“Ghosting, it’s the silent treatment at its cruellest”, writes contributor Zainab Boladale.

Does this narrative sound familiar to you? You meet someone online and you start casually texting. Flirty messages are being sent back and forth and you’re really intrigued by them. They like your Instagram selfies and send you funny snaps, you’re in the early stages of catching feelings. You’ve even managed to arrange to go on a date or maybe you’re just back from your first date, then suddenly….Poof! They’ve stop messaging you all at once.

 

No response to any of your silly snaps, even after you double text them. They’re gone as soon as they came. This modern day vanishing act has a name, and it’s called “Ghosting”.

 

There are many reasons for why people ghost each other and it’s not just restricted to the dating world. It can also happen to new and budding friendships.

 

Sadly, it’s done because it’s an easy way to cut connection with someone you’re no longer interested in talking to, especially after you’ve sent out the wrong vibes by putting in the effort of getting to know them.

 

While it does suck for the person being ghosted, most of us are guilty of ghosting people whether we realise it or not.

 

A survey released by Plenty of Fish, a dating site, reveals that 78% of Millennials (aged 18 - 33) have been ghosted as least once.

 

While ghosting isn’t exclusive to the 21st century dating scene, it’s now more prevalent with the rise of messaging and dating apps. So rather than having to avoid them at that bar you met at, you can just avoid their text. Sadly, it’s the silent treatment at its cruellest.

 

“Remember that online dating is like swimming in a tank full of goldfish that at any moment are liable to turn into sharks”.

 

Being ghosted can have a big knock back effect on your self-esteem, leaving you with so many questions you’ll never really find an answer to. It’s important not to hunt down someone who’s ghosted you unless you have a legitimate reason to. Like, if they happen to owe you a large sum of money or you left something of value at their place, in that case, hunt them down ghostbuster style.

 

If you’re going to ghost someone, make sure you follow through with it. Don’t be that person that comes back from the dead 3 months later with a “How are you?” text. That’s beyond lame and makes you look even more like a disrespectful asshole. Not only do you now look like you’re indecisive about what you want, the person is either going to be incredibly annoyed, or, has probably moved on. You had your chance, you made your choice, move on.

 

The important thing to take away from being ghosted is to remember that online dating is like swimming in a tank full of goldfish that can turn into sharks. You never really know the character of the people you’re talking to, even if you’ve met up with them for a date.

 

People date online for a variety of reasons and it’s easy to say things you don’t mean and change your mind just as fast. If someone doesn’t want to put in the effort for you and proves to be flaky, then it’s probably better that things ended abruptly.

 

You can’t force people to want you, so the best thing you can do is post a really cute selfie, let them see what they’ve missed out on, don’t show that you’re bothered and carry on as you were.