A few months ago, I went on a date with a funny, fit boy. By the end of it we were acting coupley, and he text me the next day asking me out again. A few weeks passed while we were both on holiday. He messaged me when I returned asking what days I was free. I replied saying “whenever’s good for you”… and he never spoke to me again.
Ghosting – the 21st century equivalent of blanking your date next time you see them in the pub – is becoming increasingly common. To ghost someone is to cut off contact with no supposed reason, sometimes blocking their number/deleting them from social media.
But there’s a twist in this ghost story – u spooked hun? – because in fact, I have ghosted people in the past. I’m not trying to be a bitch, but I have my reasons, and I’m sure everyone who does it has their own bizarre explanation.
The pros of ghosting someone
This is pretty obvious – it’s easy AF to stop contacting someone rather than explaining why you’ve got the ick. Whether you don’t fancy them, you were put off by them constantly talking about their ex, or you’ve had the realisation it’s not going anywhere, it’s going to be awkward telling them. By ghosting someone, they’ll get the message you aren’t interested and stop trying. It might not offer the most closure, but it’s a lot simpler than messaging your one-night-Tinder-date the real reason you don’t wanna go with them to their friend’s birthday drinks.
The cons of ghosting someone
This is also pretty obvious – it can come across quite harsh and petty. The mature, moral thing to do is just suck it up and tell the person you don’t see things going further. Ghosting also leaves people in a weird limbo, constantly checking their messages and wondering whether their date has moved abroad or lost their phone.
If you’re more invested than just a few dates, ghosting crosses the questionable line and moves into full sociopath territory. I know people who have been seeing someone for months, met their family, been on weekends away – only for all contact to be cut without explanation. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that’s weird. If you’re committed, you’re morally obliged to explain that you’re not into it anymore. If you don’t feel guilty for suddenly, inexplicably ignoring someone who’s basically your gf/bf – you’ve definitely got a few issues to work on…
The lowdown: is ghosting OK?
Yes, but also no. If you’ve only been on one date with someone, you don’t owe each other anything. The fact they cut contact with you is a good indicator that they don’t want anything more. It sucks, but if someone wants to talk to you they will, and if they don’t, they weren’t right for you.
However, if you’re more than a couple of dates in, it definitely is not alright. The fact you’ve met more than once shows there’s something between you. Whether it’s mutual attraction or a shared enjoyment of mid-week cocktails, at this point you should explain that you’re sacking it off. If you’re really struggling for inspiration, you can always go for the classic “I don’t know what I want right now and it’s unfair to keep stringing you along” garnished with a lovely “I’m not in the right place right now”. They’ll probably get annoyed at you, but they’ll get over it.