Ghosting while dating. Maybe you’ve done it. Maybe you’ve had it done to you. But the question is: is it ever okay to disappear from a relationship without giving the other person an explanation?
When Ghosting While Dating Makes Sense
First things first: there are some situations where ghosting while dating may be understandable. For example, if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in a relationship, it’s important to prioritize your safety and well-being. In cases where someone is emotionally or physically abusive, ghosting may be the safest option. However, it's important to note that ghosting should never be used as a way to avoid conflict or difficult conversations.
Why Ghosting While Dating Isn’t the Best Move
In most situations, sending a final text or message letting the other person know you’re no longer interested in pursuing the relationship doesn't hurt. Even if you send an explanation message and then block the person, that’s better than ghosting.
Ghosting can be hurtful and disrespectful. When you're dating someone–even if you’re just in the “talking” stage–you are investing your time, energy, and emotions into building a connection with that person. Suddenly disappearing without any explanation or closure can feel like a betrayal. Treating others respectfully is important, even if the relationship isn't working out.
As Christians, we’re called to be loving and kind, and that extends into our dating life. Even when it’s not the easy or most comfortable choice, it’s always the best choice to treat others how you would want to be treated, just like Jesus says in Matthew 7:12, “‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.’”
What to Do Instead of Ghost Someone
If you’re feeling tempted to ghost someone, try one of these ideas instead:
1. Be Honest
If you're not feeling a connection with someone, it's better to be honest and let them know. Explain that while you appreciate their time and effort, you don't see a future together.
2. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries is essential if you're uncomfortable with someone's behavior or how they treat you. Communicate your expectations and let them know what behaviors are not acceptable. This can help you avoid situations that make you uncomfortable and allow you to feel safe in the relationship.
3. Take Time to Think
If you're unsure about your feelings or the direction of the relationship, take time to think about it. You can let the other person know that you need time to reflect and make a decision. This can give you the space to decide what you want to do while keeping the other person informed.
4. End the Relationship
If you've tried to work things out, but the relationship just isn't working, it's important to end it. You can do this in a kind and respectful way, thanking the other person for their time and effort but explaining that you don't see a future together. This can be a difficult conversation, but it's better to end things honestly and respectfully than to leave the other person wondering what happened.
If you're struggling with how to handle a difficult situation, take time to pray and ask for guidance. God can give us wisdom and strength to make the right decisions and to treat others with love and respect.