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San Diego among top 10 cities most likely to ‘ghost’ in relationships: study

SAN DIEGO — After a bad date or disagreement with an acquaintance, do you become nothing more than a phantom in the night? You’re not the only one.

What we’re referring to here is something that’s become common in the modern dating world — “ghosting.” This is when someone decides to stop talking to another person without an explanation.

Though it’s usually something that occurs in the the dating realm, research shows it’s also happening with newer friendships, in workplaces, and even businesses.

According to a new study by Thriving Center of Psychology, San Diego is among the top 10 biggest U.S. cities where people are most like to “ghost” someone.

Overall, the study found that 84% respondents said they have been ghosted before. Despite this, their data also shows three in four people think “ghosting” is acceptable depending on the circumstances.

When analyzing this topic, researchers at Thriving Center of Psychology questioned Millennials and Gen Z, who they say first turned this trend into a Merriam-Webster Dictionary word.

In a survey of more than 1,000, the center asked the younger generations if they have been ghosted or are the ones doing the ghosting. Here are the main reasons people “ghost” based on this study:

— Not interested in continuing a relationship.

— Avoiding confrontation.

— Stressed or overwhelmed by expectations.

— Not a strong enough connection.

— Offended by something.

— Struggling with mental health.

Researchers at Thriving Center of Psychology also looked into how Gen Z and Millennials feel after being “ghosted.” The study shows the most common responses were things like confusion, sadness, hurt, disappointment, and annoyance.

When it came to deciphering which of the most populous cities in the country “ghosted” the most, the researchers analyzed Google search volume of 418 terms related to ghosting over the period from July 2020 to July 2023.

The cities “most likely to ghost people” were the ones searching the least for these types of terms, and the cities “most likely to get ghosted” were the ones searching for these terms the most. 

More on the methodology can be found here.

According to this study, San Diego ranked as the eighth city most likely to ghost. Neighboring Los Angles found itself ranked second. Here’s a look at the top 10:

  1. New York City, NY
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. Chicago, IL
  4. Houston, TX
  5. Phoenix, AZ
  6. Philadelphia, PA
  7. San Antonio, TX
  8. San Diego, CA
  9. Dallas, TX
  10. Jacksonville, FL

Are you a serial “ghoster?” If you live in San Diego, there’s a good chance the answer is yes.

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