Have you recently put yourself out there to date, only to find there’s not many people interested in you?
Have you dated someone that you felt a connection with, then they disappeared like a ghost?
For many, the world of online dating since COVID-19 came into our lives has become a simpler way to meet people.
You finally built up the courage to download Bumble or eHarmony, AND you spent the time creating your profile, trying to put your best foot forward. There were a few weeks of hits and misses, mostly misses. You matched, but no one bothered to start a conversation, or the most you received was “hi”, before they disappeared. But then a miracle happened. There was one person who was interested enough to reply, and before you know it the two of you are on your first date. They seem great! Suddenly there’s hope in the world again, and you get hit with warm fuzzy feelings of falling in love. But you try your best to stop yourself from getting way too excited and remind yourself, “Take it slowly, you don’t want to look desperate!” Its all going swimmingly…. for a while.
A few months in, you start realising a few things that you don’t want to admit to anyone. He’s so inconsistent with his messaging, but you tell yourself to be patient, he’s busy. Waiting at least a few hours for a reply should be okay – you want to be understanding. Your dates gradually move further apart and there’s no longer any talk of the next one. You wonder what’s going on? Should you say something? You have a sick feeling for days, hanging onto every word he says, “what does he mean by this?” At least he’s replying right? You don’t want to make him feel pressured!
After seeking lots of unhelpful advice from your friends you’ve concluded that the only way you’ll ever know is if you ask. So, you arrange a time to meet, but he’s busy. He’s offered to talk over the phone. That seems fine to you! At least he cares enough to give you that time, right? He misses your call. You wait for him to get back to you. Ten minutes becomes thirty. You send a text explaining why you’ve called in the hope he’d remember and get back to you. Thirty minutes becomes 2 hours. That sick feeling comes around again. Days go by, he never replied, he never called you back.
You’ve been ghosted.
Why do people ghost you?
Ghosting can occur for a wide range of reasons depending on the person. But these things are contributors. They may have:
- Lack of effective communication skills
- Minimal regard for other people’s feelings
- A different perspective on the seriousness of the dating relationship
- Mental health issues
- Current life stressors
Ghosting seems much more prevalent these days because online dating provides an abundance of opportunities to match, meet, and establish your interest factors in a matter of minutes. Not keen? NEXT!
50% of people admit to either ghosting someone, or being ghosted themselves* so you’re definitely not alone! Ghosting someone can be seen as abusive or manipulative, and can reinforce their lack of trust in others, or a negative outlook on themselves or others around them.
Have you been ghosted one too many times?
It’s natural to find yourself:
- Getting into a mental loop of trying to figure out what went wrong
- Stuck with a lot of unanswered questions
- Feeling down and out about yourself – heavy, confused, misled, used, or blaming yourself
- Considering the different ways to find closure
- Withdrawing from the world because you’ve lost all hope in dating, relationships, love, and even humanity
- Questioning whether dating is even for you
But what are you meant to do? Why is it so hard to let it go?
It might help to talk to someone that you trust. It’s important to be honest with yourself about how much this has affected you rather than pretending like everything is okay and pushing on. This can catch up to you down the track.
However, finding the right balance between coping with heart break and getting on with life can be tricky. If you find yourself still struggling, consider speaking to a professional who can help you through this time.
Written by Rebecca Deane – Clinical Psychologist – www.creatingchange.net.au
*Tiffany Beverlin, 2018