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About a month ago, while finishing up my shift at the bar I work at, I received an interesting message. I had just finished my Friday closing routine of wiping down the bar, putting all the stools up, and drinking an aggressive gin and tonic as a reward for another hard day of drinking and occasionally dealing with customers. While waiting for my coworkers to finish their tip outs (and mine, as I was no longer trusted with any kind of math due to a prior debacle), I decided to catch up on the social media I’d been ignoring for my 12-hour shift.
After a confidence-inspiring 21 likes on my most recent tweet, I decided to see what all my friends had been up to while I was at work, and turned my attention to Snapchat. As soon as I opened the app, one snap immediately stood out to me. It was a name I hadn’t seen on my phone in over a year – my college ex. I was confused, but intrigued. Was it an accident? Was it a random nude? If it was the latter, would my girlfriend somehow find out about it and blame me? I had many questions, and only one way to find the answers. I opened the snap, and was greeted with a picture of blackness, with text overlaid on it.
“I miss you.”
“What the fuuuuck,” I audibly groaned, prompting my coworkers to ask me what was on my screen. I used up my replay and showed them, and was immediately asked the question I had been wondering myself. “What are you going to do?” In the next several minutes I went through a detailed three-part process to handle the situation as best as I could.
1. Knowing there was a chance I wouldn’t remember the message when I woke up, I left myself a note on my phone which said, “Your ex sent you a snap that said ‘I miss you.’ Looool obviously I didn’t respond, I got nothing to say to her.”
2. I texted my girlfriend about the snap, explained how random it was, and made it clear I had no intention to respond. I operate on a rule of 100% transparency in my relationship. Sure, sometimes my life would be easier if I kept certain things to myself, but that’s a slippery slope I don’t fuck with.
3. I convinced my coworkers to go to a late night bar around the corner and took shots until I forgot all about the strange occurrence.
Fast forward to this week. I’ve stood by my decision not to respond to the snap, my girlfriend was initially confused, but understood the randomness of the situation when I explained it to her, and this incident was firmly out of mind. Until the text. The same ex, after sending me that extremely risky, probably drunk snap, and seeing that I replayed it but never responded, apparently decided to double down and follow it up with a text. It was innocuous; a simple “Hey Nick! You’ve been on the mind lately, and I was just hoping all is well :)” It’s been several days, and I’m still unsure of what to do about it.
On one hand, I have no desire to talk to this girl. I have no ill feelings towards her and wish her all the best in life, but I just don’t see the reason to have a “catching up” conversation where we both humble brag about how great we’re doing before not speaking for another year. It’s not that I would hate the conversation; it just seems pointless. However, if her reason for contact has to do with that “I miss you” snap, then I definitely would hate the conversation. I’m extremely happy in my current relationship and I don’t want to hear anything about “what could have been.” Hard pass.
On the other hand, I feel bad just ghosting this girl. We were a big part of each other’s lives at one point, and even the last time we spoke, we caught up like friends. If I put myself in her shoes, I think the silent treatment, especially for no reason, would seem unnecessarily harsh. I’m a big fan of being open and forward with people, and I feel not responding and explaining my reasons for not wanting to talk is rude.
What do you guys think? Should remain unresponsive? Should I explain that while I wish her all the best, I’m in a happy relationship and feel that us catching up is unnecessary? Is that even more hurtful then the silence? I can’t figure it out. Let me know in the comments. .