As a society, can we talk frankly here? The internet is a safe space, right…?! Yeah, it’ll be fine… Can we all agree that one of the worst things that has ever happened in our time on earth (looking at you my millennial chums) is ghosting?! Yes, there are things that are far more earth shattering (I did say ‘one of’, calm down!) However, ghosting is a persistent, everyday issue that afflicts us all!
A little context for those who don’t know, ghosting is when you’re seeing/talking to someone and they just disappear (like a ghost, get it? * sigh *) They don’t say bye or that they’re not interested, they just stop replying and are nowhere to be found ever again. This happens at all stages of dating. Whether you’re just chatting, after a few dates or even after you’re official. I read about one recently where a guy ghosted his girlfriend of 3 years and they LIVED together! Yeah, the struggle is that real and were going to address it today. So, here are 6 reasons why you have been ghosted…
Your date realised they weren’t ready to get back into the dating world
Dating is a different experience for everyone. Sometimes people have been single for a while (whether that’s a personal choice or circumstance) and others are just re-joining the ever-expanding dating pool. For those who have just re-joined, welcome back, hope it goes well! Newly christened singletons may try to dive back into the dating pool too early, instead of going the safer route of just dipping a toe and testing the waters (it’s probably more shark infested now, just so you know.) Sometimes, it takes going on a date to realise that you’re not ready to date again. There’s nothing wrong with coming to that conclusion, right? True. However, it can be a real kick in the teeth to your date.
As much as you should do what’s best for you, from your date’s perspective they had a good time and want to see you again. It’s disappointing when the other person doesn’t feel the same and that disappointment is compounded by being ghosted. If you’ve been out of the dating pool for a while, you might think “Oh it was just one date, not that big of a deal. I can just forget them. It’s not like we were in a relationship!” For the person you ghosted, it wasn’t just one date. It was one date with potential and that is everything you need in dating. You don’t meet people with potential every day!
They just weren’t interested
Remember when you were younger and you liked someone? Those times when that person was giving you nothing back and your friends came up with excuses like “maybe they’re playing hard to get” and “they’re probably just shy.” No one ever dropped the major truth bomb that maybe they’re just not interested, because that’s the worst thing in the world, right?! Wrong! Someone not being interested in you is notalways a direct reflection of you as person. It happens to everyone at some point. Every now and then, you’ll meet someone you fancy and the feeling won’t be mutual. However, a lot of people would rather say nothing than just be honest about a lack of feelings.
Guys, dating involves two people (or more, no judgements as long as everyone is on the same page) meaning that decisions should involve everyone. That involvement can take the form of just making them aware of where your head’s at. It’s not a crime for you to not be interested in someone, but maybe it should be a crime for you to not let them know! C’mon people, step up!
An ex came back into the picture
We recently did an article about reasons not to go back there with your ex (check it out here, shameless plug!) but there are some compelling reasons that people do go back. For some, in the matchup of history of their ex vs. the brief encounter of a recent date, the ex will always win. From their perspective, why would you need to tell someone you barely know what you’re doing with your life?! Think of it more as a common courtesy, especially if it looked like things might go further. You don’t need to rub it in their face though!
As always, it just comes down to treating others the way you would like to be treated. You also have to be sensitive to the fact that, yes, you’ve found your person but the other person is still looking. In fact, they may have been under the impression that it could’ve been you. Now you’re telling them that’s definitely not the case. Be gentle here!
They felt uncomfortable with you
Presenting… one of the few legit reasons to ghost someone! If someone makes you uncomfortable, you are well within your rights to forget/erase them from your existence. Especially, if you let them know you were uncomfortable and they still persisted with their behaviour. It doesn’t matter what they did, but if it made you feel unsettled or scared in any way, feel free to do what is best for you. Sometimes, people misinterpret signs but it’s pretty hard to not see discomfort.
If you’re in a situation where you feel that way, there many options available. Call a friend (always recommend letting at least one friend know when you’re on a date) or let a member of staff know at the place you’re at and they’ll be happy to help. Once you’re out, ghost away!
They got what they wanted
Everyone is looking for something different when dating. That can be anything from everything (the epic love story, the life partner and the family) to a little arrangement (brief fling) or a one off (aka. one-night stand.) Anything you’re looking for is up to you, but deceiving someone who you know isn’t looking for the same thing? Dick move! However, deception is as common as being ghosted. Yes, there are instances (especially on dating apps) where a woman will say hi and being greeted with a d*** pic or the ever classy “wanna f***?” Gosh… and they say romance is dead!
Yes, it’s annoying to receive messages like that, but it’s easy to know right away to block them if you’re not interested (a necessary evil!) However, for those of you who were under the impression that you and your date were on the same page of going towards something serious, this one’s for you. Sometimes (and this is gender neutral) you’ll find that after you’ve done the deed with your date, you never hear from them again. Maybe you’ve been a victim on sneating (going on dates to get free food.) The point is that some people know exactly what they want and instead of finding someone who wants the same, they’re happy to mislead and ghost. Not cool!
They can’t handle difficult discussions like a mature adult
Majority of ghosting comes down to how people handle (or don’t) confrontation. Look, we’ve all probably done it or been on the receiving end. It’s not always intentional. I will always maintain that there are appropriate times to ghost, it’s all about the context. I would say that if you’ve barely been talking a few days, the conversation is fizzling out, replies are far and in-between and you haven’t met in person? Ghosting isn’t so bad. If you’ve been talking for weeks and been sharing a lot of intimate details, it gets harder to find ghosting ok. If you’ve met in person, I would like to refer you back to point 4 as one of the few acceptable reasons to ghost. With online dating specifically, it’s easy to forget you’re talking to a real person with real feelings. Once you’ve met them in person, however…
As with most things in life, it wouldn’t become such a lingering issue if people were just open and honest. People can act like being candid is the worst thing in the world, but honesty is helpful. Yes, it can be painful but sometimes things just are, it happens. People move past pain. It facilitates growth. It’s not the end of the world for someone not to be interested in you. It is worse to spend an immeasurable amount of time thinking of what could’ve been and why they were ghosted.
The overthinking is the worst part and you have the power to stop that. Don’t be afraid to be truthful, don’t assume that people can’t handle it. It is true that A LOT of us don’t take rejection well. However, not to be harsh, once you’ve been honest it’s not your job to deal with their reaction. You’re probably never going to see them again and you’ve done the best you can by letting know where they do (or don’t) stand!
Look, our advice?
There are situations where ghosting is the only option, but if you can communicate and be honest, then do so! It might not change the world overnight, but treating each other with respect will go a long way. Majority of ghosting boils down to a lack of consideration for other people’s feelings. Think of it this way… if you wouldn’t want to be ghosted, why would you do it to someone else if you don’t need to? Also, maybe less ghosting will improve your dating karma and who doesn’t want better dating karma?! 😉
By Jordan Enaboifo