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Why Do I Ghost?

If you're unaware of what ghosting is (I'm looking at you, mom and dad), here's a little Urban Dictionary definition for you. Seriously, this is the #2 definition on Urban Dictionary and I couldn't say it better myself and won't try. So, I guess shoutout to "Ghostface Illa" on Urban Dictionary for helping me out on this one.

Ghosting is, "The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just "get the hint" and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested. Ghosting is not specific to a certain gender and is closely related to the subject's maturity and communication skills. Many attempt to justify ghosting as a way to cease dating the ghostee without hurting their feelings, but it in fact proves the subject is thinking more of themselves, as ghosting often creates more confusion for the ghostee than if the subject kindly stated how he/she feels."

So basically, ghosting is when you cut off communication with someone without telling them, usually to avoid hurting feelings. Which is...basically what this entire post is going to be about. Is this most certainly a call out post? Absolutely. Who am I calling out? Myself, duh. Who else?

I'm not sure how long it's been around (I'm sure forever, albiet nameless) or when it was penned, but to me it has become increasingly more prevalent in the age of dating apps. As Ghostface Illa said, it's easily justifiable as an easy way to get out of romantic situations without hurting somebody's feelings. 

But is that really the only reason why?

I can't even count on two hands anymore the amount of people (okay, guys) I've ghosted at this point in my twenties. I'm not necessarily proud about this, despite the jokes I make at my own expense at my go-to tactic to end something before it starts for whatever reason. Maybe the conversation took a turn south, maybe they made me uncomfortable, maybe it was as simple as a "she's just not that into you" situation in which she is obviously me. I'm not trying to justify it by any means, but you know, every "ghosting" situation has its own back story before they all end the same way: radio silence.

I should preface this by this tiny, most likely well known fact about me: I'm a people pleaser. I worry a lot about what people think about me, how I act, what I say, how I treat them, etc. It's something I'm working on, but I don't like when people are mad at me or if I upset them. This is completely a "me" problem, but it's the root of a lot of issues I have, namely communication issues. I'm non-confrontational to a fault, usually because I'm terrified of somebody being "mad" at me. It's silly and one of the more childish traits I've held onto in my adult life. 

This isn't to say I don't "defy" anyone and don't stand my ground. I'm not a doormat, but I'm also not coming forward until it's absolutely dire. That's something to unpack at a later date, but it gives some context to why I don't tell a guy that I'm not interested. I'm also not going to use current events as an excuse, though I will note that some poeple act out incredibly violently when denied. But, I'm not going to be a trash bag and blame that when I know it's something else that keeps me ghosting.

It's my non-confrontational side, the part of me that doesn't want to hurt someone's feelings, the part that doesn't really know how to tell someone that I'm not into it and that it's not going to work. I go with my gut feeling and I don't like to drag it out. I know by a week in (sometimes less) whether or not I'm into it. But instead of verbalizing that, I just kind of...poof into thin air and disappear into a puff of rose gold glitter that smells faintly of champagne gummy bears and Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb perfume. 

Ghosting is one of those things that I do that I know isn't good, but I make zero strides to trying to fix it. Kind of like those days on your period when you eat an entire chocolate bar after your already filling dinner or when you have three bags of Flamin' Hot Cheetos in one day and feel your insides burning up from indegestion. It should be simple: only have part of the chocolate bar and save the rest for later, maybe don't eat that third bag of Cheetos, and just fucking tell them that you don't think it's going to work out!

Easier said than done, certainly. I've never even attempted this line. I just basically stop answering and hope they get the hint. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they text me every day for a week until they finally give up. Sometimes they text me a month later. Or, if you're brave, you pop back in four months later and ask if we're still on for drinks. I shit you not, Hinge is a strange, strange place on the internet and it has happened TWICE. 

I don't know why I think this is the right way to do things. Maybe I don't know how it feels. I'd say 90% of the time a ghosting occurs, even if I wasn't the first person to stop responding, I'm, uh, relieved I wasn't the one who made the choice to ghost first. I guess it happened once (only to be ended by an intoxicated me about a month or so later) and it, uh, sucked. Yeah, it kind of sucked. Not that I like have feelings or anything or wanted to date said person (this is another blog post topic for another time), but I hated that it wasn't on my terms, which is extremely selfish and childish for sure. I'm the ghoster, never the ghostee. Getting a taste of your own medicine is kind of garbage but I don't know what would have been worse: taking the hint but dwelling on the same person for a month while waiting for a text or just knowing that it just wasn't going to be a thing.

The latter just seems like a hit to the ego, but wouldn't it at least save you some time? No more jumping to conclusions, no more watching the notifications on your phone. You just...know. It's not the answer that you want, but it's an answer, not just an assumption. The truth can hurt, but the unknown can hurt too, no?

If I really wanted to answer the question in the title of this blog post, I'd have to be completely honest and say that it's because I'm afraid of hurting somebody's feelings and I don't want them to think I'm being an asshole. Which like, is totally not the point, but it all goes back to me wanting to leave a good impression but also ghosting somebody is not a good impression so like am I just shooting myself in the foot either way?

To me, I was never invested enough into any of the guys that it seemed worth my time or necessary to tell them that I wasn't into it. I hadn't even gone out with half of them before I decided that maybe it was best that we never meet. And the others, I might have gotten drinks with them once, maybe twice tops (I'm usually good about gut feelings and either never make it to drinks or never make it past night one). At what point do you tell them? Is it too soon to tell them after a week of texting? Is there ever a time where it's appropriate to just...not answer anymore?

As per usual, this post leaves me with more questions than answers about myself and my dating habits. 

For the benefit of those who don't follow me on Instagram, I decided to do a little tiny poll on my Stories on Sunday to dig in and see if I'm in the majority with my feelings and actions and honestly, I was wayyyy into the minority. 90% of people said that they would rather be told the truth about the way the relationship is going instead of being ghosted which I get but also I'm the type of person who just gets the hint and is kind of detached from most ~ romantic ~  situations anyways so maybe it doesn't register the same way. 75% of people said that they tell the person that they're just not that into it, but 25% think ghosting is just easier. I then asked people why they ghost and the answers were right up my alley. Some people got bad vibes and didn't think the person deserved a text explaining, some people said that even when they told the person they weren't into it they kept pushing so ghosting was the only viable option when it comes to the more, uh, aggressive males. I get it, some people are just creeps who not only don't get the hint but also don't listen when you verbalize how you're feeling.

The concept of ghosting has been around long before the days of multiple dating apps per person and will no doubt continue to live as people like me who are afraid of confrontation with communication issues continue to exist. Kidding, kidding. Look, I think I have said this but I'm not cruel enough to ghost somebody who I've been seeing fairly regularly for months. That'd be pretty shitty. But if we went on one bad date that ended in a friendly hug after matching on Hinge and sporadically messaging on the app for a just might not hear from me again or vice versa. 

Sweater: Target 
Skirt: ASOS
Tights: Target
Boots: ASOS
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff
Sunglasses: Forever 21


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