Ghosting: What It Is, Why It Sucks, And What To Do About It

I ain't afraid of no ghost.
Ghosting: What It Is, Why It Sucks, And What To Do About It

Ah, ghosting. I imagine it was once a simpler time. Not responding to a phone call, or letter. Having your brother tell them you’ve moved, or possibly gotten married.

But no. In today’s dating/kind-of-seeing-eachother/your-dog-knows-me-but-I-haven’t-met-your-parents relationship culture, ghosting has evolved to a level where we are haunted by our boo-things of yore.

My friends at Vogue define ghosting as a modern dating dilemma in which one person suddenly ceases contact with another, with no explanation why. Urban Dictionary adds, that the ghoster hopes that the ghostee will simply ‘get the hint’ and leave them alone, without any actual confrontation. This leaves the ghostee with no real reason as to why the ghoster cut them off.

If you’re wondering, yes – I have been ghosted. And yes, I have done my fair share of ghosting as well. That being said, I think anyone who has been ghosted can agree, that it is basically the worst.

When you’re ghosted, it can be hard to accept the truth. Maybe their class ran late, or they got tied up at work. Maybe they lost their phone, or their battery died? Worse. They actually died. They just got into a terrible car crash while responding to your message. You are a heartless, selfish monster – worried about a text back when poor bae is bleeding to death at the side of the road.

Just kidding – they’re fine! They were active 7 minutes ago on Facebook mobile! They just liked an Instagram of Drake flipping a pancake!

But why. 

Why ignore an adorable, carefully crafted text about your band practice/soccer game/10-page paper someone waited 3, well-timed minutes before sending?

This is a question a ghostee will never get answered - because according to The New York Times, people who ghost do so because they are scared of confrontation, insecure and immature (@collegedudes).

If you’ve felt a connection with someone – be it a great conversation, a heartfelt dinner date, or an adult sleepover after one two many vodka-crans – it can be hard to believe that someone didn’t value something as much as you did. They could’ve have a great time chatting, or grabbing a drink with you – but in the end, something got you out of their inbox.

It is super easy to stress over the million different things you could have said or done to turn them away, but sometimes it just isn't your fault. You can't force chemistry, or tolerance at that.

Take ~*patrick*~ for example. Pat and I had been talking for a while on Tinder before he asked me out on a coffee date. I wasn’t totally feeling it, but it was my very first Tinder-date so I had to see it through. We sat down for about an hour and a half in a Starbucks, where he talked endlessly of himself – his distain for higher education, cops, and small children (#redflag) I probably got in about 6 words total.

I brushed off his rambling for nerves, ended the date & went on my way. Pat was nice enough, but we had nothing in common. We tried, and it didn't work out. I wasn’t going to see him again.

Immediately after our date, Pat texted me – probably from the parking lot – saying what a great time he had & hoped we could do something soon.

I opted for the slow fade technique here – a prelude to ghosting – where I politely said it was nice meeting him too, but gave no details for a future meet-up.

Over the course of the next week Pat bombarded me with texts, as I drifted further away.

He not only double texted but triple, quad, and in a rare case quince-texted me. Surely I could not let this poor guy sit with FIVE unanswered messages. So I buckled down and did what ghosters refuse to do. Get honest - and in this case, ugly.

Hey, sorry I don’t think we should go out again. I just don’t think the two of us are a very good match.

Did I feel like a dick? Absolutely.

I squiiiiiiirmed over sending this text. But it was the right thing to do. I couldn’t just string Pat along like that. It was mean. Ghosting, is mean. No one likes being in ‘are-you-into-this-or-should-I-start-swiping’ purgatory. Do unto others as you would want done to you. There’s no way to prevent the ghost, but if we can bust a few, why not.

Quick take:

  1. Ghosting sucks.
  2. It’s better to be honest than to be a douche.
  3. If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late To Text Them Back.

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