Be realistically short-term
The worst part of ghosting is the whiplash that can be occur when the person you've decided to ghost is also someone you've made future plans with. So until you're sure about someone, NO down-the-line concerts. NO upcoming national holidays. NO preemptive plans to binge a series that won’t be released for another two months. Ghosting is seldom an impulsive act -- so if it is something you foresee yourself doing or have a history of, behave accordingly, and keep things short-term. Nothing beyond next weekend... maybe.
Know your six degrees of relationship separation
Do any of your acquaintances know an acquaintance of the person you're about to ghost? This behavior is definitely going to make you look bad -- so make sure your mutual people don’t include their roommate, your best friend, or your favorite coworker. If that is the case, you ought to in the time to do things the “right way.” It’s a small world out there and things get awkward at a party fast.
Erase the social media carbon footprint
Ghosting is an active process, not passive. So the least you can do is be thorough about it. No semi-translucent, can-still-pick-up-a-cup shenanigans. This goes beyond ignoring their texts! It's time to unfriend them on Facebook, and unfollow them on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. You are denying someone’s existence entirely and there’s really no need to be coy about it. Failure to do so confuses things and leaves room for subtext to be read into your silence. Assuming the other party will stop texting you but still like your funny tweets and selfies leaves fertile ground for what all ghosters dread: the surprise follow-up.
Accept that, yes, you are still kind of an asshole
Please understand that it is not up to the person you are ghosting to make you feel better about your sudden silence. You're definitely the bad guy in this scenario. So, should your paths cross again, own up to it with a polite nod and the most casual bit of chit chat before going on your merry way. Don't embarrass either of you with a self-pitying rant about how you're "the worst," or profuse apologies meant to alleviate your guilt. You both know what you did.
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Ben Philippe is a freelance writer based in New York City. He didn’t get your text; he fell asleep, lol; his phone died; he doesn’t have good service; he forgot to hit send. Catch up with him on Twitter instead: @GoHomeBen.