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Why does it seem so normal to get ghosted nowadays?

All of my friends have been so flaky lately. Most of them have gotten girlfriends. I understand that they need to spend time together, I’m genuinely happy for them. But what bothers me is that they will make plans with me. Even reach out to me first. We make plans to play tennis, go to the gym together, try out some new restaurants/bars, … Only for them to flake on me.

My ‘best friend’ literally makes plans with me, then disappears on the day we made plans, even though I can see he’s been online on messenger. Bump into him at a bar with his girlfriend and he acts like he totally just didn’t flake on me.

So, I started dating too. Been casually dating this girl for 2 months. Things were starting to get kind of serious. She’d invite me out with her friends, cook for me, sleep over, have ohhh, do activities together, go on dates, …. Met her twice a week.

Then, out of nowhere, she completely ghosted me. I saw her last Saturday, everything was fine. We agreed to do something last Tuesday. On the day, she’s nowhere to be seen. I ask her what she’s up to and doesn’t get back to me 8 hours later. Said she’s been busy and can’t make it to the date because her aunt’s cat is not feeling well (LMAO) and is going over there. I just said ‘okay’ and assumed she lost interest. Haven’t heard from her in 2 days now. Didn’t even apologize or try to reschedule.

I’ve been focusing on myself the last few weeks. Working out, eating healthy, reading books, enough sleep, going out solo, … But I find myself getting bored and lonely. Is this normal in your mid 20’s? I expected most of my friends to get girlfriends and go their own way. But I didn’t expect it to be this lonely.

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46 Comments

  1. If its close friends that’s still a dick move and should be addressed. With regards to dating/newer friendships I think its because fewer relationships today are between people who have to see each other regularly (or via mutual friends) so its easier to just mentally detach.

  2. I was ghosted for the first time a couple of years ago. It was someone whom I thought was a friend. So when I didn’t hear back from them I panicked and began worrying about them. I almost went by their place to make sure they were OK and sent a message saying as much and that prompted them to respond finally. I felt so stupid but being an 80’s child, it never occurred to me that this was even a possibility. I’m a straightforward person. If you tell me you don’t want to be friends anymore, than fine, as sad as it may make me, I’d respect your wishes. Ghosting is just a shitty thing to do.

  3. People don’t want to be seen as the bad guy. They don’t want to say “I don’t wanna be friends anymore” or when it comes to dating, “I am not interested”. They simply ignore you and thus avoiding the need to say anything. Their conscious is saved! What they don’t realize is that it hurts more to be ignored.

  4. If I make plans with you, I’ll be there on time.

    If I’m running 5 minutes late, I’ll let you know.

    If a “better plan” comes along, still go with you.

    If I can’t make it, I’ll let you know as soon as possible.

  5. I had a similar experience to this in my early 20s. It sucked and I ended up moving and finding new friends. Not saying this is what you should do, but my new friends have never ghosted me once. In terms of dating it’s so easy for people to stop showing interest because in the digital age all you have to do is stop replying. Move on from these people fast, and don’t look back.

  6. Online dating has made it normal. You don’t owe a stranger on the internet an explanation for anything. You don’t have to explain to a screen name why you’ve chosen to stop talking to them. It’s begun bleeding into real life. 30 years ago, breaking up over the answering machine was bad. 10 years ago, breaking up over text was bad. Now it’s normal just to disappear and let them figure it out.

  7. I’ve been ghosted after first dates, but after 2 months that would fuck me up a bit. Just be straight with her and ask why she’s ghosting you. And as for your friends, since they’re already flaking on you you don’t have much to lose, be straight up with them too, but over the phone or in person

  8. Texting and dating apps have made communication less “in-person” and with the next person just being one swipe of the phone away I think there is a bigger feeling of FOMO.

    So you start a conversation, maybe even plan a date, or even go on a date, but then the other person finds someone else who is likely similar to you but different enough for them to think “well, I’ll give this guy a shot” and then you get ghosted. At least that is my theory.

    I luckily met my wife in college when it was easier to date/meet people and before Tinder was so widespread. I don’t think my self esteem could have handled todays dating world.

  9. Gotta ask yourself in a really honest way, are you really important to this people ? Are those people really important to you ? That being said, don’t waste time trying to understand why people are like that, just focus in yourself and don’t give them the sensation that you need them, otherwise you will be ghosted much harder.

  10. Had our kids’ piano teacher straight up “ghost” us a couple of years ago. Texted us saying she couldn’t make a lesson. Tried to contact her to reschedule…nothing. Multiple calls and texts. She was a college student at the local music school and had been doing a great job. We paid cash every lesson. We were more than willing to give her a good reference when she would inevitably move on to a career.

