Julien L. Balmer

4 Ways To Reject Someone That Are Morally Above 'Ghosting'

I recently connected with a guy on Bumble. His profile was cute, we exchanged social media accounts and talked over text for a few weeks. At first, I was honestly interested in meeting this potential, what I like to call “Bumble Bae.” But after receiving one too many snaps from the dude I hadn't even met yet, I was a bit turned off. I could tell I wasn't going to click with this guy, and I pulled a real a-hole, Generation-Y move. I ghosted him.

I genuinely felt bad. Why did I feel bad? It wasn't like I owed this guy anything, but I sort of led him on? And because I'm a girl, we know the feels. For some reason, I just couldn't' bring myself to send a simple, “I'm sorry, I'm no longer interested,” text to the the guy I owed nothing too at all. I just "deaded" him.

More recently, I met a different guy while working. I work at a bar one night a week, and strike up conversation with lots of men (part of my job is socializing with everyone). Unlike Bumble boy, I sort of enjoyed Bar Guy's flirtatious gestures right off the bat.

The following week, Bar Guy and I exchanged numbers. We even met up on a different night out for a drink. I realized, flirting was fun, but Bar Guy was a little too persistent for me. I gave it a chance, but I was just not feeling it.

Plot twist: I didn't even have the option to ghost this guy. I had to see him once a week, every week during my shift. Again, I didn't owe this guy anything, so why couldn't I just be honest? Is it because I'm recently back into the dating game and I'm rusty? Why do I let my female emotions shine through and “feel bad” for every guy I'm not interested in? What's wrong with me?!

In short, I agreed to go on a quick ice cream date with the dude. I justified it as “a nice thing to do.” I knew this is where I needed to cut it off, and I meant business.

When you can't ghost him, and you just can't gust up the courage to be straight up, there are a few VERY easy ways to let this guy or girl down easily.

If you meet for a date, don't order anything.

Who the heck goes on an ice cream date and doesn't get anything? Certainly not me, but this wasn't really a date … right? Imagine going out for a drink and your date doesn't order a drink; it's painfully awkward.

If you meet out at a bar, or somewhere else, don't let him walk you home.

“I'll walk you home” literally translates to, “Tonight was amazing and I'm going to give you the most perfect kiss goodnight at your door step to top off the night.” I literally told Bar Guy he wasn't walking me home. Can't be more obvious than that.

Be on your phone while in conversation.

I knew I was being rude and I knew it was inappropriate. Being on your phone in front of anyone you're supposed to be devoting your time to is universally frowned upon. But I did it anyway, was aware of it and didn't care. What is wrong with me?

Fizzle out the texting

I left my pity date with an upbeat, friendly, “I'll text you tomorrow!” I didn't text him tomorrow. When he initiated post-date conversation, I was very, very short. If the other signs hadn't made it clear, this had to.

So, maybe ghosting is easier than beating around the bush, but it is pretty cruel. Probably the easiest of them all is just being honest with the person you've started talking to or seeing, and avoiding all the mind games in general. But for me, I'll just drop some subtle hints so I can call myself “a nice girl” and continue to swipe right in peace.