If you’ve ever been ‘ghosted’ or are ‘ghosting’ someone, a relationship expert says there are consequences associated with it.
Winnipeg relationship therapist Susan Wenzel described ghosting as “a sudden ending of all communication and contact with potential partners, or even friends, without explanation or bringing closure to the relationship.”
The behaviour is becoming increasingly common, especially as people use their phones to text or communicate through a dating app, but there are dangers associated with it, she said.
She encouraged people to think twice before ghosting someone.
“It leaves people feeling anxious and insecure about themselves.”
Ending communication without an explanation can also become a bad habit, Wenzel said.
“It prevents you from learning skills of ending a relationship in a healthy way,” she said, which fosters kindness and integrity.
Wenzel encouraged people to think about how they would like their loved ones, like a daughter or a close friend, to be treated when a relationship comes to an end.
When it comes to ending a relationship, Wenzel said it’s important to recognize that it’s okay to want to leave, but it’s also important to do so in a caring way.
“A good way you can do this is to provide a genuine compliment before ending a relationship,” said Wenzel.
As for those who have been ghosted, Wenzel offered some advice as well. She said people should recognize the feelings of insecurities, whether it’s the feeling of not being good enough, or perhaps the feeling of abandonment.
“These feelings are not caused by the person who left, but rather existing insecurities.”
Once these insecurities have been identified, Wenzel said practicing affirmation exercises can foster self-love – repeating phrases like “I am loved, I am loving.”