Hansel, Gretel & The Ghost

Welcome to dating in the 21st century! If you thought dating in previous years was tricky, then I wish you the best of luck in joining the game now. What with bread crumbing, ghosting and the lack of anything reasonably reliable these days; dating is now one of the biggest minefields in the war of love.

I’m sure you’re wondering how I could have such a pessimistic view on something that should be fully enjoyable and exciting, but people underestimate the trouble a singleton on the market faces nowadays. Not only do you have to cut through the nonsense, once you have, you still run the risk of stumbling upon a bread crumber or ghost.

Let me start with breadcrumbing. This is a nasty but effective trick. Most use it to ensure that a small amount of hope still remains, even though the relationship is never going to get off the ground, but that ounce of hope keeps you from moving on because the ‘what if’ part remains. Here’s an example, you have a casual thing with someone who is beyond out of your league and you know you’re punching above your weight, but you cannot let the opportunity pass… That thought of ‘what if this actually turns into something more with this amazing person’ seems to linger above your head and makes you persevere through what is a situation whereby you are being used! Months pass and you’ve not spoken but every now and then he will appear, maybe they like an old picture on your Instagram or comment on a profile picture from 2 years previous.

This has to be one of the cleverest games because no words are said and you possibly aren’t even in contact. Yet, they’ve gone to the effort to stalk through your page, find one of your best pictures and give you a huge nudge to say “oh, I’m still here in the background but I don’t actually want anything”. It’s probably the effort of this trick that winds us girls up more than most things, because mentally you go through the cycle of: he’s thinking about me, he’s trawled through my page, he’s complimented me by liking that picture, I wonder if I should message him, maybe he wants to see me… blah blah blah. I’m sure you ladies know how that internal monologue progresses.

It has to be said though, that the winning but nastiest trick of the dating game is ghosting. Ghosting is disgusting behaviour and, how it has become so acceptable these days, is beyond me. Let me put this into context, so you’ve started talking to someone new and it’s going swimmingly. Maybe you go on a few dates, really start to get to know each other and talk regularly. Then, one day, you go on your WhatsApp or Facebook messenger to drop them a line and they have disappeared. They aren’t just ignoring your messages or offline, no, they have disappeared off the face of the Earth and no longer exist!

In this instant, the brutal truth would have been much less painful than being completely written off without any explanation or justification. It doesn’t provide any closure, leaves so many things unsaid and you are left confused and hurt. The damage ghosting can do to a person’s self-esteem is awful. So girls, if you’re now joining the dating game after a long time off, I advise you keep your eyes wide open because the boys are playing new tricks.



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