As someone who writes about dating and relationships, I’ve heard my fair share of bizarre and crazy stories. This one shows how far someone is willing to go to ghost someone. A story from a friend. It’s long but it’s a cautionary tale everyone needs to know.
How We Met
I matched with a guy on Bumble and arranged to meet him for a coffee. It was my first date on the app and I met him because he seemed like a great guy. Recently out of an 18 year marriage and had relocated to Sydney to be close to work. He had two older daughters who still lived in Queensland – 16 and 21.
The coffee date went really well, and time flew by as we chatted. It wasn’t long before he was messaging me to say he enjoyed my company and thought I was a cool chick. The messages were flowing like crazy, and we were both keen to get to know one another better. My instincts were telling me to go with the flow, but I was also not sure if I was going to friend zone him due to his keenness on me. That’s what I have always done in the past. I’m not very into guys who are overly keen. I find it a little off-putting. The more I got to know about him, the more he seemed like the perfect guy.
The 24-Hour Second Date
The second date went a full 24 hours. He came back to my place, and we hung out until he had to leave the following day to collect his daughter from the airport who was visiting from Brisbane for the first time. I felt like the date couldn’t have been better and I was no longer thinking this guy belonged in the friend zone. In fact, I felt very strongly from this time together that I may have found “The one”. Seriously!
For the next week I couldn’t see him as his daughter was here but the messages between us were non-stop and we were desperate to see one another again. Once his daughter had left, we hung out at his place and it was just magic. He told me that when we were hanging out, ‘everything just felt “right”’. This obviously made me feel so happy as I felt the same and I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. The fuzzy feelings were overwhelming and I felt like a kid again. My heart would skip a beat when I heard my phone chime with a special message tone I’d set up for him.
What made me so happy was that he said he wanted to spoil and surprise me. He’d planned on taking me for a picnic somewhere and was asking what I liked to eat so he could make it perfect. But it was a total surprise as to where we would go. Somewhere romantic was on the cards and I couldn’t wait for our next date.
His second daughter was visiting the following week and I had to wait for my picnic date until she’d gone home. Meanwhile, I was thinking of ways I could surprise him in return.
During the week he was with his daughter, he was telling me about how he’d been feeling dizzy and was going to get a blood test and the results would be back on Friday. He said it was vertigo and he was hating the head spins he was getting from it. He suffered from an auto immune disease called Bechet’s which I’d leant all about during the time we were hanging out. He also told me he only had one kidney and that it was an enlarged one. We clearly covered a lot about one another during the time we were together.
We’d chat about the new Bachelor show each night and would send funny gifs to one another about it. I was always laughing and smiling at our conversations. The happiness I felt was greater than anything I’d experienced for years.
I had a job interview in the city on one of the days his daughter was still visiting. I knew I couldn’t see him but I wanted to surprise him. On my way out of the train station, I saw my friends florist shop and stopped in to say hello. I told my friend all about the “New man” and that we were talking about the Bachelor while we both watched at the same time. I laughed and said – I think I’ll take him a rose and leave it with concierge in his building. It was that nice surprise that I was looking for. I drove over to his building only to find the concierge was closed but the security guard let me up to his level and I left the rose at his door with a card. I sent him a message and told him that he’d got my rose – A bit of Bachy humour I thought!
Where Things Took a Turn
The following day I sent him a good morning message and he didn’t reply. The day went by and still nothing. He was supposedly down the coast with his daughter at a winery. It was very unlike him to not read and reply to my messages immediately. We even laughed about how we’d both wake up in the middle of the night to check our phones for messages.
I finally heard back from him in the evening and he said he’d had bad medical news that day. Over the next couple of days, he went off-grid and I wasn’t getting any replies to my messages. When he finally replied, he told me that he was not coping and that life was on hold for him. The messages were few and far between and I felt like I was being half ghosted. Meanwhile I just wanted to be there for him and the lack of info was devastating. He just said that the issues were going to determine how he lives the rest of his days and that he needed to understand how this burden would impact those close to him.
