What is ghosting and what does it mean when someone ghosts you? The dating term explained | The Sun

HAVE you ever been messaging someone for a few months, spent hours together, created memories, then out of the blue, they stopped texting you?

Sorry to break it to you, but may have been ghosted – here's the lowdown.

What is ghosting and what does it mean when someone 'ghosts' you?

Ghosting is an expression used in dating terms and it's when someone suddenly cuts all ties and communication with the person they've been seeing.

To put it simply, ghosting is basically rejection without the closure.

The theory behind it is that the person who is being ignored will just "get the hint" and realise their partner is not interested in dating anymore so the subject should be left.

Anyone can be a ghoster, it's not specific to either gender, but people sometimes find the behaviour is related to a person's maturity and communication skills.

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Many believe that ghosting is actually better for the person they're ignoring because they aren't hurting their feelings by telling them they don't want to date anymore.

While the ghoster may benefit from avoiding an uncomfortable situation and any potential drama, they’ve done nothing to improve their own conversation and relationship skills for the future and often leaves the ghostee feeling confused and upset about the subject.

According to Fortune, a huge 80% of us in the UK have experienced ghosting in our dating lifetimes.

"Ghosting is inevitably part of the dating journey, and since sparks won’t fly with every match or date, it’s often the go-to method of ending things when you’ve only shared a conversation or a couple of dates,” said Eva Gallagher, the resident dating expert at the dating app, Plenty of Fish.

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Where did the dating term come from?

Ghosting isn’t necessarily new although the word itself didn't become popular till early 2010.

In 2015, online tabloids ran headlines about how Charlize Theron "ghosted" Sean Penn, the New York Times even wrote an explainer on the term, calling it "the ultimate silent treatment."

Merriam-Webster added the term to the dictionary in 2017.

The term was coined from the online dating culture we have today.

Since 2012, dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Elite Singles and Happn have become a lot more popular and they all give the impression that there are plenty of fish in the sea.

How does it affect people?

While some might react to ghosting with mild annoyance, for others it can cut a whole lot deeper.

Ghosting can actually have quite a serious impact on a person's mental health, claims PsychologyToday.com. 

The social rejection apparently can activate the same pain in the brain as physical pain, fortunately, this pain can be treated with medication but the psychological distress can be more difficult to heal.

It can affect your self-esteem and negatively impact your current and future relationships, both romantic and otherwise.

Mental health professionals argue that the silent treatment is a form of emotional cruelty as it leaves you powerless to the situation and you're unable to find out any answers.

The first thing you should remember, whether you’ve been ghosted or are the ghost in question, is the so-called golden rule: treat others how you would want to be treated.

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While ghosting is the easiest way out of a relationship, it is also the harshest – when someone ends a relationship this way it will show their true colours and intentions.

So, next time you're thinking of ghosting anyone, think carefully about what you're doing.

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