In the era of digital dating, it can be challenging to adapt to the dismissive ‘cattle market’ system of swiping left and right to find someone authentic to be your partner. Unfortunately for dating app users, this process has unearthed some supernatural tendencies in the form of ‘Ghosting’.
What exactly is ghosting?
By definition, ‘Ghosting’ is where someone at any stage of a relationship unexpectedly cuts off all communication with the other person in the situation. As well as describing ignoring someone you’ve just started talking to, or someone you’ve been with for years, it can also be used to describe ignoring platonic friends.
This disappearing act can leave the other party somewhat hurtful and confused as to why they have got so dismissively expelled from your life.
Why is the ‘Ghosting’ epidemic growing?
According to former psychotherapy centre head, Dr. Vilhauer, people would traditionally meet their partners very early in life through social circles (or circles close to those). Vilhauer went onto tell the New York Times that people now settle down several years later than they did in the 20th century. This extended dating cycle explains why casual dating now lasts way into our twenties and thirties even, and a byproduct of this is feeling less accountable to people you date.
Who’s ghosting who?
Fortunately for us, BankMyCell, a cell phone trade-in website in the US, carried out a recent survey asking over 1,500 millennials what frequent dating app lies they have told and to share their experiences with ‘Ghosting.’ Out of the survey results, they break down the activity from their male and female respondents as follows:
Female ‘Ghosting’ survey results:
- 29% said they got ghosted before
- 26% said they ghosted someone
- 27% said they’ve been ghosted and do ghost people too
Male ‘Ghosting’ survey results:
- 20% said they got ghosted before
- 15% said they ghosted someone
- 36% said they’ve been ghosted and do ghost people too
The survey data suggests that 53% of women are ever so slightly more inclined to ‘ghost’ someone on apps like Tinder than men at 51%.
Why do people get ignored?
When asked what the main reason is behind ghosting someone, 50% of females and 38% of males responded saying they merely wanted to avoid confrontation. This standout figure suggests that most of the 18-35-year-olds surveyed use ghosting as an avoidance mechanism, instead of being upfront with their feelings or dropping a classic cliché to let someone down.
Three dating app adjustments to make from this data:
1. Over half of ghosting comes from ignoring confrontation
Deal with your emotions surrounding confrontation a little differently, if something isn’t working out just let the person know in a relaxed fashion. You don’t have to drop a bomb, instead gently explain it’s not working out for you and you don’t want to string them along, wishing them all the best. Most people will take this on the chin and have closure; this also benefits you by building responsibility and a more adult approach to your dating etiquette.
Likewise, if you’re on the receiving end, take a minute to play it cool and approach your response with logic rather than losing your composure or emotionally bombarding someone with messages.
2. Portray yourself honestly in your profile and messages
According to BankMyCell’s survey, 28% of men and 17% of women have ghosted someone for not looking like their profile photos. Of course, you want to portray the best version of yourself to get matches, but that person will find out at some point that you’ve changed from that photo taken five years ago on vacation.
It’s also worth mentioning this includes photos that are filtered to an unrecognizable level, this can discourage people from swiping right on you if you’re not authentic and confident about your own image.
3. Don’t come on too strong
One in six men and one in ten women ghosted their partners for being too needy and clingy. It’s important to mirror the speed the other person is going at and subtly check it’s still moving in the direction you want. Giving the person breathing room is important as everyone’s attraction levels grow at different rates; patience is key!
Coming on too strong with your feelings, labeling something after a few dates and even the bombardment of messages/calls can get you ghosted fast.
What did we learn?
We need to embrace change in society and the world of online dating. Apps have made it very simple to swipe past faces, match and put in some groundwork – However it’s not an excuse to be an idiot! Our values and vulnerabilities change as we get older, but one thing is for sure, ‘ghosting’ and lying is not the way to find a partner.