When I was 19, I met a beautiful young woman named Omeesha. I had met Omeesha at a house party where we connected and had a good night of conversation. At the end of the night, we exchanged cell numbers and continued our conversations on WhatsApp the day after. After a week of chatting, Omeesha stopped responding to my messages in quick order like she used to…Of course my paranoia kicked in and I had to fight it back with some rationality. I said to myself “eh, she’s busy and I don’t know her life.” So, I kept my feelings in check and assumed everything was alright.
LOL 😂 Boy, was I wrong! Omeesha stopped replying to my messages and eventually, I had given up on our interactions. As you can see already, my readers…I, was ghosted!👻 Now that I look at, I have ghosted a few people as well…😅 If any of you few are reading this, then I would like to extend a sincere apology to you.
Now, what does it mean to ghost someone? Considering the fact that this term originates from popular culture, thus giving it slang status, I will be using a definition from the best source for slang definitions — The Urban Dictionary!
Although the terminology is new, the behaviour certainly is not. Perhaps the oldest incidents of ghosting can be seen in the relationships between men and women, where after men receive sexual intercourse from women, they tend to disappear either immediately or after they have found out that the woman is pregnant. Now that we know what ghosting is, let us find out why it happens.
The mind of the Ghoster
Upon being ghosted, I pondered Omeesha’s thought processes for a week. Now, I do not remember the explanation that I attributed to her behaviour…I just remember that I moved on.😪 Pondering the mind of the Ghoster is the common thought process that us Ghostees undergo.
Ghosters are primarily looking at their own emotional wellbeing and unfortunately, this leaves little to no room for your feelings. What I realise in my generation, and the one after us, is that many of us are afraid to be vulnerable, which results in this avoidance mentality that in some circles, is seen as ‘cool.’ Quite frankly, it reveals an emotional immaturity that plagues us. However, I won’t be too hard on us, because heartbreak hurts. We have all experienced it at least once in our lives and that makes us run from the thought of it like an escaped convict. Oh! By the way, ghosting is not unique to Gen-Z, as the terminology was birthed before we were of dating age. 😶
This fear of vulnerability and/or inability to process emotions, can result in poor communication from the Ghoster, to the Ghostee. Communication is a word that is overused and oftentimes misunderstood. Additionally, it’s steps are hardly carried out in full. And, you see these Ghosters? Yeah, they suck at it. Many Ghosters think “I don’t want to hurt them…” or “How do I let them down gently?” When these burning questions are met with their fear of a bad interaction, the result is their disappearance act. Simultaneously, it is SO funny, because they pretended as if everything was alright, and now they are gone without a trace…as if that does not hurt more! Lord, the cognitive dissonance sure jumped out. For those who do not know, a cognitive dissonance is when our actions and beliefs do not align and this results in a negative state of being.
Life is so hard and complicated, yet we make it harder on ourselves and those around us…Therefore, would a little honesty hurt that much? Would you like it to be done to you? If you are about to be Ghoster, please think about that before you ghost someone.
What should you do after being Ghosted?
I will tell you that being ghosted is not easy. The feelings of self-doubt burst through like a dam overflowing with water; the self-loathing, self-deprecating — everything negative relating to self, just comes tumbling down like an avalanche. We as human beings value ourselves based on our social interactions. It is through these interactions, coupled with our own inherent beliefs, that we construct our concepts of self, a.k.a. our self-esteem. Therefore, when we put ourselves out there, we are wrapping ourselves like little cellophane covered gifts, for our prospects to see us for who we are. Aaaaaand when they sh!t on that…ouch! 🙃 So, what should you do after being ghosted?
Firstly, accept that it happened and take a stock of your cognitive trio: your feelings, thoughts and behaviours. Our feelings affect our thoughts, our thoughts affect our behaviours and our behaviours affect our feelings. Therefore, by evaluating our thoughts and feelings, we can better keep our behaviours in check! So, those feelings of low self-esteem that birth or coincide with thoughts of inferiority? Yeah, I need you to expel those with every fibre of your being. Because those, if left unchecked, can result in you being depressed and…we don’t want that, right? 😄
Secondly, take the time and express any negative emotions such as sadness and anger. Additionally, you can call some friends for that extra support. Considering the fact that you were dating, it means that you probably have other prospects in your line-up. If so, before moving onto them, you need to sort yourself out first. Although dating someone for a month or less, was not a relationship, you had begun to invest feelings, time and energy into these interactions. This is why when you are ghosted, it hurts so much. Therefore, should you move onto another prospect, ensure that these negative emotions are dealt with so that it can be as smooth sailing as possible.
My dear Ghostee, I want you to know that you are enough. I want you to know that you are attractive. To quote Viola Davis’ character from The Help: “you is smart, you is kind, and you is important” Your worth should not be measured by the inconsiderate and inconsequential actions of someone you have known for less than a month or for whatever short span of time. It is time to dust yourself off, re-evaluate your plan of action and get back on that horse. Because love is one hell of a ride, and this…is your rodeo.
What do you guys think of ghosting? Have it ever happened to you? Let me know in the comments down below! Also, I would like to give a shout-out to the reader who recommended this topic! Thanks Dellan from St. Lucia!