So you’ve met someone spicy, things are going good and all of a sudden they disappear off the face of the planet. Been there, felt that. This, my friend, is called ghosting. Now, we’ve all either been ghosted or have ghosted someone. It’s not a very good feeling when you are on the receiving end of it. It’s also not a good feeling when you stop and think about how the person you ghosted must feel.
So in conversation with dating expert Logan Ury, I wanted to delve into the topic to find out more about why people do it when they know how hurtful it can be on a person. Afterall, depending on how invested one party is, it can truly impact that person’s confidence, esteem and ability to trust.
The concept of ghosting has been around for quite a while. Pre-modern internet, “did he/she call” was a norm. When they never called back, well that was ghosting. With dating apps increasing in usage (especially during Covid times), ghosting is even easier to do. Simply stop responding to a message. Un-match and say goodbye.
Was it something I said? Well, it could be a lot of things you said. Or did for that matter. But that’s not the point. After a certain amount of maturation, you start to learn how ghosting can often be more to do with the person ghosting than the person being ghosted. Perhaps they lack the communication skills necessary to verbalize that they are not interested. According to dating service Hinge, 40% of users have said they ghost because they don’t know how to explain why they don’t want to see someone again. A third said they felt uncomfortable rejecting someone. Ironically, when it comes to how they would prefer to be treated when someone isn’t interested, 85% said they want to be told despite the feeling of pain and rejection because it helps to move on faster.
Surprisingly, over the course of the pandemic, Hinge reported a 27% decrease in ghosting. It appears users are becoming more selective with their matches and perhaps a little more empathetic.
Additionally, Logan has a technique to help you. If you think you’ve been ghosted, send a light-hearted message along the lines of “If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was being ghosted”. It’s quite possible the person did not consider their actions a problem and may provide you with an explanation. Alternatively, if you don’t get anything, consider that saving you trouble down the road and focus on moving on.
If you’re in a position where you may be the one ghosting, do the person a favor and send them a message along the lines of “Hey [name], I enjoyed meeting you, but I don’t think we’re a match”. Commit to sending this as soon as you’ve lost interest to save them the muddy heartache. You can be firm, but be kind.
Ultimately, you may never get to know why you’ve been ghosted. Don’t let yourself think that if they only gave you a reason, you could do better and convince them to stay. That’s not the point. If they couldn’t offer you’re the courtesy of an adult explanation, then this isn’t a person you want to be with anyway.
If you’re looking for more dating advice, Logan Ury’s website has several great tools and resources to help you out.