Ghosting: Do you really want to be a jerk?

3:22 PM

You’ve been on several dates with someone of interest. Things seem to be going well and you enjoy this person’s company. You see and speak with them often and believe they care for you, at least as a friend. Then suddenly… nothing. No calls, no texts, nothing. You’ve just been ghosted. 

Chances are many young adults have been ghosted at some point in their lives. What’s more, no one has ever said they were glad they were ghosted. People often complain about the rudeness and insensitivity of the act. Ghosting sends the message of, “Hey, I don’t want to be friends or have anything to do with you, so let’s never see or speak to each other again.” As a result, people may wonder, “Why?” “What did I do wrong?” “What’s wrong with me?”

Despite the annoyance, frustration, or hurt of being ghosted, several victims are likewise guilty of ghosting at some point in their lives. 

Why is ghosting such a common practice?

A recent study found a connection between the dirty deed of ghosting and our personal perception of relationships. These perceptions can be broken down into two mindsets: destiny and growth. Individuals with a destiny mindset are more likely to believe in soul mates, thinking people are either meant to be together or not. Thus, they see each relationship as either working or not-all or nothing. Among other things, individuals with a destiny mindset are more likely to find ghosting an acceptable method of ending a relationship and to use distancing as a coping method. Not cool.

On the other hand, those with growth mindsets believe relationships are malleable and can grow over time through communication and overcoming challenges together. These individuals are more likely to disapprove of ghosting, use more communication and coping skills in relationships, overcome interpersonal conflict, and date longer. 

Be a Ghostbuster

If we are to transition from being “ghosters” to “ghostbusters,” it might be helpful to reassess our relationship mindset. We can also decide to do relationships differently. Sure, confrontation can be scary, and we may worry about hurting someone’s feelings. However, do we really think that silent avoidance is somehow more kind than being politely direct? And even if conflict does scare us, shouldn’t our desire to be mature and kind take precedent over our fears? I sure hope so. Someone once said, “The opposite of love isn’t hate; it is indifference.” Ghosting conveys complete indifference and removes an opportunity for growth for both you and the victim.

If you've been ghosted

A quick word to those of you who have been ghosted (perhaps repeatedly). The fact that you were ghosted has NOTHING to do with you, so please don't take it personal. Just because someone didn't have the character to handle things differently, doesn't say anything about you. So don't get down on yourself. Besides, if someone exhibits that type of disregard for human feelings, are they really worth your time and energy?

Don't be a Jerk

There is no need to disappear from someone’s life because we’ve realized we aren’t going to marry them. Don’t be that person. Have fun with dating, communicate, be respectful, and remember that just because it is #justadate, doesn’t give us the right to be a jerk.

*Thanks to Yalaina for the post!

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  1. In your opinion, would it even be a good idea to confront the person who ghosted you and call them out on it? Maybe it's not worth your time and energy, because I agree that someone who ghosted isn't the person for you, but do you see any benefit to doing so?


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