Who you gonna call? Well, not your date, as it turns out… the whole, awful scenario of being ‘ghosted’ means they don’t want to talk to you. For whatever reason, you’ve been shunted back into the dating waters alone. It’s tough figuring out how to handle being ghosted, as (by definition) there’s no closure on why someone’s dumped you.
So, let us exorcise those demons, and tell you what ghosting is, why it might happen, and what your response should be. Online dating can be cruel, but we don’t want you to suffer from bad courtesy!
What is ghosting?
Every culture has its own slang terms and gobbledegook, that which an outsider can’t hope to penetrate. It’d be a foolish attempt to isolate where the ghosting verb came from: we’re guessing message boards, text conversations, chat rooms; anywhere our language feeds on itself, conjuring new meanings for age-old problems.
One of those is the tendency – and, let’s admit it, we’ve all been there – to completely vanish from someone’s life. One minute, you’re chatting constantly; the next, they disappear from the face of the virtual earth. For the person being left in the dark, it’s a painful and frustrating experience.
Ghosting therefore refers to the sudden, inexplicable fading away of any close contact – in this context, specifically with a person we’re dating. We can rage and weep and cry at the moon, but the fact remains that they’re gone, with barely a whisper of a goodbye.
What’s their problem, really?
We can’t assume what another dater is going through behind closed doors. They may have suffered a crisis at work or home. A living situation could’ve changed. Or, even though we hate to think about it, they could’ve met someone else.
What is obvious is that the rapid, fast-food-socialising of the internet is very, very fickle. We can easily connect with gorgeous people from a whole continent away, which is awesome. Yet on the flip-side, they can ignore us, stepping away from the keyboard when they’ve had enough. And the dissociative quality of that bond makes it simpler, or less confrontational, to tell us directly why they’re doing it.
So what can I do about it?
At the outset, as an online dating user, you should expect this inconsiderate behaviour from someone you’ve never met. Until they prove that they’re after a serious relationship (travelling to you, speaking on the phone etc.), it’s only sensible to hold your emotions back a bit. The more you anticipate a ghost, the softer the impact if it does happen.
Of course, an apparent case of ghosting may be false – your opposite number could be AWOL for a good reason, ready to return to you soon. Resist the temptation to send message after message to their account; it’ll only make you seem desperate, insecure and compulsive. Leave a note politely saying that they haven’t got in touch. After a week, if you don’t hear anything, consign them to the scrap heap. They aren’t worth your affection.
How to handle being ghosted? Just keep trying, and don’t let it puncture your love balloon. Sign up to FreeAndSingle today for a sky-high shot at your soulmate…