Ghosting and how to deal with it.

There are many terms in the world of dating that describe the antics of some daters. You may have been on the receiving end of some of these. We like to think that the members on Lovesail are a little more sophisticated, and kinder and wouldn’t carry out such unscrupulous behaviour. The first in the series of articles about dating terms is Ghosting.


Ghosting is the practice of abruptly ending all communication with someone without giving them a reason for the silence.

This is a very cruel practice. The ghosted person is left wondering what on earth has happened. Has the ghost fallen foul of some dreadful calamity? Been hit by a boom? Fallen overboard? Next comes confusion, the ghosted person will go back over all their messages to try and work out if it was something they said to offend the ghost. Then with the realisation that their date is not coming back comes anger and self-criticism. What did they do wrong? Why were they not good enough for the person?

What type of person would use ghosting to end a relationship?

Well, research seems to imply that those with an avoidant type personality are more likely to ghost as are people that have been ghosted themselves. Also, people who believe that destiny will serve up their soul mate on a plate have no qualms about initiating radio silence. Some just can’t face an awkward heart-to-heart even from behind a screen so find it easier to slink away.

So what should you do if you think you are being ghosted?

Exorcise them! Spirit yourself away and move on. There is much debate as to when you should do this. From 3 days onwards seems to be the expected time frame if you’ve been regularly communicating by phone or a message app. The best course of action is just to delete the messages and block the ghost from all your social media and your phone. Some people will feel they need closure so it is acceptable to send them a final message, but be the bigger person.  Don’t be angry or bitter just keep it to something along the lines of  “Hi I haven’t heard from you in a while. I’m not sure what happened but my time is precious so I am going to step away now. I wish you well.”  Remember that if your date has used this strategy to end a relationship with you then it highlights their shortcomings, not yours. They have shown you their true colours and that they are not the sort of person you will have a healthy relationship with.

If you are the ghost?

It’s a cowardly action so just own it and take responsibility.  If you are really looking for a healthy relationship with someone then you have to be open and honest and talk about problems, not run away from them. Be brave. You’ve probably climbed 40’ masts, crossed oceans and sailed through storms. Telling someone you want out of a relationship is nothing compared to some of the sailing adventures you’ve had. Just tell them. Even by text is better than not at all. Make it short, direct, kind and if possible honest, try not to concentrate on anything they did wrong. For example, you could say “I don’t feel like it’s working between us” or “I don’t have romantic feelings for you” or “I’ve had a change of heart and I’m taking a break from dating”.  Do not leave the door open by saying “it might work in the future”.  Allow the person to have closure and grieve the loss of the relationship however short.

Ghosting image: Talia Trakim

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