Editor’s Note: It’s Complicated is a dating and relationship column that features campus romance and sex/love-related topics with the help of experts in the field , science and advice from other Huskies.
Andrea Carrillo, a sophomore undergraduate, had just become single and had jumped headfirst into the wonderful world of dating. She had met a guy who had started to develop feelings for her, but unfortunately Carrillo wasn’t on the same page. So, reader, can you blame her for becoming a ghost?
“Confrontation is difficult, especially in my case,” Carrillo said. “I knew this person had feelings for me that I didn’t feel back, and I guess I was just afraid to have this conversation with them and tell them directly… It’s just easier to cut them off and not having to deal with it.”
Like Carrillo, we all hate confrontation on some level. We endured having the dentist poke us in the mouth, even though he promised not to bleed our gums. We try to tune out the two talkers sitting in front of us at the cinema, even though we can’t concentrate. We will even hide our feelings from our closest confidants, just to keep the peace. So when it comes to the dating world, it’s no surprise that we often ignore awkward conversations, turn on Do Not Disturb, and go ghost.
Ph.D. in Communication student Benjamin Compton said ghosting, or the lack of communication, is a natural phenomenon of dating in the modern world. He compared dating to going to a party. You are going to meet people, but you never stay long enough to say goodbye to everyone at the party. Sometimes you just leave.
But Carrillo’s story didn’t end there. The two eventually rekindled, and then the ghost’s worst nightmare happened – he ghosted her.
“I had done the same thing, so I had no right to be upset, but obviously it doesn’t feel good when someone stops talking to you out of the blue,” Carrillo said.
And really, it’s not. In my great indulgence for rom-coms and love stories, not once have I seen the texts change from blue to green on the big screen, which is the surefire sign of knowing you’re stuck. It’s blind and leaves you with a hard time closing. Ghosting is an answer in itself, but the harsh sting of rejection, as Carrillo said, never does any good.
Devin Neal, a third-year undergraduate, was also the victim of a ghost, after what he thought was a successful dinner party.
“People don’t like to talk about their feelings, especially when they perceive it’s going to hurt someone else’s feelings,” Neal said. “If she thought telling me would hurt me, I can totally understand why she was like, ‘Just let me not answer’… It’s an answer, in a way.”
Really, whether or not to ghost is subjective. How much closure do you owe this person? What level of communication are you ready to expand? Compton advised those who are quick to ghost to instead send a quick copy-and-paste message simply saying “It doesn’t work.”
“At the end of the day, it’s just easier to ghost, because it’s just a person on a screen that you’ve met, and even if you’ve met them, you don’t really know them,” Compton said. .
What if you are the target of a ghost? The advice is trivial, but it works like a charm – don’t give up on the dating world just yet.
“You play the game because if you have 100 dates, the 101st person might be the greatest person you’ve ever met,” Compton said. “Some movies suck, but you can’t stop watching movies.”
It can be hard to get over a ghost, and it can be hard to accept the simple fact that the person isn’t interested. Unfortunately, no, they’re not busy with work or sick – they’re just not interested in you. But bouncing back is certainly possible. In fact, Carrillo’s mutual ghost story ended up having a happy ending and the two are now dating.
The modern phenomenon of ghosting is too good to give up and too harsh to ignore, but as ghosting becomes the preferred starting mode, especially on dating apps, we need to be prepared. So I leave you a piece of advice, reader: stay equipped with hope in one hand and read receipts in the other. Ghosting isn’t as scary as it sounds.
Contact columnist Adysen Barkhurst at [email protected] Twitter: @adybarks
Do you like what you read ? Support high-quality student journalism by donating here.