The age of blogging, social media, internet marketplaces, and so on has reduced our practical need for face-to-face contact. It could be texts, voice messages, or apps… ghosting eliminates contact without notice and cloaking takes it one step further by erasing all record of conversation and online existence altogether. Both are becoming standard practice and socially acceptable under certain circumstances. Ghosters and cloakers don't have to deal with the aftermath of emotion and suffer no real-time consequences to their actions. It isn't limited to long-term romantic relationships either. Casual dating relationships, friendships, and work relationships are all fair play.
Dude, Where's My Bestie?
Much like with intimate relationships ghosters deal with feelings of guilt and sadness, especially if terminating long-term relationships. After reconnecting with some friends from high school, a blogger developed a strong desire to end the relationship. Her friends had done nothing wrong, but she started feeling like her friendship with mutual associates was beginning to affect the group negatively. She explained she was adversely affected, feeling it was her responsibility to mend an irreparable relationship between an associate and another mutual friend. Choosing to end the relationship with all three of the friends seemed less dramatic than ending the relationship with one friend and feeling guilty each time having to choose which in the group would not receive an invitation. Her actions had only left her feeling like a terrible friend.
Pulling the Professional Plug
Professional relationships are another context where people get hurt by ghosting. Imagine seeing the same stylist or doctor for years and abruptly discontinuing the relationship without explanation. Although the professional isn't an intimate partner, concerns about why the relationship ended will surface. Am I at fault? Is there someone new? Ghosting happens with therapy as well, primarily online. Therapists are left wondering if the client is in danger or if they failed to meet the client's needs. At some point, it becomes necessary to accept there will be no closure or explanation from the absent party. Some blogs implied answers were not in order if payment was settled for professional services. In other words, there should be no expectation for a follow-up appointment.
It's Not Me, It's You
Walking away from a relationship or potential relationship is an easy way for a ghoster to avoid uncomfortable situations and any drama. The person ghosted may feel insecure and seek closure. However, several dating blogs note some feel less obligated to provide explanations if they have not known the individual long. Ghosting won't always be about you. Mostly, it's because the other party has unresolved issues, are too afraid to have hard conversations, or don't think they owe you an explanation.
Ghosters and ghostees…how did you move forward after the experience?