In a previous post, I wrote to you about the liars that might be stalking around corners in the online dating world.
In keeping with the honesty (or lack there of) theme, let’s talk about something else we hear a lot about (and have some experience with ourselves):
If you’re unschooled in the wise adolescent ways of online dating, let me explain ghosting. I’ll bet you already know what it is.
Ghosting happens when someone unexpectedly cuts off communication. There’s no explanation. No clear warning. Just suddenly no more texts. No more calls. They’re just gone. Poof.
Relationships that begin online are ripe for ghosting because it’s so easy. You just stop responding to the emails or the texts. People don’t have to face each other.
It’s easy but it’s not the way you should go about things.
I get it. I’ve done it, back when I was young and tacky. I’d be chatting with someone, either via email, messenger or maybe even text.
Things would be going well. And then the excitement about the whole thing would start to fade. Usually, it was because I got the sense that this wasn’t the love connection I was hoping for.
I didn’t know what to do about it. I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, especially if I got the sense that the other person was into me more than I was into her.. So I would just stop communicating. Cold turkey.
I’ve also been on the other end of ghosting. You’re left wondering what happened. Was it something I said? Was she just busy? Did something more serious happen? You just never knew, and it was a horrible feeling.
At the same time, I took it as just part of the online dating game. Sometimes you ghosted; sometimes you got ghosted. Thems be the breaks, right?
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Let me be frank: this is never going to be a situation that is super comfortable, especially if she’s really into you and the feelings aren’t returned.
But doing the right thing isn’t always going to be the most comfortable thing.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a few minutes and actually bother to let this person in whom you have invested a bit of time know what’s up.
Besides, she also invested time in YOU.
If she was decent enough for you to have a conversation, then she’s decent enough for you to end the conversation like an adult.
But how do you do it, especially without hurting her feelings?
First, you cannot control her feelings. You can control what you say to her but not how she reacts to it. Make peace with that. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t handle her with care.
So, second, just let her know. Be kind but be honest.
Not sure what to say? Try these starters:
I’ve enjoyed getting to know you. However, I don’t think that we’re a good fit and I’d hate to lead you on…
I know we’ve been chatting for a while. I don’t think, though, that I’m going to be what you need/want…
As much as I have enjoyed getting to know you, if I’m honest with myself, I don’t really have time to dedicate to a relationship the way I thought I did…
Be sure to wish her well in her search and with anything else that you know she has going on. The key is to let her know that, though this isn’t working out (for you, at least) that you hope good things for her and there are no hard feelings. Don’t make any promises that you don’t plan to keep though.
Like I said, this might not be the most comfortable message you’ve ever given someone. But with a little care and consideration, it can be one of the best.
If you got something from this post and believe someone can use it, please share it.