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June 27, 2022

r/onlinedating's take on ghosting

Reddit claims to be “the front page of the internet,” but we know it to be more akin to the Ol’ Wild West. It’s a bustling and gritty place, with all the freedoms, dangers, and diversions of a gold rush boom town. In this column I strap on my spurs and head into the saloon of the frustrated and lonesome hearted, r/Onlinedating or one of its adjacent groups. I’ll give you a brief summary of the original poster (OP)’s issue, and a few of the most pertinent comments, sorted into the categories below. 

The Situation:

The OP, u/ICrashDaily, laments his recent streak of bad luck in the pandemic online dating scene. They’re looking for something casual, and have matched with several people that interest them, but are continually ghosted by each subsequent date. They are fed up with online dating as a whole, and feel both confused and slighted by all the cancelations they’ve suffered. 

1. The Surprisingly Sound


Not everyone is like this but if it doesn't work for you, take a break. Also, try not to get jaded - can't carry over baggage from previous matches to the next person. Give them a clean slate.

This user is very active in the online dating discussion groups, and I’ve seen some good and some not great stuff from them. But on the whole, they are a reliable, encouraging presence on the forums. This comment in particular, about stepping back, taking time to heal, and giving each new match a fresh start, is great advice for anyone feeling frustrated or hurt by the dating process. 

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2. The Well-intentioned but Generally Unhelpful To Anyone


If you are consistently choosing people who flake on you, the responsibility for solving that issue lies with you. If you're not having fun in dating then it doesn't sound like you have effective expectations, or useful skillsets.


You can see that this user was trying to be helpful, but the vagueness of their suggestions are both confusing and discouraging. Not to mention the not-so-subtle “you’re the problem,” implication in the first sentence. Whether this is true of the OP or not, being ghosted always hurts, and one of the reasons for this because it can be hard to see why it happened. 


3. The Garbage Pile of Unwelcome Sexism


Dude, I totally feel you. OLD is an abomination. It's a lesson in futility; a grand disappointment. Now I'm going to get downvoted all to hell with this but...I even get ghosted by obese women. ("Why did you even match with them in the first place, dick?" "Just to prove a point.") I eat organic, exercise daily and don't even act like a creep when messaging women. There is too much competition that it's best for our sanity to stop the apps and just keep your profile up for the benefit of the doubt.

I even get ghosted by obese women! I don’t even act like a creep when messaging women! Yikes. If only an organic diet and daily exercise could tone-deaf and sexist superiority complex. I would point out the user’s screen name, but that feels unnecessary. Eat cage-free Kale if that’s your thing, but don’t be a dick to people who are just trying to get some love in their lives. 

If these comments can tell you anything, it’s that you’re not alone out there, and no one really knows what they’re doing. And if you need online dating advice… Maybe close that Reddit forum and just ask your friends.

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