Online Dating: What is “Ghosting”?

If you’ve searched for love online recently, you will have probably come across the term, “Ghosting”. This term means that you suddenly don’t hear from a person again and quite often, it comes out of the blue. The person you’ve been chatting to disappears forever like a ghost and they’ll cut off communication completely. You can end up driving yourself crazy wondering what you did wrong and questioning why you didn’t hear from them again.

When dating online in the past, I have ghosted myself, but I have also been ghosted too. In the majority of cases, ghosting is not very nice, but there are times when ghosting is necessary and can be justified. After you’ve been on a date, even if you got on well with that person, a common outcome is that you both say goodbye and you never message each other again. This is normally because there is no romantic connection and it’s an easy and straightforward outcome for both people.

Of course, ghosting can occur at any time, whether it’s before you’ve actually met someone face to face, after a first date, or after you’ve been on several dates with someone – or even longer.

Reasons why it can be hurtful to ghost someone:

Getting over a break-up can be really tough, regardless of whether it was a long-term or short-term relationship and anyone who’s been ghosted knows how painful it can be. It leaves no way for the person ghosted (the person being ignored) to make sense of what happened. There will be many unanswered questions: “What did I do wrong?”; “Did he/she ever really care about me?”; “What is wrong with me?”; and even, “Did something happen to him/her?” There are often lasting effects on the ghostee’s self-esteem, particularly if they already suffer from issues around self-confidence. It may be helpful if you can understand the possible reasons for being ghosted, although sometimes, this could actually be more hurtful.

Reasons that lead to people ghosting:

1. Avoidance of confrontation – they might not like the person they’ve just been on a date with so they don’t want to take things further. Worried the other person may have a bad reaction to this, they take the easy option of ghosting so as to avoid any bad reaction and confrontation. This person would rather walk away or change the subject than get into an argument.

2. Fear of emotional intimacy – they might fear the prospect of being in a relationship and fear getting close to someone. They get cold feet and think that ghosting is the best thing to do. They may have been hurt in the past. Fear of intimacy is a long-term problem and is not easily overcome. Usually it requires awareness followed by effort, in order to overcome this fear.

3. Narcissistic personality style – a narcissist is unlikely to be empathic about the emotional pain of the person they are dating. Lack of empathy is a hallmark sign of narcissistic personality and is likely the reason for at least some instances of ghosting.

4. Fear of a violent reaction: the person who suddenly disappears is afraid of an aggressive reaction to a breakup statement. This might not necessarily be classed as ghosting, but rather a self-protective measure. There are times when sudden disappearance is the only safe way out.

When is it OK to “Ghost” someone?

Situations do arise when it’s OK to ghost someone without any explanation whatsoever. There are plenty of situations where ghosting is not only OK, but actually your best option. If you’ve spent any time in the world of online dating, you’ll know that people don’t always behave correctly, so there might be times when you have to cut off communication with certain people instantly.

Ghosting is one technique that works and you might even need to block that person too. Situations where ghosting can be justified could be the following:

1) When someone doesn’t respect your boundaries

2) When someone won’t take “no” for an answer

3) When someone is emotionally manipulative

4) When someone makes you feel uneasy or unsafe

How many people have been ghosted?

The dating app, Plenty of Fish, conducted a survey in which they polled 800 daters from ages 18 to 33. Eighty percent of respondents reported being ghosted. This proves that ghosting has become a common way of behaving when dating online.

How many people have both ghosted and been ghosted?

According to an Elle.com survey of 120 women and 65 men, 25.83 percent of women have “both ghosted and been ghosted” and 33.33 percent of men have “both ghosted and been ghosted.” These statistics also prove that dating behaviour is changing and leads me to believe that people are becoming more impatient and clinical but also more wary as well.

To read more about modern dating terminology, you can purchase my new book, “Love At First Swipe”, from Amazon. The link to Amazon is:

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Long Distance Relationship with someone you’ve met online

You can not help who you fall in love with, but staying in love is another thing entirely and is even harder to do if you’re in a long distance relationship. Most online dating sites and apps allow you to set a distance radius on your profile, which will only show you all potential suitors within that particular radius. This, of course, creates greater choice but also means there’s a greater chance of you meeting someone who lives far away.

