Category Archives: Uncategorised

Ghosting – What IS It About?

The dictionary says that ghosting is ‘the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly, and without explanation, withdrawing from all communication’ and that pretty well sums it up.

It seems that it’s a common dating problem but that doesn’t make it any easier if you’re trying to understand why someone’s ghosted you. Since dating apps became popular, it’s been a lot easier to drop in and out of someone’s life without any explanation.

What typically happens is that you’re in a relationship which you’re thinking might be long-term because you like them, they seem to find you attractive and fun plus things seem to be going well, when, out of the blue, they just disappear!

From texting and talking every day, going out at weekends and discussing a possible holiday together, there’s suddenly…..nothing. Most people are left feeling hurt and more than a little confused. Basically, what it means is that for whatever reason, the other person isn’t happy about something but they don’t want to have to explain it to you (or even themselves!). But another way of looking at it is that no message is a message in itself.

It’s pretty selfish because they get out of it without having to experience any upset themselves. Whereas, for the person who’s been ghosted, it’s a rejection that has no real explanation. It also shows a lack of respect if they don’t even care enough to give you any reasons.

Even if you do happen to bump into them at a later date, it’s unlikely that you’ll get a straight answer to the question “why?”. That could be because they’re not great at communicating what they feel, they felt that they were ‘too busy’ (although who wants to date someone who’s too busy to even text?) or that they just don’t feel the need to explain.

People who are reluctant to get close to someone, maybe due to trust or dependency issues, often use indirect ways, such as ghosting, to end a relationship. Also, there are those who believe some relationships are either meant to be or not (in other words, they believe in fate), are they’re more likely to think that ghosting is an acceptable way of ending things.

Ghosting isn’t confined to romantic relationships – it can happen with friends or work  colleagues. Walking away with no explanation means that there’s no drama or justifications involved for the ghoster.

One thing I want to mention though is that they are the problem, not you. It may not feel like that immediately, but further down the line, hopefully you’ll realise that that’s the case. There will be a more compatible partner out there for you even though it may not seem like it straight away.

But when you’re still feeling hurt and maybe mystified, how can you deal with it?

Reflect on what’s happened and send one text, if you want to, asking if they’re alright – that gives them the chance to tell you what’s been going on for them. If they don’t reply, it’s time to find ways to move forward without them.

First of all, try to avoid reminders of your ex (or friend) so don’t sift through old photos on your phone or look at texts you both sent in the past. Most of all, don’t go over social media postings – it won’t help, whether or not there are new posts.

Focus on yourself, taking care to fit in some exercise every day and catch up on things that you may have put on hold. Most of all, be kind to yourself and don’t get into behaviour patterns that are self-destructive – they won’t help and you’ll end up feeling worse. Instead, use this time to deal with any anxiety, using a meditation app. or watching a YouTube video.

Although you need to grieve for the relationship, try not to dwell on it because the underlying causes won’t be to do with you, but will be about the other person who doesn’t know how to communicate effectively.

As with any relationship that’s comes to an end, it will take time, but have faith that you’ll eventually move on from it.

If you’ve been the one who’s been ghosted, I hope that this has helped. If you’ve been the ‘ghoster’, maybe it’s given you something to think about….! Also, in the future, if you find it difficult to figure out where you stand with someone, it might be a good idea to stop standing and start walking!

You can read my blogs as soon as they are published (usually on Wednesdays) by pressing the ‘follow’ button and you can share them with your friends. You can also find me on Linked In, Instagram (samebutdifferent) and read my FB posts at Same But Different.

Why Am I Always The One Getting Hurt In Relationships?

Does it feel as if you’re always the one getting hurt in relationships so that you’re on the verge of saying “no more; I’ve had enough”?

If so, you’ve probably spent a lot of time during lockdown wondering why this keeps happening and how you can stop it. Everything seems fine in the early stages and love blossoms easily – you seem to have so much in common and laugh at the same things. Suddenly, everything seems that little bit better, whether that’s when you’re stuck in a queue to pay for something, when it’s raining and grey outside or when someone irritates you at work.

But then, it seemed to change and you start pondering when that started and why did it happen.

First of all, it might not be down to you but instead about the person/people you choose.

When we’re vulnerable, it’s makes us fall harder for someone, possibly ignoring the early warning signs in a relationship that are telling us to avoid getting involved too quickly. Also, there’s the person who’s texting us every day to see how we are, what they can do for us – we can find that boring. It’s too easy – there sometimes needs to be a bit of a thrill building up to getting together. So, we choose someone with a bit of an ‘edge’, someone who seems a bit more exciting, someone that makes our hearts leap a bit.

That’s all great, but if it moves too fast, it doesn’t give us time to get to know the other person properly before committing ourselves. Also, even if you’re only in your twenties, a lot of people have what we call “baggage” – by the time people get to their fifties, it’s very unusual to meet people who haven’t got this “baggage”. However, sometimes this can be a good thing, even if it might make life more complicated. For instance, if the person has had a previous long-term relationship, most of them will have also learnt something about themselves and relationships (we hope so anyway!).

Are we actually deluded by our own fantasies? Do we sometimes look at a potential partner and not see them for who they are but who we’d like them to be? Might it be that we feel that if we love them and show them understanding, they’ll reveal that underneath they really are that person in whom we put our faith and trust? We’ll be the ones to help them understand themselves and it will all come right in the end. It’s a hard one to admit, even to ourselves.

Along the same lines is the question, why do we keep going for people who aren’t in a place to give us what we want or need? Again, is it because we feel that if we love them enough, they’ll stop doing those little things that cause us concern? That might be finding them out in a lie (what else have they kept from us?) or realising that they’ve racked up debts in the past that they’ve kept quiet about (“I was ashamed and that’s why I didn’t tell you”/”I thought I’d be able to sort it out”/ “I thought it was my business, no-one else’s”). Most of us want to be that person who changes the ‘bad boy/girl’ for the better but a lot of people don’t want to change, or don’t know how to, even though they might say otherwise at the beginning of a relationship.

So, here are a few ways to avoid things going wrong:

  • Try not to spend every waking moment together – it can take away some of the magic, however desirable it seems at the time.
  • Don’t drop everything and everyone else – still make time for friendships, family, hobbies and time alone otherwise it’s easy to lose your sense of self which ultimately makes you less interesting.
  • Try not to be too dependent on one another for every little thing – eventually this can become a need rather than a free choice.
  • Take your time and really get to know one another before you become really involved.

Hopefully, remembering all of the above, your next relationship will be the one to last so that you no longer get hurt and you can enjoy all the great things about being in love and having someone love you back.

You can read my blogs as soon as they are published (usually on Wednesdays) by pressing the ‘follow’ button and you can share them with your friends. You can also find me on Linked In, Instagram (samebutdifferent) and read my FB posts at Same But Different.

Is It Okay To Look Through Your Partner’s Phone?

How tempting is it to take a look at your partner’s phone?! I’d say a lot of us might take a peek if we thought we’d get away with it but some/a lot of you might disagree? What about their right to privacy? Well, as with so many things, it depends…….

Of course it’s a violation of their privacy but that line can become blurred when you have an intimate relationship with someone. Most people (not all, I know) tell a few little white lies to avoid conflict.

Some of it can be curiosity because when you see them looking at their phone you wonder, naturally, who they’re texting and if the answer isn’t particularly forthcoming, it can be irritating at best and send out alarm bells. But if you’re just a curious person and your partner knows that, they might be fine with you having a look and then you can laugh about it together.

But sometimes the desire to look at their phone is a sign of deeper issues in the relationship and if you’re looking for something amiss, you’ll probably find it, if only because texts can be misleading in their purpose and intentions.

However, if your partner has already cheated on you, it makes sense to have an agreement of complete transparency from then on if you’re going to continue together. This has to be mutually agreed but is one way of repairing the harm done. I have to add right here that if someone’s determined to cheat, they can always get another phone to text their lover but we won’t go down that road right now!

Checking their phone can be tied to issues around communication or intimacy because if problems are left in the air rather than being discussed, suspicions can mount. Sometimes it can be easier to check their phone rather than telling them how vulnerable you feel and why you feel the need to look at their phone. But although it can seem justified, it often creates more problems than it resolves.

Even if your partner hasn’t given you any reason to doubt them, you might feel insecure anyway, particularly if you’ve dated or lived with someone who cheated in the past. The betrayal will usually have stayed with you for a long time afterwards. Subconsciously, you may feel that a new partner will betray you or that they’re not really committed to you. This may not be the case at all, particularly if there’s no real evidence to suggest this.  If you don’t trust what they are telling you, in effect you’re doubting who they are and wondering whether the person they really are is reflected in the contents of their phone.

If you’re looking at their phone without their knowledge, it’s sustaining secrecy in your relationship. So, generally it’s not alright, particularly as you might find something that’s innocent but blow it up into something big. Or, instead, you might find something suggesting or even confirming that they were doing something you wouldn’t like (not necessarily having an affair but maybe doing business deals that you didn’t know about or buying things that you weren’t aware of). Of course, you’re going to be upset and it’s then become a self-fulfilling prophecy as well as being a bad way of finding out (is there ever a ‘good way’? Probably not!!).

In the end, there are no guarantees in any relationship, but going through someone’s phone shows that there’s a breakdown in communication. If you want to remedy that, ideally there needs to be an agreement that either you can both go through each other’s phones or that each of you needs some privacy even in your relationship, including keeping the contents of your phone to yourself.

When you feel threatened by your partner’s independence it’s not a healthy situation. If you have a relationship built on trust, it gives both of you room to connect with friends, family and colleagues.

Let me know what you think and whether you’ve found this blog interesting, useful or otherwise. You can see my blogs as soon as they are published (usually on Wednesdays) by pressing the ‘follow’ button and you can share them with your friends. You can also find me on Linked In, Instagram (samebutdifferent) and read my FB posts at Same But Different.

#relationships #self-esteem #trust #boundaries

Our Need For Companionship

According to an article I read online recently, a Japanese man has found a way of earning a modest living by renting himself out to people who want a companion, whether that’s because they’re lonely, bored and want someone to accompany them to a hospital appointment or, when it was possible, to a social event

Maybe you read the same article…..if so, what did you think about it?

Apparently, Shoji Morimoto, who’s 35 years old, has received thousands of requests for his services and rents himself out under the name of ‘Rental Person Who Does Nothing’. He charges about 10,000 yen which is around £70 and adds on expenses for any travel and meals. He meets clients for a chat and a drink but nothing more than that. In fact, he advertises himself as a person who can “eat and drink, and give simple feedback, but do nothing more”. As well as having 269,000 Twitter followers he’s published books, although I couldn’t find them online, but presumably they’re based around his experiences of going for a walk with clients, shopping with them or accompanying them when they have appointments with a professional.

In some ways, I’m thinking that this is a very worthwhile service, but also – it’s sad that we live in a society where people have to pay someone to alleviate their feeling of being alone. I doubt that this is confined to Japan as loneliness affects people worldwide although I suspected not so much in collectivist cultures. However, apparently that isn’t true as people don’t seem to be lonelier in societies that are traditionally labelled ‘individualistic’.  It’s common to live alone in those societies but it doesn’t always go hand in hand with loneliness. Interesting…..  see the link below for more information about this:

https://ourworldindata.org/lonely-not-alone

If you’ve spent five years or fifty years in a relationship and that person is no longer there, either because they’ve died or left, it can leave a huge hole when you’ve been used to having someone to share your life with. Even if you didn’t do a lot together and had few shared interests, that person was there physically at least. The same goes for a sibling or close friend – if they’re no longer in your life, for whatever reason, the void left can be very hard to fill Maybe you’ve decided to try to find more people to share your life with, not necessarily in a relationship, but so that there are people who provide a degree of companionship that you feel you’re missing. If so, going for a walk every day and just saying “hello” to whoever you meet along the way as well as texting someone in your family or a friend to see how they are. When restrictions ease, you could try joining a group that interests you as well.

It’s not easy to make these changes but if you try them, you may well find that you find the companionship that’s important to you.

I’d be interested to know what you think about this blog and what I’ve written so do comment if you’d like to do so.

You can read my blogs as soon as they are published (usually on Wednesdays) by pressing the ‘follow’ button and you can share them with your friends. You can also find me on Linked In, Instagram (samebutdifferent) and read my FB posts at Same But Different.

Companionship

Gaslighting – What Is It?

The original classic 1944 film

I wrote about this three years ago and since then I’ve noticed that it’s become quite a mainstream topic, with magazines publishing articles about it now. I wrote about it originally because I became aware that someone I knew was gaslighting me and I realised then how difficult it can be to deal with.

First of all though, if you’re in any doubt about where it comes from, gaslighting is a term that comes of the 1944 film Gaslight where a husband tried to convince his wife that she is going insane and eventually causes her to question herself and her whole life.

In a milder form, it’s now become a more focal term in counselling and psychotherapy and is usually to do with power and control in a relationship which can be from a partner, family member or work colleague. It is arguable that the ‘gaslighter’ (the one who perpetrates this situation) is also a narcissist but for the purpose of this blog I’m going to look at how the gaslighter often behaves; if you’re a victim of this type of manipulation, I also show how you can deal with it which is how I dealt with it when it happened to me, once I recognised it for what it was.

It usually goes like this:

  • The gaslighter creates a narrative about the gaslightee which suggests that there’s something wrong and inadequate about them. This might be along the lines of “why do you always do that/say this – it’s unnecessary”. This can make the other person start to question themselves.
  • Repetition – this type of conversation is repeated over and over again, sometimes in front of other people but more often when the target is alone with the gaslighter. This is a big
  • Escalation – if questioned, the gaslighter refutes evidence and attempts to make their lies and exaggerations look reasonable.
  • Wearing down the victim – often the gaslighter wears down the victim who becomes fearful, self-doubting, resigned and pessimistic.
  • The gaslighter appears to have the power – they will grant acceptance, respect and approval only if it suits them to do so (often in front of other people).
  • They will occasionally give false hope – they will treat the victim with superficial kindness so that the victim thinks ‘maybe things will get better now’.
  • They use people close to you as ammunition – one of the things that they use will be people that you’re close to, whom they’ll try to get onside in their subtle attacks on you.

So what can you do about it if you feel that you are the victim of a gaslighter?

  • First of all, don’t take the bait and when you feel that they’re trying to undermine you, don’t fall into the trap of questioning yourself about what’s happened.
  • Set some boundaries for yourself and them – you don’t have to answer all their questions if you find them intrusive and you can walk away if you want to.
  • Keep your life as personal as possible – they’ll want to know every detail if you let them. Make sure that your journals and phone are out of their reach so that they can’t pry.
  • Don’t introduce your friends to them – they’ll probably charm them and make you out to be the weird one. If you’re part of the same friendship group, keep your thoughts about the gaslighter to yourself unless you have absolute proof of what they’re doing.
    Don’t argue or discuss personal things with them – they have to ‘win’ at all costs.
  • Walk away as much as possible – you can say ‘no’ and not engage in every conversation that the gaslighter wants to have with you.

If you feel that you’re the victim of a gaslighter and are finding it hard to cope, counselling may well be of help in this situation, or talk to a trusted friend – sharing your fears can really help, but only if you know that they’re not going to influenced in any way by the person who’s gaslighting you.

Please do comment on my blog if you have found it interesting, useful or otherwise. You can see my blogs as soon as they are published (usually on Wednesdays) by pressing the ‘follow’ button and you can share them with your friends. You can also find me on Linked In, Instagram (samebutdifferent) and read my FB posts at Same But Different.