All of my friends who’ve been dating their significant other for five or more years always say to me, “Being a twentysomething single girl in New York must be so fun!” I’m sorry, but why does everyone think that being single in New York is like being in Sex and the City, running around on a writer’s salary in my brand new Manolos trying not to spill my $17 cosmopolitan? I have more in common with Tony Soprano than I do with Carrie Bradshaw. The only SATC episode that my single New York life is kind of similar to is that one where Carrie makes dinner plans with her infamous f*ck buddy, full-well knowing she’ll never speak to him again. In other words, ghosting. This, married friends, is what being single is nowadays.
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m a big believer in breaking up with somebody using your words, but honestly, sometimes these clowns don’t even deserve that. For instance, a few years ago my boyfriend of two years (repeat, two years) broke up with me via Facebook Messenger. WHAT?! I was so mad that I didn’t even respond and we literally just never spoke again. Two years! Anyway, technically he broke up with me, but I guess you could say I ghosted him and, guess what, I didn’t feel bad about it. So, even though conventional wisdom says ghosting is always bad, there are plenty of times where it’s actually okay to just stop responding to their texts, and doing so doesn’t make you the asshole. Let’s talk about times it’s okay to ghost someone.
1. It Feels Creepy
I mean, this should go without saying, but if you’re ever in a situation that makes you feel either unsafe or uncomfortable (the two usually go hand in hand), you can safely fade away into the night guilt-free. Maybe you gave him your number off a dating app and now he won’t stop texting you sexually explicit things, or you went on a date with him and he kept aggressively trying to get you to come back to his place even though you gently tried to turn him down a few times, or he is calling you nonstop even though he knows you are working. Whatever the case may be, if this is a person whose behavior is ringing alarm bells, you do not owe them a response. And, in my opinion, the types of people who repeatedly stomp all over your boundaries are the same kind of people who take any response, even an explicit “I’m not interested”, as encouragement to continue. In cases like these, the best thing to say is often nothing.
2. They Only Reach Out After 2am
This should also be obvious, but in case it’s not, keep reading. You should not feel obligated to respond to a late night “u up?” text unless you’re down to meet up. If you aren’t, just don’t respond. I feel like people, myself included, think it’s such bad form to just ignore a text, but if that text is a booty call at 2am or later, do not feel guilty for not answering it. The dudes sending you those texts aren’t looking for witty banter, they’re looking for a yes or no. They don’t care about you not courteously texting back to let them know that, while you are in fact up, you’re quite tired and are going to have to politely decline. None of that sh*t is necessary. So if a guy you aren’t into texts you after you’re already in bed, feel free to not respond without any pangs of guilt.
3. They Ghosted You First
You went on a few dates with someone who, out of nowhere, disappeared from your life…like a ghost. Ya hate to see it. You may text him a few days later to check in or put a dinner on the calendar, but he doesn’t respond
because he’s an asshole so you kind of give up and move on. Then, like a Dementor coming down from Azkaban, he hits you up. He was 110% seeing another girl when he was also seeing you, but then he decided he wanted to focus on her, so he ghosts you. Then things with her don’t work out so he comes crawling back to you as if five months of silence didn’t just go by. Yeaaaaah, no.
If this sounds familiar, please ghost this arrogant prick. Does he think he’s being subtle when he pulls sh*t like this? Are we expected to just respond as if we didn’t just fully get ignored for half a year? Please, someone tell me. You have permission from everyone to ignore him.
4. They’re In A Monogamous Relationship
I know this sounds beyond f*cked up, but I have been propositioned by not one, but two men in serious relationships within the past six months *throws up*. They both texted me later in the evening to meet up for a drink, which I didn’t think was a big issue until they said, “don’t tell anyone.” And then I obviously told all of my friends. I don’t owe them discretion when they are clearly asswipes who don’t deserve their girlfriends. Anyway, after I realized I was being hit on, I just stopped answering their texts. Again, I don’t give a sh*t about ghosting them—if anything, I feel gross for being the object of their attempted infidelity, even though it wasn’t my fault. If gross guys in relationships prove that they are, in fact, skeazy, it definitely qualifies as one of those times it’s okay to ghost their ass.
