The Science of Ghosting

By: Miranda Cavada

OwlFeed Journalist

Imagine talking to this cute guy or girl who you’ve been close to for a while. The two of you have been flirting for weeks and have even considered meeting up in person. Then, out of the blue, they stop responding to your messages. They give you no explanation, no excuse. They just disappear.

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Nobody is alone in this. We’ve probably all have had our share of failed relationships because the other person didn’t reciprocate your feelings for whatever reason. If they didn’t ghost you, they at least gave you an explanation and you guys ended on either good or bad terms.

Ghosting, however, is what I call cowardly. What was once a tight-knit relationship suddenly turns into nothing. You think things are going so well, and then they disappear without saying anything. They read your texts but never respond, or they pretend they don’t read them by leaving you on “delivered.” It’s more than a minor annoyance. When you have feelings for this person, it can be heartbreaking.

“For many people, ghosting can result in feelings of being disrespected, used, and disposable,” writes Psychology Today. You may feel worthless if the person you like doesn’t feel like they owe an explanation for why they left. What helps, though, is to put yourself in your ghost’s shoes.

Why do you think they left without telling you why? Maybe it’s because they don’t want to let you down and tell you why things aren’t just working out. Maybe they think they’re too good for you. It could be any reason, but you’ll never know unless they directly tell you. It leaves you wondering what you did wrong. That’s why ghosting hurts so much.

There are things you can do to combat this issue. Sometimes not all hope is lost. This person could very well be busy, or maybe they lost their phone. A few hours or days without messaging them shouldn’t necessarily signal you to give up. Business Insider suggests “…you can take power by choosing to define to the context of their ghosting by saying to them ‘I take it you are very busy today’,” or if that doesn’t work, you can just move on.

We can’t base our self-worth on a failed relationship. It’s not the end of the world if they leave you hanging. Like the overused, cliche saying goes, there are plenty of fish in the sea. If anything, take this ordeal as a good thing because it proves that they weren’t the one.