You swipe, you message, you probably meet, and then – as if by magic – you never hear from them again. I am, of course, talking about ghosting, the modern day disposal strategy that vomits, even at the very least.
Ghosting during a pandemic is more disturbing. Hearing from someone you care about has a new meaning today. This is not something you can brush under the carpet and chalk up to bad dating terms. That silence can mean that a person is unwell.
For those who are adapted to the ‘new normal’ – living far from friends and family – ghosting can pose an extremely unbearable challenge to someone experiencing depression and anxiety.
I have talked to people who have experienced phantom coronavirus pandemics. Here are their stories.
Hearing from someone you care about has a new meaning today.
About a month and a half ago, Cara, who preferred not to reveal her real name, met someone at Bumble. Their first date went well, and they ended up returning to her place. They had sex and hung out until the next afternoon, spending the day watching TV and laughing together. At that point, Cara’s date seemed to be diligent and invested. But in the days that followed, things began to change.
Several attempts to arrange a settlement resulted in Cara’s date asking her to skip out and go straight to her place. Then, the week Boris Johnson announced that the UK was going to lockdown, Cara’s date was set to go down. He texted her asking him how he was, but his message did not respond.
One week later, Cara found out she was pregnant. He decides what he has to say to anyone who is sinking. But in the end he decided to let her go. In his message, he referred to her ghostly status as a reason for his reluctance to contact her. The subsequent exchange, however, only proved more annoying for Cara. She does not intend to continue with the pregnancy. Anger is the dominant feeling Cara has now, but on the contrary she is doing OK.
Cara was not alone in her ghostly experience. He is also not alone in feeling confused and angry about what happened. Take Lewis, who met someone through Tinder and met him several times. They both have kids and live about 40 miles apart, but they try to come together as much as possible. Lewis and his match talk daily and well. “A few days ago he was quiet but just assumed he had things going on. Went to a friend’s message and saw his WhatsApp picture was gone and when I was confused to see if everything was right it was not sent. . ,” he said.
“I really want an answer for why. I’m an adult, denial is nothing new …”
On WhatsApp, if a sender interrupts you, you’ll only see one tick, instead of two, when you send them a message. Lewis tried to text her but she got nothing.
“I now think that more than ever is not the best time to play with people’s heads,” he said, referring to the pandemic. She now feels sad and sad. “Not sure how you can get along with someone like that then just lose to someone but everyone to themselves … I’ll just chalk it up to online dating and keep making mistakes,” he said.
“I really want an answer for why. I am an adult, denial is not anything new but it is the ignorance of what I have done or what is wrong that hurts the most,” he added.
The idea that this troubling point in history was probably not a chance to play on people’s emotions was shared by other daters who experienced ghosting during the lockout.
When Charlotte, who prefers to use only her first name, met someone in Hinge, she thought she wanted to do slow things and enjoy the chat, without hurrying to meet. “He was very enthusiastic and suggested a video call last week so we exchanged numbers. I went to fix the time and he just couldn’t come back, hadn’t read the message on WhatsApp,” he explained. “I don’t get people who give you such a positive vibe and then go completely dark. So to me. But I think now people just see you as an interface rather than a person.”
Charlotte describes herself as “pretty thick skin” and basically does a great job of separating the act of ghosting from anything personal. “But it’s hard because this whole situation is incredibly difficult on the whole and even trying to keep the dating game a LOT, so people should be kinder,” he said.
Kimberly, who prefers to use her first name only, is worried about her date’s health, she showed up at her flat after not hearing from her for five days. He started seeing someone in the first few days of March, before the coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. “I dated her for about three weeks, and as the situation got worse we started spending almost every day,” he said. “Social travel has never been summoned to where I am.” The pair went on a total of eight dates, the last couple being almost all together. “I was very pleased with him and he seemed a little serious to me,” she said.
One morning, Kimberly’s match was quiet. He had stayed the night before, and said there were no red flags in his behavior. Suddenly, Kimberly began to worry. She knew that her date had health issues before she met, and she wondered if anything had happened. “I don’t think I was spooked when I stopped listening to her, I thought something serious had happened to her health,” she told me.
Now is not the time to cause uncertainty and attraction for others.
After “five days of no sign of life” Kimberly decided to go to her house to check on her – and it ended up being weak, to say the least. “When I went to her apartment, it didn’t resolve any feelings, I really wanted to make sure she was alive,” he said. However, it is not fixed.
“He drove me away from his apartment, and sent me a text later that night from a phone burner saying I was making him feel safe by going to his apartment, and if I tried to do that again he would call police and press charges, “he said.
Kimberly said she was heartbroken and disappointed in her reaction because she cared and wanted to be with her. “But I was also disappointed that he cut it off before it became a serious pandemic. All my friends said I dodged a bullet. It happened so fast that it didn’t seem to be true,” he said. “I still think about him, and I wonder if he will sometimes make things right, but at the moment I’m almost worried about staying safe and busy during quarantine.” She wonders if she regrets her behavior now she has plenty of time to talk.
Dating during the coronavirus has its challenges. But it is noteworthy that some people are experiencing positive experiences, and are finding novel and innovative ways to adapt to dating from a distance. Dating apps introduce video chats so you can date from home on social trips.
Now is not the time to cause uncertainty and attraction for others. In a pandemic, the silence from someone you care about is significant, even in the early days. It’s not too far to worry about someone’s health if you haven’t heard from them. And the rest to fill in the blanks about their well-being can be extremely stressful.
These are dark and sad times for all of us. The least you can do is be compassionate and honest with others.
. [tagToTranslate] dating [t] ghost [t] coronavirus [t] culture [t] health [t] sex-relationship