Dear Gentlemen of the Internet Dating Universe,
You are not Casper. You are not a ghost, friendly or otherwise. You cannot walk through walls and disappear. Please stop.
The latest of your ilk exchanged a frenzied 568 text messages over a three day period with actual plans made to meet in a week’s time. First, kudos to him for having something more interesting to say than “Hey” or “Hi there” and actually reaching the stage where I give out my phone number. Your brother in arms was seemingly smart and witty. Or at least moderately literate, which is sadly a rarity in the OKC, POF, Match (ad nauseam) World. Why do I keep returning to these forums in which people think thru is a legitimate spelling of any word? Yes. It is a Drive-Thru. No. McDonald’s should not dictate proper grammar. Because Hope Springs Eternal. And then…… And then…..
Grade A David Copperfield vanishing act. If it were unique I would demand a drum roll and applaud the magic show. But alas. It was merely the latest in a slew of disappearing, weak willed boys; boys regardless of their chronological age (38, 42, whatever).
You have all congealed into each other at this point. There is no differentiating PunkRockSeth from DogLover224 from Looking4U from its_just_bob. This Houdini merely absorbed into the gelatinous mass of 14 years of online introductions that balk when push comes to shove and choose silence over being an actual human.
Gentlemen. Please. Grow a pair of stones. I would presume it to be just me but there is an Urban Dictionary entry belying that assumption. The problem is pervasive enough to warrant an entry. It states:
GHOSTING: 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.
I couldn’t have said it better Urban Dictionary. And before you all get up in arms about how Urban Dictionary is not the real dictionary and try to derail the issue at hand, please refer to the fact WTF, clickbait and photobomb were all recently added to the Merriam-Webster. Language is ever evolving. It’s just a matter of time.
Objectively, why wouldn’t you, Caspers of the world, just tell me reason A, B or C why you don’t want to continue communication? Whatever that reason may be it is far preferable to the silent dematerialization. Perhaps I said something Red Flag. I should know that so that I may assess myself. Perhaps you met a karaoke groupie and flew to the Little White Chapel to get married on the last day you deigned to return a message. If so, Congratulations! Maybe the goldfish died. My sympathies. Most likely, you decided you were not interested enough to pursue further contact or got scared. I have no way to know because you chose to disappear instead with merely a ghostly wisp of your texting presence left.
I’m an adult. You’re an adult. We all get Adulting sucks. But. Part of Adulting is being respectful of other people and acknowledging them as such, as more than messages on a screen. If I can Adult Up and tell men “Thank you for the interest but I don’t think it would work” why can’t you all muster the same courtesy? This is not directed at the rare men I’ve met with the proverbial stones to actually say perhaps we are not for each other. I give credit to them for being real men. It may have stung my ego a bit they didn’t realize how completely awesome I am but I give them all my respect for closure. No, I’m looking at you Casper.
There was a time we had to look each other in the eye. We were people. Perhaps I merely show my age, or the age of my soul, which happens to be old and crotchety. It just seems it’s all winky faces and LOL’s and whistling texts now. There is no connection left, especially when meeting someone online. It’s too easy to dismiss each other as electronic entities instead of legitimate people in search of legitimate contact.
You are not ‘sparing me’ from hurt over someone I haven’t even met. But you are draining the Eternal Spring of any hope there are real men left in the world. I don’t know else to say it. Nut up Gentlemen. Don’t be a Casper. Be a man.
Frustrated Ghostee Annie C.
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