“I like it when individuals ghost me!” – said nobody ever. Ghosting (the concept of ending an individual relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication) is really a dating behavior that nobody loves to be on the receiving end of. However, there may be something that's even worse than ghosting. Meet “Orbiting.”
According to Urban Dictionary, Orbiting happens when the person who ghosted you, is constantly on the linger in your lifetime by watching every single one of Instagram stories and liking/commenting on your social media posts. In other words, rather than enabling you to overcome and move on from their initial rude behavior (ghosting) they hang in there your social media remember they are not willing to return your texts, but they will take break of the day to look at each and every video that you post of your cat. Go figure.
The term was originally coined by Man Repeller's Anna Iovine, who experienced it firsthand. Iovine had added a man to any or all her social networking after their first date. However, after going out a second time, the guy stopped answering her texts — but continued to watch all her Instagram stories despite his ghost-like behavior. Therefore keeping Iovine “in his orbit” as her friend called it.
Iovine has several theories as to why you might decide to orbit. Among the guys she spoke to for her article first viewed it as power move — rejecting someone, but keeping them on the outskirts of your social circle. It's “a not very subtle way of allowing them to know you are always on friendly terms, and that you'll still say hi whenever you inevitably discover their whereabouts in the bar. It's a lot like the way you stay friends with your cousin on Facebook for the sake of Christmas and Easter gatherings.”
It may also have something to do with FOMO (anxiety about missing out). As Dr. Rachel O'Neill, an authorized professional clinical counselor and Talkspace tells Man Repeller, “part of the orbiting behavior is actually associated with the underlying FOMO. The individual might not necessarily anticipate to invest in a relationship; however, there is a concern when they were to completely eliminate connection with you, they might miss the chance to reconnect along with you afterwards.” It's essentially the dating same as putting a set of jeans on hold at the mall even though you're 75% sure you're probably not likely to return for them the next day.
Iovine also hypothesizes the person also might just be clueless and never see their lurking behavior being an issue. As somebody who continues to be orbited previously (the man who ghosted me a year and a half ago insists on liking certainly one of my Instagram photos every six months), my only wish is perfect for “orbiters” to understand how annoyingly selfish their behavior is. Although it's vaguely flattering, I'd rather someone ghost me permanently than linger on the sidelines.
Think you might be coping with an orbiter or are in chance of becoming one? Here are a few things you can do.
- Block them on social media.
There's no rule that just since you shared a personal relationship that you have to give them a lifetime pass to your social media accounts. If seeing their name in your Instagram feed bums you out of trouble, block 'em.
- If you aren't interested in someone, be definitive about this.
If you aren't feeling your partner, kindly let them down. If you think they're wonderful but they're not somewhere to have a romantic relationship, communicate this clearly for them and allow them to go. It might sting at the moment but it is 100% better to possess a clear concept of what your location is with someone than being ghosted. If you're meant to stay friends or be later on, it has happened to organically.