Hook-up culture, swiping right, sliding into DMs: these are all terms I have come to recognize and associate with modern dating. Perhaps one of the more common and notorious of these terms is “ghosting”: The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with the person the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date.
The debate rages on – is it better to ghost than to actually say the underlying text out loud? “I have no interest in seeing you again, bye!” What’s really worse?
About a month back, I swiped right on a nice-looking guy with blonde hair and glasses. We started messaging back and forth about his “cute nephew” and eventually made plans to meet for a drink.
Meet for a drink we did, and it was kind of nice. An actual conversation of substance, a kiss goodnight, the follow-up text immediately after… I was feeling pretty hopeful.
A few dates later, I was, to put it diplomatically, turning away unwanted advances and having to explain that “I’m not that kind of girl.” I was assured it was no big deal, and that he “wasn’t even that kind of guy!” We talked for a few more minutes, and eventually I got up to leave.
“We should meet again in daylight!” he suggested.
“Sure, if you want!” I said, putting my shoes on and trying to read him without being too obvious.
As I walked down his driveway back to my car, and had this gut feeling it would be the last time I saw him. Lo and behold, weeks of silence have proved my instinct was correct.
So he led me to believe he was interested, despite sex being off the table. He made a couple of misleading statements. He pulled a pretty typical male move. The fact is, if sex was all he wanted, it would have meant sleeping with him or not sleeping with him would have had the same ending – he got what he wanted or he didn’t, and thus no longer had a reason to communicate with me.
Despite all this, if I ran into him on the street or in the grocery store, I think I would sooner give him a hug than I would slap him for being a little more shallow than I originally thought.
My mom gave me a piece of advice when I was in the midst of a break-up a few months ago, and I think of it often. Even though it helped me through some boyfriend problems, I see it as applying to a whole host of interpersonal conflict.
Essentially, she told me not to hold people to a standard that they are not capable of reaching, or a standard that I myself placed on them. My ex lacked the ability to commit, communicate, and hold onto any kind of stability, and even though it would be easy to hold that against him, it’s who he is. That’s not his fault. Once I was able to accept that about him, I lost any resentment I had towards him. Expectation is the root of all heartache, isn’t that what they say? Stop expecting people to act a certain way, and life gets a little easier.
So here I was, able to assign the concept I had heard so much about to my own life. I was GHOSTED. Could it even be true? But although I think I was entitled to a little bit of bitterness, I couldn’t muster it up, not even slightly.
The blonde haired cutie with glasses wanted sex, and it wasn’t something I could offer. Simple as that. Even though we were both looking for something more casual, when sex was taken out of the equation, it was easy to see what was left. And as an ode to my wise mom, I accepted the equation for what it was and moved on quickly.
So no, my dear Right Swipe, I have absolutely nothing against you. You do you. I’m sure you found what you were looking for, and I know I will too.