Here's What To Do When Someone Ghosts You On Dating Apps, Because UGH

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If you’ve ever used a dating app (and let's be honest, who hasn’t?), then chances are you've had the oh-so-wonderful (sarcasm!) experience of chatting with someone and starting to like them, only to have them up and disappear on you. No warning, no explanation, just gone. Ghosting is the worst, because not only is it confusing, but because there's no guidebook on what to do when someone ghosts on a dating app. Do you send them a follow-up message? Do you just shrug and get back to swiping? It’s frustrating.

As annoying as it is to have someone pull a Casper on you, at least you're not alone. Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships, tells Elite Daily that being ghosted is far from rare. “These days it's common to ghost someone you've met both on dating apps and offline,” says Spira. Why it happens varies from ghost to ghost, but Spria says what it really comes down to is the abundance options and opportunities to meet people, now that ghosting has become a natural byproduct of online dating. “While the abundance of choices in matches makes it easier to chat with or meet so many more people, it's the same quantity of users that often results in disposable behavior if someone just isn't feeling it, or if they've found someone else,” she says. Ugh.

While it's reassuring to know it’s not just you getting the ghost treatment, it would still be really nice to know how to handle that situation — and if possible, how to avoid it in the future. Here's what Spira recommends when it comes to getting ghosted.

Why people ghost on dating apps.

One of the worst things about people just up and disappearing is that you're left with only questions and no answers, the main one being: What happened? But Spira has an explanation for what is likely the cause of the online-disappearing act. “One of the main reasons singles ghost someone they've been dating or chatting with, is because they don't want to deal with the confrontation and feel like a jerk,” she explains. “From being called all sorts of nasty names to getting a drink spilled on their face, the uncertainty of the reaction if the ending isn't mutual is one that many singles want to avoid.” While that's understandable, it’s also frustrating.

Even worse than straight-up ghosting is the "slow fade." The reason people do that, Spira says, is because they're trying to have their cake and eat it too. “The ‘slow fade’ is to keep their options open in the event a new love interest doesn't pan out. Often, the ‘ghostee’... will hear from the ‘ghoster’ down the line, often without an apology,” she explains. Sucks, but at least now you know so you can decide how to proceed with all the information at hand.

What not to do if you get ghosted.

One of the hardest things about being ghosted is that it can definitely put a dent in your pride. While that might make you want to lash out at the offender, Spira warns against following that instinct. “As much as you'll want to know why, reaching out and sending multiple messages to talk, chat, or find out why you've been ghosted," won't paint you in a positive light, she says. "If the ghoster wanted you to know why they took the ‘poof, I'm gone’ approach, they would have suggested a two-way conversation to tell you the truth.”

Perhaps even more importantly, Spira warns against internalizing the behavior of someone online. Their ghosting is about them — not you. “It's natural for the person who's been ghosted to go down a digital memory lane and trace the path of their previous communications to try to figure out what they did wrong. When you find yourself reading and analyzing texts, thinking about what you wore on a date, and reliving your past conversations to try and get an answer, it can become crazy-making," she says. "The problem is, the ghoster is the one who did something wrong, not you. They didn't show you any respect for the time you've been chatting when they halt all communications without an explanation.”

The best way to handle a ghosting situation.

If reaching out to the ghost or doing all kinds of soul searching are behaviors to avoid, then what is the best way to deal with having someone abruptly cut off communication? According to Spira, there is really only one thing to do in this situation: “Nothing.” It may be harder than it sounds, but she assures Elite Daily that is the best route. “Move on with your life to find a more mature person whose nickname isn't ‘Casper,’ and hold on to your self-respect,” she advises.

Again, Spira reiterates that ghosting says way more about he person doing the ghosting than the person being ghosted. “Remember, when you've been ghosted, the reason typically has nothing to do with you,” she assures.

While it would be nice to be able to crack the code and avoid ever being ghosted again, Spira admits that, sadly, it’s pretty unavoidable. “It happens to most of us at some point, and the only way you can get over it is by moving on and knowing you're the prize,” she says, although she does have some advice on how to minimize ghosting with people you are actually connecting with. “If you find someone special and the relationship is moving forward, you might want to ask your new partner if they've ever been ghosted before and how it made them feel. Then make a pact that if your relationship doesn't work out, that you both don't want to go down the ghosting path,” she advises.

Ultimately, though, Spira says all you can really be responsible for is your own behavior. “It's always good to make a deal with yourself that you won't ghost someone, even if you're not feeling it, because you should treat someone the way that you want to be treated," she says. In other words, be the change you want to see in the online dating world. “Just say no to ghosting,” she concludes.

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