Ghosting often has a negative connotation but I don’t think it’s all bad. In fact, it’s actually healthy in small doses. That’s what I’ve done—exercised my right to ghost people when I feel like it. Try not to judge me before reading more.
I don’t do it all the time. I’m not saying that I’m a serial ghoster or anything—I do have a heart. I’m just saying that I’ve ghosted people in a few instances and it’s felt like the right thing to do. It’s definitely not appropriate to ghost everyone—I pick and choose based on a variety of factors. One is how awkward I feel about the whole situation.
After one date, it’s OK to ghost someone. I’m not going to ghost someone after going on three dates with them because that’s just a jerk move. That being said, if I’ve only gone on a single date with them then I haven’t gotten to know them well enough to owe them anything. It’s acceptable to pull the slow fade even if they’re texting and demanding an explanation. Not my problem!
I don’t feel obligated to explain myself anymore. This topic is so important to me because I used to feel obliged to justify my feelings and decisions to every single person I interacted with romantically. I felt as if I owed it to people to tell them why I was rejecting them. This just wasn’t true—I didn’t owe anyone anything. I’m entitled to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself when I hardly even know the person. No explanations from me.
I do give some people the courtesy of letting them know I’m not into them. I’m not heartless—I do tell some people straight up that it’s not going to happen. Like I said, if I’ve gone on a few dates with someone, they definitely deserve to be informed that I’m going to bounce. I also sometimes even give some people the courtesy after one date if they were super kind and/or cool. It all depends; it’s a case by case basis.
I don’t engage when someone’s a jerk. When someone’s rude, inappropriate, or mean, I just disengage. I don’t even argue with them or tell them they’re a jerk—I just ghost hard. I unmatch them on Tinder or stop answering their texts. I certainly don’t see them again. They deserve more than anyone to be ghosted because what they did was crappy. Not engaging makes me feel like I’m keeping my self-respect.
If we’re not compatible, I often just fade. This is probably one of the biggest reasons I ghost people—I realize we just aren’t compatible. This will often happen when I’m texting with someone from OKCupid and I go back to read their profile and realize I missed a big red flag. I find a way that we’re incompatible and instead of explaining myself, I often just stop answering. Some people may find this mean but I don’t care.
My well-being is preserved. Ghosting is admittedly a selfish move, I realize that, but I do it anyway. Dating can be really friggin’ hard so I’m open to anything that’ll make it just a bit easier. Most of the time, ghosting helps me feel like my well-being is preserved, meaning my sanity, dignity, and peace of mind. It may sometimes be at the expense of others, but I never do it with someone I’m serious with so they’ll get over it.
I’m not responsible for the other person’s feelings. This is one of the biggest lessons I had to learn. I used to think that I was, that I had to make sure others were OK even when I was rejecting them. I’m learning, though, that people are grownups and they’re able to bounce back and regulate emotions just fine. If they aren’t, that’s not my problem either.
There’s less accountability with dating apps. With Tinder, if I don’t like someone I can just unmatch with them. I can make them disappear instantly and they’re out of my sight, unable to message me. There’s less accountability because they don’t know who I really am and they can’t contact me outside of the app. It t makes it easy to ghost if I want and need to be rid of someone quickly.
Silence speaks volumes. Not answering eventually gets the message across. Sometimes I get a “are you busy or uninterested?” text, but for the most part, people get the clue right away. I’m not answering because I’m not interested. Silence means please leave me the heck alone.
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