Demystifying “Ghosting” in modern-day relationships

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


There is a reason I never write about the mushy stuff; there are two reasons, actually.

The first is that I do not consider me ‘expert’ enough on all things love…and how to meander its murky waters.

Love is a weird thing. There are said ‘experts’; I don’t believe them. No one can be an expert in ‘love’. Sex maybe. Even in playing games.

But not love.

My ‘love’ is not your ‘love’. I am the one wearing my shoe. No matter how similar your shoe is to mine, it is not my shoe.

(I have a point. Stay with me)

The second reason is that I see personal relationships for what they are: Personal. So while I might envy Taylor Swift’s dexterity in making Billboard hits out of failed relationships, it is not exactly my cup of coffee.

The End.

(Or as Igbos would say… “Ho-ha”)

*****
Love is hard. But dating - in this era - is harder. Things are no more as clear-cut as they used to be. You can never really be sure if you are in a relationship with the other party (or just yourself), until you are actually sure.

Gender equality is awesome. Although, with it (sometimes) comes the confusion of who makes what move first, as against the traditional roles of the male being the “hunter”, and the female being the… errr ... “hunted”. (??)

The rise of social media has also contributed its own strains. Unfaithfulness is now more difficult to avoid than before. What with all the ‘hot bods’ all over Instagram, and the endless unwarranted “Hi!”s in one’s inbox.

Not forgetting the unnecessary games; asserting power, and playing peekaboo with each other’s emotions.

(I taya)

And in the midst of all these, there is this phenomenon which I had always (subconsciously) known existed, but never knew it was an actual ‘thing’, with a name.

Until the “aha!” moment when I stumbled across its definition on the internet:

Ghosting.



According to Psychology Today ‘Ghosting’ is “having someone that you believe cares about you, whether it be a friend or someone you are dating, disappear from contact without any explanation at all. No phone call or email, not even a text”.

(Apparently, enough people have been traumatized by “Ghosting” that it has made its way into mainstream psychology and counseling).

It is not as though “Ghosting” has not always existed, in some form or the other. The problem with this generation is that even when 'ghosted' and hurting, you are expected to “be cool” about it, and not be a cry baby.

(Plus you can now cyber-stalk your ‘ghost’, and see them bungee jumping from the Grand Canyon. Thus, removing the self-comforting explanation “they just may have died”)

From all I have read (and have experienced or inflicted),  I have come to identify three types of Ghosts in relationships:

1) The early bird ‘Ghost’:

This ‘Ghost’ probably had just a drink or two with you; loosely chatted with you for like a week, and then dropped off the face of the earth.

What you feel is irritation. Then slight worry. Then non-chalance. After all, you had not gone so far in whatever it was you both ‘had’. 

You shake this off with a shrug of shoulders.

2) The “We were doing good” ‘Ghost’:

You and your ‘Ghost’ had such awesome chemistry … or so you thought.

Finishing each other’s sentences. Laughing at each other’s jokes. You were not exactly yet picking out the colour of the dress, or the tux. But you could feel it in your bones that you might be headed somewhere. Worst case scenario, you’d metamorphose into and be in each other’s lives forever as very good buddies.

When your ‘Ghost’ suddenly takes off without a word, this is far more devastating than the case above. What you both ‘had’ has moved beyond just the physical to the emotional.


3) The “kuku kill me! ‘Ghost’:

This ‘Ghost’ is from the pit of Hell. 

Period.

Listen: your ‘Ghost’ was (most likely) dining with the devil and its demons, before finding its way to you. These are the ones who have led/received a delegation to/at your home, to make their intentions known to your parents. They have told all their friends and yours how you are theirs, and nothing could ever separate the both of you. The date is fixed; the cards are out. The wine is tasted (no pun intended).

Which is why it is one too easy for one to cross the thin thread from sanity to full-blown psychosis when this ‘Ghost’ ghosts.

Without a word. For no reason. Nothing.

In all three instances, it is not the actual ending of the dalliance that irritates, disorganizes or shatters one. It is the lack of an “end” per se.

No “the talk”. No silly excuses with which the heartbroken could console themselves. No “it is me, not you”, to which you could respond “Thunder faya you!!”, and then make a dramatic swirl out of the excuse…to massage your ego that “I was the one who ended the relationship”.

Nothing. Just silence. Leaving the broken-hearted with the worst imaginable thoughts of what they did wrong.

'Ghosting' is not limited to just romantic or filial connections. It could be a really good friend material (even of a gender you are not interested in), and when they pull out quite suddenly... it is like a hard punch in the stomach. 

(Breathe)

One may find consolation in telling one's self that perhaps, they did nothing wrong. And the other person is just a douche-bag, who deserves not one more drop of their eye-ducts.

Or you may come to terms with all the “crazy” you pulled…thinking it was endearing, and now understanding that your ghost couldn’t handle it all.

Or you may come up with absolutely nothing.

Do not try to go into your 'Ghost's head; to rationalize their actions. Humans are humans. 

It does not matter. That’s in the past.

It is not in your head. Ghosting is real. You were ghosted. Come to terms with it.

And live.

*****

I really hate sharing on these emotional matters. When I could be protesting this Government’s discriminatory concession of N197 to $, for ‘pilgrims’. Whereas the current (official) foreign exchange rate is $1 to N321. (And Nigeria is supposed to be a secular state)

Dear Nigerian Government…who will bear this shortfall??

(I am tired. I may just relocate to Togo)


Yours tiredly,

Meg.



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6 comments

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  2. Chai!!! D *kukukillme* ghost. It's terrible. Even wen everyone is insulting d day d ghost was born, u r still looking for how to hush dem, incase dey decide to showup same way dey disapeared. Life is hard sha! Add our economy wahala, u don't wanna be a victim of "ghosting"

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  3. I don laff die here. Schinnel, I need some of what you're taking. You need to hook me up to your dealer, that good stuff I want. The ghosting thingy ehn, I think the females are more on the receiving end compared to the guys. Speaking from a guy's point of view, I am guilty of ghosting but I never reach the "kuku kill me ghost" oh. The "early bird ghost" maybe. And what really happens is that, out of "boredom", the guy just chats up this chic all thanks to Instant messaging and social media and everything is all rosy and shii. He probably haven't asked her out and all but the tide is moving towards that as they get to tell themselves very personal stuffs. Then fast forward 2 weeks later, it has all fizzled out. He rarely ever buzzes her, she reaches out a couple of times and gets excuses of being busy from the guy and then back to default. Na boredom dey cause am, don't blame us. But the "kuku kill me ghosting" is the worst.LOL

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  4. Thank you for educating us and given it a name. Atleast we now know how to define them and what we are fighting with.

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