He was fascinating, intelligent, and fun. Someone I was excited to learn from and exchange stories of various topics. We checked in with each other almost daily, spending hours talking about anything and everything.
But suddenly, he stopped reaching out.
I didn’t really mind being the one initiating contact, so it didn’t bother me at first. Until it did.
No longer 16 and not one to beat around the bush, I asked him directly, “What’s going on? Is everything alright?”
The thing is… I asked, even though my intuition already told me he no longer needed a temporary distraction. (More on this later)
And after telling me “Everything is fine” “I’ve just been really busy” — to avoid coming right out and say, “I don’t need you anymore, Carmen,” I took a step back to observe.
A week went by with not even a “Hey!”
Week two… nuthin.
Observation-Mode aborted… initiate Chase-Sequence.
- I reached out every few days to say, “Hi!” or comment on something he posted. And while he always replied, the conversation no longer expanded into anything substantial like it used to.
- I continued to “like” his posts on social media because you know, that’s what friends do… until he stopped engaging on mine.
- I attempted to use Jedi mind tricks to get him to think about me. #fail
I read countless “Why did he stop texting?” and “Why did he suddenly go cold?” articles… when I already knew the answer. I just wanted someone to tell me it was fixable, for crying out loud!
But the truth is, he already told me it’s not.
Here’s the reality:
If someone you felt connected with suddenly goes from hot to cold, it’s usually one of 3 reasons:
- Something came up in their life and they’re busy, overwhelmed, depressed, etc.
- After the constant connecting, they need space to regain their independence, or …
- They’re just not feelin’ it for you anymore
How are you supposed to figure this out?
- First off, instead of driving yourself nuts inside your own head — or asking your friends to decipher their last few messages for clues, calmly ask the person in question, “What’s going on?” It’s always best to go straight to the source for an answer (albeit not likely an honest one).
- If they claim nothing is wrong and everything is “fine” while their actions demonstrate otherwise (e.g. continued radio silence while they interact with others like they used to with you), believe their actions.
- From that point, there’s nothing else to figure out or wonder about. Cut your losses and move on.
There’s no reason to hang on and continue looking for glimmers of hope, because they’ve demonstrated loud and clear through their actions (or lack thereof), that they don’t want to stay.
Remember earlier when I mentioned being a temporary distraction? Some people do this unintentionally when they’re going through a rough patch… or when they’re lonely. Whatever the case, all they wanted was someone to keep their mind off of something (or someone) else for a while. Nothing more.
But see, when a person is sincerely interested in hanging out in your world (be it as friends, romantic partners, or whatever), they won’t just suddenly up and walk out like they’re done with you.
Because that’s exactly what they’re saying…
I’m done with you.
Of course it’s possible they decided they don’t like being around you as much as they initially thought, but such an abrupt change in behavior with no discussions to clarify and resolve (especially if you were lead to believe everything was fine all this time) is quite inconsiderate.
Yes, it sucks.
But you know what sucks even more? Trying to convince someone who couldn’t give two-sh*ts about you that you’re wonderful (and you absolutely are — which is why you shouldn’t have to convince anyone).
See, as amazing as you thought they were, you’re pretty damn amazing yourself. So, if anyone stops putting effort into your relationship, it’s time to take your hand back — because they’re not reaching out to take it.
Not everyone’s going to be a good match. But the good news is, there are over 7 billion other people who could be. Yes, you wanted things to work out one way or another with this person in particular, but you can’t force anyone to stay if they don’t want to.
Plus, once you release this one-sided connection, you make room for someone who will happily reciprocate. And let me tell you… you deserve someone who will rise up to meet you where you are. Someone who finds joy in giving you all the attention and affection you want… and receiving all you have to give.
No chasing required.