Recently I read an article in the New York Times describing a phenomenon called “ghosting” that many of us millennials experience while maneuvering dating in the 21st Century. Ghosting, according to this article, is the act of formally completely cutting all ties and communication with a person instead of breaking up with them. Think back to middle school when you gave your BFF Jennifer the silent treatment because she flirted with Brad when you CLEARLY told her that you have a total crush on Brad even though you have never spoken to him. I’m still not over it, Jennifer. I digress…
If you’ve read my articles before, i.e. Confessions of a Tinderella, you’ll know that I am no stranger to the dating game. I have found that I myself have been broken up by a “ghost” and I myself have been a “ghost” to others. These are their stories. *Cue Law & Order SVU theme*.
Side note: I am not using the real names of these guys. I wouldn’t blast them on the internet. That’s not very “chill, laid-back girl” of me.
Casper the Not-So-Friendly Ex-Boyfriend
My first ghost experience was during my sophomore year of college. I dated this guy for 8 months and we had a pretty good relationship, relatively speaking. We, of course, were young(er) and thought we were madly in love and would bee together forever ♥. However, once we came out of our honeymoon phase, we realized we had different values and views on life. It was your standard, mutual breakup. However, I thought we would be friends afterward since there wasn’t (or at least, I don’t think there was) any hard feelings. To my surprise, whenever I tried to contact him there would be little to nothing said from his end. Sometimes he would be polite and answer me.But other than that. crickets.
This was so upsetting to me because I had spent so much time getting to know him and just hanging out with him that I thought there would still be something left after the relationship. It made me feel unwanted and disposable, like a barbie doll you throw away once you got a cooler toy. It sucked. It took me a while to get over it but like all things, the feeling passed.
Now, knowing that this hurt me so much, you would think that I wouldn’t do this to another person, right? Wrong.
About a year after this relationship, I started seeing this new guy and it was fun for a while. We had a good time together and about a month after talking all day every day, I started to realize that we weren’t alike at all and had literally nothing in common. I started to run out of things to talk about because he couldn’t relate to him at all. So, I decided to do the uber mature thing and stop all communication entirely. I ignored texts and calls for about two weeks until they finally stopped altogether. A month or two later, he and I were apparently both using Tinder and he used that as a chance to try to weasel his way back into my life. Eventually, I put on my big-girl panties and told him how I really felt. I don’t know about him, but I think he and I felt a lot better afterward. If you’re reading this, I’m sorry. That was really shitty of me.
I’m making my point soon, I swear.
I think this ghosting phenomenon is so common because we’re all so wrapped up in ourselves to bother with other people’s feelings. We would rather hide behind a keyboard than talk to someone face to face.We are as cold and emotionless as the technology we so desperately cling to. We have to grow up and face our own feelings and be straightforward about it. No more hiding, it’s time to be real. That’s why we have to use Tinder to go on dates or whatever we’re calling “watching Netflix and chilling.” That’s why a romantic gesture is now a “good morning” text. Flowers and love letters are things of the past now like those pointy bras women wore in the 50’s. Sure, maybe I sound cynical but whatever. I’m saying, where is Patrick Swayze telling my Dad that nobody can put me in the corner or Jake Ryan baking me a birthday cake? I think we all need to sit down, watch some 80’s movies, and take some damn notes.
Read the original NY Times article here.