About a year ago, if you told me that you ghosted someone, I would have judged you. Having been ghosted quite a few times in my life, I can tell you that it hurts.
Back in the day, I used to believe that people deserved an “exit interview,” if you know what I mean. In theory, I still do believe this. However, what’s been going on in the dating scene has got me thinking otherwise.
Nowadays, I ghost plenty of people and I’m very unapologetic about it.
You see, there are certain moments in which dating just gets too d*** unpleasant. With some guys, if you tell them that you don’t want to pursue them, they take this as an opportunity to argue with you. Back in the day, most people would be upset but understanding. The problem is that today, people just can’t take no for an answer.
A good example of this happened with the guy who was the final straw who broke the camel’s back for me. This is literally the conversation we had:
Me: Listen, dude, you’re nice and everything, but it would never work out between us.
Him: Why not?
Me: Well, my career would drive you nuts, for one. Also, you want kids. Lots of them. I am sterile.
Him: Well, you could just drop your career. We could adopt…
Me: Look, I’m trying to be nice here. I said I’m not interested. It’s not going to work.
Him: You don’t know that.
Me: Yes I do. I don’t want you.
Him: Well, what’s wrong with me?
Me: Are you seriously going to try to argue with me about staying with you? Do you seriously care THAT LITTLE about what I want to do with MY life that you HAVE TO HAVE me spell it out for you?
Him: Well, I-
Me: I’m done here. Bye.
The fact is that this is a conversation I have had several times over, with guys often telling me that I’m being unreasonable for rejecting them. Or, they guilt me. Or, they shame me. Or, they just try to wheedle their way into my life in one way or another.
“No” is not an answer they typically want to take unless I threaten them with police calls or physical violence.
To make matters worse, not only do I get a hard time from them by rejecting them but I also get my name smeared by them. Even worse, if I explain to someone who I want to cut ties with why they’re getting cut off, they often will find a roundabout way to try to stay in my life, even if their behavior makes me uncomfortable. If I stand my ground on that, I often get gaslit and worn down until I snap.
And frankly, I’m done with that sh*t.
Arguing with people who don’t understand why they’re overstepping boundaries is a lot like trying to wrestle with a pig. You won’t win, and you’ll both come out dirty. Eventually, I realized it’s not my duty to tell people why they keep getting rejected, why I won’t invite them anywhere, or why I don’t want to respond to them.
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After a certain age, you expect people to be mature about things and have some kind of self-awareness. Admittedly, sometimes someone is in a really dark place in life, and that’s a point where they will often need to be coached. I understand that because I have been there, but at the same time, I’m not putting myself on that line anymore.
When push came to shove, I was the one that picked myself up when sh*t hit the fan. Men are welcome to put on their big boy pants and do the same.
It’s not my responsibility to be the ever-patient, ever-tolerant lady who keeps trying to turn down guys diplomatically while they bargain, plead, or scream in my face. And it’s not my responsibility to explain why someone makes me uncomfortable.
Ghosting allows a clean end to relationships where people are overstepping boundaries, treating others cruelly, or doing things that are so glaringly obviously bad that they don’t deserve an explanation as to why they’re being cut off. So while ghosting isn’t the nicest way to cut ties, I think it’s one that’s gained popularity for good reason.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others.