In the world of online dating, there is nothing worse than the inevitable lack of response and going into absolute panic mode when you don't get a reply, better known as "ghosting". Ghoster or ghostee, we all know and understand how bad it feels to be left on read. Often the ghoster is taking the cowardly way out to avoid an uncomfortable conversation, but this leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions and even more confusion for the ghostee.
Why is ghosting a thing?
Back when I started to date, applications like Tinder and Bumble were practically non-existent. People actually had to go up to strangers and interact with them at parties and other social events. Talking with people online was not really an option.
But now, as the internet is slowly taking over our lives, dating apps have become mainstream. This has made it easier for people to connect online. However, as it has made it more convenient to find potential dates, it has also become easier to block, mute, or ignore the others.
This has caused lots of us to be on the tough end of the ghoster-ghostee dynamic. Luckily, I have a structure to help you deal with these kinds of unfortunate encounters.
What to do when you don’t get a reply
The most important thing you have to remember is that communication is key. If you want to know why people are not replying, it is your responsibility to seek clarity and find the reasons as to why you are not connecting with the person you are talking to.
You can start by considering these two things:
Firstly, you must know the right time to ask someone about why they had left you on read. Too early, and you might have been just a little bit paranoid. Too late, and you might miss the opportunity to have fixed it earlier.
Secondly, you must also consider not just when, but also how you talk to someone about it. Make sure that you gain a bit more information about possible scenarios as to why someone has not replied in the first place before you ask them your questions.
However, although it is within their right not to reply in the first place, there comes a sort of “cut off point” where it becomes unacceptable to not receive a reply. This point is completely up to you; however, I do have some advice about what to do when you reach it.
To deal with situations like these, I want you to keep in mind the three R’s – React, Reflect, and Reframe.
React. You are entitled to the feelings that you feel. This means that you are welcome to stop, step away from your phone, and pour out all your emotions about not getting a reply. If you are angry, sad, or disappointed, type it down in your notes, or write about it in your journal.
Reflect. As you let your emotions flow, you must be able to breath and reflect on what is really going on. Bring the situation back into your control and ask yourself questions to understand what is really going on behind this unrequited message.
Reframe. Think about what to do from here on out. Based on your reaction and reflection, think about what you want as well as what you deserve. You might settle with waiting for a day, or you might realise that you want a person that is more communicative.
In all ways, understand that these are choices that you can make because it is you who sets the boundary of who gets your time and attention, and who doesn’t.
You control what you can take away from what you experienced, as well as the lessons you learned along the way.
Listen to the full discussion of What To Do When You Don't Get A Reply on The Single Girl's Guide to Life podcast, your weekly guide to single girl life.