The Phenomenon of “Ghosting”

Dating expert, Claire Certain Head of Global Trends at Happn, she gets asked all the time about dating app trends and online dating culture.

One of the key things that comes up all the time, is the phenomenon of “ghosting”, which is when someone stops communication after:

– You’ve been on multiple dates
– You’ve organised a first date, but your crush doesn’t follow through with the plan
– You are exclusive (monogamous and/or girlfriend and boyfriend) and you suddenly stop receiving communication
– You’ve discussed your future together and made plans as a couple

image via pinterest

As you can see, ‘ghosting’ is something that can occur both online and in real life (IRL), but is made much easier with the rise in communication technologies such as dating apps, which remove that layer of visual and physical accountability.

Indeed, dating apps are incredibly useful tools for people who’ve traditionally struggled to strike up that initial ‘conversation in a bar’, or for those looking to expand their chances of finding love outside of their immediate social or geographical circle. However, we are all still exploring and negotiating the unspoken rules of online dating and modern dating etiquette.

In light of this, here is my advice for “ghosts” and “the ghosted”:

If you’re a ghost

For the most part, people who ‘ghost’ do so accidentally, or because they feel uncomfortable with letting someone down face-to-face. In most instances, people I’ve spoken with have stopped communication because they felt really bad about hurting someone’s feelings and weren’t sure of the best way to go about that conversation!

In this case, I recommend to be honest, be open and keep the other person’s feelings in mind. Whether it’s face-to-face, via text, or chatting in a dating app, just let that person know that you don’t reciprocate their feelings and/or interest in the nicest way possible. It’s much nicer than going AWOL!

If you’ve been ghosted

As I mentioned, ghosts usually don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings – they just don’t know any other way to make it known that they don’t quite feel a connection!

If you find yourself being ghosted, I recommend keeping it in mind that you may not know what is going on behind the scenes in someone’s life – there could be many reasons for their lack of contact and nothing to do with you! Additionally, they may simply be too nervous to have that conversation and/or hurt your feelings, so I recommend not getting angry or resentful, as it may not help their fear of confrontation. For future crushes or dates, I recommend being honest and letting the other person know that you value honesty as this will make things a lot easier in the long run!

 

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