What is the term “ghosting” mean in dating? It is when someone cuts all contact with you without any warning signs whatsoever or any explanation.
You could be in a relationship with them or just have gone on a few dates. Either way, it leaves you not knowing what to think. Has something happened to them, are they ill, or worse are they dead? No nothing as dramatic as that, you have just been ghosted.
People that have been ghosted wonder why someone would ghost someone rather than just tell them it’s over. There can be a few reasons for this. Some of the thinking behind ghosting is that if they ignore you long enough that you will get the message that it is over. Some people feel that it is less hurtful to ghost someone. Rather than tell them upfront that they don’t want to see them anymore. They believe they are sparing your feelings.
Ghosting always existed but it is more prominent now due to online dating. Before online dating, there were more repercussions if you jilted someone by ghosting them. Such as their bad behavior getting back to your circle of friends that might have introduced you in the first place. Also, with online dating, there is a perception that there is a sea of potential partners to choose from and to date, so some people view people as disposable. I personally believe that people are not as mannerly as years gone by. So people are treating each other with less courtesy especially online. Another reason is that some people feel that early online relationships are not as real as offline ones, so they feel it is acceptable behavior.
A deeper reason people ghost people could be because of their Attachment style. Attachment theory is a psychological model that tries to identify the different ways people bond with each other. Going back to their earliest interactions with their parents when they were babies. There are 4 attachment styes-Secure, dismissive-avoidant, anxious/ambivalent, and fearful-avoidant. Ghosting is basically “avoidant” behavior. Some mental health professionals think that people with this attachment style are more likely to ghost people.
Regardless of the reason, people ghost people, it can be a very hurtful experience. People value closure during the ending of a relationship and you get none when you have been ghosted. So, what do you do if you have been a victim of ghosting? I would advise reaching out to the person with a general message. Like “I have not heard from you so I’m wondering if all is ok”? If you get no reply move on immediately.
You have given the person a chance, given them the benefit of the doubt, and showed you are a caring person, so you have no regrets. Move on with your life. This has nothing to do with you. It is not a reflection that you are not good enough or that you did something wrong. It is a reflection of their character. The bottom line with ghosting is, it is plain rude and who wants to date someone who does not even show common courtesy towards you.