It's better to burn out than to fade away.
It's all going so well. You meet someone new and start dating because there's effortless chemistry — like the kind in eighth grade where you watched stuff blow up instead of doing math.
Then suddenly, as your mind is filled with images of you running at each other in slow motion on the beach at sunset, he drops off the map. And you didn't even get to the part where the doves were released or "Chariots of Fire" started playing.
You just got ghosted. And not in the sexy, Patrick Swayze kind of way, either.
Ghosting is the relationship equivalent of peeling a Band-Aid off slowly, except the wound underneath hasn't even healed yet. It's the coward's way out.
Instead of having the guts to just break someone's heart and let each other move on, they will let you dangle endlessly, torturing yourself over whether your feelings are mutual.
Ghosting is like the opposite of Pac-Man: the ghost runs away from you while you endlessly chase them down.
Well, enough with that. Here's what to look out for so you can be your very own Ghostbuster:
1. He constantly agrees to plans, but changes or cancels at the last minute.
Perpetual flakiness is exhibit A when trying a suspect for ghostery (which is a word I totally just made up ... deal with it).
It demonstrates two things: 1) his lack of enthusiasm, and 2) his willingness to string you along. He's not excited about you enough to actually hang out with you, but doesn't want to completely shut you down in case he wants a hook up or changes his mind.
2. He's always "busy."
This goes hand-in-hand with flakiness. It's infuriating when someone won't just outright say, "I don't want to hang out with you."
Instead, they act like they do, but circumstances won't allow it. Most likely, he's just setting you up for the next point ...
3. His busy-ness doesn't stop him from randomly reappearing when it's convenient for him.
This means he's right-swiping the booty calls, but left swiping any notion of a relationship. Maybe you want a friend with benefits; maybe you don't. Either way, it’s better when both parties agree on the terms.
If you were thinking 'relationship' and he's pulling a Houdini act, shut it down.
4. It's getting longer and longer between text exchanges.
If the first clues you were getting ghosted weren't so obvious and you've gotten to this point, the disappearing act is almost complete.
He's hoping that by pulling away, you'll become less and less interested as well, and eventually, stop talking altogether. The ghoster (another made-up word; someone's got to do it) doesn't have the guts to just let you down, so they hope you'll walk away instead of making him do it.
The sooner you catch on to these games, the sooner you can make a graceful exit. And good riddance. Why would you want someone too immature treating you like a human being with a modicum of respect, anyway?