What Is Ghosting?


When it comes to notorious online dating trends, Ghosting is perhaps the most well-known of the bunch. If you’ve been out of the dating game for a while, you may have never heard the term before. On the other hand, if you’ve been actively dating over the past few years, you’ve likely experienced this phenomenon first hand. Below, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about Ghosting.

What Does The Term Ghosting Mean?

Ghosting refers to the practice of completely disappearing from another person’s life, without any warning at all. No in-person contact, no calls or texts, no social media messages, no interaction whatsoever. It’s like the person has completely fallen off the face of the Earth and is giving you the silent treatment.

This sort of behavior is typically seen in newly formed relationships, especially those that have started online via dating apps or websites. While the term originated in the dating scene, ghosting can also be applied to other non-romantic relationships as well, such as those between friends and co-workers.

Why Do People Ghost?

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of ghosting before, chances are it’s not your fault. There are many reasons why someone may choose to ghost another. But at the end of the day, the decision is made solely by that person alone. The most unfortunate part of this situation is, you may never truly understand what went wrong or what prompted the other person to ghost you in the first place.

While Ghosting is still a fairly new behavior that requires far more research to fully understand, experts have identified some reasons why people choose to ghost one another. The first and most obvious reason is, breakups are difficult and oftentimes awkward. Most people when given the choice between doing something uncomfortable and unpleasant versus doing nothing at all, will choose the latter option. This is the exact choice one faces when deciding whether to ghost someone or not.

Taking this a step further, an individual’s personality type may also come into play when making a ghosting decision. For example, individuals with an avoidant type personality are known to shy away from confrontation. And what bigger confrontation is there than breaking up with your significant other? So, it makes sense that someone of this nature may be more likely to ghost someone than your average person.

Of course, there are other explanations out there as well. One such thought is that connecting with someone through devices, such as online dating apps or websites, is not as effective as making connections in-person. This may be true to an extent, as individuals who meet online are far more likely to ghost one another than those who’ve met in real life.

However, this line of thinking does not account for relationships outside of romantic ones, such as co-worker relationships. It seems that the most likely explanation as to why people choose to ghost one another is due to a combination of many different factors. As unfortunately, no one explanation can account for all the different types of people, relationships, and circumstances there are.

The Effects of Ghosting

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to be ghosted in the past, you will know first-hand just how bad it can feel. For those of you who don’t know however, here’s what typically happens.

Things seem normal, you’re texting or messaging each other on a regular basis, then without warning, absolute silence. At first, you may not know what to think. You might even start making excuses for the other person. Perhaps their phone died, or maybe they’ve just been really busy lately and don’t have the time to respond to you.

But at some point the truth will become painfully obvious, you’ve been ghosted. Aside from the horrible feeling of rejection, you’re left without any semblance of closure or a notion of what went wrong. You may feel deep insecurity, confusion, and even anger towards the individual who ghosted you.

Unfortunately, these feelings are not mutual on the other side of things. In fact, the ghoster is most likely feeling a heavy sense of relief. They no longer have to go through with the uncomfortably awkward situation surrounding a break up. There’s no drama for this individual or questions needed to be answered. And they certainly don’t feel the need to provide answers for their actions or they wouldn’t have chosen this break up strategy in the first place.

The only issue for the ghoster is they don’t get a chance to improve upon their communication skills for future relationships. Though in their eyes, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks and will likely take the same approach in the future.

Other Dating Trends

While ghosting is arguably the most well-known new dating trend, it also isn’t the only one out there. Over the past few years, a variety of new dating trends have emerged to wreak havoc on the dating scene. One such example is Orbiting, and it might be even more common than ghosting. Have you ever had an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend suddenly view a few of your instagram stories or like a bunch of your recent posts without actually starting a conversation with you? If so, you’ve experienced textbook orbiting.

Like ghosting, there are several reasons why someone may choose to orbit another person. They may be trying to “soften” the blow of a recent breakup by liking and viewing their ex’s social media. Or perhaps they’re attempting to keep their options open by reminding the person they’re still out there and thinking of them. Whatever the reason may be, as long as social media continues to be a mainstay in people’s lives, orbiting will continue to exist.

It’s hard to believe that in such a short amount of time, these new dating trends have completely revolutionized the way in which we interact with one another. And while it may not be for the better, those of us who continue to be active in the dating scene will have to learn to adjust and account for these trends for many years to come.

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