To say things are going well would be quite the understatement. In just a few exchanges, you and your match have discovered you have multiple things in common and flirted up a digital storm. You're getting ready to take things offline — heck, you may even be thinking about deleting your apps. And then just like that, your crush goes MIA. What gives? It’s an all too common scenario nowadays, and it begs the question: Should you give up if someone ghosts on a dating app? According to experts, it’s kind of a complicated situation. But there are a few tried-and-true ways to figure out how to proceed.
No matter how resilient or self-confident you are, it goes without saying that it can be pretty disappointing — and perhaps even discouraging — when someone flakes out on your dating app conversation.
“It’s frustrating because you have begun to invest your heart in your new crush,” says Fran Greene, licensed clinical social worker and author of The Secret Rules of Flirting. “Even though you have not met them in real life you have begun to feel a connection and perhaps an attachment.”
Pricilla Martinez, CEO of Regroop Online Life Coaching, adds that at the root of this frustration is a feeling of rejection.
“You may feel like you wasted your time, like they weren’t into you, or like they were just after an ego boost,” she explains.
While it may take a bit of courage to reach out when someone ghosts you, online dating expert Julie Spira recommends making one last attempt to contact the person — particularly if you felt like you were really hitting it off.
“I always believe in reaching out again if you feel you had a strong connection,” she tells Elite Daily. “Give the person the benefit of the doubt — maybe they had a work deadline, or perhaps they went out of town.”
Spira advises circling back with a positive approach, rather than making any accusations. If it feels like an attack, your match will be less likely to respond. Greene agrees that it’s usually worth one last-ditch effort, and suggests sending a short message, something along the lines of, “I found myself thinking about you and would love to meet in person! Let me know what your thoughts are.”
This is an effective approach for several reasons. It’s lighthearted and casual in tone, it lets your match know they’re on your mind without pointing any fingers or guilt-tripping, and it also inspires you to potentially set up a date IRL to see if there’s a real connection there. If your match has simply become distracted from their apps or overwhelmed with work and other obligations, they will likely respond. If not, experts say that you should consider that silence a gift.
“Walk away and hold your head up high,” says Spira, who also recommends un-matching with them on the app so you don’t have constant painful reminders of them or feel tempted to reach out again.
Ultimately, experts agree it’s best not to take it personally if your crush doesn’t respond to your attempt at re-igniting the conversation.
“If they’re busy, the apps may not even be top of mind for them,” says Martinez. “So, don’t assume their flaky behavior was about you. But dating is an investment of time and energy into someone else. If you’re not seeing a return on that investment, move on.”
Spira notes that this is why she also recommends avoiding putting all your eggs in one basket when it comes to your dating app conversations.
“I know this sounds exhausting, but it's too common for singles to focus solely on one person when the person they're chatting with you are into the numbers game,” she explains.
To be clear, there's nothing wrong with getting excited about one of your matches, and focusing most of your energy on someone you feel a spark with. The reality of dating apps is that the person you're crushing on could be chatting with multiple matches. But if they don’t respond to you, that says nothing about you and everything about them. Who wants to kick off a romance with someone who can’t be bothered to send a quick message, anyway?
“There’s an enormous universe of people who aren’t into fading or ghosting, and they’re ready to meet you, Spira adds.
Hear that? For every dating app ghost, there are so many other prospects that could be an even better fit for you. So, should you give up when someone disappears? The bottom line is, you have nothing to lose by reaching out one more time, and giving someone the benefit of the doubt ensures you won’t be left wondering, “what if?” But if they remain MIA, heed this wise quote from Maya Angelou: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”