Dear Level

The One Scenario Where Ghosting Your Partner Is Acceptable

Sometimes the cardinal sin of breakups is the only way

Elisabeth Ovesen | NYT Bestselling Author
Published in
5 min readJul 16, 2021
Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium. Source: Getty Images.

Recently, after five years with my partner, I broke up with him via text. For those who weren’t familiar with the painful details of our relationship, my sudden and brash exit seemed cold and uncaring. On the contrary, however, it was the warmest, most loving thing I could do — for me.

After all the years and experiences we had together, I hadn’t lost an ounce of love for Everette. But being with someone who consistently weaponized his mental illnesses and personality disorders against me damaged my self-esteem almost beyond repair. I am still struggling to find myself attractive, worthy, and loveable after years of gaslighting, reactive abuse, and hyper-narcissism. Because of this, I had to step away, and only a text would do.

I’ve often heard women complain about being dumped over text messages or ghosted by men they’d been dating. Some people end relationships this way for reasons such as avoiding conflict, not wanting to take responsibility for their actions, or because they’re narcissistic assholes who get off on giving people the silent treatment. However, there are some excellent reasons for walking away from someone without an IRL goodbye.

Suppose your partner has been diagnosed with or shows signs of a mental illness or personality disorder that is regularly weaponized against you. In that case, it may be safer for you to leave the situation without making it a “thing.” This is especially true if your partner resists or refuses to seek professional help and if your mental health is suffering as theirs worsens.

Explaining yourself and your plans to someone who will only try to stop you by promising to change and love bombing you long enough to get you back into that familiar-but-damaging groove is how toxic cycles perpetuate.

When you love someone who doesn’t have the mental or emotional capacity to rationally work through and de-escalate conflict, announcing your departure can trigger a game of emotional warfare…



Elisabeth Ovesen | NYT Bestselling Author
Writer for

3x New York Times Bestselling Author | 'The House of Ill Repute (Kensington Publishing, 2024)

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