We’ve officially entered the spookiest time of the year, a perfect time to talk about the horrors of dating, and specifically one of the most mysterious dating trends of all: ghosting. For those of you who have never heard of this popular trend, it sadly has nothing to do with free candy and fun scares. Ghosting is halting all communication with a person you are dating, and never giving them a reason or explanation as to why the relationship is ending. This trend rose to prominence in 2016, and has been haunting single men and women ever since.
There are even new variations of the popular trend, like soft-ghosting, when you “like” someone’s responses for a bit rather than writing a response, to indicate you’re no longer interested. There’s also “Caspering”, named after the beloved friendly ghost, for “nice ghosting”, waiting long periods of time to reply to a message, and responding with a vague (but generally kind) reply until the recipient understands it’s over. But for today, we’re sharing stories about the good old fashioned ghosting, and recieved hair-raising tales from the ghosters and ghostees themselves. Read the stories below, and if you have your own to share, add it in the comment section!
The Neighborhood Ghost
I feel like it’s so rare to meet a person in a surprising, organic way these days, but I met a cute guy at a coffee shop by my apartment and we just clicked. We soon realized we both lived on the same street, which made it fun and easy to sleep over at each other’s apartment, return to our own spaces in the morning, and leave for work on time. Proximity can be a highly valued dating perk in New York! After about 3 weeks of dating, this guy went from texting me all day to once or twice a day. When I asked if he wanted to come over for dinner, or meet at a bar in our neighborhood, he always seemed to have a vague excuse, until I stopped hearing from him altogether. Listen, I’m a single girl living in New York in 2019: I knew I’d been ghosted. I truly wouldn’t have minded that much...if we weren't neighbors. I would see this guy EVERYWHERE, and he would always look nervous and embarrassed, always making up an excuse of why we hadn’t seen each other, even when I was in a new relationship months later. Truthfully, I think his ghosting move haunted him more than me!
The Haunted Lunch Date
I met this girl through a dating app and I liked her immediately: we both liked bike riding in the park, getting up early, and drinking beer outside-- a match made in heaven, right? We had been dating casually for about 5 weeks, when I made the bold move to ask her if she’d like to grab lunch with my parents while they we’re in town. While she seemed apprehensive at first, she agreed, and I promised her this didn’t mean we had to label anything or get more serious right away. Honestly, I just thought she’s enjoy a free lunch with my folks, who are actually cool and fun! Unfortunately, I think my invitation spooked her more than I thought. The day we were supposed to meet for lunch, she didn’t show up. When I texted and asked if she was okay, she responded and said she had a headache and needed to rest, but was sorry she was missing the lunch. The next day, I asked how she was feeling, and she responded with...nothing. Yup, she fully ghosted me, and I never heard from her again. I tried to get in touch a few times to no avail, and gave up. I guess we didn’t have as much in common as I thought: I never would have given up the opportunity to enjoy bagels and lox at Russ & Daughters, no matter what.
A Ghost Can’t Scare Karma Away
Okay, so I know the nice, responsible way to break up with someone is to actually tell them it’s over. Typically, I do! But I will admit that occasionally, if the date has gone poorly, I will lightly ghost, not texting them after (or ever again), and that had never been a problem (please note the past tense used in this sentence). I went on a date with a guy and it was a dud. He talked the entire time, never asked me a question about myself, texted for long periods of time at the table, and questioned whether Kristen Wigg is “actually funny”-- a dealbreaker for me. We split the check at the end of the night, quickly hugged goodbye, and I texted my best friend with an update, reporting that there was simply no chemistry. I was surprised to discover my date didn’t feel the same! He texted me the same night, asking for a second date, and I ignored it, promising myself I would answer in the morning...and I didn’t. When he sent me a follow up text, I made a promise to myself that by noon that day, I would text him and say I never received his first one… and I didn’t. By the end of the week, he had texted me 5 times, his last being a defeated “all right, got it”, and I never responded. I felt a little bad about ghosting, but it quickly passed-- until my flight to Austin for a birthday weekend. There he was, walking down the aisle of the plane, coming closer to me. As he approached, I decided to be an adult, say hello, and apologize-- until I panicked, and pretended to be asleep. He clearly noticed me and my terrible acting skills, because as he walked by he whispered “nice to see you too.” For the rest of the flight, I kept my head down, and never went back to use the bathroom, even though I really had to pee-- this ghost was no match for karma!