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Dating for anyone – regardless of any age group or gender can be a confronting, daunting and overwhelming experience – yet it can also be a wonderful time in seeking love and companionship. It is really showing a very human and vulnerable side of oneself. Trust is paramount in any relationship, but it is of most importance in dating. It builds the foundation of the relationship – and henceforth you can speak and with time, reveal your innermost thoughts and feelings and to share experiences. When trust is broken, it is irreversible. However, to be fair, not all online dating experiences will end up in ghosting.

Yet, ghosting and dating is more a complex phenomenon that has always been here. Online dating has just so happened to have highlighted the problem in recent years. 

Ghosting is defined as stopping all forms of communication with a person – without any explanation whatsoever. Since we live in such a digital age and dependency of the online world, especially when it comes to online dating and communication, blocking is highly volatile to occur in ghosting. 

Why do people ghost?

Ghosting occurs in all forms of relationships – whether it is work relationships, friendships, or  family relationships, It is most prevalent in online dating.

Nothing is more hurtful when you’re on a date with someone who has ghosted you. For a person who has been ghosted, you do begin to question yourself of what went wrong. Did you ask the wrong questions? Were they too personal? Did this person not like you? Did I do something wrong? No! You did nothing wrong. IT  IS NOT YOU. IT IS THEM. They’re the one with the problem. 

The most obvious reason why someone has blocked or ghosted you is mostly due to emotional immaturity. These individuals aren’t willing to be honest with their dates.- They aren’t willing to speak the truth, with honesty and compassion. Yes, honesty and truth can hurt when someone doesn’t like you. However,  it is better to hear something along the lines of: “I’m so sorry, but I don’t think this isn’t going to work out.”, or “I”m sorry, but I don’t feel the chemistry or the spark” other than being ghosted – with no response and no contact. 

Ghosting is taking an easy way out of a situation. It can feel and the response is very cowardly. It doesn’t provide the closure that the other party needs. For the other party – the person who was the ghostee,(the person who has been ghosted.) would like to understand if the other person feels that “chemistry” or “spark”. If not, that’s okay, most individuals would like to know as it then aids more focus towards dating for the right person. 

Ghosting is even more complicated when two parties are involved in a sexual relationship. One person may be led to believe that this relationship is exclusive. Therefore, when ghosting happens, it is more painful and hurtful, especially to the party that is left with a broken heart. This is more than a misunderstanding or two, or a lack of communication. No matter how long the sexual relationship may have been (from a few days or months) ghosting can still occur and can be just as painful, hurtful and upsetting. It is difficult to rebuild trust issues with the right person after this happens. 

Another reason why a person may ghost another is because they have something to hide. Granted, they themselves may be struggling with their own mental health, self-esteem issues, their ego, past experiences with dating, or yes – the ghoster already has a partner or is married. Therefore, you are left wondering why someone would want to be still on the dating field in the first place if they are partnered or married. For some people – it is for curiosity,  and sex. No strings attached, in the ghosters mind. Therefore, if – and – a big if, their delusional expectations, is that they can get away with it. 

Ghosting and in extreme cases – blocking someone on social media is a way of dealing with avoidance together with a complex situation of not taking responsibility for others feelings or acknowledgement. This also applies for the ghoster as acknowledging their own feelings and responsibility for the involvement of the situation. Partly, it could be the thrill of dating or “seeing” more than one person, and can they get away with it without being caught. 

In all honesty, there could be many reasons why people ghost another person. But in highsight, it shows their true colours. They are truly not ready for an emotionally committed relationship with another person, which for many of us, craves. 

How to cope with ghosting in an online world 

Have realistic expectations

We all get excited about the prospect of a successful date – with the hope of many more in the future. (Of course if you like the person!) But for the reality of the online world, have realistic expectations. Not everything you see online is actually what you would get in real life. Think about all the different apps and online websites – is everyone truly honest on their profile?

Meet at a Public place

If you are meeting a new beau, or lady, please meet in a public place (if possible). I know it’s difficult during lockdowns and restrictions. 

Make a Plan 

If you are going to meet a new date  – please make a plan! If things go pear-shaped, call your bestie, your sibling, your mum or dad – anyone whom you can trust – to help you to get out of there. Send a text or phone call for them to pick you up. You can have a cry, or a whinge, when you get home. Get plenty of your favourite food too. 

Set Boundaries

Once a person has ghosted you, please don’t allow this person back into your life, if they have blocked/ghosted you. Sometimes, some people change their minds and unblocked you, or unghost you – but please stay firm and strong. The right person is out there for you. You just need to find Mr or Mrs Right. 

Understand that Dating takes time 

Dating is a wonderful experience, but unfortunately, some people, (not everyone) aren’t willing to grow up. Learn from the ghosters mistakes and treat people the way you wish to be treated – with respect and  honesty. Dating takes time. 

Follow your Intuition

If something doesn’t quite add up on your first date, follow your gut feeling. 

Be kind to yourself. 

Allow your heart to heal. We all deserve love, and all of us deserve loving, honest and respectful relationships. You will find the right person for you. 

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