Ghostbusters are in demand at Mason High School, as haunted relationships end when student turns ghost.
These undead practice “ghosting,” in which the ghosts of the relationship end all communication—text messages, phone calls, face-to-face conversations—in place of a traditional break up. According to a 2014 YouGov/Huffington Post poll, 11 percent of 1,000 adults surveyed have acted as ghosts at least once.
Sophomore and ghost Grant Cottle said his relationship headed for its grave after a winter break gone awry.
“I was dating this girl for two years, and then this one night, it was (about) two days after New Years’ Eve, winter break, I started hanging out with this one girl,” Cottle said. “And then, the whole thing started with (my girlfriend saying) I cheated on her, but I didn’t really cheat on her because I didn’t really do anything with (the other girl).”
The couple then split, Cottle said, though in what he thought to be a mutual understanding rather than a formal conversation.
“We broke up but didn’t really break up,” Cottle said. “I went to a movie with the new girl, and then my old girlfriend texts me, ‘Why are you telling everyone we broke up? We didn’t.’ I (said), ‘But I’m at a movie with this new girl right now.’…then I just didn’t really talk to her.”
Cottle said he hadn’t made it clear that their relationship had ended—a miscommunication which, according to senior Sophie Maness, can cause confusion on behalf of the ghosted.
According to Maness, her boyfriend of four months developed Casper-like qualities after she texted him one Saturday. The two had been out the night before, and while her boyfriend’s responses had been delayed before, this time he did not answer.
“Days went by where I never heard from him,” Maness said. “And later in the school week, I found out that over the weekend, he had been hanging out with another girl and told her, ‘Yeah, me and Sophie have kind of finished things up. We’re not really talking anymore.’”
Though the couple had never defined their relationship, Maness said their frequent interaction with one another and their families implied commitment.
“He’d come over and met my parents a bunch of times, and sometimes, he would give me rides to school,” Maness said. “Even though we never really defined the relationship, I had just assumed that we were (dating).”
The break up was immature, according to Maness, who said students should endure awkwardness in these situations.
“We’re all getting older,” Maness said. “You should be able to have that conversation.”