Images: Shutterstock.com; Giphy (4)
If you’ve ever played the dating field at all, you’ve probably been ghosted before. Or ghosted someone. Or both, because ghosting doesn’t discriminate based on gender. This article isn’t here to sh*t on ghosting or call you a horrible person because everyone (*cough cough* me) has done it at some point, and sometimes it’s justifiable to switch out of your classes and, um, order Seamless for a month to avoid all possible contact with a guy you no longer want to see. Right. Moving on.
Let’s be real though, ghosting is kind of a coward’s way out. It feels pretty awful to get excited about a guy and then suddenly realize that when he said “let’s definitely do this again sometime!” that was a total lie, because you’re never going to see him again, because suddenly he’s busy with “work” aka hitting random girls on Instagram and matching with your friends on dating apps, where he’s still active.
If you’re like me and have to find an explanation for LITERALLY everything, then you probably lie in bed at night and think wtf what wrong. Because I was curious, I asked a bunch of my guy friends about why they ghosted girls. So here are your answers, ladies! *Spoiler alert* it’s definitely not you.
“I Didn’t Even Know I Ghosted”
“I don’t want to close the door but I also don’t feel like texting her every day so…I kinda just stopped texting her. I mean I didn’t even realize I was “ghosting” her per se, but later I found out this girl was kinda pissed…So then I wished her happy birthday. Which made her more angry, weirdly…” –Just-Trying-To-Keep-Things-Casual Bro
“She didn’t smell good. And it was awkward to talk about. So I just kept inviting her over until finally I had to block her on my story and hide from her.” –TMI Bro
“We Weren’t Dating”
“If you actually have a conversation it admits that the hookup was significant enough to warrant a discussion, instead of a casual “thing” that can eventually end when you stop talking.” – Facts-Are-Facts Bro
“It Wasn’t Really Ghosting”
“It was only partial ghosting!!! I mean I’d still text her like Thursday through Sunday…yeah, so like a booty call.” –In-Denial-He’s-An-Ass Bro
“I’m An Athlete”
“You have too many options so why bother committing to one.” –God-Complex-Athlete Bro
“They Were All Annoying”
“I went on like a million coffee dates before my last ex-girlfriend and every girl would only talk about herself or how much she hated one of her best friends, and I just couldn’t deal with that level of craziness.” –Overly Charming Bro
“IDK What You’re Talking About”
“I would never do that.” –I’m-Dating-Your-Best-Friend Bro
“Like On Snapchat?”
“I just OBNR her on Snapchat. Why? Um, because I’m bored?” –Still-In-High-School bro
If you didn’t get the last one, you’re probably too old and yeah, the way the teens use social media these days makes no sense to me either. (ONBR means “open but not respond.) So long and short, guys are cowards and like to play the field too much. Shocker, boys are scared man-sluts. Great. It’s not a news flash that ~ millennials ~ hate confrontation, but it’s still kind of sad no one’s able to have serious conversations anymore.
It’s an odd feeling, when a person who ghosted you tries to creep back into your life through social media. Maybe it’s a Facebook friend request, or a ” just added you on Snapchat!” or a mysterious “like” on your latest bikini pic. Your heartbeat picks up speed. You’re suddenly very aware of the precise volume of sweat your armpits are producing. “Could this be it?” you think. “It” being the moment you’ve been fantasizing about for months. The moment the person who f*cked you over—romantically speaking—finally comes slinking back, giving you the coveted opportunity to tell them off. You’ve rehearsed this exact scene in the shower, run through different outcomes before drifting off to sleep at night, smiled to yourself on the subway when your fictional self tells that person exactly what’s on your mind.
Mine came in the form of a Facebook request from a guy I had been seeing for a few months before he promptly went Casper. Actually, Casper is friendly. This guy was frigid silence and indifference. It stung. We’d been going on dates for, probably, a handful of weeks—spring into summer. Then, slowly, almost imperceptibly, I could feel a bit of distance. I tried to put it out of my mind—”I’m probably overreacting, he’s still responding to my texts”, “Maybe he just thinks I’m not interested and I need to put in more effort”—but eventually the plans were cancelled, the apologies were infrequent, and eventually, communication stopped altogether. And then, close to a year later, a Facebook friend request popped up. I accepted, standing at the ready for an apology, or even an explanation. None came. Then came the Instagram follow. Again, I braced myself for the onslaught of DMs. No such DM ever slid through. But every so often, when I’d check who watched my Instagram stories, I’d see a familiar name. Just watching. Lurking. Not interacting, but viewing passively from the sidelines.
