Ghosting isn’t a new Instagram craze, it’s a bad dating phenomenon.
A good decade ago, I was in downtown Springfield, MO, and met this girl at a club. We ended up talking all night, danced, kissed, drove her home, and promised I would call her the next day. I never did.
A few months later, my roommates were talking about this hot girl moving in across the street. She was working in the yard, and being a good neighbor, I went over to introduce myself. As I got closer, she looked up and said, “YOU!” Yeah, it was the girl I never called. Even as I write this, I still feel a little shame because I had zero good guy swag. Before the term was even used, I made her a victim of “ghosting.”
Ghosting is a when a guy/girl stops texting as much, stops calling, and instead of ending a relationship, just disappears. Let her down easy, right?
We’ve been talking a lot about The Nice Guy Syndrome. Looking through the lens of a coward, passive withdrawal from dating seems like the easiest and nicest route…until it’s done to you. Then you realize ghosting is one of the cruelest forms of torture dating can serve up. The Nice Guy is too self-absorbed to look back and see the debris he’s left behind.
I got a good dose of it a few years ago, and social media made it worse. While I was stuck in a state of confusion, self-doubt, and a dab of depression, I was watching her roam carefree. What did I do wrong? I should’ve blocked her on Facebook at that point, but I couldn’t.
A good guy isn’t passive aggressive, and a good guy doesn’t stay in a relationship because he’s scared he’ll really hurt her feelings if they break up. A good guy has integrity and confidence. Integrity involves being truthful, authentic, and doing the right thing. Confidence means you believe in yourself and have courage, so that even if you’re afraid, you go and do it. A simple “yes” or “no” will do.
Dating apps make ghosting easy. Using Tinder? Just delete the account. However, know you are creating habits that will make you impossible to marry because the go-to you are creating is to vanish when things get tough.
Here are just a few things you can be to ensure you aren’t the nice guy too scared to say “no.”
If you’re unsure, why are you even going on a date? Before going on an official date, get to know her first.
If you’re polite enough to walk her to the car, then be respectful enough to tell her it’s not working. Think about how your actions will affect her.
Be a man
That’s right, not a boy. Ghosting is no different than a kid who’s losing at a game and suddenly quits. A real man will politely talk to her face-to-face, but if you’re too scared for that, at least send an email (and that’s only if you’ve been on one date). If you’re in a relationship, don’t break up via text. C’mon brothers!
Ghosting is a strange paradox because it’s the ghost who’s afraid. If you’re going to ghost anyone, do it to yourself. Step outside and take a good look at the man you are, then step back in and be the man you’re supposed to be.