There are better ways to cut off a connection. Here’s how to do so respectfully.
Did you wake up one morning and realise you simply didn’t want to keep dating the person you’re seeing? Or maybe you’ve been dating multiple people and found â€˜the one’, so you want to end all of your other connections.
Ghosting has been around since the dawn of time (we think). It’s a dating term that involves blanking the person until they eventually get the hint. Now for those you plan to ghost, they may think things are going swimmingly, but if you decide to ghost, you’re going to cause them a world of hurt.
Ghosting may feel like the easier option. But by doing so you sever what was a connection (whether it was genuine or not).
And if you don’t know what ghosting is, we’ll explain what it is and why you shouldn’t do it.
What is ghosting?
Ghosting involves suddenly cutting off a romantic connection. To the other person, this will generally feel very out of the blue.
People ghost for a variety of reasons. But what ghosters don’t realise is they’re inflicting emotional hurt on the ghost-ee. What’s worse, is some ghosters don’t even care, let alone realise what they’re doing.
Why do people ghost
People ghost for a variety of reasons. In fact, a study from the University of Padua says ghosting is a trait of a psychopath!
Let’s dive into why some people may be inclined to ghost.
It feels easier than having a conversation
Some people avoid or hate confrontation. Telling someone you don’t like them isn’t easy. So instead people choose to ghost instead of handling the emotions that come with being upfront.
The attraction is gone
Attraction is fleeting. For some this can cause a lack of care or resentment. If someone’s interest has waned and they’ve become bored, they may feel like coming forward about how they feel is too much of an effort. Hence why they ghost.
They feel unsafe
This is probably one of the only justifiable reasons to ghost. If you or someone feels genuinely unsafe in the dynamic, then ghosting may be the only option. Especially if the ghostee is particularly dangerous or unpredictable.
What ghosting says about you
If you’ve decided to ghost, or ghosted before, it reveals a lot about you as a person. We mentioned safety being a reason people ghost so for obvious reasons we won’t dive into that. Let’s dive into what ghosting says about if the other person hasn’t threatened your sense of safety.
1. That you’re a bit of a coward
You have the audacity to leave, but no backbone to have the talk. Ghosting can show cowardly behaviour on your part. The lack of closure keeps you in the clear, but the other party in a state of confusion.
Your cowardness can hurt people. We said what we said.
2. You probably aren’t ready for a commitment
And that’s okay. But ghosting isn’t in this case. Ghosters usually run at the sign of anything remotely long-term.
Perhaps you get physically attracted to the person, but when emotions are involved they scare you. You may just resort to ghosting instead of cheating or breaking up. Though you’re definitely cheating your way out of doing the right thingâ€¦
3. You may have a low moral compass
What ghosting someone says about you is that you don’t care about people’s feelings at all. You are easily influenced and can’t make up your mind. This can lead to bad decisions in other areas of your life that hurt people.
Ghosting actively causes pain for the other person. No matter how much you convince yourself it’s the right thing to do, you’re actively validating your weak conscience. You’d much rather pretend a relationship didn’t exist than face the music.
It’s questionable to not acknowledge how another person will feel based on your actions. If you can’t imagine how you’d feel if it happened to you, then it’s definitely a character trait that needs some work on.
4. You may have abandonment issues
Maybe you’re scared and we get it. Opening yourself up to a relationship is scary and can often be associated with an avoidant attachment type. Perhaps you want to â€˜get there first’ by being the one to end the relationship before they do.
But all this does is reinforce a toxic pattern in the relationships you try to build. You’ll never give yourself the chance at a connection if you keep ghosting based on your fears.
If this is you, then this could be a sign to get help from a therapist.
5. You could be insecure
Insecurity is what drives ghosting behaviour. Perhaps you’re scared of the reciprocating rejection or feel you lack the qualities of a good partner. So instead, you put yourself in a false sense of security and power by ghosting others.
Unfortunately, shameful acts like ghosting don’t make you better. They may provide a temporary high, but in the end it simply becomes a vicious cycle that hurts your ego without realising.
6. Your interests could be superficial
You had no emotional investment in the first place and maybe had no intention of having any.
Maybe you only entered the relationship because you had a physical connection. While there’s nothing wrong with this, ghosting them is fundamentally wrong. Even physical relationships need some element of communication and trust to keep both parties on the same page.
Why think twice about ghosting
You’re not only hurting the ghostee, but you’re hurting yourself in the long run. Here’s why you should think twice about ghosting someone.
It’ll keep you stuck in a loop.
If you have a habit of ghosting, you’re emotionally and maturely stunted. This will only keep you stuck in immature relationship patterns and unable to establish lasting connections with others.
Lack of empathy and understanding
You won’t see the other person’s reaction when you ghost. But this isn’t a good thing in the slightest.
You’re essentially pretending someone isn’t hurt, when in reality, they are. You’ve left them in the dark to deal with the why, how, when, and what on their own.
What to do instead of ghosting
If the urge to ghost is rising, stop yourself in your tracks and follow these tips on how not to ghost and end relationships the right way.
Think about why you want to ghost them
Are you actually feeling secure for once and it’s scary? Are you having a busy period but know it’ll pass? Do you find someone else attractive or have a better connection with someone else?
Really identifying why you have the urge to ghost will get you through the next few steps, especially when you do pucker up the courage to have a conversation with your date or partner.
Choose the right time
Maybe you woke up in the middle of the night with the thought to break up with someone. We get it, but doing it there and then isn’t appropriate.
Arrange to meet them in the day at a time that works for both of you. Ideally not when they have something on like work, a lecture, or something important (but obviously have leeway as there’s not always a right time to break up with someone).
Use â€œIâ€ statements
Using â€œIâ€ statements doesn’t shift the blame onto them (even if they are in the wrong). The last thing you want is a huge argument. Although you can’t control how a person will react, by using I statements you shift the focus onto how you’re feeling.
You could say things like â€œI feel like things are moving too quicklyâ€ or â€œI’ve realised I don’t have room in my life for a relationshipâ€ instead of â€œyou’re asking for too much of a commitment too soonâ€.
Answer their questions
Answer all the questions they have to ensure they know what to walk away with. It won’t always be possible to explain your feelings, and this is an answer in itself. Just make that known too.
If you decide to answer the person’s questions about what went wrong, provide the feedback in a constructive yet kind-hearted way that could help them future relationships. Do not make them feel bad if they gave you an ick about something.
Have you felt the urge to ghost? Or have you ghosted before and you’re thinking twice about it? We encourage the latter. It’ll only help and empower you in the long-run to make the right decision.