Ghosting: the buzzword of the moment is quickly become synonymous with cruelty for people in the dating scene. But just how emotionally damaging is it? And can anything be done? We asked the team at Magpie HQ what they thought..
Lauren Malone: Beauty Editor
“Ghosting is the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication,’ according to Google – and in today’s dating world it’s becoming the new normal.
I do think it causes emotional distress and possibly could lead to mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression, and that is horrific to think about. Especially because it’s something that could so easily be avoided by just being honest.
I’ve seen friends who have had this happen to them, and they always seem to blame themselves and pick themselves apart wondering what they did wrong. When it is entirely the other person, who is to blame.
If you can’t be mature enough to say you wish to part ways, then you shouldn’t be dating and allowing someone to become attached to you. The ‘Ghostee’ has probably opened up to you about personal things, or allowed you to see them in vulnerable and intimate settings – you owe it to them to be honest.”
Georgina Heffernan: Magpie Editor
“If you’ve been on a few dates, and had a jolly old time, and then someone vanishes that’s tough but not something that will scar you long-term. However, if you’ve been dating for quite a while and then your beau suddenly vanishes into thin air, we are looking at something a lot more complex .For starters, it’s a cowards way out, but there’s an element of abuse there also.
Here’s my take on things: If a woman gives her consent to sex and it’s clear that it’s more than just a one night stand – she often does so with the understanding that the relationship is leading somewhere.This assumption is often made because she has talked about big commitments like marriage, starting a family, buying a home together. So, a woman is giving consent based on these conversations.
When the man disappears from contact without any explanation at all – no phone call or email – he’s broken that trust. And the effects can be devastating, and particularly damaging to those who already have fragile self-esteem, especially when someone just drops off the planet with no trace.
I can’t pretend that it hasn’t happened to me, or it doesn’t hurt to be ghosted, but I’m not the first or last to experience the phenomena. A new survey of 800 single US millennials, conducted by the dating service Plenty of Fish, found that 80% had been “ghosted,” – and this is part of what’s becoming an increasingly dishonest dating culture.
The disregard is offensive. The lack of closure is infuriating. You move on, but not before your self-worth takes a hit. And, yes, it’s very hard to pick yourself up afterwards.”
Áine McGee: Columnist
“To me, ghosting refers to a significant other suddenly dropping off the face of the earth, never to be heard from again. I’ll deduce it to meaning that people use your emotions for their own benefit with little concern for you. I have been ghosted many times before and absolutely hate it.
When I get ghosted, I am less annoyed by losing “the man of my dreams” and more annoyed by the lack of respect he has shown to me. I’ll use this podium to say that if any of my future suitors are reading this and want to back away, just send me a text hun, makes it a lot easier.
I think that, in the case of a heterosexual relationship, men make assumptions about women; that we are emotional and fragile, and women assume men are emotionless and cold. I would absolutely prefer to be told that a relationship (at any stage) won’t be going further rather than be left wondering if they broke their phone if maybe they’re just busy or god forbid; maybe I did something.
It is more so that emotions were put forward consensually, by both parties at some stage but were then disregarded and ignored based on the stereotype of how genders react to a break-up. One cannot be forced to reply to a text, answer a phone call or make plans to meet up. As I said before, ghosting is childish, cowardly and a giant waste of time.”
Eimear Everard: Fashion Stylist
“Does anyone ever deserve such a treatment? Don’t get me wrong we’ve all had people walk in and out of our lives but we’ve also had people make us feel like the smallest person in the world, and this is what ghosting does to a person.
If you plan to cut someone from your life, you surely know that in some form, (unless said person is a complete A**hole) you will emotionally effect that person by making them feel severely unwanted and irrelevant almost.
The result of ‘cutting’ someone from your life may be utter relief for you and possibly some peace. But the cost of tearing someone apart, having left them in a state of wondering why and what they’ve done to deserve such treatment is not always worth it. Are your own selfish reasons worth the emotional destruction of another human being.
Like with every decision, there’s pro and cons. In my personal opinion I would much rather be tormented by the annoyance or hatred even of a person rather than know I have, dare I say ’emotionally’ disrespected by someone. Maybe not through any intent or want to hurt a person.
The resolution? Realistically there is no winning, but there is compromise. Staying polite and a good person will always be beneficial. You’ll sleep better knowing you haven’t made someone like they don’t deserve a friendship at least.
In other words, there are times to think solely of yourself, and there’s times to remember there’s a human being at the other end of the problem. And that my friend is a good enough reason to ‘put up’ with them.”
Alisha Davey: Beauty Columnist
” I think that if someone you have been dating is a decent person at all, they will never ghost you. It can be quite a shock when someone you started getting serious with suddenly cuts all contact with no explanation, and in some cases it can leave you in a terrible, emotional state.
For days on end the person who has been ghosted may ask themselves things like ‘what did I do wrong?’ or ‘is there something wrong with me? So yes, I do believe that ghosting is emotional abuse- it’s an action that is indecent and unnecessary.
I have a friend at the moment who is being ghosted by someone with whom things were getting serious. I just don’t get it. How can you be such a man-baby and leave someone on such a whim, making a fool out of them? I think it’s definitely emotional abuse as it consumes the victim in negative feelings and thoughts. Arseholes.”