Ghosting Is Emotional Abuse And Our Generation Needs To Stop Doing It

Ghosting Is Emotional Abuse And Our Generation Needs To Stop Doing It

This idea that you make plans and just follow through on them? How genius.
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Sometimes I think about what the world was like before cell phones and social media.

I’ll give those of you who didn’t realize there was a time before a moment to regain a normal breathing pattern...

But seriously, before Google Maps and Instagram filters. Before there was an App for that. Before...

There was a little something called accountability.

I’ll repeat that for those in the back who may not have heard it the first time: accountability.

Now, let’s define this foreign term. Drumroll, please...

As good ol’ Merriam-Webster says, it’s, “the quality or state of being accountable; especially: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions”.

Let’s dissect that a moment. An obligation or willingness.

Obligation is intriguing here because it implies that there’s an innate sense of duty and willingness, which is equally as fascinating because it refers to a voluntariness.

With that in mind, I’d like to talk about a phenomenon that has become so normal these days that there’s actually a word for it.

















Ghosting.

Now, since we’re in the habit of defining things, let’s do so.

For this, we have to refer to the ultimate guide for all terms modern and colloquial: Urban Dictionary. They define ghosting as, “The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just "get the hint" and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested”.

Well, there you have it, the modern appropriation of a word that used to refer to the appearance of an apparition on a television or other type of screen like in “The Ring.”

That’s OK, though, it weirds me out a little that the thought of this concept had occurred frequently enough that a term had to be created for it.

Anyway, let’s talk about ghosting and how it might relate to our earlier definition of accountability. For this, we might need to go back in time again.

Speaking with my mom I was able to get more of a handle on the mysterious days before cell phones, specifically, when it came to social interaction. Social interactions here are referring to both romantic and platonic.

Apparently, this time was after dinosaurs had gone extinct, just for your reference.

Back to our conversation, let’s start with dating. It seems that plans were made either in person, on the phone (you know, the type with the cord attached to a base), in a letter or through the grapevine.







There would be an agreed upon time and an agreed-upon place and apparently, the two parties would just show up. And if one party did not show up it was because they were standing up the other party and were, therefore, a schmuck, there was an emergency or that person was straight up dead somewhere.

Doesn’t that sound crazy simple? Well, as simple as dating can be, anyway. This idea that you make plans and just follow through on them? How genius.

No Snapchatting about it, no texting memes back and forth. It’s just assumed that after both parties agree, it’ll just happen. The lead-up and execution seem so maddeningly simple.

And isn’t it crazy how accountability like that sounds crazy?

Enough about that, let’s get to the good part, the reason we’re all here. The main event.







Ghosting.

Now, sometimes people just don’t click, sometimes people look better and sound better in their profiles than they do in real life. Sometimes when you’re in the very beginning stages of dating with one person, another option comes along that you can’t pass up.

Sometimes you find that you’re not ready for an emotional commitment. And sometimes, life gets busy, and you forget to respond to someone.

It happens. Life happens.

But something that doesn’t need to happen is just peacing out of someone’s life entirely. Like seriously, what happened to you, who hurt you or steered you so wrong in life that you think it’s an option to just not say anything.

Don’t be a schmuck. Just, don’t do it.

And you don’t have to be brutally honest, you can even tell a white lie if it’s a subject that’s too harsh or personal to drop on someone. But be present and understand that the respect that you demand so much for yourself other people deserve as well.

Be accountable. Understand that even if it doesn't look like it that person invested time, and potentially expensive make-up, so the least you can do is acknowledge that.

It’s called respect, and I’m not going to define that one because if you don’t know it then I’m holding you accountable to go ahead and look it up for yourself.

And when it comes to friends it’s no different, in fact, ghosting a friend can hurt a person worse than if you were dating them and just dropped off the face of the earth.

Sometimes friends reveal themselves to be toxic or unhealthy influences in our lives or maybe they’re actually a really good friend, but you just don’t have time to invest in the friendship right now.

Instead of just leaving them hanging, I have a radical idea for you: tell them. Look, I’ll even give you a template that you can copy and paste and just rework depending on the specific situation:

“Hey, I’m sorry I’ve been unresponsive lately, I’ve just gotten so busy at work. But we should catch up soon”.

I like that one because it’s vague enough that if you end up having more free time immediately you can reach out or if it takes a few months you’re still in the clear because you did the respectful thing.

But for the harder conversations, the permanent ones that people always avoid, there’s no template I can give you. And even though it’s unpleasant, sometimes really unpleasant, what’s more unpleasant is being permanently ditched by someone you thought was your friend.





















So these times call for putting on your adult hat and doing the unpleasant thing because life requires making a few sacrifices, it just does.

The disturbing thing here is that there needs to be a template. That doing the respectful thing, that being accountable is so infrequent and uncool that it has to be a discussion.

So, let’s be better. Let's stop ghosting each other. I know this whole concept may seem archaic, dated or old fashioned, but sometimes, old school is the best school. Respect isn’t something that should fall by the wayside.

And I don’t care if I have no chill about this. My chill is gone, it went with that last schmuck who ghosted one of my best friends.

And I also don’t care if you have to put a bohemian pattern on it and post about it casually being at Coachella, if that’s what you need to do that’s fine, just keep respect trending.







