In an ideal world, we would all be way too mature and emotionally sound to ever ghost a date, right? Ghosting often hurts the recipient and leaves that other person hanging. Practically everyone has at least one painful story of being ghosted and then wondering what went wrong.
For a long time, I advocated against ghosting because I believed it was a coward’s way out. As a person who believes in the benefits of honest communication, I couldn’t recommend the practice.
If you don’t want to continue chatting with somebody or dating them, just say so. Right?
As it turns out, I was wrong.
God, was I wrong.
Dating apps have changed the dating game, and we’ve changed our expectations.
Mobile technology has changed us and the way we conduct every sort of relationship. For better or for worse, there’s no way around that reality.
We all know what it’s like to feel chained to our phones because people want to access us all the damn time. If they contact us on Messenger and that green dot tells them that we’re online, they are going to wonder why we don’t reply right then and there.
As much as this bugs everyone at some point, we’re all equally guilty of expecting everybody else to be available right away when we reach out. It drives us crazy when we can see they’ve read our messages. Why aren’t they responding? It’s been a fucking full 10 minutes.
Never mind the fact that we all have our own lives, so we know that everybody else does too. Responding instantly to everyone who wants our time is impossible. Not to mention unhealthy.
Yet we can’t help but subconsciously expect it from others.
As emotionally intelligent people, we can recognize and manage such unrealistic expectations and the way they often seep into our personal relationships.
We can’t control what other people do and how they regulate their emotions.
Or manage their own expectations. Of course, this has always been the case, but we feel it now more than ever before. Technology makes it way too easy for disappointed people to make their disappointment known. Again and again and again.
Sure, we know that reasonable people can kindly tell someone they’ve been seeing (or chatting with) when they are no longer interested. But experience has also shown that some folks can’t handle that kind of news without flipping out at us.
That’s why women often get bombarded with dick pics by angry would-be lovers. And that’s why men and women alike may find themselves receiving angry rants from people assuring us that they don’t care because they always thought we were an ugly bitch anyway.
But btw, if we can’t see what an incredible partner they are, that’s our loss and not theirs. So here’s 15 more texts vacillating between anger, indignation, begging, and disgust.
In some cases, ending a connection threatens our physical safety.
It’s no secret that an inability to handle romantic rejection can happen to both men and women. Yet for women, in particular, ending a relationship with a man seems disproportionately more dangerous due to a certain variety of male entitlement.
Ghosting, for many women, is something they do when they feel unsafe.
About 50K women are murdered every year around the globe by intimate partners or family members. And we don’t even know how many of those incidents happened with a man the woman met online. It’s almost like nobody cares.
Ghosting has become a defensive tool.
And I hate to say it, but ghosting can be a valid response to danger in our modern world. Technology hasn’t just made it easier for people to reach us when they think we’re done them wrong. It’s also made them more susceptible to feeling slighted.
Technology has fostered a greater instant gratification bias in most of us. We want what we want exactly when we want it and we really want it now. The ability to obtain so much pleasure with just a few clicks easily impacts our relationships too.
Our love for instant gratification has made many of us terrible with rejection. In fact, some psychologists have suggested that rejection hurts more than ever because technology has been hitting our pleasure buttons way too much.
When it turns out that aggressive reactions to romantic rejection have become somewhat… ordinary, ghosting begins to make much more sense.