These days, generally people know what ghosting is. Even the less trendy and fad-savvy in our midst have probably heard of this common dating trend where someone deserts their spouse and leaves no trace of themselves.
Particularly within the Catholic dating world where we're trying to be charitable and grow in holiness, we may hear the term “ghosting” and morally cringe. We naturally think that the action of deserting someone and leaving no trace of ourselves is extremely hurtful and just plain wrong.
In a lot of circumstances, that would be quite a accurate review of ghosting.
But there are certain nuances towards the morality of ghosting that people should be aware of, especially in regard to online dating.
Sometimes, ghosting is wrong and hurtful
Imagine two people are dating. One of them is beginning to obtain attached, and the other one suddenly stops talking (or calling, or texting, or any other type of communicating) with them.
Ghosting someone such as this is hurtful and inconsiderate. But it's possible that there may be extenuating circumstances in someone's life that make them ghost someone. We should play the role of slow to evaluate others.
They're probably not secretly employed in espionage or something, however, you never really know.
Barring any reasonable excuse, though, it is wrong to deal with someone with your little consideration and just disappear from their lives.
It's additionally a pretty cowardly proceed to end things in a way like this. There is no reason to ghost someone when you could simply tell your partner that you would like to break up.
Yes, you'll hurt them by letting them know that you want to interrupt up.
But it is a further level of hurt to simply leave the image all together with no explanation.
Most people often will agree that in a situation such as this, where there is definitely an established relationship between two people, ghosting is wrong.
But there are other situations where things aren't as clear cut.
Ghosting within the online world
Some people use the term “ghosting” a bit more broadly. This can lead to lots of confusion and perhaps some misplaced guilt sometimes.
Say two people have been messaging back and forth on an internet dating platform. One of these suddenly goes cold and stops responding. Is that this “ghosting” necessarily the same as ghosting someone you have been dating personally?
Generally speaking, we could say that ghosting inside a casual online message-based relationship is not as blatantly wrong as ghosting someone you've been dating personally.
If the two people have been messaging up bad weather for months and even talked on the phone a great deal, then we're back to the hurtful and cowardly territory. That situation is similar to should you ghosted someone you've been dating personally.
But if the conversation is totally new and casual, the kind of thing that couldn't even be known as a relationship, it might be a different story.
Is it a good idea to just stop responding to messages, if you choose that you don't want to pursue the potential of a relationship with someone you met online?
But you do have to weigh whether or not this could be kinder to tell them honestly that you're not interested or to just stop responding.
In most cases, an explanation is usually the kinder way to go.
But especially in cases where only a couple of messages have been exchanged or another person seems rather uninterested themselves, there's no need to feel guilty over stopping the conversation without an explanation.
Ghosting someone you've been casually getting together with online doesn't place you in exactly the same jerk category as somebody who disappears from the months-long in-person relationship.
When ghosting is really necessary
A large amount of people, particularly those people who've been burned by a ghoster in the past, might say that there's never a good reason to ghost someone.
But that's not quite true.
There are some instances where ghosting is not only an okay or neutral choice but is actually the prudent move to make.
In the online world, say you've exchanged several messages with someone. You think you like them. But suddenly you start to notice some weird things about their messages.
You start to wonder whether you've been messaging with a creep or perhaps a scammer without realizing it so far.
Maybe you aren't even totally positive whether this person is of ill intent.
Is it wrong for you to ghost them?
If you think that something is off with this person, it's wise to follow your gut and to protect yourself.
The same could be said of dating someone personally. Sure, it's more prevalent to come across a creep or a scammer in online dating compared to a person you've met physically. But it is still possible for an identical scenario to experience in person.
Most of us wouldn't hesitate to ghost an individual we've met in person when we discover them to be a threat to all of us. Even if we're not one hundred per cent certain that they're a threat, will still be prudent to safeguard yourself before it's too late.
Ghosting has come to mean a rude and hurtful desertion of somebody we're dating. But you will find circumstances where the matter is less straightforward or even where ghosting could be necessary.
If you find yourself wondering whether or not this would be wrong to ghost someone or not, try to look at the matter from a neutral standpoint and consider what the kindest but most prudent plan of action might be.
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