Here's a hot take: Ghosting someone is almost comparable to murder... except that it's not as terrible. I'm just being extra for the sake of making a point, but bear with me.
If you've murdered someone, it's pretty hard to forget. Also, chances are you'll end up in jail.
With ghosting, there's the off-chance you probably feel bad about doing it because you are a decent person. Also, let's hope circumstances did not put you in jail for this.
But as not all murderers are one-time offenders, that same thing could be said for ghosters.
Serial killers are defined by multiple victims, no apparent motive, and a lack guilt. They just keep being monsters over and over.
Serial ghosters are defined by multiple ghostees, no real reason, and a lack of manners. They keep being evasive over and over.
If you're uncertain if you're on the path to becoming a serial ghoster, just check to see if you've done these things:
1. You Have Ghosted Someone Three Or More Times
If you just started counting on your fingers, just stop. You're probably a serial ghoster.
If you simply cut off communication without giving any explanation, then yes, you ghosted. That repeated abrupt switch from connection to monastic silence is what makes you who you are.
Sure, letting texts trail off after a second date is fine (I guess), but if you ignored well-deserved "What happened?" texts, you were on a spree.
Maybe the first time you ghosted, you were getting out of a long-term relationship. You went on dating apps and met someone you liked a lot, then got scared of being tied down again. You weren't sure how to end it, and because you were new to this whole "casual dating" thing, you just stopped replying.
It happens. But then, you start hanging out with someone new, only to lose interest about a month in. Because it was so easy the first time, you ghost again.
All of a sudden, you're caught up with new guy you met at your gym. You hook up for a bit, but when it ends, you ignore his calls, and start avoiding him at all costs.
Third strike, girl. You are officially serial.
2. You Don't Really Have A Reason For Ghosting
Even if he randomly develops halitosis and starts sucking his thumb in his sleep, that's no excuse to ghost! Your three-month hook up deserves an explanation for your quick exit.
If someone was cruel or abusive to you, you have every right to ignore them. See you never, block you always - ghosting is the right choice when someone is treating you badly.
But if you've ghosted multiple times simply because you got bored, or started seeing someone else, you should probably grow a pair.
I know it sucks to hurt someone else's feelings, but a straightforward, slightly disappointing answer is better than no answer at all. You can be gentle. You can provide a little bit of a white lie... anything would work aside from silence. "Hey, I had fun, but someone just came back into my life" would suffice.
That's better than ignoring his texts.
People love closure. It's soothing to know what the F actually happened.
3. You Don't Feel Badly When You Ghost
Have you ever been ghosted? It's unpleasant, confusing, and hurtful. It doesn't feel great to get close with someone, only to have them vanish.
If you don't feel badly when you disappear on someone, then you are lacking some empathy. Where's your heart at?
If you don't care about ghosting someone after a month of delicious dinner dates, you've probably done it too many times before.
Think about it: The first time you try coffee, it tastes bitter and you're not a fan. Then, slowly, you get used to the taste, and you want it more and more.
If you are comfortable ignoring texts and emails and moving on with your life, you have said "yes please" to ghosting too many times.
Feelings. Basic manners. A working iPhone. You have all of these things, so use them.
4. You Can't Remember Your Last Long-Term Relationship
If you can't remember the last time you sent a break-up text, but you've still been dating like a queen bee during mating season, you should ask yourself why you go from person to person without developing any feelings.
Are you picking the wrong people? Do you have crazy high standards? Are you just scared?
Long term relationships are not for everyone, but if you can't remember the last time you enjoyed someone's personality for an extended period of time, you may have some fears around intimacy.
It can be scary to let someone into your life. Admitting you care means admitting that there is a possibility you could get hurt. Disappearing is easy, confrontation is hard. Maybe that's why you ghost.
Baby steps (and maybe, a good therapist) can help with these fears.
In the meantime, try to have some better manners. The one good thing about it being 2017 and all of us being attached to our phones is that if you're going to end things, you don't have to end things in person.
It will take you five seconds to send a text.. or even make a call, if you're feeling adventurous.
And just like that, you will no longer be quantifiably known as a serial ghoster. You will also feel so much better about yourself.
It's a win-win for everyone.