Ghosting 101: When (and) is it Okay?

How and when to let someone go - gently.

Ghosting 101: When (and) is it Okay?

The art of ‘ghosting’ revolves around one’s ability to metaphorically drop a former suitor off a cliff; to abruptly dump them in hope that they won’t be seen or heard from again. It can be as brutal as the former metaphor sounds, and that’s why it’s important that it be done, if it’s possible, in the nicest possible way. So before the next time you’re forced to go all Casper on someone, take into consideration the following:

Have they done anything to deserve being ghosted?

It’s important (before you drive straight to the cliff) to consider whether this person has done something so wrong, rude or perversive that they deserve to be ghosted. If they’re simply incompatible with you, then it’s probably better to let them know. Think about how many hours you’d spend toiling over a seemingly perfect date if you were abruptly ditched by the person you shared it with.

If they’re that awful, maybe they need to be told

If you’ve stumbled across a real toad, don’t do yourself a disservice by jumping straight on the ghost train. When someone’s offended you, broken an unbreakable rule of social etiquette, or maybe even proved themselves downright sexist, chances are that behaviour is going unchecked. Do the dating pool a favour and tell this person how appalling their actions were before you leave them high and dry.

Consider whether ghosting someone will cost you an otherwise awesome relationship

Losing a romantic interest doesn’t mean losing a friend. Before you consider cutting someone out entirely, have a think about whether you’d like to stay friends with them. Just because the spark wasn’t there doesn’t mean you can’t turn that partnering around into a mateship. So if the message comes through that the other person is looking for a second date/another rendezvous, bring up being friends. It’s a much nicer way to say ‘hey, I don’t think us dating is a great idea, but you’re a cool bean and I’d love to hang out.’

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Elli Murphy is a Law/Arts student, born and bred in Melbourne, with a passion for creative communication/media, politics and policy change. Her overt childhood confidence first led her to journalism after discovering that acting wasn’t the only way to get in front of a camera. While a camera is not now vital to her plans, she aims to work towards a career in media presenting and long-form writing. Her hobbies include cooing over dogs, chocolate-eating, podcast-listening and cooking.