If you’re a guy who has spent any time in the online dating world, you are probably familiar with the modern-day phenomenon known as “ghosting.” And it can be scarier and more upsetting than a disembodied spirit terrorizing you under cover of darkness. But why do women ghost, and does it seem like a common phenomenon?
A survey released by the dating site Plenty of Fish revealed that as much as 78% of males – between the ages of 18 and 33 – have been ghosted at least once. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, let’s break it down for you lucky dudes who have yet to experience being ghosted by a woman.
And let’s make sure you are well-equipped to handle ghosting if it happens to you.
What is ghosting, exactly? Ghosting is the abrupt ending of communication in all forms with someone, (particularly a love interest) without explanation. We’re talking no texts, no phone calls, blocked from social media, no communication of ANY kind. It can leave the “ghosted” victim feeling confused, sad, angry, and completely devastated.
Essentially, it’s called ghosting because it involves a person basically vanishing into thin air, falling off the face of the Earth…and leaving the “ghostee” looking for answers. Why do women ghost men? The simple answer could be “they’re just not that into you.”
But there are a host of reasons why ghosting has become so prevalent in today’s weird dating culture.
Reasons Women Ghost
She’s Just Not That Into You
This is the simplest and probably most popular reason why women ghost. After talking online for a while and perhaps meeting in person, the woman has determined that she’s just not that attracted to or interested in the guy.
She’s not feeling the chemistry and rather than make a polite excuse for her departure, she simply cuts off all contact.
She’s Married or In a Relationship
Women do it too, guys. She may just be bored or unhappy in her relationship and looking for a little bit of fun or diversion.
She chose to dabble in some online flirtation and decided to get out before the water got too deep. Or she felt guilty.
It’s known as emotional infidelity, and it is possible to emotionally cheat on someone even if you never actually met or physically touched the other person.
She Got a Better Offer (Which She Accepted)
Like most men and women participating in online dating, your ghost is probably talking to multiple people at once and decided to focus her attention on someone, or several people, she seems to click with better than you.
Dating apps are what I like to call “human vending machines.” There are just so many people out there, it’s difficult to focus exclusive attention on one person for very long. And even if we do seem to click with someone, human nature seems to dictate that “there’s always something better out there.”
The swiping thing becomes quite addictive, and women are always looking for that next, better-looking, taller, richer guy. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m saying that’s just how it is.
She Was Just Bored and Looking For Attention
The unfortunate truth is that dating apps are a form of entertainment and can be a numbers game for some women. Like men, some women just see dating apps as a diversion and want to see how many “Likes” or “Swipes Right” they can get.
They’re not taking it seriously and have no intention of meeting you in person.
She’s a Scammer
Like so many women who have their DMs full of purported Nigerian princes who promise all their earthly fortunes and assets to their catfishing victims, men can also be on the receiving end of scams from women. (Or men pretending to be women).
Once a catfisher has determined that you are not rising to the bait, they will ghost you because they know they won’t get any money/gifts/green cards out of you and are off to seek a new victim.
Wanted Assurance She’s Still Attractive and Desirable
Dating apps, like much of social media, are a visual medium first and foremost. If you’re not immediately at least a little attracted to someone’s photo, you’re not going to “like” them or “swipe right” on them.
It doesn’t matter what’s in their written profile. They could be the funniest, kindest, most intelligent person you’ve ever met. But if they’re not hot, or at least cute, in your eyes, they’re getting swiped left. And lots of women out there want to see if they’ve still “got it;” they want that endorphin hit when they get lots of “likes” and attention from men. It’s not that deep and doesn’t mean she really wants to date you.
Types of Ghosting
So many terms have been added to the lexicon of modern dating that you practically need a PhD. to keep up with them all. Let’s dive in.
The Hardcore Ghoster
The first type I will call the hardcore ghoster. This is the woman who just flat-out abruptly stops all forms of communication with you and blocks you on her phone and all forms of social media. She simply vanishes without a trace, leaving you hurt, confused, and wondering what you did to deserve this.
Let’s call the second type of ghoster the stalker. This is possibly even more confusing and hurtful than the woman who just blocked you outright.
She stopped responding to your texts and calls and may have blocked you on some social media platforms, but still watches your Instagram stories, “likes” your posts occasionally, and provides the absolute bare minimum of attention.
She’s probably trying to leave the door open a crack so that she can slide back into your DMs when and if she feels like it. But she doesn’t want a real relationship.
The Gradual Ghoster
The next type of ghoster is the gradual ghoster. This can be the most painful of all. One minute you’re communicating with the girl you really like and hanging out regularly.
Over the course of weeks or months, you’ll realize that communication has slowed to a trickle, the dates have become few and far between, and that you are doing 99 percent of initiating contact with little to show for it.
And then it stops altogether, leaving you wounded and without closure. What the hell?
“Caspering” is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s ghosting, just a little bit friendlier, like the cartoon character. The person doing the ghosting attempts to forewarn their victim or let them down easily.
“Zombieing” and “Submarining” are two other terms essentially meaning the same thing. The ghost, who may have disappeared for quite a while, eventually resurfaces or “comes back from the dead,” texting or messaging the “ghostee” as if nothing has happened.
There’s also “Breadcrumbing” which is not really ghosting, rather it is giving a guy the bare minimum of time and attention in order to keep him interested.
The “Breadcrumber” rarely follows through on plans and is often attention-seeking, narcissistic, or in another relationship.
What Does It Mean When a Woman Ghosts You?
The seemingly simple and obvious answer would be that she’s just not that into you. She’s decided that you aren’t a potential romantic partner and wants to move on. But why be so soul-crushingly rude about it?
There seems to be a deeper reason why women are likely to ghost men. When women decide to reject a man, they are often met with anger and aggression. That dude who initially seemed so great and cool, when rejected, can turn into a nasty, rude, mean jerk.
