To Ghost or Not to Ghost (Dating Honesty)

Sometimes you end up planning a date that after a few days you regret agreeing to. You might only talk to someone for a couple of days but it’s the weekend so he’s rushing a date you’re not really sure you want to go on yet. Or after talking for a bit longer, you realize you’re not really interested in him. But you both already talked about your mutual love of tacos and a date was hatched days ago when you were more open to the idea (and you just can’t resist tacos).

There are two ways to get out of a date you don’t really want to go on. You either be completely straight forward or you ghost a few days before. Although I think it’s good to be honest and not lead someone on, some people do not accept No as an answer. Then there’s confrontation that could lead to you being guilted to go on the date anyway!

When Do I Ghost?

Sometimes you’re both on the same page. The messages back and forth have become sporadic and you’ve both lost interest but you’re being polite in conversation. You both mutually fade/ ghost out.

Some times I ghost you because I don’t want to hurt your feelings. You’re a nice guy with a solid job but our conversations have been bland and we just don’t have the chemistry. There’s nothing wrong with you so I don’t want you to start thinking that there is or resenting being told that you’re a ‘nice guy’.

Other times I ghost you because I don’t want to deal with the backlash of your butt hurt feelings. I ghost you because I don’t want confrontation or to be bullied into a date to test our compatibility. I trust my gut over some random guy over the internet.

Why Ghosting should be left to Ghosts

I’ve been on both sides of ghosting so I get why people hate being ghosted too. You thought everything was going well and suddenly nothing.

  1. You wonder where it went wrong?
  2. If there was just a misunderstanding that could be worked out?
  3. What’s wrong with you that he left?
  4. Was it just that he found someone better?


It’s arguably one of the worst dating etiquettes to break because it can really tear down someone’s self worth. It could be the reason someone gives up on love and the reason they stop loving themselves.

The thing is though, maybe the reason he leaves is the reason another man stays. Should you be constantly molding yourself, cutting off limbs so that you will be to his liking? You’re not meant to fit into everyone’s perfect match checklist box.

And it’s a heavy burden to take responsibility of everyone’s self esteem. It could do more damage to give someone reasons why you’re not interested in them. They could become self conscious of certain traits, where it’s really just a matter of personal preference.

So ghost or not ghost, you’re still a person of worth.


28 thoughts on “To Ghost or Not to Ghost (Dating Honesty)”

  1. Ghosting is never okay if you’ve spent time together. I get it in the beginning stages of conversation but if you have already had a date or been seeing each other it’s time to man or woman up and just say that you are not interested. I’ve been on the tail end of ghosting and not matter how strong a person you are it makes you feel like absolute shit and question everything about yourself. However, if they don’t let up contacting you then you take other measures like blocking the person.

    1. I completely agree with you. I should have made it more clear that ghosting is really only an option before you meet up for the first time. Ghosting is self doubt under a sheet and would make anyone feel terrible. As I was kinda mentioning in my blog, ghosting is really for those times when they won’t take No for an answer and it’s the safer option. Thanks for commenting and adding to this debate!

  2. As much as I can understand doing it, I don’t think it’s okay. I think, if you have spoken to the person long enough, they deserve a bit more than ghosting.

  3. I feel like ghosting is yet another negative aspect that comes with the territory of online dating. Real life interactions lend themselves to a little more straight forwardness and honesty, especially since then you’re not just some stranger behind a computer screen. And there are two kinds of ghosting – before a date and after a date. The former was always frustrating, but the latter was simply maddening – especially after she expressed interest in a second date. But with the former I had to keep reminding myself that she probably had at least 20 other conversations going at the same time, so as a guy it’s easy to fall by the wayside. (Not to mention it demonstrated that if we couldn’t keep a virtual convo going, then it wouldn’t be any better in person.) And with the latter I eventually could sense when it was going to happen, so it stopped being a nasty surprise.

    1. Yeah, I agree ghosting probably wasn’t something that was done before online dating became popular. Some people will feel too uncomfortable to disagree to a second date if it’s brought up in person. So they save face and awkwardness and say yes before ghosting. I’m not saying it’s right, but it’s definitely easier. And actually you’re totally right that sometimes girls might lose track of conversations and some slip through the cracks. If that ever happens to me though, I decide he’s not worth the chase.

      1. Ghosting definitely happened before online dating, too. I experienced it back in the 90s (and probably ghosted, too).

        Back then it was about not calling or not returning a call.

  4. I believe that being safe, and feeling safe on and offline is key. Whatever you have to do to maintain your sense of worth must be given priority. At 61, soon to be 62, I don’t know much about ghosting. What I do know something about is this…”No Is A Complete Sentence!”

    1. I am totally willing to look like a bitch who ignores a guy if it makes me feel safer. I unfortunately feel like that doesn’t cross many minds of men. They worry about rejection while women are much more worried about causing a violent reaction. Amen to that! You shouldn’t have to explain yourself to anyone if you don’t want to.

  5. I’ve read the other comments and agree with your post that ghosting is never appropriate after that first date, unless there’s no chemistry and he (or she) won’t take no for an answer.
    You put your point across very well and it’s never easy to know how to reject someone so they continue to feel comfortable with dating. I’m old School and feel it’s better to be honest with someone because in the end if there’s no spark there never will be and better to end sooner rather than later for both parties.

    1. Yes I think the main take away is to use ghosting when you fear the other person does not respect you and your decision to say No.
      Yes, exactly! You definitely don’t want to be the person to crush their self esteem and keep them from trying to date other people. The interesting thing is that a reason one person doesnt want to date you could be the same reason another person is so in love with you. So it’s best to never take anyone’s opinion of you as fact and to not let some failed dates keep you from finding love. Thank you for this feedback!

  6. Love your last line. “Just because someone leaves doesn’t mean you have to devalue yourself.” I think socially, we are very accustomed to hellos and goodbyes. We’re not accustomed to people just “disappearing” and yet, that’s a form of communication too! Overall, I tend to think ghosting is immature.

    1. I think in the dating world and society in general, we put a lot of stock in if people leave or stay. Many times though, it’s a reflection of themselves and doesn’t have much to do with us. You’re right, disappearing is definitely a form of communication. Even in conversation or arguments, silence says just as much as words do. I do agree, ghosting is the easy way out instead of having a mature conversation of closure.

    1. There are definitely many people who would agree with you. I must admit if I end up in the dating pool again, I might just ghost a time or two when someone has made me too uncomfortable

  7. I recently went on a breakfast date with a guy – he was nice and all but just not my type. As the conversation progressed, I could feel that this was never going to turn into a relationship. The following day he texted me and I explained to him that I just wasn’t interested and that I wasn’t really looking for a relationship. He persisted – saying that we could just take things slow, get to know one another – yadda yadda yadda. My answer was clear – NO. But he kept texting me all the reasons why we should give it one more shot. So, at this point – I ghosted him. And he’s never texted me back. Thanks God.
    In this case, I’m all for the ghosting. When someone just isn’t taking no for an answer, I don’t feel I should have to continue to explain the reasons why I don’t want to go on another date. I just don’t. Plain and simple. So yeah, ghosting is entirely acceptable for the right circumstance.
    Great post!

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