You may not have personally experienced dating ghosting first hand, or done it yourself, but you may have had someone do it to you or someone you know. Stats say that roughly 50% of both men and women experience ghosting in their life, whether it is from a romantic partner, friend or family member.
The act of dropping out of someone’s life without so much as a text, phone call or goodbye can prove to be confusing and confidence crushing to whomever you are trying to ditch. On the one end of the stick, you are breaking free and avoiding what may be a challenging conversation, but on the other end you’re experiencing loss, confusion and so many unanswered questions.
To feel like you are not even worthy of an explanation or a goodbye can be psychologically damaging. It can cause issues with your self-esteem and self-worth. If you lack self-esteem and confidence to begin with, recovering from a situation like this can be quite difficult and needless to say, can take quite some time to recover from.
Urban Dictionary defines Ghosting as:
“The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date.”
Why Does Dating Ghosting Happen?
Those who ghost are essentially doing it to avoid a difficult conversation without taking into consideration the effect it will have or how it will make the other person feel. The act of dating ghosting itself isn’t new. It’s been around forever, the term may be new, but the concept has been around since dating began – minus the text messages and aesthetically pleasing Tinder-esque dating profiles.
I believe it is more prevalent these days given the quick and random encounters of online dating, the lack of commitment (on both sides) and the ability to find the next suitable partner with a quick flick of your right thumb, not to mention the ability to reject any call that doesn’t feel right at the moment – thank you caller ID. The lack of connection makes it easy for people to walk away without feeling the need to explain themselves.
On another note, considering the fact that most relationships are initiated based on looks alone and are built entirely around non-verbal communications of text messages and emails, it is easier to keep yourself at a distance and avoid getting to know the REAL person authentically.
Distance, space and hiding behind a screen 99% of the time makes it easy to deflect authenticity. When we circumvent forming personal, meaningful and authentic relationships, we are able to maintain our walls and barriers. It’s much easier to keep people at a distance with limited face to face time.
Those that “ghost” may feel that they don’t owe any kind of explanation in regards to their behavior, and that dropping off the face of the earth in order to avoid an uncomfortable situation is easier for them. They haven’t really invested much time in you personally, so in their eyes, it’s easier to just ignore the reality of things and walk away to save face. It’s sad to say that people and partners are considered disposable these days. We are all easily replaceable. There will always be someone prettier, smarter and/or better next in line.
At the end of it all, people chase pleasure and do whatever they can to avoid pain. Nobody likes to hurt, nobody likes to hurt someone else, unless of course they’re a narcissist, but that’s besides the point and an entirely different post altogether. What easier way to avoid facing the pain of someone than to just disappear out of their life and avoid the conversation altogether, right?? It’s considered… “safe.”
How Does it Feel to Be Ghosted?
All humans need love to survive. Love is considered one of the most basic and fundamental human needs. We have the unconscious need and desire to not only give, but receive love. We are born with this. Newborn babies that are deprived contact and love will, inevitably end up with psychological damage. We quite literally crave and search for love from the moment we are born. To have it pulled from under us without warning or explanation, can cause massive traumatic effects.
One of the most dangerous aspects of dating ghosting is that it doesn’t just leave you questioning the validity of the relationship, it makes you question YOU – your ability to judge character and your ability to love or be loved.
How did I not see this coming?
How could I be so stupid and trusting?
Why does it hurt so badly?
How can I prevent this from happening again?
Rejection hurts even the strongest of people on the best of days.
Dating ghosting is considered to be a form of silent treatment and has been considered by some mental health professionals as emotional cruelty. Having someone disappear without giving you the opportunity to ask questions and find out why can render you powerless and leave you with an inability to process the situation in entirety.
Being left with the inability to process the situation properly can leave many scars and bruises, scars and bruises that resemble emotional trauma and spells out issues for any future relationships if left unresolved or cared for – trust issues, fear of commitment, etc.
How Can You Avoid Ghosting?
In all honesty, you can’t avoid getting ghosted unless you have super radar skills and you’re able to filter the weaker, more inconsiderate ones out before you get to the point of caring whether or not they’re going to stick around for any length of time.
People are going to do what they do and there is nothing we can really do about that. What you CAN do though, is understand that some people aren’t going to be brave enough to have that difficult conversation with you. Some people may find it easier to just cut ties and walk away.
As much as that really sucks and they are a jerk for hurting you, they’re actually doing you a favor. They’re giving you the opportunity to move forward with your life without having them slow you down or hold you back. If they are willing to walk away and completely disregard your feelings like that, do you really want them to hold a key place in your life?
A Couple Things to Remember
The fact that someone ghosted you on a date and disappeared from your life has absolutely no weight, bearing or effect on your worth as a human being. You are still worthy of as much love as the next person. It simply shows that the other person does not have the maturity level to understand the need to have difficult conversations.
Perhaps they don’t care to have these difficult conversations. Or maybe they don’t know the emotional distress it caused you. Either way, you are likely better off without them in your life.
Your best bet is to understand that it is what it is, and let them go. Move on as dignified and peacefully as you can. Understand that the pain and heartache that these situations cause at the time do, in fact, make you a stronger person.
We Teach People How to Treat Us
I recommend you start teaching people how to treat you- the way you deserve to be treated. Don’t stand for ignorance and disrespect. If someone walks out of your life without dignifying you with a reason why, let them go. You deserve so much more than that.