being ghosted

Have you ever been ghosted? Are you a ghoster? This week I’m talking about the bizarre phenomenon of ghosting in the dating scene.

I’m so interested in this phenomenon from a psychological standpoint. It’s not hard to believe the prevalence of ghosting, especially in this day and age when so much of our interactions and communications are not taking place in person. It’s both easy to ghost because you can choose to just stop contacting someone, but it’s also hard because your activity is all over social media and the internet.

What is the psychology of suddenly ceasing communication with someone? What are the consequences of hoping the person will get the hint instead of having a conversation with them and being honest? Listen in to find out why ghosting has become so common and the signs that someone is about to ghost.

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“Ghosting is one of the cruelest forms of torture that dating itself can serve up.” – Terri Cole

Show Notes:

  • What is ghosting?
  • What does ghosting mean for our human interactions
  • How online life has changed human behavior
  • What are the ramifications of ghosting
  • How we are desensitized to pain
  • Why it’s disrespectful to ghost
  • What are the warning signs that someone’s going to ghost

Seven Signs that Someone is Going to Ghost:

    1. They never initiate contact
    2. They disappear from the app or site
    3. They always cut your get togethers short
    4. They’re always super busy
    5. They avoid answering your questions
    6. Texts keep getting shorter
    7. They start lying or having far fetched excuses

“Social rejection activates the same pain pathways in the brain as physical pain.” – Terri Cole

Links Mentioned:

“I’m curious to know if you have been the one doing this and how you feel about it.” – Terri Cole

 

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  1. Oh, I have an intersting ghosting story. The guy I met was very non chalant about getting my attention. He friended me then began to show his interest from a distance. Then slowly pulled himself closer to me. He began to tell me how he gets attached to people. He doesnt like being alone. Odd things like that. He also Commented in how very pretty I was. How he was drawn to my personality. We did seem to have a magnetic connection. The thing that was weird for me was before I even gave him a thought or even realized I liked him. I had a dream we kissed. I woke up like, what? No way? He was not my type. Well, after about three months of him showing up to my work just chit chatting as a customer I started to hang out with him here and there. We spent time together for the next three months. Then one night, I texted him telling him the closer we tried to get it seem like the further we were getting, he agreed. He said he was busy and at that time couldn’t talk. He never texted me so I never texted him. It has been almost nine months. I do wonder but Im not devastated or anything. I did begin to like him. Reflecting, he did seem off after I took my wall down. He would pull me in and then distance only to return. He would run hot and cold. I never let myself get attached. I observed and enjoyed time spent with him. BUT, We eventually ended up ghosting eachother. Well, I did initiate an attempt to talk with him with my last text. I was not going to chase after him! I was more like … well, bye!

    1. Thank you for sharing your insightful story here with us, Kateri! He sounds like someone with intimacy issues -or who is ‘insecurely attached’ meaning, he like the chase but actual intimacy may create feelings of being suffocated. If you look up articles on ‘attachment theory’ you can read more. You handled yourself like a pro! Thanks for being here 😉

  2. I was dating someone for a year everything seem great never had a fight or an argument then I noticed her distant so I asked if something was wrong she said she was going threw personal issues with dad being sick which I understand but when she became more distant I asked ok is there something wrong which she responded I hope you don’t get upset or hate me and bang she ghosted me do you think this ghosting has to do with cheating and not being held responsible or not confronting the person or just them being not straightforward and just ending a relationship like an adult.

    1. Jose,
      It is so hard to guess at the reason for someone choosing ghosting over talking like adults. Better to know what they are capable of-sooner than later. Now you might be more dialed into the signs of a potential ghoster BEFORE getting too attached. Sending you strength and good energy to move on 😉

  3. I believe that (ghosting) is what is happening to me right now, haven’t heard from him in a month (he’s 75 and I am 67). We have been together for 16 month. Last time we were together I met his daughter. I am not a needy, nagging, whining controlling woman and we have never had an argument. Things are always good with us, I have given him space to figure things out because I really feel he was getting feelings for me, he said I am the whole package, an amazing woman and he is proud of me. So I don’t know what to think, I keep writing my thoughts down just to vent without annoying my friends and it makes me feel better. I have a feeling I will hear from him after a while and then I will have a chat with him calmly about this. If something has changed I would prefer he “grow a pair” and just let me know.

    1. Ann,
      I feeeeeeeel you! Your insight is great and your ability to tolerate your own feelings speaks to the self development work you have done. Sounds like the daughter thing may have been some kind of trigger. Sending you great energy for a speedy and satisfying resolution xo

  4. I was just ghosted a month ago, by a young man who seemed so interested in me …. we had met very briefly on a mountain out west some months earlier and he seemed drawn to me and wanted to get together — since we were in different states, we were almost entirely texting (I might add he was much younger) … I wasn’t sure why he was drawn to me so much, but I asked, and accepted and really opened myself up emotionally …. then, just as he was to come down to NYC to get together his “car wouldn’t start” — I did believe him — but the next week it seemed like he was coming, and then the next , and then he stopped communicating …. funny, your video on “ghosting” came to me a week later …. just at the right time …. It was difficult, and a loss … but I am getting over it… My question is …. is it valuable (for me … I don’t care about him much anymore .).. but valuable for me to kind of call him on it — to call and see his explanation to help put some closure on it in a more positive way?? or just move on ?? we had seemed so connected (though words are cheap) — and it seems a shame to have such a nice experience leave such bad memories

    1. Laura,
      Thank you for a great Q. I think it would be valuable for you to communicate your disappointment in how he handled it. You shared a nice texting connection which it sounds like you both enjoyed. Disappearing like that is unnecessary and unkind. I think speaking authentically would be valuable for you, mama xo

  5. I’ve been ghosted numerous times and it is very painful. I appreciate your description of it as physical pain because some friends just blow it off and say “it’s not like y’all were in a serious relationship.” However, it’s more than that. It’s the social rejection that causes you to look at yourself and criticize yourself. What’s wrong with me? Am I not pretty enough? Am I not skinny enough? Did I say something? Yada yada. Now because I’ve been ghosted I always try my best to be honest with men when they ask for more of my time and let them know I’m not interested. Some men are persistent and that’s when I’ll “ghost” them which sometimes includes having to block their number. Maybe only twice have I ever just ghosted someone, not to justify it but that came before any promises of dating or creating a future. I recently heard a great analogy to this online dating phenomenon and that it has created a Vegas mentality in many of us, men and women. You meet someone who you’re interested in and would likely be a good fit but there’s hundreds of other humans at your fingertips that might be just a little bit better.

    Looking forward to part two.

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