Ghosted Crickets Relationship Shopping
Breaking up is hard to do. When I was younger, we didn’t have the capabilities to break up via text messaging or via email. Most of us would like to have the respect and dignity of a face to face breakup. Your lover doesn’t return your phone call, your email or your text messages. You’ve not only been dumped, you’ve been ghosted.
To “ghost” someone is to cut someone off by ignoring all attempts at contact. Breakups are difficult and messy. People ghost to avoid the mess of a breakup. Ghosting denies us an opportunity of discussion and closure. Why were you ghosted?
Ghosting is on the rise. Around 20 percent of adults under 30 admit to having ghosted someone. For younger daters, that number runs as high as 80 percent. Why is ghosting on the rise?
Dating is more convenient and less personal these days. The recent shifts in technology provide daters with the means to act on their desires with little social cost. Psychologists are beginning to explore this ghoulish phenomenon.
We are all swiping away looking for dates. The dating apps like Bumble, Tinder, and Grindr have transformed the way we date. These apps are less than a decade old. By 2016, at least 15 percent of American adults had used a dating app; for daters between the ages of 18 and 24 that number jumps to 27 percent, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
These dating apps are free to use. The companies behind these apps make millions of dollars through advertising, data collection or premium, pay-only features. The technology of dating has shifted the way we view (and treat) potential partners. When our expectations aren’t met, we are more willing to quietly cast them aside
The virtual world of dating has created words like”marketplace” “purveyors of snake-oil (lies about height, weight, or income),” and a “shopping cart mentality.” If potential partners don’t meet all the items on our “must haves” check list, they are abandoned at the check out lane.
We are all relationship shopping. We don’t want to go through the hard work and effort of finding a great relationship. A good profile will help us find the right match. By viewing potential dates as products to be sampled, we are more likely to discard them at the first sign of trouble. The dating apps provide a hassle-free way to cut our losses and to keep shopping.
The Ghosted Among Us
Ahhhh….Destiny and we have found love. Believers in destiny are 63 percent more likely to deem ghosting an acceptable way to end a relationship. If you believe your one and only is out there somewhere and decide your current partner isn’t it, ghosting may seem like a viable option with minimal social cost.
Those that believe in destiny typically think we have a soul mate out there just waiting to sweep us off our feet. I just hope my soul mate doesn’t live in Australia. Those that believe soul mates are rubbish, which includes me are more willing to work at relationships and less likely to ghost someone.
Some of us will breakup via text messaging or email. On the show Sex and the City, Carrie’s boyfriend broke up with her via post it note (I don’t think they had post it notes when I was younger either). Ghosting is an extreme type of indirect breakup. Research suggests that those who fear commitment and shun intimacy are more likely to use indirect breakup strategies to end a relationship.
An indirect breakup strategy may look good to people who have a so-called avoidant attachment style, researchers at the University of Kansas found. About 20 percent of adults have an avoidant attachment style, and they tend to suppress their feelings or struggle to be vulnerable with a partner.
About 15 percent of the population have an anxious attachment style and tend to worry about the availability of their partner. People who are easily distressed by conflict have anxious attachment style. They are likely candidates for digital dumping. Avoiders are more apt to ghost. The high-maintenance, anxious partners are at the greatest risk of being ghosted.
The Quest for Love
For most people, the uncertainties of dating are necessary risks in the quest to find a long-term romantic partner. The risk of loss is the price we pay for love. However, the possibility that their “happily-ever-after” might turn into a ghost story is unlikely to scare most of us away.