Zoe and Jake had been dating for three months, but were not what you’d called “exclusive.”
Neither were dating other people, but the official “official” convo hadn’t happened yet.
Zoe and Jake spent almost every weekend together. He even let her keep some personal items at his place, and she kept his favorite post orgasm snacks, for when he was ravenous after sex, stocked in the fridge. He often needed to raid her refrigerator after a big blow and being the thoughtful gal Zoe was, she remembered his needs and acted accordingly, just to let him know just how much she cared.
Everything seemed to be going well, until Zoe asked Jake, “Where is this going?”
When Zoe inquired about their status, they were at a bar with his friends and her friends. It was Friday night. Libations were flowing, conversation endless. Jake didn’t answer Zoe immediately, instead, he excused himself to the toilet and then vanished. After about twenty minutes, Zoe started to notice Jake’s absence. She tried calling Jake numerous times. Her calls went straight to voicemail. Zoe couldn’t have imagined that Jake would have just ditched her, so she questioned his friends, even thought maybe something awful had happened to him. After five days of silence, Zoe saw Jake active on facebook messenger. She messaged him and he didn’t respond. At that point she knew he was alive. He just wasn’t communicating to her, and he hasn’t since.
You can imagine Zoe’s outrage?
At least those of you with a beating heart and empathy can imagine.
And it’s not just men who ghost…
Trent had been dating Cara for 4 months when he thought to introduce her to his family. Cara and Trent were supposed to fly to the Hampton’s together, but at the last minute Cara asked to meet him a day later. She blamed it on work. Not assuming anything, Trent agreed and postponed the fancy family dinner. The following day, she said she was on her way. She was just running a little tardy after a long flight and checking to the hotel late.
At dinner at his family’s house, an hour had rolled by.
With smiles and hope in his heart, he kept making excuses, thinking the best. Toward the end of dinner he couldn’t avoid the reality reflected in the eyes of his family members. He phoned Cara repeatedly and she didn’t answer. He called the hotel. She hadn’t checked in as she said. After hours of calling, he sat next to his father, humiliated and confused. Cara didn’t just disappear that night, and make him look like a complete fool in front of his family, she ditched him proper, without a word, or as much as an explanation for what she did not have the courage to express to him. Later, they randomly ran into one another and he confronted her, she further added insult to injury when she minimized his feelings by telling him he was overreacting, that they were just dating, and she didn’t owe him anything.
Do you hear the pervasive silence when you hear this story?
Or do you see yourself reflected in these scenarios as the ghoster?
It seems that inhumane behaviors, cop-outs, and lack of accountability in relatedness is all the rage in today’s trending world.
It’s one more notch under the how much more fucked up can this get belt, of our culture’s emotional crimes and legacy.
Ghosting, for those of you who have never heard of it, is the Houdini of dating. It’s when someone you have had any kind of date, relationship, or connection goes dark, stops talking to you, ignores you or disappears completely (as if you or they never existed).
Ghosting is not just exclusive to dating, it also happens in business, or other forms of relating. Ghosting doesn’t always have to be as extreme as the two previous stories, sometimes it’s more subtle. You could get ghosted after one date, a couple dates, or after more minuscule encounters.
Ghosting is so common in the modern world it has become the 21st century problem child of dating. While the media makes ghosting look perfectly normal, as if ‘dating’ doesn’t necessarily warrant humane treatment, dignity, or respect, or as if ‘ghosting’ is your personal bill of rights, the emotional/authentic component of relating to humans as objects, rather than beings, is the most extreme aspect and needs to be called out.
When I read countless articles, in numerous well-respected magazines, with professionals who cannot figure out what to do about this problem, who debate over whether or not ‘ghosting’ is a moral issue, I am pretty floored by how emotionally retarded even these respected so-called ‘experts’ in the field are.
Ghosting is a serious issue pointing to the emotional trauma of disconnected humans.
GHOSTING IS A CRY FOR EMOTIONAL CONNECTIVITY.
I see ‘ghosting’ as a major cry for help in two directions.
In a situation where ‘ghosting’ occurs there is the person being ghosted and the ghoster.
Both parties need to be addressed in this situation for this issue reflects something unconscious in both parties.
1) The person being victimized, and hurt by this blatant lack of respect and disregard needs to be acknowledged and validated.
You are not a crazy person if some emotionally potty training fool has no clue how to communicate or navigate difficult situations. You deserve to be treated with decency, humanely. You are not an object. On the flip side of this, there could be a reason this is showing up in your life and I will get to that below.
2) The person who is victimizing needs to take a deeper look at the role of avoidance and accountability in their life, and acknowledge the disconnection from the ramifications of their actions. No matter what you think, when you default into this behavior, and you use avoidance to not deal, it does not make you accountable to the reality you co-create.
It is not okay for “ghosters” to minimize the feelings of someone they don’t want to deal with just because it might be too hard, inconvenient, or they don’t want to hurt someone. What do you think ignoring someone does to them? I mean, really, do you EVER think about it? Chalking your behavior up to her being a crazy bitch, him being needy, that you don’t owe anyone anything, or that what you are doing is not that big of a deal, is a cop-out. If you don’t want to see someone, be man or woman enough to tell them straight up. Don’t just hide and avoid. Let them deal with the truth. This treating others with dignity stuff is not that hard.
