First, there was ghosting. Then, it was zombieing. And now, we have submarining.
Remember those good old days when you just had a crappy relationship and that was it? Not that long ago, maybe even a few years ago, if your love life sucked, there was no other way to say it: it sucked. But now, everyone is using the most random, invented names to describe behaviors and situations in relationships. In a way, I really think it's just people trying to make themselves sound more interesting. This is beginning to turn into a rant, I know, but don’t you think this is going too far? I mean, I just saw a so-called “Glossary for modern dating terms,” and I couldn’t help but think that we deserve everything that happens to us. Ok, maybe not, but think about it: we now have terms such as “Trumping,” which is when someone claims to be a Trump supporter to scare people away. And as if that wasn’t enough, there's also “hatfishing,” the same as “catfishing,” but wearing a hat to cover their hair (or lack of it). Do you see where I’m going with this?
Well, in this long and really nonsensical list of dating terms, we have a fresh one that most of us might be guilty of doing or have been victims of. It’s called submarining. Submarining is when you ghost someone, and then one day out of nowhere, you reach out to the ghostee again. The concept is very visual, when you think about it. Imagine a submarine hiding underwater for a few months, and then, when you least expect it, it resurfaces. A few months ago, there was "zombieing," which was pretty much the same, ghosting someone and then coming back from the dead some time later. So, how is submarining different? Well, with submarining, you don’t give an explanation of why you left, and you just come back as if nothing had happened, as you'd only seen each other yesterday.
Ghosting is a really cruel yet effective way to let someone know you’re not really interested in having a relationship with them. But why would you, as the ghoster, try to come back into the ghostee's life after you've made things so clear to them? As someone who has ghosted, I have to say that it wasn't an easy decision to make, but I really felt like it was my only choice. However, I’m pretty sure I would never have the nerve to contact that person again without giving them an explanation of why I did it. I think that, if you want someone back in your life after you’ve completely pushed them away, you at least have to let them know why you left and why they should accept you back in their lives.
Now, as someone who has been ghosted as well, I don’t know if I would take someone back, especially if they don’t give an explanation at all. I think I can understand, since I’ve done it, but by no means would I lose my dignity for someone who doesn’t have the guts to show their face and accept what they’ve done. At the end of the day you want people with certain principles around you, but more importantly, people who won’t let you down just like that because that’s absolutely inconsiderate.
The thing here is that nowadays we use these terms all the time without realizing that, in doing so, we’re just taking away the importance of their actions. If you really think about it, they’re cute and fun words that hide horrible and toxic attitudes, but we like using them because it lets us feel less guilty of what we did (or less hurt by what someone did to us). On top of that, these behaviors are only a reflection of our narcissistic, egocentric, and immature attitudes towards others, and they should be called as what they are: toxic behaviors.
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Illustrations by Mr. Tokki