Ghosting: The Not-So-Pretty Side of Modern Dating

Dana Covit

Take it from someone in the trenches: The rules of singledom are changing—and becoming curiouser every day. Add to the already-volatile experiment of love the variable of dating app technology, and you have yourself a topic ripe for interesting debate. Enter ghosting, an apparently widespread phenomenon of modern dating, in which someone you’ve gone on anywhere from one date with to many, many more with completely disappears. Gone. Zap. Poof! As if he or she were never there, and with no explanation as to why.

The ghost, or slow fade, is staged via recurrently cancelled plans, decreased communication, and, ultimately, the final act of vanishing. Though stereotypes might have you believe that men are the perpetrators, it’s actually not so imbalanced an act. An survey found that 26 percent of women surveyed have both ghosted and been ghosted, while 33 percent of men reported the same two-sided experience. Yes, this female author (hi!) has ghosted before. No, it is not my most shining moment of decency and compassion. So, why are we doing it? Is our society totally doomed? Is technology to blame? We interviewed a handful of singles to find out…

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