7 Personality Traits That Can Predict If Someone Is Likely To Ghost In Relationships
Ghosting has become one of the go-to ways to end a relationship. If someone's not feeling it anymore, they may disappear. Unfortunately for the one being ghosted, it's not that simple. While anyone has it in them to do it, experts say that people with certain personality traits are more likely to ghost their way out of a relationship than anyone else.
"A ghosting mentality is largely reinforced by our social media society that creates a sense of avoidance in direct communication," Kelsey M. Latimer, PhD, founder of Hello Goodlife, tells Bustle. "If we don’t like something, we don't confront it. Instead, we can easily hide behind a screen with our comments or avoid direct and real person-to-person communication all together."
According to Latimer, people who are more likely to ghost tend to have personality and behavior traits that are avoidant, manipulative, and self-centered.
"If you see patterns of consistently leaving relationships without closure and/or leaving jobs without providing feedback first to correct issues, then you might want to ask yourself if this is likely to happen with you too," she says. "I would also be cautious of someone who appears to have ulterior motives for getting too close, too quickly and/or if they tend to be interested in knowing much more about you personally than you know about them."
It's not always easy to spot a ghoster. So here are some unexpected personality traits that can predict someone will ghost their way out of a relationship, according to experts.
1. They're A Little Mysterious
A little mystery can be sexy, at first. But you need to watch out for people who aren't really mysterious but are actually secretive. According to Latimer, these are people you think you know, but upon further reflection, you really don't know that much about them. "Their secretive nature allows them to hide behind a mask, so they're likely to disappear without word," she says.
2. They're Passive
It's common to want to avoid hurting others or putting yourself in an uncomfortable position. While it's not a good excuse to ghost, people who ghost tend to be more passive and will try to avoid confrontations at any cost, licensed clinical social worker, Meg Josephson tells Bustle. This can be a red flag, because if they do decide to leave the relationship, they're more likely to do so without saying a word.
3. They Lack Awareness
Ghosting isn't limited to people in newer relationships. Some people do disappear after being in a relationship for a long time. According to Josephson, people who are likely to ghost their long-term partners may lack empathy or awareness. "I try to avoid pathologizing, but can't help but feel that the decision to ghost after a significant relationship is a huge red flag and warning that this person is not capable of seeing any relationship through or being a good partner," she says. In general, they may also have a "significant deficit" in interpersonal skills and compassion.
4. They Are Self-Focused
There's nothing wrong with being clear on your individual needs. But when you're in a relationship, it can't be all about you. When someone is very focused on what they need and what they want and they do not recognize that this impacts others, Latimer says they're more likely to leave if those needs aren't met.
5. They Believe In Soulmates
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Personal Relationships found that people who believed in "destiny" were more like to ghost on their partner. "Dating today can seem like less of a personal interaction between two people and more of a game," Josephson says. "There's somehow less buy in when you meet someone, especially online. If things don't work out, there's an endless buffet of other options waiting."
6. They Hide Behind Texts And Social Media
It's so easy to get in touch with someone. If you're dating someone who tends to hide behind texts or disappear for days at a time because they've been "busy," chances are, they're likely to ghost. As Stef Safran, matchmaking and dating expert, tells Bustle, "If someone isn't reliable when you are on good terms, it's very likely that they won't be reliable when things go badly either."
7. They Like To Work Smarter, Not Harder
"It's easy to communicate frequently and with interest when you see potential, but we forget that people [can be] fickle and change their mind frequently," Josephson says. When this happens, it's just easier to stop reaching out instead of going out of your way to end something. Telling someone you're not interested takes effort. If you've changed your mind and you're no longer invested, you're less likely to put in the effort.
It's important to know that people will ghost for any number of reasons and if it happens to you, it likely isn't your fault. But if you want to avoid the situation, these are some red flags to look out for.