Ghosting is NOT New!
Ghosting, the actual term, is fairly new.
I first heard the word from a former SYBD forum member, Serena. She mentioned the term during the summer – after seeing it used in the New York Times. In particular, the article mentioned Charlize Theron and Sean Penn. (She was ghosted by him, allegedly) – calling it “the ultimate silent treatment” – which is is.
But here on SYBD, I’ve seen these sorts of stories of men and women being “ghosted” – posted for more than fifteen years!
So yeah, ghosting itself is not new. Only the word – being used in that context – is.
I’ve always called it a “vanishing act” but regardless of what we call it, the experience is always the same. Awful.
I speak from personal experience.
Yes, it’s happened to me (a few times), but thankfully not for years…
One of my most memorable ghosting experience was the guy who chose to “disappear” the day after my 40th birthday.
I guess I should give the guy props for at least riding out my “big day”! We had an amazing night – in a five star hotel in Glasgow (!) – then….Crickets. Nothing. Nada. Vanished. WTF?
Though we eventually made up (as friends), I don’t ever recall getting a clear answer as to his reasons for leaving.
At this point, it doesn’t matter…
Do these exes assume they’re doing us a favor by opting to take the easier option – the coward’s way out? Maybe they mistakenly think it will hurt less that way?
Of course it doesn’t.
In fact, I don’t know about you, but I would go as far as to say it actually hurts more when someone just disappears.
Effects of Ghosting
When we’ve been ghosted, we are left questioning everything…”What did I do wrong?”, “Did I mean anything to him/her?”
Or in some cases we’re left wondering “Has something happened to him?” (Or her).
Like I often say, “This is not a gender thing, it’s a people thing.”
More often than not, the one who is left tends to make it about themselves. Like it’s their fault that the person is no longer responding to any communication efforts.
You know what? I think it says more about the person doing the leaving than the one who has been left.
Disappearing off the planet, and ignoring calls, texts, messages, emails etc – is not the actions of a healthy person.
More than likely ghosting is the action of someone who is operating from a place of fear, guilt and maybe immaturity.
For whatever reason, they are simply ill-equipped to handle having that conversation to say “it’s over” so they ghost.
What Not to Do…
For anyone here who may be thinking about ending a relationship, please don’t opt to make it a ghosting departure. Take on board some of the advice from this video, and end it “right”, preferably in person. Give the person the benefit of asking questions and getting at least some form of closure.
Have the courage to face them not ignore them. If you’re unable to end things in person, then write or call to say goodbye.
Disappearing on someone can be very damaging to them. It can cause pretty severe trust issues as a result.
Breaking up hurts no matter what, but ghosting amplifies the feelings of loss and confusion.
Think about the Golden Rule.
I have been fortunate in some ways, in that the guys who did disappear on me, eventually came back in some capacity (not for a relationship, but at least I was able to get some of my questions answered).
Because of that, when anyone disappears on me now, I tend to just let them go. I don’t keep trying to make contact (well, ok, not after the first two or three attempts!)
How would you react to contact?
What if your ex reached out to you now to say “Hello”? Would you want to hear from them? Of would you ignore the contact?
I only ask because I note with interest that the new video from Adele seems to be talking about this very subject… She seems to be apologising for breaking his heart a long time ago…(or is it just me who reads it that way?)
Would it help you to hear “I’m sorry” now or does it even matter to you still?
Share Your Ghosting Stories Here…
If you have been ghosted, then please share your story in the comments section below…
Alternatively, if you were the one doing the ghosting, please share some of the reasons that you chose to leave in such a way. What made you avoid having any sort of conversation with your ex?
Either way – this is a safe anonymous place to share your experience but all comments are moderated. So feel free to share your tale but keep it clean and not too specific.
Thanks in advance – from a fellow ghostee!
Finally – I recommend checking out this Matthew Hussey video about ghosting: “He Ghosted You? 3 Days to Feel Better Fast”.
He actually brings up some super valid points – whether you were ghosted by a man or a woman…And recommends taking a look at yourself to see if there is anything to learn from it. Taking a step back – look at your own behaviour with the person – was there anything you maybe did or didn’t do that *may have* contributed even in a small way? Honestly anything?