Let’s be straightforward: ghosting sucks. We may have done it and dealt with the lingering feelings of guilt, or we may have been ghosted ourselves, left with a string of unanswered messages and a lack of closure. But there’s almost nobody on the dating scene who hasn’t experienced ghosting at some point. And really, it’s not that big of a deal, as long as you don’t let it get to you. Some people find it hard to reject someone in a mature and straightforward fashion, or maybe they have previously had cases where their dates did not take no for an answer, so they resort to ghosting. Here is a short list of things to keep in mind to help you not take ghosting so seriously.
- Was the contact really that serious? Most ghosting happens before you’ve even met the other person IRL, or possibly after just one date. You’ve probably sent a few messages, exchanged some gifs and possibly discussed one of the things on your dating profile. If you’re doing some online dating you might find that conversations get a little repetitive and honestly, neither of you will really notice that you stopped messaging. So there is definitely no reason to stress over something like this – no hurt feelings, not much time invested, no hussle.
- This saying gets used a lot, but there truly are plenty more fish in the sea. Dating apps often have literally millions of users. One of them might be your soulmate, perfect match, true ‘better half’, and a lot of the others will be people that you just like or are interested in. There’s no reason to get hung up on one person who stopped responding when there are so many other people who would enjoy conversations with you so much more.
- It’s about them, not you. A lot of people have ghosted someone because of something they said – maybe it was clear that you weren’t compatible, or you had different ideas about what you wanted from a relationship, or both of you held firm and diametrically opposed views on Marmite. But more often, there’s something going on with the ‘ghoster’, not the ‘ghostee’. Maybe an ex came back into town and they reconnected, or they met someone at a party or a bar and that developed. They may have been using a dating app to cheat, and were found out by their significant other. They could have felt overwhelmed by matches, or just realised that they weren’t ready to start a new relationship. It’s totally crappy that they didn’t message you and explain these things, but being honest in rejecting somebody requires a lot of emotional energy and sometimes people simply won’t do it. Ghosting often isn’t personal, so try not to take it to heart.
- Not everybody is going to like you, and that’s ok. This point really applies to all parts of your life, from potential romantic unions to colleagues. Almost everyone dislikes someone, and that’s often for secretly trivial reasons. You might not like people who write ‘a part’ when they mean ‘apart’, or someone who sighs loudly after taking a sip of coffee. And people are going to dislike you right back because you say ‘literally’ too often or you lick your fingers when turning a page. So if someone ghosts you because you end every message with a full stop, or overuse unicorn emojis, it’s really just an online version of that principle. If you want to use proper punctuation in messages, good for you! The unicorn emoji is super cute! But other people are not obligated to like that, and they don’t have to talk to you if they don’t want to. Equally, you don’t have to talk to them if they just piss you off. There probably isn’t any future in that relationship, anyway.
- Having said all of that…. For some people, ghosting is a big deal. It can take a lot to put yourself out there and try to meet new people, especially if you are for some reason returning to the dating scene after a long break. Ghosting is one of those things that’s a bit shitty but we all expect, like rain at a barbeque or a political discussion at a family gathering. So if you do feel hurt or rejected, that’s absolutely valid and fine. Possibly the casual dating scene might not be right for you, because ghosting is almost inevitable at some point. For every handsome prince who meets his Tinderella, there are people who match, chat and then… the book ends and the princess finds a better fairytale. Or maybe the clock struck midnight and your prince turned back into a frog. Important thing is to keep going, at whatever pace and to whichever destination you choose.
Online dating can be a lot of fun and a great way to meet new people, but sometimes you might not feel a connection and, ultimately, the conversation might fizzle out. It happens, and for the most part, the best thing is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and find someone who is actually deserving of your time and attention. It’s easy to let a bad experience make you feel disheartened, but it’s honestly not worth losing sleep over.