What 'ghosting' means and how to deal with it
We probably have all done it at some point in our lives. You simply vanish, evaporate and are never seen or heard from again. I didn’t know that it had a name. But according to an article in the ‘New York Times’, it is called ghosting. It is the act of ending a romantic relationship by cutting off all contact and ignoring the former partner’s attempts to reach out.
The article was referring to Sean Penn’s relationship with the South African actress Charlize Theron that has taken a turn for the worse since Ms. Theron neither picks calls nor responds Penn’s text messages, interesting.
It was observed that in 185 people sampled, 16.7 per cent of men and 24.2 per cent of women have been ghosts at some point in their lives. I would be interested in a similar survey in Kenya. I have been ghosted before and I have ghosted.
A few years ago, I met this lady so blessed with natural beauty and elegance. I wanted to ‘wife’ her immediately. I could visualize the two of us together, raising kids and being in good business or holding good corporate jobs, living in a permanent state of bliss.
First date was OK, even though she was a tad shy and reserved. Second date, however, it hit me that despite her being incredibly beautiful; there was no chemistry, no connection whatsoever.
Yet she was too sweet, there was no way I would explain myself to her without hurting her, for she had bought my vibe. I just ghosted. This saved me so much trouble but our future meetings became moments of embarrassment and I will never get rid of the guilt.
But I was paid back in kind two years later. I met this lady, we went out, had fun and until I told her that we should get serious. She disappeared so professionally, very soon I will call her and give her and award for what she did. She just drifted, blamed the tight school-work schedule.
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Soon she wasn’t responding to my calls at the rate of one to 20 missed calls and messages, one for every ten. But she remained professional. But it hurt.
Here is the thing, as one respondent in the ‘New York Times’ interview said, our generation no longer wants to be accountable for anything that we do. And technology makes it all the more worse since it has made stalking all the more possible.
Someone does not reply your text messages and you log onto Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp and you can tell when he was last online and what device he or she was using.
But why do people ghost. In Africa, it has to do with the reason that we don’t like telling each other the truth. We like circumlocutions, to borrow our attorney general’s term. The truth is often a bitter pill and not all of us are physicians as to know how to admit it. Thus we like being politically correct by disappearing.
When you start dating, I urge people to always be vigilant and observe the consistent habitual patterns of their partners. The day they stop being consistent is the day you know everything has gone South. Be ready for any eventuality. Especially when communication becomes erratic, beware.
As for me, I call this form of dumping, ‘being dumped via sign language’. If you have not done it, it will catch up with you. Sooner or later.
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