This is a scenario many of us know all too well: You’ve gone on several dates with someone, thinking you’re a good match for one another. You text and even video call occasionally. Given how regularly you’ve been seeing each other, you get your hopes up. You think to yourself, ‘Maybe this person is the one.’ Then the conversations get a bit drier. Your calls get ignored, and all communication gets cut off completely in the blink of an eye.
Ghost months may have come and gone, but ghosting is still a thing. Being left without any explanation or closure can take a toll on anyone. You may be wondering if there’s something wrong with you, but the truth is that sometimes, it’s the other party who’s the problem.
To understand why ghosting remains so prominent in today’s dating world, Bumble, the women-first dating, and social networking app commissioned a survey last month about ghosting in the Philippines. The study shows that 46% of Filipino singles have ghosted someone*, and 56% have experienced being ghosted before.
Why do people ghost anyway? According to Bumble, 60% of ghosters leave their could-be beaus on reading as they deem the connection not significant enough to merit further conversation, with one-third of them choosing to ghost even before the first date. 46% of singles also blame a busy schedule as the second most popular reason for ghosting. If you’re an unwanted recipient of the silent treatment, take heart that it probably has little to do with you – they might have decided that dating is not their priority or that you are not a good match for one another at this time, which led them to choose the easier path of silence.
This study also discovered that 48% of Filipinos feel more discouraged about dating after being ghosted. Furthermore, the survey revealed that73% of Filipino respondents did not believe that ghosting was a suitable way to end a relationship.
“At Bumble, we have a firm ‘anti-ghosting’ policy, as we believe it is always better to have open, honest, and kind conversations if you’d like to end a relationship, or even just a correspondence,” said Lucille McCart, APAC Communications Director of Bumble. “If you have experienced ghosting and it has impacted your confidence or made you feel disheartened,, just know it’s likely because your match has poor communication skills, not any shortcomings of your own. Either way, move forward with the knowledge that they aren’t the right match for you – there are plenty more people on Bumble who would love the chance to get to know you!” she adds.
How to (kindly) anti-ghost someone
On the other hand, prolonging a connection because you don’t want to become someone else’s dating horror story, isn’t good for you, too. Bumble says you should deal with the end of a relationship, casual or otherwise, as nicely as possible. Here are some tips to let someone down gently without ghosting them :
- A friendly message is always better than silent treatment if someone you’ve connected with reaches out and you’re no longer interested. Ideally, a breakup should happen face to face, but if you’ve been seeing someone casually or have only been on a few dates, a text is okay. Some ideas to communicate how you are feeling in a respectful way:
- Hey ___, it was really nice hanging out with you. You’re great but I’m not feeling a romantic connection. I don’t think we should go on any more dates. If you want to try being friends, I’d love to be in touch.
- Hi ___. I recently started seeing someone and I’m focusing my energy on developing that relationship. Instead of ghosting you I figured I’d just be direct and honest.
- Hey___, I’ve really enjoyed chatting with you but I’m not feeling a spark. I don’t want to waste your time so thought I’d be honest with you. I wish you all the best in the future.
- Feeling nervous about letting someone down? Remember that even though it can be awkward and anxiety-inducing, being upfront about how you feel is less offensive to the other person than cutting off communication with no explanation. That kind of behavior can be upsetting and damaging, and it is much nicer to let them down gently. Rejection can be kind and compassionate in its delivery – just think about how you would like to be treated if the situation was reversed.
- Always keep your messages positive – not interested because you can’t stand the way they chew with their mouth open. No need to tell them that. If you’re breaking the news via text, keep it short and sweet and it will be over as soon as you’ve had the courage to hit ‘send’. If you’re doing it in person, arrange to meet for a quick coffee or a walk in the park, so that it is less awkward if the other person wants to leave right away – going for a meal or a drink will mean there is more hanging around, and might send the wrong impression and leave them even more disappointed. Either way, do it with the knowledge that you are doing the right thing!
Bumble is built on the importance of equitable relationships and how crucial they are to a healthy, and happy life. The app is centered around kindness, respect, and equality – and everyone plays a part in that.
Best of all, the Bumble app is free to download. It is widely available in the App Store and Google Play. Finding the right one and avoiding another ghost (or ghosting another person) is just a download away.
*Methodology of Survey:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Singapore Pte Ltd. Total sample size was 1,108 Single adults aged 18 – 41. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5 – 16 August 2022 across the Philippines. The survey was carried out online.