Thursday, 6 December 2018

Why Ghosting Hurts So Much // Dating Chronicles


What is ghosting?

Ghosting is a term used commonly when you are ignored blatantly through social media by somebody you have previously had a meaningful connection with. If somebody has been ignoring your messages despite being online, that's ghosting. If somebody has suddenly blocked/unfriended/unfollowed you on social media, that's ghosting. This can hurt a lot when it's done by somebody you were previously close to or were seeing romantically.

Dictionary definition: "...the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication."

Urban Dictionary definition: "When a person cuts off all communication with their friends or the person they're dating, with zero warning or notice beforehand. You'll mostly see them avoiding friend's phone calls, social media, and avoiding them in public."

No closure

Psychology Today: ""closure is knowing the reason a romantic relationship was terminated and no longer feeling emotional attachment or pain, thereby allowing for the establishment of new and healthy relationships."

Perhaps the worst thing about ghosting is the lack of closure that it generates for a lost connection. You are being ignored and cut off but often you will have no idea why. When we are trying to move on from a lost connection, often the starting point which we need is closure. We need to know why things didn't work out so that we can accept and move on. When someone is ghosting their former partner, they know the reasons why it's not working out in their eyes, and they are using ghosting as a way to move on from the relationship (albeit a shitty way). However, when you are being ghosted despite believing that everything was going great, it is jarring and you are thrust from knowing where you stand in a secure romantic attachment to being completely cut off from the person you were sure you were close to.

Was it something I said?

When we don't have closure as to why a connection failed, often we can look inwards to find the reason why. If you were not aware that things weren't working out, the chances are that you completely and utterly admired the 'ghoster' previous to the ghosting, and you will find it hard to find them at fault for why things didn't work out. All these unanswered questions can lead to self-blaming.

Did I do something wrong?
Did I make them feel like it wasn't working out?
Did I say something to hurt them?
Was I not good enough?

When you have no idea why things didn't work out, it's easier than ever to blame yourself and see the breakup as 'just another personal failure'. If the 'ghoster' had just opened up and explained the reasons why things were not working out, then you wouldn't have to jump to blaming yourself and you could move on knowing why.

Am I annoying/pestering you?

How do you react to being ghosted? Do you also step back and accept that things obviously weren't working out? Or do you do one of the following?

Try to pull closer to the 'ghoster' and compensate for the lack of interaction by messaging/texting more.
Ask 'why', repeatedly.
Ask if all your extra unreplied to messages are annoying.
Apologise profusely about all those messages and chalk it up to having a bad day/PMSing.
All of the above? (Same!)

It's a vicious cycle. It's a combination of being ignored and blaming yourself. You can feel like you are driving them away further by annoying them and bombarding them with messages. Then you blame yourself by feeling like you are annoying them while they ignore the messages more and more and more.

What can we 'ghostees' do differently?

Honestly? Let's call them out on their bullshit. It's okay to still care about them (since the whole no closure thing) but 'ghosters' should know how much their actions hurt and how they are preventing their 'ghostees' from moving on. Too long I have looked back and regretted not telling the people who have ghosted me how much they have hurt me and how much they have knocked my trust in relationships. I am always scared that as soon as I get close to someone, they will suddenly act as though I do not exist. So, I have vowed to call 'ghosters' out on their shit so that they think twice before doing it again to somebody else.

In summary, ghosting is terrible and we shouldn't put up with it as 'just a part of dating life'! Also, we should make a conscious attempt to never ghost any of our partners (it works both ways) and always ensure that we communicate about our issues and about what is not working well in our relationships. We need more openness and to be able to raise issues and concerns without it becoming an argument! Communication is key!


Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash

No comments:

Post a Comment

Follow Me @jessistryingblog