I used to date. A LOT. But I’m out now. For life. If you wanna know why, see here. But I feel like I owe my fellow dating misfits the benefit of my hard earned wisdom. But more importantly, I just like to talk shit about dating because it makes me laugh.
Today I’m going to discuss ghosting. I’ve been ghosted many times. And I’ve ghosted multiple people. Look at the blog byline: I’m an asshole. Or am I?
- What is it?
- It’s when person x no longer wants to interact with person y so person x simply stops responding to any communication attempt (usually texts but phone calls, emails, snap chat, etc).
- Why do people do it?
- Because people. All people are terrible. Some just more terrible than others. Specifically:
- Machiavellian: Love is a battlefield, according to Pat Benatar, and all’s fair in love and war.
- Self-preservatory (I know it’s not a word or at least it shouldn’t be): Every ape for them-self. The desire to get a blunt AND REDUNDANT confirmation that someone doesn’t want to interact with you anymore is just masochism. It’ masochism filed by denial. No, it is not something else. She doesn’t like you.
- Chicken: Some people are scared of confrontation. It’s cowardly. You’re afraid to send a tiny quick message to a person that would save them a lot of time wondering. Or maybe it’s just lazy. Are modern day daters afraid of confrontation or do they just not care enough to be bothered to give a courtesy text.
- Slack: Some people are lazy. All you would need to do is send the following: “Sorry – I’m not interested in dating you anymore. Best of luck.” Sure it sounds harsh but isn’t that better than not getting a message back at all?
- Standards of courtesy are slipping.
- In the 80’s, a ghosting would probably be a very sad subplot in a Meg Ryan romcom.
- In the 90’s, would Cher put up with a ghosting? AS IF!
- In the aughts, Cady would never be that mean.
- But now it’s teens again. Is it rude nowadays? Maybe the first ghosters were “rude” because they were choosing a behavior that was very rare and frowned upon by most people. But now ghosting just seems to be the standard. When I hear a friend talk about being ghosted, they aren’t furious. They mostly just shrug their shoulders like it’s no big thing.
- Should people do it?
- I used to think there was honor in honesty. But now I don’t. First off, I’ve tried the honesty route and it DOES NOT work when the person you want doesn’t want you. Secondly, there’s really nothing dishonest about ghosting. If someone doesn’t reply to your text nowadays, they are not interested.
- If it’s not really rude anymore, is it an overall good development? Should we be ghosting at all? I don’t think it’s a good development. But a lot of factors (the paradox of choice in online dating, the demise of courtesy, the disappearance of kindness) have probably given inevitable rise to ghosting. For me it’s just another offspring of “screen id”. Everyone is meaner and braver when there is a screen between them and the person they are addressing. Cruelty is often manifested in outright hostility in the form of vicious trolling. But the opposite side of the cruelty coin is disregard. It might even be meaner than an attack. It conveys the message that you are not worth any effort.
- Is there anything good about ghosting? Yes. It’s absolute. Unless you like to engage in denial (and I sure have done a lot of that: “oh she’s just been busy the last 5 weekends and hasn’t had the time to send a text response which might take all of 15 seconds), ghosting is an unambiguous signal. That person doesn’t want to spend 15 seconds to send you a clear, honest, short response that would give you clarity.
- I spend more than 15 seconds picking out what t-shirt to wear. I spend more than 15 seconds deciding what Netflix show to watch. I spend more than 15 seconds writing a Facebook comment about a fat dog video a friend posted.
- That’s how important your feelings are to that person. But maybe the real lesson is that nowadays no one should get bothered about ghosting. There’s nothing supernatural about it anymore.
- Conclusion and Recommendation:
- Ghosting is lame. But people are lame. So you really shouldn’t sweat lame beings doing lame things.
- If you get ghosted, here is my handy dandy mantra to help you deal:
(Insert any pronoun you like)
She received the message
She read the message
She understood the message
The fact that she is not responding IS the message
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