Ghosting: breaking without explanation

It was their partner for months or years. Then, overnight, nothing. Without an explanation, he or she has disappeared. Became a ghost. No more sweet words, tenderness and projects. For victims of ghosting, there is room for absence and misunderstanding in the face of a sudden break.

Charline Vergne

"On a Monday morning, I accompanied him to the station, he kissed me, said" good bye my sweet, I call you when I come "and I 've never heard anything new, "says Clementine, 25. After several months of relationship, her partner left her, overnight. This way of breaking has a name: ghosting . A term that, in English, means ghost. No more phone calls, no more text messages, no more emails, no more contact ... The other is like a disappeared, but still remains alive and well.

A fear of commitment?

Alexandra knew a man on a social network. For three weeks, from morning till night, she receives words of love, "You are obvious to me", "I have waited for you all my life", "you make me happy". One day, "the wait becomes unbearable". Then, "on a whim," he decides to travel the 200 kilometers between them. "We spent a wonderful evening together, and he did not let me go for a minute," she recalls. arm of each other and the next morning we had breakfast together, like an old couple who would know each other for ages ... "On leaving, he thanks her for" this wonderful evening "and hopes to see her again very quickly ". Later, he will never answer his messages again.

All "ghosteurs" in power?

But what drives a person to leave this way? At the very beginning of a relationship, the big problem is the fear of engagement, says sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann. "When we find ourselves at the online contact stage, we think that unplugging without any explanation whatsoever there is nothing violent for the person on the other side, he notes, that we are not engaged at all, yet this is not the case, which is terrible for the other. . " On the other hand, when one begins to have already seen the person, to have a little lived with it, one knows well that to leave without explanations is a true aggression.

Consumers of romantic relationships?

The ghosting concerns both the conquests of a night, and couples in relationship for many years. Who has never heard of a spouse who has gone to "buy cigarettes" but has never returned? "Even though the phenomenon is not new, our new communication habits have contributed to its accentuation, says Géraldyne Prévot -Gigant, psychotherapist and specialist in emotional dependence.In one click, we are friends and in one click, we are no longer. "According to Jean-Claude Kaufmann," sexuality could even become a hobby like any other. The only reference is personal pleasure. "Moreover, he continues," when it comes to engaging in the longer term, many people will be part of this consumerist logic: they will define the "ideal product" that will have to meet their expectations. If it does not work between them, if it does not exactly conform to what they asked for, they do not accept it. They send back the product. "

People who do not know how to break

And then there are those who are too shy, too scared to say that everything is over to the one they we love you." Disappearing of the landscape becomes "easier" for them, but not necessarily for their conscience, "says Géraldyne Prévot-Gigant, for some people, this behavior tends to reproduce itself, it is found in work, in friendships, in the After six months of relationship, Eva's partner left her overnight. " One night he told me he could not sleep with me. A few minutes after his departure, I received an SMS: "I arrived baby. See you tomorrow. I love you. "This is the last message he sent me." Three months ago, he had first cut off contact with her for several weeks ... "This second flight surprised me less, but nevertheless deeply disappointed . There was no doubt that he knew very well this time that he was hurting me, "she says.

Men are often accused of cowardice. leave their partner in this way? Yes, believes Jean-Claude Kaufmann. With the drag on the Internet, we have seen the birth of a lot of utilitarianism and psychological violence, whose actors are usually male. They bait their prey, then, once they get what they want, they leave without worrying about the consequences. "Psychoanalyst Sophie Cadalen nuance:" On the couch, I also heard women who reproached themselves for not being able to explain themselves. "


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