Can you imagine in the “good old days,” meeting someone, making plans to get together at a set date and time, and then just not showing up?
If that concept seems overly foreign to you, ask a relative in their late twenties or thirties to describe the normative dating rituals of yesteryear. I can almost guarantee their experiences with “ghosting” will be few and far between – if at all.
Further, they will probably express at least some level of disgust and disturbance at the idea a person would simply bail on a commitment to spend time with someone, with no reasonable reason attached.
Fast forward to 2018 when I encountered more ghosts on Bumble than would be reachable during a successful séance.
From a sexy photographer with strategically-placed tattoos through to professors, entrepreneurs and hospitality industry workers, one thing men on Bumble seem to have in common is a propensity for making like David Blaine and disappearing.
To clarify, not all of these men made plans with me and then didn’t show – many of them actually stopped showing up long before a set of plans could ever be made. What I mean by that is even after we had both expressed mutual interest via two complimentary right swipes, all of a sudden, their little profile icons would disappear from my match list.
Poof! Gone – and with their vanished grey circles, the potential for a lasting connection – or even just a cute exchange of pleasantries.
The next stage of disappearance occurred once the connection was made, the conversation begun and things seemed to be moving towards *gasps* a real-life encounter! Whether it was dozens or hundreds of messages, these male bees beguiled me into thinking we were hitting it off.
Even when these conversations transitioned into texting outside the app, that did not mean I was safeguarded against the sudden cloak of invisibility (and silence) my counterparts chose to don. What kind of world do we live in where you can invest hours into a repartee with a non-robotic specimen, only for them to turn out to be a tin man with no heart?
Just to put it in perspective, let’s peep back towards that time I was on a train to Toronto and a man I was supposed to meet up with cancelled with the flippantly careless comment that he was, alternatively, going to go on another date with “someone from his city”.
Or, what about the young gentlemen who insisted on visiting me from out of town and 12 hours after our phone call to discuss his imminent arrival, he unmatched me for no particular reason – perhaps the wind swiped left on his behalf?
I wish my experiences with Bumble’s not-so-friendly Caspers was in insolation, but my peers have all reported similar ghostly happenings.
Both men and women have shared not only did their online dating conversations come to a sudden halt, but some of their encounters with the un-dead even involved actually showing up to an agreed upon location, at a mutually decided upon time, only to realize they would be the only attendee at that particular party.
Has our generation become so cowardly we’d rather just ignore our problems – in the form of real-life people and their very real feelings – and hope they make like vapor and vanish?
Or, have dating apps made the masses so accessible we’ve begun to dehumanize our potential matches and forget there is a person on the other end of the phone?
Perhaps, we’re scared we won’t live up to the unrealistic expectations established by an app where we are able to carefully cultivate our image? What will happen when we’re forced to put down our perfectly posed fish, converse beyond witty quips or admit we are actually 5’8 – and not “almost 6 feet tall”?
Maybe, because we’re such a tech-happy generation, we’ve forgotten there is a real person on the other end of the phone. But, there is. My experiences with being ghosted may be positioned in this pithy little blog as fleeting and funny, but they weren’t always. In all these situations, my heart was on(the)line. In my next piece, I am going to delve a little more deeply into some of my experiences with these swiping phantoms.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from our readers about their thoughts on this modern mayhem.
What do you think has caused this ghosting epidemic? Will we ever return to a time when this behaviour was socially unacceptable, or is it going to become something that is to be expected?
Let us know on this spook sensation via @StickySexySad. In the meantime, have a happy day, bats and ghouls!