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Ghosting


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My question covers more than dating, but long distant relationships of any type.

 

Why do people, in an online relationship simply stop corresponding, disappear and ghost the other person?

 

I'm referring to a relationship that was intended by both people to be online only. Not "pre-in person" communication. 

 

Simply ending a relationship, friendship, whatever, by stopping communication is rude and unkind. As adults, we all need to be kinder than that.

 

Simply say, " I'm no longer interested, bye..."

 

By example, I have been communicating, text, email, and voice, with a woman for 2 months. We are both over 40. We talk and write multiple times each day. Share photos of our day and send voice messages.

 

2 weeks ago, she responded twice, over a 7 day period. Then this week, I haven’t heard from her at all, even when I have asked if I should still reach out. Maybe I should just take a hint... But...

 

Yes, life happens. Accidents, illness, etc, can happen. 

 

So, of course I worry something did happen. 1 day nice conversation, then.... very infrequently, then nothing.

 

This post has 2 pieces: a question and then a comment.

 

1. Why are people inconsiderate in this way?

 

2. People, if you are talking/writing or otherwise communicating, don't just disappear. Don't be a ghost. Be considerate of the other person.

 

 

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I think because of the online relationship is meant to be romantic and totally online it's already on tenuous/vague grounds -and the woman might be married/involved and abruptly stops because her partner found/could find the messages. I have several online only friendships and I'm ok with "ghosting" if we've only communicated a couple of times like through Facebook (most commonly because we're in the same private group) but I too am not ok if we've talked a lot and planned to meet in the near-ish future and then there is ghosting.

I have an online friend right now for over a year -we text every day -met through a Facebook book group - and we've actually never spoken by phone -we get along great, we really enjoy sharing details of our day (we are both women) and I'd be terribly worried if she ghosted and we've spoken about how if one of us ever offended the other (hasn't happened) we wouldn't ghost -she said to me never to be concerned that would happen.  We don't argue or really debate or anything but you know unintentional stuff happens.

I think it's not a great idea to have online only relationships that are meant to be "romantic" and I can see where ghosting happens because of the nature of the relationship/other people involved.  

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3 minutes ago, Whoeveriam said:

I will add, this is not a true romantic relationship, but a friendly conversational relationship, with a little flirting. 

Not sexting, not full romance. 

 

Right - as I wrote "romantic" in quotes - this has flirting -and you're both straight man/woman -therefore it's not intended to be purely platonic and I wrote my opinions about that above.  You can't have a romance or romantic relationship online.  But if the communication involves flirting it's not platonic and that complicates the communication because if her husband or new boyfriend were to see it -or did -there could be issues.  So she probably met someone and doesn't want to risk any misimpressions. Or she is married.

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Perhaps she doesn't place the same importance on this situation as you do. She likely has people she interacts with in person and to her that is preferable to typing and reading.

Do you have satisfying in person friendships? Do you spend real, in person time with friends and family?

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You know, I've had a couple pen pal-type relationships and they've all fallen by the wayside one way or another. I honestly can't remember which one of us stopped corresponding, or why. I don't really consider it "ghosting" because at any point, one or the other of us can begin the correspondence again. And that has happened, by the way--After years of no communication, we start writing to each other again. And then we drop off again... It just happens.

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39 minutes ago, Whoeveriam said:

Agree.

But ghosting is inconsiderate.  Just tell me, is my view.

And if you embark on flirting with a stranger the why might be because her husband found out and if she texts you again there could be even more trouble.  

Edited by Batya33
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Most people don't place a lot importance on these online interactions, and thus don't feel they really owe you an explanation when they fade out, OP. Sure, you've spoken for a while and it's jarring when one person just goes silent, but you also don't actually know each other. 

If this is not something you can accept, it would be best not to engage in these virtual pen-pal situations. Your expectations are higher than most would be willing or able to satisfy, under these circumstances. 

Edited by MissCanuck
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It seems this was a chat situation where you started to develop feelings for the person without having met in person. Is that what happened? 

You got way too attached or dependant on that type of interaction. Friends also become busy and get distracted. If it’s a true friendship I don’t think you’d be so offended as you’d have faith in your friends or know them well enough to know you’ll be back hanging out again. 

My advice: get comfortable being on your own and date locally if you’re single and looking. Meet people in person and develop relationships in person. 

That the person didn’t divulge anything to you is proof how superficial and surface level it was with no intention to progress to anything else. Perhaps this is a reality check for you. 

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4 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Sometimes there's power outages or wifi issues. It's impossible to tell when it's strictly electronic communication.

Or, related- a colleague thought she emailed me to (1) give me the information I requested and (2) thank for me all the work I'd done.  For a week I was somewhat "miffed" that I hadn't heard from her because of 2 and couldn't email because of 1 since I found the information elsewhere.  Turned out a week later she called me -she thought she clicked "send" and did not.  She felt badly that I might not have felt appreciated/or that she was "inconsiderate" as the OP would put it. I'm glad I said nothing and chalked it up to "oh she must have gotten busy."

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17 hours ago, Whoeveriam said:

I will add, this is not a true romantic relationship, but a friendly conversational relationship, with a little flirting. 

Not sexting, not full romance. 

Life happens. Like when some people who used to post all the time on this forum suddenly go MIA due to whatever life throws at them.

Since you haven't met in person, it's easier to disconnect without owing the other person an explanation. I loath ghosting but for some it's not a big deal and if you were to insist on an answer, they'd most likely feel hassled and you'd be very unlikely to hear from them again.  Whereas, there's a higher chance of them contacting you if you let it slide. Time will tell you how important the friendship was to her. Time reveals everything.

