My least favorite thing as of today is the term “ghosting” and the fact that it’s even a thing. Before I go off on my rant: “ghosting” technically means when you are dating someone and they just disappear. Never return a phone call. or a string of text messages. Vanish.
Otherwise known as being a coward. A colossal asshole. How can we even put a label on this behavior and act like it’s a “thing”? It’s NOT A THING. You don’t have to act calm, cool and collected about it and you don’t have to pretend you’re not hurt or insanely pissed. I’m sure I’ve done my fair share of unanswered text messages or unreturned phone calls when someone is being annoying or I’ve made it clear I’m not interested in furthering a relationship but actual ghosting is a whole nother thing. Let me explain:
When you go on a date with someone and you enjoy their company, the polite thing to do is to thank them for the date and let them know you had a good time. You don’t have to go overboard and gush about how awesome they are, and you certainly don’t have to text them first thing in the morning. I’m not into the ‘playing hard to get’ thing and besides, ignoring someone is not playing hard to get, it’s just being an asshole. Text or call them when it’s convenient and within a reasonable amount of time.
First of all- some random guy off of Tinder or Bumble, or whatever dating app I’m currently using took a chance and met a stranger in a bar or a restaurant etc completely unaware that she’s a total crazy person and is going to go home and blog about him. Ha, just kidding. I don’t let them figure that out right away. Anyway, he didn’t stand you up, and he paid for your meal. If he stood you up or didn’t pay for your meal, then by all means- ghost away. This goes both ways. Just because a man paid, doesn’t mean he shouldn’t thank me for my time. Time is money, and when you’re a mom and have kids…chances are, I’m paying someone either in money or in favors (not sexual, you perverts) to watch my kids so I could go out with you.
So here’s what I do, and feel free to give me your imput because clearly I’m doing something wrong. If I had a great time and I’m really into them, I shoot them a text anywhere from almost right away to 48 hours, depending on the date and the vibe I’m getting. “Hey, thanks for the date- had a great time. Would love to see you again.” or something like that. That let’s them know I’m a polite person even though I say fuck a lot, and I enjoyed their company and they can ask me on another date if they want.
If I’m not interested, and they send me a message that implies that they are, I typically don’t totally rip their heart out right away. I wait for them to message me and then I wait several hours (this is passive aggressive behavior- letting someone down “easy” before the big blow) before responding saying something like, “Yeah, had a good time. Thanks for taking me out.” If they ask me on a second date, and I’m not interested I tell them. I don’t lead them on and go on another date just because it’s easier than saying no, and I certainly don’t ignore them. I say “I think you’re a great guy (or something to ease the blow), had a good time on our date- but I’m not interested in another. Thanks for the offer though!” THIS IS POLITE, YOU GUYS. You SHOULD thank men for spending their money on you, and you SHOULD tell them what’s up.
Dating is hard. It fucking sucks. For everyone involved. We, as women, have to shower and shave and put makeup on and damage the ever living fuck out of our hair with a curling iron and then try to balance in heels after we’ve consumed a beverage that directly effects the cerebellum which CONTROLS YOUR BALANCE. And men have to get the courage to actually ask us out (unless you’re like me and do it for them -I have been known to ask guys out), hopefully spray on some cologne and brush their teeth, and then they have to pay for the whole thing whether we liked them or not.
Yes, I’m a firm believer in the old fashioned ways of men paying on a first date (unless, I asked them out, in which case I offer to pay).
So this is where I seem to have problems in the dating field. I can tell based off one date whether I like someone or not. I don’t play games- I don’t wait around for a man to text me, and I don’t wait around if he says he’s busy. I do try to date one person at a time, but if I’m not getting a vibe that says he’s super interested, then I move on to the next. However, despite how fucking polite I am, in the past year I have been “ghosted” twice. You know, where I’ve been chatting with somone, going on dates, and then they disappear out of thin air. And it has left me in literal “What the fucking fuck just happened” confusion.
So the first one left me mind blown. I didn’t care about the actual relationship- if he had dumped me like a normal human, I would have took it with stride, thrown up some deuces and never would have thought of him again. But he didn’t. We had been dating for 6 weeks, and every day in those 6 weeks counted because we spent every single one of them together. I met his mother, his sister, his son, his niece, his aunts, family friends, etc. He met my ex, my mother, and my kids. Aside from my husband, nobody had ever made it this far. One day everything was great. We woke up together, and I was feeling a little swoon worthy over him. Fast forward 6 hours and I got one of the last text messages ever from him, “Bye”. Attempted to call him, see him, and message him over the next 3 days in order to have a formal, mature, adult break up. I got nothing. After I decided fuck it- I sent him a stream of what I really thought text messages, and finally got one of those lame “you’re a great person, I’m not ready, blah blah blah” text messages that meant nothing at that time because I had to go full blown crazy person to recieve that message. WAS THAT SO HARD TO SAY 3 DAYS AGO? No. It wasn’t.
It was hurtful and cowardly that the behavior he displayed read to me that I wasn’t worth the conversation. I am confident and secure enough to know that’s not true, but when you treat someone like that, that IS what you’re saying to them: that they don’t matter. To me, it said “Your kids don’t matter to me” and that was one of the most hurful things about that. My kids asked for weeks where he was and why we weren’t going to his house. Lucky for me, I’ve become a professional at answering my kids intuitive questions about adult affairs. I simply said “Mommy and ___ aren’t going to be friends anymore because he hurt my feelings and didn’t apologize so we’re not going to his house anymore” and when Ryan said, “Well, I can still go to his house. You can just drop me off” I told him we take sides in this family and I gave birth to him so his loyalty lies with me. He’s never asked about him again.
If we continue using the word “ghosting” as if it’s a thing, our attitudes towards that behavior change. We gradually begin to accept it as a part of dating. THIS IS NOT DATING! This is being an incredible fucking asshole. This is actually insane. I know I joke a lot and I’m flippant about pretty serious things because they make me uncomfortable but I’m completely serious when I say this kind of behavior indicates something very seriously wrong with someone..but yet I hear about it all the time. Have we become that socially immature that we can’t have adult conversations? Is the casualty of swiping making the physical being sitting across the table seem less real? Guys, we are not our online avatars. We are real people with real feelings. Do people understand this, or am I the crazy one? Have we not matured past the 14 year old boy in an AIM chat room harassing a girl he has a crush on because he doesn’t know how to just say “I LIKE YOU”. You can only hide behind your screens for so long. Eventually you have to learn how to have a real conversation with a real, physical being. If you’re too cowardly to have an adult conversation, then you shouldn’t be dating. I refuse to accept this kind of behavior and I hope all of my friends- women and men, do too. I promise you I am not afraid or embarassed about getting the answers I deserve. If I give you my time or my energy and especially if I let you into my life and heart (blech) then I deserve to be dumped properly.
And for the record, I am the 14 year old girl who printed off those AIM conversations and handed them out like birthday invitations to everyone, including the principal.