Sexologist Chantelle Otten on Ghosting — Modern Dating’s Spookiest Trend


With Halloween on this weekend, there is no better time to talk about the psychology of ‘ghosting’ — one of modern dating’s spookiest dating trends.

Ghosting occurs when a romantic interest totally cuts you off, out of nowhere, with no explanation. You stop receiving messages or calls and gain no closure or explanation as to why you’re awarded nothing but radio silence from the other person. It hurts, but it’s common… Why is that?

I guess we have to think about ghosting as a whole. Have we all done it? Has it happened to us? The answer is likely yes for both. So, let’s think about how we break the vicious cycle of ghosting, and instead, open up the opportunity for better communication.

I’ve partnered with Bumble to help encourage daters to have more conversations about ghosting because the only ghosts on Halloween should be the kind in a naughty costume. Right?

Here’s the thing: No one likes the awkward conversation of a break-up or letting someone down — it can bring on a range of emotions and potentially hurting someone just isn’t nice, for either of you.

Bumble’s mission is to empower users — whether that be making the first move in the early stages of dating or having the confidence to perhaps have that difficult conversation about ending relationships. Both can be done with respect and kindness.

Ghosting someone gives them the impression that they weren’t worthy of an explanation of what went wrong or why you aren’t “feeling it”. It leaves people questioning themselves, overthinking a scenario, and overanalysing the entire relationship — just trying to piece together how it might have gone wrong.

If you have shared a connection with someone, whether it be brief or long-term, isn’t it worth leaving with honesty and integrity?

For break-ups, I am a believer that these are always done better in person, however, I also understand that this can be confronting for some. If you’re totally uncomfortable about face-to-face, say it in a virtual call. Just don’t say it through a text!

My advice is to put yourself in their shoes. How would you want to have this conversation? Remember, keep it kind and gently tell them the reasons why you aren’t feeling it. For example: “I loved hanging out with you, it was super fun, but to be completely honest I don’t have romantic feelings towards you so I don’t want to lead you on anymore.”

If your romance is in the early stages and the chat simply fizzled out, then it’s totally fine to drop them a line saying something along the lines of, “Hey, I thought I should be honest that I don’t think this is for me. I don’t want to waste your time so I wanted to be upfront with you. I wish you all the best in the future”.

Depending on how serious your relationship was, you must determine the level of detail you need to give them. Just remember that people appreciate honesty — even if it hurts.

Read more stories from TheLatch— and follow us on Facebook.