Alright, so you’re probably familiar with the term “ghosting,” and if you’re not, lucky for you because you have probably never experienced it.
Ghosting is the act of disappearing from a potential romantic interest hoping they’d take the hint. Hmm, cold if you ask me.
Disclaimer – I am guilty of ghosting a couple of people back in the day. I guess, I was ghosted one too many times that like many, I figured it was THE THING to do… until karma showed up and I felt what it was like to be on the other side. And it SUCKS. I can’t even find a better word for that feeling.
I mean, HELL as humiliating as it sounds – God knows how many times I’ve been ghosted. At some point, I began thinking I was the issue, but trust me – ghosting speaks more of the person who’s doing the actual act rather than the person who’s being ghosted.
It’s one thing to go on a few dates with someone and letting it just fizzle out unanimously, but it’s a whole different ball game experiencing the full ghosting experience. I mean, hello. You both went out on a few dates, established a profound connection, thinking they were different from the rest on those dating apps, and then silence… you don’t hear from them again and you’re left wondering what happened and if it is really over.
Why should we have to GUESS and assume when something is over? Why can’t we simply be told that this isn’t working out, so we can hop on to the moving train quicker? It’s disrespectful and unfair if you ask me.
Truth be told, being ghosted SUCKS. You’re literally left with a sinking feeling in your gut on top of all the emotions already circling around in your head. Sure, we move on time and time again from each ghosting experience, but our self-esteem still takes a hit nonetheless. You reevaluate what went wrong in your head multiple times until you slowly find the next decent person, so like any jaded twenty-something, you begin downloading the full myriad of dating apps.
Bring. It. On.
I’m all for #TeamClosure, but I’ve learned that not many people are. For many, silence truly is golden. They allow it to speak for itself (no pun intended), but honestly, the lack of closure simply makes us feel like we’re not even worth ending things with. To let it linger, to let it die out… where is the respect in this? Is ghosting really the new phenomenon in our dating culture today?
It’s a vicious cycle. We download Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, etc to fulfill that void in our self-esteem. We swipe right on those who seem decent enough. We go on dates, feel no connection, forget their names, yet letting them stay on our phones for “just in case” purposes. We let it die out a little, maybe do some ghosting here and there, and it continues. We go on dating apps to date, to ghost, and to do it all over again…
It’s no wonder this dating game is a wild one. Survival of the fittest? In a way, this culture has molded us to be cold. We all experience the same thing: we worry too much about getting our hearts broken that we don’t care whose hearts we may break along the way.
It has all become a game now. Either you’re a player in the game or you’re losing. Period.
The moment we swipe right on someone is when the game begins. You start the small talk, you meet up, you desperately search for a connection, maybe you found it on the first date, you continue talking to this person to distract yourself from the one you actually want, you sleep with people you built zero connection with because wthell, you’re never going to see them again… it goes on.
We date to simply date. It’s almost like we simply want something to do. Dating has become so tainted that it almost makes us feel DISPOSABLE.
We treat others way too much like mindless options. “Oh, I think she’s great, but I’m going to put her on hold and keep my options open.”
I’m all for keeping our options open, but what is wrong with communication? Maybe people genuinely think ghosting is easier and of course less painful to do rather than having to say they’re not vibing with us, but it bruises all the same.
The thing about our dating culture is… we can’t trust each other. Whether it’s social media or dating apps, almost every twenty-something has dirty little secrets at the tip of their fingertips. For every swipe, every like, every comment, it almost feels like a competition.
Even if we’re happy or emotionally invested in someone, we never truly know when the other may throw in a towel because of our dishonest dating culture.
We fear being one-upped. From hooking up to falling in love, breaking up and recovering, it is all a cycle that repeats itself leaving us with very little trust for the next potential.
And because we’ve been so desensitized to the game we’re in, we hate to admit we’re part of the problem too. Sure, we hate on those who ghost us, but that’s because it’s easier to do so rather than admitting that we ourselves keep people around “just because.” And WE ALL DO IT.
We’d like to think we’re the most honest players in the game. We would never hurt someone else the way we’ve been hurt, but who are we kidding? We date and neglect one another… most of the time, unintentionally but it still happens. We then temporarily delete dating apps, giving up on the game for a bit, trying to live life on our own terms, figuring out how we’ve become this way, not liking the people we have become…
The more we date, the less we value each interaction. While we may believe the grass is always greener on the other side, how will we ever grow to appreciate who we’re with? How do we expect to create something meaningful if our pasts continue to haunt us all while we’re continuously wondering what else is out there?
Bottomline is – while we hate being ghosted, our actions must be held accountable too. Let us not be controlled by the endless monotony of swiping right and yearning for a connection. I honestly would like to believe that we aren’t all emotionless robots in the dating game. There is SOME honesty amid the lies and blurred lines of fidelity. I mean, after all – all we truly desire is the truth. It’s insane how we all want honesty yet we counteractively cannot commit ourselves to telling the truth in order to “protect” ourselves. It simply takes us a lot more to get it out… but until then, all we can do is to swipe.