And She Never Heard from Him Again: A Love Story

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The Truth Behind Ghosting

Ghosting: When someone cuts off all communications with a person they’re dating or talking to with zero warning or notice before hand.

This is in fact a real term. A couple of weeks ago I listened to a podcast on ghosting and that’s when the idea for this blog came to life. At that point I had never experienced it myself but don’t worry that changed very quickly. Fast forward to a couple of weeks later as I’m half way done with writing this blog I suddenly was ghosted by someone I had just started talking to. It happened just like it always does: out of the blue with no explanation. I was left on “seen” and unfollowed on social media not long after and I never heard from him again. Talk about experiencing things first hand. Now I can tell you confidently that it’s not fun to be on the receiving end of it.

Ghosting has unfortunately become a staple in the modern dating world. My guess is that technology has something to do with it. It is way easier to avoid someone via phone than avoiding someone in real life. If someone walked alway mid-conversation face to face they would instantly get called out about the behavior because it is rude and not acceptable. Today, with technology, there is no such consequence. Someone disappears from you mid-sentence you can block or simply not reply to them and no one will call you out on it. This is even deemed part of the norm today. The person being ‘ghosted’ is usually left feeling confused, hurt and second guessing themselves. This is such confusing behavior to me, it just doesn’t make sense. Because I am so confused about it, I decided to do what I do best: I went straight to the source and asked 4 men who have ghosted someone before what lead to that behavior. Here’s what they had to say about it:

Person 1: 

Why did you choose to ghost that person?

-We had a long tumultuous and toxic relationship that we had tried to salvage countless of times. Eventually it seemed to be the best/only option.

Did you feel guilty about it afterwards ?

-No, not with her. 

Would you do it again?

-I doubt it. It would take quite a bit to get me to that point.

Person 2:

Why did you choose to ghost that person?

-I was no longer interested in the person. There was no best option, it was simply the easier option.

Did you feel guilty about it afterwards ?

-No, If I had to pretend to be interested in that person, it would have built an unnatural and fake relationship which could have led to a post-mortem personal guilt trip. That’s dangerous. 

Would you do it again?

-Yes. This happens all the time and is by far the most convenient and easiest way to have someone exit from your life. If you think about it from both perspectives, it really is an effective way to end something you can not be invested in. You would be doing an injustice to the other person because you would be leading them on. No hard feelings. 

Person 3:

Why did you choose to ghost that person?

-Ghosting someone wasn’t necessarily my first option but the person was getting too emotionally invested too soon without the title of a relationship. She was coming entirely too strong and I wasn’t equipped to deal with all of her emotions.

Did you feel guilty about it afterwards ?

-Yes, I felt guilty and it is something I am not proud of.

Would you do it again?

-I would never want to ghost someone again. I’ve learned that just having a conversation and being clear with your intentions can go a long way.

Person 4:

Why did you choose to ghost that person?

-They became very clingy and annoying and I wasn’t interested. It became a burden.

Did you feel guilty about it afterwards ?

-I did not feel guilty, maybe for the reasons above.

Would you do it again?

I am dating someone now so I don’t think that’s actually ever going to happen again.

In the process of interviewing these people I learned a few things. For starters, whether they knew it or not most of them feared honest communication for whatever reason. Some people are trying to date while being emotionally unavailable. I also learned that being ghosted isn’t about you it is most likely about them and how they feel. Lastly, I learned that being ghosted is actually someone dumping themselves for you, making your job a little easier when picking the right partner.

These are all my personal opinions and I’m surely no professional so I contacted psychologist and relationship therapist Dr. Lauren Fogel Mersy. She believes two reasons behind ghosting are:

1) Fear. The person who is doing the ghosting might be afraid of conflict or is afraid of hurting the other person's feelings. They might think that disappearing is less hurtful than communicating rejection or they might fear upsetting the other person and so they disappear to protect themselves from a difficult conversation.

2) Another reason for ghosting may be inconsideration. The ghoster might be wrapped up in their own life and not give thought to the other person's needs or feelings. They might decide that they aren't interested in continuing a relationship, but not consider how that impacts the other person. This could be a sign of a lack of empathy or self-centeredness. 

Her advice if you’re on the receiving end of ghosting is to:

1) Take this as a sign that someone is not interested and move on to other relationships. 

2) Send a text letting the ghoster know that their lack of communication has been hurtful. An example is, "Hi there. It's been a while since we've spoken and that has felt frustrating. I'm assuming that means that you aren't interested in going out again. I wish you the best." This allows you to feel like you've said goodbye and clearly communicates the assumption that you are operating under. If there's been any misinterpretation or miscommunication, this helps to clarify that. 

3) Try your best not to take this personally. It's okay to feel your feelings, but know that this behavior usually has more to do with the ghoster than the ghostee. 

Ghosters have some growing up to do and the ghostee should call them out on it. It’s time that people take responsibility for their actions, even if done online in a place with no consequences. Please remember: it isn’t your fault, you’re not too much and you’re worth an explanation. If there is one thing I’ve learned in life and from this situation is that life is easier when you go with the waves. Some people will come into your life and leave without an explanation and that’s ok. I’ve learned to let it happen because there’s no point in avoiding the unavoidable. You can search for an explanation, you can think of ways you could’ve avoided this but the truth is when people are not meant to stay they will find a way to leave eventually so why waste your energy focusing on them when you can focus your energy on the people who are a part of your life right now. The more I let go, let things happen and focus on what I can control instead of the things I have no control of I find myself more at peace than ever before.

Ghosting shouldn’t happen but it does; kindly call them out on their behavior, communicate your feelings and then let them go.

A kind thank you to the people who were open to answering our questions and to Dr.Lauren for collaborating with us. We highly recommend following her on Instagram: @drlaurenfogelmersy .