Have you been ghosted? if you are lucky enough to not know what it is, let me explain. Ghosting is the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone suddenly and without explanation—withdrawing from all communication. It leaves people with mixed feelings. But, with the help of a neuro-linguistic expert, and the experience of others, there is a lot to learn from this.
Do not blame yourself because even if you do everything right, ghosting is always a possibility. On my date, we met on tinder and, other than being late, I tried to put the best version of myself out there. It felt as if we had chemistry and got on well; leading me to think there was a possibility for more. However, the next day I was blocked by her, seemingly without explanation.
A 2020 study on Mobile daters Ghosting Experiences conducted a survey, involving 328 dating app users, to understand their experiences with ghosting. 128 participants blamed the person ghosting them. Specifically, 60 participants thought the ghoster was involved with someone else. In addition, several participants described the ghoster as childish, cowardly, lazy, rude, or disrespectful for ghosting them. However; 80 respondents blamed themselves. When split into subcategories 72 of these participants described themselves as not being interesting enough, not being attractive enough, too boring, too fat, ugly, not tall, or muscular enough. 43 of these respondents thought they did something wrong. Others had less common reasons such as refusing sex during the date, the kind of job they had, or being married and the other person ghosting them when finding out.
Ghosting is harsh especially in a pandemic where socialising in any capacity has been difficult, to say the least. If you are anything like me, rejection can be hard to get over. Neuro-linguistic trainer, Rebecca Lockwood, said “No one likes rejection and when we are rejected early in the dating process it can still leave us feeling down about it. Questioning why it happened, what went wrong and why it ended.” She expanded to say this feeling is normal and lockdown makes being ghosted worse as people might feel like they have lost time. Also, the way someone feels depends on the meaning given to a situation. She said “Adopting a mindset that there are others out there will help. When one seemingly good thing ends, it makes way for something better.”
I reached out on social media to see how similar my experience was to other people. Francesca Baker, 34, was ghosted by a guy she met at a swing dance class. After going for drinks and a walk, they slept together and she never heard back from him after that. Akanksha Singh, 30, was ghosted twice. The first time was with a date she met through tinder and neither person was feeling it so the ghosting did not bother her. The second time she said “ Was sort of odd. We had one of those first dates that started on a Saturday evening and ended on a Sunday evening. The up-all-night, talking about weird and wonderful things type of date. We said we’d do something later in the week. He texted me midweek to make plans and then nothing”.
Ghosting can have a negative emotional impact on anyone. It can happen to you regardless of age, gender or how you meet. Since you will not know why they stopped communicating with you, try to focus on the old saying “ there are plenty of fish in the sea”. Do not let bad experiences stop you from finding someone who meets your needs.
Words by Paul Oluwadare