The relationship or dating is going just fine. He text you every morning, every evening, makes plans with you to hang around, and all seems to be roses and peaches.
You start to feel comfortable with him, and when he asks you to trust him, you decide to plunge in at the deep end and do so.
Maybe you even spoke the L-word and are committed to an exclusive relationship like I was. And all of a sudden everything stops.
He bails out on you on dates, he stops responding to your text messages, he does not answer your phone calls, he seems to vanish off the face of the earth.
It happens in relationships all over the world and it is called Ghosting.
Ghosting is when a person disappears
It is mostly guys doing the ghosting thing, although some girls happen to walk away without any explanation.
Ghosting is not a form of breaking up, ghosting is what it is: disappearing. And with doing so you leave the other half behind in total bewilderedness of what happened. Is the relationship over? Is he seriously ill, not able to contact you? Do you need to move on?
People ghost for roughly four reasons:
They refuse to be honest and direct,
They refuse to face their partner’s feelings and reactions
They refuses to be open to recognising either their part in things
They refuse to admit they cannot commit to a serious romantic relationship for whatever reason.
Ghosting is not a form of breaking up, ghosting is disappearing
Disappearing isn’t exactly a display of courage and we are most likely to do it if we’re not emotionally mature or available.
But disappearing like this also fits perfectly in a culture where it is all about not losing face and not confronting another person because politeness defines you cannot hurt the other person’s feelings.
Ghosting, in my humble opinion, could have been invented in Asia, and in my case in the Philippines.
The cultural habit of giving Tampo here in the Philippines, withdrawing affection of happiness from a relationship because of supposed mall treatment (read: not getting things your way) is a very disturbing and manipulative way of dealing with each other. Especially when you are not brought up in this culture.
Growing up in Western culture to me, Tampo is manipulative and very childish way of getting things accomplished. To me, it is all about selfishness and manipulation. And I think it is rather abusive to act that way in an adult relationship.
Many Filipinos do not see it that way and it is a common behavior here that many foreigners struggle with.
Ghosting, to me, is an extreme form of Tampo. Tampo, you still love the other, you just manipulate your way into something you want or want to change.
Ghosting goes way beyond that, Ghosting is about cutting a person off entirely, because you cannot handle emotions.
People who ghost learn nothing because they edit and erase themselves out of relationship
Erasing yourself from a relationship prevents confrontation.
And both Tampo and Ghosting are not necessarily about doing things from a ‘bad’ place.
But with Ghosting, however, it’s about doing things from a place where fear, cowardice or excessive concern about how we look or our discomfort. It is conflicting in a huge way with integrity and compassion, two very important attitudes towards the other human being that are also deeply based in the Filipino culture.
What a ghoster fails to acknowledge is that they are motivated to cut and run because they don’t want to hurt their own feelings. They end up throwing their partner under a proverbial bus all so that they can box away from their feelings and draw a line under things, on their terms.
It’s about control, as in attempting to feel in control of the situation in their head rather than having to deal with an unpredictable foreign object like another human who they’ve made plans and promises with, and inferred all manner of things via the interaction. They’re in control of the story because disappearing means that the ghostee can’t talk back and offer up their version of events, plus it also means that they don’t have to interact with.- Quoted from an article on Baggageclaim.co.uk
How do you know you have been ghosted?
there is no response to any text, phone calls or messages for days/weeks
they bail out on dates and appointments
they step back when it comes to intimacy and sharing their plans and life with you
they seem to vanish from the earth
So you are NOT ghosted if there is contact, even if it is one-word replies to text. If that is the case you are simply ignoring signs that you are being dumped without words.
Before you start yelling that you are ghosted, make sure that there is a certain amount of time passed where there is no contact. And with that I mean, days or even weeks.
How to deal with this situation?
Do not contact the person under any circumstances, although after a few days once you realize what is happening you might want to call them out on social media, text, e-mail or whatever medium is available. It might feel pretty good to let them know you know what they are doing. But after that, no contact. Not even when they contact you. A ghost is a ghost, right? you cannot see it.
Accept the fact that the relationship is over and that it is time to move on, delete the person from your life. get rid of photos, maybe even stuff left at your place, erase them as they have erased you.
Do not check on social media if the person is having a good time, that is so hurtful you lower your self-esteem by doing so even more. Block them if you cannot help yourself. Again: a ghost is a ghost and therefore invisible.
Remember that it is not about you, you did not deserve to be disappeared on. It’s not about whether you’re “good enough” to be broken up with; it’s about that person’s own way of dealing with criticism, conflict, rejection and disappointment.
Heal your broken heart by having fun, taking good care of yourself, go out with friends.
Ask friends for specific help, since there has been no closure, the break up has left an open wound, so to speak. It takes time to heal. Ask friends if you can contact them if you are about to contact the person who ghosted on you. Ask friends to tell you that you are not realistic when you dream of happy endings.
Remember that longing for your other half to come back saying he/she changed their mind and want you back is only going to prolong the process of letting go. It will not happen. And if it does you seriously have to consider if taking them back is an option, after all, they are not the bravest, most respectful person on this earth. And what happened once, can happen twice.
Believe me, I have been there. And you are worth so much more than being ignored and cut off whenever the other person feels like it.
Heal, forgive and move on.
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Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.
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