    Just…gone. No explanation. She didn’t die or have any major health issues or a car accident or anything..we knew she was OK via a mutual acquaintance. It was our first experience with a hard core ghosting…and it was really annoying and puzzling. Just say you can’t do it anymore. It’s OK. Don’t just disappear and leave people hanging.

  11. ghosting and passive aggressive behaviour are weapons of the weak my friend.

    they are not normal, they are a product of cunts not being able to deal with their own emotions.

    Do not accept them.

  12. Man I feel you. I’ve learned to use the word “Friend” very sparingly over the years. Few people have proven they are worthy of that title. Most friends wanna hang out but when it comes down to actually doing it, life gets in the way somehow.

    As far as dating, I got burned really bad a few months ago and it still stings. We had an amazing date, absolutely spilling out with chemistry. Talking constantly and it was always interesting conversations. We didn’t leave to go home til after 1:30am. That continued after the date, then a couple days later she got really distant. It’s like the air was sucked out of the room, such a big difference in how she talked to me. Then, a day later she blocks me in the middle of me talking to her about her day.

    I think women do it out of protection for themselves, to avoid conflict, and to keep us from knowing the truth as if that would be any better. All this does is leave us wondering why but never getting an answer. Really fucks with my self esteem in a way they will never fully understand. If she would have just said “Hey it’s great meeting you, but it’s not going to work out for me” That would be 10x better than ghosting. It’s not that I deserve an explanation, none of us do. What I deserve is human decency and not being treated like I don’t have feelings.

  13. Ghosting feels the worst. It’s not even like “I don’t have time for you” like most people pretend, that I could understand. 90% of the time, it’s “I don’t care about you at all and you’re not even worth a reply”

  14. It’s so easy to do. Why tell people why you do not want to hang out when you can do nothing to achieve the same result? It’s awful but people prefer being non-confrontational because it is less awkward.

  15. I had a gf in Taiwan and we used to hangout a lot and I was actually starting to like her more everyday. Gradually I realized that she wasn’t really honest with me and then I decided to not get too attached with her. Just enjoy the time I spend with her and it was fun but stopped generating feelings for her. When the time came to part ways, it was much easier to forget her. My view towards everything (related to people) now is just enjoy the things I have without getting too attached. I wish I knew this sooner.

  16. I was dating a guy once and it was going incredibly well, and then all of a sudden it wasn’t. It was so wild. Like….I even point blank asked are you okay? Are you still interested? I threw him a lay up and he still just couldn’t do it. People just don’t want to be the bad guy, and people also lack communication skills. The idea of being vulnerable and hurting someone’s feelings is the worst idea to some people. I think that’s why most people lie because they think “what they don’t know won’t hurt them” but this dude didn’t even lie. He just didn’t reply ever again lol

  17. “Friends” who consistently flake arent your friends. Personally, if i tell someone im gonna hang out with them, i will give every ounce of effort to be there reasonably on time but i expect the same of them in return.

  18. A lot of comments seem to focus on the girl you were seeing ghosting you, over your friends.
    I’d say, some people ghost, some people tell you exactly why they don’t like you, and others just drop a text to say thanks but no thanks. Two months, twice a week isn’t huge. Don’t read too much into that.
    But your friends doing it isn’t cool. I have friends that definitely go quiet when they’re seeing someone, but I’ve never been stood up or ghosted. Had your relationship with your friend had anything negative happen? Is there another reason he would have ghosted? If not, then I’d have to say, that’s pretty shitty.

  19. >she completely ghosted me

    totally normal, especially in the US. Men ghost women, women ghost men. No one wants to have the difficult conversation. Serious people are a rare commodity nowadays.

    >Didn’t even apologize or try to reschedule.

    Probably because she’s talking with someone else. I’ve seen that story play out many, many times. You’re not the first person she’s done this to.

    >I’ve been focusing on myself the last few weeks. Working out, eating healthy, reading books, enough sleep, going out solo, … But I find myself getting bored and lonely. Is this normal in your mid 20’s?

    completely normal. And its exactly what you should be doing. Ironically enough, by doing that you’ll find a good group of people who fit right in. Figure out who you are in this time. Scary, isolating, but critical.

    The 20s are a very weird time in your life. Your high school/college friends go their own way in life and you do the same. So you’re in a really transitional period. This is also why people are so flaky in their 20s. They’re focused entirely on themselves and don’t give a care in the world for anyone else.

  20. For a few reasons, imho:

    We live in a world where we don’t take responsibility for our own actions anymore – it’s everyone else’s fault if we are upset by something

    We think conflict is a bad thing (unless it’s behind a keyboard), instead of a means to help us grow as people and learn about other perspectives

    People tend to treat others as disposable, and that’s likely because we have more choice… The pool is larger; back in the day we had to pick friends/lovers from our village and face the person, regardless of how we treated them

    Plus, people do naturally just drift in your mid 20s. This is where you see all your friends go their own ways and start their families and such. It won’t be until your mid 30s that you start to really connect with friends again, as their kids are growing up or they’re getting divorced, etc. Then, friends are 💯

  21. 29yr old male here. It’s more normal than not. It sucks but if you’re anything like me you eventually become numb to it. Most people suck in this world.

