Your Heart

People Who “Ghost” Are Shitty Human Beings

By January 25, 2016 2

Last year, I had a one night stand.

Normally, it’s not really my style — I’m more of a third-to-fifth-date kind of girl — but I had just broken up with someone, and I was drunk, and he was cute (all of the makings for a “let’s get out of here” scenario when the clock strikes 2am) so I invited a guy home from the bar.

We had, at least in my opinion, a great time. The sex was as fine as it could have been for a blacked-out, first time hookup, and he stuck around and hung out until 1pm the next day. We had friends in common, similar backgrounds and interests, and made each other laugh; as far as first dates go this one seemed to be going pretty well – aside from the fact that it was happening hungover, on a Sunday morning, naked in my bed. When he left, we awkwardly hugged goodbye (clothed at this point, luckily) and agreed to “talk soon.”

…. I never heard from him again.

I texted him not once, but TWICE (just in case he didn’t get the first one, but let’s be honest, he did.), and never got a response.

For the first and only time in my 24-years on this earth (the last 10 of which I’ve spent dating) I had experienced what the kids these days are calling “ghosting.”

And it SUCKED.

It left me feeling like an unwanted, undesirable, and straight up confused. 

One MILLION questions ran through my head for the better part of the next week as I tried to figure out what it was that made this guy deem me “not good enough” to bother texting back: Did I say something weird during sex? Was my morning breath bad? Did he find something creepy in my bedside table?

Considering he still, months and months and months later, hasn’t responded, I don’t think I’ll ever know what happened. And  that’s so, so shitty.

When did it become ok to just stop talking to someone you were intimate with? Someone you’ve seen naked. Someone who’s let you fuck them, who’s heard your sex noises, who’s given you an orgasm?

Before Urban Dictionary gave it a cute name, “ghosting” was simply called “ignoring people.” And it was rude.

Seriously, though — Who decided it was okay to treat each other like this? To leave another human being hanging; wondering and without answers; as a means of sparing yourself from an awkward conversation?

The other night, my boyfriend (see, I told you I wasn’t a one night stand kind of girl) and I got in a heated argument about this when he admitted that he had, more than once, ghosted girls he’d dated and didn’t want to see anymore.

“I used to ghost girls all the time,” he told me, as our Uber driver listened to me yell and lecture him about why he was basically a horrible person, “It’s honestly just easier.”

True, the fact that he straight-up ignored all these other girls definitely worked out in my favor, but still — I was pissed on their behalf.

Because how is that fair? How is it OK that you can simply not respond to someone, and expect them to understand that you’re simply… over it?

“I mean, I just wouldn’t text them back and eventually they’d get the point.” 

Ok, fine: If someone ignores me, I’m going to figure out it’s because they don’t want to talk to me. But it would save me a lot of agony if they were just upfront about what the deal was.

Because here’s the thing, ghosts: when you end something with someone this way — by simply not responding to  their texts until they get the point and leave you alone — you don’t ever have to deal with the other side of it. You can hide behind your iPhone without even having to consider the damage you’ve done by being so thoughtless. You’re safely spared from ever having to realize how much you’ve hurt a person, how incessantly they’ve tortured themselves because of what you’ve done. You don’t hear the myriad of  “why am I not good enough?” thoughts playing on a loop in her head as she wonders what the fuck she did wrong.

And while this happened to me after a random, drunken one night stand and it was awful, I’ve seen friends go through much worse. Guy’s they’ve dated, slept with and introduced to their parents have simply fallen off the planet, never to be heard from again. People they really believe they have some sort of future with just…. gone. No explanation, no nothing.

This treatment of humans isn’t limited to relationships, either. Last year, after three rounds of interviews and a very time consuming and involved edit test, a woman at a very prominent magazine simply stopped responding to my emails. There was no “I’m sorry, we’ve decided to offer the job to someone else,” or even a “thank you for your time.” There was just… silence.

And, as we all know, it’s not because they didn’t get the message. It’s 2016, and that’s just not a thing.

Our generation is constantly in touch; our fingers are tap-tapping on some semblance of a touch-screen or keyboard at all times. If my boyfriend/roommate/Candace takes more than 20-minutes to respond to a text message, I assume they’re either not speaking to me, incapacitated or dead.

So do me a favor, all you ghosts out there: grow a pair of balls and be upfront. How hard is it to send a text that says, “I had a great time, but I don’t really see this going any further”? Wouldn’t that be so much easier for everyone involved? Hell,  even LYING is better than ghosting — I would rather have someone say, “my cat died last year so I need to be alone right now” than to leave me trying to figure out if I’m ever going to hear from them again.

Because the reality is, when you ghost someone it says more about you than it does about them. It doesn’t mean they’re “unwanted” or “undesirable,” or any of the other horrible things I thought about myself when it happened to me. It means you’re selfish, immature, and a coward.

And yeah, it makes you a shitty, shitty person.


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  • Asher Leaf

    Last year I dated someone for 6 months he told me loved me, we were planning a trip to the Bahamas with his parents and then he ghosted. Never to be seen or heard from again. It’s actually the most absurd ghost story of all time. Finally he resurfaced on social media this past summer posting about his one year anniversary …. weird how he could have 1 a year anniversary when less than 6 months earlier he had been “falling in love” with me for a half year.