Most of us have been there before — you're talking to someone and maybe even been on a few dates with them and suddenly... radio silence. They become a ghost, and along with the paranormal reference is the crippling feeling that you did something wrong — that this person bailed because of something you did. According to Urban Dictionary, ghosting is "when a person cuts off all communication with their friends or the person they're dating, with zero warning or notice beforehand."
Although this happens to roughly 50 percent of those dating in today's culture, it doesn't mean it hurts any less. Unfortunately, we are becoming desensitized to the situation. This most likely explains why those who have been ghosted are still likely to ghost people themselves.
Determined to learn what other people thought about ghosting, I polled the public. Out of 22 people who answered, 18 had been ghosted. Out of 31 people, 25 people have ghosted someone themselves. Surprisingly, there was a significant overlap between the people who have been ghosted and the ones who have ghosted others. So, why do people "ghost?"
1. "It's easier than saying it's not going to work out."Giphy
Sometimes, saying a relationship isn't going anywhere is hard, and it can be a challenge to explain why it won't progress any further. Although completely bailing is hard, the person eventually gets the message and moves on.
2. "They were an overall bad person with bad energy. It was just a gut feeling."Giphy
Ghosting isn't necessarily exclusive to romantic relationships. Ghosting can also be used when a friendship is toxic. Relationships, whether they are romantic or friendships, are supposed to be reciprocal. If someone is bringing you down, it makes sense you would try to cut ties from them.
3. "They were creepy/ annoying to the point where they did not deserve an explanation."Giphy
Truthfully, this is a great reason. If a person makes you physically uncomfortable, why would you keep putting yourself in their presence? When you are in a relationship or partnership of some sort, you put yourself in the other person's energetic field. If this person you're talking to is just not worth your energy, or they are giving you a bad vibe, stay clear and protect yourself. Trust your instincts.
4. "They wanted something from me, but didn't actually care about me as a person."Giphy
Honestly, bravo. If you have the wherewithal to realize someone is using you and they don't actually care about you, then that person isn't with it. Don't waste time trying to change them or consider their emotions, because clearly, they aren't doing the same for you.
5. "A guy got super clingy and wanted to know where I lived."Giphy
I can understand someone getting too clingy. I too am guilty of ghosting someone if they suddenly get way too attached. I, however, can't speak for someone wanting to know where I live. If at any time someone makes you feel uncomfortable, get the scissors and cut them loose.
6. "I didn't feel like the relationship would lead anywhere."Giphy
Sometimes, it takes more than one date to figure out if you like the guy. It might even take three or four and by then, they might have caught feelings but you haven't. It can be hard to say, "Hey, I'm just not feeling this," and by "ghosting" someone, you tell them you just aren't interested in pursuing anything.
7. "He ghosted me, and I also ghosted him."Giphy
A friend of mine shared the one time she got ghosted. She was in high school at the time, but she ghosted him right back. Sometimes, it isn't necessarily ghosting if both of you are on the same page and decide not to talk.
8. "He just got really intense, so I kind of just ghosted."Giphy
You don't always have to be on the same page when it comes to a relationship. A friend of mine said she had been on a few dates with a guy and texted a bit. He caught feelings, but she didn't feel the same way. She felt the situation was too intense.
9. "He wouldn't take no for an answer."Giphy
One friend told me that even when she tried to end it, the guy wouldn't and clearly couldn't understand the word "no." In these situations, I think ghosting is the only acceptable course of action.
Here's the thing, we hate when ghosting happens to us, but we are still guilty of doing it. I have both been ghosted and have ghosted others. I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of someone's lack of attention and interest. It drives me crazy because there are feelings of ambiguity for the first few days and then a weird mix of anger and sadness. It is completely hypocritical to make someone else feel like that, yet I know I am guilty of it.
As human beings, we are completely capable of saying the words "Sorry this isn't going anywhere," but instead we resort to avoiding any uncomfortable situation. We have created this toxic, non-confrontational world where instead of facing problems we either run away or avoid them completely. Maybe one of the reasons 50% of marriages end in divorce is because we are incapable of dealing with issues when things get complicated.
Instead, we choose to fall back into lazy habits. Why? Is it to spare the other person's emotions hoping they will eventually take a hint? Ghosting doesn't make someone hurt less, just hurt differently. Or do we ghost because we can't deal? Obviously, some relationships are not worth the effort, especially if they make you feel physically uncomfortable. But as a society, we need to start owning up to our actions, not just running away when something gets too hard.
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