There’s No Such Thing As A Friendly Ghost

Featured Image: My brother in a Casper the Friendly Ghost costume, handmade by my mom. Also, me, a princess, as usual. Circa 1999.

I’ve been ghosted probably over a dozen times. I’ve also probably ghosted a few myself. Sometimes it’s even a mutual ghosting!

If you don’t know what ghosting is, it’s when someone stops talking to you with no explanation. Just stops answering texts, phone calls, DMs. Nothing. Poof. Like a ghost.

With all the infinite ways to contact someone, and the fact that anyone under thirty years old checks their phone at least once a day, it’s pretty obvious when someone is trying to ghost you. I personally follow the three-text rule, and if they don’t respond within two days, I certify it as a ghosting. 

Sometimes you get ghosted and it makes sense, there wasn’t a spark between you and things just cooled off naturally. Sometimes it’s completely out of left-field and you have no idea what you did wrong. 

But both are equally frustrating. I like closure. I’d like to know if there was something I did or said that made you realize I was not the one. And sometimes I squeeze out answers from guys, but they’re never the real ones. It’s always “I wasn’t ready for a relationship” (then why’d you go on a date?) or “I’ve got too much baggage” (everyone does, get over it) or “Nows not a good time for me” (honestly, I use this one). 

Sometimes there’s absolutely no reason given. I had a date planned once, for a Friday night. On Wednesday, I was mysteriously blocked. No idea what went wrong! But I guess that was easier for him than trying to explain why he wanted to cancel. I’ll never know. So it goes.

But I get it, I’ve done it too. Sometimes it’s not worth the effort to explain why you’re no longer interested. And honestly, if the “relationship” is less than two weeks, I’d say it’s probably fine. 

I usually, though, try to be at least partially honest. Once, after a lackluster date, the guy asked me how likely it was that he’d get a second date. I’m terrible at lying (in person) so I said “hmm about eighty percent” which was probably a bit higher than the truth, but it gave me enough leeway. He was not happy with this response. We never spoke again. So it goes.

But that’s what you get from being honest. People’s feelings are going to get hurt whether you’re upfront with them, or if you try to ghost them. Some people feel that ghosting is the “easy” way out of confrontation, but come on, we’re adults. We can handle a little constructive criticism or half-truths or, at the very least, just notification that you’re simply no longer interested. You don’t necessarily owe anyone an explanation, but don’t leave them completely in the dark.

Otherwise, they might try to make excuses in their head of why you aren’t answering. Maybe he got hurt, maybe he got really caught up with family or work, maybe his phone is broken, maybe he died and I should check the obits, maybe he got arrested, maybe maybe maybe.

A real text I got once from my 2016-ex after a full weekend of texts going unanswered

Anything is possible! One guy told me the reason he stood me up on a date he asked me out on, was because he had gotten a concussion! Was it true? The jury’s out on that one, but hey, it could have been true. He told me this, of course, after I had a few beers at my local dive bar and sent a lengthy “you’re pathetic” text. We never spoke again. So it goes.

Just stop ghosting people, guys. It’s just rude. You don’t even have to say why! You don’t really even have to be nice! You can even use these premade texts:

“Hey, I’m sorry but this isn’t working out. Good luck back on Tinder.”

“Hey, I’m sorry, I have to cancel our date. I fell down the stairs, got a concussion, and realized I still miss my ex.”

“Hey, I’m sorry, but I’m not really feeling this. I think I was just horny and now that I’ve got post-nut-clarity, I realized I’m not ready to date.”

See? It’s that easy!

Bonus Content:

Anyone else pissed that that new MTV show “Ghosted: Love Gone Missing” isn’t called “Ghost-Busters”?

Also, a blog post I found while searching for a good title for this post, called 5 Songs I’ve Gotten From Boys Who Ghosted Me. Same vibe.

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