Have you ever had someone who suddenly walked out of your life after talking for a while? This is often referred to as the act of ghosting, where someone disappears from your life without giving you any sort of warning or explanation. Read ahead to learn more about ghosting, specifically within the gay community.
One of the more recent slang terms in the world of dating is “ghosting.” Everyone here has a tale of their own involving ghosting in their personal relationships, ‘situationships,’ and even friendships. Ghosting refers to the act of mysteriously disappearing from a person’s life without providing any sort of closure or explanation.
The practice of ‘ghosting’ is becoming increasingly common. Several recent surveys have found that 80 percent of adults in their twenties have experienced ghosting in relationships and even early talking stages.
This guide explores everything you have to know about ghosting as a gay man. Equipping yourself with this information can potentially save you from heartbreak or prevent you from being a heartbreaker.
Ghosting in the Gay Community: What Is It and How To Deal With It
You’ve probably experienced “ghosting” at some point in your gay dating life. When someone “ghosts” you, they abruptly stop communicating with you without any notification. In other terms, the act of “ghosting” is a form of rejection without an explanation.
This can occur out of the blue and leave you reeling from shock, pain, and possibly paranoia.
Plus, there are various degrees of ghosting. When you disappear after having a few casual talks with someone, it’s not the same as when you disappear after having a deeper connection with them and then disappear.
A Background on Ghosting: Definition and History
The concept and term “ghosting” came along with the rise of online dating. A dating coach associated the increase of ghosting with online dating and dating apps as technological advancements enable people to avoid confrontations. Lies and cover-ups are much less of a hassle when communicating by app or text.
Ghosting in Gay Relationships
Generally, the experience of being ghosted can be extremely upsetting and traumatic. However, do gays suffer more than heterosexuals when they get ghosted? There is limited study on gay men and their ghost encounters, but stories and context suggest that gays are more vulnerable in the face of abandonment.
If you browse online articles, you’d immediately notice that ghosting is infamous among queer and gay dating. This phenomenon stems from their anxiety to speak up and familiarity with keeping things to themselves. Members of the LGBTQ community have honed their skills in secrecy; thus, some find it difficult to both express their feelings and cope with rejection.
Many members of the LGBTQ community experience the additional pain of being rejected within the closeness of their own families, on top of the stress of being depreciated in the majority culture. Gay men can be especially sensitive to the pain of adult relationships and rejection.
Watch Out for Warning Signs: How To Tell if You’re Being Ghosted
Even though ghosting is usually quite evident, it can sometimes happen gradually. A person may begin by “soft ghosting” or gradually reducing contact. If you suspect that someone is ghosting you, here are some early red flags to observe:
- They flake out on gatherings frequently and have trouble keeping promises.
- Rarely (worse, never) message you first or initiate contact.
- They stop responding to calls and other means of communication.
- Connected to the previous one, they’re reluctant to sustain a conversation and disinterested in communicating with you.
- They just don’t look interested anymore; show less care whenever you try to share something.
- They suddenly become inactive on social media.
Possible Reasons Behind Ghosting: Why Do People Ghost Another?
Many people view “ghosting” as a childish or passive-aggressive method of breaking off a romantic engagement. It could be a kind of emotional abuse in some cases and may be detrimental to a person’s mental health. Given the severe effects of ghosting on someone’s life, why do some people choose to ghost a partner or sometimes even friends?
Below are some of the common reasons people ghost a person.
Ghosting Is an Easy Way Out
Generally, most men find it hard to become vulnerable and have open communication with someone. It’s hard (and sometimes unbearable) for some to sit through difficult conversations and talk about their emotions. Thus, they believe disappearing and ghosting is an easy route to end a relationship.
Even though they may know it’s wrong, the ease and convenience of leaving make more sense than enduring uncomfortable discussions. Rather than face the other person or deal with their damaged feelings, ghosts simply stop communicating in the hopes that the message gets across.
