July 02, 2015

Ghosts of relationships past

When celebrities split up, they enrich the vocabulary of English. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin gave us the much-derided expression "conscious uncoupling" in 2014 ("We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner"), which Urban Dictionary defines as "A bullshit term used by people who take a relationship/marriage and any children involved lightly to excuse their behavior to people that they consider themselves above."

Charlize Theron and Sean Penn thankfully (yes, that's 'thankfully' as a sentence adverb) did not issue a pompous statement when they, but they helped popularize the term "ghosting," which is defined by the NY Times as "ending a romantic relationship by cutting off all contact and ignoring the former partner’s attempts to reach out."

I'm not sure which strategy is best from a psychological viewpoint, but "ghosting" is definitely the better word. 

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