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How awesome is dating in the 21st century?
If you ask many of the single people dating today, they’ll tell you it’s brutal. That’s a quote.
Some people accept this as a given in today’s world. I, for one, refuse to accept that narrative. There is something that has been going on for a while now…a lack of communication that has become accepted as the new norm.
How did this happen? How did we get here? I can only hypothesize. So…having said that, allow me to present my case.
Let’s start at the beginning of what I believe is the start of all this.
It all seems to have begun in the early 2000s. With the advent of dating apps and social media becoming so damn popular, the feeling of anonymity and hiding behind the veil of the internet gave people the idea they could do anything without repercussions or being held accountable for their behavior.
However, are there really no repercussions?
While it is still being researched, ghosting has a lasting impact on both the one who ghosts and the ghostee (the one ghosted). The ghostee can, and usually does, experience short-term self-doubt and anxiety. They can recover and end up being stronger for going through the experience(s).
The ghoster, on the other hand, ends up with long-term, negative impacts. They tend to go through anxiety, depression, and a feeling of being a bad person. They are usually also scared to run into the person (or persons) they have ghosted.
While these are not devastating consequences, they do have the effect of having people become paranoid this will happen again to them.
This is why I am writing this piece.
In my own experience (ghosted too many times to count), I now find myself being more guarded and not taking people seriously if they show interest in getting to know me. As someone who identifies as having a fairly high level of emotional intelligence, it is a constant source of frustration that people fail to understand the aftermath of the ghosting experience.
What my experience and observations have shown me is that it can happen to anyone. Whether you’re an emotionally evolved person or someone who just goes with the flow and without reflection on the past, we all have been ghosted.
The emotional toll this takes on us is an insidious process. We may barely notice it at first because we believe we are “moving on” from the experience with no harm done to us. I ask you to check in with yourself and ask, “When someone breaks the cadence of communication we had going, do I think they’re busy or do I think I am being ghosted again?”
Should you realize you are concerned about being ghosted again, perhaps we can ask ourselves, how can we change what is happening in the world today?
We could start by asking ourselves, “Is this how we want to be seen…as someone who has no regard for how their actions affect others?” If you have ghosted people or this is how you handle difficult situations, I ask you to consider how you would feel if it happened to your best friend, child, or whoever is important to you. How do you feel about it now? Do you still think it’s okay to do this to people?
Maybe you’ve never ghosted anyone, and that is great.
While I am not an expert, I do believe we, as people who have been ghosted, should keep communicating with others and let them know how we’re feeling. Will this change the world or people’s behavior? Who knows?
It certainly couldn’t hurt.
Eventually, we can all do better. I hope you see it this way too.
Be well, and in a world where you can be anything, be kind.