Ghosting And Closure: How Big Of An Emotional Toll Can Ghosting Have?

The Link Between Ghosting And Closure

Psychology News

A team of researchers at the University of Mississippi explored the link between ghosting and closure in intimate relationships. The study is published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

The Study

The researchers asked several participants to reflect on a past relationship—either a time they were ghosted or directly rejected by a potential date on a dating app, a friend, or a romantic partner.

To gauge the emotional effect of ghosting, the latter answered questions about feelings of belongingness, self-esteem, self-control, closure, and meaningful existence.

The Findings

The results revealed that the practice of ghosting people is largely associated with low needs satisfaction, intense pain, and sadness. In fact, people who have been ghosted—by a friend or a romantic partner—experience poor feelings of belongingness, self-esteem, and control when it comes to interpersonal relationships. They also develop a tendency to avoid closure when it comes to ending similar unsuccessful relationships.

The authors remarked: “Ghosting is becoming a common strategy, and it creates an ambiguous situation where one party doesn’t really know what’s going on. Even though things may be ambiguous on the recipient side, the person who is ghosting sees it as a distinct end to the relationship. Those results weren’t definitive in our study, but they pose an interesting avenue for future research.

To Know More You May Refer To

Leckfor, C. M., Wood, N. R., Slatcher, R. B., & Hales, A. H. (2023). From close to ghost: Examining the relationship between the need for closure, intentions to ghost, and reactions to being ghosted. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 026540752211499.

Mental Health Topics (A-Z)

  • Ghosting And Closure: How Big Of An Emotional Toll Can Ghosting Have?