The Big G of Dating: Ghosting

GHOSTING

You pretty much can’t date in today’s internet world without experiencing ghosting. We talk about it like it is a normal thing. ‘Oh, he ghosted me/you.’ The ease with which technology allows us to be immature and unkind to one another can be a little scary. 

Ghosting: the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

Current “Ghosting” Stories

Since I’ve been here in Colombia (6 weeks now) I have been “ghosted” by at least 6 men. I only add them to the count if we made a connection on WhatsApp outside of the Tinder app. If one of us or the other loses interest while still messaging in the app oh well. Heck, I do that all the time, yawn, boring, no more chat for you! 

The one I met in person, I really thought he had some potential. He was smart and funny and really cute. But his interest started waning and eventually I was down to a hello text from him every couple of days. Now, nothing. 

Another guy was all excited to meet me, we made plans, he disappeared. About a week or so later, he reappeared and was all chatty and texts, we made plans, he disappeared. He came back like a week and a half later. I mentioned how every time we made plans, he stopped talking to me. He apologized, assured me he REALLY wanted to meet me, (now I was curious how many times this would go on) and we said maybe over the weekend… can you guess what happened? LOL 

My tattoo artist friend is another one. He was kind of wishy-washy in and out for a while. I would get an occasional drunk text from him. Then a few days of chatting before he would disappear for a while. Recently he learned my best friend and I were out on a Friday night and he asked if I wanted him to meet up with us. I was happy to meet him finally. ‘Sure you can come to meet us!’ He wanted assurance that if he came to meet me, he would be able to stay the night with me. Say what? I haven’t even met you yet! No! You can come to meet us and I will happily leave the option open for whatever feels right by the end of the night, but no, I am not going to say you can stay the night with me before I’ve even met you. Guess who I haven’t heard from since? 

Tweet about a ghosting guy

Tweet about a ghosting guy

One of my best friends, Alistair (they guy I stayed with for 3.5 weeks in Scotland) tells me my actual odds of going on a date are never more than 50/50. Depending on what I tell him about the guy or the situation he could adjust his bet making from there… but it never starts any better than 50/50!

Dating can be tough out there people. You cannot take yourself too seriously. Especially in the beginning stages of the whole thing. 

Strategies 

As a long time dater I’ve developed a few strategies for the beginning of dating that seem to help. (I met my ex-husband when I was 38 and was dating again by 42- so I’ve been dating for a very long time!) 

1.) I never invest any emotional labor into someone I haven’t met in person. If I don’t actually know you, I might flirt and chat in text with you, but I will not “like” you or start to have ay kind of feelings for you until we’ve met in person. Until we actually meet, you are a diversion and an interesting potential opportunity, but nothing more. 

2.) I try to meet people sooner rather than later. Any of my online profiles say a variation of, “I am not interested in a texting relationship with you. Let’s meet for a glass of wine and see if there is a real in person connection.” I am easily bored with just chatting all the time if we haven’t met yet, since I am not invested in your or our friendship/emerging relationship. (See above.) 

3.) I never take any of this seriously. A first date is just that, a date. It is NOT potentially the first day of the rest of my life… (that’s every day really.) It is not potentially the day I meet the love of my life. It is nothing more than a possible adventure where I meet a new human and see if we click. Period. Too many people put way too many expectations on a single cup of coffee or glass of wine. 

4.) Most importantly, I remember that their actions don’t reflect on me or my value as a person, AT ALL. If they make the choice to remove themselves from my life without telling me about it, that’s not on me. It has nothing to do with me. That is them dealing with whatever they are dealing with. If they don’t want to be with me, that is them. Even if they have ghosted me, I am still freaking awesome. DON’T. EVER. FORGET 

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I’m very fortunate that I have never had anyone with whom I have a real, ongoing, and connected relationship ghost me. I cannot even image how awful that would feel to be ghosted like that. It would be confusing and traumatic to be abandoned in that way. I hope and pray that never happens to me. 

I did write this post once about a guy who I had been on two very lovely, romantic, and sexy dates with before he ghosted me. https://www.medium.com/@ELByrne/a-ghost-story-38aee3a292c9

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Posting this as part of the meme- #sb4mh. Check out the posts from the others talking about their experiences with ghosting and gaslighting.

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