Have you ever had someone you’re dating ‘ghost’ on you? I’m not talking paranormal, sexy Patrick Swayze, Whoopie Goldberg, romantic pottery wheel ghosting. I’m talking about when one person ends a relationship by simply disappearing, also known as the ‘fade-out.’
This 21st century phenomenon has picked up stride as apps like Tinder, OkCupid, Match.com, and Grindr have gained popularity, but the premise is not new to the dating world. Prior to social media and online dating, this type of breaking up still occurred. One party would grow tired of the relationship, and instead of facing the problem with dignity, they would slowly fade away with no explanation leaving the dump-e wondering where they had gone wrong. (Note: It was probably giving the undeserving coward more thought than they deserved.)
Dating Apps have made the possibility of being on the receiving end of a ghosting much more probable. With the ability to swipe a person away with the flick of the thumb, it’s much easier to discount a person’s emotions if you suddenly stop talking to them. Ghosting doesn’t seem like such a bad thing unless you stop to consider how it could impact the other party. When first getting to know someone, or predating, this behavior is to be expected and is common. The cases in which the couple has been on several dates, however, is a bit more surprising.
The Internet is flooded with accounts of ghosting, and is even featured on a favorite BBC show of mine, “Sherlock.” In the episode, the case is centered around a man who dates women, seems intrigued, and vanishes without so much as a wave. The devastated ladies unwittingly believe that they have been out with an actual ghost. Unfazed, Sherlock deduces that the man may be clever and resourceful but is an absolute not a phantom.
Blogger and New-Yorker Sarah Ashley O’Brien joins numerous others in the retelling of her ghosting tale. “The Date Report” features the story of a seemingly intrigued man by the name of Jeremy who was the first to ‘ghost’ her. She recounts that they met numerous times and texted non-stop until the chemistry began to fizzle. A week after Jeremy canceled a date due to work, Ashley reached out via text to ask him to lunch. She was greeted with a blank screen as she waited for a response that never came. In the article, she says it best for anyone who has been ghosted stating, “More than the difficulty of dealing with the loss of him, I struggle with stomaching the lack of human decency of ghosting. I understand that there’s no future for us, but a simple acknowledgment of an appreciation for the time we did spend together, ‘Hey, I had a fun few dates with you but I don’t think we’re right for each other beyond that,’ would provide so much more closure.”
With the seemingly high possibility of being ghosted, especially for those who date online, many worry that they may become the next victim. So what if anything could you look for as a warning sign?
The main clue will be your gut. We all are given warning signs when faced with danger as a way to shock our body and mind into realization. Do not ignore this gift of nature; it can prove immensely valuable in tense situations. Trust your gut; trust your instincts.
Overall, we must not blame ourselves when we happen upon a ‘Ghoster.’ If we are constantly worried that someone we dated would flake and disappear due to one bad experience, we could never enjoy the company of the person sitting right across from you. Once you realize the ‘ghoster’ was not relationship material, it is time for a little ego boost. Remind yourself that you are not alone, this has happened to others and you are still fabulous! Don’t sweat the losers, the cowards, and those who are incapable of being upfront. Brush off the dirt, take a hot shower, and get back out there.