He was supposedly going for more tests and I was waiting to hear from him all the time. I wasn’t hounding him with messages, just checking in when I could to get some info and tell him I was there for support etc. He was clearly dealing with something heavy and I didn’t have any clues as to what it was from his lack of details in his messages.
When he finally told me what was wrong, he said he’d just had blood results and the Dr told him he needed daily kidney dialysis and a kidney transplant – Timeline yet to be determined.
I was in shock. I jokingly told him he could have one of mine to which he replied that his body wouldn’t likely accept one due to his auto immune disease. So at that point, he technically told me he was terminally ill.
My concern for him was so great that I spent a whole day prepping food for him thinking that he was likely unable to do much for himself considering the news. I took it over to his apartment that night and rang the doorbell at the front door on the ground level. He didn’t answer so I rang again. He then called me and told me that he wasn’t coming down and that he couldn’t see me because he had anxiety. I ended up leaving all the food at the door and drove home in tears.
Where It Didn’t Make Sense
The funny thing was, there was another car parked in his car space and his car was parked out on the street. The first time that I visited his apartment. I was told to park in his spot and he’d move his car to the street so I didn’t have any issues with parking. At this stage I was convinced he was so sick and that it likely didn’t mean anything to see another car parked in his space. But now I look back, I realise, there was likely someone at his place and he wasn’t alone after all.
For six months, I was depressed and couldn’t seem to fathom that I’d met the love of my life and he was so sick that it ruined my chances of happiness with him. I’d message him occasionally to ask how he was doing. The replies were few and far between. Often going days without reading my messages while he was clearly online all the time.
I’d left my scarf at his place when I was there one time and I really wanted it back. It was a good thing in my opinion as it meant that I’d see him one day to get it back.
Where It All Seemed Suspect
Six months later, I finally caught up with him at a café and he looked so well. We chatted for ages and he gave me my scarf back. I asked him how he was doing with his dialysis treatments, and he said that he’d been to the hospital twice to get a valve put in his arm. But due to his auto immune disease, they had sent him home and he still hadn’t been able to start the dialysis.
I had been a little suspicious about the whole thing seeing as he was being so aloof and had cut most of the contact with me. Blaming his mental health and going from 100 to 0 overnight. He’s clearly not had any dialysis by that stage so I said to him, ‘so this is for real’ and he replied ‘yeah, for real’. He said to me that he didn’t expect me to be so nice to him after I’d heard the news. I said in reply, ‘well that’s because I’m a nice person’.
The Cowardly Liar
Over the next six months following the coffee catch up, I offered to be there for him I deliberately kept in touch to see how he was doing as well as to see if this kidney failure thing was in fact true. We were still connected on Instagram and he wasn’t posting anything much about his life. However, we were also in lockdown for a long time due to covid. We caught up for another coffee and a chat and he borrowed some things from me. He was saying how he’d been playing beach volleyball and living a great life with the new friends he’d made from the team.
When we were finally coming out of lockdown 4 months later, he was able to return the things he borrowed from me and drove them over one weekend. He still looked really well and there was no sign of this thing he was apparently having to get inserted in to his arm for the dialysis. He came holding the things he’d borrowed and we walked the back of the house to put them in the shed. It was at that stage I cornered him and said, its been a year now and I see no evidence of you having dialysis or looking unwell for someone who is potentially terminally ill. You aren’t sick after all are you? To which he replied, “well I haven’t had it because I’m not near my family for support”
I’d really put him on the spot and he was agitated that I’d confronted him about it. All this time I thought he was terminally ill and wasn’t doing great. But seeing him 12 months on and having not had any treatment, I realised once and for all, it was all an elaborate lie. I told him that he’d really fucked me up and he sheepishly said “sorry” like a schoolkid.
I marched him to the gate and slammed it behind him and blocked him on my phone.
Needless to say, this has been an awful experience. To see how far someone will go with a complete lie. The likelihood is, he’d had someone over the night I delivered food to him. Very suspicious!
There are a million more respectful ways to break up with someone. If you need help doing it, watch this:
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Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.