Ghosting, why do we do this to each other?
As a young singleton, barely surviving the tides of dating in 2019, here are the two biggest things that give me major anxiety:
1) trying to figure out if going back to Tinder is a good idea and
2) being ghosted
The first one you’ll easily get over when you realize that everyone has their headphones on so how the hell are you supposed to meet anyone in real life, but the second my friend, that is the road no one wants to travel and yet we do, we all do.
According to wikipedia, “Ghosting is breaking off a relationship by ceasing all communication and contact with the former partner without any apparent warning or justification, as well as ignoring the former partner’s attempts to reach out or communicate. “ Harsh I know but what the good folks at wikipedia don’t tell you is just how much it really sucks. Ever wake up craving your favorite cereal? You hop and skip to the kitchen and grab your favourite bowl. Your heart leaps for joy because this time your room mates have listened and haven’t made their way through your cereal box so you fill it up to the brim. You grab the fridge door and throw it open with glee, the light beaming in your face, and as you grab the milk ready to pour into your bowl you feel a whole lot of nothingness. Zero. The cows have ghosted you. So you suck it up and try to convince yourself that the cereal tastes better without the milk anyway, but you know, I mean you REALLY know that it isn’t quite the same. That’s what being ghosted feels like, like a milkless bowl of cereal.
The game has has changed. See when I get ghosted, I honestly see it coming, because these homeys think they are slick. A real ghoster will communicate with you hot and heavy for a bit, and then slowly start to disappear on you only dropping in once or twice week with a “what did you do this weekend?” as if you weren’t planning to see each other that week. He’ll even throw in an instagram like here and there but by week three or four, Casper has left the building. Ghoster with a heart you might think, but you’ve been ghosted nonetheless.
If you’re new to being ghosted you’ll go through weeks of wondering what the hell happened? You’ll go through the texts, double check your emoji’s. You roll over at night thinking back to the date you went on “did I say something wrong? Was I laughing too loud? Maybe it was the pizza with the pineapples, I shouldn’t have added the pineapple, dammit” and you’ll go on and on in the purgatory of trying to figure out what went wrong. If you’re seasoned at this (shucks we need to talk about this in another post lol), then you recognize it even before it happens and you find a new person before you feel the sting of the last. But whether you’ve gone through it once, or a thousand times, it sucks to get ghosted because it almost always happens with the guy or girl you really liked.
You’d think having being the victim of ghosting we’d somehow know the pain of it all and not inflict it upon others however as we've witnessed with so many examples of human behavior, that is not the case. I’ll be honest I’ll ghost people right from the onset. I give myself a timeline on when and how I’m going to do it. I’ll respond to the first few texts but slowly but surely I’ll drop communication altogether because from a quick glance I figured I just wasn’t that interested. But I’ve examined this behavior for a while now and I really think this is more about deflection. You get so tired of being ghosted and putting yourself out there so you just join this game hoping to deflect the pain of your own rejection.
Telling someone that you really not into them, makes me cringe. I hate it. I’d rather eat glass. We’re becoming less connected even though we’re the most connected we’ve ever been. We don’t want to carry the responsibility of seeing someone’s disappointment in their face. We don’t want to say “hey I know I sparked your interest, kept it going when I really probably had my own stuff to deal with. I’m sorry that I put you in the. middle of that. I hope you find someone who treats you better”. No we’d rather just ghost it away. Some of us will go so far as to secretly wish to be ghosted just so we don’t have to sit and time the ghosting. It’s like someone cancelling plans you knew you never were going to make. Now you can binge watching gossip girl for the umpteenth time in peace.
What we really need to do is just to be honest, first with ourselves then with others. The time wasting is one thing, but genuinely making someone believe there’s a chance when you know there isn’t, is not cool. We have no business. going on dates, if we don’t want to carry the responsibility of honesty. But we’ll probably continue to keep doing this and then go on to complain about how love is dead and “this is why I’m single”. It’s like no Susan, you’re single because you’re doing to Patrick what Harry did to you. Just suck it up and stop making Patrick pay for Harry’s sins. And Harry go see a therapist, being a serial ghoster is not healthy. Learn to use your words.
We all need to slow down and ask ourselves the intention of any interaction we have with other people. Setting an intention and being honest about it, helps make it clear for you and the other person what is really going on here. Otherwise we’re never going to leave the apps. We’ll keep swiping faster and faster forgetting that these are real people behind those pictures. As with anything you do in life, it always comes back to you, so don’t let ghosting haunt you.