So, I’m talking to this one shorty right now. We’ve known each other for quite some time, but only started talking recently. After a solid first date, everything seemed to be going fine so, naturally, I wanted to secure the next one.
Now, this bears repeating: Everything was straight. We were going back and forth via text—flirty banter, emojis, GIFs, the whole nine. And it’s not like there was a ton of time between messages either; you know how lames do when they’re trying not to appear too invested. No. This is all happening in rapid-fire succession. So, I found what I thought to be the perfect time to ask about the next date and then…nothing. Fucking radio silence.
Now, I gave her the first day. I’m notorious for mentally responding to texts and never actually answering in real life, so I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t at least give her the benefit of the doubt. But the next few days came and went, and still no response. At this point, a brotha was perplexed. I vacillated between confusion and f*ckthis, but mainly confusion because I checked the receipts and hadn’t done or said anything to warrant this disappearing act. And to make things worse, homegirl hadn’t missed a beat on Snap, Instagram, or Facebook.
And that’s when I realized I had been ghosted.
For those who have been living under a rock, ghosting is the obnoxious practice of ending a friendship or romantic relationship with someone by suddenly dropping off the face of the earth. No warning. No explanation. Nothing. And when the ghosted party attempts to reestablish some type of communication, they’re ignored. Who does that?! (Okay, one time I ghosted this Tinderella, but I swear it was for my own safety. I mean, can you really trust someone whose profile pictures look like five different people and who doesn’t do FaceTime without a full face of makeup? Besides, if we never met up, did it really even happen?) But, yeah. This whole ghosting thing is trash. Why? Let’s talk about it.
As far as relationships go, ghosting is one of the top ways to show your partner you simply don’t give a fuck. Here’s the thing—relationships take an incredible amount of vulnerability and trust. Ghosting is a violation of both those things because the party who leaves does so without any regard for the fallout thereafter. Real talk, you have to be a true asshole to make your way into someone’s life, make them comfortable, do the whole “love” thing, and then vanish into thin air. The problem with ghosting is that it leaves the ghostee in emotional limbo, hopelessly confused. And because of this confusion, the ghostee has no idea how to proceed. Should they text? Should they call? Charge it to the game and move on? These are questions a person who hasn’t done you wrong, and who’s likely into you, shouldn’t have to answer.
If you think about it, ghosting is classic conflict avoidance and a glaring sign of immaturity. Don’t get me wrong. Nobody really likes having those tough, potentially life-altering conversations. Nor do most people actively look to hurt or disappoint others. It’s just not in our nature. But these are the types of conversations that are vital to any relationship, whatever the status or circumstance. And being able to talk things out? Well, that’s just being an adult.
We already discussed how ghosting is childish in that it’s an evasion tactic. But at the heart of ghosting is the fact that the person doing the ghosting is most likely running away from his or her own feelings. Maybe they caught up and don’t know how to handle it. Maybe all they wanted to do was smash, but wound up in a relationship. Maybe they met someone else. Whatever the case may be, the person doing the ghosting is acting squarely in their own self-interest, which would be fine they weren’t in a relationship. With another person. Who also has feelings. Sheesh.
And the worst part about ghosting is that it’s become so commonplace. People really have no qualms about it. Now, in my case, my ghoster came to her senses: she texted me back a few days later, explained her situation and apologized profusely for her truancy, and now we’re back on track. But that doesn’t change the fact that in that week I felt all the things, confused, annoyed, a little sad, and then back to being annoyed.
Moral of the story? Don’t be an a*shole.
Malcolm Spaulding is a freelancer for CASSIUS.