If you choose to use an app which doesn’t have this service, or you decide to increase the distance radius on your profile, you might start chatting to other users who live hundreds of miles away, or even to users living in different countries. If you get on well with someone online, there’s a chance you will begin a relationship with that person, so in this instance, it would be classed as a Long Distance Relationship (LDR) at the start, simply because of where you both live.

Not being able to see someone regularly can be tough. Added to that, if you embark on an LDR, you have to consider the costly phone calls, expensive plane tickets, time differences, etc. That said, many of us end up having a long-distance relationship at some point, for the simple reason that love is not always rational. When you are in love, the feeling is rare and is very powerful, so there should be no barriers to love.

LDR’s can work and do work and with the advancements in technology, you are able to face-time or Skype someone, even if you’re living on opposite sides of the world. However, this is no replacement for physical contact, so you have to really want your relationship to work and ensure that you speak to, message and face-time each other regularly. You try to tough it out for the sake of love, even when it’s difficult. Usually, when people see other again, the intimacy and sex are amazing.

An LDR can take its toll but the other main key to maintaining an LDR is “trust”. You shouldn’t stray whilst apart, otherwise the feelings will diminish and your relationship will peter out. Stay faithful and make sure you keep in touch with each other regularly.

The ultimate goal is for you both to leave behind your long distance love story and unite in the same city. This should always be the main objective that you are both working towards and you shouldn’t lose sight of this.

Online Dating – First Impressions

You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Not only will you be judged on your appearance, but also on your attitude and personality as well. You should feel excitement at the prospect of meeting your date for the first time. At the same time, feeling nervous too is perfectly normal, as both these feelings go hand-in-hand.

In this modern age of online dating, it’s more nerve-racking than ever before to meet someone in person for the first time. Hopes and dreams are created through the initial conversations you have online. Your expectations are higher than if you met someone in a bar, as you already have a virtual connection with that person, albeit not a physical one.

You may suffer disappointment should your date turn out to be different to the pre-conceived image you had formed in your mind. That being said, the person you meet can sometimes exceed your expectations, or they can grow on you in time and vice-versa. It’s best not to look too far ahead before you meet your date in person. That way, if you do suffer disappointment, it’s not something that you will dwell on for too long.

Make sure the first impression you give is a great one. A first impression is made within the first seven seconds after meeting someone new. When you meet someone for the first time, your date will be making a rapid inventory of your build, smell, height, smile, eye contact, handshake, kiss, confidence and how you present yourself. You will also be making your own inventory of them.

One golden rule is to practice good hygiene. Whilst looks aren’t everything, both men and women are often impressed by a person who appears to take pride in their appearance and by someone who looks after themselves. Make sure you are clean, that you wear your favourite clothes or outfit (but don’t look scruffy), splash on your favourite perfume or aftershave, smile often, keep good posture, make good eye contact with your date and keep your body relaxed. Be kind to your date as well and don’t treat them badly. Whether you end up liking each other or not, you’ve both invested a lot of time and energy into preparing for your date, so don’t be rude and don’t disappear on them.

Most important of all, be yourself. Yes, of course you have to make a big effort and you may be very nervous, but try to relax and show your date what you are really like as a person.

Scammers, Sob Stories & Scam-Packs

We’ve all had a scammer contact us at some point, right? Whether it be an e-mail at work from someone in Africa or South America asking for money, a phone call from a person trying to sell us double glazing where there ends up being lots of “extras”, or an online dating message from someone telling you how handsome or pretty you are and declaring their undying love for you!

Scammers who contact you through an online dating app will often tell you a sob story to make you feel sorry for them. They usually tell their sob story within your first few message exchanges. They’ll say they’ve lost a family member in a tragic way, or that they have a family member with a terrible illness. They’ll say they need money, to help them pay for medical care or travel costs. THIS IS A SCAM!

