Single people everywhere use the verb “ghosting” to describe the absolute worst digital-dating scenario: When you finally find somebody you want to date more than once, and they appear to really like you too, but then they inexplicably disappear into the abyss one day, without explanation.
Ghosting is the worst and it’s constantly perplexing, no matter how many times you experience it. When somebody has ghosted on you, it’s difficult to dodge feelings of rejection and insult. Even if you didn’t have time to develop a deep relationship with trust and loyalty woven into it, how could somebody be so cruel? When somebody ghosts you, you feel like they haven’t offered you even the baseline level of respect: an explanation, and perhaps a phone call. Or, at the very least, a text message for closure.
All those who have been ghosted want is a definitive end so they can move on with that practical (albeit bitter) dose of reality in their back pocket.
The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference.
When you take action to date somebody — by swiping right, exchanging messages, meeting in person, expressing interest in meeting again — you enter an unspoken agreement that an emotional experience is available to be explored, and that it’s OK to be vulnerable.
People who ghost are exhibiting self-determined behaviour, which means that they’re insensitive to other’s feelings and wishes, makes decisions solely on their own needs and feels righteous, hostile, superior and unfeeling. People who ghost feel that they’ve achieved their goal by alienating the person they’ve ghosted, and are comfortable with the fact that they’ve hurt others.
Self-determined behaviour isn’t always negative, but it’s the opposite of other-determine behaviour which is the kind that considers somebody else — you. A ghost is so self-determined that they simply don’t have the capacity or desire to care about you.
Ghosting is not emotionally healthy behaviour!
For the ghosted, it’s a hard pill to swallow that the ghost has emotional issues and that they were flexed in expense of you. But, it’s psychologically determined that people who have the capacity to ghost are in emotional pain and don’t have the tools they need to be in a relationship with you — they have work to do on themselves, and you’d be best to move forward with your next right-swipe, under one condition:
That they exhibit the behaviours of an emotionally balanced person:
- they are honest and direct with you
- they are willing to compromise (about anything, even where to meet on your first date)
- they make choices for themselves without the influence of friends or family
- they are considerate of your rights and feelings
- they respect others and themselves
- they want you to feel respected and valued