Home Dating apps The Morning After: Filipino Politician Attempts to Make Ghosting a Criminal Offense

The Morning After: Filipino Politician Attempts to Make Ghosting a Criminal Offense


Ghosts can hurt, that’s for sure. When someone suddenly cuts contact, doesn’t show up on a date, or just doesn’t match one of those many dating apps, it sucks. A Filipino lawmaker is trying to stop it, which could be a tall order. Arnolfo Teves Jr., a member of the Philippine House of Representatives, said ghosting was “a form of emotional cruelty and should be punished as an emotional offence.”

The bill — yes, there is a bill — doesn’t offer specific penalties, but Teves suggested in an interview that community service might work. The bill attempts to define a romantic relationship as one in which the parties live together without being married or are “romantically involved over time and continuously.”

Teves said that neither casual acquaintances nor “ordinary socializing” constitute a romantic relationship. But it’s probably the connections that ghost the most. The bill does not take into account blocking someone without explanation if they are scary or threatening, which can often be the case. (Why do I feel like a regular ghost/ghost?) Quietly dropping a conversation is usually easier than being honest, unfortunately. It’s not cool, but I’m not sure if it’s really a criminal offense.

—Mat Smith

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