We're talking ghosts, and not the friendly kind like your bro Casper.
Nah, this is the type of ghost that suddenly disappears when you're dating or getting to know them, leaving you gutted, confused and fully freaking out about what it all means.
If you haven't been on the emotional rollercoaster of thinking every buzz from your phone is a message from your crush, only to find it's a notification about half price pizzas from Dominos, you're lucky.
There's a special kind of pain that comes with getting ghosted which makes it different from a 'regular' break up. The worst part is, because you have no answers, you often end up blaming yourself and thinking you must have done something to drive the person away.
Here's the tea, though: It's not you, it's them.
Why do people ghost?
Psych Central asked a bunch of experts in the US about why people might do this, and they reckoned the main reasons were: Convenience of technology, fear of hurting you, low emotional intelligence, mental health issues and insecure attachment styles.
Of course, there's the odd time where something really massive and maybe really bad has happened in that person's life, but that's not usually what's up.
Trust me, I onced googled 'UK backpacker missing NZ' after a British guy I had been on a few dates with didn't reply to my messages, but he was fine, he was just ✨ghosting me✨.
What should you do if you get ghosted?
Understand that while the ghoster probably made you feel small and unimportant, they're actually the ones that don't have a handle on their emotions and can't figure out how to deal.
Whatever their reasons for cutting things off in such a shady way - you've legit dodged a bullet. You deserve someone who takes your feelings into account and loves themself enough to communicate clearly, even when it's not comfy.
Rid yourself of any blame or shame - this kind of behaviour is all too common in 2023, and it's no reflection on who you are. Make the call to stop giving your energy to someone who isn't giving you the time of day, and instead fill your cup with people and things you love.
How can you avoid being ghosted?
Short answer - you can't.
We can only control our own behaviour after all, but you can put a few things in place to lower the chances.
Make yourself the number one priority when you're in the dating game
Be upfront with your expectations
Don't be too reliant on messaging - make in-person plans so you can catch the vibe
Ask questions that will help you learn more about your crush and what they want
Try and keep things slow and steady at the start
And if you get the feeling you're *this close* to getting ghosted because the communication is slowing waaaay down, try sending a message like this:
"Hey, I just wanted to check in because I'm kinda sensing you're not interested in taking this any further - if that's the case, can you let me know?"
If you can't stop checking your phone, chuck it at the back of your wardrobe for a min and remember you're in charge of your feelings and you have a say in how you run your love life!
Anyone keen for a half price pizza right about now?
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