You try to connect again, sending a text or a message on social media…nothing. You might even find yourself blocked (or at least effectively ignored) on Instagram, Facebook or Snap Chat.
The person has gone totally silent, leaving you to wonder what happened. In dating, this has a term: ghosting.
Explained simply, ghosting occurs in dating when a person abruptly cuts off all contact with you with no warning sign or explanation. One day you’re fine and happy, the next day all contact ceases and all efforts at reaching out or reconnecting are met with silence.
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Although ghosting is a new term, it’s not a new phenomenon. It’s always existed. It’s just ghosting now is much easier and more consequence free. In the past, you’d typically date among an extended network of friends and acquaintances. So, if you got cut off abruptly, that person would have to face you. Or, at the very least you’d find out through others what happened.
In the age of internet dating, you could be ghosted and literally never know why.
Why People Ghost
People can ghost for many reasons. Maybe they have someone else they like better. Perhaps they just don’t want to talk to you anymore. It’s possible their friends didn’t like you, so they decide they need that approval and dump you. It’s possible they had a boyfriend or girlfriend and got busted.
But, ultimately there is one reason why people ghost- cowardice. They lack the courage to be open and honest and cut people off. I’m not saying they’re bad people. They might feel like they’re sparing the other person’s feelings by saying nothing.
However, ghosting is ultimately more cruel than being direct about ending a relationship. It keeps people from moving on and leaves them wondering what the heck happened. That’s ultimately more emotionally cruel.
What To Do If You’re Ghosted
Ultimately, you just have to move on. If someone ghosts you, are they really a good person? Maybe. But, if they do that to you, they obviously aren’t right for you. Anyone who would cut you off like that is showing a character flaw that you don’t want to mess with.
You might be upset and curious what happened, but you should resist the urge to re-initiate contact. You might send a hello? or something a few days later, but avoid messaging a third time. Definitely don’t beg for explanations or appear needy or desperate. Let it go for your own mental health. And, move on.
It can be tough not having closure on a relationship, especially if it was a meaningful one that went silent. I have heard stories of people who knew each other for months…then heard absolutely nothing ever again.
But, if the person ghosted you to begin with, then the odds of you getting a genuine answer are small anyway. No need to turn it into an obsession that hurts your life.
So, now you should know more about ghosting. Hang in there if you’ve been ghosted. And, if you like to ghost people…knock it off. Man (or woman) up and do the right thing by being honest with your intentions.