It’s a tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme: guy who ghosts you but watches all your Insta stories. Okay, so it’s not exactly a tale as old as time—more like, tale as old as November 2016, when Instagram stories were introduced. But ever since I casually mentioned it in an article about a week ago, I feel like this phenomenon has been all over the internet. On the one hand, I’m glad I’m not the only victim of this baffling behavior. So I gathered up a few guys I know and asked them why guys ghost but watch your Instagram stories. Some names have been changed to protect the guilty, but I left their responses as-is, in their full glory.
“Because they want to see if they made a mistake ghosting you or if they can dip back in for a quick smash.”
Jared Freid, 33
“I think we need to separate the ghosting from the story watching. We all ghost because we are afraid of telling a perfectly good person that we want to keep searching. ‘I will f*ck you but I think I could find someone that’s better for the long term’ is very difficult to tell someone you just saw naked. But most people don’t want to be mean, so the easy thing to do is to just drift away like a ghost.
But, to me, the question should be, ‘Why are we still following the people we ghost?’ The answer to that, is that we want to make sure we weren’t wrong. We dispose of people so quickly. Meeting someone on an app, going on a date or two, hooking up, then saying ‘I’m going to keep looking for better’ is too quick an interview process, but the alternative is closing off and saying that ‘perfect for us’ person that may not exist. So the ghoster keeps following, watching, and sometimes liking to keep any eye on the stock he didn’t invest in. It’s creepy and awful and human all at once. If you don’t think the person who said ‘Bitcoin is stupid’ doesn’t check how Bitcoin is doing, then you’re nuts. And this is honestly the same thing.”
“Most of the time—accidental. Since your phone knows EVERYTHING, it puts the people you want to see most and least in line for Instagram stories. Also an attempt to be relevant or in the head of women you’ve decided to stop talking to. Mind games.”
“Because maybe you’re posting thot pics in your story. Gotta commit to texting, don’t have to commit to thot pics. Can’t know until you look at it.”
Stephen McGee, 28
“When I have ghosted someone it was probably because I knew that, for whatever reason, I would definitely ruin the relationship at the time but didn’t want to completely destroy the potential. I’m sure there are a few guys who roll there eyes every time they see me lurking watching their stories or whatever… but it’s just me trying to break the ice to come back. Cut a guy a break if he is lurking—he *might* have good intentions. Probably not, though, so don’t @ me.
On the other hand, my last boyfriend broke up with me after three months. Then we reconnected after a month or so for like two weeks and then he straight-up disappeared on me too. Not a word. I blocked him on Instagram like two weeks after he ghosted and have been so good and not looked at his profile through one of my three fake accounts or contacted him in any way (although obviously I’ve hung out with his friends and made them post us on Instagram). It’s not a solution to stop people from ghosting, but it will definitely make you feel better if you can flip their ghost on them and haunt their ass for a while.”
As for the guy who ghosted me but then added me on every form of social media I have? He declined to comment for this article.
We’ve all been there, the moment we fuck up a
really good kind of decent thing with a guy by saying something truly offensive like “what are we” or “I really like you” after only, like, 3 months of spending 5 days a week together sharing your bed and your HBO passwords casually dating. And once those words leave your mouth the boy disappears from your life faster than money does from your bank account. It’s called ghosting and it’s absolutely the reason I suffer from rage blackouts. If you’ve never been ghosted before then first of all, you bitch, and second of all, teach me your ways. But if you’re anything like me, smart, really pretty, with the personality of a very drunk, very bitter divorcée just trying to navigate the world of online dating, then odds are you’ve been ghosted by a fuckboy at least once in the last six months your life. Most times you never see the guy again no matter how hard you stalk his Snap story. Tbh sometimes I think maybe he never even existed in the first place and I was just really fucked up that Tuesday night at happy hour. Whatever the case, you always wish for some sort of closure and also a way to sabotage any future happiness of his.
Well thank God for the internet and the amazing people at Buzzfeed who are always on it with the v important, hard-hitting news issues because now we have that story. And honestly I really needed a win today. Not only did I commute from Long Island this morning *shudders* but my apartment has decided to fall apart one wifi hotspot at a time. So, yeah, I really need
to watch a fuckboy burn at the hands of vicious internet trolls this win rn.
