Relationship Ghosting-Now You See Me, Now You Don't

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

What is ghosting? No it is not a loving relationship between Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in the movie Ghost, it is when someone living vanishes as if they may have died. It’s the evolution of silent treatment, defined by urban dictionary as “the act of suddenly ceasing all communications with someone, who you are dating, but no longer wish to date”.

I think it is primarily used as an emergency exit button on relationships that, are not meant to be. While speaking to divorcees on I often hear people either confessing to ghosting someone or of someone being ghosted. With so much technology nowadays, the impact of ghosting have been heightened as we go from communicating on calls, emails, texts and social media to nothing instantly.

Let us look at possible reasons why people would ghost someone.

  1. They fear confrontation and are lacking communication skills to navigate an exit from a relationship maturely.
  2. They are juggling so many people via dating apps and social media that you fall through the cracks.
  3. They fear that someone is dangerous or would act dangerously towards them on break up.
  4. They are incredible self-centered, and only see life from their view point.
  5. They are depressed or suffering from emotional trauma which stops them communicating with anyone.
  6. They have mental health issues such as being a narcissism, sociopath or psychopath.

The statistics for ghosting are high 50% of people admit to both ghosting someone and being ghosted. With the event of online dating and the fact that so many people we date, have no ties to us, it is easy to just vanish from someone’s life instantly and permanently. It though leaves the person being ghosted with a heavy heart, and a slew of unanswered questions. It can affect the person being ghosted in a multitude of ways.

  1. They feel disrespected and dis-guarded.
  2. Their self-esteem takes a beating and they wonder what they may have done to deserve this.
  3. They feel anxiety associated with not having closure or questions answered.
  4. They start to doubt their judgment of people.
  5. They fear abandonment and ghosting from future partners and become anxious when people don’t answer them.
  6. They may have on-going trust issues from being ghosted.

Ghosting is well documented in the mental health world as being a tactic emotional abusers use, to try and control and damage the self-esteem of those people, they are in a relationship with. If you are ghosting someone it is a form of emotional cruelty, which can easily be avoided with an open honest talk with someone. If you at one time liked someone enough to date them or have a full-fledged relationship with them, you should respect them enough to tell them the truth. After all the truth hurts for a short while, but ghosting or lies actually can hurt forever, as you have no closure or knowledge of why the person went away. It’s a pretty large emotional burden to bear especially if at one time you were, in a loving relationship with this person.

No one like confrontation, no one likes streams of hurt break up texts or crying or fighting, it’s not something I think anyone would seek out, but if you approach a break up in a calm and healthy manner, generally the results will usually be calm and healthy too. The old adage of treating people the way you would wish to be treated, rings very true with ghosting. I think not all ghosters are bad people, some too actually suffer from low self-esteem, and know on some level they aren’t capable of a relationship, this type of ghoster I think probably is not fully aware of the damage they are doing to others.

If you are the one who is or has been ghosted the best thing to remember is at the very least, the person ghosting you showed you they are not a good communicator, or capable of having a healthy relationship with you, so them leaving in any manner they did is a blessing. Being ghosted is not your fault and always says far more about the person ghosting, than it ever will about you. If you believe the person who ghosted you, may actually be a narcissist, sociopath or psychopath, they are the most likely to reappear months or years later. They are strictly checking in to see if they still have any power over you or your emotions. At this point they have shown their true colors, and should not be given another chance to do this again.

Healthy relationships between any two people require open honest and positive communication that is what anyone should be looking for in a relationship. Communication is and always will be the key to life or love.