What's ghosting? Why is it a "dating trend"? What are the reasons for ghosting and how do you prevent being ghosted?
Ghosting – not really a new thing!
It wasn’t called ghosting before, but the problem is as old as time: you get to know somebody, be it amicably or romantically, and everything seems fine. Then all of a sudden, that person is no longer reachable, for no apparent reason at all. He or she disappears into thin air just like a ghost; hence, the name “Ghosting.” But remember: You yourself could very well also be the initiator of a sudden break in a relationship, as this phenomenon is no rarity anymore.
In the past, people ignored phone calls, didn't reply to letters, and - in extreme cases - even moved to another city to get a fresh new start. Today, thanks to the block features of social media outlets, it has never been easier to banish people from your life.
Many people no longer have the patience when it comes to maintaining relationships. In fact, this already happens during the dating phase. On Dating Apps, ghosting becomes an everyday practice for both men and women. Studies have found that 25% of women have already ghosted someone, with as many as 36% of single women under the age of 29 who use ghosting to filter the matches they find inappropriate for them. In contrast, a little less than 19% of men disappear wordlessly during the introductory phase.
If you haven't met, it's not technically ghosting. Ghosting someone you've dated is completely different from not responding to chats of someone you haven't met. If you have already been chatting for weeks and suddenly stopped replying to you, you may file that under "uninterested" instead of being actually ghosted.
Mystery solved: Why do people ghost?
The common reasons why people ghost someone are:
- They get bored – boredom is considered to be the heart of ghosting. Note that boredom is different from a lack of interest. People have admitted to using dating apps as a way to kill time. Despite being "exhausted" after meeting so many matches, they used dating apps to pass the time when bored. Boredom was not just a driver for poor messaging but also a component in the choice to ghost.
- They are not interested – this mostly refers to people you get to know on dating websites or social media platforms like Facebook. As soon as they learn something about the other person, which somehow doesn’t fit into their preferences or lifestyle, it is much easier for them to erase that person from their lives instead of trying to make compromises and save the relationship.
- The fear of a blazing conflict – this type of ghosting behavior occurs when there's an argument between the ghoster and the ghosted person. It's just that some people don't like being dragged into conflicts, so they avoid it by disappearing without notice. There are even times when people do it to those who are close to them just to avoid arguments.
- The fear of being attached – love is important for this type of person, but as soon as everything gets serious, he or she pushes the other person out of his or her life just to avoid getting hurt.
- The involvement in an affair – or simply put, there is someone else. Even if you are already in a relationship, you may still be a victim of ghosting when your partner enters into an affair, and out of shame, he or she stops communicating with you. The contrary shall occur if you are the one with an affair.
- Other priorities and commitments – balancing work and free time can be difficult for some people. That's why newer relationships suffer, to keep old ones alive.
Another small fun fact: According to a study, more than half of the people who have experienced being ghosted have actually already ghosted someone themselves. This is probably because ghosting can bring advantages in comparison to a traditional break-up. If you want to break up a relationship or friendship that has been going on for years, ghosting is totally unacceptable (we strongly advise against it) – but if you ignore someone after an epic failed first date or appointment, ghosting may be referred to as an alternative to disconnecting and may somewhat be considered as acceptable.
Attempting to give someone “a nice rebuff” often leads to confusion. It just prolongs the relationship that should've already ended while it's still fresh. After all, it wouldn't be that nice to invest in something which you don't really want to pursue. Ghosting minimizes the vagueness of the situation and – as unromantic as it may sound – saves time. It’s pretty hard to interpret ghosting as something other than a sign of disinterest, which makes it easier for the ghosts and ghosted person to move on with their lives more quickly.
How to Prevent and Cope With Ghosting
Either you became the victim of ghosting or you were the one who ran away. Whoever you may be in the scenario, there is always a reason. Thus, when this happens, you need to take a deep breath and think about what happened and why the connection between you and the other person ended. Before you become too sad, try to see things in a positive light. Obviously, you and the other person had different values and now that he or she is gone, you can concentrate on finding someone who will love your personality completely, without any ifs and buts. To get over the painful ghosting experience, here are some useful tips for you:
1. Reveal your feelings in a final farewell message
Well, since your dating or flirting partner has ignored you or has even blocked you on all social media channels, all that remains is a final farewell letter. The probability of a response from him or her is low, so this last message is meant for you. Its purpose is to help you get rid of all the thoughts that are in your mind for one last time, in the form of writing. Stay friendly, but be honest. Statements like, “I had a nice first date with you and thank you at least for a great memory. It’s a pity that we did not work out, but I’m sure we will certainly find our dream partners in time,” shows how mature you are. Be true to the motto: “Kill them with kindness.”
2. Make new friends and find new dates
After the final farewell message, you should stop and disconnect all your communications or any contact possibilities with the ghoster. Delete the ghost on WhatsApp, Facebook, and above all, Instagram, because... what do you call that again? Out of sight, out of mind!
3. Do not lose faith
Even if the ghosting experience has made you suspicious, do not withdraw from the dating scene. From now on, it can only go uphill. Learn from this situation and if you pay attention to the following points, you will soon find your dream partner:
- Don’t rush and take things in the dating scene slow. Do not expect too much on the first date.
- If the first date doesn’t go well and there is no spark, talk about it with the other person properly.
- If you like your flirting partner, make clear statements and don’t use uncertain terms to ask for another date. “Do you feel like going to the cinema tomorrow at 6 pm?” works better than “Let’s do this again next time.”
The act of ghosting has been around since people started the art of dating. It’s just more noticeable and quicker today due to the rise of online dating and social media use. In the olden days, letters took weeks to arrive, so you wouldn’t know if the other party was no longer interested in you months after no letter arrived. Today, it only takes three days to know if the other person jumped off the ship for you to sail alone.
Is it acceptable to ghost someone if they rarely initiate texts and conversations?
Of course not! Ghosting may seem like a trend nowadays – an escape from unwanted encounters and relationships – but it is not the best way to end things with someone. It might be exhausting to wait on someone who acts aloof and distant, but a simple ‘goodbye’ text won’t hurt.
Regardless, there is a positive outcome for being ghosted. Consider that someone who ‘ghosts’ you isn’t someone you want in your life anyway. Most of these ‘ghosters’ are not 100% interested in you – and you shouldn’t carry the burden of filling up that 100% interest meter. At the end of the day, you’ve really dodged a bullet. So, open your heart again and meet someone who will like you unconditionally!