If there’s one word that sums up dating in our modern world, it would be “ghosting.” In the old days, a ghost was a lazy Halloween costume (you know the one – all you had to do was put on a white sheet with holes for your eyes) or something lurking in the attic. Today, a ghost is a person who basically disappears after a date or two. We’ve all been there: you think you’re on a decent first date and then you never hear from the guy ever again. Or he texts you afterwards and you’re the one to ghost, because you didn’t have as great a time as he did. Usually when we talk about ghosting, we focus on how rude and inconsiderate it is. But when you think about it, it’s not that bad and makes sense. Here are 13 times when ghosting is actually okay.
The media loves to talk about Generation Y’s lifestyle habits, and there’s been a debate about whether this generation is self-centered or compassionate. It’s kind of crazy to generalize about an entire generation. When it comes to ghosting, the number one reason many of us engage in this practice is because we don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings. Sure, we could text “It was really nice meeting you but I don’t think I’m romantically interested” but that feels awkward and mean. So instead, we ignore the incoming texts or don’t send any more. It works for us.
In a perfect universe, every first date would be fun, without any long silences, and would lead to a committed, amazing relationship. That doesn’t exist, of course. There are so many reasons that a date can flop, but the main ones would be boring conversation, no conversation at all, no attraction, no chemistry, and your date being argumentative, rude, or sexist. If you experience any of these things and the guy still contacts you asking for a second date, it’s no wonder you don’t feel like answering. You don’t exactly feel like telling him he’s a jerk so go ahead and ghost. It’s totally okay this time.
Sometimes we ghost when we don’t even want to go on the first date at all. This may seem super rude but there’s actually a good reason for it. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 40 million of those living in the U.S. are using some form of dating website – which is a crazy high number. 43 percent have no issues looking their date up on Google before meeting them. If you find out something strange after viewing someone’s online presence – angry or creepy tweets, Facebook rants, or worse (like evidence of criminal activity), then you’re 100 percent justified in cancelling the date and ghosting.
In the pre-iPhone era, a catfish was, well, a kind of fish. Thanks to the documentary Catfish and the MTV reality series of the same name, we know now that a catfish is someone who pretends to be someone else on the Internet. Unfortunately, you’ve probably had an interaction with a guy on a dating site who was lying about one thing or another, whether his name, age, job, where he lives, etc. Why would you feel bad about ghosting someone who’s clearly lying to you? You don’t owe them anything. All you can do is move on and find someone who’s actually telling the truth.
We hope that after a date or two, we know exactly how we feel about the other person – we’re either head over heels for them or not interested at all. Sometimes, you’re somewhere in the middle. You don’t hate them but you’re not exactly jumping for joy at the thought of seeing them again. When that happens, you ghost because you don’t know how to articulate that you’re unsure if you’re even attracted to them. It can feel easier to ignore someone than explain to them that you’re not sure if they’re boyfriend material.
When it rains, it pours, right? You’re single for ages and then, boom, you meet two guys at once. Or two guys message you on Tinder at once, which is much more likely since we rarely meet in person these days. You go on two first dates and choose one of the guys. If you ghost the other one because you don’t want to tell him that you met someone else that you like better, you wouldn’t be alone there. It’s pretty natural to think that way. Sure, honestly is usually the best policy, but all is fair when it comes to love, war, and ghosting
This is a somewhat tricky subject. It’s normal to want to be with someone who has the kind of morals, values, and goals that you do. You have an amazing work ethic, want to push yourself in your career and fitness routine, and basically want to enjoy life. So of course you want your boyfriend to feel the same way. Deal breakers get a bad rep because people think that we judge others too harshly, but if you don’t want to date someone who smokes or has no ambition, that’s totally your choice. It makes sense if you want to ghost someone because of a deal breaker (or two).
So you have a hot date Friday night. You anticipate it all week long, daydreaming about your future boyfriend when you should be working, wondering what you should wear. Then Friday rolls around… and he cancels on you. Again. Sound familiar? For some reason, cancelling and rescheduling plans has become a huge part of dating, and everyone seems super flakey. If this keeps happening to you, it’s fine to ghost. It’s more than fine, actually – it’s basically your right. If someone wants to be with you, they will make time for you – simple as that.
You can’t predict the future – if you could, life would seem so much easier, but it would be much less fun too. But you can definitely tell when you’ve just started seeing someone and things are clearly going nowhere. Either the guy is immature or not ready for a relationship (or both, let’s be real here). You’ve lost interest and want to save yourself for a guy who actually knows what he wants. In this situation, you’re within your ghosting rights, especially if he’s been kind of rude about not wanting a girlfriend. He can now save his anti-marriage rants for someone else.
Okay, so saying you’re busy with your job and will be working from now until the end of time may seem like a cop-out. But in all honestly, you can only put so much effort into your life. If you have to choose your career over a relationship at this stage in your life, it’s better to admit that to yourself instead of leading a guy on. Since you probably don’t want to tell him that your job is more interesting than he is, you might want to just ghost and forget it.
This may sound silly but is actually pretty legitimate in the world of Tinder and online dating. If you’re single and actively dating, you’re most likely online dating, and that means you’re talking to a bunch of guys at the same time, hoping that you’ll connect with one of them. But you’re not exactly going to program all of their names and numbers into your phone. It’s usually the guy’s job to text post-date, but if you’re seeing a pretty shy, quiet guy, he might want to wait for you to make the first move. You can’t, though, because you lost his number. You’re too embarrassed to message him on the site or forget his user name, so you end up ghosting him almost by accident.
Old-school rules have no place in modern dating and yet you still want to hear from a guy within a day or two of a first date. If you don’t, you figure he’s not into you. Maybe you go on a first date with one guy and don’t hear from him the next day, so you delete his number and move on… only to get a text from him a week later. You ghost him because why did he wait a full seven days to contact you? Is he crazy? You deserve a guy who isn’t afraid to tell you how he feels about you right away.
We often feel like we have to apologize for how we feel or justify it somehow. But that’s definitely not true at all. If you get a bad vibe from someone on a date, whether it’s the first date or the third, it’s okay to ghost. Your friends or fam might not agree but that doesn’t matter. You have to listen to your gut above anything else. You have the right to protect yourself from getting hurt or putting yourself in a bad situation. If we looked at ghosting as something good instead of bad, maybe the modern state of dating would make a lot more sense.