While ghosting occurs when someone totally disappears from your life, orbiting—according to Man Repeller, which coined the new term—is when that person vanishes but also "keeps you in their orbit," by continuing to watch your Instagram Stories and favorite your tweets. Despite not directly communicating with you, these suitors-turned-scumbags make sure you're the digital equivalent of being "close enough to see each other and far enough to never talk." AKA pure torture when it's someone with whom you were just feeling good vibes.
Basically, an orbiter stays in your universe by keeping tabs on you without having or intending to have any semblance of a real relationship.
Basically, the person stays in your orbit by keeping tabs on you without having or intending to have any semblance of a real relationship. And whether the could-have-been flame wants to keep their options open, is using orbiting as a power move, or just has FOMO—"fear of missing out (on you)"—it's wildly frustrating.
Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about orbiters besides hitting that "block" button. (You don't need another stressful person in your life—or, er, orbit—right?) Come to think about it, in comparison, the whole ghosting thing isn't looking so bad after all.
Originally published May 3, 2018; updated August 6, 2018.
Here are seven tips for staying happy, confident, and sane while online dating. Or, read one woman's story about how a body-positive photo shoot helped her heal after dating a narcissist.
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