THE YEAR OF THE GHOST

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Submitted Date 02/22/2019
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It seems to be that people tend to lean towards becoming a ghost in relationships rather than communicating. Why is that now deemed an ‘easier’ route?

I’ll say it, I am someone who needs communication, and I seldom understand why anyone would not or would opt out from it, even if their reasonings involve avoiding rejection, etc.

I mean, I have a degree in human communication, and my class would always joke about how much we need to communicate. But that’s just me.

And yes, I need to have communication in a relationship. I don’t like letting things to just ‘sit’, I don’t like not talking through problems, I like treating them head-on. And I get the negatives that can come with this, because I understand that people also need time to process things and their own feelings rather than communicate with the other party right away, but why are we ghosting?

To ‘ghost’ someone, as some may not know, is to basically become a ghost in an established relationship; to disappear without saying anything. The ultimate “fuck you” to closure, to communication, to anyone else’s regard to their feelings.

It happens a lot in the dating world, as I’ve observed, as pop culture has turned it into a thing, a word.

Ghosting is selfish.

Ghosting is stupid.

Ghosting is cowardly.

And I hate it.

And no, I am not perfect, I've done it, too.

But I’ve done this to people who I just met. To people who don’t even know me that well, who don’t know where I live, my job, my likes, dislikes, my favorite color and foods, and the stupid stuff I do in my downtime. I do it to people who have no value to me and who I don’t see putting value into my life or my time, and frankly I don't want to waste their time either, so I cut them off. These are people I meet at bars, through friends, people who probably have given me a good impression enough to swap numbers or see one more time, and people who have probably let me down the second or third time (rarely a third time) to where I just don’t care anymore.

In the dating world, it’s a thing. And not to sound too brash, but I guess I don’t have the energy to explain to each person why it is that I want to cut ties or not see them again, and I know, it’s selfish. But I also want to put out there that when you are dating, there is nothing wrong with being selfish for your own self. You do you. Find what you want and don’t let anyone waste your time, right?

But what if it’s someone you’ve known for a long time? Someone you’ve seen many times and established at least some sort of foundation with? What if it’s only a small ghosting session where this person comes back into your life later? When it’s convenient or weeks or months after they said they needed that ‘time’ to ‘think’?

I mean, come on, I’ve known people who have been ghosted after meeting someone’s parents! That’s just cruel to not talk through it, is it not? Am I wrong? Am I just needy in the communication area because my class and all other polar-opposite people majoring in different subjects agreed to?

I think in the dating world where we now have an abundance of apps like Tinder or OkCupid, what is it, farmers meet dot com or Christian mingle? Dating apps for basically anyone and anything, the initial connection is so easy to make, and so I feel that that translates to cutting off a relationship as just as easy. Just like a swipe to the left, it’s as easy to just “unmatch” with someone. Out of sight, out of mind. Apps like these already turn people in pictures and digitals to swipe on, things that don’t manifest any real meaning or remind us that hi, these pictures are of real people with real feelings, that ghosting someone seems just as emotionless as a first ‘swipe’.

And it happens in the real world just the same, so I still don’t get it.

I know, I know, breaking up is hard to do. People don’t want to deal with first, talking about their own feelings, they don’t want to be in the receiving end of a probable negative response or reaction from the other, and they don’t want to deal with the emotion of it, I guess it’s just too unbearable for this generation?

It’s just angering to me that we have come this far to essentially dehumanize people into just moments or fleeting feelings that others think they can fade away from or ghost, and then move on to the next person.

It makes sense to me why there’s also just been a lack of respect in so many relationships when ghosting is so common among others in the dating scene. Ghosting is a complete lack of respect. If you can do that, therefore proving you never truly cared about the person you spent so much time with, then where goes the respect in an established relationship? Is it just doomed to either partner becoming a ghost?

It’s like no one deserves even an acknowledgment of the time that was spent together. Just to say it was nice, but it’s not going to work out is apparently the scariest thing there is. I personally feel like this mindset seeps into other aspects of life. The number of times I’ve seen past coworkers in different jobs just leave instead of staying for two weeks or committing to it is immense.

Maybe every kind of connection is just predetermined to be doomed by something that has turned into a “norm”. Maybe I’m too pessimistic. I’ve just seen it happen all too often. I think we can all agree that it’s the easy way out, and I’m not sure at what cost because of how I’ve seen this mindset seep into professional relationships, too. I just feel like a lot of connections have turned into this looming ending of it being a waste of time and effort when you’re not sure if you’re already dealing with a ghoster.

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