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Signs Your Date Is Going To Ghost

It's happened to all of us. We make a match, we message, we make plans. Then...nothing. We learn they've unmatched us on Tinder or blocked us on Bumble. However they made it known they weren't interested, it stings, for sure.

From @alittlenudge

To fill in some of the blanks: they matched, messaged for about a week, and had a video-chat.

He asks her if she's available Sunday.

Here's where things go south.

She replies and says her Sunday is pretty booked but that she's available around 11am.

Why This Might Not Work

Regardless of whether it's an off or online date, 11am on a Sunday is pretty early. Further complicating things is that she alludes to Sunday being a busy day for her. So, not only does she want to meet at a time when most people have only just finished their first coffee, she's giving the impression the date would be scheduled when she's already pressed for time or, at least, might need to cut out early.

Nobody likes to feel rushed on a first date, or any date, for that matter. The first few dates are for gauging chemistry and getting to know each other. It's hard to relax when you know at any moment your date might have to leave.

She then adds that her Saturday is more flexible. Which is...fine, but he didn't ask her to meet on Saturday. Had he wanted to, he probably would have. Personally, I prefer Saturday dates, too, as I leave Sunday for relaxing. However, not everyone wishes to give up their Saturday for a first date. (If i were to guess, I think she wanted a Saturday date because she thought it held more significance.)

No Response Is A Response

A full day goes by and she doesn't hear back from the guy. The onus is on him to respond and confirm. I happen to think twenty-four hours is more than enough time to determine your schedule. If it takes someone a full day to respond, recalibrate your expectations. Everyone has their phone on them, usually for most of their waking hours. If he was checking his schedule, a quick, "That should work. I'll confirm in a bit." would suffice. This guy just dropped off a cliff. That's never a good sign.

The Next Step

When a full day has gone by and she hasn't heard from him, she follows up. There's nothing wrong with this as there's always the chance something suddenly came up or he got busy or he was still working out his Sunday plans. The only suggestion I would make to someone circling back in these situations is to prepare for your match to cancel, if they respond at all. Also realize that, if they tell you the date is still on, you're quite possible going to end up on a date with someone who isn't all that interested. Because, see, if they were, you wouldn't have had to contact them to get an answer. Someone who is genuinely interested and available is going to make sure to communicate whether or not plans are solidified.

She sends a message saying, "Keep me posted before I book up :)" Smiley face or not, this comes off cocky. I'll remind readers again that humor often does not translate in email. Hold the sass for when someone has a read on your personality.

The guy responds to her text inquiring about the time she suggested with a low-key, "Hey. 11am Sunday yes?" To me, that reply feels unenthusiastic. He doesn't need to write her a poem or anything, but he could have invested a tiny bit more thought, such as asking her where she'd like to meet.

And There It Is

Whether or not they exchanged additional messages before the the one screen capped above is unclear. (If additional messages were omitted, I would want to know why.) It looks to me like he responded on Friday afternoon and she replied to his text on Sunday morning. By waiting that long (if that's the case) she spoon-fed him an excuse to blow her off. If he had been interested, that long of a delay and lack of response to his question surely would have soured him. By suggesting an 11am date and pressuring him to confirm "before she booked up"she'd given him enough reasons to re-think meeting her. Confirming just a few hours before they were supposed to meet would be an automatic pass for many.

Lessons Learned

Don't ask someone on a date if you're not genuinely interested - As off-putting as her suggestion of an 11am Sunday morning date was, if he had genuinely wanted to meet her, he would have. To me, it appears her response to his initial request of a Sunday date was what tipped the scales for him. He was put off by it - understandably - and decided he wasn't interested. It was unfair of him to open that door when he likely knew there was no point in meeting up. Please understand that a lot of people have a "just go with it" mentality about online dating. Lots of us have accepted (and even cancelled) a date we knew deep down wouldn't turn into something more.

Be flexible and realistic- No, you don't have to rearrange your schedule to accommodate someone else, but be practical. If you're busy on a certain day, don't try to squeeze someone in between appointments. Reply and say, "My Sunday is a little crazy. We could do a quick drink at 2 or maybe we could try Tuesday or Wednesday after work?" Let them choose. By suggesting 11am, not only did she offer to meet him at an unappealing time of that day, but she also limits what they can do. Who wants to have a cocktail at 11 o'clock?

Let them show you who they are - If a full day passes and your match hasn't responded to your message, take that as a sign. At the very least, they're extremely busy. In and of itself, this is not a bad thing. I would never expect anyone I don't know very well to be glued to their phone in the event I message them. However, it is a benchmark for just how interested they are. A full day, in my opinion, conveys a lukewarm interest. Once again, THAT'S OK. You two don't know each other yet. Context matters, though. If you're trying to plan a date and it's been 24hrs since you told them when you could meet? Wait for them to respond. If they do, great, go meet them. If they don't, well, you saved yourself some aggravation.

Remember: no answer is an answer - I know it hurts and is disappointing, but some texts and a video chat do not a relationship make. That doesn't even constitute a friendship. If you made a random acquaintance at a party, exchanged numbers, and messaged for a few days then made vague plans to meet up, you probably wouldn't be nearly as annoyed when they flaked as you are when it's a date that disappears. Why? Because the emotional investment level in the two scenarios is different.

Ghosting may not be the verbal explanation you want, but it is still a response. If you can get past needing someone to explicitly tell you they aren't interested, dating will become exponentially less fraught.

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