“Have you ever ghosted anyone?” I asked a male, 19-year-old, business finance major at the university.
“Yes,” he replied with suspicion in his voice.
“Why?” I replied with more interest now because the truth of his ghosting experience was about to be unveiled.
“You start talking to someone, and you think they’re attractive yet you have nothing in common, so you’re like ‘fuck that’,” he said.
His empathy was obviously off the charts.
Millennial dating culture claims a surplus of hookups and a regress in ‘humanity’ according to those who have a moral compass from the 1980’s.
There is little to no value in the type of connection that is being pursued on the surface level, and the impatience of this generation is proven through our serial dating habits.
These habits have shown again and again how young people in the university setting have come to terms with the relationships that they value and the relationships that they see as failing their standards for continuing interaction and the patience it takes to open up to someone.
A male, 21-year-old community health science major at the university explains his reasoning behind ghosting.
“I’ll ghost a girl sometimes if I feel like she doesn’t really deserve an answer from me, but if I feel someone is special or I’m into her enough I’ll be straight up,” he said.
Sometimes you don’t have to have done anything for someone to ghost you. It is simply because they are disinterested in what is being offered and were simply exploring you as an option on their quest for someone that they really connect with.
This is what everyone has done since the beginning of dating and courtship, but college students through their serial ghosting makes this truth so much more harsh and damaging.
And isn’t this what most people are doing in the dating world? Searching for an undiscovered feeling of joy or someone to connect with, and to involve themselves with on an alternate plane than all other relationships?
“I ghosted a guy that I dated for four months because his stress became my stress, and I thought that it was too much for me to deal with. I couldn't handle the way that he relied on me so heavily in an emotional capacity after meeting not so long ago,” admitted a 21-year-old female senior at the university.
There doesn’t always have to be an emotional edge to the reason why people ghost, there are also people who ghost for sport and see a potential hook-up in everyone sexually appealing and able to handle a conversation long enough to create interest.
“You build something up, you make it your own, and once you’re finished with it you’re like, 'yeah I’m done',” said the first source (19-year-old male) about his venture in the realm of ghosting.
“If I have too much other shit to deal with then I’ll be like 'OK bye,' but like without saying bye,” said Ashley, a 21-year-old accounting and finance major at the university.
There is also the victim’s side of ghosting. The side that the ghost never gets to see unless they have experienced being the victim before.
If you have experienced both sides, then you know that ghosting takes a toll on both individuals, and it affects the way that they view their successes with relationships of all kinds.
A 21-year-old female living in California shares her story of being ghosted, “I dated a guy for three months who stopped talking to me. He lived a floor below me in the dorms, and the day he stopped talking to me he posted a picture of him kissing his ex girlfriend.”
“How did you feel after he did this?” I asked trying to understand how a victim of ghosting feels immediately and for a time thereafter.
“I felt confused, abandoned in a way. I also felt like I didn’t mean anything to anyone. It made me a little cold for a while, but I kept looking for someone who would actually give me the time of day and treat me how I deserve,” she continued to explain.
Can ghosting be the answer to self-actualization? Being ghosted sure can make someone reflect on the choices they make, the people they interact with, and the way they view themselves.
Although being ghosted isn’t requested it can lead to the happiness that is accompanied with a better understanding of yourself.
Of course, this happens only after suffering from the traumatic experience of feeling connected to someone only for you to understand that they dropped you like a freaking mic.
Ghosting has been happening to people since before cellphones were created. Remember the 2000’s rom-coms where the antagonist never shows up and leaves the beautiful girl weeping? Well, that scenario has already happened to so many people in real life.
We college students and fellow millennials are living in such a connected and communication driven realm where it is too easy to dehumanize the person on the other side of the screen.
There isn’t an hour of the day when I look around my present environment and don’t see someone on their phone. I wonder who are they talking to? How did they meet them? Where is the reliability in the relationship or if it will even exist tomorrow.