I Vow to Never Ghost Again: Take the Anti-Ghosting Challenge

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.

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.

Don’t be an ass!

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. 

It’s not you, it’s me. 

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:

instead of ghosting text

Here’s a Not Interested Text after a third date with a guy was super sweet, just not right for me:

not interested text

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!

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

5 thoughts on “I Vow to Never Ghost Again: Take the Anti-Ghosting Challenge

  1. I admit to ghosting two different girls in my early 20s, way before I even knew “ghosting” was a thing, or that the term even existed. It seemed like such an easy escape when I did it, but in some back corner of my mind, I still feel like a real asshole when I look back on it.

    Lately I have found a great way to avoid doing it: I just don’t date anyone anymore. 😛

    (Great blog, by the way! I’m a recent discoverer.)

  2. Good morning Mary Lane. I can’t deny that I’m a little surprised to find that someone thousands of miles away has listened to something I said, not once, but twice.

    In reply to your first response to my comment, yes,I believe it is that simple. That is to say, it is that simple if what you’re looking for is something real, something tangible. A glimpse of that elusive gate that may open onto the path to true unadulterated love.

    Have you never been on a date that turned into a full day/night, just being together and laughing, talking, basking, growing in each other’s presence? A time and place you’ve never wanted to leave? I believe you need to at least feel a percentage of this effect for anything meaningful to occur. Obviously, this is not to be confused with lust; an altogether different beast.

    You can’t listen to me for a third time however, or you may as well just wear a bracelet inscribed with the words, “What would Steven think?”….:-)

  3. I love this so much because I went through the EXACT same thing for a year until I met my current boyfriend last summer. I went on 26 online dates in one year! I had the same feelings you mentioned – “He’s really nice and attractive … maybe I should give him another chance.” Sometimes I’d go on 3-4 dates trying to make a feeling happen.

    But finally, on the 26th date, I found what I was looking for. I had so much fun just talking to him, and I couldn’t wait to see him again. I never thought that would happen, and after 25 other dates I was sure I wasn’t capable of feeling that.

    Back to your point of ghosting, I had the same experience. I felt terrible at the thought of being ghosted, and I felt like it was my responsibility as a decent human being to be honest even though it’s SO HARD to send that one little text. And in every case, the guy was super nice about it and thankful that I didn’t waste his time with maybes or blow him off with no response at all. People appreciate respect!

  4. GOD I love this. I was ghosted once – like GHOSTED- we were seeing each other for a little over a month and homeboy FELL OFF THE EARTH. No signs, no warnings, no nothing – and then never responded when I made an adult move and texted him basically saying, “I get it; it’s over – but can you just let me know what happened for my own sanity?” Nope. It’s SUCH a shitty thing to do and this post hilariously explains why you’re a douche canoe if you do it. (And also how easy it is to say “thanks but no thanks). You’re amazing!

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