Gone are the days when ghosts were apparitions of the dead here to haunt us, because, due to the popularization of online dating, ghosts now live among us haunting us over text. If you’re confused you’re not alone. Ghosting is a word that has come out of the online dating sphere that has become quite popular. So, let’s jump right into things and find out the meaning of ghosting.
What is Ghosting?
According to Urban Dictionary’s top definition of Ghosting is;
“When a person cuts off all communication with their friends or the person they’re dating, with zero warning or notice beforehand.”
The expression is derived from the idea that these people are disappearing, or becoming invisible, like a ghost. Ghosting is only getting more prevalent, according to a YouGov poll, 30% of US adults admit to having ghosted before. Ghosters don’t announce they are about to disappear, and with text messaging so prominent in dating nowadays it’s easier than ever to ignore someone’s last message and move on with your life all behind the safety of your screen You avoid accountability and let’s face it, the awkwardness, of rejecting someone to their face.
However, nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a ghosting scenario, so how do we avoid it? First, we’ll need to know how to spot it before it happens. Here are the 7 telltale signs you’re about to get ghosted.
The 7 Signs You’re About to Be Ghosted
If you’ve been ghosted (or have been the ghoster) before you no doubt are familiar with many of these signs. Know how to spot them as they are happening, and once you’ve identified them you may be able to curb the behavior.
Slower Response Time
Let’s be clear, if someone is slow to respond does not mean they are planning on cutting you out of their life. Some people are slow texters. What you should be looking for is someone that started out as a timely texter who is now taking twice or three times as long to respond to texts. If they are consistently slower at texting back now than before and there is no reason why then they are purposefully slowing down their response speed. Whether it is subconscious or not, they are distancing themselves from the conversation, preparing themselves mentally for the ghosting.
Shorter & Less Detailed Messages
Another sign of ghosting is when their messages get consistently shorter, it feels harder to get basic information from them, and they seem less interested in your messages. It shows that they are pulling away by growing further and further apart from you. This may be one of the most frustrating signs that they are ghosting you because it can feel like you are having a conversation with yourself at times.
You’re always the one initiating contact
Does it feel like you’re always the one initiating the conversation? If the person you are texting is never initiating the chat it is not a good sign, especially if they are on their phone a lot. You should make sure that the people you care about are reaching out to you as well and that your relationships aren’t one-way streets.
Your conversations have no concrete beginning or end
If the person you are talking to never says “Goodnight”, “Goodbye”, “Hello”, or “Good morning”, and come and leave as they please in your texts this is not a good sign. People who ghost, whether it is conscious or unconscious, try to detach from the conversation. By making your texts as casual as possible they likely feel less attached and less guilty for ghosting.
Never fully agreeing to anything or making loose plans is another way that ghosters avoid getting tied up in the conversation. If you ask them to go get a coffee sometime, they might respond with something like “Sounds fun”, but when pressed to actually go through with that plan they will change the subject. If you try making plans with someone and they act interested, but ultimately don’t make an effort, it may be a sign that they are ghosting you.
Super Responsive at the Beginning
If you are thinking “No way they would ghost me, they were so interested in me at the beginning”, we’ve got some bad news. A ghost wants to know that you are into them, and once they know that they will begin the ghosting. They like the chase, perhaps a little too much. Ghosts will put in as much effort as it takes to know that you are interested, and then stop putting in any effort.
They’re only interested in sex
The two main things many people who ghost want are…
- …to know that you’re interested in them.
- …a quick and easy hookup.
If they use every conversation to comment on your body or are quick to make everything sexual they may not have the best of intentions when it comes to your long-term relationship.
How to avoid getting ghosted
Now that you know how to spot ghosting before it happens, avoiding it should be easy. There are three easy to remember steps to avoid getting ghosted.
1. Be able to spot the ghosting signs
Know when someone is not treating you with the respect you deserve. Being able to spot ghosting behavior is an important step in avoiding it. It also does not hurt to talk about it. If someone starts texting less frequently with shorter texts ask them about it. Addressing the symptoms may make things uncomfortable but it can also help you two see eye-to-eye.
2. Don’t fall into their trap
If the person you are talking to is using all the familiar tricks and you can sense they are going to ghost, don’t play into it. If they feel like you are no longer interested in them they’ll think twice about disappearing. They want what they can’t have so make sure they cannot have you unless they treat you with respect. If they change the topic to talk about something sexual change the topic right back, see how they react. If they try to make your texts more casual ask to FaceTime or call them. Take back the control!
3. Know when to ghost
If the person you are talking to continues to show that they don’t respect you, and you can sense that they only want you the confidence boost and a hookup, walk away. They are not worth your time. Everyone deserves respect, and even though you may be into them, or a good friend of theirs, you should know when to move on from toxic relationships in your life. The third step in avoiding getting ghosted is to ghost them first.
Tips for dealing with ghosting
The most important thing to remember when it comes to ghosting is that you are not getting ghosted for something you did, it has everything to do with the person ghosting you. If you’re worried that you may not be an interesting texter try using one of our conversation starters or find out how to be a better flirt over text. It is important to remember your worth, and not let anyone use you to boost their own confidence and then ghost you. It is equally as important to not blame yourself if this does happen to you.
With ghosting on the rise, it is crucial to be able to spot the signs that you are about to be ghosted, and not give in to their tricks. If you do get ghosted, happily move on with your life knowing that you’re better off.
Ghosts are supposed to be scary, but ghosting doesn’t have to be. Make sure you know how to deal with it when it happens to you.