Have you ever had someone break up with you, but not actually have the courage to tell you? Instead, they just fade away and you never hear from them again?
This phenomenon is called ghosting, and is apparently quite common in the world of online dating.
It’s the thought when a person who does it just doesn’t like conflict or awkwardness and finds it easier to disappear from you altogether rather than stick around and have to go through the whole uncomfortable routine of actually explaining themselves to you.
Yep, that totally sucks, because it offers no closure and doesn’t give you an explanation as to what went wrong. So if you’re in a new relationship, or even a not-so-new one and you’re feeling like the other person is pulling away from you slowly, there’s every chance that you might find yourself being ghosted soon. Here are some signs to look out for.
1. You always initiate contact first
Have a think about it. Do they text you? Send you Facebook messages? Call you? Or is it always the other way around? Perhaps you’ve been on the merry-go-round of waiting to see if they get in touch with you, before you break down and initiate contact, just to go through the whole thing again of going days between contact with you being the one to initiate it. How tiring!
This can be a clear sign you are about to get ghosted… they aren’t too keen to get in touch with you and you are doing all the chasing. In a relationship where you are both really into each other, initiating contact will be generally 50/50!
2. Talking about the future is awkward
If you start talking to him about the future and he goes quiet and doesn’t really have a lot to say, this could be because it’s too awkward for him to tell you that he isn’t planning on being in your future, but doesn’t have the testes to tell you, so he says nothing.
Likewise, if he is talking about his amazing future plans, but they don’t include you, this is a pretty big hint that he isn’t planning to have you in his life long-term.
3. They always have to rush off somewhere
Do you ever meet up for a few drinks and he’s bailing after he’s had just one? There’ll be some excuse. Something came up. Not feeling well. Forgot he made other plans. Whatever the reason, if you feel like he’s always bailing on you and has no good reasons, he might be working up to a full vanishing act.
4. They are always “busy”
You might not even get the privilege of being bailed on. You might find out that they are always just so damn busy with everything they don’t have time for you. Busy with family. Busy with work. Busy with other commitments. There’s a saying I’m fond of: “don’t make someone a priority in your life who only makes you an option in theirs” and it totally applies here.
If someone wants to be with you, they will find a way to make it work. That’s not to say that in the real world someone is always going to be available to you and drop everything whenever you want them to see you, let’s be realistic. But if they want to see you they will say more than just “I’m too busy”. They’ll suggest an alternative date/time/activity and make sure that you get to spend some time together, no matter what.
5. They are only ever after one thing…
If all you ever do together takes place in the bedroom, unless you willingly entered a friends with benefits agreement, he’s probably not relationship material. Do you go on dates? Hang out without sex? Have you met his family and friends? Has he been evasive whenever you’ve suggested doing any of these things? Stop kidding yourself, you know that normal healthy relationships are more than just sex.
6. Frequency of communication has reduced
When you first met you were texting/messaging/calling constantly. Now it’s tapered off noticeably. You can go days without hearing from him, or even longer. Maybe you even get a read notification on your messages on the phone or Facebook and he doesn’t respond. If he’s crazy about you, he won’t go cold like this all of a sudden.
7. You only get one word answers
“Yes”. “No.” “Okay”. “Good”. “Thanks”. If these are pretty much the answers you get to any questions you ask via text, it’s a good sign they are shutting down and shutting you out and probably laying the groundwork to bugger off altogether.
8. Everything feels awkward
When you do meet is there awkward, uncomfortable silence? Do they not laugh at your jokes? Is it like they never listen, never feel present, are just feigning interest in anything you have to say? You’re probably already dealing with a ghost… they are there in body, but not in mind.