Ghosting Is Among the Easiest Breakup Strategies
Some people choose to ghost when they want a convenient way to break up with someone. Breakups can be ugly and uncomfortable. Others may prefer disappearing rather than undergoing the tedious process of traditional breakups.
Frustration From Having Too Many Choices
Have you ever heard of analysis paralysis? It’s a phenomenon that happens when you can’t choose because there are too many options to choose from. A clinical psychologist actually forwards an explanation for this. New York City-based psychiatrist Dr. Margaret Seide explains that ghosting can result from the endless possibilities that online dating apps offer.
Given the seemingly endless options, online daters are fast to have the OK, next’ or the “Yeah, but what else?” mindset. That’s why most people tend to rush cutting connections rather than having a proper closure.
What Are Healthier Alternatives To Ghosting?
Taking the easy way out in the context of ghosting is a cowardly thing to do. As a manly explains, there are braver ways to express you’re no longer interested in someone other than ghosting. Moreover, the golden rule for ending any relationship, no matter how brief, is to treat the other person the way you would like to be treated.
More often than not, people demand respect and kindness from the people they date. To suddenly disappear isn’t respectful or kind and can terribly break someone’s heart. So if there are alternatives, it is better to go for them. Not sure how? Below are some better options you may do rather than ghost someone.
Give Them a Notice
So you want to sever that connection with someone you’ve been talking to. That’s completely okay and normal, especially if your heart is not really set for the long run with that person. The most that you can do is to let the other person know. Be honest and express your feelings of reluctance and disinterest. Honesty can be less painful than sudden absence.
Don’t keep the other person waiting by leaving the door open. Be upfront about your feelings and communicate them. If you’re not sure what to say, you may try sending messages such as the ones below:
- “Hey, you seem like a really nice catch, but I don’t feel it’s working between us.”
- “Please know that I value your time and am being completely forthright with you. But I think it’s best if we seek other companionships that can benefit us more. Best wishes, and take care.”
- “Hey, it’s been great getting to know you, but I’ve chosen to take a vacation from dating.”
These are the types of messages you send when you don’t want to engage in a lengthy discussion; they’re plain, concise, and straightforward. It’s preferable to end the connection after providing an explanation, even if the other person reacts negatively or hurtfully, rather than disappear.
Getting Left Behind: How Ghosting Impacts the Ghosted
It’s not always a thing you can shrug off when you suddenly disappear from people’s lives. There is a significant psychological impact on the person being ghosted, as you may guess (or know from experience). Those who have been ghosted often experience intense emotions of rejection, remorse, grief, and shame.
Being ghosted for the first time is a lot like experiencing a sudden loss or grief. You are in disbelief and amazement, thinking ridiculous things like, “maybe they didn’t read my text.” Up next, you’re angry. Then, as you mentally analyze your relationship or the last text messages for probable warning signals, the sentiments of depression may come in, coupled with feelings of lousy self-esteem.
When a person is ghosted, they are often in disbelief of what actually happened and tend to have their biased versions of reality. The person who has been ghosted may question what this action says about them. But it is crucial to remember that ghosting says much more about the ghosters.
Towards Healing: How To Cope With Loss After Being “Ghosted”
Remember that being ghosted does not diminish your value and appeal. If anything, a person who ghosts others indicates that he isn’t worth your time, energy, and trust. Still, being ghosted leaves a painful sting in the chest and a punch in the gut.
Wallow in self-pity for a bit. After that, pick yourself up and do things for yourself. Allocate that time and energy to someone else who can actually reciprocate your efforts. Below are some ways to cope with being ghosted.
Message Them for Closure
If they can’t give you closure, take the initiative to achieve it yourself.
If you feel like you’ve been ghosted, you should send a message along the lines of:
“Hey, you’ve been gone for a while. I don’t know what occurred, but I’m done with this. Since my time is limited, I would rather not leave this option on the table. We wish you the best of luck in anything you do.”
Even if the ghost doesn’t answer, you at least have the option of moving on.
