"Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth"
Ghosting in breakups as a means to an end of something intimate is a huge 'fad' at the moment. Perhaps it's millenial dating with the if 'it's broke, replace it' mentality or perhaps it's the next please ideology towards dating and relationships that generations x and y tend to be all over.
I talk about breakups, ghosting, healing heartbreak and overcoming anxiety relentlessly over in the press and on podcasts on my dating and relationship expert page Sarah Louise Ryan. You'll even hear me sharing my own story of ghosting after a 7 year relationship on Damsel In Dating Distress.
I have been doing my research with the boom of break-ups that seem to be surrounding all my late 20's clients and friends at the moment and I thought I would take a moment to highlight ghosting and ghostees so you know that when someone exits stage left like Houdini on you, you are not the first and certainly will not be the last, but I would certainly like to eradicate it as the norm.
So what is ghosting and when does it occur? Ghosting is essentially one party in a relationship or dating scenario who disappears, making a decision to do this quickly than deal with different possible outcomes of a breakup that they are not in control of. This occurs for a few reasons inclusive of lack of forthrightness, the ability to make a 'keeping it clean' exit so it doesn't affect their pride/persona and the obvious, not being emotionally equipped to deal with the physical/psychological pain of the ghostee post breakup.
Whilst there is no easy way to break up with someone and we are all certain there is no ideal scenario in which we would all be 'happy' about it, one thing is for sure ghosting someone or being ghosted, on the many different levels you can do this, is far from ideal. Ghosting can be a slow gentle fade into the night until they are physically gone or a full shibam of a disappearing act but nevertheless, both incur the same outcome; one party is gone. Here are a few things to help heal your heart or spot the signs you are about to ghost someone yourself.
#1. Avoidance. Ghosting someone can happen because the person that exits the stage has an avoidant personality and perhaps would rather begin something new without having to confront any negative physical/emotional attributes that comes alongside a relationship ending. The person doing the ghosting would much rather consider their own emotional/ physical discomfort above integrity, emotional intelligence and compassion for the other party in the relationship.
Hayley Quinn, another dating expert, stated to the Telegraph this about ghosting "it's easier to be evasive than confrontational...Rather than having to articulate, analyse and possibly – if the other party isn't in agreement – debate your reasons for breaking-up, going Awol seems like the path of least resistance.”
#2. Passing Or Failing. In the lead up to ghosting the ghostee may not have realised they will have been secretly put through their paces via a range of different scenarios/tests that they never knew they were undertaking. These instances are little milestones in the phase of decision making where the ghost will have let you pass or fail as part of justification for their upcoming actions.
#3. Someone In The Wings. Ghosting, and the latter stages of your relationship with someone, is an actual abandonment of honesty and any integrity there may have been. Chances are that the party doing said ghosting will have A) got someone else waiting in the wings for them B) been considering one or more potential partners other than you for a while. Either way they seem almost certain that there is greener grass on the other side, this comes alongside the next point with validating themselves for fear of future rejection.
#4. Remaining In Control. Ghosting is a way for one party to keep reins of control on a few different elements. Firstly, they are fully in control of the management of their own feelings and outcomes to the exiting, it's all on their terms and it suits them best. Secondly, they are in control of how other people see them and the majority of the time those doing the ghosting have low self-esteem, internal conflict and fear of rejection themselves.
#5. Emotional Manipulation. The person doing the ghosting will have been in a period of relationship conflict for sometime and been debating solely how they would like to see the curtains drawing to a close. If the ghostee had gut instincts or intuition of any kind the person ghosting will do their utmost to squash those thoughts and feelings towards the end as he or she will be losing control of the relationship outro. Their respect for themselves and protection of themselves is far greater than that they have for you but is not a reflection of you. There will have been so many untruths told that the lines between what is truth and what is false have been lost; the theatre of acting will be high from said ghost in the last chapter of your relationship- everything will be lost in translation.
#6. The Aftermath. If you hear from the ghost in a small or maybe even big way afterwards you must be careful how you deal with the contact. There are a few things that can occur and a few reasons they may contact you in a polite, carefree way. Contact such as "hey, how are you", "Hi, I hope you're okay" ect. What you ought to know is that this contact is not about you, it's the ghost testing the waters in a few ways and I will tell you why. Firstly, if you are responsive and engaging with them it means in their mind, what the ghost did was not so bad after all and if you are able to be friends with them it greatens their own sense of self-worth, the reason they put you in this position in the first place, a fear of rejection and you are not rejecting them all together. Secondly, if the person has narcissistic tendencies it is also another test to A) see if they still have you hook, line and sinker so they can feel sorry for you and justifies their reasons for leaving or B) to validate themselves that you, the ghostee, are not okay and they are still needed/wanted by you.
#7. Your Value. You must understand that if you are a ghostee, the person who has ghosted you has a conflicted vision of themselves and it is not a vision of who you are in any way, shape or form. The process of ghosting was never about you, it was always about the ghost and an inability to deal with themselves on a deep emotional level, any confrontation with you and any acknowledgment of their part in a relationship break-down. What we must remember is that the space created by being ghosted is a space created to welcome the actual love of your life. You may not think it now but everything really does happen for a reason.
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