What does it mean to ghost someone? I am not speaking from a literal perspective as I am well aware of the social and emotional ramifications this *newly formed* concept has, but what does it truly mean? I always wondered how someone could lose feelings for someone so quickly… feelings that have been cultivated and shaped to create a long-lasting bond between the two people. I’m talking about memories and inside jokes, experiences and shared ideologies. How is that just simply disregarded to the point where ghosting is even a possibility? I’m talking friendships, romantic relationships, etc. The ability to just cut someone off without a moments notice. Is this what life has become? The ability to end longterm relationships based solely on the deeply rooted secret dislikes that they possess? Now when I am talking about ghosting, I am not talking about the guy you may or may not have dated for 5 minutes or the temporary friend you had for a semester. I am talking about the longterm and consistent relationships an individual possesses in their adult life.
Does the process of this “ghosting” have tell-tell signs? Is it something that has been contemplated and considered? Or are the perpetrators just people who have had enough of an individuals bullshit? Is it because the victims of “ghosting” are just in denial and oblivious to the experience and the state of the relationship? These questions run around in my mind as I ponder this confusing yet intriguing conflict. What happened to the idea of ending a relationship based off of mutual closure or are the people who believe in this just optimistic in a world so harsh and lonely? I am only thinking about this because I am reminded of a specific conversation I recently had with someone on the bus.
(For privacy purposes I will omit the names) Jess* was talking to me about the problems she was having with her best friend Leo*.
“I’m just so pissed about Leo not responding to my calls,” she says in a small sad voice. “I’m not sure what happened or what I did but we got into a weird fight about movie tickets…” She glances at me and notices my quizzical face and answers before I can even get a word in, “Yeah, don’t ask about that, long story. The thing is, I think he’s ghosting me. The vibe between us does not feel the same, it’s been the same for a while and I think he is just done with being my friend…” she continues to talk about the history she has with him and how she can’t believe a ten year friendship is fizzling out over nothing. I stare at my smart and beautiful friend and wonder, if someone is capable of ghosting her then what does this mean for our society? I thought about it for a second and wondered, you grow out of shirts, you grow out of trends but is it possible to grow out of friends?
In life you are bound to experience losses, some are through unfortunate circumstances, some are through time but now it is through the art of ghosting. Is this the first tell-tale sign of growing up? It seems the most painful breakups are the ones with best friends.