To Ghost or not to Ghost


It happens.

For those of you that are not into the online (or regular) dating scene, and haven’t been in the last 10 years, or maybe you live under a rock: Ghosting is the act of stopping all communication with a person with no explanation. Ever. It’s easier to do in the online dating world because most of the people you meet are in no way connected to your inner circle. There is very little chance of ever running into the person again, especially in some of the larger cities. Bummer if you live in a small town. Probably shouldn’t try to ghost anyone.

We all know what this really is: the person ghosting is too immature to handle confrontation. They would rather just ignore the issue, than to tell the other person, “I changed my mind.”

Dating World 2.0 has lots of challenges. I can see how the ambiguity of “casual dating” can falsely lead a person to think that because you aren’t “together” in a “relationship” then it is acceptable to skip the “breakup” stage. I feel awkward even calling it a breakup. For sure. At what point does a few dates turn into seeing someone, turn into dating, turn into exclusive? Is there a flow chart for this? Maybe a time-line of expected events and milestones? Is it ok to date someone casually for several months, or longer, and still not have a formal “breakup” conversation?

This is the part that FASCINATES me about dating. I’m obsessed with it. The idea is that you meet someone you think is cute. Awesome! Then you go out with them, share food, stories, and maybe even make out. Great! Maybe you even go do fun things – like concerts, sporting events, or bowling! Yay! And then you spend the next several weeks (or months!) repeating this pattern, avoiding talking about feelings, future plans, or commitment. Um, what? This is the part that makes the LEAST amount of sense to me. The several weeks where both parties are CLEARLY having a good time, but neither want to admit to being excited or having fun. Everyone spends all their effort being cool, and secretly freaking out in their head. WHAT IS THAT!?! WHY??????????

Next thing you know, someone is trying to hint at the idea of maybe…. possibly…. perhaps….. things progress to the exclusive (and elusive) relationship stage? Or the complete opposite. You never know. One person is faking fun, and the other is faking aloof. Scheduling becomes increasingly difficult. Then you just stop hearing from them.

I’d like to propose some guidelines. Some suggestions maybe, if you will.

  • IF you haven’t met in person, THEN ghosting is acceptable.
  • IF you have met in person for one or two dates, THEN you may tell the person via text/message you aren’t into it.
  • IF you have gone on several dates, or have been intimate on some level, THEN PLEASE HAVE THE CONVERSATION IN PERSON FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!*



*IF the event is obviously a one-night-stand situation, then please disregard all rules.


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