Ghosting 101

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There is an unhealthy obsession with dating in Utah County. From quick hook-ups and marriages to Tinder and Mutual, the young people in this college-filled community are eager to find love. While many people love their dating life, such a fixation can cause many problems. With the stereotypical abundance of “straight-out-of-highschool” freshman girls and recently returned missionary boys, the dating scene is somewhat of a disaster. However, I believe there is a common thread in these ever so prevalent problems. Let’s talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to dating – ghosting.  

What is ghosting?

Anybody that has gone on a date is surely familiar with ghosting, whether as the participant or recipient. But what exactly is “ghosting?” Ghosting is cutting off all communication to end a relationship without any explanation. With that definition, ghosting doesn’t seem to me like a very nice thing to do. So then why do people do it? Why is ghosting such a popular and almost natural part of the dating scene today?

Why do people ghost?

After much research, the responses varied. “We just weren’t compatible.” “He was kinda psycho.” “I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.” “I just wasn’t interested.” Most ghosters would give a logical, self-justified reason for ghosting. But does that make it right?

From the perspective of the ghoster, ghosting someone may seem to be an easy, harmless way out of a potentially confrontational situation. To them, it provides a quick, simple way of showing someone they are not interested in dating them. However, regardless of the intent, the harm to the ghosting victim can have serious lasting effects. Not only does ghosting show the romantic disinterest of the ghoster, but it devalues the victim overall. It can make the victim feel like the ghoster does not care enough about them as a human being to convey their honest feelings. 

Be kind instead

There is a huge social trend emerging with the phrase “be kind.” Regardless of the number of times used, this beautiful invitation is only effective when genuinely implemented. Participating in ghosting completely contradicts the public movement of preaching kindness. 

However awkward, hard, or inconvenient it may be, the best and kindestway to end a relationship romantically is through honest, open communication. Even when romance must be removed from a relationship, that doesn’t mean a friendship should be abolished too. Although all circumstances may not allow this, changing the mindset behind ghosting can improve the dating experience for everyone. 

So, the next time you are about to ghost someone, maybe think about the consequences first.