Is Ex-ing The New Ghosting?


You're being lied to.

On May 23, 2016, Playboy published an article called "Relationship Strategy: Don't Ghost, Just Lie" and it literally ruined my best friend's life. Okay, I'm over exaggerating, but here's what happened in a quick breakdown:

  • Over the course of a 6 month period my friend Rachel dated 2 different guys.

  • Things were going great with both those guys, but not like, amazing.

  • Guy #1 texted Rachel ending things with her. He was getting back together with his ex-girlfriend. Okay, these things happen. No sweat off Rachel's back.

  • A few weeks later, Guy #2 ALSO texts Rachel telling her he's ALSO getting back together with HIS ex girlfriend. (I'm using capitals because... feels a little weird, right?)

I thought it was strange that this would happen to my friend not once but twice. Plus, I had heard about this happening to other girls too. It wasn't happening to me yet because I'm still just getting ghosted, but every time I was out for a girls night and I would ask a friend about some so-and-so she was dating, she'd reply, "Oh, you know, things were going well, but he ended up getting back with his ex. And you can't compete with an ex!"

Well yeah, bitch, especially if she's imaginary!

I know a conspiracy theory when I see one. And that is when I found the article. Let me explain.

Writer Matteson Perry wrote an article for Playboy making a case that lying is kinder than ghosting when it comes to breaking up. To end a new relationship, he suggested texting the following script:

"Someone from my past has come back into my life and I'd like to see where it goes. Given that, we shouldn't go out again. Sorry and good luck."

Why should we do this? The reason, surprisingly, isn't actually that crazy. Matteson explains that ghosting is agonizing for both the ghoster and the ghostee. It leaves the ghoster with a guilty conscious, and the ghosted wondering what's wrong with them--even if it's nothing. Chemistry is a fickle thing, after all. "Ex-ing" provides a clean cut out that's almost impossible to take personally and also gives you closure.

The only problem with ex-ing is that when it starts happening to you over and over and over again, does it really give you any closure, or does it just become a cop out? Is it another millennial move towards inauthenticity? Are we becoming robotic in our love language? And should we really be breaking up over text anyway? (Imagine this all said in a Carrie Bradshaw voice.)

A study posted on the 'a plus' website, breaks down how couples split up by age group. And, not surprisingly, 53% of millennials break up (or ignore a break up conversation entirely) via some form of technology, whether it be phone, Facebook, or other form of social media. It doesn't specify whether these were new relationships or long term, but, after 1984, we seemed to start outsourcing heartbreak.

I wonder why. Maybe since most of our relationships start via the Internet now (Tinder, Bumble, various forms of direct message) it only seems appropriate to end them via technology too. We enter relationships carelessly, and leave them carelessly too. Has this bizarre dating climate made room for ex-ing, or lying our way out of relationships?

Here's my take on ex-ing. Millennials as a generation lean towards inauthenticity. We portray the best versions of ourselves on Instagram while struggling for rent and happiness in real life. Once in a while, the truth feels good. So if you don't want to see someone again because they're super into sports and you're more into horror movies, maybe it's okay to just tell them that. If the chemistry isn't there, tell them you relate to them more as a friend. Maybe we need to learn not to take everything so personally instead of lying to each other to protect our egos or disappearing completely to avoid confrontation.

If your relationship isn't right, you can't stay together forever.

SHARE what you think is the right way to break up with someone!