Never Ghost Out a Matchmaker
You can’t get away with the same things when you’re dealing with professionals.
My dear daters, you’ve all done it. Or you’ve had it done to you. Likely both.
I know this with certainty. As a singles coach, I hear the stories and tales of woe regularly. I had my own share of it when I was dating as well. And I’m here to say, ghosting — the act of disappearing without reason on a prospective love interest — will never go away.
In fact, it’s been around for a long time even before we had the term for it but our digital communication in a massively expanded dating pool is making it even more… spooky.
Ghosting happens in all stages of dating from an unrequited hello to a mysterious exit after three months of dating, and it has varying levels of acceptability in the online space where daters are dealing with other daters.
If you get ghosted online, there isn’t much to do except move on and whine to your friends. Those spooks will live on in the apps, continuing their spectral journey until they‘ve ghosted out half the dating pool in their area, taunting victims with their ephemeral messaging that leave many a confused dater in their wake.
It’s not a big enough offense for a legitimate complaint, but just getting to a first date these days can feel like you’re sitting through Tinder’s interactive version of Our Town.
Enter, the matchmaker.
Folks, the guardians at the dating gates are here.
Matchmaking is very different than the dating app world in a few crucial ways. For my business metaphor people out there, we’re talking going from a C2C to a B2C relationship for setting up a date.
Suddenly, there is responsibility to a third party for the early stages of communication and that communication is very important for you to stay viable as a dating candidate.
The human element of having a matchmaker can make a big difference in vetting candidates and making sure they’re going to be responsible to the date. If they’re not, we don’t want them in our pool of daters, and eventually, it’s likely they’ll be phased out.
Poor date planning is a huge red flag for matchmakers. Remember this:
Never ghost out a matchmaker or you won’t last long in their dating pool.
For responsible and serious daters, this is an enormous relief. (If you’re interested in giving it a try, make a profile and see what happens.)
Finally, there are consequences.
You also now have deadlines and deliverables. We need to know when you’re available and we won’t wait too long for a response. You’re here to date or you’re not. Simple as that. Our allegiance is to our clients and getting their date details on point. We’re not distracted by your cute photos and you can’t hook us with bread crumbs. We’ll just move on — in a way that daters find hard to do themselves.
I love this aspect of matchmaking as it compares to app dating and I think most modern matchmakers would agree, it’s not perfect, but it’s better.
However, most matchmakers also only get you to date #1. And we all know those ghosts can flaunt their invisibility powers well beyond that point.
So, let’s talk about how to get into the mindset of a matchmaker and what you can do when you’re working for yourself. Here are some common situations:
You started chatting on a dating app and someone dropped off — ghosted.
Not so bad. Moving on.
You went on a great first date and the other party made it seem like they really wanted to see you again, but when you followed up with a text after the date — ghosted.
Ouch. But you barely know them. Oh well.
You’ve been on four dates in a month, they met one of your friends, and it seemed like it was going well but then the communication dropped off, got colder and slower in responses, and then — ghosted.
What in the actual f*!?
I love talking about ghosting with clients that struggle on the apps because it’s very simple, but hard to follow advice: Let the ghosters go.
Don’t chase. Don’t hope. Don’t message again. Be your own matchmaker.
Do not spend one more minute of your life wondering what happened, worrying if they’re okay, or trying to understand them. Their poor communication is letting you know — in the most cowardly, passive way — that they are not interested or not ready. Great — GOODBYE.
When someone wants to date you and is ready to make it happen, they will. In the same way that luck is said to be preparation meeting opportunity, successful dating is compatibility meeting readiness.
Ghosting sucks. It just does. Even when you are the one doing it, it feels icky. A good rule of thumb is that if you’ve reached out with no response and followed up once… you’re done.
Ghosting in the early stages before you’ve met someone is pretty normal and most people do it or have done it for various reasons — the conversation is stunted, you’ve hit a strong personality dislike or dealbreaker, or maybe the person isn’t serious about dating and just on the app for attention so they’ve moved on to their next victim (or “hit” as I like to call it, if we’re talking about the gamification of dating mirroring gambling addiction).
Ghosting in the later stages is more hurtful and immature, and I would never recommend that kind of behavior in dating. If you’ve gone on more than one date, you probably owe someone the respect of a goodbye of some sort. Here are some suggestions:
- Don’t make promises you’re unsure about to make someone feel better in the moment. If you’re on the date and feeling pressure to commit to another when you’re unsure, simply say you’ve had a nice time, thank them for their time and ask them to text you tomorrow if they’re interested. You can process your feelings in the meantime.
- Don’t make them guess — tell them what to do if they’re interested. When you go on a date and you are the one interested but you’re unsure if the other person wants to see you again, a great method for releasing pressure is to say, “I had such a good time. If you’d like to go out again, send me a text by tomorrow, maybe we can ___ next weekend.” That way, you’ve given your date the grace and space to let you know for sure if they’re interested instead of pressuring them into a yes at the end of an in-person meeting, but you’ve also given them a deadline to let you know. This is a great way to be direct with your communication that you’re interested but would like the other person to reach out for mutual confirmation. Giving a deadline also lets them know you may move on and creates scarcity (like a flash sale). If they don’t text within a day, you have your answer. They aren’t excited. Move on.
- Be direct and kind. If someone texts you after a date looking for more and you’re the one not feeling it, just send a simple, “Hey ___, thanks for grabbing coffee. I’m not feeling a romantic connection for another date but wishing you all the best. Appreciate the time getting to know you.” If you’ve done your due diligence in ending it politely, no need to entertain follow ups or someone that can’t let go or needs more explanation.
- Do not beg or seek revenge. When you’ve sent an unabashedly flirty message in the hopes that your date will respond with enthusiasm and then the hours tick by… and then the days… and it’s clear you’ve been ghosted… there are feelings. You might be tempted to send something snarky. I would suggest you don’t. If you need to send them a final message (one, people, only one) that makes it clear you are disappointed and wish them well, so be it. Then, move on. You want someone who communicates their readiness to you and they don’t. Easy as that.
It’s tough, I know. Rejection stinks. No one likes it on either side. But working on communication is a great way to empower yourself in the dating world and sometimes you might inspire others to be more clear about their intentions as well.
If you want a little boost in the beginning stages of dating, go ahead and try a matchmaking service or if you like being your own matchmaker, try out some of that advice and see how it works for you and make it your own.
You will get better at this over time, even if the road is a little bumpy at times. Keep going. Get out there. And get dating!
Change the way you date. Get a coach. Get dating.
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