It’s October so obviously I have to talk about ghosting at some point this Halloween season!
In 2017 I wrote about instances where it actually might be better to ghost. Here we are two years later and I’m still thinking ghosting has its benefits.
The thing is, we’re so used to ghosting now that we don’t even really know how to handle Not being ghosted by someone. Actually having direct communication with a date now seems confrontational. Ghosting is easy, it’s non confrontational, and it’s the cowards way. With this in mind, anything else is then seen as aggressive.
In all honesty, many of us are too immature to handle an honest conversation in a reasonable manner. If you ghost someone you don’t have to hurt their feelings with rejection. When someone tells you they’re not interested in you, it’s hard to not take it personally. It’s easy to become defensive when you feel rejected or attacked.
At least when you were ghosted, you could tell yourself whatever story you wanted to about that person and why they suddenly dropped off. Even when you’re not interested in someone, it’s annoying to hear that person say they’re not interested in you either.
When you tell someone directly that you’re not interested it usually ends up being some cliche of “Great meeting you but I don’t see us working out. Best of luck though”. Cliche break up lines tend to rub people the wrong way because they sound so well -rehearsed and fake. It’s stiff and distant, often making the receiving party feel uncomfortable.
If you’ve been in the dating game for a long time you’ve probably had loads of first dates. It can really become emotionally taxing to have this same conversation with every single suitor. You never really know how each individual will handle confrontation and rejection like that so it’s an emotion risk every time.
Maybe if we all ghosted less then having the ‘it just isn’t going to work’ conversation wouldn’t seem so aggressive and could be handled more amiably. But until then, being honest is an aggressive gamble.
As your relationship with your partner grows, you will face some obstacles. Difficult conversation will arise even if the relationship is in a very good place. Once you’ve realized that you can’t avoid this conversations, then you can take a look at these tips:
Pick a good time of day when stress levels are low. Take time to reflect on your moods throughout the week to see when you are most relaxed and would be open to sensitive topics. Next you should talk to your partner about when they feel they are most open minded. This will also give your partner time to prepare themselves for a mentally and emotionally taxing conversation. Granted, when it comes to difficult conversations there is never a perfect time. Don’t put off this conversation waiting for a moment that will never happen. Be brave and start the conversation.
Realize you may be catching your partner off guard by merely mentioning the topic and they may not have an answer for you right away. Consider the idea that this will be a multiple step process and might not be resolved in one conversation. Be aware that you may not be 100% happy with the outcome and a compromise will most likely have to happen.
Difficult topics can not be discussed over text, too much can get lost between the lines without body language and tone to gauge. Feel free to write down your thoughts and refer to them during this sit down conversation but don’t fall into reading a script. This conversation requires your full attention and should not be had in a crowd full of people or while multitasking with driving or chores. It is critical that your partner knows you are listening so cellphones should be put away until after.
Don’t be on the attack
Keep an open mind and make sure you’re hearing your partner’s concerns.They have legitimate concerns and reasonings of their own. Make sure your partner feels heard and does not become guarded. This is a conversation among two equals not an argument that is pinning you against each other. It’s important you don’t begin to view your partner as the enemy. The topic is the enemy that you and your partner must work together to overcome.
Know when it’s time to end the conversation
With sensitive topics comes sensitive emotions. We’re all human and we’re all emotionally invested in our relationships. Someone may yell or someone may get off topic and start nitpicking at you. When the conversation is derailing or when both parties are no longer listening to each other, it’s time to step back and take a break. Let your emotions break and self reflect. Consider where the root is in your reasonings and if you have any concerning hang ups. Consider why your partner may be feeling the way they are.
It’s important for your partner to know that you are fighting for this relationship, not fighting against them. Make sure you’re aware of the issues you will not bend on and consider the outcome if a middle ground can not be met.