By Robert Rubin
Ghosting—a word that has been in everyone’s feed the past few days.
It means you stop communicating with a person you had previously shown interest to, often leaving their messages on “seen-zone.” Ghosting isn’t really a nice thing to do to anyone, especially to someone you are in a relationship with. It can be very painful for the “ghosted,” who are often left wondering what it was they did wrong.
The digital age has given us the convenience of communicating with just a tap of a button. But it has also made it convenient for us not to reply to messages we receive. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Or is it?
We all know the right thing to do in situations like these—and it’s always best to follow the proverbial golden rule of doing to others what you want them to do to you. We know better than to leave someone hanging and wondering whatever happened to the two of you. No matter how deep your relationship with someone is, that person does not deserve to be ghosted.
So here are five different ways to end a relationship, by degree of intensity.
- Pre-dating: Someone you just met
So someone likes you and has either asked you out in person or through messenger. At this stage, it’s easy to conclude things because there is no investment of emotions between the two of you.
Solution: A simple rejection message would suffice. You really don’t owe the person anything, because nothing has started yet. Example: “Hi there! Thanks for messaging. I’m not really interested in dating anyone right now. I do hope you find someone who will appreciate what you have to offer. Thank you.”
- First Date
You give someone the opportunity to go out with you but you later realize that this is not what you are looking for. Simply put, you are not interested in taking it further.
Solution: Sometimes people take harmless coffee dates the wrong way and are quick to assume it’s an indication of interest from the other party. Make it a point to let them know that you prefer to “just be friends.” This sets the tone and will clearly show that you are not interested in a romantic connection. Example: “Thanks for the wonderful time, but I really only see you as a friend. I hope you understand.”
- Semi-dating (Two to three dates)
You are still testing to see if you want to be with this person or not. If you are beginning to feel that you do not want to be with this person anymore, then it’s best to end it now before someone gets attached.
Solution: Again, you don’t really owe the person much of an explanation. You can simply say that you feel it was not working for you and that you will be ending things moving forward. Example: “Hi! Thanks for spending these past few days hanging out with me. It has been a blast but Im just not feeling it though. I hope this doesn’t leave any hard feelings between us both, but I have to say goodbye. Do take care of yourself!”
- Exclusive Dating
You two may not be in a full-blown relationship yet, but you have what previous generations refer to as “mutual understanding.” If at this point, for one reason or another, you think you need to end it, you have to be a bit more gentle with the other party. Both of you have already put effort into your growing relationship.
Solution: Considering the amount of time invested, it is better that you give the same effort into ending this relationship. Compose a longer message. Say how thankful you are for the time together but it’s not what you’re looking for at the time. In doing this, you won’t be leading them on. You are simply being honest about how you feel. If the other party gets clingy, then this is where you will need to set boundaries with them by limiting your time with them, in person or on social media.
Example: “I really enjoyed the time we spent together, but after these few dates I think that you and I are not compatible. You’re a wonderful person and I think that there is someone out there that would treasure you more. But I know that someone is not me. I hope you find the right one for you.”
- In a relationship
The two of you have agreed to be together and have called yourself boyfriend/girlfriend, professing your love for each other. This is where it gets tricky—and ghosting is worst at this point because the level of emotional commitment is higher moving forward. So how do you end it?
Solution: Whether we like it or not, the right thing to do is to go for the dreaded “we need to talk” moment. It’s normal to fear rejection or to fear rejecting someone. But this needs to be done. You have chosen not to be invested in this commitment anymore, which means that you also need to be emotionally mature to sit down and break up with your partner. Ghosting at this point becomes traumatizing for the other party because it leaves them hanging—literally—trying to figure out what went wrong. If you value what you had with your partner at all, then you need to give them the courtesy and compassion to say when it’s over.
At the end of the day, any of these options will always be better than completely ceasing contact without notice. You will always have the right to choose who you want to be with, of course. But that doesn’t justify ghosting. No one deserves to be hurt and be left hanging.
Rob is the author of the book The Intuitive Within and the founder of the largest intuitive community, Mysterium Philippines. A professional tarot consultant, he has had clients go to him for love and life concerns. Trained in intuitive coaching, community building, and personal relations, Rob has used the tarot as a means of giving clarity and empowerment to all those who seek his help. www.RobRubinReadings.com