A photo of someone kissing a stuffed ghost on the cheek, assuming ghosts actually have cheeks.

December 1, 2021

What to do instead of ghosting a match

Ok. It’s not working out. They’re nice, you’ve been chatting with them for awhile, but there just isn’t that spark. And that’s totally fine. What’s not totally fine is ghosting people. This is possibly my least favorite thing about online dating culture - but I understand how it happens. It’s rarely a conscious decision to ghost someone. You have some convos going and one becomes more interesting to you (probably because they asked you a question. See Dating Key #10), and you let the other convos die out. But that’s not really what’s happening. While the conversation may be over in your mind, it’s not in the mind of your match. As you stop thinking about that convo, they are thinking about it more and more, wondering why you stopped talking and whether or not you said something wrong or met someone else or died. It’s deeply unfair. Instead of sending one difficult message, you’ve multiplied the emotional discomfort and offloaded it onto your match.

I firmly believe that ghosting should not be an expected behavior on dating apps. You owe closure to both your match and yourself. You don’t leave a phone call running even after you’re done talking, so don’t do the same with a chat. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to hang up on a dating app convo - just be honest. Explain in one or two sentences why you’re ending the chat, wish them luck, and unmatch them. And if you get stuck, we have a whole Intent (DISENGAGE) in the keyboard to help you out.

**one BIIIG caveat to all this: if your match is being abusive or threatening or making you uncomfortable in any way, you do NOT owe them anything. Report them and get out of there because you deserve better.

Bottom line: don’t ghost people. It hurts them way more than getting an honest message.

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