We’ve seen it on popular television shows like Insecure, and at some point, we probably experienced it in real life. You meet someone, you are excited, you hang out a few times and eventually they disappear right out of thin air. Unfortunately, my friend, you have just been “ghosted”. According to Urban Dictionary, ghosting is the act of ending a personal relationship suddenly without explanation and withdrawing from any future communication.
Dating is such a convoluted experience, so it’s undoubtedly hurtful when you meet someone that you think you connect with and they retreat without an explanation. On the other hand, if you are suddenly turned off by someone or even have to deal with personal issues, do you owe them an explanation for retreating if you only went on a few dates?
Ghosting Has Levels
Likely before going on an official date, you’ve spent time via phone or text getting to know each other. This doesn’t mean that the first date can’t show that there isn’t any compatibility. It’s fine to not reach out after a first date if you are no longer interested in pursuing anything further, but refrain from saying anything during the date that would make the other person think you will see each other again. Not connecting again after a first date, is completely different from disappearing after weeks or months of dating.
Remember the Golden Rule
The number one rule to etiquette and courtesy is to treat others the way you want to be treated. Essentially, ghosting doesn’t follow that rule. In relationships, friendships, and general dating, ghosting should be seen as inappropriate and offensive. Think of it as the easy way out, but not the right thing to do.
If you feel like it’s no longer working with someone or you just don’t have the energy and space to continue engaging, it’s polite to be upfront and let the other person know how you feel. Don’t feel like you have to volunteer this information out of the blue, but if the other person reaches out, go ahead and let them know how you are feeling. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate explanation, especially if the relationship or interaction is fairly new. Use your judgment. It’s fine to do this via text or phone if the interaction is new, but for more established relationships it would only be appropriate to do this via a face-to-face conversation.
What are your thoughts on ghosting? Comment below!