So you just met someone online. The two of you spent days or weeks getting constantly updated with each other’s personal life. Everything was going smooth until one day, that person just vanished into thin air.
There were no longer any calls or messages from them, and any effort you try to contact that person is just always met with silence. They may have even gone as far as blocking you on all social media platforms.
Now you know for sure, you have just been “ghosted”.
What Does it Mean When Someone “Ghosted” You?
As the name suggests, ghosting includes someone who vanishes from your life without any warning or explanation. Ghosting can be done to you even by friends and family members, but the term is more popularly associated with someone you are in a romantic relationship with.
Cutting off contact with someone has been easier since online dating gained more popularity in the last decade. It is considered a passive-aggressive way of ending a relationship, sometimes even before it actually began.
With the way modern dating goes, rejecting a person or not has become as easy as swiping left or right. The existence of thousands of modern dating sites has allowed people to meet and get to know multiple potential romantic partners at a time. Hence, making ghosting all the more rampant nowadays.
History of Ghosting
The term “Ghosting” officially became an official entry in the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2017 due to the increasing popularity of online dating. However, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to know that the act of ghosting had long existed even before the age of the internet.
The origin of the word could be dated as far back as the 1990s when some pop culture writers used the word to describe ghostwriting in terms of hip-hop music.
In addition, the existence of this new colloquial term may have also been primarily inspired by the act of leaving a party or a social function without proper notice or someone moving away without leaving any contact information behind.
So how did the term “ghosting” become popular?
With the increasing possibility of building romantic relationships thanks to online dating sites, it has also become easier for people to ghost other people.
Because of this, it wasn’t much of a struggle to popularize and widely adopt the term “ghosting” with more and more people who can understand and relate to the act of ghosting, even if one is the ghoster or the ghosted.
Related: True love is when he ignores you
Why do People “Ghost”?
There are several reasons why a person may just decide to ghost you. Generally speaking, ghosting is an obvious indication that the other person is no longer interested in you. But, there are more specific reasons why people would choose to ghost rather than directly tell you that they no longer like talking to you.
- It’s the easiest way out
One of the common reasons people tend to ghost other people is that it’s the easy way out of the situation. Most people prefer doing this instead of having an awkward conversation about why you are no longer interested in talking to that person.
It’s easier to avoid or skip confrontations knowing that you’ll be hurting someone else’s feelings anyway. Instead of telling them the truth, ghosting seems like the easiest way out, and by doing so, the other person would get the ghoster’s message.
- There are many other options to pick from
Meeting people online in hopes of starting a romantic relationship continues to increase in popularity.
While already beginning the talking stage with someone, it is not at all uncommon to talk to or date multiple other persons as well, even at the same time.
Most ghosters would tend to ghost if they no longer find the other person interesting, especially if they are currently talking to a few other people as well.
Having many different options to choose from makes it all the more convincing and justifiable to just ghost someone.
- They avoid getting too attached to someone
In another case, being ghosted by someone may be because they are afraid of getting too attached to that person.
They may just be in it for the flirtations, but as soon as they sense comfort and emotional attachment, they will take a step back and just vanish into thin air.
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- They do not see the relationship working out
Being ghosted by someone can also be because that person does not see the relationship lasting in the long run and would rather skip the hassle of telling you the truth that will hurt your feelings.
How Does it Feel to be Ghosted
Imagine getting to know someone so much that you unlock a certain level of familiarity with them, and then they just cut off all ties with you without any explanation at all. Being ghosted can surely take a huge toll on your emotional and psychological health.
The feeling can be compared to sudden loss, which will eventually turn into shock and denial, all while feeling anger over that person’s betrayal. More importantly, being ghosted by someone can affect one’s self-esteem and sense of trust with other people.
If a person has been ghosted before, expect that they may be too insecure and unsure of building a romantic relationship in fear of being ghosted again.
How to Deal With Being Ghosted
Although the effect of being ghosted varies from person to person, it is inevitable to feel grief over it. Who wouldn’t grieve after being treated like someone who is undeserving of any acceptable reason?
It’s never easy to deal with the grief of being ghosted by someone. Depending on how well you have known each other, grief caused by ghosting can take months or even a year to move on from.
The only thing a ghosted person is left to do is to accept that the other person is no longer interested in you. While they may never give any response at all, sending them a message about exactly how his ghosting made you feel can help give you a sense of closure for yourself.
Make it clear to them that you don’t have any idea why they suddenly vanished and that you no longer want to leave the door open for them. Let them know that you respect his decision, however hurtful it may have been for you. But, you will no longer allow them to occupy a space in your heart or mind.
How Ghosting Impacts the Ghoster
Ghosting is seen as one of the easy ways out of any relationship, and it is clear that this type of behavior can negatively affect its doer. People who ghost other people end up tolerating and further pushing their inability to communicate how they actually feel with other people genuinely.
Whatever a person’s reason may be, we cannot deny the fact that by ghosting, a person blatantly chooses to be indifferent of how it may negatively affect the other person. In the long run, tolerance of this kind of behavior can be detrimental to that person’s hopes of having a healthy, long-term relationship.
What to Do Instead of Ghosting
The key to having a healthy relationship with any person is always to follow the golden rule: to treat others the way you want them to treat you. For this reason, ghosting someone should never be an option.
This is why the best alternative to ghosting someone is to just be honest with them. In doing so, you also have to make sure that you are using constructive statements not to scar the person’s emotions further.
Openly tell the person something like, “You are a great person, and I admire a lot of things about you. But to tell you the truth, I don’t think we will actually work in the long run. I just had to tell you because you deserve the truth, and I respect your time. I wish you the best of luck in love. Please take care.”
Whatever words you may put in the message, make sure that they are direct to the point, honest, and sincere. Although the other person is sure to feel sad about it, at the very least, you had the decency to provide an explanation and closure rather than just ghosting them.
Is it Ever Okay to Ghost Someone?
Generally speaking, ghosting someone is never okay. While every person has the right to decide whether or not they pursue a relationship with another person or not, the most decent thing to do is always to let the other person know, especially if you want to reject them.
This is even more necessary if breaking off the newfound relationship is not a mutual decision. As much as possible, leaving behind unwanted emotions should be avoided.
However, there are some cases when ghosting someone seems like the best option to end a relationship. This can be applicable when you discover that the person you’re talking to is already married or in a relationship or if the person continuously displays toxic and unwanted behaviors.
Related: Love Bombing
However difficult it may be, the other person needs to personally hear you directly say that you are no longer interested in having a romantic relationship with the other person. But, if by doing so, you will only end up compromising your personal well-being, then ghosting someone can be justified.
Relationships that leave you feeling threatened and deeply uncomfortable may justify ghosting, especially when you need to prioritize your safety first. Sometimes, you don’t have to owe anyone any explanation. If the person constantly makes you feel unsafe and insecure, then cutting off contact with them is the most reasonable thing to do.
It’s not surprising that many people resort to ghosting, seeing it’s the easiest way out of any relationship. However, it is never the best decision to make when trying to end a relationship. If ever you find yourself tempted to ghost someone, just imagine how you would feel if someone ever left without any explanation.
However, in cases wherein the other person constantly makes you feel uncomfortable or threatened. At the end of the day, you must seek to prioritize your peace of mind and personal well-being.
Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.