We already know the concept of ghosting — going MIA on a person after a few dates. Basically disappearing like a ghost in thin air. However, what if that person isn't 100% gone from your life? What does it mean when they keep checking your Snapchat stories or liking your Instagram posts but leave you on read?
Well, in a Man Repeller article, Anna Iovine coined this new, weird breakup term: orbiting.
Iovine wrote about her own experience with a guy who stopped talking to her after the second date. When they were seeing each other, she mentions how they friended one another on different social media outlets. Because of this, after the guy vanished, Iovine was able to see him look at her pictures and like her posts. She says,
"It's now been over two months since we've spoken, and Tyler not only still follows me on Instagram, he looks at every single one of my stories. This is not ghosting. This is orbiting. The more I described Tyler's behavior to friends, the more I realized how prevalent this kind of thing was. I dubbed it 'orbiting' during a conversation with my colleague Kara, when she poetically described this phenomenon as a former suitor 'keeping you in their orbit' — close enough to see each other; far enough to never talk."
Coming from a college student's perspective, I feel that Iovine's words wrap up a majority of college relationships in a nutshell. We may end things with another person but continue to check up on them via the Internet. We might do this to keep the peace between the other person, or maybe because we cling on to a thin string of hope, or maybe just out of sheer curiosity. Regardless of our reason, we continue to have them view our lives even though we don't speak to them face-to-face anymore.
Personally, I don't see any problem with orbiting. It's something that people naturally do. For me, I'm a very curious person, and I like to know what's going on with the person I used to spend time with. I think it makes things worse when you completely ghost the person.
Ghosting causes a bigger issue, especially when you both run into each other at the Starbucks on campus or in the same lecture hall. So maybe orbiting is an upgraded version of ghosting. As long as you're completely over that person and don't hold any harsh feelings towards them, a look on Snapchat or Instagram isn't going to hurt.