How To Break The Habit Of Being Passively Ghosted In Every Relationship

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I recently read an article about “passive ghosting,” aka when someone who is not interested in dating a person still responds and shows slight interest, leaving that person in a constant state of confusion. I couldn't help but think of the countless guys who have done this to me.

Even further, I couldn't help but think how this topic is seldom spoken of when it comes to dating articles. A sh*t ton of relationship articles either talk about ghosting or failed serious romantic relationships. Both of these leave their victims with hearts shattered into millions of pieces.

So, why not discuss the “in-betweens,” if you will? Because honestly, they are more scary and sometimes harder to cope with than the ones that go terribly wrong. It's just different and harder to figure out why.

When someone is ghosted, it's harsh and it sucks. But, the silver lining is there is a specific time period people can pinpoint to when they were ghosted. They can probably backtrack to where things started to be “different” up until they never heard from said ghoster again. A ghosting victim can somehow “make sense” or come to terms with the ghosting. Somehow, you can pinpoint the shift of when it was “on” to when it started to be “off.”

Don't get me wrong; going through a terrible breakup completely sucks. But when you go through a breakup, you have a mental stockpile of a million different reasons, conversations and cold hard facts of why it didn't work out and what went wrong. You can sort through the facts of your broken relationship, and again, you somehow come to terms with its ending.

So, after hashing out both extremely different alternatives to when sh*t goes wrong in relationships, it is pretty clear why the “passive ghost” really is the worst option. It's because there is no definitive end to the relationship.

When you have a passive ghost on your hands, you are kept in the throes of “the game." It's the “Should I text him?" and “Did he view my Snapchat story?” game. You are kept dangling like a puppet in the hands of a guy who has zero interest in you, but hasn't given you any clear signs he isn't interested.

Since he is right there, ever responsive and “present” in your life, why would you think otherwise? It likely won't even cross your mind he isn't interested because you're used to this kind of behavior. There were many other guys who also weren't and just stopped responding (aka ghosting) and broke your heart to pieces.

The “passive ghost” is a real selfish ass, if you ask me. He cares enough to not straight-up ghost you, but he doesn't care enough to be straight-up honest with you to say he isn't interested. He is keeping himself and his reputation “safe” by being a passive ghost. The reality of the situation is that this guy is not an idiot. He knows you are interested, but he doesn't care enough about you to save you from messing with your head and your emotions.

After some deep reflection about my own love life and the passive ghosts who have haunted me, I find it's hard to place the sole blame on them. I realized that I too played a role in their passive ghosting. I refused to wake up see the cold hard facts in front of me. Instead, I was complacent about the idea of trying to “make it work” with the passive ghost. If I had realized their passiveness for what it was earlier, I might be a hell of a lot happier and less confused dater.

So, how do we deal with passive ghosters? I will leave you with a token of knowledge from a famed movie of our time to clue in the resolve here, kids. We have all seen, heard and reheard every lesson in “He's Just Not That Into You,” but we frequently forget to let those lessons dictate our dating decisions. Sure, I wasn't a huge fan of the movie, but the lessons in it are actually pretty dead-on. They are ones that we should not forget and use as young daters in the world.

My token piece of advice inspired by this movie in regards to the “passive ghost” is this: If a guy is solely just responding to you most or all of the time, that is not good enough. A response is really just a response. I respond to people I hate sometimes just because I feel bad, and I don't want to do the one thing we all deem so terrible, which is ghosting.

Actions always speak louder than words. Use real actions — not actions over an iPhone — as a basis to tell if a guy is really interested in you in a real way. If a guy has put zero effort into actually seeing you and keeping such plans, he is a passive ghost. Wake the hell up and see him for what he is.

Although I have experienced all three relationships I have discussed in this article fail, I have fallen victim to passive ghosts too many times to count. They have honestly been the most confusing and heartbreaking to go through. It's hard to come to terms with the fact there is a huge disconnect between what you think someone's intentions are and reality. Talk about an ego blow, too.

If there is one thing I have learned from experience, it's that the passive ghosters of the world will never tell you their true intentions. It is up to you to realize what they really are. So, for any single ladies out there, start realizing that iMessage responses, Snapchats, Instagram likes and such are not reasons to believe he is just as interested as you are. His actions beyond the world of our iPhone screens are really what matters.