We all know what it's like to be ghosted.
You go on two dates with someone, think you really hit it off, and then, you never hear from them again.
In my mind, I'd like to believe that they were in the CIA and that the government made them change their number because they were too in love with me. Or maybe they were kidnapped. Or potentially, their phone dropped into the ocean when they were collecting sea shells for me as a gift.
But I know the reality is that I was just ghosted.
I've ghosted people, too. And honestly, most people probably have in their lives. There have been plenty of guys whom I've gone on dates with and thought, "Yep, never need to talk to you again!" And I've promptly deleted their numbers on my walk back to my car after drinks.
If you're thinking of ghosting someone, here are some dos and don'ts to consider before you disappear from the face of the universe.
Here are some ghosting dos:
Do Just Disappear
...if you haven't invested much time in this person.
Dating is like hiring for a job, and you're not going to hire every person who applies for the job. And more often than not, you're probably not going to see someone again.
Imagine if you formally fired every person who applied for a job, when you didn't even hire them in the first place. That would be weird, wouldn't it? (It would.)
So if you went on a date with a guy, and you're not into him, you don't owe him anything. Just go MIA if you feel comfortable doing so. And if he keeps contacting you...
Do End Things Honestly
If you don't want to fake your own death to get out of a relationship, tell them the truth... kind of.
You don't need to let him know that he was four inches too short for you, or that his really close relationship with his mother weirded you out.
However, you can tell him that you think he's really great, but you don't see a relationship between you two happening, and you wish him a lot of luck and love in the future!
Separate with love. Remember, you don't owe strangers anything but kindness.
Do Tell A White Lie... But Only If You Have To
So uhhh, the opposite of what I just told you to do.
I know, it's surprising. But men are apparently already using this tactic, according to Playboy. Instead of ghosting, they're claiming to be getting back with their ex, so that the person they went on a few dates with doesn't take the rejection personally.
You can never compete with an ex, right?
So if you never want to see your date again, but you don't want to hurt their feelings, you can always go the route of telling them that you're giving your ex a second chance — even if said ex doesn't actually exist.
Now, here are some things you should not do while ghosting.
Don't Be Mean
Whatever you do, don't be a b*tch, or you'll get bad dating karma — which is a very serious and real thing.
If they continue to text you days, weeks, or months after your date, just let them know you weren't feeling a connection, and let them off easy, so they aren't left wondering if they have a shot with you.
And although I've said it before, do not go into detail as to why you don't think a relationship between the two of you would work. He doesn't need to know you hated his cologne.
Don't Fake Your Own Death
It probably takes a lot of effort to try to procure a fake, but real-looking death certificate.
If he keeps contacting you after you've tried to ghost him, just respond and let him know you're not interested. No fake deaths necessary.
Don't String Them Along Instead
A tactic known as breadcrumbing, this makes your date think that they might have a chance with you sometime in the future. This can also be referred to as leading someone on, and it does not feel good. It's manipulative, emotionally toxic, and at the end of the day, it's really selfish. And personally, I truly hate when guys do it to me. It drives me f*cking crazy.
So while I am all for ghosting, it's important that you do it appropriately. And if your date keeps reaching out to you, just let them know you're not interested.
All it takes is a little bit of courage and kindness.