How to Avoid Being Ghosted While Dating

“Hey, isn’t that the guy you were talking to last week?”

“Oh, sh*t.”

Stop scurrying across the bar avoiding eye contact, hoping he doesn’t see you. It’s time for you to take control of your romantic life and get rid of ghosting–or at least avoid it. Getting ghosted boils down to your own participation and perspective. You’re in control of your dating situation and you shouldn’t let someone who’s not talking to you throw you off your groove. Yeah, it’s easier said than done, but here are some tricks on how to avoid being ghosted. Grab your drink, take a swig and let’s get started.

1. Don’t take it too seriously.

Okay, cliché, yes. But, true? Also, yes. The majority of people using online dating or hook-up sites aren’t taking it seriously. Most people aren’t looking for a meaningful connection. They’re looking for occasional emotional support, superficial validation and instant physical gratification. Maybe you are looking for a meaningful relationship or connection. In that case, don’t participate in the hook-up game. Start immediately DTR-ing–defining the relationship. It’s better to be upfront and honest than to have high expectations for someone who doesn’t realize you want more than just their best “You up?” text.

2. Perspective is everything.

You could look at being ghosted as a tragic loss. Or! You could thank that person for cutting ties because they realized sooner than you that it wasn’t going to work out. You’re not always ghosted because of something you might have done. A.K.A. it’s not always about you. Even if you’re suddenly ghosted it’s how you see and react to the situation that determines the outcome. They could be looking at the situation completely different than you are, and it could be their own problems deterring them from being with you. At the end of the day you’re responsible for your feelings, not them. Looking at it that way, being ghosted is just a mindset.

3. Own what role you’re playing.

Seriously, it’s 2018. You’re probably using Tinder or Bumble to date. Better yet, maybe you’re using that weird new Hinge app with the ‘meme’ ads all over Instagram. He’s doing, she’s doing, they’re all doing the same thing and we’ve all probably been ghosted. And, if you think about it, you’ve probably ghosted someone, too. Everyone’s just staring at their phones hoping that one swipe will lead to another. If you aren’t dating the old-fashion way then you’re playing the same game. At that point, there’s no avoiding it. Ghosting is just a casualty of the art of love and war, and we all know love is a battlefield.

4. All things happen for a reason.

But, Veronica, you don’t get it! I’m not doing anything different and suddenly he stopped talking to me for no reason! Nope. Everything happens for a reason. Even if you can’t see or understand it now you’ll eventually have that epiphany moment. When it hits you, you’ll realize why it didn’t work out with Brad or Chad or even Thad. The universe has a funny sense of humor. Just know that everything that’s meant to happen will happen and is happening right now. So, trust in the actions life is taking and know that if it doesn’t work out with someone then better things await.

5. Don’t ignore red flags.

That being said, don’t play the game and ignore the signs. This goes for even the most casual relationships. If you’re dismissive of something it can become harmful later. Are they not being upfront about their sexual health? Are they being disrespectful toward a person or a culture? They can’t disclose personal information from their past or present? Something’s up. A red flag could be something as simple as not vibing. Another warning is that neither of you has that much in common. Perhaps they’re unwilling to compromise. If your potential partner is like this from the start it’s only downhill from there. They know you’ll accept that type of behavior and they’ll act more flippant later because they know you won’t say anything. What you want could be temporary, but there’s still no reason to settle. You wouldn’t temporarily subject yourself to pain, so don’t temporarily subject yourself to painful partnerships.

Ghosting has just become a part of our reality, so really there’s no definite way to avoid being ghosted. Unless you stop dating or talking to people. But, just by controlling your role and keeping a positive mindset about all relationships you won’t even think of it as being ghosted anymore. Can you be ghosted by someone if you don’t really care? Keep putting yourself out there and don’t be afraid to let people know what you want. Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now everything works out in the end.