Relationships and Romance

What’s the Problem with Ghosting Anyway?

Moderately unpopular opinion time: In the modern world of dating, “ghosting” doesn’t deserve its bad rep.

Bear with me on this. I’m not encouraging ghosting. If you’ve at least met the person face to face, you probably should let that person know that you aren’t feeling the love. However, if you haven’t even met yet, why do you have an obligation to tell this person why you’ve stopped replying to their messages?

Scenario A

I’m online dating for the first time. I’m talking to this guy who seems nice, when suddenly he makes a pretty inflammatory political statement that makes it obvious we are not going to gel. I try to do the polite thing and wish him well on his future dating while informing him that I’m not interested in meeting up or chatting more.

His response? Anger.

Most of the women I’ve discussed this scenario with have a similar story. I got a vitriol filled response about how I’m not attractive enough for him anyway (false), how I’m just a slut (false and illogical), and how I couldn’t possibly know that I don’t want to get to know him better because I haven’t given him enough time (also false). In one single message he presented these angry, rude, and contradictory statements.

It pissed me off, and I’m ashamed to say that I responded with harsh, cool logic and disdain before blocking him, thus giving him more attention than he deserved.

Scenario B

I’m in high school. My best friend sets me up with a guy she kind of knows through another friend. It doesn’t take long before he becomes pushy. On a “double date” that consists of the four of us watching a movie in his basement, he tries to prevent me from leaving his house because he thinks he deserves some action. We’d just met, I was 16, and I had no intention of hooking up with him. When I finally manage to escape the situation, I cry all the way home and miss my curfew for the first and only time of my life.

I stop taking his calls, but he doesn’t stop calling. He gets my home number and starts calling the house at all hours. My parents talk to a lawyer about getting a restraining order. I think every day about how lucky I am that he doesn’t know where I live, and I fear that he’ll figure it out. One day, the calls stop. But for at least two summers I panicked at the thought of driving past the pool where he worked.

Scenario C

I go out with this guy that I am really into. I find him super attractive and our conversation just flows. We’ve been texting for a couple months, and after a handful of dates, I feel like he might be boyfriend material. Our first kiss is movie-level romantic–under a street light as it’s beginning to snow. Then out of nowhere he makes an unbearably crude joke, flat out telling me that he’s only sticking around for the potential of sex. I’m not unreasonable. I tell him that his joke was inappropriate and give him the opportunity to apologize. He doesn’t. When he wants to hang out next, I tell him I’m busy, and I stop replying.

 

In advice blogs and forums, I am constantly seeing how ghosting is the worst thing you can do. But after reading the above scenarios, can you really blame a girl for not responding when things go sour? The odds are not in our favor. Dealing with irrational anger and stalker-level activity is flat-out scary.

I do my dirty work. I complete my break ups. I give people closure. But when it comes to modern dating in the digital era, I just don’t see why I have to tell HunkyDude8387 why I stopped answering his painfully boring conversational attempts. Or LoverBoy27762 why I’m not replying to his obviously copied and pasted messages. I definitely don’t see why I have to endanger my safety on the off chance the guy isn’t as bad as he seems.

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