Have you been “ghosted” and don’t know why? Whether you’re a seasoned dater or fresh on the market, understanding ghosting can mean fewer surprises and bring romantic success.
“To ‘ghost’ is to vanish from a romantic or prospective partner’s life. And when girls ghost on you – or guys – it can sting. Unfortunately, as more of our lives go digital, it’s increasingly common,” says Chase Amante, founder of Girls Chase, one of the most popular men’s dating advice sites in the world. He specializes in helping men build confidence to bring the women they want into their lives and keep them.
Dating experts say 74% of people have been ghosted and while it’s tempting to blame callousness or uncaring, here are the top reasons ghosting happens:
- Mismatched expectations.If your date is less invested in the relationship, they may not know how to communicate that. For instance, if you reach out but they’d prefer to deescalate things, they may think, “I’ll come back to this later,” and put it off. As more messages come in, responding gets more awkward.
- Someone new comes along.If things get serious with someone else, your date may ghost to avoid giving an explanation.
- Personality disconnect.You and your date may just not be a match. Whether it’s a personality disconnect or a deal breaker scenario (e.g. one person doesn’t want kids) this can lead to ghosting.
- Something happens to them.From job loss to unforeseen health issues, it’s possible you simply met at the wrong time. Life circumstances can lead many to retreat from the dating scene.
Chase notes you can avoid being ghosted by following these habits:
- Make a strong impression. Someone is more likely to keep talking to you when you stand out in their mind.
- Follow texting best practices.Online guides like “How to Text a Girl” will help you become a pro texter who can keep dates interested.
- Listen.If you’re in a relationship, be a better listener. When someone feels like you’re on different wavelengths, they’re more likely to ghost.
- Resolve issues.Festering issues affect people unpredictably. Some may just opt to cut their losses and ghost.
Being ghosted can happen to anyone, despite best efforts. Chase recommends the following strategies for handling it:
- Figure out why.Were there any complaints or disconnects? Did you have a sense something was wrong?
- Address possible complaints.“Hey, I know we might’ve crossed signals on XYZ issue. I just want to try and get back on the same page.”
- Change tactics.Ignoring texts can be easy. Switch things up. Send a voice message. Even pick up the phone and call. “Lots of people are scared to call, but it still works, even for Gen Z,” says Chase.
- Spark curiosity.If the standard “let’s hang out” isn’t working, try an invitation to an art opening or hike.
- If you get your ghost out, make it count. Undo any negativity. Provide value and make it fun so that next time you text, your date is thrilled to hear from you.
“In our study we found when men manage to get in touch with their ghosts, they’re more than twice as likely to get dates that lead nowhere than they are to get a new girlfriend,” says Chase.