Ghosting Culture

Ghosting is a method of ending a relationship by ceasing all communication with no warning. 

Many of us have been the ghoster, many of us have been the ghosted. 

As someone who has partaken in this act myself, I understand the preference: it is by far the easiest way to end a relationship. It requires no effort on the part of the ghoster. No need to verbalize feelings or justify actions. All the responsibility that typically comes from a breakup is lifted. It is no wonder that our generation continues ghosting our short flings: we tend to be a group of poor communicators. With the invention of texting and social media, the task of communicating has quickly devolved. Flirting is as simple as sending emojis over Instagram DMs and arguments are “easier” over text than in person. These communication methods are a bit of a handicap when it comes to expressing our thoughts. Many people, including myself, use texting as a crutch for disagreements or tough discussions. After all, it is much easier to hurl passive aggressive remarks or ignore a topic for 20 minutes if iMessage is there for protection. At the end of the day, these new communication tactics perpetuate a culture of poor communication skills. 

hand holding cell phone with social media apps open Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

There should be no fear in explaining why one chooses to end a relationship. A serious relationship is not something you are interested in right now. He chews with his mouth open. You realized his wardrobe of Hawaiian shirts reminded you WAY too much of your father. Whatever it is, an explanation brings closure to a relationship. Ghosting is often excused as a way to “spare their feelings.” This is rarely the case. As the ghosted is left confused and may fear the worst, questioning why they have been abandoned without context, they conclude their own insecurities must be the reason. This is unfair to the ghosted and a selfish act on the part of the ghoster.

People can learn a lot about how to improve their relationship skills, but the only way to improve is through feedback. It is perfectly okay if two people fail to click on the first date. Kindly explaining first impressions gives them the choice to adapt and potentially find better luck in the future dating field. Ensuring criticism is constructive and polite. A good rule of thumb: do not bring it up if they have no control over the trait. They might walk weird or snort when they laugh; however, these characteristics come down to personal preference over date-ability. A clear explanation provides a new ability to find better success in future relationships.

However, the rules of communication are hard to define. The procedures of any interpersonal interaction are gray to say the least, with a lot of room for error. Some casual relationships naturally fizzle out on their own, but this should be well understood by both parties. One might assume that they have been ghosted; whereas, the other thought that the relationship was already coming to an end. The best way to avoid these conflicts is through clear expression of one’s feelings.

But if your new Tinder match messages “DTF?”, you have permission to block their number.