 

Edited by greendots
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Just because you chatted with someone for a couple of months, doesn't mean you are entitled to their continued time, attention, conversations, friendship, or even explanations as to why they are no longer interested.

Also, you keep saying that this is not romantic, yet your reaction to her fading out says otherwise. Friends, generally speaking, don't have break up conversations. People get busy, they fade out. Once they want to chat again, they reach out. Friendships tend to be less defined and more fluid. Unless you have some kind of a major falling out, friends don't sit you down and tell you, "hey, I'm not interested anymore." These are usually reserved for romantic relationship break ups.

So I think you need to be more honest with yourself about what you are looking for and what expectations you are placing on things rather than taking the "I'm entitled to your time and explanations and you are rude to deny me that" attitude. This is a YOU problem.

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I've had this happen to me a few times over the years with people who have been penpals.  That's all you are with this woman and she probably doesn't feel that you owes you any kind of commitment.  It is rude to simply stop replying without reason, but unfortunately it seems to be the way of the world to do what you like without giving any thought to others.

You also have to bear in mind that penpal relationships often mirror real life ones, ie there's lots of intensity at the start, but it wanes and settles into something more mundane.  With all the people I currently write to, it started out with almost daily messages.  Nowadays one guy and I write once a week, but with the others it's every few weeks and in one case, only once or twice a year.  I think you might need to adjust your expectations.

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On 3/28/2022 at 12:31 AM, Whoeveriam said:

1. Why are people inconsiderate in this way?

 

Its just easier for them. Talking would require an actual inconvinience of explaining a few stuff. This way they get away guilt free because they consider that just because they dont care you shouldnt too. And since you will never see them or talk to them again, problem solved. Sorry it happened.

Also, as she clearly doesnt care even to say anything to you, you shouldnt too. Just assume that she found somebody else and dont look back. 

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11 hours ago, catfeeder said:

You might consider giving people up-front notice that you view messaging as a serious personal commitment that nobody should leave without an explanation?

I did this with my online friend of over a year - we text daily - we get on very well but obviously I don't know her in real life.  I am not "too" personal - meaning I don't make myself vulnerable to -let's say she's not who she says she is- but we established early on that we both have thick skins (not that we came close to offending -just were chatting) and that she would always tell me if I crossed a line and that she's not easily offended. We talked about friends who went MIA on us and how much that hurt and was so wrong.  Real life friends.  So I trust that both of us will behave accordingly.  

I was scammed years ago by a woman on this forum in the sense that she was not who she claimed to be, at all.  Luckily I wasn't hurt - I'd never shared anything particularly personal and used a different email account, etc.  I found out when she scammed someone else in this same way on this forum.  It was all on me for privately messaging with her and we messaged for months.  

And if there is a romantic aspect/flirting (not in my case, at all) then it makes it even more likely that the person might not be who she/he says she is and/or might ghost because of a marital or similar commitment.

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On 3/27/2022 at 3:31 PM, Whoeveriam said:

My question covers more than dating, but long distant relationships of any type.

 

Why do people, in an online relationship simply stop corresponding, disappear and ghost the other person?

 

I'm referring to a relationship that was intended by both people to be online only. Not "pre-in person" communication. 

 

Simply ending a relationship, friendship, whatever, by stopping communication is rude and unkind. As adults, we all need to be kinder than that.

 

Simply say, " I'm no longer interested, bye..."

 

By example, I have been communicating, text, email, and voice, with a woman for 2 months. We are both over 40. We talk and write multiple times each day. Share photos of our day and send voice messages.

 

2 weeks ago, she responded twice, over a 7 day period. Then this week, I haven’t heard from her at all, even when I have asked if I should still reach out. Maybe I should just take a hint... But...

 

Yes, life happens. Accidents, illness, etc, can happen. 

 

So, of course I worry something did happen. 1 day nice conversation, then.... very infrequently, then nothing.

 

This post has 2 pieces: a question and then a comment.

 

1. Why are people inconsiderate in this way?

 

2. People, if you are talking/writing or otherwise communicating, don't just disappear. Don't be a ghost. Be considerate of the other person.

 

 

I agree with you.  I also believe ghosting is rude.  But you would be surprised at how many people don't view it as rude.  So when you ask, "Why are people inconsiderate in this way?" they don't believe they are inconsiderate.

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well they just move on, get busy with their lives its nothing to feel bad about, sometimes some of the conversations can lead to expectations, we are all humans, so chill, many you meet in life never stay in your life forever.

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23 minutes ago, Spawn said:

well they just move on, get busy with their lives its nothing to feel bad about, sometimes some of the conversations can lead to expectations, we are all humans, so chill, many you meet in life never stay in your life forever.

Shoot, I can't even get my own kids to respond to my texts half the time. And I sometimes forget to respond to my closest friends. I didn't "ghost" them, I just got busy and forgot to reply.

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I see the word SCAM with this one. Or, she's looking for something specific online, and maybe found it. You're history to her, until she needs something from you.

Beware.

If I'm wrong, she'll have a good explanation. Otherwise, I would not put too much thought into online connections, unless there's going to be an in-person meeting. There are exceptions to this rule of course. TBD

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Has only been a cpl months?  Leave it be now & move on.

Was nothing 'deep' developing really,  I guess - especially in her eyes. And is very hard to get to that point unless you two are meeting in 'real' and having something progress.

So just leave it be.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ya it sucks but you have to remember, to some, a nice chat friend is just a distraction from real life. Some are users, and when bored or between BF/GF/or married/attached, they are only into for their own pleasure/ego boost. It might be rude, but they owe you nothing because you are two strangers that have never met. It's just you and a computer screen. You take your chances when involved in this kind of activity. 

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