Scammers may also take on a false identity. There are examples of scammers pretending to be an old school friend that you haven’t seen for years. They’ll say they always liked you when you were younger and that they would like to meet you again now, romantically, but that they need you to pay for their travel costs for them to come and see you. Often, these people don’t have any photos on their profile. THIS IS A SCAM!

Sometimes, a scammer will have just one photo posted and unsurprisingly, they will look like a model! Don’t be fooled! You can do an image search of your admirer to help determine if they really are who they say they are. You can use “image search services” on “Google” or on “TinEye”.

Unbelievably, Criminals can now purchase scam “packs” containing love letter templates, photos, videos and false identities, for as little as a few dollars on the dark web. So many people fall for the scams that the price of these packs has dropped due to the high volume being sold and due to the demand being so great. Often, the scammer’s messages are missing words and the grammar they use isn’t great. It’s common for them to say, “Hello dear”, or, “I think you could be the love of my life”, or “I need money to help pay for..” Blah blah Blah! Don’t be fooled!

Other than bad spelling and grammar mistakes, you need to be aware of inconsistencies in their stories and others signs that you’re being scammed, such as their camera never working if you want to Skype each other. Also, be cautious when sharing personal photos or videos with prospective partners, especially naked photos, or photos with your children, residence or workplace in the background. Scammers are known to blackmail their targets using compromising material and they can use your photos / videos against you, with the main aim being to swindle more money from your bank account.

You must NEVER give your bank details to anyone, or transfer any money into anyone’s bank account. These are complete strangers. You have never met them and they prey on people’s fantasies and on their desperation to find someone to love. If you come across similar situations, you should block these people and also report them to the helpdesk on your dating app of choice.

One important issue that online dating sites and apps need to improve on is their “vetting process”. More needs to be done – and could be done – to stop scammers from creating online dating profiles.

In a recent study of nine online dating apps by Kaspersky Internet Security, their researchers discovered that four of the nine apps they investigated allow potential criminals to work out who’s hiding behind a nickname, based on data provided by the users themselves. For example, Tinder, Happn and Bumble let anyone see a user’s specified place of work or study. Using this information, it’s possible for scammers to find the user’s social media accounts and discover their real names. BE CAREFUL HOW MUCH INFORMATION YOU PUT ON YOUR PROFILE.

If someone wants to know your location, six of the nine apps studied will lend a hand. Only OkCupid, Bumble and Badoo keep user location data under lock and key. All of the other apps indicate the distance between you and the person you’re chatting to. By moving around and logging data about the distance between the two of you, it’s easy for any scammer or complete WEIRDO to determine a very close location of the “prey” – YOU!! You can usually turn your location tracking / GPS on and off quite easily, so you might not want to keep this on all of the time and just turn it on when you’re actually online looking for people within a certain radius.
If you have provided your account details to a scammer, or sent money to them, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. You should also contact the police and report the scammer to your dating app of choice.

“Cuffing” Season

The cold nights draw in, the sunlight disappears and the days shorten. You’re single, unattached and you just want someone to snuggle up with and keep you warm during those long, cold and lonely evenings. Welcome to ‘’Cuffing season’’.

This is the modern term used to describe the period during Fall/Autumn and Winter months in which lonely singletons find themselves seeking to be “cuffed” or “tied down” by a serious relationship. You would be forgiven for thinking that ‘’cuffing’’ is a kinky term and something to do with to BDSM.

Online Dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble see a big increase in the number of active users and sign-ups during the months of November through to February. Cuffing season usually kicks off on 1st November and runs until the day after Valentines day (14th February). During this period, people who would normally prefer to be single or promiscuous, find themselves (along with many other singletons) wanting to be “Cuffed”. The cold weather and forced indoor activity causes singletons to become lonely, so many look for someone to spend this time with and are therefore looking to be cuffed. Christmas can also be also be a lonely time of the year for people who are not in a relationship.

