Diving Deeper into “Ghosting”

Ahhh… Ghosting. This is perhaps the number one frustration when it comes to the world of online dating. And if you’ve done the online dating thing, chances are, you’re guilty of it. I am definitely one of them as well.

Briefly, what is ghosting? It’s when you’re talking with someone via text, email or app, holding a conversation or maybe have even met before, but then just completely disappear and stop responding.

The frustrating part with this issue, is that in most cases, you never know why or what happened. When they disappear, they disappear for good.

Just last week this happened a few times to me on the dating app called bumble. I was actually enjoying a conversation with someone over a period of a few days. We were laughing and the interest seemed to be there on both ends, just about to the point where we exchanged numbers and look into meeting up. The conversation ended one night with here texting me “Have a great night and I’ll text ya tomorrow.” Except that text never came and she was clearly using the app based on the location changes.

Another recent instance was messaging a girl briefly, and led to her asking if I was interested in meeting up instead of talking via the app. I said sure, here’s my number and we can figure out a plan from there. It goes silent for a few days until I get a message, on the app, asking me “How I was doing?” I picked up my phone to respond and before I could type the message, she deleted her account.

These are just two instances of probably 100 or more where this has happened. For the life of me, I can not figure out why you’d spend time and energy messaging someone, talking about meeting up, to not follow through with it and just disappear. If the conversation was awful or there were no common passions, then it’s a bit more understandable, but that wasn’t the case here.

On that note, let’s take a look at reasons for ghosting. There are more than handful, so if you want to chime in, you’re more than welcome to do so.

  • Benefit of the doubt. Perhaps something drastic came up in their life and they had to put the dating apps aside and focus on the issue. Most of us want to believe this is what happened, because we want to think better of people than just disappearing for seemingly no reason, but in all honesty, this usually is not the case. If something major did come up, just be honest. It makes you seem way more genuine, and if you’ve truly found yourself a great guy, maybe, just maybe, he can actually help you through it. Isn’t that what you want in a partner anyways?
  • They found someone else. If this is the case, great for them, but can you please be honest? How is the other person supposed to know this and move on from the idea of seeing where things go with you, if he has no idea about this. I’ve had girls tell me that they started to date someone and they want to see where it goes. At first it sucks to hear, but I quickly learn to respect that and respect them for telling me. Plus it also reassures me there are actually people on there for the real thing, and they are willing to remove themselves if they think they have found it, instead of always looking for the next date.
  • They did some homework. A lot of us in the online dating world have come across the profile and pictures where you think they are attractive, but you’re just not quite sure or something seems a little off. Google and Facebook play key components when it comes to learning a little more about someone you have just met online. This can certainly include more recent photos, photos other than the selfies they chose to upload on the site, a lifestyle you’re not very interested in, or perhaps photos of ex boyfriends from about 2 weeks ago. We all know the saying that “an image is louder than words.” And with the internet today, there is plenty of noise. It’s definitely understandable to lose interest in someone after doing a little research, and studies show that most of the time, your first impressions are correct, but just remember, you don’t know the entire story. Still, there are plenty of ways to get yourself out of this communication loop, and unfortunately, most people turn to ghosting. Just be honest, or come up with at least something to let them know that the communication will stop on your end.
  • They’re too busy. Then I have to ask, what are you doing on a dating app? We’ve all heard the excuse, “sorry, I’ve just been so busy.” Which is fine, life happens and it happens to everyone. But the key is how they follow that up. Do they just continue the conversation like nothing happened or do they make an effort to show you they are still interested. But for the life of me, I can not understand why girls, or people in general, that are too busy, download a dating app and then message people. You have to understand, those actions tell me that it’s a priority to you to actually date, followed up by silence, which tells me it’s not. I’m a true believer that you make time for the things you want to make time for. I’m all for a women being ambitious in her career and life and traveling and other activities that keeps her busy. I find those traits extremely appealing. But if you’re not going to make the time for someone else to be a part of that, then please don’t bother signing up in the first place.
  • The grass is greener. This will be it’s own topic in the future, I can assure you, but it’s definitely a reason for a disappearing act. You’ve chatted with someone for a bit or you may have even met them and had a really good time. You’re thinking in your mind that you’d like to meet for a second date, getting ideas of what to do and where to go and then poof, they’re gone. It is entirely possible they had a good time with you, but the prospect of finding someone even better is right around the corner. They got home that night and swiped right on a guy who drives a nicer car, is a few inches taller and must make a lot more money than you do. What a lot of us fail to recognize is that doesn’t mean he’s datable or even a good person. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. But the curiosity is always killing the cat when they want to see what’s behind door number 2, when they could have been completely happy with door number 1.
  • Because they can. The major problem with online dating is the lack of accountability and personal connection with others. We’ve gotten to a point in society where we think it’s ok to just not respond because we owe them nothing, you didn’t really know them anyways or you’re not friends and they can take the hint. But seriously, how are you going to build friendships and maybe more if you treat others like this? Even if you respond in a few days, that’s still not ok. It doesn’t take longer than 10 seconds to send a text to anyone. No matter who you are talking to, it’s just plain rude. Unfortunately, this seems to be a trend that’s getting worse and not better. It bleeds over into more than just dating apps, but also texting and email conversations with family, friends, and coworkers. At the end of the day, you are probably not the type of person I would want to date anyways. This is not only a major problem with the online world today, but the world in general.

I can almost guarantee that I will have more blogs and write-ups on this topic in the future because this is one of the biggest issues, if not the biggest, that ruins the experience of online dating. It’s really hard to put your time, effort, emotion and even money into someone you met online with the fear they will just disappear. And being the guy in this situation, yes, this can be financially draining if you continue to cover the tab. Refer to my blog on Tips for for First Online Date to assist you in this area.

It’s nice to get past experiences, frustrations, etc. out in a blog, but I also hope that someone reads this and it actually sinks in that ghosting someone is just wrong and rude. There are plenty of things you can say or do, but just let them know the chance of it working out is just not there. I’m working on this myself because it’s the right thing to do. Remember, they are more than just photos on the other end, they are actual people, just like yourself and no one is a fan when this happens to them.