When I was little, I had this massive curiosity about ghosts and the hauntings that went with them. True confessions, I still do! The type of ghosting I am writing about here is not the house haunting, chain-rattling, howling kind. Although, relationship ghosting does rattle chains. Let me sum the experience up in one word it’s HORRIBLE. Let me clarify what relationship ghosting is first, so we are on the same page. There are some characteristics of the ghosting monster. During a relationship ghost experience:
The ghoster might be, or usually is, associated with narcissism or narcissistic personality disorder.
There is no altercation or reason to believe the ghoster will be leaving your life.
Things appear and seem to be going smoothly with no apparent reason for alarm or concern.
The ghoster will not respond to text messages, emails, phone calls, in-person knocks on the door, etc.
The ghoster means to cause you harm, alarm, and delights in your pursuit, knowing they will never respond to you. They love that this causes you distress.
The ghosting intent is to leave you with no closure.
The list above is by no means an exhaustive one. There is great distress when someone ghosts another person. For the distress to be accomplished, the resemblance of a serious relationship must be established. The only way the impact can be as traumatic as it is is when we believe or think a strong love connection has been made.
Yes, this is horribly cruel, and unfortunately, there is nothing to do but get as much love and support from loved ones and move on. When someone ghosts us, there is no recourse. The ghoster will make sure you have nothing to hold onto, and the distress is massive. Ghosting goes far beyond the desire to not be with someone any longer. The ghosting person will completely disappear.
What Does a Mature Break Up Look Like?
Mature people will communicate their lack of desire to continue a relationship. When a usual relationship ends, there will be indications along the way that things are not working out. A mature person confronts their issues with someone honestly and openly, even when they know it will be hard and often hurtful.
Mature people learn to take responsibility for the heart they chose to be in a relationship with and do all they can to guard the painful part of a breakup. Breakups are hard enough. Even when hard feelings are involved, the mature person will still face hardship, work to make it easier for the other, and be open to communication.
For some reason, our advancing technology makes it so much easier to be a relationship ghost. Guaranteed, if this happens to you, your ghoster will make sure humiliation is a part of your journey and healing process. The ghoster will tell everyone you caused it just to cover their behind. Does this sound cruel? It is. It’s heartless. As I said, the usual breaks of relationships have a form of communication that will occur before it happens. The break might be hurtful, but ghosting is painful and humiliating. It is preplanned, premeditated relationship torture.
What to do…
If you have been ghosted and need someone to chat with, please reach out to those who care or a professional who can help you through it. You will survive! You might have a hard time trusting for a while afterward, but you will survive.
Nurture yourself, your self-esteem, and all of the beautiful things you are—Ghosters prey upon those who have beautiful hearts. Take refuge in the truth about who you are and the gift you bring to others. If you stay positive about yourself, past the pain, you will eventually attract someone who will value you too much to ghost you. First, you must respect yourself. Remember, you are worthy of love, and ghosting is not a loving thing. The act of ghosting is about them, not you!
Loving you from here,
Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, Ph.D.