Lim: Ghosting

·3 min read

I say this, at the outset, I am guilty of ghosting and long before the term was even coined. So, with that confession, I also declare my bias for ghosting.

Is it cruel? Is it unkind? Does it inflict pain? I guess so. But so is not returning someone’s feelings for you. But should that be classified as a crime? Probably not.

People ghost for a variety of reasons but the critics have put it down largely to a lack of courage to end things. I can’t disagree.

Personally, what propels me to ghost is the prospect of a discussion that may escalate into a debate—a debate I would likely win but don’t have the energy to engage in. And believe me, I don’t always want to win. Sometimes, I just want to end things. Quickly. Quietly. As in a disappearing act.

A cowardly act? Perhaps. But is it a criminal act?

Do I not think the other party deserves an explanation? Well, it depends—on the depth of the relationship and on the reasons for its ending. So far, all my profound relationships are still alive and thriving.

I think things through before I decide—whether it’s over a pair of shoes I want to buy or a relationship that must meet its demise.

With God as my witness, I can say I give people the benefit of the doubt. I give people ample time to redeem themselves when they cross a line. I do not decide with haste. But when I decide, I never look back.

It’s kinder to say there is someone else than to say they don’t measure up. But what if there is no one else? What if you just don’t want them? What if you’d rather be alone than be with them? How do you say that with kindness?

Or what if you changed your mind because you saw something you didn’t see before? Some deal breakers. Some things upon which you know in your heart, your minds will never meet. Some stuff you know will never change.

Isn’t it better to simply be silent and disappear?

For what would be the point of enumerating faults, flaws and failings? What would be the point of citing all that you find distasteful or disagreeable? What would be the point of stating all the reasons why one is not wanted?

It’s awful to be ghosted. But it would be worse if you listened to me while I ranted.

I choose to ghost because I don’t want to lie to you. I choose to ghost because I cannot pretend to feel what I do not. I choose to ghost because you do not need to hear all these.

What you don’t know won’t hurt you. My silence will be salve to your sting. With my despicable act, you will consider it my loss not yours when I disappear from your life.

I cause less pain when I’m silent—as a ghost.

House Bill 611, an act declaring ghosting an emotional offense is unlikely to be passed. Because silence is not always a sordid act.

But if passed and jail time were included, I’d be incarcerated for the rest of my life.

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