The Anti-Ghosting Trend Is Transforming The Dating Scene For The Better

How many times have you been chatting to someone on a dating app and building what you think is a strong connection, only to have them ghost you without explanation a few days later? It’s frustrating, depressing, and can make you feel hopeless about love. Thankfully, a new trend is on the rise in the dating scene: Anti-ghosting is here to change the game in the best possible way.

Frankly, it’s about damn time. After all, a 2022 study out of California Polytechnic State University found that those who have been ghosted are left with some pretty awful side effects. They’re confused, desperate to find out why they were dropped, and find themselves closing off to future romantic prospects in case they get hurt again. If we want to find love, things have to change.

What is the anti-ghosting trend all about?

Simply put, anti-ghosting is about treating the people you date with respect and dignity. The term was coined by Bumble after it was found that 69% of its users struggled to break things off with a match they were no longer feeling.

“Ghosting is extremely hurtful. Take it from someone who has been both the ghoster and the ghosted; it’s bewildering and painful and strange,” the app’s in-house dating expert Kate Leaver said in a statement (via Bustle). “People tend to fill the silence left by the ghoster with their own insecurities. They look for explanations because they have not been given satisfactory closure on a potential romance.”

Where ghosting involves someone cutting off all contact, going AWOL, and potentially blocking you without explanation, anti-ghosting is the opposite. It’s less painful, confusing, and humiliating. That’s because it doesn’t leave any loose ends untied and instead offers the other person closure.

To anti-ghost, all you need to do is communicate with the person you’ve been seeing directly to let them know you’re ending things. It’s just that simple. You don’t just disappear or stop talking to them and hope they go away. Instead, you do the right thing and come right out and say it. It’s easy.

Why it’s a much better way to end relationships

  1. It shows respect. Just because you don’t want to be in a relationship with this person doesn’t mean they’re not a human being with feelings who deserves respect. You should always treat people the way you want to be treated. You know how terrible it feels when someone ghosts you, so why would you do it to someone else? Do the decent thing and be upfront.
  2. It makes them feel less crappy about being dumped. The anti-dating trend isn’t just about respecting people, it’s about not making people feel worse about themselves than being rejected already does. Sure, it’s not going to feel nice knowing that someone isn’t into you. However, it’s a hell of a lot better than never hearing a word from the person you thought you connected with.
  3. It generates good dating karma. The more good things you put into the world, the more you’ll attract. It’s just basic math. If you want good dating karma, you have to earn it. The anti-ghosting trend is a way to do just that.
  4. It reinforces positive ideas about the dating world. Ghosting is so disheartening and can make singles want to give up on love. On the flip side, anti-dating is encouraging. It’s a step in the right direction. It’s much more honest and compassionate, and we need more of that.

How to anti-ghost someone you’ve been talking to/dating

  1. Try to chat face-to-face. Just like any breakup, letting someone down is best done in person. It feels kinder and more considerate that you cared enough to be direct with them in this way. If you’re participating in the anti-ghosting trend, you should be communicating your desire to end things between you rather than keeping the other person guessing. Telling them you’ve had a change of heart is definitely something you should try to do directly, even if it is a bit tougher.
  2. If that’s not possible, send them a text or private message. There may be times when you can’t face the person to tell them you’re moving on. If you fear for your safety or if you’re out of town for several weeks, this may be the case. No sweat. Send them a message via text, on WhatsApp, or whatever other app you use to communicate. Be direct but kind, letting them know that you appreciate the time you shared and really like them as a person, you’re just not feeling things romantically anymore. Avoid the temptation to write paragraphs of text or over-explain your decision. A short “Hey, I’ve had so much fun hanging out with you but I’m not feeling romantic vibes. Hope you understand! Would love to be friends if you’re down!” can work.
  3. Wish them the best. The anti-ghosting trend is all about good vibes, and you can keep those going by wishing them well. Close out your message by giving them a little push of encouragement. For instance, you can say how awesome of a partner they’ll be or how another woman will snatch them up in no time. However, be careful that the situation is appropriate and that you’re not coming across as condescending or belittling. If you worry that might be the case, just shut it down.

What if you feel too awkward to let them down?

Regardless of how nicely you spin it, it still sucks to reject someone (and it sucks even more to be rejected). However, you’re an adult, so it’s important to act like one. As uncomfortable as the conversation or message might be, you owe it to them to tell them directly how you feel (or rather, how you don’t). Otherwise, you’re wasting their time and yours and being disingenuous. You both deserve to be happy, so facilitate that by anti-ghosting and doing the right thing. Ghosting is never acceptable, so don’t do it.

Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia