Blast from the past

In a country where marriages, believed to be so sacrosanct and always for keeps are losing its essence, what can be said about relationships? Fragile marriages are on the rise. And on a steeper rise are erratic relationships. Shorter shelf life, unpredictability, commitment phobia, ‘on and off’ relationship status et. al. are some of the core patterns that mark relationships of today.

I had written about ‘ghosting’ some months ago – an abrupt disappearance from a dating partner’s life by suddenly becoming incommunicado. There is generally no guilt or remorse attached to the breakup. Can be quite an emotional roller coaster for the partner ditched. In contrast to ghosting is being ‘zombied’. It’s a sudden reappearance in an ex partner’s life for reasons best known to the person reappearing. The return is like a blast from the past.

There can be a multiple reason for people resorting to this. A failed relationship, a relationship not satisfying or gratifying enough, a comparison between a current and a previous relationship leading to a realization process that perceives the ex-partner  as better. Also, the inability to get hitched again can make one turn back to one’s ex.

An IT professional dated a girl for quite a few months. Being head over heels in love they even discussed their future together. However, gradually the girl started reducing her interactions and communication with him. Finally she just went into the oblivion. Nursing a broken heart, he had no other option but to move on, which indeed was very painful. One fine day, ages after the unannounced break up, he received a text message from her telling him that she couldn’t live without him. It had taken him a long time to get over her and was in no way interested in severing the old ties. The trust factor was zero now and he just couldn’t get himself into getting involved again since he was sure that he wouldn’t be able to cope with another heartbreak –  although it was very tempting. He let the head rule over the heart this time.

The gentleman was justified in keeping himself off her. People should be extremely wary about their partners especially if they have been ghosted and zombied once. The very fact that it has happened once merely points at all the possibilities of it happening again.  Getting reconnected with such a person wouldn’t be a good idea because such people lack the empathy to realize what they have put the other person through. A relationship without mutual empathy is a big non-starter.

In case, one is tempted to get involved again, one should tread very slowly. ‘Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst’ should be followed to a T. If it’s not the first time, it necessarily cannot be the last time of being ghosted. Instead of getting emotional one should very practically deal with it. Time would be the biggest test of such a relationship and would tell whether the person has returned for genuine reasons and regrets the breakup or not. After all you don’t want to become a zombie again.