It wasn't until I started reading dozens of articles about ghosting that I realized I am a "ghoster."
Surely, the least anyone can do when they aren't interested in moving forward with someone would be to politely inform them. However, I would be lying if I said I don't often employ the easier technique of disappearing.
There are a multitude of reasons I might ghost someone, and there's no denying a major reason is purely due to cowardice.
However, there are times I would venture to say ghosting is the right move. Allow me to explain.
1. They're a fuckboy.
Plain and simple. The fuckboy version of ghosting is the reason many women have difficulty trusting men.
Usually, the easiest way to a seduce a woman is by telling her exactly what she wants to hear (that we have genuine feelings for her), tricking her into letting her guard down and moving things to the bedroom.
It is only once we disappear that women get their first taste of not only manipulation, but ghosting.
To be honest, I've never employed the above manipulation. But I previously dabbled in the fuckboy realm of ghosting, and it most often materialized when I was feeling lonely and using Tinder.
I would go on several Tinder, Bumble and, of course, Jswipe dates. Some of the women I merely kissed. Some I didn't get along with at all, and I slept with a couple, too.
However, I also developed the fuckboy habit of carelessly rescheduling dates before disappearing or ghosting a girl after a date with zero explanation.
I'm not saying these women were devastated by my disappearing act, but it doesn't mean the way I behaved was gentlemen-like either.
Truthfully, I behaved this way because I never considered any of these women to be relationship-worthy.
Now, that doesn't mean there aren't worthy relationship candidates on these dating apps, but because I wasn't really looking, I was guilty of a “beggars can't be choosers” attitude.
However, plunging into the dating world with that attitude provided me with enough cushion to be a total fuckboy because I never cared about the outcome.
"It sucks to be rejected. It can be awkward, lonely, sad and temporarily defeating."
Don't get me wrong; I was never rude, nor did I mistreat my dates. I just never took the time to properly reject someone if I didn't want to see them anymore.
Instead, I treated dating as a messy playing field where rules didn't exist. Combine that attitude with unlimited swipes and the low stakes of the Tinder world, and it produced an arrogant sense of confidence that allowed me to treat my dates like total shit.
2. They don't know how to reject you.
Let me be clear about something: I would never suggest that women were so hung up on my acceptance that I ghosted them instead of being honest because they couldn't handle the truth.
That would be tragically arrogant.
It sucks to be rejected. It can be awkward, lonely, sad and temporarily defeating; just ask my high school self.
However, it's no easy task for rejecters either. Who wants to deal with a suitor whose emotional state hinges on your acceptance when you're totally disinterested? Awkward.
Here's the thing with ghosting: Everyone has done it.
Ultimately, ghosting serves as a backdoor solution when I'm not man enough to be honest, but I want you to understand that I'm no longer interested.
3. They're scared you'll hurt them.
I've come across several women in my 20s whom I've developed genuine feelings for, but they were wrong for me.
Much of the time, it seemed like these women possessed a tragic quality, whether it was a difficult childhood or scars from previous relationships.
Of course, these issues did not define these women, but the repercussions of their experiences made it impossible for us to have a normal relationship.
The best example I can give is a girl I met through a friend whom I instantly developed strong feelings for. The first time we slept together, our sexual chemistry was primal and mentally stimulating. I had never felt so turned on by anyone before.
Unfortunately, I found out after we slept together multiple times that she had a boyfriend.
To be honest, I continued to sleep with her after finding this out, which I'm not proud of, but it was difficult to let go.
It wasn't long before I found myself falling for her, as the late night texts began to transition to real dates.
I felt deeply saddened knowing, when I kissed her goodbye, she could be going back to her boyfriend or even a different guy. Not to mention, the concept that she was cheating weighed much heavier on me once alcohol wasn't involved.
Suddenly, I found myself falling out of love, so I did what I had always done: I disappeared.
Surely, I could have been more vocal, but in this instance, ghosting was the only way I knew how to sever my addiction.
4. They'll always have feelings for you.
I've never understood how couples can break up and keep in contact as “friends.”
Sure, it's not impossible to be friends after a relationship. However, the beautifully tragic thing about relationships is, what you experienced with your partner can never be replicated.
My ex and I traveled together, had tons of inside jokes and strapped our respective helmets on as both of us changed careers and transitioned into rocky chapters of our lives.
We also slept together countless times, cried in front of each other, shared our deepest secrets and allowed ourselves to be true and vulnerable in the presence of one another.
That is a sacred and beautiful thing, but it's fleeting. I believe that we can't hold on to the power of these things once they expire.
I know once it's truly over, I can't periodically check in, send an occasional text or message them on Facebook to congratulate them on their latest milestone.
I have to treat that person like they are deceased, silently thank them for the wonderful memories and move on with a little scar on my heart.
5. Everyone is guilty of ghosting.
Here's the thing with ghosting: Everyone has done it.
Perhaps the most subtle but common form of ghosting is when a woman gives her number to a man at a bar, but she has no intention of ever seeing him again.
For a man, who might be lacking natural intuition, receiving a woman's number is an accomplishment.
However, women often give out their phone numbers to escape awkward interactions. These same men (we've all been there) end up dumbfounded when their texts are met with radio silence.
Quite frankly, I can't blame women.
Standing in their shoes, if a plastered guy was trying to dry hump me at a bar, and I knew giving him my number would end the interaction, I'd absolutely give my number out.
Sure, there are plenty of women who have no problem shooting a guy down in a bar, but the overall point is, many of us have difficulty rejecting somebody — even in situations where we clearly aren't interested.
Ultimately, if you asked me to list what my biggest fears were, rejection would perhaps be highest on the list. Certainly, that fear isn't a feeling I solely possess, and that is part of what makes authentically rejecting someone so difficult.
Fortunately, I was able to escape the ghosting world after meeting my current girlfriend. Cheers to us learning to to be above ghosting and, hopefully, meeting that special someone soon.