Confessions of a Former Serial Ghoster

Spooky season may be over, but ghosts are still out there. By ghosts, I don’t mean children running around in bed sheets or the souls of the dearly departed, but instead, people who leave people on read and just never respond. I would know: I used to ghost people all the time. 

This might come back to haunt me in 20 years, but I am here to admit that I am a former serial ghoster.

My ghosting tendencies were deeply rooted from my time in middle and high school where I would not respond to friends’ texts or Snapchats. To all my friends, sorry... I hope you’ve noticed an improvement! But now that I snap back, I have noticed a sharp increase in being left on read... not cool guys, not cool at all. I have a mental tally of those of you who leave me on read, and eventually, I will retaliate. 

My habit of not responding manifested itself into ghosting when I came to college and began going on dates. When those dates didn’t go well, I learned to ghost the other person. Funny how that’s a verb now.

Ghosting became easier than making up an excuse as to why there would be no date number two or why I quickly texted a friend to fake an emergency that would require me to leave the date early. 

A few months ago, however, I read an article from a ghoster about why he does it. According to him, he just gets bored and decides to ghost people. No empathy, no sympathy: he simply does not think of the girl again. I sat on my bed for a while after reading the piece and just thought: Am I this remorseless? Is this why I ghost? 

No, I realized. I ghost because like in all other situations, I hate conflict resolution. I avoid it like the plague because I hate getting my life messy. 

I like people. I like learning about people and talking to time, and I like it when people talk to me about my life. I meet people and go on dates like I watch a film or do anything, I do it to learn and listen and hopefully come home to my roommate and tell her that I had a nice time. However, not every movie is good and it is hard to listen to some people for one reason or another, so I left those people on read and moved on with my life. As much as I say I hate when my life is messy, this was one of the messiest things I could do because I got other people involved. 

Well, fun fact, Lizzie from six months ago: you’re going to have to deal with your problems some day. 

After the small existential crisis that followed reading that pretty awfully written article, I stopped ghosting. To be honest, it was harder than I thought it would be. Telling someone that they make you uncomfortable and to not contact you again is a pretty difficult statement to text. 

When you spend long enough avoiding your issues, you begin to forget how to solve them. Another existential crisis emerged from this as well. With all my self-manufactured drama, can you tell that I did theater? 

To all the people I’ve ghosted, I honestly am really sorry. I’m even sorry for justifiably ghosting  those of you who were either inappropriate or mean.

By ghosting and not saying why I didn’t want to speak anymore, I made myself no better than you. I want to be treated with kindness and respect, so how could I expect others to treat me that way if I don’t treat people with enough respect to say that I didn’t want to go out again?

Maybe they were right in pre-school when they forced everyone to follow the golden rule and made everyone say sorry after everything. Less feelings got hurt. So once again, I’m sorry. 

Spooky season is over, and ghosting season is over, too. At least for me.