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When dating apps lead to disappearing acts, beat the blues with these five tips

Penelope James   |   Fri, 11 Nov 2022

For as long as online dating and dating apps have existed, so too has the gross phenomenon known as “ghosting.”

We’ve all been there, right? You meet a great match online, you DM each other 24/7, you hang out IRL a time or two, and then – poof! – your once promising date disappears without a trace. You’re offered no goodbyes, no explanations, no apologies ... in fact, your only parting gift is a boatload of self-doubt and the lovely task of reconciling a romance that went from full-speed-ahead to dead-on-arrival.

There's no doubt that ghosting is a cruel and cowardly form of rejection that says far more about the ghoster than the ghostee. But understanding that sentiment doesn’t always make the experience less painful.

So what can you do when you find yourself a victim of a not-so-friendly Casper? Here are five tips to help mend your bruised ego and get you back in the dating saddle sooner than later.

Own your bad dating experiences, but don’t let them own you

When you’re ghosted by a new match or fledgling partner, it’s easy to blame yourself and internalize the rejection. You might even scour your DM history, searching for clues as to what *you* did wrong.

And look, a little self-reflection is healthy. Perhaps in your postmortem analysis you will find that you did in fact mess up. It happens, and it’s a learning experience that you can take with you into your next relationship.

But that’s where you should draw the line. Own the fact that it happened, acknowledge that it’s over, absorb any lessons that need learning, and then let it go. Don’t let the what-ifs and could-haves cloud your perspective or take up more headspace than they deserve. There’s no upside to obsessing over the experience.

The only truth you need to hang onto is this: unless you did something truly heinous or threatening to your would-be partner, you were owed the respect of a verbal rejection. The fact that your match didn’t have the strength to offer as much as a “been fun but bye” tells you everything you need to know about their character. Better to find out now than months down the line.

Feel your feelings, and process them with perspective

Of course, letting go doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel your feelings. "Getting ghosted" is a misleadingly cute way to describe being rejected and disrespected by someone you’re into. Don't let the terminology invalidate any pain you may be experiencing. Whether it’s been two weeks or two months, it can be totally disorienting to discover that the vibe you thought was mutual, well, wasn’t.

Take all the time you need to acknowledge and process those feelings, but also keep them in perspective. Your sense of self-worth should not be influenced by someone else’s bad dating etiquette. You’re a catch, dang it!

Block that bad match ... and don’t you dare DM them!

This next tip is often easier said than done, but for the love of singlehood, resist the urge to contact the goon who ghosted you. You’re not going to get an explanation, and any attempt to shame them for their actions will be in vain. They know they’ve done you wrong; they just place a higher priority on their own emotional comfort than yours. That’s not going to change because you send them a meme-worthy rebuke.

Also, remember to block the person on your messaging and dating apps to spare yourself an unwanted reminder of the experience. (On Couple, you can unmatch people through your account. Just log in and go to your matches page.)

Take a break from dating apps (if you need to)

Depending on how distraught you feel post-ghosting, perhaps it’s worth taking a temporary break from dating apps altogether. A little time away from the game could be all you need to gain some useful perspective.

Devote a little extra time to your hobbies, chase that promotion you’ve been seeking, sneak away on a vacation, or plan a night out with your friends. You are more than your relationship status, and life is a lot bigger than dating. Show yourself some compassion and love. When your cup is filled internally, you’ll be ready for romance again.

Surround yourself with friends ... being single doesn’t mean flying solo!

Above all else, if a ghosting experience has got you down, don’t isolate. The only thing that sucks more than being sad is being sad alone. Surround yourself with your people ... the people who know you, who love you, and who can remind you of the millions of ways you are worth showing up for.

Good luck out there, pals. And remember your friends at The Vibe are here to lend moral support and dating advice whenever you need. We're just an email away!


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