Ghosting or Cowardice – Is There A Difference?

Before cell phones.jpeg

By Jessica Kitching

I don’t have the most extensive dating history. Before meeting my fiancé, I was with someone for five years. When we broke up, I went on a few dates, but in all honesty I was happy enough by myself and looking forward to achieving my travelling goals. It was during my time as a ‘single girl’ that I discovered the term ‘ghosting’. I’ve never personally been ghosted, but when talking to my other single friends I realised how common a dating practise it is.

For those of you lucky enough to not know what ghosting means, ghosting is where you basically just ignore the person that you were speaking to or dating until they get the message that you don’t want to speak to them again. In short, it is the cowardly way out of doing the decent thing and ending something properly. Ghosting can happen with friends, someone you're dating or someone you're in a long term relationship with.

I’ve heard many, many people try and justify ghosting. Some people laugh it off and say that people will get over it. Others try rationalise it as a way not to waste your time explaining yourself when time is precious and life is so busy nowadays. People say that in the world of technology and online dating, to ignore someone over message is too easy to not do it. You can pretend that they are just a screen and not a person. You don’t have to think of yourself as someone who upsets someone else, you’re just someone who has stopped replying to an automated message.

But when you choose to ghost someone, it’s not an automated message or a robot or a piece of software that you ignore - it’s a person. A person who has taken the time out of their day to message you, to speak to you, to get to know you. A person that gets excited when your name lights up their screen. A person with a heart that you might not know enough to break but one that your cowardly act of ghosting will damage. A person who will carry what you did inside of them, building up layers of insecurity that will impact their next dating encounter.

Everyone knows that dating does not always work out, that you don’t fall in love with everyone you meet and that sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. I’ve walked away from a long term relationship and had the awkward exchange where you tell someone after a first date that whilst it was fun, you don’t want to see them again. I’ve been there and I’ve done it, but I’ve done it with decency and respect.

For the person who avoids the responsibility of actually treating the person they were speaking to as a human being it is an easy way out. For the person that has been ghosted, it’s endless questions, being plagued with self doubt, heightened insecurities and it’s own brand of heartache.

If you ghost someone, you are telling them that they have no worth. You are literally saying to them ‘I’m better than you’ and ‘you’re not even worth my time’. It’s the most smug, arrogant and selfish thing that you could do. You could leave them with more hurt and baggage than you could imagine. No one has the right to take away another person’s sense of humanity.

To anyone who has been a victim of ghosting, please know that it does not define you or your worth. To not reply is the practise of a coward and one that in the end you are better off without having in your life. The person out of the two of you who will find their happiness is never going to be the one who did the ghosting. How can anyone who treats others so poorly ever be in a situation where they know what it feels like to truly be loved? They can’t, but you can.

And, after taking a few days to mourn your loss… it’s time to think about what it is that you’re really losing. Here are 10 reasons you should be grateful for being ghosted.

  1. Ghosters lack communication skills.

  2. Ghosters are more than a little selfish. 

  3. Ghosters are spineless.

  4. Ghosting is childish.

  5. Ghosting is lazy.

  6. Ghosting can be manipulative.

  7. You’re free as a bird.

  8. Closure can be found on your own terms.

  9. Rejection is a great motivator 

  10. You deserve better

The next time you try to end things, just take a moment and think “am I being kind? Does this person deserve this? How would I feel if this were the other way around?” It doesn’t take a lot to be honest and kind. Ignoring a message might seem like the easy option, but it’s not. Kindness is the easy option, always. Don’t ever forget that.



Jess Kitching is the writer of The Good In Every Day blog which produces creative content written by Jess Kitching with the aim to uplift, inform, empower and spread positivity. Originally from England, Jess is now living in Sydney with her fiancé after travelling America and Australia.

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