There’s nothing worse than going out with someone you find totally attractive only to have her disappear after a few amazing dates. You might wonder if you imagined the whole connection, if she was ever into you at all. When the texts and return phone calls suddenly disappear, chances are you’ve been “ghosted.”
Ghosting is a new term for an old trend of avoidance in dating. For example, let’s say you’ve been dating someone for the past couple of months. It doesn’t matter that you’ve been seeing each other regularly – your relationship isn’t official – you haven’t had the “talk,” so your personal life is a gray area. Maybe you are together, maybe you aren’t. During this time, one of you decides that he/she isn’t really into you anymore, and instead of “breaking up” – because really, you were never “going out” – he/she decides to stop texting you and pull a disappearing act.
Being ghosted can be devastating, even if you haven’t been going out that long, or you didn’t make your relationship official. It’s still a relationship of some sort, and chances are feelings are involved for one or both people.
In fact, ghosting generates a LOT of confusion in the dating world, no matter how casual your relationships are. And that confusion can cause you take your weariness and confusion into the next relationship, or on a date with the next person you meet.
It creates a vicious cycle of distrust among daters. Many people who have experienced ghosting assume it will happen again and again – that even if they go out on a few dates, there’s no accountability by the other person for their feelings. So really – who cares? Why invest in feelings? Why trust anyone at all?
This is disastrous for dating.
The truth is, when you date, there is accountability. Just because you’ve only been on a few dates with one guy doesn’t mean that you should disappear if you’re not interested. If he asks you out again, you should respond. Let him know that he’s great, but not for you.
It might seem cold or harsh at first to reject someone so directly, but it’s actually quite the opposite. You’re providing closure – and you are giving that person an opportunity to move on with someone else, instead of wondering what happened to you or blaming you for not returning his affection.
If you choose ghosting, you’re contributing to a cycle of bad behavior – of skirting around problems and confrontations instead of owning your own truth. There’s nothing wrong with going out with someone a few times and then not feeling it anymore. But when you don’t provide a “break-up” for the other person to accept, then it gives the rejected person a reason to behave badly with the next person – so on and so forth. And then ghosting becomes an acceptable part of dating.
So even if your relationship is casual, remember the person you’re dating is still a person, and deserves to be treated with respect.