As I lay in bed the day after New Years Eve, with last night’s makeup still lingering in the little crease right below my eyes, covered in temporary tattoos (I was at a party where rules were, for each drink consumed, you needed to add a temporary tattoo), wishing I’d stopped one (OK, maybe two) beverages prior to the one that put me over the edge and made a hangover imminent and, that made that text I drunkenly sent to the guy who inspired this blog post seem like a good idea, I decided it was as good a time as any to ponder my New Year’s resolution.
Resolutions are for the most part attempts at self-improvement — I’m going to lose weight; I’m going to go to the gym more; I’m going to get a new job. I, on the other hand decided to put self-betterment aside for the moment and plow full steam ahead into 2017 with a resolution that will benefit others. No more ghosting.
A quick definition/refresher course for those of you who may not be familiar with this term (as apparently, some lucky people have made it through to 2017 none the wiser), ghosting is the act wherein one disappears after going on a date, with no explanation. It tends to occur when one party or the other was under the impression that a date went well and reaches out to attempt setting up another date only to be ignored and likely, never to hear from said person again. It’s bad enough to do this after one date but I’ve heard tales of people ghosting after two, three, even four dates, sometimes even after sleeping with someone! When I was a wee little thing, before ghosting even had a proper term, I dated a guy for three months and then all contact was immediately cut off. To this day, I have no idea what happened.
Sadly, ghosting has become very commonplace. Everyone does it with little to no remorse — it’s just become our get out of jail free card to say, I’m not interested. I’ve even applied for jobs and been ghosted when the recruiter has decided I’m not a good fit for the position. But when you take a step back and think about it, it’s pretty much the most disrespectful thing you can do to a person, whether in dating or with job opportunities. It’s essentially saying, I don’t think you’re important enough or worthy of my time to even warrant explaining why I’m not interested.
As human beings, we often need closure to move on. And much as we can call up our friends for validation that “They must be an a**hole,” or “You’re better than them,” at the end of the day, that simple explanation does so much to make us feel better about being rejected. As is, we spend so much time prior to meeting, hiding behind screens in an effort to keep people at an arm’s length. We swipe right on people with no intention of ever chatting with them, simply to see if they’ll swipe back. We make dates and blow them off when something better comes along. We act like dicks to complete strangers. Which is why it’s even worse when you’ve gone on a date or two and begin establishing a rapport with someone, to have them just disappear.
When I’ve asked friends why they ghost, it’s often because they just don’t know what to say and “don’t want to be mean.” Because it’s so much easier to just disappear. Because that way, when the person writes back and wants to have a dialogue about why you’re turning them down, you don’t have to deal with it. When they say ‘but we had such a great connection’, you don’t have to feel any pangs of remorse. It’s the easiest way to not take any ownership or responsibility for the situation.
Let me tell you, having been on the other end of the spectrum, any excuse is better than nothing. Don’t know what to say? Get in touch with me! I’d be happy to come up with a great, authentic-sounding explanation for you. Here are a few to start with:
- I started seeing someone right around the same time as we met and things just got a bit more serious, so I’m going to give it a go.
- I’m really preoccupied with work right now and don’t have time to focus on something new.
- I got back together with my ex.
- I’m moving to China.
The possibilities are endless. Seriously, give me a shout if you need help.
And so, my resolution for 2017 is to not be an a**. To extend respect to those who are willing to take their time to meet me, even if I don’t want to date them. To be better than those jerks out there and most importantly, to treat people the way I want to be treated. Happy 2017 all and #nomoreghosting