What Ghosting is Not:
*Having some conversation with someone online and they either hide their profile or never respond to anymore messages.
*Meeting in person for one date and one date only (or a hookup) and not hearing from them again.
*Meeting someone in person and saying “we should get together some time” but never calling.
What Ghosting IS—Stopping all communication after:
*You’ve been on more than one date, especially three or more.
*You’ve set up a first date (or any subsequent ones), with a time and then hear nothing.
*You’ve been just Friends with Benefits and have decided to enter some monogamous relationship.
*You are in any semblance of an exclusive relationship be it weeks, months or years where you see each other often, refer to each other as BF/GF and such.
*You have ever talked about big commitments like marriage, creating a family, buying real estate together, are facebook official, planning your next big vacation or holiday together, clearly indicating you see your future with this person.
Here’s the things, friends…just say you stopped being interested. It’s as simple as “Hi John…really great meeting you, but I don’t think we are a match after all.” It the KIND thing to do. And it’s the way to bring good Karma to yourself in this crazy dating pond! If you’ve been in a longer relationship, like the last two examples of ghosting I made, and you really can’t draw up the courage to sit face to face with someone and tell them you’ve changed your mind (You honestly don’t even have to give a reason, or heck, make up a good one), then at least have the decency to answer their text when they are wondering why you’ve disappeared.
Why are we so afraid to be kind? In my mind that is really the gist of it. If you feel like changing the communication pattern you have established or stop all chat with your person, then it is just time to say so instead of doing a slow fade out and hoping they don’t notice. I mean, do you really think you matter so little to the other person that they won’t realize you’ve left? I teach at every seminar to just let someone know once you aren’t interested anymore. You can do it in a kind, casual and painless way.
Consider this…if you don’t explain it, their mind is programmed to try and figure out reasons and those… those can hurt, they can leave a mark, they can cause someone to get stuck and of course they can get down-right sitcom ish. Even with my most current ghost, I know at least ONE of the stories my brain created is true, the scariest of which is that I will soon see an amber alert for his children because of some things he said.
Mr. 50 is my most recent Ghost…he was my 50th first date post-divorce and we had quite a great thing going for a few months. Not perfect, not without its gaps, not without things I wanted to see improve, but a pretty easy, comfortable and a good dash of intimate chemistry. Everything seemed to be moving in the right direction…we saw each other 3-5 times a week (sometimes just a quick lunch and kiss), we had met the kids (and quite recently), he had just given me a key to his house and planning to meet each others’ friends, as well. There were no missed signs, no rhyme or reason to explain what would eventually be the BOO of a not-so-friendly ghost!
I’m a professional red-flag spotter…I tell clients each week that their objects of affection are giving you crumbs, not really into you, only after sex, have something they are hiding and on and on. How could I miss anything awry with Mr. 50? I have a coach myself…how could they miss it, too? Sometimes it does just happen at the snap of the fingers.
In my case, Mr. 50 seemed to be stressed two days before, I told him my bare needs with communication. Any men reading this before a first date with me (because some guys google me), here’s a clue to my heart for you: I have to have daily communication via text or phone…something early morning and something before bed…every fucking day from the start. Mr. 50 knew it, always was happy to communicate more than this, actually. I reminded him during his shut down mode of my needs. He said that was fair and he understood and that I shouldn’t worry less because everything was fine with US. He told me that twice…in fact it was his last text I ever got from him. Split Personality Ghost?
I always do a “kind goodbye letter” ( :I blogged about these here: ) and I even mentioned all the possible reasons I had created in my head, but you know what? Not ONE of them were about ME…or anything I did wrong or wasn’t enough of, because at the end of the day, on Tuesday I was wonderful and on Thursday I quit hearing from him again. I was still me, and I’m an awesome girlfriend, by the way…he changed.
He ghosted on himself…he chose not to show up, be heard, be an adult and just say “Hey Deb, it’s been good but I’m heading in a different direction.” Or “Hey Deb, you’ve been great but I’m leaving the country with my kids and don’t want you to get caught in the middle.” Sure I would have preferred an in-person conversation, but a measly one-sentence text is better than nothing!!!
To all of you other would-be ghosts out there…show up, be seen, be heard, put out good Karma and just send a damn text saying good luck and good night!
And to Mr. 50, Even though I’ve moved on,
I will forever be looking for that Amber Alert!