Ghosting, The Relationship Problem | Long Distance Edition
At this point, if you have never heard of the term “Ghosting” then that's a good thing. In our society it has become increasingly apparent that relationships are not what they used to be; but whether that is a good or bad thing has yet to be fully determined.
Currently, our dating culture has seen several positive changes, including the pool of eligible candidates increasing vastly, the likelihood to meet someone that holds similar interests and values to you has also increased. Additionally, it has become much easier to start the overall dating process, for both men and women, as the initial pressure of meeting someone face-to-face is now alleviated.
On the other hand, a negative and also fairly new term residing on social media is the notion of ghosting someone.
Ghosting is defined as “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”
At first, most people thought that ghosting was only reserved for the online dating community. This is due to the fact that apps such as Tinder and Hinge, where people could swipe left and right and have a variety of conversations with various amounts of people, made it almost inevitable that proper communication would fail. Instead of someone openly conversing that they are no longer interested, people opted to simply end the conversation by cutting off all forms of communication with no prior indication. This is because these apps provide nothing but options.
Now we know, earlier in this blog we mentioned that increased options was a positive, but there are two sides to this story. Due to the fact that there are so many options, this has now created the paradox of choice or choice overload.
Choice overload: "The tendency for people to get overwhelmed when they are presented with a large number of options, often used interchangeably with the term paradox of choice".
Essentially, because people know that even if, for example, they stop talking to “Suzy”, they still have “Beth, Carly, and Heather” in separate chats to speak with. At this point, it’s a numbers game and unless everyone on the dating apps is looking for quality, they will be happy just knowing that they have quantity. Generally, social media has already significantly changed how we communicate with each other. For example, instead of asking someone how they are, you could simply press a heart on their stories and this communicates to them that you see what they're doing and that you like it; but all of this requires no words to be spoken between the two parties.
Thus, the subtle ways in which we are changing how we communicate with each other online is also presenting itself with how we communicate with each other offline. Unfortunately, this has now elevated to the point where communication has severely died, and a new phenomenon called ghosting has been normalized.
Now as most people know, ghosting goes beyond online dating apps and we are now at a point where people will be ghosted even in their own relationships. You could be dating someone for months, years, or decades and all of a sudden find yourself in a position where they have dropped all forms of communication with you and sadly this happens more often than one may think.
Now imagine being ghosted by your significant other AND you are in a long-distance relationship. Sounds like a horrible experience. Now being ghosted is horrible in general, but at the bare minimum, if the person you are dating lives close to you, you can show up at their house and get answers (not saying we are recommending for you to do this though). However, if you are living in different countries, or continents it'll be very challenging for you to be able to find somebody that does not want to be found. Especially since phones can only go so far. You can be blocked on all social media, blocked from texting, and blocked from calling, emailing, or from any other apps used to communicate with that person. If someone does not want you to communicate with them, they can make it really hard for you to do so.
*At this point in the blog, we want to provide a disclaimer. We’ve seen several social commentaries or online posts providing advice on what you should do if your partner of a serious committed relationship suddenly ghosts you. Unfortunately, as no one online knows your relationship, you or your partner giving general advice is not only hard but can lead your situation to become far worse. Therefore, we want all our readers to take our opinions as only opinions and not as facts. As we do not know your situation and we are not trained professionals, therefore if you require help, we encourage you to speak with a licensed specialist/ professional.
Now if your significant other has ghosted you, we can imagine that the first reaction would be concern. Is your partner not messaging you because they're hurt? Did something happen? Are they OK?
The next stage would be to discover that your significant other is actually OK and instead they've just ill-informed you of the end of their relationship. Or in plain terms, they’ve ghosted you.
At this third stage, we’ve seen quite a few blogs mention that you should not overanalyze the situation. Don't try to figure out why that person did what they did. However, we slightly disagree. To the best of your ability try to understand what happened; this whole situation may seem completely out of the blue but if you take the time to think about it, you might be able to construct some theories. However, there are always exceptions to this. For example, if your ex-partner cheated and had a whole secret life that you didn't know about, it will be very hard for you to piece that together by yourself. Therefore, the type of situation we are speaking about is where you could feel unease, but nothing was done about it. For instance, they would say things to you like: “long distance just doesn't seem for me” and, “I can't do this anymore.” Now we agree for you to not over-analyze but you should try to take some time to understand why things happened as they did.
Now, we are not saying all of this for you to start blaming yourself, instead, we are saying this not only for you to understand what happened but for you to also start trusting and listening to gut feelings and signs when things are not okay. At the end of the day, if your significant other chooses to ghost you, that is a selfish action on them. If they chose to leave without proper communication, take this time to focus on you and whether you need to meditate, journal, or seek therapy, narrow down and create your theories on why you think the situation ended as it did, and then use that your steppingstone to move on; because unfortunately, if this is the way your partner treated you it is unlikely you'll ever get closure from them. Thus, you must create and develop the type of closure you need to be able to move on and grow as a person.
We know this is a much easier thing to say than do, but we understand that when you’ve truly give your heart and loved a person so deeply, for them to turn their back on your like this is painful; but that is why we think it is so important for your to acknowledge who this person really is. They have shown you who they truly are and now you simply have to believe them. You will need to recognize that the person you thought you were dating no longer exist, because under the layers of sweet, loving, and kind words that your significant other said, was a person that only fed you what you wanted to hear and when times became hard, their pretty lies has now turned into silence.
We want all our readers to grow and become stronger over time; therefore, we encourage you to talk to somebody, and or seek professional help if you can. If you cannot, hopefully, you can turn to a family member or friend that you severely trust, and most importantly, don't let this situation deter you and make you give up on love. At the end of the day, there's a variety of reasons as to why people will ghost, but for your situation, all you need to know is that it wasn't your fault.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed this blog!
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