Wifeys & Gentlemen,
Originally today, I wanted to write a post about family and the ways in which our family members CAN play a huge part in making or breaking our romantic relationships. But wifeys, I have been distracted! & although this will be a short(er) ‘n’ sweet post (your girl is wicked busy and exhausted this week), I wanted to take a quick minute to alert my wifeys about a new (or maybe not so new, depending on how ‘with-the-times’ you are) relationship phenomenon that has been occurring rather frequently with the millennial generation (and some others, I’m sure).
Do let me know if I am just super late to the game, but have you guys ever heard of something called ‘ghosting’? No? Well let me tell you, from what I have heard/read it is an inelegant form of breaking up that has apparently become a popular option for men and women alike (as if the usual text message isn’t douchey enough, right?).
The term is pretty self-explanatory, instead of engaging in the standard, modern break-up behavior, a person decides to fade (however quickly or slowly) themselves from their partner’s life without much (if any) warning. The reasons for this type of behavior vary, but I think I have managed to narrow down the basics and will share them with you here. Be warned, I am not very knowledgeable on this subject yet, so a lot of this material is opinion and speculation…but sometimes, if I have a thought, I like to go with it. So feel free to chime in if you have opinions as well ;-).
From what I can understand, there are 3 basic types of “ghosts”:
1. The Slow Fader
This type of ghost takes his/her time when deciding to back out of a relationship. No matter how long they have been with their partner or how serious their relationship is (was), over a non-specified period of time, this person will make themselves less and less available until their S/O simply does not hear from them or see them anymore.
It might start with little things; they don’t return some text messages or take a long time respond, they miss a few phone calls or “forget” about a date they made. Maybe they go to a party with friends and neglect to invite their partner along? Soon, that partner will notice that they don’t really see this ghost more than once or twice a week. Before they know it, this partner can’t really be found. They have stopped responding and coming around all together.
You’ll notice, when dealing with this type of ghost, trying to communicate with them will prove impossible and pointless.& while they have never taken the time to formally say “I am breaking up with you”, the message should be pretty clear after a certain point. Essentially, they have ceased all contact and no one, not even your mutual friends, will really be able to shed any light on what happened. Everyone ignores it and hopes that you will too. While this might not seem like the harshest way to end a relationship, there is no doubt that this person leaves you feeling confused, hurt, and totally left in the cold.
The lack of closure makes it hard for even the most resilient of us to move forward, and many victims describe feeling paralyzed by their confusion, having a hard time trusting future lovers.
2. The Cutthroat Ditcher
Speaking of cold, this next type of ghost does not make any pretense nor does he/she waste their time with a “slow fade” approach. It’s like one moment you are speeding down the highway at 60 mph and the next, he/she has slammed the breaks, opened the door, and rolled out of the now totaled vehicle, leaving you inside!
Don’t believe me? In one man’s rather heartbreaking description, he tells a story about his 8 month relationship with his boyfriend. Sometime after Thanksgiving, he and his boyfriend spent a great family weekend together to celebrate the holidays. Things seemed to go well and his family really enjoyed the boyfriend’s company. Literally (yes, literally) by the very NEXT Monday, he was shocked to discover that his love was no longer responding to texts messages (even though he read them), no longer returning phone calls, and no longer making any effort to see or spend time with him. He was, at first, worried; assuming someone in his family has said something offensive or that he himself had done something wrong. He tried to give his boyfriend some space, but after 2 weeks, he knew that things were over. He tried everything he could to reach out; even sending emails and a hand-written letter to his home. Feeling desperate, he also tried to reach out to his friends/family, all of whom either did not respond or pleaded ignorance as to what might have caused the behavior. The final straw occurred when he was turned away from the front desk of his (ex) boyfriend’s job. The sting, for him, was palpable, and he described feelings of depression for about a month.
While he understood and received the message his ex was sending. This poor guy still didn’t really understand what happened. Things were going well and suddenly, his (now ex) boyfriend, was so off-put by him that he didn’t even try to claim any of the items he’d left behind at his place. The man ended his tale, saying that 8 weeks later, he’d ran into his ex at a mutual hangout spot. Not surprisingly, they avoided each other the whole time & he decided it was “closure” enough; eventually being able to move on.
