Dating in the modern world is very tricky. There are all these self-imposed rules people adhere to, just because a magazine or blog says to. Things keep getting complicated because of a lack of transparency. A lot of people can’t tell the difference between a sure thing and a passing phase.
For example, let’s say you go out on a date. Everything seems perfect—divine, even. You go home, you text your friends about it, and patiently wait for the call to seal the next date.
But the call never comes. You decide to call instead. After that, the defining moment of your recent date arrives. They don’t call you back. Ever. What’s the next step?
Why are there people who don’t call back after dates?
There’s a new term being passed around called ghosting. That’s when a person you dated refuses to acknowledge your existence. This is what happened to you when your date refused to call you back. They ultimately decided the situation wasn’t to their liking, so they jumped ship.
You might be asking yourself how a person could be so heartless. But on their end, they don’t feel any remorse. They actively avoid having to step up to their responsibility as a human being—which means being polite enough to say, “This isn’t going to work out.”
The problem is most people don’t even know that they’re doing it until it’s too late. The deed has been done. The sin has been committed. They did not call.
All that’s left to do is avoid you as much as possible, so no one calls them out on being the bad guy. Their actions say otherwise, but these types of people already decided they did nothing wrong, or that they’ll never be held accountable for what they’ve done. [Read: What is ghosting and how does it affect you?]
How does this affect you?
For one thing, it sucks. The situation is worse than it could have been, had the date gone badly or even neutrally.
Because your date was awesome, the disappointment in finding out the truth is much more devastating. You were led to believe it was going somewhere.
Your expectations jumped through the roof, but quickly came crashing down without any explanation. Even if you wanted one, there’s no guarantee you’d get it.
This leads to someone questioning their self-worth, or even blaming themselves for what happened. It’s a serious matter, because this cannot bode well for people who already have low self-esteem. If you are strong enough to get past it, you’ll end up thanking your lucky stars you did not end up with an inconsiderate, cruel partner. [Read: 19 signs of emotional damage and ways to get past them]
What steps should you take after this happens?
Still, there’s a different side to the story… and it’s a side that may not involve you. The only way to get over it is to accept that it’s an insignificant part of the dating game.
Some will turn out to be bad eggs—like those who don’t call back—but rest assured, sooner or later, you will find one willing to call you every day, just for the chance to hear your voice.
#1 Call them out on their crappy attitude. The least you can do to help your fellow humans and make this person realize that what they did was wrong. After that, move on and hope they change their ghosting ways. [Read: Like ghosting? Prepare yourself for these 10 consequences]
#2 Don’t say anything more than you need to. Don’t prolong the conversation. Just say what you need to say—how you felt about this rejection, for instance—and that you hope they don’t do it to anyone else.
#3 Don’t sugarcoat the truth. They did not call back. They don’t like you enough to call back. This is a clear and direct rejection. Thinking it’s something else only gives you false hope.
#4 Don’t make excuses. Don’t make excuses for a person who’s not willing to explain their actions. You don’t know what they’re thinking… and no amount of articles really tell you why they didn’t call. [Read: How to recognize and stop selfish people from hurting you]
#5 Don’t dissect what you did wrong. You may have made a mistake, but focusing on your shortcomings only lets your date get away with what they did. Whatever it is that turned them off is something you need to deal with on your own, without the influence of a good date gone bad.
#6 Focus on yourself. Rather than waste time thinking about why someone didn’t call you back, focus more on making yourself happy. [Read: The meaning of YOLO: 15 ways to live life to your fullest]
#7 Focus on other stuff as well. The only way to stop thinking about something inconsequential is to think about something that’s worth your time and brain cells.
#8 Delete that person from your life. Numbers, social media accounts, text messages—delete them all. It won’t make you forget, but it gives you a sense of freedom and control.
#9 Find a way to move on that works for you. Each person has their own way of coping. As long as it’s not harmful or risky, you should choose a method that helps you move on as quickly as possible from this incident. It may be traveling, spending time with friends and family, or putting more positive energy into your work.
#10 Let it go. It’s not easy for some, but it is always possible. If it feels difficult, ask for help. Your friends and family will be more than happy to support you. [Read: Too good to be true? How to tell if you’re dating a phony]
How to handle your next date?
Just because it happened once, does not mean it can’t happen again. Dating will always be complicated, but make it easier by being honest and by looking at the positive side of things.
#1 If it happens again, you know what to do. Read the steps listed above. Read them over and over until they sink in.
#2 Check for a pattern. If it happens too often, you might want to re-evaluate your situation. You may be doing something wrong or choosing the same type of person over and over again. [Read: How to stop loving someone else… And love yourself more]
#3 Find out if you have unresolved issues with yourself. Sometimes, people who fail at dating are those who have personal problems that affect their other relationships. Find out if you’re happy with who you are now, before trying to find happiness with somebody else.
[Read: Got ghosted? 5 clear signs and 5 ways to deal with it]
Although it hurts never hearing from a good date, you probably aren’t the problem. Instead, you wound up going out with someone immature and inconsiderate. Using the tips above, overcome the pain of rejection, confront the ghoster, and make sure you heart doesn’t suffer again.
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