You had been dating someone new, you quite liked them and thought that things seemed to be moving forward in the right direction then all of a sudden he or she completely disappeared off the face of the earth - gone without a hint that things weren’t working out and with no trace of them left in sight. Does this sound relatable to you? Have you recently been in a familiar situation and feeling completely stuck without any explanation and zero closure so you can move forward? Do not fear, I truly believe that what is meant for you in life won’t pass you by and you are not alone as the rise of ghosting is taking the digital dating world by storm - not in a good way.
For those of you out there to which Ghosting is a new term - it is a situation when someone you are dating ceases contact in any form without explanation and is gone without a trace. More often than not they also proceed to block in all forms of digital communication for ease of moving on from their side.
It doesn’t seem to be a foreign concept to millennials and those choosing to date in a digital space as the mentality of ‘the grass always being greener’ continues to also be on the rise. Dating site Plenty of Fish conducted a survey which showed that 78% of people between the ages of 18 and 33 have been “ghosted” at least once in their life. That figure is outstanding.Given that ghosting has unfortunately become somewhat normal in the digital dating world I thought it would be helpful to offer some advice on both sides of the coin.
If you think you’re about to ghost someone, and it is quite normal as normal as a human being to change your mind about someone, perhaps it’s something they say, the headspace you are in or you just don’t quite feel that same spark as when you first started to get to know each other and want to just wipe the slate clean and consider yourself fully single again. This is okay - but what is not okay is just doing a Houdini because there are another person's feelings to consider - we are not robots.
If you're about to ghost someone, think about this…
Consider how you would much rather have someone let you down gently if you really liked them and yet they weren’t all in. Be upfront and be clear - you’ll leave with your integrity intact and still hopefully have respect for one another.
Let’s say the person you are about to ghost really likes you - don’t you think it would be fair to offer them some closure so they can move forward in the same way that you are about to - just let them know you don’t quite feel the same, even if you are not so sure of the reason why.
If you’re about to digitally ghost someone you haven’t even met then do please remember that nothing can compare to real human connection and unless they have done something absolutely outlandish you should really give meeting them a shot - you really never know what sparks will fly in person and the connections you make online are really just pseudo-relationships and pen-pals until you take the plunge and meet them IRL.
If you have been ghosted recently…
Firstly, we are very sorry to hear that. Secondly, 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 acknowledgement 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.
The person doing the ghosting will have been in a period of relationship conflict for some time and may have been debating how they would like to see the curtains drawing to a close. The ghosts respect for themselves and protection of themselves is far greater than that they have for you but is not a reflection of you and you must remember it is not about you.
Ghosting is a way for one party to keep reins of control on a few different elements of their life if they feel a little lost. Ghosting enables them to be 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 and they don’t have to consider yours, it’s too great a burden for them. Additionally, 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.
Ghosting can be a painful process and can have a lot of negative outcomes for both parties in terms of fear of rejection in the future, living with lack of closure and not being able to work through relationship and conflict to deepen human connection, especially if one always exits stage left. Think about ghosting and it’s outcomes if you are about to do it and remember if you have been ghosted that it was never about you, don’t take it inward and the right person is out there for you somewhere you just have to be patient yet persistent in the pursuit of finding them.
If you've only been dating the person who ghosted you for a few months then perhaps it was just something for the short term during 'cuffing season' (I know, sigh, another term) but have a read more about that here with my interview with the Huffington Post.