There’s a brutal new dating trend known as ‘ghostlighting’ doing the rounds – but there are warning signs you can look out for to stop yourself getting hurt by the trick
If you’ve been single for a while, you’ll know that the dating scene can be a brutal place at times, and it can be difficult to work out what people’s true intentions are before it’s too late and you’ve fallen for their tricks.
Now, it seems there’s a new “trend” on the horizon known as “ghostlighting” – and it could be absolutely disastrous for relationships, as it blends together two common yet hurtful tactics already experienced by many singletons.
Ghostlighting mixes together ghosting – which is where a potential love interest disappears without an explanation – with the more sinister gaslighting, which is an emotional abuse or manipulation tool where a person purposefully tries to twist information to make their partner feel as though they are in the wrong.
In ghostlighting, the aim is for the person to first cut off communication with you without warning, before coming back into your life by calling, texting, or chatting on dating apps.
Then, if you try and confront them about ghosting you, they’ll use gaslighting to deny it ever happened – leaving you feeling confused and doubting yourself.
Thankfully though, there are some red flags you can look out for when you’re heading on dates that could help you work out if someone is going to “ghostlight” you before they actually do, according to relationship coach John Kenny.
One sign you might be dealing with a ghostlighter is if they always try and turn things back on the other person and act defensive, such as insisting they didn’t do anything wrong – even when it’s clear they did.
Speaking to Stylist, John said: “They will also try to make you feel guilty, responsible or make personal attacks on you and get angry, defensive or change the subject when you question them.”
The expert said you should always look out for a person who changes their stories in order to try and convince you that they’re right, and if you do encounter someone you think might be a ghostlighter, the best thing to do is speak up and confront them – then wipe them from your life and move on.
John also gave a little insight into the type of person who might ghostlight others, saying they tend to be people who carry a lot of baggage and have issues they haven’t worked through yet.
He explained: “These people have a lot unresolved stuff going on. They have reached a point in their relationship with you that they don’t know whether they can continue with you or not, need to run for the hills or have found someone else.
“They will usually have a few narcissistic traits, and may even have been a love bomber before their retreat. Otherwise, they would just keep ghosting you, rather than needing to tell you that they didn’t do anything wrong and that it was all your fault.”
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