Yes this type of ghost is pretty ruthless, vanishing WITH a trace that can never truly be tracked down; leaving their partners with feelings of emptiness and desperation. Once again, the profound lack of closure would make anyone feel like they are worthless or not deserving of love and respect.
3. The Imaginary (Girl/Boy) Friend
This final ghost is much like a cutthroat ditcher with one fundamental exception; when they leave, they take everything with them. This type of ghost will change their phone number, email address, and physical location, going to great lengths to make sure they are not found. If you go to find them at work, they no longer work there. If you try to track down some of their friends, they likely can’t be reached or they pretend not to know you. No, they haven’t left any of their things at your home and I promise, you won’t accidentally run into them at a bar or a friend’s party. It’s like they don’t exist. They are dead to you and trying to reconnect with them will prove to be a difficult, if not pointless, task.
However, with this type of ghost, their intentions are not usually cruel. As I have understood it, much of the time, this person feels that their personal safety is in jeopardy and they do not want to have any ties to their relationship whatsoever. This could be the result of abuse, stalking, or some other type of perceived threat, but either way, they have decided that a formal break up would be too risky and do not want to take the chance that their (former) significant other can have further contact with them.
**Note: If someone has left you in this manner, it does NOT mean that you were abusive to them (though, it might, so do some soul searching if you can). There are still many reasons why someone might choose to behave this way, and many of them might very well have nothing to do with you.
Overall, looking at these descriptions might make you chuckle. Hell, some of you wifeys & gents might even be replaying moments where you have done this to someone in the past. Still, with the exception of Imaginary Friends (who feel threatened), it seems that this habit of ghosting a relationship is based more on narcissism and cowardice than a genuine desire to make a clean break.
In my opinion, it does not matter how long you’ve been together or how serious your relationship is, short of someone who is causing you physical or emotional harm, there is NO REASON to disrespect a person you were involved with in this manner.
I know some of you might be thinking:
“But He’s crazy! I didn’t know what else to do. He would have freaked out if I tried any other way.” or
“She’s a nice girl, I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. I just wasn’t interested and didn’t know how to tell her” or
“I found out she was cheating on me and she deserved to be dropped! If she doesn’t care about me, I don’t care about her.”
While I can understand and empathize with any of the reasons we might have to cut off a significant other, to borrow and old cliché, ‘two wrongs do not make a right’! If your partner is in some way hurtful to you, don’t they deserve to know the reasons why you can’t stay? Don’t you deserve the chance to tell them?!
If someone is too crazy, too clingy, a cheater, a liar, too boring, not attractive to you, or not keeping your interest, there is ALWAYS a way to express these thoughts and feelings like an adult, providing that person with closure and letting them know how they might improve themselves for a future relationship (not in so many words, but hopefully they get the picture).
Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that you get to bash anyone when you choose to leave them. If you are no longer attracted to your boyfriend or girlfriend, there is a nice way to let them know that you are ending the relationship because you aren’t happy anymore. Ever heard the phrase “It’s not you, it’s me?” Horrible? Yes, it is! But dear God it’s better than just disappearing on them and making them feel even more worthless than they would if you feed them a cheesy break up line.
Unless you truly fear your former love, even the “craziest” (we use this word way too often for people who aren’t actually crazy) boyfriend/girlfriend deserves to know that you are no longer interested in dating them. It’s not nice, but sending them a text message or even a lousy Facebook post would be a better gesture than just dropping off the planet, right?
Wifeys & gents, I might be alone in this, and perhaps I need to do a little more research on the subject, but at the end of the day, this just seems…wrong, doesn’t it? Anyone out there have experience with this and want to share? From either perspective, I am fascinated how anyone (again with exception of cases of domestic abuse or violence/stalking of any kind) can actually go through with this without guilt. Has anyone been dumped this way and have some deeper insight into how it feels?
Ms. Renai has officially been stumped! Hehehe…
Until Next Week,
Carry on Wifeys.