Anyway, the story begins as all stories do with a girl, Sylvia, falling for a boy, which I shall refer to as Anonymous Fuck Face. Sylvia dates Fuck Face, Fuck Face
plays Yahtzee with her emotions falls for her, earns her trust, moves in with her, and then flees the country because he’d rather not get “tangled up” in a breakup. In typical fuckboy fashion, he posts the story of how he bravely and heroically screwed over the woman he cared for on Buzzfeed because of fucking course he did. In his statement Fuck Face says:
“We clearly had different expectations from the relationship. I did not know what to do and, well, I ghosted her. Over the Christmas break, while she was visiting her family, I simply moved out and left the country. I took advantage of the fact that I accepted a job in another country and did not tell her about it. I simply wanted to avoid being untangled in a break-up drama.”
Okay…so…just to get this straight, you thought the mature way to treat a human being you shared your life with for three years—THREE YEARS—was to completely abandon her like she’s your leftover Pad Thai in the fridge? OVER CHRISTMAS. On Jesus’s fucking day? Really? Is nothing sacred to you fuckboys anymore?? I think my immediate reaction to this information is:
And people wonder why I’m always
one hundred percent serious joking about setting this whole damn city on fire. Lol I’m so random.
Anyway, years go by, this guy continues to live his life like the human pond scum that he is, his ex is still “forgotten history” as he so fondly refers to her, and then one day the director of the school where he works quits. Because, yes, the man whose job it is to shape young minds is also the man that abandons women over Christmas. *internally screams* Whatever. The best part of the story is the person the school hires to fill the position and be his immediate supervisor: HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND SYLVIA.
I. Am. Shook. I don’t think I’ve felt this self righteous since jean skirts came back into style.
Being the troll that he is, Fuck Face has taken his problems back to the people of Buzzfeed, asking how he
can avoid being set on fire after the summer break should handle this situation:
“I have no idea what to do and how to deal with this mess. It is clear this will be not only embarrassing but I will also be reporting to my ex. I am not in a position to find another job at present. There are no other international schools so finding another job in this country is not an option. Even finding a job elsewhere is not possible on such a short notice…
…Do you have any suggestions for me how to handle it and what should I do? I understand that this would not have happened if I did not ghost her back then, but I cannot do anything about it now. I gathered from the comments that readers usually have a go on people like me for “bad behavior” but I am really looking for constructive comments how to deal with the situation.”
Lol do I EVER have some constructive comments for this guy.
This is literally the dream scenario for any woman scorned and honestly, I hope she takes this shit to the next fucking level when she finally starts working there. Like, Syl, put him on blast. Start a rumor he’s a pedo, key his car, sic the PTA on his ass, the world is your
revenge fantasy oyster.
Anyway, thanks for this, Buzzfeed. There’s nothing like starting your week with a good social crucifixion. If you need me I’ll just be trying to figure out if there are any immediate job openings at my ex’s place of work. You know, just in case. I’m feeling v inspired.
I’ve read just about every article there is on why ghosting is wrong and you shouldn’t do it. Okay, that was definitely a gross exaggeration because I have a job and a life and not enough time in the world to scour ever shitty Elite Daily rip-off, but you get what I mean. I know what ghosting is. I’ve been ghosted. I’ve ghosted people. And despite what every feel-good sugary girl power website would like you to think, I’m actually a proponent of ghosting. I think all girls should ghost. But only to men.
Just to get this shit out of the way, YES I have been ghosted. I said that in the first paragraph, can you read? Yes I was salty about it and I was annoyed the guy couldn’t just muster up the balls to tell me definitively that he wasn’t feeling it. And even having dealt with all the bullshit that comes along with being ghosted (i.e. triple texting in case “I just wasn’t being clear enough about my intentions” and then exposing myself as a bona fide crazy person and then wondering what I did wrong and taking it personally that I was ghosted), I still think that most of the time, it’s the appropriate course of action for women. And here’s why:
I’ve tried many times to do the “nice” or “decent” or “non-cowardly” thing and be upfront about my feelings and tell a guy I wasn’t feeling it. And I can count on one finger—because it has happened a grand total of once—the amount of times the guy said “Okay I understand, thanks for being honest with me.” ONCE. Just once. Every other time I’ve tried to be honest and not ghost, I’ve gotten a variation of the following responses:
1. Playing Dumb. This is when a guy pretends not to understand what I mean. “Hey it was great meeting you but I realized I’m not ready to get involved with anyone.” “Lol we don’t have to be involved, we can just do fun things and hook up.” Prompting me to explain that by “be involved with” I meant sex, dating, responding to your 2am “U up?” texts, all of it—hence why I used such a general and all-encompassing term in the first fucking place.