  22. I’m a pretty transparent and open person, I’ve been ghosted when I had “nothing”, but this just allowed me to love myself and enjoy my own company. Now I’m here for anyone that wants to see me although I’d much rather have some time alone, quite ironic

  23. > Is this normal in your mid 20’s?

    I would say yes, and that this transcends generations as well. In my 20s people were like this too. You’re a part of an age group that’s hurriedly trying to figure things out. I learned that when I approached my 30s that my friend group shrank, but the friends I retained were great people.

    Surround yourself with great people. Even your best friends need to venture out and do other things. Nothing is static. Sometimes you’ll get lonely – and that’s ok. Keep working on yourself, because if you waste years chasing people, you may be in your 30s having deep regrets.

    Best of luck, friend.

  24. I empathize with you. Most of my friends have done this. My closest friend (since we were like 8 as we went to school together) gets girlfriends and does this. I finally gave up this most recent time and we are no longer on speaking terms. I know some people say “it’s the ‘honeymoon phase’, be more understanding”. And I have, but this goes beyond it. Blowing off birthdays and ghosting and stuff. That is not acceptable if you are a “good friend”. That’s what I classify as “bad friend”

  25. I get that you guys weren’t together for very long, but she really ghosts you after cooking for you and doing shit for 2 months… like, really? No explanation of any kind… what kind of shit is that? This kind of thing is why I have no interest in dating.

    To answer your question; I think it seems so normal because people have gotten incredibly lazy and get bored quickly so ghosting has become more normal. People would rather sit on their asses and disrespect each other than resolve their problems. Modern women also tend to have this idea that they have the power to be extremely choosy with men. Unfortunately for them, that is definitely changing.

    I don’t know why this girl you were dating decided that things weren’t going to work out (hell, she probably doesn’t even know, which is why she ghosted you). I can definitely tell you that women lose interest over the smallest stuff, and whatever happened, it was probably small and petty enough that she felt more comfortable being an asshole than trying to justify her behavior.

  26. Being ghosted after dating seems common enough. Women tend to be scared how the people will react towards them. But mates doing it to each other, that’s straight up shitty. It’s more strange that they reached out to you and made plans to bail. While shit happens. I sometimes make plans but can be a really hard week and I can’t be fucked doing anything, In this day and age when a text message takes 5 seconds to send. There is no excuse for someone not just giving their mate the heads up.

  27. Sounds like you’re probably around nineteen or twenty if you have two years of school left (unless you’re getting a masters/Ph.D.).

    There are two possibilities in my opinion (neither of which are mutually exclusive).

    That’s around the time when a lot of the old friends you grew up with and new friends you made in college that won’t be long term friends will start dropping off. It’s usually nothing personal or dramatic, they simply don’t have as much in common anymore, or they want to focus on other people. And them ghosting you is their way of signaling that because our society doesn’t have a formal “I don’t really want to be friends anymore” signal that doesn’t involve a terrible argument. And this is fine, it’s part of life. It’ll happen now, it’ll happen once all your acquaintances get married, and it’ll happen when kids enter the picture. Lifelong friends wouldn’t mean all that much if they were easy to come by.

    That or now that they’re older and have girlfriends they have more social options than ever before and you simply fall on the bottom rung of the priority ladder. I’d consider this as more of an asshole move than the former tbh because they might still “want” to be friends, they just take you for granted.

    If it’s the former there’s nothing you can really do about it and you should just accept it, chances are you’ll do the same to someone else at some point. If it’s the latter and there’s someone you really want to hold onto as a friend, say something. It’s entirely possible they don’t even realize what they are doing.

    I’d say with the girl that’s an asshole thing to do. Dating has more of a “formal” structure for beginning and ending things. Ghosting someone after the first date? That’s ok, it’s not ideal but it’s fine. Ghosting after 2 or 3 weeks? Again, not ideal, but I’d say it’s acceptable. Ghosting after 2 months with significant investment on both sides? I’d say that’s an asshole move.

  28. It feels to me like everyone around me is ALWAYS looking only for the next best thing and if it comes along, they seem to feel like they “owe it to themselves” to do the thing they want MORE than the “owe it to me” to follow through with the original plans.

    Whether it’s dating, or going skating, or for food, or whatever, EVERYONE seems to be simply taking “the best they can get for now” and will absolutely pounce on any opportunity they think they want to pursue more.

    It’s a combination of lack of respect for other people and their time, a sense of self-righteous self-importance, lack of discipline in decision making, and a general uninvestment in other people.

