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Is Ghosting the New Goodbye?

I was “ghosted” recently. And it got me questioning: “What’s up with ghosting?”

It all started when I was approached by a dating prospect who came on very strong. In our initial conversations, he stated his intentions very clearly: “I want to date you. I want to be with you. Let’s be in a relationship.”

And while part of me appreciated his candor and eagerness, another part of me was creeped out by his early devotion: “You don’t know me to want me. You’re pressed. Slow your roll, champ.”

So, I sought a way to test how true these statements were.

“Do you really want to be with me? Well, I’m celibate and plan to be until I’m married. Do you still want to be with me?”

Hoping to scare him off, I stated my position and gave him a clear out. I gave him the chance to say, “No, actually. I don’t want to be with you or any woman I’m not having sex with. I respect you but I don’t want to date you.” I gave him a chance to be honest. I gave him a chance to formally say goodbye.

Did he take that chance? Of course not.

He instead responded with, “That doesn’t bother me at all. I want to court you. I’m trying to see where this is going without sex. Let’s do this.”

Shocked by this latest admission, I thought, “Okay, maybe this guy is for real. Maybe he does want to be with me. Maybe I should give him a chance.”

Those thoughts were quickly dashed as the very next day, he stopped texting me, calling me or interacting with me. Just completely stopped. He disappeared as quickly as he came into my life. And there I found myself unceremoniously ghosted.

Now, please understand, I wasn’t actually interested in this person nor had I spent enough time with him to develop feelings that could have been hurt by this action, so that’s not why I question it. I’m just confused as to why he couldn’t have honestly answered the question. I made it so easy for him to just say goodbye, but he chose to ghost me instead. Is that dating in 2019?

But before I get too self-righteous and hypocritically knock him for his actions, I must take the log out of my own eye (Matthew 7:5) and be honest that I’ve ghosted people, too. In similar ways and circumstances. So, my question changes from “Why did he ghost me,” to “Why do we ghost each other?”

Honestly, the only answer I can find is: ghosting is easier than saying goodbye. Having a direct conversation with someone to state why you’re leaving their life or why this goodbye is necessary is just plain hard. It’s a level of maturity and compassion most of us don’t possess. I know I don’t. So as we languish in emotional immaturity, I guess ghosting becomes the 2019 goodbye.

Lourdes Anita


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