Posts tagged with "Relationships"

Giving up the ‘ghost’: How people are ending relationships

January 28, 2019

Now you see them (and hear from them); now you don’t. In friendships, familial relationships, work situations, and, yes, romantic partnerships, “ghosting” has become the no-warning, no-fuss, no-closure way to exit.

Even job candidates have been known to ghost scheduled interviews in a thriving economy.

Indeed, the term, “ghosting,” has been used to describe the act of simply disappearing from somebody’s life by ignoring their calls, texts, and social media messages, Psychology Today reports.

But how common is ghosting, how do people feel about it, and who is likely to do it? New research by Gili Freedman of Dartmouth College and colleagues Darcey N. Powel of Roanoke College, and Benjamin Le of Haverford College—published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships—explores these questions. The team conducted two large-scale online surveys of American adults. The first included 554 participants; the second, 747.2

In both studies, about 25% of participants claimed that they had been ghosted by a previous partner, and about 20 percent indicated that they had ghosted someone else.

The second study also examined ghosting in friendships and found that it was somewhat more common: 31.7% had ghosted a friend, and 38.6% had been ghosted by a friend.

It’s no surprise that most people found ghosting to be an unacceptable way to end a relationship. However, how acceptable people found it to be depended on the type of relationship. In the first study, 28% of respondents felt it was acceptable to ghost after just one date, whereas only 4.7% believed that it was an acceptable way to end a long-term romantic relationship.

When it came to short-term relationships, 19.5% tjhought that ghosting was acceptable. In addition, the majority of participants (69.1%) said that knowing someone had ghosted a romantic partner would make them think more negatively of that person.

Respondents also generally believed that ghosting friends was not that acceptable, but they typically commented that it was more acceptable to ghost friends than romantic partners.

This is consistent with other research in which participants were asked how they felt about being on the receiving end of various break-up methods. Iin that study, cutting off contact was considered one of the least desirable ways to end a relationship.3

What individuals are most likely to ghost? The research showed that those higher in destiny beliefs—those who thought a relation either is “meant to be” or not—were more likely to think that ghosting was acceptable and were less likely to think poorly of the ghoster. What’s more, they also were likely to report that they would consider ghosting as a viable option for breaking up with a partner and to say that they had ghosted someone in the past.

Interestingly enough, the extent to which participants endorsed growth beliefs—those that thought that relationships take work—was, for the most part, not related to their ghosting behavior or attitudes.

It is likely that there are many other characteristics that predict ghosting, Psychology Today said.

Past research has shown that those who are insecure in their relationships tend to feel stronger negative emotions during conflict and experience more stress after a conflict, the news outlet reported. So those who are insecurely attached may be more likely to ghost as a way to avoid the upsetting experience and aftermath of conflict.

It is also likely that those high in narcissism would be more prone to ghosting, as they tend to lack empathy for partners and see them as a means to an end.8

Finally, the newer research also does not answer the question of whether ghosting has become more common in the modern age of texting and social media. It is reasonable to assume it has, Psychology Today says—given the large role that electronic communication plays in relationships. A partner’s ghosting may be the first sign that something is wrong, and once you’ve been ghosted, you may be unlikely to seek an in-person confrontation.

Ghosting may also be easier to get away with in certain modern relationship contexts. For example, online dating has become increasingly popular—with about 25% of young adults using it as a way to meet new partners. Without a mutual social network tying you to a partner, it may be a lot easier to just disappear and not be held accountable.

The magazine warns, if you’re considering taking the easy way out of a relationship, realize that ghosting will not only hurt your partner, but is likely to hurt your reputation.

Research contact: @psychologytoday

Getting the word out: Why It takes us so long to say ‘I love you’

August 8, 2018

During the first blush of affection and attraction between a man and a woman (or two romantic partners), there is one word that is never uttered, for fear of seeming “too intense” or “too needy” or “scaring a suitor off.” But there comes a time when the word, “love,” simply must be blurted out, or the possessor of those feeling will burst.

According to findings of a poll conducted by YouGov on behalf of eHarmony, it takes an average of three months—or specifically, 88 days—for men to say, “I love you” for the very first time to their partners. And surprisingly enough, it takes a woman a more substantial amount of time to fess up to those feelings—as long as four months and two weeks—or 134 days.

The study revealed that 39% of men say, “I love you” within the first month of seeing someone compared to only 23% of women. Researchers also found that 33% of men had met their partner’s family within the first month of dating, compared to only 25% of women.

What’s more, contrary to the popular belief that men are terrible at remembering relationship milestones, fully 77% of male respondents said they remembered the day on which they said “I love you” for the first time—and 95% admitted that they could recall the first time they held hands with their partner.

When it comes to sex, more men admit to having sex within the first month of dating—with 43% claiming to have had sex within the first month, compared to 36% of women. Women were happier and felt more positive emotion if first declarations of love came after sexual intimacy in the relationship. Happiness was associated with feelings of romantic excitement, especially for those who had long-term relationship goals (people looking for a commitment in a relationship rather than sex). When women thought about someone declaring love before sex, they perceived the other person to be less trustworthy and sincere.

Surprisingly, men are also quick to commit to long-term relationships, with 33% moving in together with their partner within the first year. The survey also found that 37% of respondents got married or engaged within the first 12 months of dating.

All in all, this kind of dispels the theory of “commitment phobia” when it comes to men. Not so much for women.

Research contact: @eHarmony