A little while ago I wrote a piece about why men ghost. Multiple men took the chance to honestly and anonymously share their reasons for disappearing from dating without a trace. Many women got the chance to get some insight and closure on one of the most irksome and sometimes hurtful phenomena in modern dating.
Now it’s our turn to share.
Yes, that’s right, women are not innocent of ghosting. Any adult woman who has dated in the past decade has probably ghosted on a budding relationship. I myself am guilty of the act, though these days I make the effort to be more communicative when I know something won’t work out, rather than just peace out with a cloud of dust in my wake.
I turned to the Facebook braintrust and conducted a poll to get the flipside on the frightening ghosting trend. Not surprisingly, many of the answers I got were similar to what men were saying, with one notable exception.
Here’s what the ladies had to say:
It’s just easier
While men and women do tend to operate differently when dating, they did seem to agree on this reason for ghosting. And it makes sense: ghosting really is far easier than having a conversation or actually going through a breakup. In the words of one woman “why bother even having a discussion about it? It’s just easier to not talk. It also gives the other person the message that you’re pretty much done.”
It’s also faster
As well as being easier than talking things out, ghosting is generally a faster way to send the message that you’re no longer interested in this particular dating situation. Multiple women cited that they’re simply over the idea of wasting time with men that they aren’t interested in for many reasons. And having a conversation around why they’d lost interest simply compounds the lost time issue. So rather than feel like more time was wasted, ghosting was the way to go.
She’s just not that into you
Losing interest in a person or dating situation was another common reason that caused women to ghost. Usually this loss of interest was precipitated by something the guy said or did. This glimpse into his personality, values or mentality would lead women to be turned off from the guy in question. When women realize that the man they’re seeing is in fact someone they aren’t compatible with, ghosting became a viable option to end a now unwanted situation.
Danger! Abort Mission
Similar to the above, certain actions or statements can raise red flags. These flags can turn a sweet and romantic situation into a DANGER WILL ROBINSON vibe instantly. Perhaps the guy was getting too serious too quickly, or dropped a racist/sexist/ignorant comment, or shows signs of becoming abusive in the future. These reasons for ghosting go beyond simple turn offs to instant bad vibes, and can trigger a fight or flight type instinct that can lead to ghosting.
Emotional Self Defense
We may think that women are more in touch with their emotions than men. However, we can still be just as frightened by our emotions as men confessed to being. This was another instance where men and women agreed on their reasons for ghosting.
To quote one woman, “I’ve [ghosted] when I notice I’m getting attached. I was hurt very seriously and have a wall built up. I refuse to allow myself to go through that kind of pain again so when I realize I’m getting in a little too deep, I ghost.” That self-preservation instinct was cited by more than one woman (and multiple men in the last piece) as a legitimate reason for ghosting.
The alternative can be scary (actually though)
While many of the other reasons for ghosting seemed to cross the gender spectrum, this was one that was sadly exclusive to women. Several women, myself included, have experienced abuse and some form of violence at the hands of men when attempting to end a relationship, no matter the level of intensity. That violence and abuse can take many forms, but verbal (in person or via text/messaging) was the most common. And even though not all men will behave in this manner, past experience, and fear of abuse is enough to drive women to disappear without a trace.
To quote one woman, “When I’ve tried to politely end a situation, even something super chill with no commitment, I’ve been met with anger and aggression. So I can see why many women choose to ghost rather than incite the ire of a man and deal with the deluge of insults that generally comes with it.”
Sometimes it’s not even a dating situation that has put women in the path of abusive toxic masculinity. Many women, myself included again, have even been met with abuse and violence when politely turning down a man in public, say at a bar or nightclub, or some other social situation. Those experiences can be enough to drive a woman to ghost on a dating situation. According to one of my friends, “I have [ghosted] when the guy was overly aggressive or clingy. I didn’t feel comfortable telling them to back off. Maybe years of being called a bitch for politely rejecting men in public had something to do with it.”
It’s a sad reality that we face as women every day. Many women I spoke to cited fear for their personal safety as a reason for ghosting. Clearly some work needs to be done to ensure that breaking up with someone doesn’t put you in danger.