Has swiping made dating too spooky for the sentimental?

ghosting on bumble
It must be Halloween all-year-round because the ghosts certainly abound

In a previous blog, I left off with some reflections about how being “ghosted” on Bumble made me feel. It’s difficult to apply hard and fast rules to the disappearance of my matches on Bumble: not only because there never seemed to be any pattern in the process, but also because my post-ghosting feelings changed as frequently as the faces peering back at me from my phone screen.

One of the more difficult disappearances I dealt with at the beginning of my Bumble career revolved around a good-looking, smooth-talking and seemingly promising candidate we will call F. Not only did we connect over the phone, but he was one of my very first IRL (in real life) encounters. When we spent time together, it seemed easy and – to the best of my knowledge – enjoyable. However, it wasn’t long after he gifted me a Shining poster (Why? Not sure, but I got it custom-framed. Hush!) that I realized Johnny was no longer “here.”

When F f-ed off, I found myself swiping right vehemently. This was because his capital F fadeaway made me feel like something was wrong with me, even though I knew deep down that wasn’t the issue #itshimnotme. This sense of loss and self-doubt deepened before he disappeared, actually, with each update of his profile. It was pretty obvious that he was still on the hunt even when he was enjoying my honey…Then he found another hive to hang out in.

“You have to have thick skin.”

After many conversations with folks of all genders and ages about ghosting a la dating apps like Bumble, it’s clear ghosting has become normalized within our dating and social cultures. This doesn’t mean we’re “Ok” with it though – far from it! Whether we’ve only chatted online, hooked up once or had something on the semi-regular, it still happens. POOF—they are gone with the digital wind.

What is the antidote to feeling unattractive, angry, and frustrated in the face of this lame yet prevalent practice? I was told it’s to not take it personally and develop Bumble calluses, as a defense against the unfortunate reality that many of my favourite bees may not be so sweet on me after all. I don’t yet have or actually want thick skin, though. Not only because I am a lover of hygiene and lavish lotions, but also because that’s simply not who I am. I feel things intensely, and why shouldn’t I?

While I know this is a positive trait – that is to feel + resist ghosting – my affinity for affect did result in a few tear stained cheeks during my sticky swiping life inside the Bumble hive.

This is true, not only with F, but also with hot young guy who ghosted me after a cute coffee. There was also this one really strange goblin of a man who re-matched with me three – YES THREE – times only to initiate conversations and then evaporate. Like, what the hell? At one point, I got unmatched thrice in 24 hours – and all by ghosts. Srsly… 

But, the funny – or not funny – thing is, I was kind of guilty of it too. While I never disappeared on anyone who I had a connection with, I definitely unmatched people who I swiped right on too swiftly. I also let many a match fade into oblivion as the 24-hour clock counted down their fate.

Sometimes I felt guilty, but I also know it’s the price of doing business…There are different kinds of ghosting: I mean there seems to stand a bit more to lose post-connection versus those that involve a disinterest post-hasty right swipe during lean times. Am I right?

What do you think constitutes ghosting? What kinds have you been subjected to or performed? When is it OK to avoid an unnecessarily awkward, “Thanks, but no thanks,” conversation? When should we muster the gumption to forgo the ghosting and admit to your romantic counterpart they are just no longer the apple of your eye?

Let us know what you think about 2019’s ghosts – we’d love to hear from both the bats and ghouls on this one!

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