Once upon a time, if someone said they were being ‘ghosted’, you would think they were being haunted by a spooky spirit.
But, in recent years the phrase “ghosting” has become a popular term for a bad dating practice, whereby the so-called “ghoster” cuts off all contact with someone they’re romantically involved with, rather than formally ending the relationship.
While this may seem like terrible behaviour, figures show 92% of singles have experienced ghosting at one time or another. This could include anything from cutting off contact after a first date to going silent on a more long-term thing.
“Today’s dating culture is unpredictable, more people than not are getting ghosted by their date,” said Maria Sullivan, Vice President and Relationship Expert of Dating.com.
She added: “If you are ghosted, make sure to call out that person, ask for clarification on why they lost interest, this will help to put your mind at ease. After, delete the person’s number along with all social media connections, you don’t need their negative energy in your life.”
Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to know how it all went wrong. Some 48% of those ghosted don’t know why it happened but the Dating.com survey sheds light on the most common reasons for ghosting.
It seems, first and foremost, it’s done because the ghoster simply loses interest – that accounts for 63% of cases.
Some 45% also admitted to disappearing after a first date due to a lack of connection, while 15% claimed the decision was motivated by their date looking different to how they did in their online dating photos.
Yet, when an individual answer isn’t given, it’s important to practise kindness towards yourself after you are ghosted by a romantic prospect, Sullivan advised, rather than puzzling over why it happened.
“If you find yourself in a situation where you are ghosted, it is important that you don’t blame yourself, the person ghosting you probably wasn’t the one for you anyway.”
As for when the right person comes along, Sullivan recommends three go-to pieces of advice to make sure the early stage of dating go to plan.
“Show interest in the life of the person you’re dating and ask questions.”
“Don’t give it all away at the start- keep them guessing and wanting to know more about you.”
“Even though they might be difficult to spot, don’t ignore red flags when noticed.”