Why believing in soulmates makes people more likely to “ghost” romantic partners


  • Ghosting, or the practice of cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is a controversial method of dumping someone.
  • People generally agree that it’s bad form, but new research shows that people have surprisingly different opinions on the practice.
  • Overall, people who are more destiny-oriented (more likely to believe that they have a soulmate) tend to approve of ghosting more, while people who are more growth-oriented (more likely to believe relationships are made rather than born) are less tolerant of ghosting.

As much as we’d all prefer, being “ghosted” has nothing to do with having a white sheet with eyeholes cut in thrown over you. Most folks who have been on the dating scene since the advent of smartphones are familiar with the term. It’s the practice of suddenly cutting off all contact with a romantic partner—not responding to or sending texts, not picking up the phone, unfriending on social media, and so on. In essence, it’s an effort to make your digital self disappear from the recently dumped person’s life.

There are plenty of reasons why ghosting is an unsavory practice. For one, the ghosted party doesn’t realize they’ve been dumped for quite some time. It also implies a disregard for the other person’s feelings and conveys a sense that they don’t matter all that much. However, not everybody feels the same way about this practice.

Ghosting is more popular with believers in romantic destiny

Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash

Recent research in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships revealed that people’s feelings and practices in regard to ghosting depend on which romantic camp they belong to: Those with destiny mindsets or those with growth mindsets.

Co-author Gili Freedman and colleagues write, “[People] with stronger destiny beliefs are more likely to believe that individuals within relationships are either meant to be together or they are not—that is, individuals have soulmates.” People with destiny beliefs are love-at-first-sight people. They have a soulmate, and after they find them, they’ll have the ideal relationship together.

In contrast, Freedman writes, “individuals with stronger growth beliefs think that relationships are malleable and can be improved upon through communication and overcoming hurdles in the relationship.” Growth-oriented people believe that…

Marcela
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Marcela

COO at oneQube
COO @oneqube | Angel Investor | Proud mom | Advisor @TheTutuProject | Let's Go #NYRangers
Marcela
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