Have you been ghosted? Have you ghosted someone? If you go back some years, this term would merely evoke visions of Casper the Friendly Ghost. Now it seems to have become a thing. I hear mostly from people who have been ghosted and how they dont like it. Once in a while someone talks about doing this to another and accepting that it is an easy way out.

Uncoupling is not a pleasant process whether you are the initiator or the target. What factors do you look at to end a relationship? Love is gone? Too boring? Partner has become abusive? You or the other have gotten interested / involved in another? It is really important to take inventory of why the connection that started out well did not continue to be so. It is also crucial for the next relationship, that we look at what we did, to own our role in it, and what the other did. This allows us not to repeat the mistakes, to be careful about our choices and often, not to dismiss initial red flags.

Ghosting conveys the message that not only do you not respect the other, but also whatever the connection was. Could there be circumstances when this practice is okay? Perhaps when it is a very casual affair, where there has not been a meeting of the minds. One or two dates do not make a relationship. But when you have gone beyond that, knowing why someone is no longer interested in us provides closure and allows us to move forward. I acknowledge that telling the partner you no longer love them is no easy task. In todays world of internet dating, quick hookups, and online communication, it is no wonder that ghosting has evolved. As quickly as you can swipe, you can also disappear. But think of what you each are left with. If there has been a good level of involvement, you each owe the other that closure. It is also not easy to hear where we may have responsibility in a breakup. However, I am a firm believer in not burning bridges. You do not know if or when you may have an occasion for your paths to cross, and not necessarily in a romantic way. We are fallible human beings; sometimes we do things well and sometimes we fail miserably. Making a mistake is human nature. Look at it; see how you can do better next time. At all times, though, be kind to yourself and to those around you whom you have loved, even if the love is gone.

Author Profile

Janan Broadbent, PhD
Janan Broadbent, PhD
As a psychologist in private practice since 1979, Janan Broadbent, Ph. D. offers individual, couples, group and family therapy, in addition to conducting workshops on topics such as stress management, communication skills and assertiveness. She writes about current issues relevant to relationship building and conflict resolution in LGBTQ and minority populations, with emphasis on health, fitness and education.

Born in Turkey, Dr. Broadbent earned her undergraduate degree in psychology in 1965. At that time, first as a Fulbright Scholar, then as a CENTO Fellow, she received her master's and doctorate degrees in psychology and education from the University of California at Los Angeles. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology at St.Mary's College of Maryland, Mt. Vernon College in Washington, D. C., Johns Hopkins University and the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore. From 1981 to 1988, she was also the Director of Counseling at Notre Dame College.
While in graduate school, Dr. Broadbent worked for the Voice of America radio program, writing and recording materials on the cross-cultural college experience. She has been interviewed on various news programs on TV and has received media training.
Dr. Broadbent is a member of the American Psychological Association and has served as the chair for the Public Affairs Board and as a member of the Executive Council of the Maryland Psychological Association.
Dr. Broadbent's office is located at:
Village of Cross Keys, 120 West Quadrangle, 2 Hamill Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21210-1847 phone: 410-825-5577