• Plenty of people will be familiar with the concept of “ghosting.”
  • It’s when you ignore someone rather that tell them you don’t like them anymore.
  • According to a new study, people who believe in soul mates are more likely to ghost than those who don’t.
  • It’s probably because they are too busy focusing on finding “the one.”
  • Thus, they are less likely to be concerned about confusing someone they will never see again.

If you’ve ever been active on dating apps, chances are you’ve experienced ghosting. Either you decided you didn’t want to talk to someone anymore and started ignoring their texts and calls, or you had it done to you.

As someone who has been on both sides, I can tell you ghosting is a really, really terrible thing to do.

If you’ve only been on a couple of dates with someone, it’s probably tempting to just disappear rather than be honest with the person and tell them that you didn’t feel a “spark.” But in reality, all you’re doing is making the person work out for themselves that they’ve been dumped. And that’s just cowardly.

“You think you’re sparing someone’s feelings but really all you’re sparing is yourself from having an awkward conversation,” Erika Ettin, relationship coach and founder of dating site A Little Nudge, told Business Insider. “[By being honest] they can start getting over it instead of wondering for two weeks about what the hell happened.”

Some people are more prone to vanishing into thin air like a phantom, and one researcher wanted to find out why. Her research was spotted by Psychology Today.

Gili Freedman, a postdoc at Dartmouth college in New Hampshire, recruited over 500 men and women to fill in questionnaires about their love lives — particularly whether they believed in destiny, and whether they had ever ghosted someone or been ghosted themselves.

They were asked questions like: “Is ghosting permissible after a few dates or even when the relationship is long-term?” and “how likely would you be to use ghosting to end a short or long-term relationship?”

The study, published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, found that around a quarter of the volunteers said they had been ghosted in the past, and a fifth said they had ghosted someone else.

When looking into the possible reasons for why these people were more likely to ghost than others, Freedman found something strange.

Participants who said they had strong beliefs in destiny — such as believing in “soul mates” — were more likely to think dumping someone via ghosting was OK. Compared to people who had weaker beliefs in destiny, they were 22% more likely to think ghosting was acceptable in a short-term relationship, and 63% more likely for a long-term one.

Also, people with strong beliefs in destiny were less likely to think badly of someone who ghosted, and 43% more likely to consider ghosting someone themselves.

“Destiny theorists are more likely to act decisively on their relationship once deciding it is not ‘meant to be,'” Freedman wrote in the discussion of the study. “For example, individuals with stronger destiny beliefs are more likely to view their partners’ actions as diagnostic of the strength of their relationship and are quicker to end a relationship when they do not feel the partner fit is ideal.”

People who believe in destiny are more ruthless, in other words. In the effort to find “the one,” the study suggests these people are less likely to waste time, and ghosting can be seen as a consequence of that.

While it may be true that ghosting is easier than having a break-up chat, you’re not sparing anyone’s feelings but your own. It’ll be awkward, but definitely appreciated more than deafening silence while you go off to haunt someone else.

Originally published on www.businessinsider.com.

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