Ghosting Is the Worst. Here's Why

Texting is basically the opposite of ghosting.
Peter Batty/Flickr

In the modern era of constant communication, it can be difficult to dump someone. Who are you going to text/call/Facetime/stalk on social media if you break things off with the person you talk to most? People have way more options for resisting your breakup, since it’s way easier to sneak back into someone’s life via email or DM than it would be to show up at their door unannounced.

Instead of going straight for the romantic jugular with an emotional decapitation (or “relationship Fatality” for the Mortal Kombat fans out there), the new trend in breakups is to just “ghost” someone, or disappear on them entirely. Here are 10 reasons why ghosting someone is stupid.

10. It isn’t even easy.
Let’s be honest, ghosting someone is a lot of work. People say “Oh, it’s easier than breaking up…” But is it really? When you break up with someone, there’s that period of time where it sucks (a lot), but then it’s over and done with. In order to properly ghost someone, you need to block their calls/texts, disconnect with them on all online platforms, handle all of the questions from other people (more on that later), and possibly physically relocate if the person knows where you live/work and is really determined to find out why you haven’t texted them back in a week.

9. No one learns for next time.
One of the only good parts about ending a relationship is that both people get to take the knowledge of what worked and what didn’t work into the next relationship with them. By ghosting someone, you’re totally missing out on that conversation where you learn everything right before or after breaking up. If you can’t take some lessons from previous relationships, how are you going to make the next one better?

8. You’ll have to answer everyone else’s questions.
If you’ve been dating someone for any length of time, there’s a good chance your friends might know about them and their friends might know about you. Sure, maybe your friends are used to your significant others just not being around anymore when you get sick of them, but there’s no way to know that their friends won’t expect some kind of reasoning. How many times can you say “It just wasn’t working out” without going into further detail before even you realize what an asshole you sound like?

7. There’s no fairness/respect for the other person.
Breaking up with someone is never exactly “fair” to a person, but telling them where they went wrong and officially ending things in person at least leaves them with some dignity and respect. Ghosting someone doesn’t even give that person the chance to share their thoughts with you or get any of your thoughts/feedback. If you dated that person for long enough to have to actually break things off with them rather than a simple “Nah, I don’t think we should see each other anymore” text, then the least you can do is to let them know when they’re single again.

6. Where’s the satisfaction?
As much as breaking up sucks, there’s a certain feeling of relief and empowerment in being the one who ends a bad relationship. When you ghost someone, you don’t get that feeling at all, because you’re basically just hiding until they stop looking for you. Obviously, if you’re ending a perfectly good relationship, that feeling may not apply, but who breaks up with a significant other they don’t have any problems with?

5. You can’t possibly look like the bigger (wo)man.
There’s an art to handling breakups, and one of the key components is doing your best to look like the less terrible person. You don’t necessarily have to tell them it’s their fault or anything like that, but taking the high road when your now-ex is throwing insult after insult at you looks a whole lot better than turning it into your own episode of Jerry Springer. Ghosting someone makes it impossible to be the better person, because you’re literally exiting the relationship in the most cowardly way possible. The person you ghosted (ghostee?) is always going to be the sympathetic character in that story and you’re always going to look like the awful one who just started ducking them.

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4. That’s how stalkers are made.
Breaking up with someone who has clingy/stalker tendencies can be tricky business in its own right, but if you never actually tell them that you’re done, they might just keep chasing you down until they eventually find you. Not everyone will stalk you if you ghost them (some people have lives of their own), but we’re willing to bet the likelihood goes up quite a bit if you do. It seems like it’d be way more depressing to stalk someone you knew you had no shot with than someone who’s just been ignoring you.

3. Running away is rarely the answer.
Unless you’re getting chased by a bear or a fascist regime has infiltrated your hometown, turning tail and running usually isn’t the best way to handle your problems. In a life or death situation, by all means you should run, but socially, you’re going to have much better results and a generally happier/healthier social/romantic life if you intelligently confront your issues rather than avoiding them at all costs.

2. So many other options are at least as effective.
Can you even really consider a breakup technique to be that effective if the other person doesn’t realize there was a breakup? We understand that some people can be extremely resistant to accepting a breakup, but even then it would probably be easier to gradually build your way up to ending things until they finally get the memo that you’re breaking up with them. Of course, if you don’t care about feelings or repercussions, the ol’ “blame everything on their flaws” technique is a pretty solid way to ensure that they get the message, but there are several nicer (and effective) ways to break up with someone than that or ghosting.

1. It’s super immature.
Ghosting would be the ideal way to end a relationship in kindergarten. You just stop talking to them, start playing on the other side of the jungle gym at recess, and share your baggie of pretzels with someone else. As adults, it’s a totally ludicrous and childish way to break things off with someone. If you don’t have the guts to tell someone “Hey, I don’t like you like that anymore,” then maybe you’re not emotionally mature enough to be dating in the first place. Seriously, didn’t your mama ever teach you not to run from your problems?


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