I ghosted a man after six weeks of dating… now he’s WORKING with me and making my life a living…

I ghosted a man after six weeks of dating… now he’s WORKING with me and making my life a living…

Dear Jane,

Last year, I had a brief six-week relationship with a man I met on a dating app. I made clear to him that I didn’t want anything serious from the start but he became increasingly insistent that we should be exclusive, sending me aggressive messages that really turned me off. 

It reached the point where I got so uncomfortable with his behavior that I just cut off contact with him altogether – albeit without really giving him an explanation because I was panicked about how he might react. 

Cut to two months ago and my boss went to introduce me to a new hire at my company: only for me to discover that it was the very same man I had ghosted a few months prior.

I was absolutely horrified but I reasoned that if we both just acted professionally, we’d be able to get through without too much drama. Sadly he didn’t seem to have the same attitude and within days of starting the role, he’d started to spread horrible, vile rumors about me among my colleagues. 

Dear Jane, I ghosted an aggressive man who is now working at my company and making my life a living hell 

He told people I was a serial dater, that I’d shared sick fantasies with him about my boss, that I told him I did drugs at work… the list goes on.

He’s also started undermining everything I do, shutting down my ideas, taking credit for my work, and all in all making my professional life a living hell.

I’ve tried having a conversation with him about it and he refused to admit to any of this – even though I told him I knew everything was coming from him. He told me that I’m obviously jealous of his success and popularity in the office, and that seems like a ‘me’ problem.

I’m at my wits end in all honesty and am seriously considering quitting my job before this situation can get any more miserable.

Please help me work out what to do before my career is ruined.

From,

Haunted By My Past

Dear Haunted By My Past,

How I wish we were all taught better communication skills in order for ghosting to become a thing of the past. 

Whilst I am not judging you for ghosting, I can tell you, from experience, that ghosting someone can create enormous pain in the person being ghosted. Being abandoned with no explanation can bring forth all of our insecurities and fears of not being good enough, and leave us wondering, for far longer than necessary, what we have done wrong.

International best-selling author Jane Green offers sage advice on DailyMail.com readers’ most burning issues in her weekly Dear Jane agony aunt column

We ghost, as you know, because we are scared of confrontation, or have no idea what to say, and it feels easier to stop responding to texts, to ignore phone calls, until someone gets the message.

This man’s strong reaction tells me that you ghosting him has stirred up something very deep in him, but however much compassion we have for someone in pain, his behavior is not acceptable. 

You mention you have tried to talk to him and he refused to admit his bad behavior, so now you have to send him an email.

Explain that his aggressive messages at the beginning of your brief relationship were off-putting, so much so that you felt intimidated, or threatened, at the prospect of a direct confrontation. Tell him you recognize that you ghosting him was not the correct thing to do, and for that, you can apologize.

Then, you need to list the behaviors and lies that he has subsequently told, tell him that this is not acceptable, and that if it continues you will take this further, but that you hope he can move on from his hurt at the rejection and have a mature working relationship.

The purpose of the email is twofold – it is important that you own your part in this, and more importantly, you need to create a paper trail to protect yourself if needed.

If he continues with his behavior after you send the email, you need to take this email to either HR, or your boss.

I will also add, that people wise up very quickly to someone spreading negative gossip. Whatever you do, say nothing negative about him, and do not engage in conversations about him. I imagine people will very quickly start to distrust him should he continue.

Dear Jane,

I’m somewhat stuck in a bind over what to do with my teenager daughter – who I have always banned from having a cell phone. 

I think kids’ obsessions with their devices causes nothing but problems and I want my 16-year-old to embrace the world around her, not the screen in front of her.

However, she has become increasingly frustrated and upset with this rule in recent months, even accusing me of putting her life in danger because she doesn’t have a way of calling for help if she’s out with her friends.

I do, to a certain extent, see her point, and I offered to get her a simple flip phone that will allow her to call and text, but won’t give her access to those awful social media apps. 

To me, it seemed like a fair compromise.

Apparently, she did not feel the same. She locked herself in her room and has refused to speak to me for the last four days.

I don’t want her to be unhappy and I certainly don’t want her to think she’s being punished – so how can I show her that these rules are for her benefit?

From,

Dear Jane’s Sunday Service 

Whether it is the end of a relationship, a friendship, or a brief affair, everyone deserves to have closure. 

If you had enough respect for someone to let them into your life in any way, have enough respect to end the relationship with words, or a letter, to allow them to move on. 

Ghosting feels easier, but is cowardly, and being ghosted can be brutal. Far cleaner, even though it feels hard at the time, to let someone know that this relationship isn’t working for you, and you wish them well.

Call Waiting

Dear Call Waiting,

I understand your reticence to give your daughter a phone; it is easy to dwell in the golden light of nostalgia and long for a world without cell phones, without the stress of social media, without the constant connectivity of technology.

However, that isn’t realistic. 

I imagine your daughter has a computer, so even if you think she isn’t on these apps, she has probably already discovered them on her computer. 

However much we want to protect our children from seeing hard things, or getting sucked in to today’s crazy online world, we would be shocked at how much they see, how much they know, and how naïve we are in thinking we can protect them. 

She is 16 and approaching an age where she will be able to do whatever she wants, without you having a say. Better I think for you to buy her a phone, and then be able to have conversations around the parameters you set.

There are many apps available now that give you parental control and restrict the time she can be on her phone, so rather than her feeling as if she is being punished by not having the phone in the first place, you can actually have far more control by giving her the phone.

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