Do you believe in ghosting?
Halloween may have its goblins, ghouls and zombies – but in the dating world, nothing gives you the chills like being ghosted.
Men and women are mysteriously disappearing from relationships, vanishing off the face of the planet without a trace – despite the fact that sending a text message to say goodbye literally takes five seconds.
Are these missing people in a coma? Did they get vaporized by aliens? Turned into vampires?
No. Quite simply, these people are too chickenshit to say, “Hey, I’m just not into you and don’t think we should see each other anymore” – so instead, they ghost. Ghosters can’t even muster up an “It’s not you – it’s me” speech, or even a text message that says CUL8R. Afraid of experiencing any sort discomfort and ill equipped to handle even the mildest negative emotions, ghosters avoid saying goodbye altogether.
Ghosting after the first meeting or encounter of the relationship has been common for years, with scores of people (most of them with penises) having said, “I’ll call you” when they really mean: “I never want to see you again.”
But today, people are ghosting from entire relationships – after three dates in, after a month of flirting, after a phone full of sexts, and after expectations have been set.
What’s behind this mysterious, widespread cultural phenomenon?
The devilish, double-edged sword of technology helps to enable this bad behavior, creating expectations of immediate gratification and endless opportunities. Thanks to online dating, humans are seeing potential mates more like merchandise – and treating them less like human beings. They are profiles, not people – and profiles don’t require respect or even common courtesy. Why waste time on a five-second break-up text when you could be watching the latest Kanye video? There’s also a seemingly infinite supply of anonymous people to date, making every potential mate less valuable, less special – and less deserving of being treated with decency.
Our cushy modern lives are also to blame. Humans are less and less inclined to handle any type of discomfort. We live in temperature-controlled environments, wear soft clothing, sleep in comfortable beds, and take hot, soapy showers every day. Discomfort is avoided at all costs. Bored? Not for a second – pick up your phone quick, and check your social media feeds before you have to spend a single moment feeling uncomfortable or alone. Most Westernized humans don’t like to deal with any kind of physical or emotional discomfort – and telling someone “goodbye” fits firmly into this category. It’s much easier skip the awkward conversation and to pretend nothing ever happened.
What is the solution?
Grow some balls and quit ghosting. Be the change. Own up to your feelings – even the negative ones – and have the courage to experience discomfort. Have respect for your fellow human beings and for yourself, and resolve to be a real person of integrity and honesty. Save the ghosting for Halloween.