There are very few things in this world that irritate me as much as the following scenario:
You’ve been on a few dates with a great guy and it feels like you’ve finally found the perfect match after the sea of losers you dated in the past. You text back and forth constantly when you’re not physically together and you laugh at each other’s stupid jokes. You both even have the same weird obsession with Bob’s Burgers. Then one day he stops replying to your texts.
And just like a ghost, he’s gone into thin air.
Zip, zilch, zero.
Complete radio silence. You text him once more to see what’s up but still…nothing. So, what gives? You could’ve sworn he was as into you as you were into him!
This is a tale of ghosting: it’s a tale as old as time and we’ve all been there.
Next, cue the internal struggle: you mentally replay all of the conversations you two had, desperately trying to think of something, anything you said that could’ve driven him away.
Did I say something to offend him? Is he just not interested in a relationship? (gasp) …Did he notice that time I forgot to put on deodorant…?
I’ll be the first to admit that in the past I had largely accepted ghosting as a part of my dating life (or what little there is of it), and that’s straight-up shitty. Ghosting is so commonplace that I had no idea there was even a term for it until recent months. Regardless, every time it happens, it drives me absolutely berserk. I’m hoping and praying that I’m not the only one who goes through the agonizing state of wondering what the hell I did wrong after the ultimate silent treatment sets in. Being ghosted makes me understand what it means to feel like a psychopathic nutjob.
Uh, yeah, how messed up is that?
Ghosting can make us feel so irrationally insane because it’s associated with a lack of closure. It leaves us sitting there, dumbfounded, with an inkling of hope that maybe, just maybe, he’ll eventually text back. We hope that maybe he was just sick, or busy with work…?
Ghosting can even apply to other areas of our lives. You know, the interviewer who can’t even be bothered to send you a measly little, one-sentence-long email to let you know you didn’t get the job? Or what about that friend who doesn’t actually want to be friends anymore so instead of simply telling you, they just quit responding to your plans to hang out?
Ghosting is everywhere, people, and it’s time that we quit normalizing it.
Contrary to what you might believe, ghosting isn’t a new phenomenon, although the rise of technology and social media has certainly made it easier than ever. According to The New York Times, “Social media enables the avoidance of difficult conversations,” meaning we can easily hide behind our phones and pretend the other person doesn’t exist when the going gets tough.
So why on earth has it become so commonplace when everyone and their grandmother knows how awful it can make the other person feel?
In simple terms: it’s the easy way out and people are selfish. Understandably, no one in their right mind likes to have that “I’m-just-not-that-into-you” conversation, so why not just take the easy way out and pretend that the other person doesn’t exist? Apps like Tinder and OKCupid make it easier than ever to completely cut another person out of your life without ever having to say a word to them. In essence it lets the ghoster off the hook; they can pretend they never did anything wrong and they don’t even have to witness the other person’s agony.
I’d now like to relay a message to all of the guys who have ever ghosted me: I hope you step in a nest full of angry bees. Only kidding (mostly). My fellow Millennials, I say we take a stand and vow to stop this nonsense.