This Isn’t Ghosting

As children, we didn’t always connect with other children. And as grown-ups, we’re not going to vibe with everyone either. Common knowledge.

It follows then that when we meet new people in the flesh or in whatever corner of the internet we trawl for company when we’re lonely, bored or both, one of two things happens:

We connect or we don’t. (Duh.)

Now, it’s really clear when we connect with people: a couple of similar interests or acres of common ground, shared principles, “Our parents grew up down the street from each other,” those kinds of things. We know why talking is easy. The connection strengths or we lose signal. Basic human relations.

Not connecting is a bit different.

It might take a while to figure out. Minor differences can be ignored, even some major ones (“Let’s agree to disagree.”), but at some point, one person realises that there’s nothing there for them and they close shop slowly or quickly.

Very rarely is this conclusion reached by both parties at the same time. Unfortunately, the first person to dial down their enthusiasm is likely to be labelled the villain of the story.

That’s just how it is, but it’s silly.

Yes, I know some people will fight me. They’ll argue that the villain deserves that label and that the ‘adult’ thing to do is to have a conversation about said change in enthusiasm, not just stop texting furiously or setting up more dates.

I hear you and your righteous anger is appreciated but discernment is also an adult thing and there’s an expectation that a grown-up should be able to tell when another grown-up is just not that into them, particularly when the disinterested grown-up steps away clearly.

So I’m not sure a speech is mandatory when you’re opting out of the process of getting to know someone.

Let’s just not leave each other hanging, string people along for the fun of it or disappear from an active conversation without proof that we’ve been kidnapped. Now, that’s ghosting.