He Said, She Said #3… ‘Ghosting’: Why it hurts, and what to do about it.

By on January 11, 2016
A pair of boots walk down the road at sunset

Robert and Sara support a reader who’s been left high and dry. Apparently it’s a growing, if disturbing, trend in the recent dating scene…

Norm asks…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What happens between a hot makeout on a great date and the ‘no’ that follows when trying to get a second date?

 
Assume the woman isn’t intoxicated at the time of the make out. Why are women hot for a guy in the moment and then ice cold, stop answering texts, and refuse to communicate later? Please don’t [complain] about ‘disappearing guys’ because women do it too.
 


 

He Said… -by Robert Kandell.

 

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I recently visited my cousin in New York City. Newly back to the dating world, she’s been experiencing this very common occurrence that’s been termed “Ghosting”.
 
 
The Urban dictionary defines Ghosting as…

‘The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just “get the hint” and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested. Ghosting is not specific to a certain gender and is closely related to the subject’s maturity and communication skills. Many attempt to justify ghosting as a way to cease dating the ghostee without hurting their feelings, but it in fact proves the subject is thinking more of themselves, as ghosting often creates more confusion for the ghostee than if the subject kindly stated how he/she feels.’
 

From what I see, this is what’s happened to you.

 
The woman isn’t interested in you anymore and doesn’t want to put the effort into explaining this to you.
 
 
She may…

  • have some baggage around telling guys the truth and dealing with their tender egos.
  • have had a great time. (But I doubt it. I suspect the makeout wasn’t as hot as you perceived it to be.)
  • have felt that you weren’t paying her the attention she desired.

 

This hurts as we can easily get our hopes up when we find chemistry with someone.

‘Reading between the lines’ of your questions further, I can make the assumption that you didn’t know this woman well. It seems she was a new or casual acquaintance. She may’ve crossed one of her own boundaries by making out ‘too soon’ and now feels some personal shame. She also may not believe you respected her boundaries, or picked up on her subtle signs that this isn’t what she wanted. Perhaps in the future, you’ll want to spend a little more time getting to know the woman before you engage physically with her. Invest your time by having an extra date, or more time talking and texting.

However, as my cousin’s stories have taught me, there’s no foolproof protection against ghosting. it seems that, in this fast-food world we live and relate in, there’s always someone else one-swipe away.
 
 
Buck up Norm, get back in the game, and see what you can create. Thanks for the question!
 

[Robert, along with Kendra Cunov, will be leading a live event soon.  Click on the image below.  
-Brian Courtney, Editor.]

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She Said… -by Sara Ness.

 
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Hi, Norm! Thanks for the question.

Sounds like there’s some pain here for you. I’ve experienced this kind of thing from both sides – being the girl that doesn’t get back to the guy, and having guys not get back to me. It’s never fun, and I usually feel hurt and confused.

The tricky thing about this situation is that your date might have disappeared or changed from ‘yes’ to ‘no’ for a number of reasons, and you may not get to know why.
 
 
For instance…

  • She has a boyfriend.
  • She’s struggling with issues in her life, and thinks that would be too much stress on a new relationship, so she’s pulling away to protect you both.
  • She didn’t think the makeout was as hot as you did, but didn’t want to say it.
  • She thought the makeout was SUPER hot, but is now scared of how much she might like you.
  • She kind of likes you, but thinks you’re more into her than she is into you, and she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings by saying it.
  • She’s a vampire and you’re trying to text her during the daytime.

 
If you want to save yourself pain, the first thing to do is…
 

Get okay with not knowing…

 
Think of times that your answer for something changed.

Maybe you…

  • promised to go to an event with a friend, and at the last minute decided that you were too tired, or didn’t feel like it.
  • were supposed to spend time with your family, and had some resentment you hadn’t expressed or dislike of how you feel around them.
  • don’t even know why you’re saying ‘no’ instead of ‘yes’.

 
If you can…
 

Cultivate empathy for yourself and the other person, you’ll feel more space around what happened.

 
If you come at the woman feeling hurt and confused – saying, “Why didn’t you call me back??” or “We had such a good time! What happened?”, she is more likely to feel shame and resistance than desire. Instead, try sharing your experience openly, and ask what’s happening with her.
 
 
You might say:

‘Hey – I had a wonderful time with you the other night. I was excited to continue the connection, and feeling sad that we haven’t talked since. I’d like to know what’s happening for you. Whatever it is, I’m open to the truth. Would you let me know?’

Or, simply:

‘I want to get to know you. Do you feel the same?’
 

If I got that kind of message from a guy, I’d feel more comfortable to be honest without hurting his feelings.

 

And, If she doesn’t get back to you, at least you made the request clearly and don’t have to keep wondering whether you could have said something more. Not every hot makeout leads to a great second date. But, every connection is a learning experience. Being rejected by these women and being honest with them and yourself about it could be the key to a beautiful relationship down the road.
 
[Sara is the powerhouse founder of the Austin-based authentic relating community.  Scope out her range of offerings here.  (Click the image below.)  -Brian Courtney, Editor.]

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