Ghosting: Why is this a thing?

We have all been there… You have been having an ongoing conversation over messenger on a dating app, gone out and had a great first date, or even been on several dates, all for your perspective “future someone” to go silent. For the long term. Ladies and gentlemen, you have officially been ghosted. This behavior has now become so popular, it has it’s own name and honestly, this is not a good thing. What this truly comes down is poor dating etiquette and immaturity. But I encourage you not to lose faith because this phenomenon can truly be fixed!

  • You have been having an ongoing conversation over messenger on a dating app
    In this scenario, I simply think ghosting happens because individuals are communicating with too many prospects at once. They lose track of conversations and forget with whom they potentially have plans or they go out with someone of interest and then “fall off” all other conversations. As much as I hate to say this, this is all part of the numbers game that is online dating. For my tips on how to combat this, read “The Real Life that is Online Dating.”
  • You have gone out and had a great first date
    A large part of meeting someone on a dating app is actually making it to the first date. While you may have great conversations over messenger, it is completely possible that you will not hit it off in person. Similarly, if you met “in the wild” (thanks GGE) and your first date is the only face-to-face time you have spent with this person, you may realize you do not “click” with the person. If either of these are the case, it is OK to be honest with your date. If he/she asks you out again and you are not interested in going, simply decline the date in a kind way. Just because you do not know someone very well, does not mean you should ignore them. Also, do not come up with an excuse (something along the lines of “Oh, I am really busy coming up and I am not sure when I will be free”) because this inevitably just puts off the person to follow-up with you at a later time.
    In a slightly different scenario, if you were setup on a date by a mutual friend/colleague, you definitely need to be honest about your experience. It may be awkward to tell your friend he/she missed the mark on “picking your type,” but it is inevitable that you will see this date in other social settings so keep everything friendly!
  • You have been on multiple dates with the same person
    If you have gone on multiple dates, but you realize this person is not someone you are romantically interested in, have the maturity to have that conversation with him/her. Talking about this face-to-face or even on the phone is typically uncomfortable because no one wants to hurt someone else’s feelings, but I promise you will be glad for having done this. Simply be kind and honest with the person. It does not have to be a long explanation, it can truly be something like, “I have been enjoying getting to know and as I have, I realize this feels more like a friendship to me. I feel bad saying this, but I want to be honest with you and not lead you on.” He/she will appreciate your honesty in place of wondering why they simply never heard from you again.

In my personal opinion, ghosting happens as a result of our lack of in-person communication due to our reliance on technology, leading to our lack of accountability to others. My challenge to everyone is simple, remember the wise words we were taught when we were young, “Treat others how you want to be treated.” Sometimes doing the hard thing also means doing the right thing, and when it comes to other people’s feelings and emotions, I encourage you to do the right thing.

For those of us who have been ghosted and left not knowing how to feel, I leave you with this: Look on the bright side – do you really want someone who acts like that to be part of your life? Count your blessings and be glad he/she made an exit 😉
If you are still having trouble getting past being ghosted, check out this read!

Cheers y’all!

AB

The Real Life that is Online Dating

In a world where swiping is the norm, I have begun to wonder what is the actual success rate of online dating? As a Family Science major in FMSC260 (shout out to my Terps!), I learned the majority of couples meet through mutual friends; a statistic that is now being challenged by online dating. Evidence can be shown for the success of online dating, but as a twenty-something I continuously hear about the frustrations faced with online dating. The largest complaints being, “I have conversations that never go anywhere” and “He never ended up confirming the date.” So, let’s tackle these!

  1.  I have conversations that never go anywhere.
    • As much as we want to believe everyone is out there looking for his/her special person, the reality is that everybody is using the app for a different purpose. Some people are looking for actual relationships while others are looking for something only physical, and some are just looking to fill their free time. For those of you who are stuck in the endless text conversation, it is likely you have encountered someone who is looking to fill his/her free time, but not actually invest time in another person. The other possibility may be you have encountered someone who does not have much dating experience and may not know exactly how to ask you out in person.
    • So, how do you combat this? Keep conversations going for a suitable amount of time, but get to the point. After exchanging messages for whatever length of time you feel comfortable with and think you would like to meet this person, shift the conversation to making plans. If you do not feel comfortable outright asking, then lead with something like, “Do you have fun plans for the upcoming weekend?” and gauge how to move forward from his/her response. It will either cue that person to ask you about plans or if you get a positive response, will open the door for you to ask about getting together!
    • Remember: Just because you have a great conversation over messages, does not necessarily mean you will connect in person. If you feel like it is better to talk with the person a bit more before meeting, ask to give him/her a call! Oh my gosh, I know – actually pick up the phone?! Say what?! Trust me, it works. If you can hold a real-time conversation with the person while on the phone, it will gauge your potential for an in-person meet-up!
  2. I have plans tomorrow! Wait, I think I do… do I?
    • Real life example (names changed to protect the innocent!): During the week, Grant asked Cary to meet up for tacos on Sunday. Cary happily agreed! Saturday night got here and Cary had not heard anything from Grant, she started to wonder about her Sunday plans. Sunday morning passed, lunch time arrived, and still nothing from Grant… Cary figures this date is not happening and now she is left frustrated for having set her schedule to be able to meet Grant for tacos, and for wasting time she could have spent with others.
    • Not cool taco man! This happens far too often in the online dating scene… Here are my suggestions:
      • So, your conversation has been going well and he/she finally(!) asks you about getting together! You enthusiastically agree and then the talk about free dates/times begins. In the initial conversation, the date and time (or at least time frame) for the date should be set. If the two of you are looking into options for what to do, that is OK, just make sure you have a set date and time frame!
      • The evening before the date, the initiator of the date should send a text to confirm the plans for the next day. At the absolute latest, the confirmation should be made early on the day of the date (this is really only if your date is in the evening). If you do not hear from the person confirming the date, you are NOT obligated to go on the date.
        • For example, say Grant had sent a message at 5:00pm on Sunday for “dinner time” plans – it is perfectly acceptable to reply, “I had not heard from you so I did not think we still had plans. How about we set another date/time that will work for both of us?”
        • Say Grant texts you the next day striking up a casual conversation, you are allowed to express your dissatisfaction, just make sure you do it in an honest, respectful way. For example, “Thanks for reaching out, but I have to say I am a bit surprised. We had plans to get tacos last night, but I never heard anything from you.”
        • If you do not hear from Grant, that is just plain rude on his part and short of him having an actual emergency, move on. Stay tuned for a new post, “Ghosting: Why is this a thing?
      • I realize some people will 100% disagree with me on these ideas and that is OK. Ultimately, this is all up to personal preference and how flexible you are; however, in being courteous to others and respectful of someone’s time, a confirmation (or cancellation for that matter) should be made within a reasonable time frame (typically 24 hours). Think of it as setting a precedence from the beginning for what type of common courtesies you expect!

With all that in mind, keep swiping my friends, but do so mindfully, honestly, and respectfully!

Special thanks to my own friends for allowing me take our real life examples and share how we deal with them!

Cheers y’all!

AB