What to do with a 'ghosting' partner

Simone Paget talks about what to do, and how to recognize, when the person you're dating breaks up...

Simone Paget talks about what to do, and how to recognize, when the person you're dating breaks up with you by 'ghosting.' (Fotolia)

Simone Paget, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

The Irish Goodbye. The French Exit. The Dutch Leave. These are all expressions used to describe what has become known as “ghosting” in the dating community. Whether you’ve gone on three dates or have been dating for three months, “ghosting” occurs when the person you thought you were dating suddenly stops returning your calls, texts and emails without any explanation - disappearing into thin air like an actual ghost. If any of this sounds familiar - congrats, you’ve been ghosted.

When I asked my friends on social media whether they had ever experienced ghosting (or gasp, ghosted someone) the response was overwhelming. Within seconds, my inbox was full of tales of unreturned text messages, unanswered calls and disappearing acts that would make Houdini jealous - all of which leads me to believe that ghosting is more common than I initially thought.

With the exception of the guy who replied to my break-up message with “Thanks for letting me know. By the way, nice rack! LOL” - all of my recent dating experiences have involved one party notifying the other in a polite manner (via text or email) when things don’t work out. Your dates can’t all be winners, but you can still take the high road and practice good etiquette.

My rule is simple: If we’ve met in person and there isn’t a connection, following up with a polite text or email is the right thing to do. Why? Because it’s good manners.

Perhaps the reason I am so anti-ghosting is because I am still haunted by ghosting’s past. Years ago, when I was much younger and naive, I was casually seeing a guy who became known amongst my girlfriends as “AWOL.”

We’d have a great time together but then I wouldn’t hear from him for 3 months, at which point he would re-emerge. I mistook his unpredictability for excitement and chased him down with the same determination as Dan Aykroyd hunting the giant Marshmallow Man. Looking back, this was an epic waste of my time.

Catherine, a single 30-something says that the worst part about ghosting is the lack of closure. “I used to think it meant I wasn't even worth a proper dumping. Now understand it as a lack of courage and maturity. But, God, did it hurt. Especially in that moment when you realize what's going on."

I’m not perfect. I’ve ghosted people in the past. However, I’ve learned that when it comes to avoiding hurt and drama, a little communication goes a long way. This is what being an adult is about. Be considerate. Don’t make your date wonder, “Do they just not like me or have they been eaten by Zombies?”


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