Cover Image Credit: adwriter / Flickr

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

As Much As You May Want To, You'll Never Get Over Your First Love

You never forget your first

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Your first love is just that: the first person you've ever truly loved (besides your family and friends). Maybe you've kissed a few people before, but with this person it's different. They mean something to you that no other person ever has before. Maybe you met this person when you were younger in high school or met them a little later in life as I did at the end of my first year of college. Meeting my first love transformed me, both for the good and the bad, and as much as I may want to, I'll never get over my first love and neither will you.

When we met, we didn't meet in some fantastical way, we met on Tinder right after a surprise breakup of mine. We had instant chemistry, and I didn't get to kiss him for weeks because I ended up getting mono right after the breakup (haha whoops). He was the first person I've ever kissed who I didn't want to stop kissing- ever. Yes, second semester freshman year me was super extra when it came to him, but being with him was so different than anyone else. Things progressed through the summer as we talked every single day, even though we never got to meet up because we were both busy, and at the beginning of my sophomore year, I lost my virginity to him. That was a big step for someone who thought she'd wait until she was married. He made sure I was fine and didn't push me to do anything I wasn't comfortable with. I'll treasure that forever.

He was someone I loved with all of my being, to the point where it was physically hurting me in the end because I knew what I felt wasn't going to ever be reciprocated the way I wanted it to be. That's when I had to end it, which was one of the hardest things I've ever done. To me, he was a boyfriend, but to him, I was a friend with benefits. I wanted something more and he wanted less, and I didn't want to accept that. I wasn't his first love but he was mine, which he doesn't know and probably never will. I have had moments where I thought I was over him, but then all the emotions flood right back. In hard moments of hurt is when I miss him the most, but also in moments of joy too. If I see a nice car I think of him, or of other little things, like a french bulldog or The Fast and The Furious.

Your first love leaves such a monumental effect on you as a person. They have seen parts of you others have not. You will always remember your firsts more than anything else, which is why your first love never leaves you. As roughly as things ended between he and I, he's always going to have a piece of me that no one else will ever have. The relationship we had wasn't what you'd expect from someone you call your first love, but his mark on me is what helped shape me into who I am today for better or for worse.

Don't let any negativity remain when it comes to your first love (if there is any). Let it go and remember the good. They will be a part of you forever, so you can never truly get over you.

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Why You Keep Falling In Love With People Who Don’t Love You Back In Your 20s

It's embedded in our human psychology to always desire deeper connections and meaningful relationships with the people we hold close to our heart, even if the feeling aren't necessarily mutual.

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Can love truly be both beautiful and heartbreaking?

It's a question I silently asked myself, sitting shotgun in a car next to someone I considered my friend.

A "friend" seemed to be the right label to define our relationship. To him, I was just a friend—who just happened to be a girl, a girl he texts regularly, jokes around, and can grab a drink with. And we loved each other as friends, because we both trusted each other, we had fun together and each had our own independent lives which would connect occasionally in a complete, non-questionable platonic way.

But slowly, for me, he was becoming everything I've ever wanted in a guy, standing right in front of me. But he wasn't mine to have.

And imagine being so close to someone you want except you can't have him because it might just ruin everything you've already shared together. Because what if you scare him away? What if he replies by telling you "No"?

That's the simple nature of falling in love with someone you can't be with.

In our early part of our lives—particularly in our 20s and during our college years, we all experience this type of heartbreak.

To name a few: A high school boyfriend who lives halfway across the country now. The hot guy you sit next to in lecture who already has a girlfriend. The casual hookup who you just can't manage to stop thinking about as you endlessly toss and turn at night. The platonic friend who doesn't quite see you as being something more.

We all at one point in our thoughts have imagined "coupling" or sharing a life with a guy who we can't seem to have for ourselves. We've always dreamt how things could actually work out if you actually shared your feelings with him except the closest we'll ever reach to it is in our dreams, not reality.

And to examine the logic behind why this happens, we have to first admit how we always want what we can't have.

Because it's embedded in our human psychology to always desire deeper connections and meaningful relationships with the people we hold close to our heart, even if the feeling aren't necessarily mutual.

So, it's not really this case of the whole Romeo and Juliet "star-crossed lovers" BS but rather, it's purely a one sided love which can most definitely be beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Beautiful because there's always a connection you feel which makes you all warm and bubbly inside but heartbreaking because you know this connection is merely flowing in a one way track.

So then, why do we tend to maintain our connections with these people who hurt us?

One reason is because you're afraid to lose him altogether. Perhaps you think he's going to go on full freak-out mode after you spill the beans to him. My piece of advice in this scenario would be to just suck it up and take the chance. Talk to him about how you feel because honestly, what's there to lose? Unless you're not reciting some sappy, over-the-top love story about how many kids you plan to have with him, you're fine.

But perhaps, the most common reason is because we assume he might eventually fall in love with us, too.

And if this pertains to you, gear up because I can write on for days about why this is a big no-no. Heck, I can probably teach a class or lecture to all of you about my elaborative theory of why you will definitely know whether a boy truly loves you or not. It's plain and simple—if he loves you, he'll make sure you know.

And you can't force someone to fall in love with you. Even if you pay them a million bucks, you can get them to pretend to love you or force them to be with you—but it's never going to be true love. Because true, unrequited love is effortless. It comes naturally. The fiery passion will be shared mutually and you won't ever have to question whether or not you belong with him.

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