I've been online dating for the better part of a decade. It feels shameful and embarrassing to say it like that, but it's true. I've become very familiar with the concept of "ghosting."
It goes like this... two people get matched or both swipe right or whatever and somehow end up communicating with one another. Everything seems to be going well until suddenly, for no apparent reason, one person just disappears from the conversation. The match usually isn't ever closed and there's no explanation for the disappearance. It's like you were talking with a ghost.
Here are the top 5 reasons why I have ghosted on matches:
5. His messages were filled with typos and spelling errors. I understand that not everyone is a 6th grade spelling bee champ. I understand that punctuation, spelling and typing are not easy. I know that auto-correct and using the touch screen keyboard on your phone sometimes creates comically incorrect messages... However, sometimes it's just too wrong and I can't take it.
4. He shared a random "fun fact" that I'm not okay with. Sometimes sharing random facts about yourself is quirky and endearing... And sometimes it makes me want to disappear so fast that I leave my outline behind in smoke like the Road Runner.
3. Before we've met in person, he shares his plans for our marriage/wedding/children/home/retirement plan. Dude - let's go on at least one date before you jump in that deep.
2. He won't ask me out. Sometimes everything is going right - he says the right things, he makes me laugh, and I can't wait to meet him. BUT THEN HE WON'T ASK ME OUT. I will not be your online pen pal and grow old waiting for you to ask me out for coffee.
1. He sends me pictures of his junk. Yes, believe it or not, that is a thing that actual human beings do. It's repulsive and nobody wants that.
So yes, I'm guilty of ghosting on guys that I'm matched with, (some for good reasons and some, not so much...) so I shouldn't be surprised that decent guys would disappear on me too. But I always am.
Recently, I was talking to a guy that seemed really great. I was excited to meet him, we seemed to have a lot in common and he was local so I thought that we actually stood a chance. He was cute, a Christian and even a UK fan (in Knoxville, those are hard to come by!). After a few weeks of small talk and a failed attempt to get together, he went out of town for a few days and I never heard from him again.
After double-checking my most recent messages to make sure I hadn't committed any of the unforgivable offenses listed above, I realized that even the good guys ghost. And that's one of the reasons why I hate online dating so much. It's too easy to disappear without any commitment. It's too easy to create a false intimate connection and then walk away as though nothing happened. I'm not saying that this guy was my soul mate or that I had revealed my deepest secrets to him and then he left. All I'm saying is that the convenience of online dating makes it easy to feel like somebody is there for you when you need it and equally easy to drop when you're too busy.
I don't know if I'll ever truly quit online dating while I'm single, but I'm almost 100% certain that I will not meet my future husband online. It's still too much like browsing a catalog of available men, only to find that the one you want is out of stock.