|I just had a very interesting call with the woman from Alarm Masters.|
|Is this one of your usual vents, or do I actually need to pay attention?|
|Actually, neither. My home alarm system's siren went off in the middle of the night and scared us all to death. Luckily, it was just a malfunction, so I called them as soon as they opened to see if they could send someone out. And less than two hours later they had a repairman at my door!|
|And, you are telling me this … why?|
|Because after he left, I called their office to thank them for getting someone out so quickly. They always provide great service, but this was exceptional.|
|I bet that shocked them. People typically call businesses to complain – not to compliment.|
|Exactly. I could tell that she was very surprised which quickly turned into being appreciative. It was such a small thing on my part, but I think it made a difference in her day.|
|And, will probably create a lasting memory. As will this call, as I am used to you calling me to vent – not compliment. Now, is there anything else you need to tell me? Or, can I get back to work?|
|No, that's it. But I guess I could thank you for listening.|
|No, save that "thank you" for someone who would appreciate it.|
Everyone laughs and wants to hear the story when I mention that I was recently "ghosted" by someone I had dated. What I find interesting is that ghosting has become so prevalent in today's society (and is not restricted to dating) that there is a term to describe the sudden "disappearance" of someone who wants to avoid all future contact with you.
Going back decades, I know there have been first dates that, at the time, I thought went well. But, after getting the "I'll call you" line … I never did. As a teenager, I can remember anxiously waiting for the phone (a landline tethered to the wall – and yes, I am that old) to ring, not wanting to go out and possibly miss the call. And, being very disappointed by the silence. Now, I cannot even remember who they were.
Over time, especially once women's lib made it more acceptable for women to take the initiative when dating, I came to appreciate that it was easier not to call than to tell someone face-to-face that you did not want another date. But, it did not change the inevitable, and ghosting can be more painful than politely telling the truth. Meanwhile, given how outspoken and opinionated I was (I still am), I think they could always sense where they stood and whether our personalities were compatible.
I never intentionally misled anyone, as that is not my style. Plus, it is inefficient as it creates more work down the road to try and reverse the situation. Of course, when you get past the initial dates and learn more about each other, you may realize that you are not compatible. Then, you want to cut your losses and move on, so would break up. It did not require long conversations or detailed relationship analysis. Merely, the common courtesy to be honest.
I know that Red would try and make me understand that "mere mortals" (as she refers to herself and most people, accusing me of being a Vulcan) prefer to avoid these situations – finding them not only uncomfortable and difficult, but thinking they require full explanations. However, I am not questioning "why" people ghost.
Yes, there can be legitimate reasons for ghosting someone, although often there are not. The specific details of my situation are not relevant, but the fact we went on six or seven dates, and he made it very clear that he thought our relationship could be a long-term one (I thought it had potential but was concerned about emotional compatibility) made being ghosted very unexpected. And disappointing. Not to mention,
Ghosting is flat-out rude and shows a lack of manners. If you no longer want to date someone, tell them. Plus, it is an excellent way to practice having difficult conversations, especially as there is no downside risk. But, there can be upside potential … Besides improving your communication skills, you may realize that your decision to stop seeing them is based on a misunderstanding or extenuating circumstances.