    People fucking suck these days. Some of this I think is fueled by stuff like Tinder, where you’re conditioned to “take what you can get and hope for better”, constantly. Seems people feel comfortable doing this in all things.

  29. Mobiles (and internet messaging) can remove us from the reality and consequences of facing people when we communicate with them.

    Starting with landlines and ending with what we have now, we don’t have to face the people that we disappoint, offend or threaten.

    By being one step removed from the person that we’re communicating with, it’s become so easy just to stop communicating altogether because it’s just a message now; one can’t hear their disappointment or outrage or fear. See: Reddit.

    Messaging in particular has made us lazy and inconsiderate. We’re all feeling it, and we’re probably all guilty of it at one time or another.

    Best thing to do, and something I try to so as much as possible is just call. If there’s more than one or two messages exchanged – I call. My friends think I’m mad – but they always did anyway.

  30. Not speaking as a girl, but I’ve heard a lot of reasoning from girls that have ghosted guys that some dudes can totally flip and become threatening if they get rejected or if she decides to break it off. I can see that, but if it’s just not wanting an awkward (non threatening) situation, then they should grow up.

    If it’s a friend ghosting you, then they need to sort their shit out. I’ve had friends who drop out at the last minute, or see the message (read receipts), then wait until after or during the event to say “sorry, I didn’t see this, I’m busy”, which is bullshit. I haven’t cut those people out of my life (one is actually a very close friend), but after having it happen too many times, I gave up involving them in plans. If they initiate something, I show up if I’m available, but I don’t bother trying to work things around them, because when I have done in the past, it gets thrown back in my face.

  31. Personally, going solo is sometimes way better than going with people. I bought tickets to a comedy show next week and a Whiskey Myers concert in a couple, which I will be doing solo on purpose.

    Just keep doing you. Find stuff that’s going on around your town/city and just go. Friends flake? Their loss.

  32. People who ghost are not ready for responsibility or do not care as much as you in my experience. I have been ghosted by Girlfriends and people who I considered to be good friends of mine. But nowadays it is just so easy, hit block and you don’t have to worry about them again, hang up or ignore your calls, leave you on read etc.

    It hurts, it really hurts because you feel so powerless and nothing you can say or do will make things different. It has left me with a serious lack of trust in people.

  33. They were never there for you when you needed them the most

    Keep your heads up and be comfortable with spending some time on yourself

    People come and go

    I’m sure you’ll have new people coming into your life who will give you all the right reasons to trust in genuine connections.

    In the meantime spend some quality time on self improvement and working on yourself 😊

  34. Exactly the same thing was happening to me recently. I had people really get involved in hanging out together with me, and then they ditched me or made excuses for no apparent reason. It was so bad that I became paranoid, thinking that they somehow found out something terrible about me and are so shocked they can’t even talk about it with me. I guess in your case with a small town it might be even worse since everyone knows everything about others and very few things remain in secret. I’ve never felt so lonely and I haven’t expected my 20s to be so lonely.

    Turns out it’s becomes more and more difficult to make friends when you become older. High school was a time when people were growing up and starting to explore the world and how life works. First struggles etc. More free time as well. When you become an adolescent, though, 1) it’s much more difficult to make new friends because you have more things to do (and everyone else has) and people just seem to busy to make new connections unless they derive some benefit from them and 2) your old friends are now scattered around the world and it’s just difficult to maintain that relationship. I guess social media has also reduced the in-person connection and weakened the feeling of social presence, responsibility for one’s words and for keeping promises.

    What helped me was not to give up and keep looking for people to get connected with. I’ve reached out to my old friends from high school and college with whom I felt a special connection. We quickly revived our communication and it felt great to have a lot to talk about the past and the present. With new people it’s more difficult but I tried to have as much of in-person communication as possible and it seemed to work and make things less awkward and relations sturdier. It also helped to quickly find out who’s a good fit for you.

    On the final note I just wanted to stress that having 2-3 good people (friends + a partner) is healing and makes you stronger and resistant to various kinds of bullshit life gives you. Now I don’t even care when someone new ghosts me. It’s much easier to accept that it was just not your type of person this way.

    [I’m not a native English speaker so sorry for my grammar.]

  35. My mom who is 51 had been talking to a guy (58) for a couple months who lived a little over an hour away. They talked on the phone, face timed everyday, he texted her throughout the day to let her know he was thinking of her. They made plans (that he initiated) for them to meet halfway for dinner finally. They talked about how excited they both were multiple times. He texted her at 10 AM that morning and then never again. Could see he read her messages. She called him once to give him the benefit of the doubt and he never answered. He hasn’t spoken to her since. 58 years old. I have no idea what the logic was behind it. I think sometimes it has to do with the other person more than you.
    – S/N: if anyone has any idea why someone would waste their time and do this, I’d love to hear some ideas.

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