I get asked often about ghosting. There’s been an influx of awareness around being left on read in the past few years, I think that’s mostly been heightened by our dating culture. It is however not a new behavior.
It’s been described as an attachment style and while their are a myriad of these I think that tendency to ghost or ignore...is in line with dismissive attachment.
With this attachment style, it is fairly easy for a person to focus on and show interest in a new partner — in the early phase of a relationship, they are not thinking about what they personally need from the other person, and the other person has not yet become a threat/annoyance/or otherwise. The issues around the dismissive attachment is that there’s a growing separation between emotional self and consciousness. What I mean by this is the person dating you can see everything they find attractive initially but at the same time be dismissing their emotions. You may have been loving the positive attention of new partnership, which is normal when starting to date, and in turn not notice that your new babe rarely talks in much depth about their childhood, personal struggles, or feelings.
This being said it doesn’t mean that everyone one that has ignored you can readily fit into this attachment style nor that this is the only style they know how to love in. What is means is that if there are new engagements you have with people where everything seems to be going amazing, be mindful in taking that step back to reflect on the interactions you have with them. Not to over analyze but to understand if there they may be emotional distance and learn how to work through it in a safe space.
Some tips I have for a person with this attachment style would be :
Realize the relationships take work. There often isn’t a level up from a person you are starting to see, rather treat them as a new independent experience. That grass is always greener mentality will serve for a frustrating experience in the long run.
Recognize the pattern, and that your emotions may be unaligned with your consciousness.
Focus on the physical sensations that you feel when your partner gets close. See if you can give it a name. The sensation is not you, after all; it is only a sensation. See if you can separate out the love feelings from the anxiety.
Learn to love yourself first and it will become easier to allow that love to be present with others.
As a partner engaging with a dismissive person , know that you can also create boundaries. They may be trying to pushing away their own need for love. If someone starts to distance, be open in telling them how much you care, but don’t chase them or continue to go back to them. Remember that you can make a choice: You can say that you aren’t able to be loved from far away and end things. On the opposite side,they are able to walk away if they aren’t ready to love or engage in relationship. Make sure you don't just stand in the middle, not knowing if you are coming or going; that is a very painful way space to linger in.
In each case the common theme is that there is open dialogue, recognition that it’s not always personal and that there is always space to grow!
Keep swiping, keep dating and keep an open mind. As always I’m here for questions, comments and just general conversation.
Ghosting, avoidance and dismissiveness