What is a better way to say, “I’m not into you anymore,” without throwing the other person into digital silence? Ghosting, in the dating world, means cutting off communication without any explanation. As far as online dating goes, it has become something of a norm when it comes to ending things. Despite its commonality, ghosting really is the dating trend many would like to see replaced with something a little, kinder.
The thing about ‘Ghosting’
It seems easier to just disappear than show up and awkwardly admit that you’re not feeling a person anymore. Dating apps are partly to blame for creating an environment where it is easy to ignore rather than confront or reject as feelings arise.
According to the popular dating app Hinge, 91% of users say that they’ve been ghosted. Logan Ury, Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science, explains that 40% of those who ghost say they do it because they don’t know how to explain why they don’t want to see someone again. Being upfront with someone may be uncomfortable, but it allows for transparency which is less harmful in the long run. Providing the person didn’t make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, providing closure is a must. Here are a few healthy ways to end what isn’t working anymore.
What to say instead of ghosting:
Good old incompatibility
Sometimes the person you originally hit it off with, is just not who you thought they would be. Incompatibility happens sometimes, you don’t have to make it a big deal.
Instead of ghosting, try saying: “I enjoyed meeting you but I really don’t think we have a lot in common. Compatibility is something I value so based on that alone, I think it’s time to end this”
When the first (second and third) date didn’t go down well
When the initial dates don’t leave you wanting more, it might be time to keep it moving.
Instead of ghosting, try saying: “I enjoyed getting to know you but the more time we spend together, the more I’ve noticed how we’re not the best match.”
When you’re just not interested anymore
Dating is complicated, sometimes you just can’t hide the fact that you’re not interested in your new love interest. When the magic wears off, there are ways to communicate this that aren’t so painful.
Instead of ghosting, try saying: “I had the best time hanging out with you, I think you’re great. I do want to be honest with you though, I feel that we don’t have as strong of a connection as I first felt. I think it’s best if we end things here. I hope you understand.”
If you’re not ready to commit
Whether you’re freshly out of a relationship or focusing on other non-romantic aspects of your life, it sometimes needs to be communicated that you’re unavailable.
Instead of ghosting, try saying: “These past few dates have been incredible but if I’m being real, I’m not in a position to commit to a long-term relationship right now and I don’t want to waste your time”.
When the vibes are off
Maybe your values are extremely different. Or perhaps they were unpredictably rude to a waiter. Maybe Mercury was in retrograde which led to some off interactions. Whatever it was, you weren’t feeling it.
Instead of ghosting, try saying: “I’m not sure if you felt it too, but I really don’t feel like we’re on the same page. It feels like the better choice to end things now rather than force it. I still wish you the best.”
If you’re making it official with someone else
This one is never easy, for anyone. Resist completely snubbing the old love interest and offer up an explanation that compassionately lays it all out instead.
Instead of ghosting, try saying: “As much as I enjoyed getting to know you, I can’t continue to see you because I have found someone else and things are getting serious between us. I want to be transparent now before we continue to deepen our bond.”
When you feel under-appreciated by the person
It’s not uncommon to feel disregarded or under-valued when connecting with someone through online dating apps. Often dating-app users are getting to know multiple people at once. If you haven’t gotten past the superficial side of things, you might be noticing minimal effort to get to know you.
Instead of ghosting, try saying: “I’m not open to going on another date with you since we don’t have the same romantic expectations. I hope you find what you’re looking for though.”
What to say when you’re better as friends
This one is a classic. Sometimes the jokes are abundant and the dates last hours longer than you planned. Even if the chemistry is 10/10, romance is a hard thing to fake. If you’re both open to friendship, the vibes can still continue.
Instead of ghosting, try saying: “I’m super grateful that our paths crossed. I feel that we have amazing energy together but I see us flourishing as friends rather than as partners. If you’re open to it, I’d love for us to continue as friends but I respect and understand if that’s not something you want.”