Why ghosting is better than slowly drifting away
According to Urban Dictionary, ghosting happens when someone cuts off all communication with their friends or the person they are dating. The term gained popularity in recent years, with social media becoming a huge thing in everyone’s life. To ghost someone means to block them from all online platforms you used to communicate through, such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok, to name a few, without warning them about your intentions to do so.
When it comes to romantic relationships, ghosting can be incredibly painful.
Imagine being head over heels for someone, and they suddenly disappear from your life without having the integrity to say goodbye. This leaves you confused, frustrated, and truly heartbroken. You start looking for the reasons your relationship fell apart within yourself. It’s sad because, in reality, it was them who didn’t have the guts to look you in the eyes and chose to ghost you instead.
Nevertheless, there is something much more agonizing than being ghosted by someone you love – witnessing your partner slowly fading out of your relationship.
The truth is, when someone slowly fades out of a relationship, they have already made the decision to leave long ago.
Oftentimes people choose to delay the inevitable because they are afraid of what might happen if they directly address their concerns. Perhaps they believe they are protecting those who love them by hiding their true intentions. Or maybe they are afraid that once they open up, there would be no way back. Whatever their reasoning is, what they are doing is not taking responsibility for their own feelings by waiting for the other person to get the message.
What’s even more infuriating is that most of these people are convinced they are doing the right thing by keeping their partners in the dark. Jennice Vilhauer of Psychology Today explains:
“People who use the slow fade when the decision to end the relationship is one-sided, often think they are being kind by cutting someone off slowly rather than abruptly.
They get to feel good about themselves for trying to be nice and also don’t have to deal with the emotional discomfort of having a difficult conversation or the hurt emotions of the other person.”
Slowly drifting away from your partner is just another form of gaslighting.
The period from making the decision you no longer want to be with your significant other to actually leaving them is infused with mixed signals and false alerts. Your indecisiveness messes up with their minds. Your untruthfulness makes them question their whole reality. Sooner or later, they find themselves wondering whether your entire relationship was a lie from the very start.
The doubt you instill inside their minds can be detrimental to their mental health. As a 2009 study states, uncertainty can make an emotional situation much more distressing.
And when the other person finally realizes they have been lied to the whole time, the pain they feel is soul-crushing. At that moment, they experience a chaotic mixture of sadness, anxiety, confusion, upset, emptiness, and so many more dreadful emotions that overwhelm them at once. And you thought you were protecting them… Oh, the irony.
However, there is a way to avoid that. And this way is honesty.
Whether you have been together for a few months or you have spent most of your lives together, you should be honest about your true feelings. Vilhauer notes:
“The kindest thing to do is give someone clarity that the relationship is over so they can process the event and move on.”
If this person loves you truly, and if your relationship was of value for both of you, they will understand and respect your decision to leave. They will be hurt, but they will appreciate your integrity and will let you go.
Do you agree that slowly fading out of a relationship is worse than ghosting? Leave a comment to let us know!