‘Spare me’: Suddenly I’m in favour of ghosting

A ghost came back to haunt me this summer. I’d gone on a first date with a guy. We agreed it went well and planned to meet up again after I got back from holiday. We continued messaging while I was away; the conversation was good, definitely better than your average “hey what you up to”s. A week into the holiday, though, I replied to one of his WhatsApps and suddenly… nothing. This wasn’t the first time he’d taken a few days to reply, so I shrugged. Maybe he was busy. But a few days became seven, by which point I wrote him off, my logic being that he was no longer interested. I’d officially been ghosted.

he term “ghosting” has been part of online dating vernacular for the better part of a decade. In simple terms, it means ceasing contact with someone without warning: you stop replying to their messages, unfollow them on social media and don’t answer their calls, and ultimately fade from their life altogether. In the past, this has been described by dating experts as toxic behaviour – no exceptions. Studies suggested ghosting could even cause someone psychological harm. But now, it seems, many people on the dating scene are experiencing a change of heart. Instead, there might be times where ghosting is considered acceptable. Even encouraged.

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