You meet this amazing person. Your heart sings every time you think about them. You drop everything – your friends, your parents, work. Everything. All for love.
“She’s just amazing” or “he’s the one, I’m never going to meet anyone like him,” you are convinced. Then, silence. No notice. Not even an “it’s me, not you”, nothing.
The art of ghosting in 2018 has destroyed people, created stalkers and dare I say it, left the ghostee broken. If you don’t know, ghosting is when one suddenly disappears from the life of the person they have been dating. In this age of new technology, it has become an extremely common phenomenon.
It has simply become easier today to break up with someone by ghosting them, especially if you met online and can avoid ever being face to face with them again. Yes, cowards and emotionally immature people do this.
Anyone who’s been ghosted knows how painful it can be. It leaves no option for closure for the ghostee. Questions that need answers: “What did I do wrong?”
“Did he ever really care about me?”
“Did something happen to her?”
There are often lasting effects on the ghostee’s self-esteem that you don’t see as well. It may be helpful to understand the possible reasons.
Fear of confrontation
By this, I mean avoiding any type of direct communication which has the possibility of angering or even upsetting another person. Many (if not most) people are conflict-avoidant and would rather walk away or change the subject than get into an argument. Fear of angry responses like yelling or criticising, and avoidance of emotional responses (crying or just tearing up) are both extremely common.
Remember your last break-up? How did that go? Mine, well, the guy yelled and hung-up the phone after I told him I wasn’t feeling him, but I picked up the phone and communicated. This is where you separate the adults from the kids. Grown-ups communicate, kids hide. Sadly, we have a lot of man-child, women-child behavior out there. Better off without an adult who doesn’t know how to adult. You might never know that’s their reason, but you have been saved from a shitty relationship.
Fear of emotional intimacy
This is the fear of actually allowing oneself to care deeply about someone and accepting that they care deeply about you as well. It is not difficult for those with this type of fear to date for a month or even for years, as long as they are able to keep their emotional distance. When emotions become real, they run far, far away and thus become the ghost in your life.
The truth though, is that fear of intimacy is a long-term problem, not easily overcome, and usually requires awareness, followed by effort, in order to overcome. You couldn’t have changed this person, they wouldn’t have stayed anyway. Don’t bother to shed a tear, you truly dodged a bullet.
Friends with benefits
One may not be ready for a relationship and just wants to be friends with benefits. Maybe they were hurt in their last relationship and are still dealing with the baggage, maybe? This choice should be communicated before or during the first date, but people will be people.
I was ghosted by a guy I met on Tinder once. Sadly, for him, I bumped into him at a restaurant (while on another date) and he really wanted to die. He mumbled something about how awesome I was, and I deserved better. Yup, I do and strutted myself over to my new date. Unlike me, most of us will never know why after such an amazing time, they never call back.
The narcissist is not very likely to be empathic about the emotional pain of the person they are dating. If you have had time to get to know the person who ghosted you, you have probably seen other instances of their lack of consideration for others. What you may not have expected is that “others” included you. But you couldn’t have changed this person either. Better off without them.
You stalked or overwhelmed them
“By the time I woke up, I already had six messages from him. Six.” Yeah, this is a you-messed-up scenario and you just over-did it. Check your phone. How many times did you “just check in”? No one wants to be suffocated or overwhelmed.
Met someone else more interesting
With dating apps, one can date more than two people at the same time. Swiping right can be fun and the meet ups, even more so. The ghoster who you are so mad at, might have been a serial dater and has decided to be more serious with just one person. It’s not you, and you will definitely live.
You bombed… seriously, the date was a disaster
Yawn! You were boring on the date. You might have felt some chemistry on your end, but he or she did not. You went on about your last relationship and how “men are trash”, or you went on about how your ex was “a gold digger”. Yeah, I’d ghost too.
You take forever to communicate
Yes, you only respond 24 hours later, or just send emojis, or better yet acronyms instead of words. This one, yes definitely a reason why I have ghosted certain dudes. I once met a guy who kept texting “GM”. I realised he was trying to say good morning. That’s a no-no. Communicate in a timely fashion and act like you actually want to talk to someone. Like I said before, grown ups communicate.
You are super needy
Abort mission! If anyone gets the sense that you are too much work, that’s it, you can pretty much bet you will be ghosted. No one wants to be responsible for a whole other adult’s happiness. I once ghosted a guy who called me for everything, down to the colour of the tie he should wear for that day – exhausting. Yes guys, I ghosted him too after a while.
You are not that into them
This is that one time someone gets the hint. You want them to go away and you haven’t said so. You know when you are not that into someone. So they ghost on cue. Not as terrible and heart breaking, but still sucks.
Had a real emergency
Yeah, well, we always ask, “I hope she’s fine and she didn’t get into an accident.” I never believe this. It happens, but it’s less likely that you have been ghosted because someone was in an accident. But then, it’s ghosting, you have no clue why.
Ghosting is not easy because there are no signs, no words or no indication that the other party wants out. I have totally had my fair share of ghosting men. I’m not bragging about my record, but I’m saying I’ve zero regrets of having ghosted when I did, but with emotional maturity, I’m cognizant of the other person now and would rather have the “it’s not you but me” conversation.
Communication is what adults do. Just do it! If you have ever been ghosted, please share what you think happened. The truth is somewhere out there. See you on Twitter!