Cuffing is often viewed as being temporary and seasonal. It can be this, yes, but it can also lead to a serious long-term relationship. Put simply, it’s the act of finding a significant other for the sole purpose of staying warm during those cold winter months. Although Cuffing season tends to be casual and fun on the whole, we all know that relationships aren’t usually as simple as that. Feelings can develop, even if the initial goal is to just have a ‘’cuff buddy’’ over those colder months. If feelings are mutual, you need to talk to your cuff buddy and you should always go with your gut instinct.

Serious relationships can occur when you least expect them to. Emotions can quickly change and there’s always the possibility of falling in love with a new online acquaintance. Once you’ve matched with a prospective partner online, you will need to evaluate whether or not they are looking for the same thing as you.

‘’A good cuffing partner is one that will make plans in advance, instead of just asking you out for the upcoming weekend’’, says Dr. Jane Greer, who is a New York-based relationship expert. Someone who plans in advance shows signs of commitment which is a great indicator for a long-term relationship.

Being attentive is also very important during cuffing season and there is no reason for either of you to play games and be distant with each other. When your cuff buddy messages you, you should reply as soon as possible. You should want to hang out with your cuff buddy at least once a week, that’s if you want to keep them around until the Spring. You may have been hanging out together and doing cute, fun and sexy things whenever you meet up, but unless you have both agreed that you want to be on each other’s social media, you probably shouldn’t be adding any ‘’couple pictures’’ just yet. You should remember that this relationship is more than likely going to end come Spring, so flaunting your relationship online might not be the wisest idea at this stage. You’re having great times together now, but come those warmer months, you should not assume that you will be invited to any family gatherings or parties.

Many scientific studies have proven that cuddling releases the happiness hormone, oxytocin. Once this hormone is released, it is human nature to continue doing the same thing that causes it to be released. This is simply because it makes us feel happy. Cuddling up with a cuff buddy on those long winter nights is obviously going to lead to some fun and sexy times, but as we all know, if you’re having sex you need to be responsible and stay safe. Practice safe sex, so that you don’t end up with any nasty surprises (or diseases) at the end of the cuffing season.

At the end of the day (or “at the end of the cuffing season”) what really matters is that you met someone new and that you had lots of fun with them. Don’t take the relationship too seriously at first or look too far ahead. See how things develop with your cuff buddy and go from there.

Continue reading ““Cuffing” Season”

Dating is becoming more complicated – Modern Dating Terminology

Dating is becoming more complicated. With one in four of us now finding love online, a completely new language for modern dating has been created. It feels like a new dating term or trend is being created every week.

You may have heard of ‘ghosting’ where people don’t have the civility to end things verbally or by text. They ‘ghost’ the person they’ve been dating, which means they ignore them with no explanation. This is just one of the many new dating terms people use nowadays. Here are 5 new digital dating behaviours to be aware of:

Ghosting:
Getting over a break-up can be really tough, regardless of whether it was a long-term or short-term relationship. Ghosting means that you don’t hear from that person again. They disappear forever like a ghost and they will cut off all communication completely. You can end up driving yourself crazy wondering what you did wrong and questioning why you did not hear from that person again.

Zombieing:
Zombieing is another popular new dating term and it’s where you’ve been ghosted for a while and then from out of nowhere, your ghoster gets back in touch. The person you were dating disappears, before they come back from the “dead” months later with some lame excuse to justify their prolonged absence. They are most likely to get in contact with you again through a social media platform or through an out-of-the-blue text message. Usually, the zombieing happens just when you’ve gotten over the hurt of having them ghost you in the first place. Then, all of a sudden, they ‘subtly’ reappear causing more emotional upset.

Submarining:
This is when you stop seeing someone because they ghosted you and they have cut off all communication. They then reappear after some time and act like nothing happened. This is similar to Zombieing but Submarining is actually worse – after resurfacing, they’ll offer no explanation, acknowledgement or excuse whatsoever for their disappearance. Basically, it’s when someone you’ve been seeing or talking to vanishes without a trace (much like a submarine when it sinks to the depths of the ocean), then without warning, they “resurface” and slide back into your inbox like nothing ever happened. People who submarine you either want to hide the reasons for disappearing or they just want to gloss over it.

