Ghosting: The Worst Way Out

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In an era where relationships are ill-defined and loosely categorized, it can be hard to end one. When you're more than friends with benefits but less than hooking up, or when you're more than hooking up but less than dating, it's difficult to find the right words to discontinue a relationship. John Cusack has yet to direct a movie in which a hook up needs to be ended. There are few resources to guide us towards the least hurtful way to end an ambiguous relationship. While I have yet to learn what this way is, I know what it's not: ghosting.

Ghosting—and I’m not referring to some tradition where my New Jersey friends leave candy on someone’s doorstep before Halloween—is easy. Simply gradually phase out the person you're involved with without any explanation Stop answering their texts, see them less frequently, come up which half-baked excuses, such as "sorry, I just saw this text a day too late and now we accidently can't make those dinner reservations". When you infrequently hang out, act inhospitable, or even mean until he or she decidedly you aren't worth it and ultimately gives up. Ghosting is easy, but it's also cowardly and extremely insulting.

While ghosting may seem like the least confrontational way to end what isn’t necessarily a relationship, it’s a weak move and it shows that you aren’t mature enough to work through difficult situations. Sure, it’s a tempting out; it requires minimal energy and never directly exposes the perpetrator to the victim’s reaction. But, by creating a situation where nothing is clear, ghosting makes everything awkward. There is no conventional protocol for what to do when you bump into the person you once spent late nights with but now avoid at all costs without knowing why. Do you pretend you’ve never met each other, or bite the bullet and say hi?

Not only is ghosting awkward, but it’s also incredibly hurtful. Ghosting indicates a few things to your partner. Firstly, you think he or she cannot bear to handle the idea of not being with you, and you are so afraid to explain your feelings because you think he or she will go absolutely crazy without the grace of your presence. More importantly, you think your partner does not deserve a reason, explanation, or conversation, which they do.

So, while ghosting is wrong in a less obvious way than Ross sleeping with the Chloe the Xerox girl when he and Rachel were clearly on a break, there are more mature ways to break it off with someone.