Surviving the ‘Casper effect’

WASHINGTON – Many women have been “ghosted” in a relationship. It’s not a new concept, but it does have a new name.

It’s called the “Casper effect” and according to relationship columnist Jill DiDonato it’s “when a man disappears from a relationship without a trace.”

DiDonato coined the phrase after looking back at her own relationships and hearing other women’s stories.

“What’s really troubling about the Casper effect is that women are left wondering ‘What went wrong? What did I do to deserve being left?'” she says.

To try to come up with reasons for this behavior, women often try to play detective.

DiDonato has her own theories:

  • More than ever, men are feeling disenfranchised and insecure, so in a relationship they want the world to revolve around them.
  • Technology makes it easy for poor communicators to bail. He can defriend you on Facebook, not respond to your text messages and ignore your voicemails.
  • Since women are financially doing better, have children as single moms, and run companies themselves, men feel that they have to be totally amazing in order to stand out. Some can’t handle the pressure.
  • He’s just a jerk.

“Casper is the friendliest ghost we know, as are many of these men,” DiDonato says. “They are very charming and very inviting. They promise to take you to meet mom, talk about vacationing together, perhaps suggest living together.”

But when it’s suddenly over, “Casper doesn’t really care to elaborate” on why, she says.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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