The Confused Musings of a 20-something: Ghosting

This series has been a little dormant of late (massive understatement), sometimes a lady never tells 😉 But I have also been away pretending to be Parisian, so excuse me for only just re-entering the London scene.

Readers of previous posts might remember me rambling on about guys/girls who don’t message you back, my aim was to boost morale, to tell you not to worry there is probably a good reason for their lack of response. Although this is sometimes the case, I must eat most of my words as, alas, their disappearance has now been coined by The Americans as ‘ghosting’.

‘Ghosting’ is when a dater ends a relationship by simply disappearing into thin air, this might sound like a party trick, but believe me it doesn’t end in a barrel of laughs! The ghoster gives no reason or explanation for their disappearance, and ceases to respond to any form of communication.

A decade ago, my mum would ask, “what ever happened to that boy you were going out with, from the disco?”, my response, “oh him? I dumped him by text ages ago”. “By text???” she would screech, “Poor boy”. Don’t think me cruel, it was common place back then to start and end relationships by text. I remember sitting next to one of my friends in science one day, and no word of a lie I think she dumped and got asked out by three different guys in the same day! We were 14, relationships never lasted long, in fact we often hedged bets when new couples got together. But nowadays the techno-era of Tinder, Happn, Grindr has surpassed even the polite dump-by-text. Ladies and gents, what kind of age do we live in?

I have often supported friends over a drink or two, as they try to explain why they haven’t heard from their dater, “maybe he’s just really busy?” they would suggest. The bells start chiming in my head… feeling sceptical I continue to listen as they recount that they have sent 2 texts in a row, but no reply, a drunken drop call or two, they’ve also liked a couple of their pictures on Instagram and Facebook, but to no avail. It saddened me to say that, “sometimes guys just don’t message you back, its happened to me before”. Always their response was, “no, i don’t think this is like that”. It would be much better for all parties involved if they had honestly disappeared and had accidentally fallen down a crevasse whilst skiing Le Vallee Blanche, it would be much better for everyone’s egos to say the least.

But we have to come to terms with ‘ghosting’. A recent survey by Elle US found that 17% of men and 24% of women have ghosted someone at some point. Come to think of it, I often ghost people who out of the blue send me random messages on Facebook, and i just don’t know how to respond! If your not into confrontation or maybe you’ve only been on two dates, maybe you think this is the best way of dumping someone. But please this is the cowardly and dangerous way out! For the ghosted, conjecture over what might have happened to the ghoster is genuinely enough to drive them absolutely insane. And you never ever know when you might bump into them again, this is a “small world” after all!

So why does ‘ghosting’ exist? The long and short of it is simply that tech-based dating means it is actually easier to disappear. The fact that we are all humans gets lost in translation when you date someone online. They don’t quite seem real, most of the time you don’t know their friends, family, where they live, they just aren’t really tangible. Moreover, tech-based dating means there are plenty of fish in the sea, there is no need for you to focus your efforts on one lad or lass, when you can put your finger in many pies (gross pun not intended). People are always curious to shop around for more, and this means that people just aren’t as committed to relationships however big or small, fun or serious. I can name many friends who have the tinder app on their phone, whilst being in long-term relationships, their excuse, “I just wanted to see what it was all about!” Yeah right….

This week when I got the inspiration to write this post, I have seen so many different articles and instagram pages joking around about why most of us don’t have boyfriends or girlfriends – check these lot out…Reasons I Don’t Have A Boyfriend – its a webseries and really funny!

I have come to the dire conclusion that us millennials are losing touch with good old fashioned romantic fun. This is not the blanket case for everyone, in fact I have several best friends who have that kind of relationship, some of them even found that kinda love on Tinder! I refuse to call myself a hopeless romantic, as I am not hopeless just extremely optimistic and hopeful that one day (hopefully soon) I will meet my romantic match. In the meantime, everybody just needs to be careful to not be too haunted by previous ghosting experiences, as this may leave you deathly pale and lying on the floor, on six feet under? Heaven forbid!