Ghosting. Google defines it as "The practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication." With social media playing a huge role in today's society it's not uncommon for someone to drop all communication at some point. Whether its sliding into DM's on instagram or swiping right on Tinder, a majority of us are familiar with the feeling of ghosting or being ghosted. This topic has been a favorite of writers on the The Odyssey Online for months, and I'm here to follow suit.
Dating can be strange territory. In getting to know someone, you can make or receive a variety of impressions that make or break your interest in one another. More often than not you'll find yourself wondering what you did wrong rather than admiring a new partner. No matter the outcome, there are always valid reasons as every person has their own ideal partner made of their specific preferences. Because of this, I am firm believer that the act of ghosting in the dating phase is perfectly OK as long as it's done responsibly.
As you grow older you start to learn more about your own preferences. As young adults we endure so much on daily basis that sometimes we literally do not have enough mental strength to deal with anyone besides ourselves. Between school, family, and finances, dating can be icing on the cake or the straw that breaks the camel's back. We've all been in that moment. That dreaded instance where you're out with someone and you realize "I'm never doing this again". In that moment you are burdened with two thoughts. Attempting to scrap good thoughts about this person or knowing you have to break their heart and admit your feelings. Your heart sinks, your brain begins to hurt, and you just wish dating were a bit easier.
Dating should be an enjoyment for both parties. Even if accompanied by heartbreak in most instances, it should not cause such psychological pain that it affects your daily life or outlook on other individuals. If you genuinely feel like you do not wish to have contact with a certain individual, or are not certain of your own feelings and cannot bare to string someone along through that time, ghosting is perfectly OK. You are more responsible for your own feelings than anyone else's. Before you go insane trying to make everyone else happy, be a little selfish.
That's not to say go wild, though. Ghosting is OK only in the context that you're being responsible. If you're sleeping with individuals and ghosting, this could form unhealthy habits and relationships for certain people, while also risking your sexual health and that of the person you're involved with if you're unknowing of your status. Ghosting also after a certain amount of time, or after forming relationships with that particular individuals family or friends may also be a bit inconsiderate. Often, people will save introducing you to their family or friends for a more serious relationship. If you're months in, and know family, friends by heart or have even visited their house, you should probably consider the more traditional route and have a conversation with the person.
In the realm of mental health, ghosting is OK. Again, done responsibly, do not let anyone make you feel bad for catering to yourself instead of other's feelings. You are responsible for your own growth. Do not make ghosting a habit, but if you're receiving bad signs from an individual and you feel it's the best exit, go ahead. There's always plenty of fish waiting. Dating should be an enjoyable time, free of stress and opinions of others.