GHOSTING IS ABUSIVE and accepting it as “normal” simply because its mainstream, only reinforces the shadow aspect of human beings that needs to be emotionally matured.
While the world cries for everyone to grow balls (as if this is the pillar of all strength) and look for a sense of true power and empowerment, I am wondering why we aren’t growing heart, emotional intelligence, and more awareness; the real tools we all need to be better human beings.
I get that sometimes you don’t know how to handle things or tell people the truth, and the easy way out is to just be silent, say nothing, and hope the problem will go away. But in today’s age where consciousness is emerging and more people are waking up, avoidance, and not knowing how to handle an issue, are childlike behaviors that need to be grown up.
WE NEED TO MATURE OUR HURTFUL, DISCONNECTED BEHAVIORS AS INDIVIDUALS FIRST AND THEN COLLECTIVELY.
Avoidance does not make better human beings, it creates cowardly and emotionally inept humans who cannot confront problems, issues, crises, or the ramifications of their own actions. It creates victimizers who don’t even understand the full scope of their recklessness, and a trail of hurt hearts in their wake.
If you are a GHOSTER:
You are not navigating your emotional relations with maturity. If you think that going dark on someone is acceptable, I want you to imagine what it would feel like for you to meet someone you are totally into and they seem to reciprocate at first, until one day they just disappear. No word. No explanation. No empathy. No humanity.
How would you feel? Can you even imagine it?
It is one thing to honorably tell someone the truth. It’s cowardly to say nothing, treat someone who you connected with in any capacity with very little regard. On the other end of ghosting is a human being, someone with feelings, not just some person-like robot.
You are not ultimately responsible for others, or their pain, or their process, but you are responsible for how you choose to be in the world, and your actions toward others. If you really think ghosting is acceptable and not that big of a deal, and you have no qualms with silent treatment, disappearing acts, or accountability, then you won’t mind when it’s done to you. If you ghost others, there is no doubt you ghost yourself too; be it your own emotions and feelings. You treat others the way you treat yourself. So if ghosting is your default setting, you might want to examine the ways you ghost yourself too,
If you don’t know why you ghost, and you want to mature this aspect of you, there are individuals out there that can help you with this process. It can be really scary to admit that you struggle with this issue, but not acknowledging it and continuing this behavior is detrimental to you and those you ghost.
If you are ghosted:
If you are getting ghosted and it hurts you, acknowledge your pain and the gravity of how you feel. Make. No. Mistake. This behavior is fucked up. No matter what someone else does, DO NOT make someone else’s emotional crimes your reality. DO NOT TAKE SOMEONE ELSE’S SHITTY BEHAVIOR PERSONALLY. How someone chooses to behave is about them, not you.
If you take ghosting personally, if someone treats you like dirt and you don’t bounce back, if you get deeply weighted by how others treat you and you have a hard time knowing your worth without someone else reflecting it then this could be showing up in your life to help you see how you are ghosting your own emotions.
A lot of you, without your awareness ghost your own emotions and don’t have a good relationship with your emotional world. When you feel things, especially feelings that make you uncomfortable, you might avoid feeling, you might avoid acknowledging what’s coming up for you. You avoid yourself, and since it’s you avoiding you in small doses, rather than a big whopper of an experience like ghosting, it might not be as obvious to you as when someone does something so extreme that you are astonished and outraged.
You don’t deserve to be treated as insignificant, no matter what personal issues you might have. Use whatever negatives come in to your life to reflect it back to your own relationship to yourself; look if there are any blind spots. It may be the case, it may not be the case, but be curious, just to be sure.
Sometimes shitty things happen to good people, and there is no deeper meaning to ghosting other than you are living in a disconnected world. But what I have found in my life is if something is showing up and it’s impacting me in a certain way, that it’s pointing to something inside of me I need to look at. If you are getting ghosted, you must look for self-neglect happening on any level inside of you. It doesn’t condone the behavior of the ghosting, but often times how someone treats you is a reflection of how you treat some aspects of yourself.
While many people want to blame ‘ghosting’ on external factors such as the rise of technology, and deflect personal accountability, as if humans are stupid barn yard animals who can’t manage their primitive drives or afflictions, in this post, I chose to focus on the human emotional component driving this issue.
Humans are intelligent beings. Humans have the capacity to choose and can exercise free will, and take responsibility for their inner lives and establish healthy boundaries with external forces. While technology may be an aspect feeding and creating the disconnect, I don’t buy using technology as a scapegoat for what ‘ghosting’ is reflecting about the emotional/psychological dysfunction between humans and objects, personal power and giving that power to ‘things.’ This is a much broader topic. I will write a subsequent article on the role of technology in this dilemma, for it is a factor I need to explore separately. This article will be published next week.
XO, KELLY MARCEAU
P.S. I will be writing more on this topic of emotional intelligence and cultivating it. If you liked this post, and you it make you want to know more. Stay tuned for my next few articles. Also, if you liked this piece and you think it can benefit others, please share it!!!
If you have been ghosted, if you are putting up with behaviors that are hurting you, or if you want to start to grow these aspects of you that you’re afraid of, I do mentor around this.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org