The practice of “ghosting,” or abruptly leaving someone’s life without any call, email, or text, has become widespread in today’s dating scene as well as in other social and professional contexts.
Two research conducted in 2018 found that about 25% of people have experienced ghosting at some point in their lives.
With the popularity of major dating apps like Tinder and Bumble as well as the general growth of electronic communication, it seems to be simpler than ever to connect with someone you just met by swiping right or left.
But unlike what you would believe, ghosting is a more complicated occurrence. Continue reading this article to find out why people ghost, how to spot a ghosting, and what to do after realizing you’ve been ghosted.
What is Ghosting?
Ghosting is a term used to describe the act of ending a personal or romantic relationship by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication and contact with the other person. Ghosting is often done through digital means, such as suddenly ceasing to respond to messages or calls, or blocking the other person on social media or other platforms.
Ghosting is a relatively new phenomenon that has become more common with the increased use of technology and social media in dating and relationships. It can be a very painful and confusing experience for the person who is ghosted, as it often leaves them wondering what happened and why the other person ended the relationship in this way. Some people may ghost because they feel that it is easier than having an open and honest conversation about their feelings or because they are unsure about how to end a relationship. However, ghosting can be hurtful and disrespectful, and it is generally considered to be a poor way to end a relationship. If you are in a relationship and are considering ghosting someone, it is important to communicate openly and honestly with the other person about your feelings and intentions, rather than simply disappearing without a word.
Examples of Ghosting
Here are a few examples of ghosting:
- A person who is dating someone ends the relationship by simply ceasing to respond to texts, calls, or messages, and by blocking the person on social media or other online platforms.
- A friend ends a friendship by ignoring texts, calls, or messages, and by unfriending or blocking the person on social media or other online platforms.
- An employee who is working on a project with a team stops responding to emails, calls, or messages, and stops participating in team meetings or other communication, without any explanation.
- A person who is in a long-distance relationship ends the relationship by simply disappearing and ceasing all communication without any explanation.
- Ending a romantic relationship by suddenly cutting off all communication and not responding to calls or messages from the other person.
- Stopping communication with a friend or family member without any explanation or warning.
- Ignoring messages or requests for communication from a colleague or business partner.
- Blocking someone on social media or other online platforms without any explanation or warning.
Again, it is important to note that ghosting can be a hurtful and disrespectful way to end a relationship, and it’s generally better to communicate openly and honestly with the other person about your feelings and intentions, rather than simply disappearing without a word.
Reasons People Ghost
There are many reasons why people might ghost, or suddenly stop responding to communication or contact without any explanation. Here are some common reasons why people might ghost:
- Fear of confrontation: Some people might ghost because they are afraid of having difficult conversations or conflicts. They may feel that it is easier to simply disappear than to confront the situation directly.
- Lack of commitment: If someone is not fully committed to a relationship, they may ghost when they start to feel uncertain or ambivalent about continuing it.
- Difficulty expressing emotions: Some people may have a hard time communicating their emotions or explaining their actions, so they might ghost as a way to avoid having to do so.
- Fear of rejection: Some people might ghost because they are afraid of being rejected or hurting someone’s feelings.
- Personal issues: People may ghost due to personal issues or problems they are dealing with that they do not feel comfortable sharing with the other person.
- A desire for a fresh start: If someone has had a falling out or a disagreement with someone, they may ghost in order to move on and start fresh without having to deal with any confrontation or resolution.
- Lack of interest: If someone is no longer interested in pursuing a relationship or connection with someone else, they may ghost as a way to end things without having to have a direct conversation.
- Feeling overwhelmed: If someone feels overwhelmed by their own emotions or the intensity of a relationship, they may ghost as a way to distance themselves and take a break.
- Being overwhelmed with other commitments: If someone is very busy with work, school, or other commitments, they may not have the time or energy to maintain a relationship, and may ghost as a result.
- Emotional immaturity: Some people may ghost because they are not emotionally mature enough to handle the challenges of a relationship. They may not have the skills to communicate effectively or resolve conflicts.
- Insecurity: People may ghost because they feel uncertain about their feelings or the relationship. They may feel like they’re not good enough for the other person, or that the other person is not interested in them.
There is no one-size-fits-all reason for why people ghost. Every person and situation is unique, and it’s possible that multiple factors could be at play.
