OK so, confession time. I am a serial ghoster. I know, I know, I'm not proud of it. I know ghosting is not a cute look, but here we are. I'm working on it though, because having been on the receiving end a time or two, I know what a bummer it can be to have someone up and disappear in a puff of digital dust. And yet, I persist. But is the disappearing act always bad form? Is it ever OK to ghost someone without any explanation whatsoever, leaving them to wonder what happened?
That being said, there must be some situations where the "no ghosting" rules don't apply and it’s perfectly fine to hit reply...never. The answer, of course, is yes. There are plenty of times where ghosting is not only OK, but actually your best option. If you've spent any time in the online dating world, you know that people don't always act right, so you have to cut them off hard. Ghosting is one technique that works, especially combined with a nice definitive block. To break down the signs when those drastic measures are called for, I reached out to NYC relationship expert and bestselling author, Susan Winter. Here's where she draws the line on behavior that gives you the green light to make like Casper and disappear for good, guilt-free.
1. When They Don’t Respect Your Boundaries
At some point, you've most likely experienced someone getting pushy and not respecting your boundaries online or on a date. In that case, Winter says ghost away!
“Some people don't know when to stop pushing," she tells Elite Daily. "They want to control your thoughts, time, and lifestyle choices.” Anyone like this should be cut off completely and permanently, says Winter.
“The most minimal involvement with this type of personality requires the ongoing defense of your personal boundaries. The only way out, is out for good.”
2. When They Won’t Take No For An Answer
It might feel less cut-and-dry if the person you’re dealing with isn’t super openly pushy, but being passive aggressive and simply not taking you at your “no” is also grounds for guilt-free ghosting, says Winter.
"I've ghosted people. Not because I wanted to, but because it was the last resort," she says. "They simply wouldn't leave me alone and refused to accept 'no' as an answer. Therefore, I was forced to eliminate all contact.”
3. When They’re Emotionally Manipulative
Ghosting someone you’ve just talked to online or gone on a few dates with is one thing, but what about people who are already in your life? Can they be ghosted? According to Winter, the answer to that is yes if you're dealing with someone who is emotionally manipulative or aggressive.
“Manipulation, agenda, and self-interest are perfect reasons to ghost someone," she says. "Their interest in you isn't genuine, so there are no feelings to be hurt by eliminating them from your life."
She also says this applies to "highly aggressive people (who must have their way). Unfortunately, it's the only language they understand."
4. When Being Direct Won’t Work
If you’re someone who doesn’t really feel comfortable ghosting someone and you’ve tried more direct methods of cutting someone off to no avail, Winter says its time to accept that “sometimes, talking is pointless.” If that’s the case you’re left with, you might not really have a choice but to just dip.
“Ghosting is best done after a definitive 'no' has been stated," says Winter. "Now, our position has been made clear. Any attempt at contact is clearly understood as unwanted."
5. When You Feel Uneasy Or Unsafe
But most importantly, always remember you reserve the right to ghost anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Manners and courtesy cease to matter if the person you're communicating with makes you feel threatened in any way.
“If an individual is imbalanced and we fear we may be in harms way, cutting all communication is the wisest choice to make," says Winter. "Any involvement of any type could be perceived as a green light, encouraging them to continue interacting with us.”
Again, ghosting is totally fine whenever they are disrespectful. If they are rude or pushy, or think its cute to send you an unsolicited d*ck pic, then get your ghost on. Once they breach that boundary, you are well within your rights to disappear. It’s a bummer, but unfortunately, it's often part of the modern dating experience. Your safety and comfort is your priority, and if they leave you no choice but to peace out, then so be it.
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