Women can get harassed to the point where they’re worried about their safety. Not that it’s an acceptable excuse, but for many women it’s simply easier to not have that confrontation at all…and to simply disappear.
According to a recent survey by Bankmycell.com, up to 82% of women have admitted to ghosting people (compared to 71% of men). The top three reasons women gave for ghosting were as follows:
Here’s another fun fact: according to research conducted by online dating website RSVP in conjunction with Nielsen, the age range of women most likely to ghost is between the ages of 30 and 39, although women of all ages have admitted to ghosting.
What To Do When a Woman Ghosts You
You haven’t heard from her for weeks or months. It looks like your “boo” has become a ghost. You’re feeling hurt, confused, frustrated, and angry. You want closure. However, now is absolutely NOT the time to stalk, harass, or hound the woman who ghosted you for answers.
What’s the best way to move on after her disappearing act and start living your best life?
Maybe you need to yell, or cry, or punch things (inanimate objects, hopefully) to release some of your anger and frustration first.
Perfectly normal response.
It could take a few days or even weeks to get past this stage. Take all the time you need. But afterwards, you need to treat yourself to lots of a magical thing called self-care.
First of all – and I cannot stress this enough – block her. On all social media platforms. Delete her number.
Don’t give this woman the opportunity to just slide back into your life whenever she feels like it. No matter how much it sucks, it is imperative that you go totally NO CONTACT. Particularly because you want to maintain your dignity and self-respect.
Resist the urge to send her hundreds of whining, begging, pleading texts and calls demanding to know what went wrong, and why.
That’s total Beta-male behavior and is highly unlikely to get you back into this woman’s good graces; if anything, it will turn her off further.
As a good friend of mine once quipped, “Closure is for wimps.” And honestly, aren’t you better off without someone who doesn’t respect you enough to end things in person, or at the very least, through a text or call?
Now that you have blocked your ghost, it’s time to set about the business of getting on with living your life.
You might feel humiliated. You might be tempted to slide into a depression and just sit on the couch in your grubby sweats, stuffing your face with pizza and swilling beer. That’s ok for a few days.
But then you’ve got to snap out of it.
Make yourself get up and get out there. Show up for yourself. Work out, or at least go for a long walk. Treat yourself to a fresh haircut or some new clothes. Splurge on that expensive pair of Air Jordans you’ve been eyeing.
Most importantly, you don’t have to go through the recovery process alone. Call up some buddies you haven’t seen for a while and hang out. Lean on family and friends for support. If you’re really struggling with getting over being ghosted, reach out to a mental health professional – there’s no shame in your game.
Before you know it, you’ll wake up one day and the memory of being ghosted will be as distant as she was.
How To Make a Ghoster Regret Ghosting You
There is a famous saying that “Living well is the best revenge.” And that sage advice applies here.
Can you make the woman who ghosted you regret her decision? Possibly, but that’s really not what you’re after here, trust me. You’ve blocked her out, and you’re not going to retaliate. Because that would make her seem way more important in your life than she actually was.
Don’t stoop to her petty level.
The absolute best thing you can do is to focus on taking care of yourself and BEING the right person so that you can attract the right person for you.
If the woman who ghosted you decides to check in on you or insert herself back into your life, your best revenge will be showing her how successfully you have moved on with your life, and how happy you are.
She wasn’t even a blip on your radar screen!
What Ghosting Says About The Person
Ghosting actually says far more about the ghoster than the ghostee. Yes, it could be that she is just a rude, thoughtless, selfish b*tch who never cared about you at all. But things are very rarely that black or white in the real world.
People are complex beings, not one-note characters in a dime-store novel. As mentioned previously, women are more likely to ghost than men because they don’t want to deal with an uncomfortable and aggressive confrontation when they try to tell the man they don’t think the relationship is working out for them.
You now know everything you always wanted to know about ghosting but were afraid to ask. In fact, you probably know more than you wanted.
We are living in crazy, unprecedented times, where cell phones and social media make it all too easy to cut someone out of your life and simply vanish into thin air. Politeness and manners seem to have gone the way of the dodo, and the plethora of dating sites and the sheer volume of humanity on them makes it extremely convenient to just block a person and move on to the next.
And when you wonder “why do women ghost?”, the simplest answer may be “Because they can.”
However, we know that most times it’s not that simple. People can pretend to be almost anything they want to be online, and until you meet that person face-to-face, games can and will continue to be played. The woman you are hooking up with, or dating, may not be all that she appears to be.
For good or bad, dating apps and social media are now the primary way for people seeking relationships to meet. They are not going away anytime soon, and as long as they exist, so will ghosting.
While the idea of being ghosted is terribly rude at best, and traumatic at worst (especially after you have invested months or even years into a relationship), you can take comfort in the fact that if you’ve been the victim of a ghoster, you have essentially dodged a bullet!
That woman actually did you a favor by showing you who she really was, though it may not have been easy to spot at first.
According to Kelsey M. Latimer, PhD, founder of Hello Goodlife, people who are likely to ghost you generally have avoidant, manipulative, and self-centered personalities. If the woman who ghosted you couldn’t take the time to tell you that she’s not interested or that your relationship is over, is this the kind of woman you want to keep in your life?
Whether she couldn’t be bothered giving you an explanation, didn’t feel like you were worth her time or didn’t have the guts to tell you to your face, it all comes down to the same thing. It’s simply not polite.
The fact that you’re a man doesn’t make it any easier or less painful being ghosted. Yes, it’s disheartening, and your ego will likely take a hit, but it’s not your fault that the woman couldn’t be mature and give you the truth.
Give yourself some time and space and self-care. And then get back out there, my man!
Also Read: Ignore Her When She Goes Cold