The season of ghouls, goblins, and ghosts has arrived. With this spooky month also comes the haunts and horrors of ex-boyfriends and those one-night-stand nightmares. Although I once had a boyfriend who refused to use actual plates to avoid cleaning dishes, nothing is as scary, or disappointing, as being ghosted. The worst thing about a “boy, bye” situation is not actually saying the words, “boy, bye.”

What exactly is ghosting?

What exactly is ghosting you ask? Unfortunately, we are not referring to Casper our Halloween BFF. It has all happened to us. We cleaned, exfoliated, and moisturized our entire bodies to go on a possibly disastrous first date with Tinder guy #458. The date was nice, he talked about his mom, asked you about your career, laughed a lot, blah, blah, blah. This romantic affair should have been followed up with a text for another date but yet, radio silence.

Urban Dictionary describes ‘ghosting’ as “the act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date.” It is also known as the “coward cover” in my book, but we will get to that later. What I think is important to note here, from an educational angle, is “someone you are dating.” This is not the Tinder nude request or the 3 AM booty call. This is the person who you hit it off with after a date or two, your long-term partner, or the guy you’ve been texting repeatedly for a month followed by being left on read.

So what’s a single, amazing human to do? Text them first/again (which is totally natural, btw). It is pretty considerate to check in to make sure they didn’t die, or ask where the hell they have been hiding. The screen is still blank with no new messages. Why won’t Mr. Swipe Right text you back? So we think and over think, maybe send another vodka infused text. *crickets* This is the classic case of ghosting.

As I reflected on all my ghosts, I took to the internet. Do other people have to deal with these spooky scenarios? What I saw was article after article talking about “Why He Ghosted You” or “3 Reasons a Guy Will Ghost.” Just to be clear, that’s is a straight line of poop emojis. It is not your fault another individual voluntarily made the choice to stop talking to you. We all know you can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do. Even if you wore a sexier bra, made better jokes, and didn’t snort when you laugh, that person still wouldn’t have texted you. It’s not you. It’s them. Moving on.

Why Ghosting isn’t Okay

As a person who communicates for a living, ghosting is genuinely mind-boggling. Everyone whines and moans about “fake news,” yet we don’t even have the decency to be honest with one another. What’s more absurd? Plenty of Fish says that 80% of adult singles have been ghosted. Not to mention the 43% of men that say “ghosting” is their biggest dating frustration. So it kind of sounds like maybe we should we stop, yes?

I think many would agree we don’t love this game. The biggest question still remains. Is it okay? Other than the fact there is no good reason to do so, I would say a hard no. Please see below.

  1. You are wasting my time. Listen, I have a calendar and it’s full. You are not my #1, and if you don’t intend to be, move along. I and my time, are truly valuable.
  2. If you can’t tell me how it is now, what’s the point moving forward? Use your words. If you can’t be upfront now, then your communication skills as an individual need some work. Best of luck.
  3. Please don’t make me think more than I have to. The longer you drag this out, the more I think about it. If you could not make me overthink my mind, body, and soul, that’d be great! I have other things like rent and food to worry about.
  4. You’re being rude. At the end of the day, it’s still rude and disrespectful. You wouldn’t expect your boss to ignore you after going into a meeting, right? Just shoot the text and be honest. We will actually be okay.

As aggressive as my words appear, I do understand. It is hard and rather unpleasant to tell someone it is not working out or you’re not interested. Not many people truly want to make another person upset. I get it. It’s not great, but cutting the cord to let both of you go your separate ways is best.

At the end of the day, I live by two rules: be kind and be respectful. It is simply respectful to tell someone “Hey. It was nice to meet you but I’m not interested.” You are still amazing. You are still wonderful. You are still beautiful. Ghosting just isn’t cool. Let’s be honest. If someone doesn’t like you enough to text you back and throw some respect your way, they can exit stage left anyways.