There used to be a thing called etiquette. Everybody learned it. How many people these days know how to spell etiquette, or much less know what the word means? My grandmother had a strong set of rules on how to behave in every situation. Basically they revolved around the idea of “the other fellow first.” Be kind. Don’t think of yourself. Be compassionate. Say nice things. Don’t backbite, complain, or gossip. Always pitch in and help, give to charity, care about others. Don’t talk about it when you’re hurting. No one wants to hear your problems.

People all too often behave strangely when a romantic liaison breaks off.  Things can turn nasty.

Take for instance, ‘ghosting’ is when someone suddenly disappears from a person’s life.

Then there is ‘gaslighting’ or trying to manipulate them.

And the latest — ‘orbiting’ — is a relationship term defined as staying in someone’s social media orbit and adding likes or views to their Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram posts, but never saying anything more. This also comes with its share of unpleasantness as it can spell uncertainty. It is especially damaging for those who are still not over their ex-partners.

After ghosting comes haunting. Sometimes people that ghost a potential partner will pop back up in that person’s life, once again without warning or explanation. Haunting isn’t direct, like a text or phone call. It’s subtle and usually done through social media. Haunters may like an Instagram photo or react to your story after ghosting you, taking you by surprise. These lazy attempts at connection shouldn’t be taken as anything other than a ghost trying to cause trouble. If they wanted to reach out and rekindle the flame, they have your phone number.

So why would someone do this? Typically, such an individual is immature and insecure. The idea is to trouble the ex, but in a passive-aggressive way by saying, ‘Hey, I don’t want to talk to you, but I am still around’. Putting a ‘heart’ or a ‘thumbs up’ under the person’s picture is like mocking him or her. It’s a way to say I will only respond this way. It’s like keeping the person in their orbit without actively engaging with them. It gives the ex mixed signals and this is just what the orbiter wants. It could be a way to irritate or even infuriate.

If a person has moved on, it complicates things. It could be that the orbiter’s ex is in a relationship with somebody, and he or she goes ahead and likes a photo of the ex with the new partner. This can cause confusion.

Subjects like this make for great story writing.

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“Linda has published sixteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish.”