested, and it’s entirely possible it’s because she’s seeing someone else. Don’t waste more of your resources, like time and mental energy, on reaching out and instead re-focus on meeting someone new. If she replies, well, ask yourself if the feeling you’re feeling now, being fucking hurt, is worth repeating. Is the high of her potential response worth the low of her eventually flaking out again? It’s for you to decide but personally I’d be unresponsive if she replied because I’m all about that Hammurabi’s code when it comes to dating. If you weren’t worth a response for however long it hypothetically takes her to get back to you, respond in kind. Or rather, don’t respond.

Good Luck Out There.

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