Show the ghoster what he lost after disappearing. Although you should self-improve for your own sake, making people crave you back is a good idea. Shop for new clothes. Hit the gym. Be a sex icon. Put yourself out there and mingle with other people.
You won’t run out of potential partners, especially when you decide to invest in yourself. While you’re at it, be adventurous with other people while moving on from being ghosted. Try new kinks in the bedroom, like BDSM or pup play. These are some of the most popular fetishes in the gay community.
Ensure that you have the appropriate sex gear and equipment once you finally decide to have a go at this. You can easily purchase them from sex stores, both physical and online. Many gay men suggest Smitizen’s product line when it comes to body suits, muscle suits, and face masks. Browse the shop to avail high-quality sex gear depending on your kink.
Think That You Dodged a Bullet
Keep in mind that being ghosted is not your problem. Ghosting is a clear indication that the other person is not worth keeping. The best course of action is to accept the breakup as a sign of incompatibility and go on to find a better match for you.
The Haunting: What Do I Do if Someone Who Ghosted Me Returns?
It is up to you to decide how to proceed if a ghost wishes to renew contact. Communicate your emotions openly. Say so if you’ve been hurt. It’s reasonable to demand an explanation for what took place now. It is not necessary to act as though everything is okay. To act lightly towards this issue would grant a ghost permission to repeat this dishonest action in the future.
Even if a ghost returns with a plausible explanation for their disappearance, you should treat them with caution. Mind the way they act and the events that led up to their reappearance. Only accept them back into your life if you can tell that their intentions are pure and good for you.
If you’re continuously ghosted, and no definite cause can be uncovered, it’s not worth your time. Abusing your love is a glaring indication to put your ghost to rest for all time.
Flight With No Fight: Personal Consequences of Ghosting to Ghosters
It’s not just the person who is ghosted that suffers consequences; the ghoster faces adverse outcomes as well. To sum up, ghosting is a cowardly way to end a relationship or a lazy technique to avoid commitment. Any form of ghosting is detrimental to the ghoster’s social and communication skills.
When the time comes, a person who notoriously ghosts his previous partners may need help to land a long-term relationship. When things get awkward, it’s easier for the ghoster to fade into the background and avoid further interaction. Without the ability to talk things out and solve disagreements, a partnership can’t last.
The Exception: When Does It Become Acceptable to “Ghost” Someone?
Avoiding contact through “ghosting” is often frowned upon, especially when used to end a serious or long-term relationship. There are, however, situations where continuing to speak openly could be counterproductive or even dangerous.
Below are certain circumstances where ghosting someone might be the best option.
You Just Found Out the Other Person Is Already Married
Not knowing that you’re dating someone who’s already married is highly unlikely but still possible. If you find out that the individual is married or in a relationship, engaging in unlawful or unsavory acts, or displaying adulterous tendencies, it may be reasonable to “ghost” them.
You want to avoid investing your time in someone capable of cheating on you too. Again, you have no obligation to provide an explanation for the relationship’s abrupt end in such a scenario.
You Don’t Feel Safe and Secured
Always trust your instincts when dealing with a situation in which you feel unsafe or threatened. It’s possible that your gut is just telling you something’s wrong. Not having to justify your decision to ghost someone in this situation is a huge relief.
The Person Is a Walking Red Flag
Don’t allow guilt to stop you from doing what you know is right and what will keep you safe if you feel it’s in your best interest to entirely cut off contact with the person in issue.
In today’s digital world, “ghosting” is more ubiquitous than ever. However, just because something is simple or widespread does not make it the best option in every circumstance. Think about the other person’s feelings and do your best to be open and honest with them.
It’s natural for the ghosted individual to experience a range of emotions, including bewilderment, sadness, and anger. On the other hand, you owe no one an explanation or apology if they make you feel physically or emotionally unsafe. When used with caution, ghosting may be a positive way to protect yourself from harm and get away from stressful circumstances.
Hence it all boils down to the intentions behind the act of ghosting. It may be a selfish and cruel decision for some. But to others, it can be a valid reason to protect themselves from relationships that are not worth pursuing.