What Is Soft Ghosting? This New Dating Term Has Us Feeling More Annoyed Than Usual

Every day it seems like there is a new dating term that we have to Google and add to our vocabulary in order to navigate single life.

At times it can feel overwhelming and frustrating trying to understand the signs that someone is putting out there.

Have You Ever Been Shut Down In A Very Nonchalant Way?

Confused woman looking at phone with hand up
Photo Credit: Alex Green / Pexels
Photo Credit: Alex Green / Pexels

Have you ever had a great night with someone and contacted them the next day only to be slowly shut down in a nonchalant way?

You may have been soft ghosted by them.

Instead Of Telling You They Are Not Interested, They Slowly Distance Themselves

Slowly moving conversation via text
Photo Credit: Cosmopolitan
Photo Credit: Cosmopolitan

What exactly is soft ghosting? Think Casper the Friendly Ghost.

This person didn’t flat out reject you or explicitly tell you that they’re not interested in you. Instead, they slowly stopped replying and reaching out to you.

It Is More Subtle And Helps The “Ghoster” Feel Less Responsible

Woman with pink hair looks down at phone
Photo Credit: Jona M / Pexels
Photo Credit: Jona M / Pexels

They won’t cut off communication suddenly like traditional ghosting because that would be too noticeable and you might ask them why they stopped talking to you.

Soft ghosting is more subtle than that and avoids any major responsibility on the part of the person doing the ghosting.

They Start Letting The Conversation Die Off

Text conversation ghosting
Photo Credit: Cosmopolitan
Photo Credit: Cosmopolitan

The first major sign that you’re being soft ghosted is when the person you’re talking to lets the conversation die off quicker than usual.

Maybe you’ve been chatting for a couple of weeks and suddenly they start responding with one- or two-word answers, if at all.

They “Like” Your Message Instead Of Responding

Liked message no response
Photo Credit: HuffPost
Photo Credit: HuffPost

The dreaded “Liked” message is basically the face of the soft ghosting movement.

It happens when you send a message saying you had a great time or suggesting a time to meet up again and in return, they simply “Like” your message.

They Force You To Carry The Convo

Person carrying majority of conversation
Photo Credit: Miznat / Reddit
Photo Credit: Miznat / Reddit

When someone just “Likes” your message instead of actually responding to it, you either have to send another message (aka the double-text) and hope they answer or let the conversation die.

Most people choose to let the conversation die, and sometimes it never restarts.

The Relationship Ends In A Slow Fade Instead Of Suddenly

Two women sit on bed
Photo Credit: RODNAE Productions / Pexels
Photo Credit: RODNAE Productions / Pexels

This is a way for someone to ghost you without making themselves feel too guilty about their behavior.

Instead of cutting you off completely, the relationship with you will end in a “slow fade” that happens more gradually (but still purposefully).

It Makes It Hard To Know When To Walk Away

Man holding phone looks up at balcony
Photo Credit: Mike Jones / Pexels
Photo Credit: Mike Jones / Pexels

Soft ghosting can be especially damaging to you because it’s hard to know when it’s time to walk away.

If the person you’re into isn’t communicating with you but you’re reading signs that they’re not interested, it can be hard to admit what is happening.

They Continue To Reach Out For Non-Direct Contact

Snapchat notification on phone screen
Photo Credit: Pixabay / Pexels
Photo Credit: Pixabay / Pexels

It’s much easier to wrap your head around ending a relationship or situationship if you distance yourself from that person.

Someone who soft ghosts you will still reach out now and then to comment on your social media, react to one of your posts, or answer a message. It can be confusing at best.

The One-Word Message Response

One-word answers in texting conversation
Photo Credit: soltxni / Reddit
Photo Credit: soltxni / Reddit

If you start getting one-word messages that don’t leave room for you to respond, it’s best to call it quits.

You deserve someone who wants to chat with you and cares about what you have to say.

People Who Are Not Confident Enough To Tell You The Truth Resort To Soft Ghosting

Man walks alone with bicycle
Photo Credit: William Fortunato / Pexels
Photo Credit: William Fortunato / Pexels

Not everyone is going to be confident enough to be straight up with you if they’re not feeling it.

Those people usually resort to soft ghosting to avoid any sort of explanation or confrontation.

Test The Waters If You Suspect Someone Is Soft Ghosting You

Text message left on read
Photo Credit: Twitter
Photo Credit: Twitter

That being said, don’t assume that anyone responding to you slowly is trying to soft ghost you.

If you don’t hear from them for a few days, try reaching out to see what’s up. If they don’t make an effort to reconnect, they are not worth your time.

Have You Ever Been Guilty Of Soft Ghosting?

Man on couch looking at phone
Photo Credit: Monstera / Pexels
Photo Credit: Monstera / Pexels

It’s easier to be guilty of soft ghosting than you might think. It seems like the easiest, non-confrontational way to semi-keep someone in your life but also get them out of it.

Unfortunately, it’s not a great way to treat people and it can still end up hurting someone’s feelings pretty badly.

Being Straight Up With Someone Is Always The Better Option

Text message exchange
Photo Credit: Bustle
Photo Credit: Bustle

Sometimes it’s our own responsibility to realize that we are the one stringing someone along for a slowly ending ride.

Paying attention to what soft ghosting looks and feels like can help all single people avoid doing it in the future. Just be straight up with whoever it is. They should appreciate it, and if they don’t, you dodged a bullet.