Signs of Ghosting
If you suspect that you are being ghosted, there are a few signs you can look for:
- Your attempts to communicate with the person are not being returned: If you are sending texts, emails, or trying to call and getting no response, this could be a sign that you are being ghosted. If you used to have regular communication with someone and they suddenly stop responding to your messages, it’s possible that they are ghosting you.
- Your plans with the person are being consistently cancelled: If you have made plans with the person and they are consistently being cancelled or postponed with no explanation, this could be a sign that they are trying to end the relationship.
- The person becomes increasingly hard to reach: If the person was previously easy to get in touch with and is now suddenly hard to reach or seems to be avoiding your communication, this could be a sign that they are trying to ghost you.
- The person stops making an effort in the relationship: If the person stops putting effort into the relationship, such as by not initiating conversations or making plans, this could be a sign that they are trying to end the relationship.
- They make excuses for not being able to meet up: If the other person makes excuses for not being able to meet up with you or make plans, it could be a sign that they are trying to distance themselves from you.
- They become less communicative: If the other person starts to communicate less frequently or seems less interested in interacting with you, it could be a sign that they are ghosting you.
How to Deal with Ghosting?
Ghosting can be a very hurtful and confusing experience, especially if you have been in a relationship or have been communicating with the person regularly.
If you have been ghosted, it can be difficult to know how to respond to ghosting. Here are a few tips that may be helpful:
- Take some time to process your feelings: It’s natural to feel hurt, confused, or angry when someone ghosts you. It’s important to allow yourself to feel these emotions and take some time to process them before taking any action.
- Try to understand the other person’s perspective: While it is never okay to ghost someone, it can be helpful to try to understand why the other person might have chosen to end the relationship this way. Maybe they were going through a difficult time and didn’t know how to communicate their feelings, or maybe they were feeling overwhelmed and needed some space.
- Consider reaching out to the person: Depending on the nature of your relationship, you may want to try reaching out to the person who ghosted you to ask for an explanation. Keep in mind that this person may not respond, or may not give you the explanation you were hoping for.
- Set boundaries: If the person who ghosted you reaches out to you in the future, it’s important to set boundaries around how you want to communicate. You may decide that you don’t want to speak to this person at all, or you may decide that you are only willing to communicate in certain ways.
- Seek support: It can be helpful to talk to a trusted friend or family member about your feelings. You may also find it helpful to seek the support of a therapist or counselor.
- Move on: While it can be difficult to move on from a relationship that has ended unexpectedly, it is important to remember that you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. Allow yourself to grieve the loss of the relationship, but also try to focus on the positive aspects of your life and the many other people who care about you.
- Take care of yourself: Finally, it’s important to take care of yourself and prioritize your own well-being. This may mean taking some time for yourself, engaging in self-care activities, or finding healthy ways to cope with your emotions.
Is Ghosting Abusive?
Ghosting, which refers to the practice of ending a personal or romantic relationship by suddenly and without explanation ceasing all communication and contact with the other person, can be considered a form of emotional abuse. It can be extremely hurtful and confusing for the person who is being ghosted, as it leaves them with no opportunity to understand what happened or to try to resolve any issues that may have contributed to the end of the relationship.
Ghosting can also be a sign of a lack of respect and consideration for the feelings of the other person. It can be a way for the person doing the ghosting to avoid taking responsibility for the end of the relationship or to avoid having a difficult conversation.
In short, ghosting can be a harmful and abusive way to end a relationship, and it is generally more respectful and considerate to communicate openly and honestly with your partner about your feelings and intentions.
Ghosting can occur in any type of relationship, including romantic relationships, friendships, and professional relationships. It is generally considered to be a disrespectful and hurtful way to end a relationship because it leaves the other person without closure or an opportunity to discuss any issues that may have led to the decision to end the relationship. They also may not understand why the other person has suddenly stopped communicating or may feel like they did something wrong. it is important to consider the impact that your actions will have on the other person. It may be better to have an honest and open conversation about your feelings, even if it is difficult, as it can help to provide closure and allow both parties to move on in a more positive way.
Ghosting is not a fad, but the hyper-connectivity of 21st-century living online has made it simpler to keep in touch and, by extension, has increased the visibility of relationships that have ended suddenly.
Whether you’ve been ghosted or you are the one doing the ghosting in question, the first thing to keep in mind is the adage, “Treat others like you would like to be treated.”
Treating individuals with love and respect can go a long way in the present relationship and the ones after it, even though calling it off and achieving closure can be difficult and occasionally traumatic. Regardless, it is usually a better option to give people you are in platonic, professional or romantic relationships closure before calling things off.