To all those who ghost: You’re making our generation look bad. Our generation is being made to look like a bunch of dating degenerates, largely due to a toxic dating culture that condones dishonesty and has normalized shameless acts such as ghosting.

“Ghosting” is a term used to describe the sudden radio silence we’re victim to when someone we’re dating decides they’re no longer interested in us, but doesn’t have the balls to just say so. The phenomenon even has its own definition on Urban Dictionary. Ghosting shouldn’t even be a thing, that’s how ridiculous it is. Instead of being treated like a human being and given an explanation, we’re often ghosted instead. This means that whoever we’re dating will suddenly cease all communication in an act of selfishness to avoid confrontation. Calls, texts and Facebook messages will go unanswered until we finally “get the hint” and accept the fact that it’s over. In short, it’s the self-centered and easy way out of a relationship (or ‘almost-relationship’, or ‘situationship’ – or whatever you want to call it.)

Who would actually do something this callous, you ask? I polled some men guilty of the crime, and asked them why they did it. Here are 8 f*cked up but completely honest reasons why people will ghost you.

1. “I wanted to keep her as a future option.” Derek, 28 says that by ghosting, you’re not officially ending the relationship, which allows you to keep her as a future option in case you change your mind down the road or in case it doesn’t work out with the girl you ghosted her for. Sorry, Derek, but that’s the most f*cked up logic I’ve ever heard. By ghosting you still are ending the relationship, just in a really shitty way, and down the road she’ll remember that. Good luck rekindling things after pulling something as awful as ghosting.

2. “Because I’m immature.” Well, at least he’s honest. Justin, 27 said the reason he used ghosting as an exit strategy in his past is because he was immature, and a boy – not yet a man. This makes perfect sense: one’s likelihood to ghost is directly related to their maturity level. Ladies, date more men and less boys, and you should be fine.

3. “To avoid confrontation.” Dave, 29 admitted to me that he finds the break up conversation very uncomfortable, and that he would ghost to avoid that conversation even knowing how selfish he was being. Yes, Dave, confrontation isn’t easy – but grow up!

4. “I thought only official couples had to officially break up.” Zach, 25 states that he thought a break up was only necessary if you’re in a genuine, exclusive and official relationship. I’ve definitely heard this excuse before, and it’s a bunch of bull sh*t. It doesn’t matter that we’re accustomed to a casual hookup culture, because no matter how casual a relationship is, a proper break-up is still a necessity as you’re dealing with human beings who have feelings. Even if you’ve only been on three dates, you don’t get to disappear without a trace. It’s not solely ‘real’ or ‘official’ couples who have to break up.

5. “I figured I was saving her feelings from getting hurt.” Brad, 29 says that he thought it would hurt more for a woman to hear that he’s just not interested anymore, and that he was saving her feelings by ghosting instead. What Brad doesn’t realize is that it’s much worse to be a victim of ghosting, because the stress of wondering what went wrong and being left in the dark can drive a woman nuts and ultimately lead to more pain than necessary.

6. “I wasn’t confident enough to have the conversation that was needed.” Julian, 28 admits that he lacked the confidence to have that necessary conversation. Those who ghost are often passive and cowardly instead of direct and confident. It’s not acceptable to disappear, though, so as ‘scary’ as it is, you’ll have to properly end it.

7. “Because I had no respect for her.” Chris, 26 boldly states that he lacked respect for the last woman he dated, which made ghosting her incredibly easy for him. A lack of respect or empathy for others can certainly lead to ghosting, but even if this woman did something to deserve losing his respect, it’s still not cool to up and ghost.

8. “My past experiences of doing it the proper way left a bad taste in my mouth.” Rob, 30 says that in the past, when he was honest about wanting to end the relationship, it opened a flood-gate of insults. The rejected woman would turn on him and start listing off all the reasons why he’s not good enough for her anyways. This wasn’t fun for Rob and he began to see the appeal of ghosting – it was just so much easier.

No matter what he reasoning behind it is, there’s never an excuse because ghosting is the worst way to reject someone. It’s is a mind fuck. Being left in the dark is the worst. The ghostee will waste a ton of time wondering what went wrong, and being ghosted resurrects all of our deep-seeded insecurities as we wonder which one of our flaws caused him or her to lose interest. It slows down the recovery time post break-up because we have a harder time moving on if we don’t know why it ended. Here’s the reality: You deserve better. You deserve an explanation. But there are some people out there who are upfront, direct, honest, open and mature – people who would never ghost you. Men. Anyone else simply isn’t worth losing sleep over.

Erica Gordon is also the author of the new tell-all dating advice book Aren’t You Glad You Read This? The Complete How-To Guide for Singles with a History of Failed Relationships Who Want their Next Relationship to Succeed, available for only $4.99 on Amazon and on iBooks here.

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