When relationships end, one word seems to be spit out the most: closure. Inevitably when a relationship ends, one of if not both parties, are looking for answers, solutions, and ultimately a close.
The thing is, feelings aren't like Broadway plays. Though relationships may happen in stages -- we'll call them acts for this metaphor -- they often don't wrap up and end in a finale that makes sense.
Enter ghosting. Ghosting is a term that has recently entered the online blogosphere at a rapid pace. With many people calling out the ex's of their pasts who have ended relationships in such a way that it was like they never existed. A distant memory, vapor, a ghost.
I have been a ghost. I have left women behind. I have done this and can honestly say that sometimes ghosting is all you can do. We've all been there, facing the end of a relationship, talk after talk, fight after fight, make up after make up, sometimes (most times) these conversations end up going in circles. Ultimately something has to give. And this is when I will justify ghosting.
Sometimes, in order to restore order to your life post-relationship, you need to cut all ties. You need to act as if that person has essentially died. You are both ghosts to each other. Will you ever speak again? Maybe. But for the moment you need to find yourself again. You need to find out the person you are sans your partner. You need space and time to be your single solitary self.
Whether or not we want to admit it, part of committing to a partner involves a form of dependence. You depend on that person to be there for you, to be your ears, your friend and your lover. When a relationship ends, you are often losing one of your best friends. And how do you cope with that? For me it has often been to leave them behind, without a second more spent on interaction. A clean break, that results in an agreement to not be a part of each other's lives; whether it be indefinitely or for however long it takes for your life to be capable of sharing space wit theirs.
I have also been an unexpected ghost. Going from being madly into someone one day -- making out and making plans, to sending one worded texts and bailing. Quickly things go from bit and heavy, to please just leave me alone. But how? Why would you leave someone without so much as a conversation?
Excuses are shitty, but sometimes they aid to explanations, so hear me out. I will present you with two reasons for why I have (and possibly will in the future) ghost someone.
The first and hardest to articulate being that, I'm just not that into you. We can often settle for what is comfortable. We find someone who we get along with well enough, whose schedule matches up with ours, and who for the most part is a-ok. You aren't necessarily enamored, but fuck dating is hard and you're tired of the bad dates and flakes.
You paint a picture in your head of what the two of you could be, and for awhile you think your painting prophecy is reality. But as time goes by, you realize that the image you've created is very different than the photograph that is your reality. After a bit of time it finally hits you, that you two just aren't right for each other. Nothing is wrong per se, you don't hate them, or find some flaw that is big enough to even complain to them about; you've just allowed yourself to fall into something that your heart ultimately could never fully commit to. And when your heart isn't committed ghosting becomes easy. You have no major issues to vent about, no scandals to play detective in and call your partner out for. And so you find yourself over someone, without holding any resentment towards them, but without any reasons that sound like an actual breakup conversation. What is the dialogue for this? "I like you, except not really, but you really are a great person, I'm just not into that person." It's like relationship word vomit. If anyone has s breakdown of how to have this conversation, please I beg of you fill us in.
The second reason I can give you for ghosting, at least for me has nothing to do with anyone or anything besides my own stupid head. I have a mood disorder mixed with serious anxiety, not the "take a Xanax and calm down kind," the "I can't get out of bed kind." The "I can not respond to text messages or hear my phone ring" kind. When my depression kicks in with my anxiety and mood, or what I like to call the Seamless Netflix Trifecta, I can become a stranger to those who know me. If I look back on the times I have ghosted without merit, it has directly correlated with times when I was at my mental worst.
Our generation, that is the millennial generation, also has the ever-present always on, always going world of social media. When we listen to our parents reminisce about way back when, they'll often say things like: "I wonder what happened to him" or "I haven't heard from her in years." But for us, those we once connected with stay buzzing around us like static. We see their updates on Facebook, their photos on Instagram. We know the names of their dogs, the cities that they live in, and the ins and outs of who they're dating. Living in that world has its serious benefits, but also comes with a feeling that anonymity is no longer possible. And sometimes, just for once, that's all you want, and so you become someone's ghost.