Casper, the not so friendly Ghost

I feel like every week I meet someone new who has been “ghosted” by their beau. What is “ghosting,” you ask? It’s the act of abruptly ending all communication with the person you’re seeing/dating.

When I first came across the term “ghosting” I thought it only ever happened after a bad date with someone you met via Tinder, then, never hearing from them again. Something which isn’t ideal but I get. Uh, think again naive Katie. It turns out, you can get “ghosted” at any stage of a relationship. I know people who’ve been dating their sweetheart for months and all of a sudden they disappear, evaporating into thin air. I even read that a guy “ghosted” his girlfriend that he lived with for two years and then found out years later she was going to be his new boss and that did not end well. Read more here: Ask a manager: Ghosting

The more I look into the concept of ghosting…the more it freaks me out. The name given to the act is spot on because it’s beginning to spook me. Not just because the act itself is awful, but now there’s a worry in the back of my brain that they can just pack up and leave at any time. Texting used to be the cowardly way to break up with someone. Now people don’t want to break up with the person they’re seeing at all. They ignore the person, stop speaking to them and hope they get the hint? What’s worrying is that this has become so commonplace in 2017 that it’s not the cowards way out anymore, it’s  turning into the way people “break up”.

I heard this one guy’s ghosting story on the Why, Oh Why podcast. Zach, 30 met Candice on Bumble. The two met up and went for drinks. They got on really well, for Zach there was no spark, they hugged goodbye but he said he’d give it a second date, to see if there was more. They texted off and on, made semi-plans that always fell through. When I heard the story first, I initially thought this would be a story from the Ghost’s point of view, that Zach bailed and would explain why…My initial assumption was wrong. Zach did the right thing, he wrote a text message to her explaining that he met someone he wanted to see exclusiveluy. An hour later, Zach got a reply. The reply wasn’t what he expected.

“I’m sorry to tell you this, but Candice is dead.”

Was this a joke? Was she mad and playing a game? Zach googled her name and her obituary. It turns out, she passed away a few days previous to him texting her. Candice was 31 years old, young, had a great career, passionate about advocacy and disability rights. She had a great impact on her community and even an impact on her bumble date. After the experience, he’s more communicative and direct in his dating life. This story made me so sad yet clear that it’s worth reaching out, being honest about your thoughts and feelings because life is too short. I’m afraid that my peers don’t see it that way and go about their lives swiping away and keep searching for the next best thing.

Anyways, moving on. By directly breaking up with your girlfriend/boyfriend, they will be hurt, but there is closure and it allows each party to move on swiftly and not leaving anyone clinging on to “What if I….”…”Did that thing I said…”… I’ve reached out to guys from the past, who have ghosted because they didn’t want to hurt the women they’re dating, What they don’t realize is the person they are ghosting is still getting hurt, maybe even more so because of all the confusion they leave on their ghost-bread-crumb trail. Ghosts don’t have to see the damage done. Now, ghosting is commonplace in our generation, it gives people permission to keep doing it. I don’t think the act of “ghosting” itself is new, it just has a new name and it’s more prevalent than ever thanks to the Tinder Generation.

A positive thought to end this post. While it absolutely, bloody sucks for the person you’re seeing to vanish without a trace. It’s your gain. Now, your friends will say “his loss…you’re wonderful etc..” Which you are, no doubt. But think about it. It’s your gain not to have someone who thinks it’s acceptable behaviour to go and vanish on another person. This shows two things; one, that they are lacking in the empathy department and two, they won’t be there for you when push comes to shove. Two things you shouldn’t even need to ask for in a relationship. Reflect on what you’ve learned from the experience and shift your negative feelings to gratitude. Now you’re rid of Casper, focus on creating magical experiences in your life with people who love you. Focus on learning and growing, invest in yourself and shift the time you spent worrying about the Ghost onto yourself and filling your life with vitality.

Check out the Why Oh Why Podcast for more ghosting stories.


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