When you're busy — like, can't-find-time-to-shower-thank-god-for-dry-shampoo busy — spending 15 precious minutes of your day figuring out messages to send your Bumble match can feel like an investment. As a boss lady, you expect a return on that investment, especially if that investment has matured to texting or actual date planning. But sometimes there's no pay out, and your match suddenly stops texting you. Does it count as ghosting if you've never actually met in person?
I want you to think about this for a minute. In stories, ghosts are people who have disappeared from your life to another realm — you can't see them, but you can feel them. In dating, ghosts are people who have disappeared from your life to who knows where — you can't see them, but you can see their Instagram stories.
Definitively, being ghosted — by otherworldly spirits or a date — is when someone who has actually been a part of your life disappears from it. If you haven't met in person, it's not ghosting.
Millennials get called plenty of names from "snowflakes" to "easily triggered" to "butthurt." While it's OK to be disappointed when a match you've been texting furiously with for weeks goes radio silent, if you cry "ghosting" every time something doesn't work out, you're victimizing yourself and it's not a cute look.
Things happen. Messages are missed. People's phones are stolen. Ex-girlfriends come back. This is why you've diversified your portfolio with multiple dating apps.
Still not convinced? Here are some scenarios in which you might borderline feel like you are being ghosted, even if you haven't met the person.
You've Asked A Match A Question, And There's No Reply
If you asked, "What's your favorite pizza topping?" maybe they just don't like pizza. If you asked, "Would you like to go out for drinks sometime?" maybe they don't like drinks. Or got busy at work. Or, worst case, just don't really want to go out with you.
You are not being ghosted, you are having a normal dating app conversation. If this person really intrigues you, follow up.
You've Been Texting For Weeks, And Then It Stops
Good news: This is probably a very normal person.
No matter how witty your text banter, it can be difficult to keep the momentum going on a conversation with a stranger whose face you have seen in five Tinder pictures. As soon as I see 10 digits of a phone number rather than an actual first and last name (everyone in my phone book has one) in my incoming texts, I subconsciously deem it less urgent.
Again, if you're pining for this cutie, send a follow up text.
You Set Up A Date, And Then There's No Confirmation The Day Of
This is annoying. You took time out of your schedule to set this up, and then you don't hear from your date confirming time or place all day. While this is an example of terrible manners, it's not ghosting.
It's so simple: Send a text and take the power back. If this person flakes, good riddance. Much better to find out sooner than later.
You Get To A First Date, And They Don't Show Up
This is my nightmare and why I am afraid of first dates. Being stood up is embarrassing and weird and unpleasant. And while this is gauche and despicable on your date's part, it's still not ghosting.
If you're not sure if it's ghosting, ask yourself if you deserve a break up/"let's end things" text. If you answer yes, and you don't get one, that's ghosting. If no, that's not really ghosting. It's just someone standing you up and being a little dork.
Sure, you deserve a text from the match who stands you up, but if you call them a ghoster, what will you call someone who goes quiet after six weeks of dating?
I went on a first date a bit ago that was medium-good. He mentioned going out again multiple times during the date, but a week later, I hadn't heard from him. I followed up asking him how his week of traveling went. He replied, but if he hadn't, I still wouldn't call that ghosting, and I had met him and shared a lavish amount of sushi with him.
Of course, everyone is different, and if you want to call your suddenly silent Bumble match a ghoster, go ahead. Now, get back out there.