Stashing:
Stashing is the latest dishonest dating technique that you may have been a victim of. It occurs when the person you’re dating doesn’t introduce you to their friends or family and doesn’t post about you on social media. Basically, you’re their secret boyfriend or girlfriend, while they feel justified in “stashing” you in the corner, pretending nothing is going on to the outside world and keeping their options open. Stashers don’t want a loving relationship with you and will be chatting to and seeing other people.

Breadcrumbing:
Breadcrumbing is when you send out flirty but non-committal messages (“breadcrumbs”) to a person, but you’re not really interested in dating them. You send the messages in order to lure a sexual partner without expending too much effort, which equates to leading someone on. If you’ve been dating someone, breadcrumbing can also mean you don’t have the guts to break things off with them completely, as the breadcrumber doesn’t like confrontation.

Online Dating for single parents

Being a single parent can be tough and can make dating very tricky. This is especially true if you have young children. However, being a single parent does not mean that you have to be single forever.

Online dating is a minefield, but as a single parent, it can feel tougher than for people who don’t have kids. Not everyone wants kids, or wants to date someone with kids and your self-belief and confidence can suffer and can be very low at times. It takes some people a long time to get over the stigma of being a single parent – especially when it comes to dating.

What you should understand is that being a single parent is something to cherish and to celebrate and you should never forget that. The right person for you will also recognise this and will work with you, as they’ll know that you won’t have too much free time. Flexibility is the key.

Your kids will always come first and rightly so, as you’ll always be protective of your kids. It’s best not to give out too much information about your kids to a new online connection. Don’t tell them where you live, where your kids go to school, or anything that’s too personal. At this stage, they don’t need to know anything else other than you have kids and how many kids you have. Initially, it should be about you getting to know a person better and vice versa.

Online Dating has made it much easier for single parents to meet new people. E-Harmony is one dating app which helps you connect with other single Mums and Dads out there. There are other sites such as singlewithkids.co.uk which have been created with the specific aim of matching single parents who are in the same boat. You should be honest with people that you’re a parent, just as you should be honest about anything you put on your profile.

Dating can be costly and also time-consuming. Money and time is more valuable for a single Mum or Dad, than it is for someone who has no children.

To most single people, a date costs a few drinks and maybe a meal, but they don’t have to factor in the extra cost of a babysitter, so a date night for a single parent takes a lot more effort and usually, there are extra costs involved.

Apart from having more choice, the main benefit of online communication for a single Mum or Dad means they can chat to an online acquaintance when their kids are in bed, or when their kids are playing and they’re sat on the sofa. This means they don’t have to devote and commit to a whole night out. To meet someone face to face is a big commitment and single parents don’t want to be wasting their time.

There are other dilemmas to consider as well. Does the person that you’re chatting to have kids themselves? Do they want kids? Do you want more kids? What are you/they looking for? It is important that both of you are singing from the same hymn sheet.

Once you have been dating someone for a while, providing that you both like each other and can see a future together, you will then think ‘’when is the best time is to introduce them to my kids?’’. If you both have kids, you would need to discuss whether you are both happy for all the kids to meet each other. This is a huge decision, so don’t rush into making it. Many people are wary about introducing a new partner into a child’s life, in case things quickly go wrong with their partner. It’s not good if a child sees many different partners coming and going in their Mum or Dad’s life. They won’t have any sense of security and may be hurt if they never see a person again with whom they’ve built up trust and a good relationship with.

Many people fear dating once they have had kids and they lose confidence, as they know they can’t devote the same time and energy into meeting someone in the same way they did before they had kids. They may also be hurting from the breakdown and fallout of a previous relationship and this can also put someone off from searching for love again.

You should be open that you are a parent and you should NEVER apologise for this. Be proud that you are a single parent and if someone is terrified about the prospect of taking on children, there is no point in spending time with a person who thinks like this.

Every person is different and every situation is different, but everyone deserves true happiness and remember that there is someone out there for everyone. With the help of online dating apps, you can meet good people out there and you will hopefully meet your soul mate. Stay positive and don’t give up on your dreams.