I am a criminal and I am here to admit my crime and also to make amends. No, I am not responsible for causing someone bodily harm. I am, however, guilty of breaking someone’s heart and expectations. I have committed the sin of ‘ghosting’.
Those of you who have suffered this unfortunate fate know just how bad it feels to be ghosted online. Suddenly, the conversations you had with a person amount to nothing and they seem to have vanished into thin air. I’ve experienced online dating ghosting in the past and I know just how bad it feels, which is what made it so much worse when I pulled the plug on this “relationship”.
So, what prompted me to partake in ghosting someone online? To be honest, it had me baffled as well. Read on to find out just why I decided it’d be best to mute, block and delete.
What Is Ghosting In Dating?
What is ghosting, you may ask. This is the act of disappearing in a phantom-like fashion from someone you are seeing and is prevalent in today’s dating culture. It is of course an unpardonable offense. And, I am guilty of it. In today’s day and age when most 20 and 30-somethings are huddled over their tech gadgets, online dating has become a common phenomenon. I am a young, attractive woman myself and it did not take too long for me to fall into this loop too.
I’d heard my friends complain about being ghosted, with visible despair on their faces. when I asked them “what is ghosting”, “what a horrible thing to do to someone!” I thought, contemplating just why this person might have decided to ghost in dating, out of the blue, without an explanation.
Little did I know I’d go from a grotesque overview on the topic to actually partake in dating ghosting. It felt bad, I’m sure it wasn’t the right thing to do, but it was such a quick and easy way out, it wasn’t too hard to opt for it.
Related Reading: When I was subjected to ‘ghosting’ in my relationship
How I met the man I’d go on to ghost online
Like many others, we met on a social networking website. Soon after getting to know each other, we began chatting all day long. Days turned to weeks and weeks to months. It was three months since we had been talking to each other. We began exchanging information beyond need and manners. Right from which shade to apply on the tip of my toenail to the different ways of bleaching his faded old shirts, we were discussing everything. It felt like I had met the right person.
Neither of us had asked the other out and no one even suggested dating. But we assumed we were a couple; I did and I knew he did too. I was very comfortable with the way things were working out for us.
He was the first person I spoke to in the morning and the last name that glistened on the surface of my mobile screen at night. My day felt incomplete without informing him of anything and everything that happened during the day and the same applied to him. We became friends, then best friends, and were slowly cozying up to becoming partners. However, all of this was happening virtually.
It was surreal how well we connected. I hadn’t experienced anything of the sort in so long that I couldn’t help but be drawn to him. While it seemed like we were dating, ghosting anybody was never on my mind. Then things took an unexpected turn and I began questioning my attachment.
Why I Ghosted The Man I Dated Online
One fine day, he suggested that we meet in person. It just happened out of the blue. He lived two hours away by flight from where I was and he offered to come over. I panicked. I am a woman who is afraid…no, the right word would be terrified to commit. It is not that I am promiscuous by nature. In fact, I am quite the opposite.
However, commitment means being vulnerable to someone. And I have systematically shut myself off emotionally from everyone around me. I wasn’t prepared to let go of this power for anyone.
Moreover, the idea of feigning attraction in an attempt to get someone into bed was nonsensical to me. I did not want to surround myself with expectations, wants, demands, disappointments and worse, heartbreak (if at all). He texted me nonstop and I began to panic even more with each passing day.
Related Reading: Is Caspering Less Brutal Than Ghosting?
In the initial stages, online dating ghosting did not cross my mind. I thought to myself “what is ghosting in dating if not cowardice?” But the days that were to follow made me realize just how big of a problem I had with opening up to anyone. Online dating ghosting then started crossing my mind more often than I’d like to admit.
Every time he reached out, I made excuses about how work was keeping me from catching up with him. I was juggling a full-time job while living alone, so this was plausible. Soon after, the momentum of our communication came to a startling halt. A week later, he thoughtfully asked if I had time for lunch one day soon – a date with a built-in timetable for a busy woman like me and he would book a flight for himself accordingly.
I blankly stared at my phone; waiting for my fingers to move and type in response until eventually I blinked and realized what had happened: I was going to commit a crime. I was a ghoster!
My incapability to give him a reason for my resistance took over, and I decided ghosting in online dating is now the best course of action. I convinced myself by saying that he just wouldn’t have understood my reasons in the first place, so there was no option other than to partake in online dating ghosting.
Related Reading: How To Respond To Ghosting Without Losing your Sanity?
I had known the man for four months and we had gotten pretty close. However, my fear of commitment drove me away from him in a flash. Today, months since I committed the sin, I suddenly felt a pang of guilt within me. Should I apologize to him for what I have done or would it hurt him even more for coming back into his life, merely for an apology, only to disappear once again? Perhaps he is already over me or maybe he never really was that interested? Will I ever find out? I wonder.
Unfortunately, online dating ghosting is now all too common. Be it after 4 hours of conversation or a more painful 4 months of conversation, opting for the easy way out has never been more tempting. People now use ghosting in online dating as a tactic to easily disengage with anyone they want to, without giving a reason to.
It depends from situation to situation. If you two used to talk once a week, it may take up to two weeks for someone to realize they’ve been ghosted online. If you two used to talk every day, three to six days is what it might take for it to be considered ghosting.
You can double text initially if you think the person has just gotten busy and you’re not being ghosted. However, if it’s certain you’ve been ghosted online, sending a text won’t do you any favors except damaging your self-respect.
Refrain from sending additional texts once you’ve been ghosted. You won’t get closure by doing so. The reason they opted out this way is because they didn’t care enough to provide any closure in the first place.