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Getting 'ghosted' is one of the worst parts of dating

Ally Hirschlag is a producer/actor/writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY and buys way too many toys for her cats. She contributes to several publications, including Bustle, and The Nerve, and enjoys writing about all things woman. In her spar...

Ghosting: The modern dating phenomenon, and why it may have happened to you

Have you ever gotten roped into going on a blind date, and the guy/girl just never showed up? You spend the rest of the night wondering how someone who's never even met you could write you off so easily. Well, now there's something even worse. The modern dating world has dubbed it "ghosting," and it's when you have a promising first date with someone, and then never hear from them again. People are awesome, huh?

Ghosting has become more commonplace now that online dating is such a prevalent part of our society. While it essentially makes it much easier to accept dates, it does the same for date rejection.

Most attribute the ease of ghosting to the fact that online dating dehumanizes potential suitors. Dating apps, especially ones like Tinder, reduce "matches" down to a picture you can simply swipe away. Chelsea, a 25-year-old single New Yorker told the Huffington Post, "even after one or two dates they are still just a profile to you, not a person. I don't feel the normal empathy I would for someone I met organically." Plus ghosting is easier than having "the conversation" — even if that conversation could happen over a few measly texts.

But the question remains, just because it's easy to do, does that make it fair? I polled some friends who've been on both sides of the dating ghost to get a better sense of why it happens, and the effect it has.

The promise of a second date...

Ghosting: The modern dating phenomenon, and why it may have happened to you

Image: Giphy

Mollie, a native New Yorker, went on a date that seemed like it went great, so when she didn't hear from the guy, she reached out to him for answers.

"The date was with a guy I met online and already had a few days of text flirting with. We had a great date; spent a few hours at a beer garden in the West Village, and then walked around Washington Square Park. The date was probably like 5 hours or so. He said he wondered what my hair looked like if I wore it down, and I told him I would wear it down if he asked me on another date, which he pretty much did. Crickets. I finally called him a few days later (I am not one to stand on ceremony) and he said he just didn't feel a connection."

While Mollie said the feelings were pretty mutual on her end, she had just wanted to know for sure either way so she could let it go. Props to you, girl, for being the brave one and calling that dude out!

The ghoster becomes the ghostee

Chelsea, our NYC ghoster from earlier, also has experience being on the "ghosted" end of the stick. "I'm a total hypocrite in that respect. I'll ghost someone without a second thought but when it happens to me I'm the first to run to my girlfriends in disbelief saying, 'The least he could do is let me down easy.'"

Ghosting in person is no small feat

Ghosting: The modern dating phenomenon, and why it may have happened to you

Image: Giphy

Charlotte actually ghosted her now boyfriend in person, which sounded impossible to me at first, until she explained the scenario.

"I *almost* ghosted my now boyfriend, because it seemed like he wanted something serious, but I was really, really busy with work at the time.[...] He asked me out for the coming weekend and I just didn't say anything at all, and got on my bike and left (drinks were involved). Then I texted a few days later to respond affirmatively; he still makes fun of me for this to this date."

I know it's not a total ghost, but the image of her just jumping on her bike and leaving right at the moment of confrontation was just too good not to include.

Guys get ghosted too

Gregg, an artist who actually taught at my high school, jumped back in the dating pool four years ago, and needless to say, has had his fair share of ghosting experiences. He elaborates on one in particular:

"Thought it went well, we laughed, had good conversation, heck she even met me for coffee later... then nothing. No texts no anything. I don't know if I prefer that or the woman who showed up, never got off her cell phone and quite obviously looked me up and down, and said actually I have to meet friends for lunch."

Remember, ladies, guys aren't the only ones who can be harsh and dismissive in this crazy dating world.

I'm a great date, and it's just too easy to ghost when they're not

Ghosting: The modern dating phenomenon, and why it may have happened to you

Image: Giphy

Lola, a pretty regular dater, is just normally enthusiastic and engaged on dates, even if she's not super interested in the guy in question. This makes ghosting a common thing for her.

"I'm just a very intensely enthusiastic person. I think on a first date everyone takes that personally and thinks I'm excited about them. I'm generally more enthusiastic about the date than I am about the person."

She told me she doesn't feel obligated to explain to every date why she's not interested in them. She (like the rest of us) is a busy lady, and the modern dating system has simply adapted to accommodate that.

More on dating

The 7 sad truths of dating someone who lives with his parents
10 Date night topics that should be considered taboo
9 Red flags your guy is 'gaslighting' you and what to do

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