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?
I agree with some of your points, to be sure, but I think the case is better made that depending on how you go about it, both women and men can equally feel “ruined” by Tinder. With so little info to go on, it’s difficult to know the intentions and expectations of your match. Maybe she’s looking for a hook-up tonight, and he’s wanting a simple dinner date. Or he’s just checking out who’s around, while she is determined to find her soulmate.
There are a lot of people writing about their experiences – just google “Tinder love stories” or “Tinder fails”…it’s just another way to approach meeting people, and I don’t think swiping at your phone screen can be the only strategy. It can tend to feel like a video game. But sometimes it might lead to exactly what you’re looking for. These things can happen in the most unlikely ways.
Ghosting can happen in many situations, not just online. For tons of reasons. And if you find yourself stalking their Instagram and Facebook to keep tabs, then I wonder if you’d be inclined to do the same in a more traditional dating situation… that’s an insecurity that is far more deep-seated than an app could create.
I like when someone actually wants to know how my day went. Hopefully it’s a serious question, or just a shy start, and not a sign that you have to hold the the entire convo on your own. But again, I’m sure there are women who do the same thing. And if I had a shitty day, I can answer truthfully, and suggest maybe we chat another time. If he respects that, that’s a pretty good sign.
After joining Tinder, I chatted with two of the most interesting men I’ve met in quite a while. (And a few that just didn’t click for me, or them, so we let it go at that. No worries.) But with these two men, with interests and experiences similar to mine, it was light and relaxed. We didn’t talk about relationship goals – we chatted about hikes we’ve both done, places we’ve both visited, art & music, family and work. Even if there is no chemistry in person, or if one of us is just not into a dating scenario, it’s nice to find two new friends to get to hang out with, go for a beer and talk with.
Tinder is not the final solution to dating… but it might lead to that “old-fashioned” chemistry, respect & communication. Dating has become somewhat unconventional, but that doesn’t need to screw with our self-esteem or self-worth. Be yourself in all new relationship – friendships, dating, online, in person – that’s the only way to make an authentic connection.
Cheers… and keep us posted 😉
Hey Kimberly! I totally agree with all of your points.. I think everyone will have slightly differing views of Tinder depending on what experiences they had. When I lived in a small village, I was treated very differently to when I’ve dated in London using Tinder. But ultimately you are right, women can be just as harsh as men, I guess I’m just basing my post on my experiences and those of the girls around me. But I definitely agree that the key is to just be yourself, regardless of how and where you meet someone.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂
My thoughts were based mostly on your Tinder post, but it is definitely interesting to hear your point of view.
Ghosting isn’t new… My first experience with it was pre-internet, pre-cell phone. For a number of messed up reasons, I completely ghosted on a guy. Didn’t return phone calls or letters. I was the first girl he ever loved.
As things turned out, thanks to the internet, Facebook to be specific, he contacted me last year. I finally explained my actions… 23 years after the fact. It was very healing, but hard, for both of us. It led to both closure and a renewed relationship.
Yes I can totally imagine that the behaviour would have existed prior to the Internet and would probably have been easier to do aswell!
That’s great! l bet that was great closure for you both after such a long time, I’m glad you were able to do that! 🙂
Ghosting is such a cowardly, stupid thing! My girlfriend was invited to her guy’s family dinner to meet his teenage daughters and his elderly mother after dating for two months. She thought the dinner went great, very casual and relaxed. The next day he ghosted her and that was it!
oh my goodness! That is awful. It just goes to show that it can happen at any age/situation. Thank you for sharing!
You think you have pretty good intuition and then BAM you get ghosted. I was flabbergasted and still am…I shared this in my most recent blog post. It just becomes very hard to trust people!
It really does! You doubt yourself and every move you make incase it suddenly makes them flip and stop speaking to you.
This is why I don’t date. I don’t have time for the games.
As someone who is nearly two decades older than you, American, and dating older, lazier versions of man-children, I can only confirm that the reason they stay single at this age is that they have never been forced to communicate. They still love to ghost. They also love to try to come back and act as if they never disappeared in the first place. If we are ever crazy enough to get married, I hope it’s to partners who dislike electronics and games. <3
Thank you so much for sharing this! It’s so insightful to know this. I guess whereas women tend to have a set time period where they stop casual dating and look for something more serious, men don’t tend to have that rush and it seems can drag out this selfish behaviour for decades!
Controversial and thought provoking article. I admit I have ghosted people before and I have been the victim of ghosting also. I guess it is a cowardly act. Its much more decent to break it off with someone and at least give them a reason why (I don’ think we’re compatible etc). But in the age of: dating apps, uber and ebay, people want their products quick and that involves brushing aside what they don’t want. I guess as society has gotten so fast, people feel they don’t have time to cater to peoples feelings. That’s another reason I think online dating isn’t healthy. People see dating profiles as products instead of human beings. I’m guessing ghosting started in the online dating world and then moved into the real world. I guess the best thing to do if you get ghosted is to just not take it personal. Realize that it wasn’t meant to be and look for someone else.
Exactly! I couldn’t agree more with your line about people seeing dating profiles as products instead of human beings and that ultimately impacts the way they treat people and can explain the harsh treatments many people receive on them!
I think initially it hurts my pride a lot to be ghosted but then I sort of swallow it and understand that its just saving an awkward conversation. Here is a male perspective on ghosting …. https://thesoberhombre.com/2017/01/26/i-got-ghosted/
Ultimately I think that’s why people do it, to save for that awkward conversation in the end. I’ll check out your article now!