I 'ghost' people all the time — here's why I don't think it's a bad thing

Flickr/JhaymesisviphotographyGhosting is when you cut ties with someone and stop communicating with them entirely.

  • Ghosting involves entirely cutting off communication with someone.
  • When it comes to dating, I’m not afraid to ghost someone if we don’t click.
  • Ghosting is a way of avoiding confrontation – and in my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Ghosting totally makes sense in today’s world. I mean, if dating in our online dating-fuelled modern world can be summed up to one word, it’s this one – cowardliness.

From playing the anxiety-enthralling time game of waiting at least 10 minutes to reply to a potential suitor’s Snapchat, to contemplating for hours on whether we sent the “perfect” emoji with our semi-flirty-but-not-desperate text messages, our modern dating culture has become more of an exhausting chore rather than a fun experience. Seriously, since when did dating become so hard?

I’ll be honest: when it comes to dating, I’m definitely not the best at it.

Although from time to time I get lucky with a first date, most of them end up being dull or “just fine,” which is definitely not the words you’d like to describe the beginning of a great love affair.

That’s why I decide to nip it in the bud and “ghost.”

For those of you who don’t know, “ghosting” is the act of completely ignoring a person’s pursuits to contact you. Basically, you’re acting as if you never had any sort of relationship with this person in the first place, as if you completely deleted them from your memory and go on as if you never knew they existed. You can ghost just about anyone, but this abrupt tactic is most common in the dating world.

Before I go on, I have to admit one thing: Yes, I am a serial ghoster, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been ghosted either.

There have been a few guys who have completely cut me off, even if I thought things were going well. Although it stings and I won’t ever understand their reasons for “going ghost,” I swallow that dry pill of reality, have a pity party for a few moments, and move along. With that being said, I can easily see how others can get affected more severely, especially when they have formed an attachment.

But, I digress. My ghosting days started about three years ago, after ending an emotionally exhausting long-term relationship. After that relationship came to its inevitable end, I didn’t (and still don’t) find a need to jump into anything serious – just a casual fling every now and then is all I need to get my romantic itch scratched. I’m also one of the world’s biggest workaholics, so I genuinely don’t have time for a relationship even if I wanted one. Unfortunately, a lot of the men I would casually see didn’t understand this.

One of the most recent victims of my ghosting abilities was a guy I met at a local bar – let’s call him Jake for the sake of confidentiality. Jake was a 30-year-old aspiring DJ who worked as a postman during the day. In my drunken mind, I thought Jake was great. He had a great sense of humour, was very nice, and definitely wasn’t hard to look at. So, I hung out with him the whole night, and I gave him my number to make plans.

Big mistake.

What I drunkenly thought was “cute,” was actually pretty irritating on my sober (and slightly hungover) mind the next day.

Insecure dateHBOHe wasn’t as great as I initially thought.

First off, he constantly made racist jokes about my Middle Eastern heritage.

“Hussein, like Saddam? So you’re a terrorist, right?” he would say with a smirk as if what he said was the most clever thing to come to his mind. Sorry buddy, but I’ve heard that joke since the first grade, so it’s definitely not humorous to me. But, to be fair, he probably mistook my nervous giggles and sarcastic responses for genuine amusement, which is why he kept saying it.

Somehow, my friends convinced me to go on a date with him after I tried to ghost him the first time he reached out to me via text and a Facebook request. We went to a restaurant, and everything was going alright – until the food came.

“This steak isn’t cooked well done enough,” he said as he handed back his food to the annoyed waitress.

The first time, I let it slide. Then the steak came back, and he immediately sent it back again. And then two more times. It may seem like a small issue to some, but for some reason, that whole ordeal was the final straw that made me want to tap out of this date and run far, far away.

Fast forward to the next day: I get a text from Jake. A simple “Hey,” complimented with a tongue-out emoji. I didn’t find any point in entertaining the situation further because I was travelling for work and didn’t find the time to and honestly, after the multiple irritating experiences, I simply did not want to.

So, I ghosted him.

He sent three more messages as the week went by.

Eventually, he got the hint and stopped. This is just one of the many, many experiences I’ve had with ghosting men.

So, why am I telling this story? To teach this valuable lesson: sometimes, people just don’t click.

Texting black mirrorNetflixSometimes it’s easier than being direct.

Instead of having to explain to a person I barely know that I’m just not interested, I ghost out of fear of hurting someone’s feelings with the cold, hard truth. I know that ghosting still hurts the person on the other end, but think about it: how many times have you been severely hurt by someone who straight-up told you they’re just not into you? Personally, I’d pick getting ghosted over the embarrassment of someone telling me to back off any day.

I know some of you may think I’m a cold-hearted and judgmental right now. But, I honestly don’t care. And if we’re on the subject of honesty, I probably still have a few ghosting (and ghosted) days in my near future. And I know I’m not the only person who’s ghosting: multiple studies have shown that that about 20% of participants have admitted to ghosting someone, making it a pretty common tactic to ending romantic endeavours.

For me and many other ghosters, the dating cookie crumbles in fear of confrontation.

Let’s face it – rejecting someone is just as nerve-wracking as getting rejected. You never know how someone will react, and some men (and women) can get pretty scary when they’re rejected. At these moments, confronting someone with my feelings is extremely frightening, and most of the time it just feels unnecessary to hurt someone with my opinion of them. The fight-or-flight part of my consciousness begins to rattle, and I click the block button before I can even think about other options.

Also, dating someone briefly doesn’t mean I owe them an apology or that I should feel sympathy for how I feel. So, why should I put myself in an uncomfortable situation that will end just as badly (sometimes even worse) as ghosting them? Sometimes, it’s OK to be a little selfish, especially if you’re in fear of someone you barely know. We have two choices: confession or running away in what some of us may call a “cowardly sprint.” I’ll likely choose the latter, and I’m OK with that.

So, my fellow ghosters and ghostees alike, I have one final line of wisdom to say: get over it. You’ll find your match one day, and that’s the cliché truth.

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