Thought Catalog Agency

There’s A New Dating Trend Called ‘Ghostlighting’ (And It’s Manipulative AF)

First? There was ghosting. Then there was soft ghosting. Then there was benching, breadcrumbing, and zombie-ing. And now, we have yet another new way to be toxic: ghostlighting.

Basically, ghostlighting is a combination of ghosting with gaslighting. And it goes a little something like this:

Someone you’re dating will do a standard ghosting. Cut contact, no explanation or goodbye given. However, they will then pop back in your life later on as if they didn’t just disappear. However, when you confront them on their haunted behavior, they will completely and utterly deny that they ever ghosted you. Someone who is ghostlighting you will also probably act offended by your apt assessment of their ghosting.

In addition to claiming they never walked away, the ghostlighter will feign offense, acting insulted that you could ever even consider them to be that emotionally immature. How dare you.

Don’t fall for it. If you think you’re being ghostlit, you’re probably right. The best thing you can do for your heart and mental health is to let them go. You’ll be better off.