Ghosting 101: When to Not Feel Guilty About It

  Edward Berthelot 

To ghost or not to ghost? That is the question. For better or worse, ghosting has become a type of standard procedure today. Not responding to texts, phone calls, Facebook messages, or emails has become the new normal when you're no longer interested in someone. By not sending a message back, you're actually sending a clear message that your intent is to cut ties with this person. Many people find ghosting to be an appealing option when they don't want to communicate with someone again.

It can remove any awkwardness on their part, and they can completely avoid the uncomfortable situation of having to tell someone goodbye. But, is it right to ghost someone? 

You've Only Met This Person Once

Numerous daters opt to ghost someone when they've only hung out with this person once. Since that one coffee, dinner, or fro-yo first date didn't spark any interest on your end, you can justify ghosting this person since you didn't invest that much time into creating a connection. In this type of one-and-done situation, it's more "acceptable" to ghost this person since it wasn't a drawn-out dating relationship. However, each dating scenario is different, and if the two of you exchanged flirty text messages for weeks before meeting, have friends in common, or are going to run into each other again, it's actually in your best interest to send a quick reply that sums up how nice it was to meet him or her, but that you didn't feel a romantic connection.


This Person Rubbed You the Wrong Way 

If you went out with someone who gave you a creepy vibe or was abusive in any way, then you have every right and reason to ghost this person, block his or her number, and move on without a response on your end. You certainly don't have to spend any more time engaging with this person if you felt uncomfortable around him or her.

If this person treated you disrespectfully, or simply gave you the feeling that something was a bit "off," it's totally acceptable to cut him or her off immediately.

This Person Won't Take "No" for an Answer

There are also cases when you've done everything on your end to let this person know that you're not interested in him or her, yet he or she continues to text you, call you, and try to make plans with you. In some instances, this person could be an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend who wants to get back together. While you may feel obligated to keep saying "no" in a clear way, you should recognize that saying "no" once is enough and that this person should be cut off completely. If he or she simply won't take the hint, you shouldn't be afraid to end all communication going forward.

This Person Wants You to Fully Justify Why You're Ending Things

Another time it's acceptable to ghost someone is when he or she wants a full-on explanation as to why you're just not that into him or her. For instance, you may text this person to say that you're just not feeling it for whatever reason, and he or she may come back with a laundry list of questions as to why you're not interested and demand an explanation.

However, once you've said your piece and have gotten your message across, you certainly don't have to justify your reasons any further or engage with him or her beyond that point. 

You Already Warned This Person That You're Cutting Him or Her Off

In addition, there are instances when ghosting someone, such as a friend, comes with a clear warning from you, and yet this person still persists in behaviors that you've asked to stop. For example, you may tell a friend that if he or she keeps badmouthing a certain person, then you're going to have to cut him or her off. However, if he or she won't heed your warning and continues to engage in actions that you've clearly asked to stop, then you have every right to do a disappearing act and end communication with this person.