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Ghosting leaves people behind in mystery

Sophomore+Gaby+Pierce+looks+at+her+phone%2C+confused+and+upset+because+she+does+not+know+why+she+was+ghosted.+
Sophomore Gaby Pierce looks at her phone, confused and upset because she does not know why she was ghosted.

Sophomore Gaby Pierce looks at her phone, confused and upset because she does not know why she was ghosted.

Marina Ferme

Marina Ferme

Sophomore Gaby Pierce looks at her phone, confused and upset because she does not know why she was ghosted.

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Sophomore Gaby Pierce woke up one morning, and when she checked her phone, she was surprised to see that the guy she was dating had unfriended her on social media.

When she got to school, still confused about what had happened, she asked his friends about what was going on. One of his friends told her that it was over between them.  

“After about a month of dating, he started to leave me on read [he read her messages] without responding to my text, even though he kept talking about how he wanted to make our relationship official,” Pierce said. “Soon after he said that, he unfollowed me on Snapchat and Instagram, and his friend had to tell me that it was over between us. To this day, I haven’t talked to him, and it has been about a year since he ghosted me.”

Ghosting is when one person in a relationship stops communicating with the other without an explanation, often leaving the other person confused and hurt.

When Pierce was ghosted, she was left wondering what had happened with her boyfriend. A year later, she still doesn’t know why he did it.

Pierce said, “I lost my best friend in a matter of seconds, and I am honestly still confused about it.”

Pierce is not the only one who has been ghosted before; many others have been affected by ghosting. According to a Plenty Of Fish survey,  80 percent of those surveyed have been ghosted. 

Oftentimes, people who ghost others think that what they are doing is better than hurting the person’s feelings by being upfront with them. However, many people who have been ghosted would have rather heard the truth about how the other person felt.

Angelina Johnson* said, “If he wasn’t into me, it would have been so much better to know [than] to be ghosted.”

According to Huffington Post, many people who ghost believe that the person getting ghosted will “get the hint” that they aren’t interested and that they should move on. Others know that what they are doing isn’t an ideal way to end the relationship but don’t know how to communicate with the other person.

“I feel bad because I know they don’t deserve to be ghosted, but I also don’t know how to deal with ending relationships,” said Reign Miller, a person who has ghosted someone.

According to a survey on Elle, almost 50 percent of men and women have experienced ghosting, and about an equal percentage of them have ghosted others themselves.

According to Psychology Today, one reason for ghosting is that many relationships occur online first and then in person. Social media lowers the connection to someone and gives the person who ghosts fewer consequences; they do not have to worry about running into the other person.

Ghosting can make some people feel disrespected and mislead, which can affect future relationships by causing distrust.  

Johnson* said, “I felt like I was lied to or led on by him after he ghosted me.”

According to Patrick Wanis, a celebrity life coach, the reason ghosting can have a negative impact is because it activates the same pain pathways as physical pain. This means that ghosting can contribute to someone having psychological distress.

People who have been ghosted often don’t know how to react. The emotions of a ghostee can become overcomplicated and overwhelming.

According to Elite Daily, after being ghosted, the ghostee can begin to question themselves instead of the relationship they were in. This can cause a person’s self-esteem to drop and make them feel a lack of social belonging.

“People who have been ghosted are really left in the dark about why the other person decided not to communicate with them. They don’t know if that person is busy or hurt. It leaves them very confused on what the reason for ghosting was, and they begin to question themselves,” said Kristin Vernon, a guidance counselor at Carlmont.

According to Psychology Today, many mental health professionals view ghosting as a form of emotional cruelty because it renders the ghostee powerless and unable to ask questions about why the relationship didn’t work out.

Many people who have been ghosted blame themselves for the relationship ending, but according to Huffington Post, ghosters have a fear of conflict; they want to avoid confrontation and difficult conversations.

Max Hariri-Turner, a sophomore, said, “Ghosting is really strange and annoying because it means that you care enough about a person to ‘try’ not to hurt their feelings, but you don’t care enough about them to let them know the truth.”

*This name has been changed for confidentiality reasons.

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Ghosting leaves people behind in mystery