When Is It Ok To Ghost Someone?

Although it's probably safe to assume that people have been ghosting since the dawn of time, it's only been since 2015 that the term "ghosting" has become part of our vernacular (via Mic). And now we know that it was just the beginning of dating-related terminology that was going to seep into our lives and conversations because dating in the digital age allows for certain behavior. Benching, breadcrumbing, cushioning, kittenfishing, stashing, and more: what world are we living in? But back to ghosting.

To refresh your memory or to introduce you to something that you may be fortunate enough to have never experienced, ghosting is when two people are dating and one of them decides to simply peace out. Literally. No goodbye, no well wishes — they just disappear. "You cut them off completely, and there's no forewarning," relationship expert Susan Winter tells InStyle. "In another time period, if you want to get rid of somebody, you say, 'It's over.' They have an idea that it's ending, and there will not be communication. But with ghosting, you're not even given the heads up."

Although social etiquette tells us, for the most part, that ghosting is bad, there are actually cases in which ghosting someone isn't just more than okay — but also deserved.

When you're not being respected

Whether it's your time, your boundaries, or your safety, you — everyone — deserve to be respected. If someone can't respect you in all the ways a human should be respected, then don't even hesitate; ghost them.

"In the world of dating, it's okay to ghost someone who has repeatedly shown inconsistency with communication or interest in hanging out," certified life coach Tori Autumn tells Tinder. Your time is precious. If someone is flighty early in the dating process, there's a good chance that it will just get worse with time.

Along the same lines is having your boundaries disrespected. It doesn't matter if that disrespect comes in the form of unsolicited nudes or comments that you've continuously asked them to stop sending. This isn't cool behavior (via Shape). It really says a lot about someone if they continue to push your boundaries after you've said "no" repeatedly. 

"If someone engages in a clear boundary violation, such as showing up unexpectedly at your workplace, contacting your ex, stealing from you, or acting in any way that is clearly out of line, it can feel very threatening," psychologist Jennice Vilhauer, Ph.D. writes for Psychology Today. "When someone causes you to feel unsafe, they are showing a lack of concern for your feelings. Your priority is to regain your sense of safety, which may involve cutting off contact."

People have boundaries for a reason and those boundaries should always be respected by everyone in their lives, including someone they're dating.

When there's abusive behavior

Abuse can come in different forms. There are physical abuse, emotional abuse, and mental abuse to be more specific. Although the latter two aren't as visible, these types of abuse usually include lying, manipulation, and gaslighting, just to name a few.

"Manipulation, agenda, and self-interest are perfect reasons to ghost someone," relationship expert Susan Winter tells Elite Daily. "Their interest in you isn't genuine, so there are no feelings to be hurt by eliminating them from your life."

People who use intimidation to get what they want or to isolate the person they're dating are only thinking about themselves. This type of behavior doesn't get better, it can only escalate. Then before you know it, you have a controlling, obsessive person who's showing up to places to keep an eye on you and similar unwanted conduct (via YourTango). This is, in no way, even remotely appropriate. In these situations, you shouldn't even think twice about ghosting. You should ghost and block immediately.

Although some people ghost because they're bored, they've lost interest, or the first date didn't go so great, these are not good reasons to ghost someone. If you experience these scenarios, instead of ghosting, be honest. You know, be the bigger person than all the ghosters out there. But if you're feeling unsafe or threatened or your boundaries are being disrespected — even once is enough — then just let them go. You don't owe them an explanation in these situations. You need to put yourself first, always, especially when things aren't feeling right.