Ghosting in a Digital World
It’s time for a ghoulish tale: the modern-day phantom tickling your texting fancy, and the garish nightmare yet to come. . . This Hallow’s Eve you find your honey-sweet cakes is now a ghost of your hollowed past.
Everywhere you turn, whenever you sleep at night, and when you’re taking a stroll around your neighborhood — you feel haunted.
No matter what you do, no matter how you run — you feel like something is lingering in the air, and you’re not sure if you have closure or why someone would suddenly stop talking to you.
Ghosting is a modern-day dating scruple. The paranormal effect goes hand in hand with online dating because with online dating you don’t meet people in a naturally occurring scenario, like work, church, school, or your hobbies — and therefore it gives your partner a lot of room to just disappear, to never answer a text or email, to never have to face you. (But maybe they died!)
Ghosting happens for a lot of reasons. It isn’t a simple one-time formula. People ghost because:
- They’re not ready for a commitment and things were starting to head in that direction.
- They were not that interested in you, and they don’t want to have a long emotional talk… because they don’t care.
- They have poor social skills and don’t know how to handle awkward moments.
- They genuinely don’t know their own emotions.
- You met them once. They pretended things were cool, but deep down you bored the hell out of them. They blocked your phone number as soon as you were out of sight.
- You made them feel threatened or like you were a bad date, and they didn’t know how to tell you, so they kept being polite till they could swiftly run away to somewhere safe. (Yeah, it could actually be you, and not them.)
- They have no reason. You shouldn’t look too deeply. They’re just weird.
- They were seeing a lot of people at once, and one of their connections was stronger in their opinion.
Signs You've Been Ghosted
- The classic signal is you get no reply to your text at all… ever. Don’t panic too much. First off, they may have forgotten to text you. Also, sometimes people go on adventures and didn’t tell you they were camping, going out of town, or whatever, and they didn’t charge their phone. Stuff does in fact happen, so don’t get too worked up. If it’s been awhile, you should send another text. If you go a week without any response and you’ve tried about 3 messages — just step away. Don’t send a long text asking, begging, whatever. Just give it some space and go on with your life. If they come back, they will.
- They refuse to make plans with you. If they all of a sudden never, ever want to hang out with you one on one, something is wrong. If you’re in a relationship together, you should see each other in person. They may cancel on you randomly; they’ll stand you up.
- They have deleted you off ALL social media. You can’t find any traces of them. They vanished into thin air.
- If you go to school or work together, they find ways to avoid you. They just walk on by when you try to talk to them. They keep conversations to a bare minimum. You don’t connect well at all. They have obviously tuned you out and would do it 100% if they could, but they need to go through school to graduate in life, and they need to work to pay the bills.
- They completely stop talking to you, answering you and you see that on their social media they are already in a relationship with someone else. They have picked another connection over you.
- They never want anything negative; they can’t handle a hard conversation. The entire relationship and interaction was based around fluff. They had no ability for confrontation. They are seeking an ever-elusive perfect spark — that doesn’t exist, mind you.
- They leave a room as quickly as possible. Their messages to you became shorter and shorter and less frequent.
- Their interactions were rare and infrequent to begin with.
- Their interest in you seemed inconsistent — sometimes they seemed interested, other times they seemed zoned out.
- They cancel plans with you 100% of the time.
Reacting to Ghosting
Don’t go World War II on someone for ghosting. The act of ghosting someone usually takes place in the beginning of a relationship. Usually the first 3 months…. and then after the first 6 months it becomes unlikely. That’s if you have established a relationship in person. If you have only ever talked to each other through texting or email, the relationship could easily get swept under the rug.
It is important to see someone in person. You should do that before creating an attachment. As much as you possibly can: skip the dating apps, go meet people in person. There are people around you in your naturally occurring network that would be good for you to date. Get out and try a new hobby; it’s easier to find someone that way. Online dating is very vapid. (Heck yeah, it sometimes works. But in working with people over the past decade, it often doesn’t.)
When you are ghosted, don’t blow up someone’s phone. Keep it simple. Stay classy. And stay positive. Send them a couple of texts to see if they want to talk, and then move on. Consider it a breakup and grieve the relationship for what it was worth.
Don’t linger in the mess for too long. You deserve to be with someone who really is interested in you and wants to work toward a commitment. Don’t be too upset with the ghoster — it’s better than if the person faked their way through a relationship. Enjoy yourself, go party with your friends, party with yourself if you don’t have friends, eat all the food you want, take back that time spent on a failed or mediocre relationship and do all the things you wanted, encourage yourself to take life by the horns. You’re not going to live forever, so go out and make your life count. It’s all you have. Don’t ghost on yourself (I know, that’s really cheesy).
It can suck to see things end this way, but don’t let it stand in the way of your next relationship. Know what you want, and don’t be afraid to talk about your expectations.
Why People Lose Interest in the Early Stages
Losing interest in the early stages happens in the blink of an eye, and you don’t always know what happened. Here’s a list of some of the most common reasons that someone decided to jet without telling you.
- They weren’t ready for a real commitment. They may have just been trying to have fun. Things got too serious before they were ready. They don’t have the emotional maturity to tell you that.
- Things are all too easy nowadays to just drop it and move on to something else. Some people think that dating is a game of numbers, and you weren’t one of the more interesting ones.
- They may have initially liked you, but you did something that really weirded them out or reminded them of a past relationship. For whatever reason, they didn’t want to tell you, because they thought it would hurt you.
- They ghosted you because all they want is to hook up with people. And they didn’t want to let you know this fact.
- They may have decided you are too good for them, and they don’t think they measure up to your awesomeness. You made them feel like you are too far out of their league. They want to find someone they can connect with that is on a similar page.
- They got overwhelmed by life.
- They didn’t realize you were that interested.
- They were trying to multitask too many things at once and got distracted.
- They don’t find interacting with you to be fun. They didn’t have the heart to say it.
- When they started talking with you more, they realized you’re not on the same page mentally.
- They are attracted to you, but they don’t see it going beyond that.
- They are more focused on their job right now. They don’t care about relationships.
- They’ve never been in a serious relationship and the idea scares them.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Andrea Lawrence