A few years ago ghosting became fashionable, especially among teenagers. Ghosting consists of ending a relationship abruptly without speaking face to face with the other person or sending any type of message, simply disappearing . In this way, the person who decides to break the relationship does not have to face any kind of reproach or give explanations in front of the other person, they simply disappear so that their ex-partner never knows anything about him or her again, as if they became a ghost, hence the word ghosting (ghost, ghost in English).

Of course this is not something new or exclusive to couples, it is said that ghosting can also be used by friends when they stop seeing or responding to messages, and it even applies in cases in which someone leaves somewhere without say gooobye.

However, although this is not something new, social networks have led more and more young people to use this technique (to call it something ) to stop establishing a relationship with someone. Although it may seem incredible, this not only happens with couples who have been in a relationship for a few months, but can also include people who even live together or have been sharing their lives for years .

The term became popular in 2015 when Charlize Theron allegedly decided to end her relationship with Sean Peen through ghosting, although the actress later denied this . On the part of the actor there were no statements, something that prompted the press to think that Theron did “disappear” at least from Peen’s life.

Studies on ghosting

Some studies that have been carried out on ghosting affirm that it is the youngest, specifically those under 30 years of age, who usually use this technique. In 2018, a study conducted by the University of Western Ontario, Canada, reported that 65% of its respondents had acknowledged having “disappeared” from a relationship at some point in their life. While 72% confessed to having been a victim of ghosting. The conclusion of this study was clear: ” Technological developments have influenced the traditional processes of dissolution of relationships “, they assured.

Psychological repercussions of ghosting

The psychological repercussions in this case are very different for the person who ghosts to the person who suffers it. The one who leaves without a trace shows a cowardly behavior , since he prefers to avoid the moment of communicating to the other person that he wants to leave the relationship and acts selfishly by looking only for his personal benefit. This behavior is usually accompanied by blockages in social networks and messages , and sometimes they also stop going to places that may cause a meeting between the two parties.

The psychologist Óscar Catillero assures that the “psychological repercussions are significant” when someone “disappears” from your life. Some of them are uncertainty, thinking that if the other person does not respond to your calls it may be because something serious has happened to him or he needs help. The uncertainty is transferred to the relationship itself, normally the person who has suffered ghosting begins to feel anguish when they do not know what could have gone wrong or what they could have done for the other person to make that decision . As he does not understand what has happened, he has no explanations and he does not know if he will see the other person again, the grief for the loss of the couple worsens and lasts longer.

Long-term effects

As you know, when a relationship breaks down, we people go through a mourning similar to the one felt when a friend or relative dies. Although this duel is determined by the bond that was had with the other person, how long the relationship has lasted and the feelings, every duel is difficult, but it is even more so when a person disappears without prior notice and explanations, since this it causes the duel not to have a precise beginning .

When the grieving begins , the person left will feel much more pain than if the relationship had ended naturally , since they will feel despised and mistreated by someone who from one day to the next has decided to disappear from their life as if they had never existed.

In the long run, these people will become more distrustful and may have a hard time trusting someone again. In fact, it could cause you to have philophobia, that is, fear of falling in love. In addition, if this person previously suffered from problems with self-esteem, anxiety or depression, ghosting can confirm their most negative thoughts, even provoking suicidal thoughts .

On the other hand, the effects of ghosting can also wreak havoc on the person who “disappears” causing remorse and feelings of guilt that can affect him in the future. If the reason that has led him to disappear is due to the fear he has of the confrontation, by doing this that fear will take hold, it will become more dominant , causing this behavior to become a pattern.

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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