by Jennifer Anandanayagam

What’s the new dating trend of being ‘haunted?’ My feature in The List Daily explains why this bad dating behavior is even worse than ghosting

Jennifer writes, “Dating can be complicated without all the dating trends you need to keep up with. Since the advent of social media, trends in the romantic sphere have taken on a life of their own. There’s a new dating trend that comes out every few months, and you experienced them at some point in your love life.”

Some dating trends are downright painful to deal with, like when you’re trying to tell if someone is ghosting you. When someone ghosts you, you feel humiliated, confused, angry, and frustrated. It gives rise to insecure feelings that take time and effort to deal with. Think for a minute that you’ve been ghosted. The person you went on a few dates with has stopped communicating with you without an explanation. You go through the turmoil of getting the person out of your head only to realize that they’re back. Not in a meaningful or real way, but in a creepy sense. Maybe they liked an Instagram story you posted last night, or they reacted to a LinkedIn post you shared the other week. You feel their presence lurking o

It’s easy to see how this would leave you feeling even more confused than when you were ghosted. Enter the name and definition for this new dating phenomenon — haunting.

Being haunted can feel frustrating

Haunting can happen after someone ghosted you or even when you’ve been in a relationship with a person and they decided to break up with you. But the unpleasant feelings that arise with it can be equal to — if not worse than — being ghosted. You’re going about your day innocently before you pick up your phone to see a notification. A person you went on a few dates with (and liked) who cut ties with you for no apparent reason has just reacted to one of your Facebook posts. That was the second time this week.

Why? Do they still have feelings for you? Are they wanting to rekindle things? These are some of the conflicting thoughts that the notification might bring up. Before you know it, you’re checking the person’s social media accounts to see what they’re up to. Someone you seem to have forgotten about is occupying precious space in your mind now, and it can feel frustrating.

Why do people haunt and how can you deal with it?

Most experts would agree that haunting says more about the person doing it than you. As relationship coach Susan Winter puts it, it’s a “second look” or “a morbid curiosity” on the part of the haunter, and you shouldn’t spend a second giving it any thought. Perhaps the person is reminiscing and thinking about you, or they’re just bored and don’t have anything better to do.

Whatever the reason, choosing to respond to it is not the best idea. Winter shared that engaging with confused or illogical people will only make you confused and illogical, so it’s best to stay away. Unfollowing them on social media or even blocking or muting them (if it’s really affecting you) are some things you can do. Or you can even take this opportunity to spend less time on your phone and pursue other interests. Speaking to InStyle, Melissa Hobley said if you want to avoid being haunted, you should consider not sharing your social media handles with someone until you’re both committed to a serious relationship,

Being haunted can feel confusing and creepy. Finding ways to detach yourself from it is the only healthy way to get past it.”

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