What Is Ghosting Dating and How to Avoid It

Ghosting, zombieing, benching, stashing – new terms keep emerging to describe some contemporary relationship issues, behaviors, and types of breakups. Today, the way people communicate and develop relationships has significantly changed. The uninterrupted flow of messages creates an illusion of being right beside your interlocutor. However, if you’re tired of your interlocutor, you can easily cut off. Many complain that the way we date in the digital age is all wrong. At the same time, technology has introduced new ways for singles to meet potential dates. Through the Internet, you can get acquainted with people from different corners of the world while 50 years ago your choice was limited mainly to your geographical area. There is another perk – you can end the relationship as simply as you started it. You can disappear like a ghost, as if you were your partner’s fantasy and didn’t really exist. So, let’s gain insight into ghosting dating meaning.

ghosting in Dating

What is ghosting in a relationship?

So, what is ghosting dating? To put it simply, ghosting is the act of dumping one’s partner without any explanations and vanishing from their life. It’s typical of online romances, when a larger part of communication happens indirectly, that is via texting and calling. However, it can’t be said that ghosting is a brand-new phenomenon. There are many examples of fleeing from the undesirable relationships told by our parents and grandparents. Those cowards who didn’t have the nerve to meet with their date and tell him or her that their feelings were not strong enough could just disappear and never call or drop a line. Another example is those families where a dad goes out to buy cigarettes and never comes back home.

So, this is a real-life prototype of ghosting. Today, this term is used mainly to describe the situation when two people meet online, then have one or several dates, or even enter a relationship, and then one of the partners suddenly stops calling, texting, and responding to the other partner’s tries to get in touch. Ghosting in dating is so widespread because our communication narrows down to messengers and social media.

What does it mean to be ghosted?

Ghosting dating meaning should be differentiated. You can ghost and you can be ghosted. If you become the victim of ghosting, don’t panic and don’t suffer. Just ask yourself a reasonable question: do you need a person for whom it’s easier to disappear silently and ignore you rather than to say everything in your face naming the reason for breaking up. Maybe, it’s even for the better. Few people will want to hear that the reason was in them. At the same time, this could be an eye-opener for you. You’d know why that relationship didn’t work out, and you’d try to avoid the same mistakes.

what is ghosting datingUsually, a ghosted person is first really scared for their gone partner. They think something bad must have happened to them. However, when they check that person’s Facebook or Instagram and see new shares and posts, they calm down for a moment and then get furious and depressed. What does it mean when someone is ghosting you? Does it mean you were not good enough for them? Or they just didn’t manage to gather their courage to say goodbye? Basically, it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other. The bitterest part is when you’re in a relationship, say, for two months, you establish certain ties and get attached to that person, everything goes smoothly, and then all of a sudden they disappear from all radars. You’re left with a dubious feeling: is it forever or that person just took a pause. The thoughts in your head swarm and make you go crazy. But one thing is clear - your trust in people is undermined.

Why people ghost

Perhaps, every woman has been in the following situation. Some guy contacts her on Facebook, she likes his profiles and accepts him as a friend. They exchange several messages and she realizes that he is not her type. Her replies become scarce and soon she just ignores his messages. Women ghost more frequently because they are on the receiving end, which means their job is to take the risk and reply to the requests of men and see where it will go. Men are usually the initiators of communication, so they must be ready that in case a woman is frustrated, she’ll take French leave.

If you’ve ever ghosted, you know how painless it is. Well, first you think you are not acting properly and honorably. But then you remember that coming up with nice words and, God forbid, saying them in person will be much harder and nerve-wracking and will turn into an argument with long explanations and excuses, so you choose the safest option.

There two main reasons why a person may choose to ghost: if he or she doesn’t plan to further develop this relationship or if he or she doesn’t want to get attached. These are the global reasons, but there are some particular triggers. According to the results of one survey, the most popular excuses for ghosting dating were that the dates were doing the following things:

  • Talking about their exes too much.
  • Looking not like in their dating profile.
  • Being too dependent.
  • Sending obscene photos.
  • Being too religious.
  • Incompatible personalities.
  • Bad sex.

Among millennials, ghosting dating is a kind of trend. This is because they use dating sites and apps extensively and have an impression that there are plenty of fish in the sea. Keeping it in mind, they don’t compromise but just swipe left and go on their searches. When they correspond with or date a particular person, an obsessive thought that there must be someone better for them makes them end this relationship by disappearing. The illusion that a new date may be at a distance of two clicks makes young adults easily break up with those who already don’t seem like their matches.

What is ghosting in text?

The favorite venues of ghosting dating are online dating sites, apps, and social media. This is where people who have never seen each other in person can meet and try to build a relationship. Very often, many virtual acquaintances turn into short-term digital relationships that are never transferred to the real life. The most common way to end an online relationship is simply to stop any contacts or even delete a profile to never appear in that person’s life. This is how online dating ghosting works.

A person may do ghosting even when their relationship is developing in real life. It’s the most hurtful type of ghosting, because you get attached to this person and have some plans for the future. Then, you arrange a date, and your boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t show up. Your calls and messages are ignored. You don’t know how to react and you feel at a loss until you realize you were dumped silently.

In terms of dating and ghosting, there is another term to be mentioned – benching. What is benching in dating? It’s something that is even worse than ghosting. While a ghoster cuts off all contacts and disappears for good, the one who is benching you is keeping you on the bench, as an alternative option. This person contacts you on and off and usually does it in the emergencies. Simultaneously, they may be dating other people, sieving potential candidates. You may be not the only one on their bench. It can be the case that the person is in a relationship but is looking for a plan B in advance. Sometimes they may use you to boost their ego or because you may be helpful one day. If you don’t mind a casual relationship and your underdog role in this person’s life, then it can be acceptable for you. However, if you want a serious relationship with this person, it’s better to put an end to it.

How to deal with ghosting

Ghosting is not purely good or purely bad tactics. Even relationship specialists, who are mostly against ghosting and advocate face-to-face parting, will recommend you to ghost in some cases. For example, when you meet your school boyfriend whom you didn’t see like in ages (you finished school 10 years ago). Or when your blind date was a disaster.

In the majority of cases, you should force yourself to have a face-to-face conversation. The more frequently you resort to ghosting instead of having a difficult dialog, the more you lose the skill to deal with real problems.

Why ghosting is wrong

You damage your karma. When you ghost, you break someone’s heart and spoil your reputation.

You leave the other person in doubts. You decide for yourself that this is relationship can’t go on, but your date can’t read your mind and may be getting lost in guesses why you vanished.

If it’s your immaturity, tell them. If the reason is not in your partner but in your hesitation and fear of relationships, let them know in order to prevent them from self-torture.

Your partner has their life. Don’t waste your date’s time. They may spend some time waiting and hoping you’ll get back to them. So, respect the life of your date.

Some say ghosting is a lame way to end a relationship. For some, it’s a stress-free strategy. However, maybe in a few years, it will become a usual and widely accepted thing. Or vice versa. Rules and canons are changing rapidly these days, and you never know what will become a norm in the nearest future.

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