I hate ghosting. This plague on modern romance is the bane of my single existence. My loathing is so strong, I’m thinking of organizing an Anti-Ghosting rally in Times Square. We’ll carry signs and everyone with think we’re promoting the month old Ghostbusters flick.
DON’T PLAY DEAD, BE ALIVE! STOP GHOSTING, AMERICA!
2-4-6-8 WHY CAN’T YOU COMMUNICATE?
What do we want? WORDS!
When do we want ’em? WHEN YOU BREAK UP WITH US!
Who’s with me? I’m almost serious. At least it’d be something to take our minds off the god-forsaken, “Did they text back yet? … Maybe now?” quandary.
After being painfully ghosted once after 5 dates and another time after TWO MONTHS, I’ve become so anti-ghosting I vowed never to ghost again. Not even after one date. That means I’ve been sending a lot of bummer texts lately. As an actress well versed in improv comedy, these texts go against all the YES-AND instincts I’ve honed over the years.
Him: Wanna go on a second date?
Me: NO-AND I don’t like you.
That sucks. But it’s infinitely better than being on stage under the lights, everyone looking at you, and your scene partner never fucking appears.
See, I’ve been on a string of dead end dates recently. Maybe it’s because I turned 30, maybe it’s because “Steven” (hi Steven!) left this great comment on a blog post about a meh 3rd date:
“If you’re deciding whether you like the gentleman on the third date, you don’t like the gentleman.”
Thanks Steve, your comment honestly changed my life. I’ve started saying “No” much more frequently. No more, “First dates are awkward, I didn’t feel a connection but maybe I will on a second date? He was a decent human being, that deserves a second chance, right?” No. But decent human beings DO deserve a text saying I’m not interested. I might ghost the rude assholes, the pushy douchebags, the jerks unlikely to take “no” for an answer. But I haven’t been on a date with a guy like that in years. These days it’s mostly guys who are great, just not great for me…
Oh sure, I see the allure of ghosting. But I say the reasoning is lamer than making a white sheet your Halloween costume.
But I’m just soooo busy! I don’t have time to reply to a guy I never want to see again!
EYE ROLL. 1. You’re not THAT busy.
2. You can take 30 seconds to send one text.
3. It will actually save YOU time- no checking your phone, no reading texts from a guy you have no interest in!
4. You save HIM time: human decency bonus!
But, but, I don’t know what to say!
I’ve said it before: I’d rather be told “FUCK OFF” than ignored. Both show the exactly the same lack of respect as far as I’m concerned. You can be honest: It was nice meeting you but I don’t see this going any where.
Isn’t it that simple? You shouldn’t need to say any more.
Or, if you insist, Chose Your Own Cliché:
I didn’t really feel chemistry.
Work just got crazy, timing sucks!
I realized I’m not over my ex.
But why not be honest? I’d prefer an honest, if vague, “Not feeling it. Sorry.” over any nicey-nicey obvious bullshit. Wouldn’t you?
But, but, but what if he doesn’t take no for an answer!?
Chances are he will thank you for being upfront, honest, and having the courtesy not to ghost. If he doesn’t take no for an answer, then by all means block his number. Ghost full force. I’ve sent a lot of Not Interested texts at this point, and every single response has been cordial. Don’t believe me? I can show you!
Here’s my Not Interested Text to a guy I went on one date with:
Here’s a Not Interested Text after a third date with a guy was super sweet, just not right for me:
See? How sweet is that response? Feels a lot better than ghosting! (And, for the record, I did say, “Sure, we can be friends.”….but I was relieved when nothing actually came of it.)
But, but, but, but what if I realize I made a mistake and actually do want to see him? What if in a week I’m desperate and regret shutting down this possibility? Ghosting let’s me keep the door open!
Shut up. You don’t want to see him again, you know that. But if, for some bizarre reason you do change your mind, you can text just that “I changed my mind.” If he’d respond after you being a jerk and ghosting, he’ll respond to you changing your mind. PROMISE.
Are we in agreement? Can I CHALLENGE you to take an anti-ghosting pledge with me? Try it, and it may just make you feel a little better about yourself. Call me old school as fuck, but human decency and communication are amazing, beautiful things.
Or, if you think I’m wrong and have a strong case for ghosting perfecting nice people- BRING IT! I wanna hear it!