Whether you’re swiping left and right on a mobile app or meeting IRL through friends or co-workers, when it’s time to call it quits, couples are changing their relationship statuses by disappearing entirely.
Being ghosted is the coward’s way of breaking up.
Singles are finding ghosting the easy way out. Technology that connects us to find love can disconnect us in a digital split second. One day you’re talking about the future lying naked in bed with your boyfriend or girlfriend and the next day you’re blocked on social media and texts come to a complete halt. Confused by this disappearing act, you find your texts are getting ignored, your phone is blocked from receiving your calls and it appears like they’ve moved to another country or into the arms of another without the decency of a proper ending.
As technology affects all aspects of relationships, I have found myself becoming a ghosting or ghosted expert with the barrage of emails from heartbroken singles wondering what they did wrong to push someone away without the formality of a breakup conversation to get the closure they so desperately need.
According to online dating site PlentyofFish’s survey, 80% of millennials admitting to have been ghosted, or being the ghoster. The trend is rising daily among all demographics. Here are reasons why singles are ghosting big time and what to do instead.
1. You’re a Coward. Gone are the days of “post-it” breakups and even email breakups. You know it’s uncool to play Casper when it’s not Halloween, but you don’t have the guts to tell him or her it’s over. Pull up your big boy or big girl pants and do the deed in person if geography allows. You might get a slap on the face or a confrontation you’d prefer not to have, but have the convo. It might be possible to salvage your relationship through healthy communication, or end on mutual terms.
2. You’ve Met Someone Else. If you’re relationship has been on a downhill slide, you’re probably open to meeting someone else. Often there’s double-dipping involved and there could be an overlap that your new squeeze and old squeeze don’t know about. Tired of living a double-life and rather than coming clean (which means yes, did you sleep with someone else?), you ease into a new relationship and ease out of the one you were in by going MIA. If you think your relationship is over, don’t stay in it for the sex. Make a clean break in person, via phone, anything except disappearing into the arms of another, as your soon-to-be ex will see new photos on Instagram and Facebook and you can expect some nasty texts to appear on your smart phone from someone scorned and publicly humiliated.
3. You’re not Feeling It Anymore. You’ve gone through the motions, have met each others’ friends, talked about being exclusive, and then commit to being monogamous. Maybe he or she was a great kisser and your texts bordered on sexting, but once you slept together, it was plain bad. There’s more to the relationship than sex only, but if you can’t imagine seeing them again after oh so boring sex, you ghost. Not nice. People get nervous the first time they have get naked together. The pressure is on big time. Don’t make it about being incompatible in bed. That’s the worst kind of pain after your partner bears their heart, soul, and body.
4. You want to Play the Field. Beginnings are exciting. The first text, the first kiss, the first weekend away, yes, butterflies still exist and everyone is on good behavior. You’re having so much fun with your steady squeeze until you realize that you’re attached, when you really prefer to be single. You decide that the grass is greener when you’re attached and want to fly solo. When you’re solo, you think the grass is greener and want to be in a relationship. Meanwhile, your significant other didn’t do anything wrong. You truly like them, but the shiny new feeling wore off and there’s another cute smile flirting with you right now. What do you do? You get out of the digital handcuffs, disappear and don’t explain that you aren’t interested in spending the holidays with his or her family.
What to do if your significant other ghosts you
1. Don’t Send Repeated Texts that Get Ignored. One-way texts are humiliating and the are self-inflicted digital pain. Staring at your phone waiting for his or her reply can become obsessive. Turn your phone off and go to a movie with a friend, take a walk, do anything but press the send button on another text. If the person you were involved with doesn’t have the balls to end a relationship with a conversation, don’t stalk them online or offline to get closure. It will push them away and it will confirm their thoughts that you’re a crazy ex. Go no contact ASAP and text a friend or me instead of your lost lover.
2. Give the Ghoster Space. Sometimes a person just needs a break. When someone tells you they want a break, the initial reaction is that it’s a breakup. After all “break” is the first part of the word, right? Give your Ghoster a few days to sort out their feelings, have some space to think about life without you and they may return. They don’t even think they’ve ghosted you, but you’re hurting big time. The best think you can do for yourself is stay busy with your friends while your ghosting lover is thinking it over.
3. Let him/her Go. People who ghost know it’s not the right thing to do, but everyone else is doing it and it’s become so easy, so why not follow a trend? If someone you were involved with finds you to be that disposable, give them a one-way ticket out of your life.
Ghosters have a habit of not ending it formally, because if their other options don’t work out, they want to have the opportunity to return. It’s not a love hiatus when it’s not mutual and it’s fine to call a ghoster out on their behavior. If he/she ghosts you once, you’ll get ghosted again. Don’t become that person in rotation.
4. Don’t Take it Out on The Next Person. Just because you’ve been ghosted, doesn’t mean it’s acceptable and you should ghost the next person you meet. Treat others the way you want to be treated and let’s stop all of this ghosting once and for all.
Have you been ghosted before? How did it make you feel?
Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and is the CEO and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. Julie was an early adopter of the Internet and has been coaching singles on finding love online and on their mobile phones for over two decades. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter for dating advice and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.