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- Ghosting is a sad but inevitable part of dating, mainly because people have so many options and they can’t keep up with them all.
- We know ghosting hurts people’s feelings, and yet some people continue to do it.
- According to a psychologist, there are some situations where ghosting is necessary and the healthiest option.
- For example, if your date is abusive, a liar and manipulator, or they continually cross your boundaries.
- Otherwise, leaving someone in the dark is likely to cause more distress than simply saying you’re not interested.
Using dating apps may be the second most common way of meeting someone, but swiping for multiple dates can also mean a lot of game playing, heartache, and un-returned text messages.
We know that ghosting – vanishing into thin air and not responding to a date’s messages – is not kind, even if some admit to doing it regularly. But according to a psychologist, there are some situations where ghosting is the right thing to do.
In a blog post for Psychology Today, psychologist Jennice Vilhauer wrote about how dropping out of someone’s life without any explanation of any kind is “acceptable, necessary, and the healthiest thing to do” in any of these three scenarios:
1. If there has been abuse
If you are made to feel unsafe or there is psychological or emotional abuse in a relationship, disappearing may be in your best interest.
“When leaving an abusive relationship this is often times a high danger period when the abuser can become enraged,” Vilhauer said. “So it is often best to be out of contact and in a safe place where the abuser doesn’t know your location.”
2. If your boundaries have been violated
Healthy boundaries are vital for all relationships, because they are clear indications of what you won’t put up with. Vilhauer said if someone repeatedly oversteps your boundaries, like showing up at your workplace, contacting your exes, or stealing from you, this shows a clear lack of respect and concern for your feelings.
“In situations where you’ve told someone repeatedly that you want to discontinue the relationship, but they continue to contact you or won’t take no for an answer then it isn’t ghosting if you cut off communication,” she said.
3. If you realize someone is manipulative and a liar
If someone is trying to manipulate you, they don’t care about your emotional well-being, Vilhauer said. If they are cheating on someone else with you, if they’re dating multiple people without being honest about it, or you think they’re not who they say they are, then you don’t owe them an explanation.
In a perfect world, nobody would need to ghost because everyone would be respectful of each other. But unfortunately, this isn’t the world we live in, and ghosting is a sad but inevitable part of dating.
If you’re simply not interested in someone because the chemistry is off, or the timing isn’t right, ghosting can really hurt the other person’s feelings.
In a previous article for Business Insider, dating coach Erika Ettin said this is because leaving someone in the dark about what’s going on means they are more likely to feel distressed about it.
“You think you’re sparing someone’s feelings but really all you’re sparing is yourself from having an awkward conversation,” Ettin said. “It doesn’t have to be awkward at all. Someone can be disappointed you don’t feel it, but they’re not going to be angry at you for having feelings, or not having feelings – as long as you’re nice about it.”