2. Trying To Get Me To Change My Mind. This is usually an outcome of the first thing, where they try to be like, “Are you sure you don’t just want to continue to hang out and keep it casual ?” Yes. Yes I’m fucking sure. That’s why I said it.
3. Gaslighting. AKA Turning it around on me and trying to make me out to be the crazy one. “Hey thanks for the offer for a third date, but I just didn’t really feel a connection.” “‘Connection’? Nah it’s not even like that. I’m not looking for a ‘connection’ lol. You got it all wrong I’m not even into you in that kind of way”—a guy actually had the audacity to say this to me after he texted me “Good morning beautiful” all the damn time and even brought me a gift to our second date. The gift, in case you’re wondering, was a bunch of lipsticks from the makeup company he worked for after I mentioned that I am super into lipstick and he asked me what my favorite colors are. So, yeah, okay, now that I type this all out I realize he sounds gay, but that’s not my point. Also, he tried to friend me on Facebook A FULL EIGHT MONTHS after our date—so yeah, sure, he definitely wasn’t into me at all and I totally imagined things. Right.
See, here’s the thing I’ve realized about men. Men will take any sort of response—even if it’s a firm, very hard “no” as an invitation to keep going, as an open-ended suggestion that will eventually turn into a “yes” if they just keep pushing. And that’s why silence is the best answer. Men understand silence better than any verbal communication (and people wonder why I’m so passive-aggressive). So if you’re not into a guy and don’t want to have a petty fight with a stranger via text message over whether or not you, in fact, mean what you say, just ghost. As my dad says when he’s quoting some old movie I’ve never seen, guys think they want the truth, but in reality, they can’t handle the truth.
The one caveat to this would be if the guy flat-out asks you for a second (or third, or whatever), date. Then you should just politely say “no thanks” and leave it at that. But otherwise, if you’ve been on one date or whatever and he’s trying to hit you up with some bullshit-ass text like “Hello” (also a real thing that’s happened to me, why is this my life), don’t respond to that shit. It’s not worth the fight. Not to mention, wouldn’t it be pretty weird to be like “Hello” “Hey it was great meeting you and all but I’m not feeling it, best of luck to you”? Yeah. It would be fucking weird. So again, unless you are directly asked, just say nothing. He’ll get the hint.
Now, I know some fuckboys are reading this article like, “Great, then break out the sheets and call me Casper cause I’m about to be ghosting bitches left and right.” No. Men, you should not ghost women. And that’s because we say all the time that we want guys to be honest, and—I know this is a crazy concept—WE FUCKING MEAN IT. Yeah, I know, women aren’t constantly lying through their teeth to get in your pants. I’ll give you a second to wrap your head around the concept of sincerity. Yeah. It’s real.
So when women say “Hey if you’re not into me just lmk,” we actually mean it. So stop ghosting us. Because I’m sure you’re not replaying the last date in your head, thinking up a million imaginary scenarios for why you might not be answering your phone (because you dropped it in a toilet or it got eaten by a shark or oh god, are you okay? We should probably check your Facebook to make sure you’re okay), I know none of you are doing that shit. And contrary to popular belief, our delicate female sensibilities are MORE than capable of handling a little rejection. That’s right! We won’t dissolve into a puddle of tears. We’ll be fine. So just say something so I can use my superior Facebook stalking tactics for important things, like finding out who got pregnant out of wedlock from my high school.
So yeah. Call me sexist, I don’t care—I never read the comments anyway so joke’s on you. Women, ghost men all you want unless you are specifically
cornered asked about WTF is going on. Men, open your damn mouths and use it to communicate. Or if you won’t do that, here’s an alternative solution: acknowledge that women say what we mean and learn to believe us when we speak without assuming you know better than us about our own thoughts and feelings. Your call!