All Women's Talk

The 17 Stages of Ghosting on a Relationship ...

By Lyndsie

Ghosting. It's a divisive subject. Some people think it's the worst thing you can do to someone else – just fading away into the ether. Other people understand that, sometimes, ghosting is the only way. I think most of us have probably done this to someone – a date, a lover, a friend, an acquaintance. It happens. There are times when you just cannot handle the direct confrontation of telling someone you don't want them in your life any longer. Some people make it impossible to walk away. Hell, I ghosted on a former girlfriend who was a very toxic presence in my life – that happened almost ten years ago and she just Instastalked me. Ghosting happens, there are dozens of reasons why, but the whole process typically goes a little something like this …

Table of contents:

  1. You've found that you have absolutely nothing in common
  2. They start blowing up your phone before you've even met
  3. You've googled them and … nope!
  4. Each time you make plans with this new person, you cancel
  5. You feel guilty about canceling on them
  6. So you make plans again …
  7. … however, you are socially anxious and end up canceling again
  8. You don't know why you are still talking to them
  9. You don't talk about anything important
  10. You end up as texting buddies for a little
  11. Until you realize that you can't talk to them about anything deep
  12. Because you hate confrontation …
  13. You've decided ghosting is better
  14. First, you stop responding to their texts
  15. … then their phone calls
  16. … then everything on social media, until they begin to pick up the hint
  17. Then you still feel guilty … but secretly free!

1 You've Found That You Have Absolutely Nothing in Common

It happens. It can happen right away or over time, but it does happen. Ghosting may pop up as a possibility because you realize that you have nothing to say to the person you're with … and you're not particularly interested in anything they have to say, either.

2 They Start Blowing up Your Phone before You've Even Met

Why do people do this? Do they think they get a point for every message they send or call they make? Even if someone is worried that you're avoiding them, do they really think that blowing up your phone will endear them to you? Seriously?

3 You've Googled Them and … Nope!

Nope, nope, nope. You're ready to just nope right out of that situation.

4 Each Time You Make Plans with This New Person, You Cancel

This is not just a sign that ghosting is probably imminent, it's also a sign that maybe you don't want to chill with your potential new partner.

5 You Feel Guilty about Canceling on Them

Not guilty enough to stop canceling, though. It's amazing how often guilt makes us do things we know we don't want to do, just because we don't want to hurt someone else. That's admirable, but remember this: you deserve to be happy, too, and sometimes it will be at the expense of someone else's happiness. It happens. It sucks, but it does happen.

6 So You Make Plans Again …

Every single time. You decide to give it another second shot.

7 … However, You Are Socially Anxious and End up Canceling Again

Because you know the feelings just aren't there. The only problem is that, being socially awkward or introverted or even simply scared about the prospect of rejecting someone, you can't just come out and say so.

8 You Don't Know Why You Are Still Talking to Them

Guilt. It's probably guilt.

9 You Don't Talk about Anything Important

You don't even know how to approach important topics with this person. It's like there's no there there, if you will.

10 You End up as Texting Buddies for a Little

Texting is safe and easy, after all, and it doesn't really require much of a commitment.

11 Until You Realize That You Can't Talk to Them about Anything Deep

The waters here are so shallow that you can barely get your feet wet.

12 Because You Hate Confrontation …

Hate it. Hate it with the passion of a thousand fiery suns.

13 You've Decided Ghosting is Better

Maybe it's mean, maybe it's rude, maybe it's unfair, but ghosting puts your anxiety at ease. It's the only way you feel comfortable

14 First, You Stop Responding to Their Texts

You may justify to yourself by saying that you're busy or don't have time, but you know the truth.

15 … then Their Phone Calls

You don't exactly do well with talking on the phone, anyway. It's quite possible that you get a sick feeling in the pit your stomach every time the phone rings.

16 … then Everything on Social Media, until They Begin to Pick up the Hint

By this point, you want to mail the hint to them directly. Or hit them in the face with it.

17 Then You Still Feel Guilty … but Secretly Free!

It's over! It's finally over! You're a ghost!

Good or bad, agree or disagree, ghosting happens. Have you ever done it?

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