Having been single for a while now, I have found dating pretty tough (hopefully I’m not the only one). I spent my teenage years in an area near Liverpool ( for those of you that are interested it’s called the Wirral – most people haven’t heard of it and think I’ve made it up, but trust me it’s real).
I found dating at home quite difficult, mainly because the area was so small that everyone knew everyone, so guys were either your exes or your friends’ exes. I thought moving to London would make dating so much easier. I mean there’s over 8 million people to choose from, albeit once you narrow that down in terms of gender and age it’s probably around 2/3 million but still, that’s a hell of lot more people than there were on the Wirral.
But having lived and dated here for over a year now I’ve found that actually the reason that gave me hope for finding someone, is one of my biggest pain factors. Yes there are 2 million people to choose from, but that also means they have 2 million women to choose from. And in a city with so many beautiful women, it definitely makes you feel like you have to up your ante when it comes to dating.
I know you shouldn’t compare but when there are slimmer, fitter, taller, fashionable, successful women all around you, it’s hard not to. It’s hard not to think, why is he dating me and not her?
My housemate had this exact thought last weekend when she was messaging a guy who was a friend of a friend, he had asked her on a date twice but every time she tried to lock him down for a date he would stop replying to her messages and at the moment of writing this, they have yet to meet.
She shared her woes around this guy with our housemate Frank who immediately told her she had been ‘ghosted.’ For those of you that like me, didn’t know what ghosting meant until now, the urban dictionary defines it as an ‘act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone who is the subject of dating but you no longer wish to date. This is done in the hope that the ‘ghostee’ will get the hint and leave you alone.’
Is this really what our generation of dating has come down to? Men (and most probably some women too) have become so lazy, so cowardly, that they don’t feel the need to provide any justification or explanation behind their loss of interest in someone?
After asking more friends if they had heard of the term ‘ghosting’ or had infact been ghosted/ghosted someone, it seemed a great number of them had, according to the Guardian 80% of millennials have experienced it.
I can only presume that the main reason for this is that due to the likes of dating apps like Bumble and Tinder, people have become pickier in what they want and in doing so, made their recipient more disposable of, as their next potential date is only a right swipe away.
It goes to show just how brutal our dating world has become, how unpredictable individuals can be. At what point can we feel safe from being ghosted? The 3rd/5th/10th date? Or are we always going to be susceptible to it if we meet our partners over the internet?
I suppose it can used in our favour, and I have to admit I have done it a couple of times after dates that were particularly terrible and I had absolutely zero interest in ever seeing the guy again. It saved an awkward conversation of a ‘thanks but no thanks.’ Most people seem to get the hint straight away (albeit it some guys need to text a couple more times to realise they aren’t getting a response).
Could ghosting perhaps become a useful tactic? Allowing us to filter individuals in such a way that we won’t end up settling in relationships that we know we aren’t happy in, because we know just how easy and quick it is to find someone else. Or, will it lead to a string of unhappy relationships as we seek out people with unrealistic expectations of hoping to find the perfect individual?