Passive Ghosting Is A Thing & It Sucks Even More Than Regular Ghosting

When you get ghosted, you might think there’s no worse way to end what you have with a guy, but there is. It’s called “passive ghosting”, and this is why it’s the crappy silent killer of the dating world:

  1. Passive ghosting fools you into thinking everything is A-okay. With a passive ghoster, you usually think everything is fine. He’s texting and calling regularly, and you have enjoyable conversations. There’s just one catch: you never actually go on a date. Instead of properly ghosting you because he sees no potential with you, the guy remains in contact, but never actually moves things along to a relationship. You’re constantly stuck in the “almost dating” phase.
  2. You get just enough attention to stay hooked. You might not realize that you’re dealing with passive ghosting because it happens so quietly. It’s not like the guy’s disappearing on you out of the blue. He’s still there, but he’s throwing you breadcrumbs of communication to keep you interested instead of taking your relationship to the next level.
  3. You’re kept on ice. He keeps you interested for his own gains. He gets to keep chatting to you while making sure you’re available if he decides he does want you in future. Maybe you were supposed to meet up with the guy during the weekend for drinks, but he cancelled at the last minute, promising to reschedule. He never does, but he still maintains contact, making you think he’s into you and will see you soon.
  4. It’s hard to hate him. Although you can hate on a guy who ghosts you, it’s sometimes harder to dislike a guy who passively ghosts you. You can’t really hate him because he’s still around and showing interest, and there’s always that hope that he really does like you.
  5. You never know where you stand. As much as you might think he’s into you, he’s leaving you in the dark about his intentions. At least when a guy full-on ghosts you, he makes it clear that he’s out of your life. But with a passive ghoster, you’re completely fooled all the time and constantly getting mixed messages that drive you mad.
  6. You’re at a dead end. You keep the hope alive because the guy shows you that he likes you, such as by sending you flirtatious messages, but you’ll never actually date him. If he wanted you, he would’ve snapped you up instead of throwing you into this hellish in-between dating state. By keeping you here, he’s convincing you not to date other guys while still having an utterly miserable not-relationship with him.
  7. You’re the victim of modern dating. While you’re chatting up a storm with a guy you like, you can be sure that he’s doing the same thing with three or four other women. This is why passive ghosting has become so common: people are unsure of who they want and if they want to commit, so they leave their objects of affection on strings. It’s such BS, but it’s a common symptom of the dating culture we all experience today.
  8. You end up doubting yourself. One of the worst things about being passively ghosted is that it makes you question yourself. You might wonder if you need to do something to move things forward with the guy or if you’ve perhaps done something to make him doubt if you’re right for him. You shouldn’t let his indecision or mind games mess with your head, though. If he’s ghosting you — passively or otherwise — he’s the one at fault.
  9. Passive ghosters care about their dating reputation. The guy’s being a jerk by not telling you straight-up that he’s not interested, yet he’s hoping to stay in your good graces by being charming via text. He cares about his reputation and doesn’t want to seem like the bad guy. But his behavior says loud and clear that he IS the bad guy.
  10. You have to be the one to turn it around. With regular ghosting, you’re hit by an avalanche out of the blue when the guy goes AWOL. At least you don’t have to do anything because the ghoster’s done it all. But with passive ghosting, you have to be the one to walk away. As soon as you see that your interaction with the guy isn’t going anywhere, you have to end things for your own sanity. This makes it hard sometimes because you might not know if you’re cutting him off too quickly, but it also prevents you from getting played. The best thing that can come out of this is that you take control of your dating life and gain newfound confidence when you realize you have the power to break away from this nonsense.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.