I matched with a guy on a dating app and we had a great ongoing convo via text. Then he disappeared. Fast forward six months and we matched again! When we connected, I was like, you’re the guy who ghosted me. Then he apologized and said that he was having some mental health problems and deleted all his dating apps. Should I give him another chance?
Should I see a ghost?
I’m gonna err on the side of magnanimity here and say yes! Give the ghost another chance. Why? Mostly because if, by any chance, this is a relationship that sustains itself over time, this will make for a hilarious story at the wedding! Also, and possibly more importantly, because this guy is (or seems like he is) in touch with his feelings enough to openly admit to a mental health struggle. This bodes well for being honest, open and forthright about potentially difficult subjects in the future. Communication is, arguably, 99% of any relationship. Okay, maybe 95%. And lastly, you matched twice, a good sign. He could have disappeared (again) or you could have been angry and resentful. Sounds like you both took it in stride and are willing to see what happens. So see, see, see! If you decided to name your first born after Gabby, I wouldn’t argue. Gabriel, Gabrielle, Bree, G, the possibilities: endless.
I am going to see my therapist in person for the first time since the pandemic began. We will be getting together outside because she gave up her office. She told me in one of our conversations that the pandemic has been very hard for her in that this is not the way she wants to talk with patients (through a screen/mask). Would it be inappropriate for me to bring her flowers? I would like to make her feel better and thank her for our work together.
Is there a therapy etiquette?
First, good for you for seeing a therapist and keeping it up throughout the pandemic! Self-care is so important and you know me, I just adore therapy/therapists. Second, it is very thoughtful of you to think about giving her flowers. But I would parse out your motivation a little bit. If you would like to thank her for your work together, I say go for it. We thank teachers with gifts, we tip our hairdressers and baristas and often give generously come the winter holidays. It is a generous and thoughtful gesture which I think would be lovely.
If, however, you are thinking of giving her flowers to make her feel better, I would say that is not the best reason. Your job is not to take care of her, hers is to take care of you. No doubt, an intimacy develops in these relationships, regardless of how professional they are. However, I’d be concerned if she shares so much with you that it is your instinct to take care of her. That is not the way traditional therapy works. Perhaps it may work well in some circumstances but not any I’m familiar with. But! I’m sure that a thank-you bouquet would be much appreciated. Every therapist would love a client like you!
Is it hopeless to dream that our phones will be rediscovered as tools to actually talk to someone, you know, voice to voice? My thumbs are so sick of texting, and I’ll spit if I have to do another Facetime or Zoom call. When will the loveliness of staring off into space and sharing/listening to your friend’s deepest thoughts without being distracted by their untweezed eyebrows make a comeback?
If I knew that, Anthony Fauci would be my errand boy.
Dear Gabby appears in the RoundTable every Friday. Yes, Gabby is an advice columnist – but not just any advice columnist. Because that would be boring! Gabby combines wisdom with wit. And a pinch of snark. She is not a trained therapist by any means, but has seen and loved many in her day. Her aim is to make you think while she makes you laugh. Gabby welcomes all questions and queries and is only too happy to hear your opinion, no matter how much it may diverge from hers. Write to Gabby at email@example.com.