A lot of people nowadays talk about the experience of being ghosted — that is, being ignored, deleted, or disconnected from a person they thought they had a connection with. People often blame the "ghoster" for being rude, insensitive, et cetera. Although there have been times I've felt bad for hurting someone's feelings, I've thought a lot about whether or not the times I've ghosted men have been times I've been a bad person. And I've realized, no, I am not a bad person.

I want to make one thing clear before I continue, which is I would never intentionally hurt another person. However, when I meet you on campus and have a conversation with you, and you add me on Snapchat or Instagram and decide to message me, I technically have no obligation to respond to you.

I usually do respond out of courtesy, but can't continue the conversation every single day.

Although our first encounter may have been pleasant, it does not mean that you are entitled to my time whenever you please.

There are many times when I feel as if I've ghosted somebody, only to realize that they thought they had earned a place in my life based on one or two successful encounters. That's. Not. How. It. Works.

There have been times where random guys from my school or who live in my city have found my Instagram and DM'd me, expecting a reply. If I don't know you, I don't feel the need to talk to you. You're not someone in my life who I owe a response to.

It also becomes really annoying when guys who I've never met before spam me with messages. It doesn't help that they can see when I'm "Active Now" on Instagram and see the posts I've liked four seconds ago and have yet to open their message. I once had a guy DM me saying he's seen me around campus before and asked if we could chill sometime soon in one of our dorms. Mind you, I've never even seen or talked to him before. He asked me this before we even had ONE conversation. I like chilling with my friends, but why the hell would I want to chill with a guy I've never met?

I hate how our social media-driven generation functions like this. This is really the expectations of dating. I do not want anything to do with a guy who wants to chill with me privately right away before even knowing who I am. I'm sure his intentions were pure. He probably wanted to get to know each other through in-person conversations while chilling. But I can't do that. We have to meet each other and be friends first, then we can chill. I just found it really backward.

And I don't consider this a loss, either. People who have been ghosted often try to comfort themselves by reassuring them, or even the person who ghosted them, that they're an amazing person who we just missed out on. I completely understand this and would feel the same way if I was on the other end being ghosted. However, we need to remember that people who ghost simply do not care. They're not affected by your presence or absence at all because they do not know you.

That guy who wanted to chill with me could have been such a nice guy, but I genuinely don't feel like I missed out on anything. Whether he is in my life or not, I'm still content with the friends and other people I have in my life right now. They're the only people I feel like I need in my life, no one else. If I do decide not to ghost somebody and start a friendship — or something more — with them, it's because I genuinely want to, because I felt a connection.

So, to the men I've ghosted, I'm sorry if your feelings were hurt, especially the nice guys. But I'm not sorry for controlling my own time and my own encounters.

I'm not sorry for knowing that someone I have never met is not entitled to my time or energy. I am not sorry for being a human being who is allowed to be friendly without wanting romantic involvement and who is allowed to change her mind.

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