One of the most disheartening aspects of modern dating is the prevalence of ghosting — the act of suddenly vanishing from someone’s life without explanation. To help you navigate the unpredictable world of dating and avoid the disappointment of being ghosted, look out for these early warning signs that someone you’ve matched with might be a ghoster in disguise:
1. Past Behavior Predicts Future Actions
You’ve probably heard the saying, “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” This adage holds true in the context of dating as well. When assessing someone’s potential to ghost, pay close attention to their past actions. If they openly admit to having ghosted someone before, that’s the number one way to assess the probability of it happening again. This admission, coupled with whether they express regret for their past actions, can provide valuable insights into their future behavior.
2. Confirming Dates: A Sign of Respect
Respecting someone’s time is a fundamental aspect of dating etiquette. Confirming a date demonstrates that you value your date’s time and take the connection seriously. On the flip side, if someone doesn’t believe in confirming a date or only agrees to meet if they’re “feeling it” at the last minute, it may signal a lack of empathy and respect for your time. This casual approach to scheduling can be an early indicator of potential ghosting.
3. Initiating the DTR Conversation
The timing of the “Define the Relationship” (DTR) conversation can provide a window into a person’s attachment style. Those who avoid initiating “the talk” may have a fear of commitment or a preference for keeping their options open. Ghosting tends to be more prevalent among individuals who hesitate to make commitments. Their reluctance to define the relationship can be a warning sign for potential ghosting.
4. Handling Changes in Plans
Ghosting before a first date is a common occurrence. When a connection hasn’t yet progressed to the emotional stage, there may be less incentive to follow through with plans. Getting a sense of how someone manages their schedule and handles last-minute changes or frequent plan switches can help you gauge their level of enthusiasm and commitment to the date and therefore, how much stock you should put into the date happening or the relationship progressing.
5. Direct or Indirect Communication
How someone prefers to conclude a relationship can provide clues about their communication style. A direct approach, where they prefer a clear breakup conversation, suggests transparency and a willingness to address issues head-on. On the other hand, someone who favors gradually ending the connection may struggle with confrontation or may be signaling their intention to ghost. Understanding these communication styles is essential to interpreting their cues correctly, and not wasting your time if they resurface post-ghosting.
6. Introducing Dates to Friends
The act of introducing a date to your friends can offer a glimpse into the person’s level of commitment and accountability. Ghosting is more common when two individuals have no shared social connections. Someone prone to ghosting is unlikely to introduce a date to their social circle, as this would create additional connection points and potential exposure of their prior ghosting behavior.