Should I give a man who ghosted me for a full year a second chance?

Group Chat is In The Know’s weekly advice column, where our editors respond to your questions about dating, friendships, family, social media and beyond. Have a question for the chat? Submit it here anonymously and we’ll do our best to reply.

Hi, Group Chat,

I recently got a text from a mystery number saying ‘hey!’ out of the blue. I finally gave up on guessing and asked who it was and it turned out to be this guy I went on a few dates with a YEAR ago who I liked but he ghosted me right after our last hang. In his message, he said, “I know this has taken me way longer than it should have, but I’m sorry for ghosting you a while ago…could I possibly have a second chance and make things up to you?”

I know how this sounds, but am I insane for considering giving him one?! Help!

Sincerely, Ghost Buster

Dear Ghost Buster,

Jamé Jackson, who refuses to be treated like a Netflix show you cut on and off, respectfully says… Hell to the nah! I’m sorry to put it so bluntly, but that man is using you to appease his own insatiable need for human interaction. Who just randomly remembers a year later that they ghosted someone? What has he been doing for the past 365 days? Where has he been? Who has he been with? The reality is you have hopefully grown in a year’s time, so how does he even know he wants to still be with the new you? He was doing his thing and it didn’t work out. Now he wants you, the old-new thing, back. Life is about second chances but not when you majorly fumbled the first bag.

You are the Ritz Carlton and not a 1-star Bates Motel whose doors are always open! He showed you back then how important you were to him, and while I say definitely respond to be nice, don’t set yourself up to be hurt a second time. Furthermore, we don’t summon ghosts up or try to make them human. He ghosted you and he needs to stay just there, in ghost land. In the meantime, I urge you to find something good to watch online or at home to take your mind off of this boy. He took his mind off you a long time ago! 

Dylan Tuba, who had a weird awakening the first time he saw Casper, says… Ghosts can’t cross over to the other side because of unfinished business. That’s you. The guilt he feels is keeping him bound to the earthly realm. And do you know how crappy Earth is right now?

As a spiritual man, my advice is to go for it. Ghosts can be super hot, like Patrick Schwayze doing sexy shirtless pottery in Ghost or King Boo from Mario with his gigantic tongue. Best case, you have an amazing date that turns into an eternity of good times. Worst case, you sage your house and move on.

Kelsey Weekman, whose only flaw in life is her fondness for ghosting, says… I know this is a spicy take, but I’m pro-ghosting. I think it’s a very merciful way to end a short relationship. If someone isn’t responding to you, they’re either 1. dead (RIP but they can’t date you anymore), 2. bad at texting (so you’re dodging a bullet) or 3. not interested. Thanks to ghosting, you can mentally file the end of any relationship under the first two categories and not the third, so no one can ever hurt your feelings!

Anyway, getting a text out of the blue a year later means he is definitely not dead, but you ARE haunting him, and a date with him could be fun because at least you’ll be able to roast him over the ghosting to break the ice. I recommend trying it out, and if it goes badly, you could gain some free food and a great story. The point of doing ANYTHING, to me, is getting a great story out of it. Content for your memoir, if you will. Also like … do you have anything better to do? 

Katie Mather, who would give this guy a second chance if he were 6’2″, says… First of all, you have technically already given him a second chance. You have answered his text despite not knowing who it was coming from and then he made you guess who it was. That’s strike two and even though we don’t like baseball because it’s boring, it’s clear this guy is already wasting our time.

I like to call this a classic Robert Frost Dilemma — you know, “Two roads diverged.” You’ve seen the poster in your ninth-grade English teacher’s classroom and, because poetry can be about anything, this poem is also about Robert Frost getting ghosted and wondering what to do. 
On one path, you give him another chance. The end of the world is coinciding with cuffing season, I totally get it. But the road less traveled — the one your ninth-grade English teacher, Robert Frost and I all want you to take — is kicking this guy to the curb. 

You are only one traveler — you can’t take both roads! — and simply replying with a clown emoji will make all the difference. 

Also, who is ghosting people in 2020? What is this, 2017?

Dillon Thompson, who sometimes forgets to answer texts for *nearly* a year, says…  This is either extremely neurotic or self-centered of me (probably both), but if I were in your shoes, my first thought would be “what did I do to remind this person I exist?” I’d be running a full audit of my latest Instagram posts, tweets and heck, even my movie reviews on Letterboxd for clues — because this is a long time to ghost someone.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what inspired this person to try re-entering your life a year after pretending like you don’t exist. What matters is how you perceive their actions back then, and whether you’re cool with letting the bad behavior slide. To me — and I say this knowing that human interaction is a such a premium right now — it’s not worth the effort. Yes, dating during a pandemic is tough, but that isn’t a reason to give time and energy to someone who previously left you hanging. In my opinion, neither is a weird apology that asks for a “second chance.”

TL;DR… Ghosts belong in the graveyard, not on your arm (unless they are Patrick Swayze). Leave it alone!

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