BOO.... The Ancient Art of Ghosting In The Modern World

Thursday, May 12, 2016

When did people stop being polite? It has occurred to me of late as I am Tindering my days away that something weird has happened in our society. Apparently it has become a thing to just vanish out of someone's world whenever you feel the urge. I used to and still do call it "going dark" but the popular term is actually Ghosting... as defined by the Urban Dictionary in terms of actual dating.

The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just "get the hint" and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested. Ghosting is not specific to a certain gender and is closely related to the subject's maturity and communication skills. Many attempt to justify ghosting as a way to cease dating the ghostee without hurting their feelings, but it in fact proves the subject is thinking more of themselves, as ghosting often creates more confusion for the ghostee than if the subject kindly stated how he/she feels.
Carmen: How was your second date with Kyle?
Beth: I thought it went well, but I've texted him a couple of times since then and he's been ghosting me.
Carmen: What? I thought he was more mature than that.
by Ghostface Illa November 27, 2013

Now, Ghosting in general is certainly nothing new. It has been around since the dawn of time I am sure. You know like Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa.... Jesus... ok maybe those are not really great examples but disappearing without a trace is not a new thing. In terms of dating and relationships it is however the modern way of saying "I'm just not that into you bye." It is also a popular way of conveying any and all of the following list of scenarios:

  • I changed my mind about meeting you
  • Something came up
  • I don't like your hair
  • My cat got sick
  • I moved to another country, very suddenly
  • My wife made plans I didn't know about
  • I chickened out, meeting someone new is just too scary
  • You are delusional. I was never real, you imagined me. 
All seemingly plausible excuses/ways to extricate yourself from another persons life because it just takes so much effort to tap out a text or pick up the phone. I mean why bother when you can just Ghost them?

I am sad to report that in my last few years of being single and swimming in the online dating cesspool, I have in fact been ghosted many times. Hundreds, maybe even thousands. Who can really be sure when you are talking about disappearing people that may or may not have even been real to begin with. It's all very confusing. And disappointing. Then just funny.

Take for example my tentative date last weekend, let's call him Bob. Bob and I had been chatting on Tinder and he suggested going out. I said "when?" (on Saturday afternoon) and he said "tomorrow" (which I thought meant Sunday), first mistake. We exchanged numbers, texted contact pics and chit chatted a bit. Then... nothing. Till Tuesday night when I got "You busy?". Am I busy? Dude... you ghosted me. GTFO.

Another dude... Jim, not gonna lie that's his name, and I matched up on Monday. We talked back and forth for a bit that day and decided on meeting up. I asked innocently "coffee or drinks" hit send  and immediately noticed his profile was gone. Poof! An hour or two and some witty banter down the drain. Why? Why were you even talking to me? Fucktard.

I guess I have been relatively lucky. I have gotten ghosted early on. I chalk this up to men being intimidated by my awesomeness and chickening out. But apparently people get ghosted after dating for awhile. How in the world? How do you date someone for weeks or even months and then just decide this is not working and I am done. And go silent. Forever. How?

And why? Why does anyone think it's ok? I realize that online dating is fraught with scammers, fake profiles and the like. But if you are fairly certain that you are talking to a real person and your gut says it's a no go, do the right thing and say "Hey, I don't think we are a match. Good luck."

I can not bring myself to even ghost an asshole. I'd rather say "You sir are an asshole, Good Day". But that's just me.


  1. Hang in there love. This whole online dating thing just seems like such an uphill battle! I do not envy having to go through that, but you are an amazing, hilarious, single white female, and I just know something will work out!!

  2. Ghosting is so odd. Although, I am not going to lie - there have been people in the past that (if I could have gotten away with it) I would have just never talked to again, lol! Nothing is worse than the breakup talk.

  3. I love this! Dating is tough enough without adding in the bs of the ghosting game. I don't care who you are, it affects you and it is a blow to the ego. Why can't people just be real and honest. It would make things so much easier!

  4. This made me laugh, "My wife made plans I didn't know about." Surely that is just a general excuse and not one some dude who is dating actually says haha. Either way, ghosting is totally lame and people need to grow the fuck up and have some manners. Just say you know what, this isn't working out. Or Bye Felicia! Poor Felicia, can't get no love. And the fact that some dude talked to you for two hours then disappeared? That is what I like to call a waste of space on this planet. People like that are ridiculous.


    I had this happen a few times and noticed it was with supposedly "recently divorced" men...they would either stop texting me THE DAY BEFORE WE WERE SUPPOSED TO MEET (for the first time) or, they would just randomly delete their profiles. No goodbye, no warning, no nothing. I finally had one's facebook pop up in the "people you may know" (I assume because he'd given me his number and we were texting and facebook is all up in your private shit) and yup. still married. pics of wife and kids. So my THEORY is that a lot of these guys are either attempting to be sleazebags and try an affair, or they think they're godly and deserve all the women, but then they get cold feet and back out/disappear. (Which is fine, but why fucking lie in the first place? just get a divorce like an adult and date, shit)

    but recently I've been really upset by one. So we had met up a few times and I was really hesitant due to all of the disappearances, and he was super reassuring. He was great. he even jokingly said to me during dinner "oh by the way I'm married" and when I froze, he busted up laughing. Me personally, that's hilarious, I can appreciate. I know he wasn't married, went to his house, spent the night, it was great.

    Then one day my PTSD caused me to have a flashback and I bailed, my bad. I texted him that night and told him I'd explain in the morning. It was like a totally different person. He was frustrated and angry. I apologized and we agreed to move on and forget it. So I was moving on and forgetting it, and texted him day, said something about a I got the hint, but WHY??? Why not just say it to me directly?? "You're crazy and it's too much for me to handle." What do they gain by saying NOTHING?

    I don't like brutal honesty but I can dish it and deal it and I expect other adults to be the same. I have no idea why this shit is okay because I'd never do it. Like you said, exactly, I'd much rather say "don't message me creep" and make it clear on all fronts how I felt about it and set a clear boundary.

    Telling me we're fine and we can move forward (and he even said something like "I'm a stubborn person and I'm in this long past the point of giving up" what???) and then disappearing like you died??? Who? Why? What?

    Is it just men who do this?

    anyway thank you again. I'm sorry you too have to deal with this ridiculousness but at the very least I feel like I'm not a smelly leper anymore, because I was really starting to doubt myself....

    1. I am so sorry that you have dealt with this too. I just feel like men theses days are a bit heartless. I am betting that women do it too though. There is a big disconnect in the way we meet people these days. Communicating with someone online makes us less inclined to think of them as real human beings with feelings, lives, emotions. I think this is why people ghost. In the case of the guy you were actually dating, he's a douchebag and a coward. You are better off! Thanks for reading hun, hang in there!!