Ghosting: Just Don't

Ghosting isn’t new in the dating scene, but recently, it’s seen an increase in popularity. According to Urban Dictionary, ghosting is “when a person cuts off all communication with their friends or the person they’re dating, with zero warning or notice beforehand.” It’s a crazy common situation that been made even easier by technology. Nowadays, we’re only a few clicks away from starting a conversation with anyone. It’s easy to make connections but it’s just as easy to sever all ties, for whatever reason. A lot of us have been on both sides of ghosting (being the ghosted and the ghostee) at least once, but this new “trend” is becoming a problem.

Ghosting stems from the refusal or denial to recognize one’s own feelings, deal with them, and communicate them. When someone is unwilling to confront the situation they are facing, they might find it easier to disappear without a trace. However, the game changes when another person’s feelings are involved. Contrary to popular opinion, people are owed an explanation, especially if they are (or were) close to you. Exceptions exist, of course, like in cases of toxic relationships-- you should get out of these through any means possible! Under normal circumstances, ghosting encourages hiding from your problems and practicing apathy towards others. It promotes detachment from reality and it reduces whole human beings to a name on your screen.

I totally understand all the reasons why you might ghost someone: you don’t want to go through the trouble of explaining everything; you think it’ll be awkward; you want to save the other person from unnecessary heartbreak, or you don’t want to let them down. Well, I have some bad news: you’re doing more damage by ghosting them than you would have by just telling them the truth.

It’s a form of emotional cruelty to leave someone expecting a response when you know for a fact that you don’t intend to send one. I know, it sounds dramatic, but try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. They will be left wondering what they did wrong. They will feel used and disposable like they were never special and you never actually cared about them. Rejection with an explanation is better than silence without one.

I get it. Confrontation is scary and communication is difficult, but they are necessary for developing healthy relationships and properly functioning within society. So, let’s all agree to leave ghosting behind and start tackling our problems instead of running away from them. It’s like ripping off a band-aid: it’s hard to get it over with, but once you do, the relief is immense and gratifying.