Ghosts not just for Halloween: majority of Aussies admit to ‘ghosting’ their dates

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Ghosts are fun at Halloween, but our latest research into Aussie relationships shows that ‘ghosting’ is a major issue of modern dating – and it’s taking a toll on singles.

The latest installment of our 2016 Relationship Study revealed that 64% of Australian daters have been ghosted by a date in the last 12 months, and that nearly three quarters (74%) of victims have experienced a negative emotional impact as a result.

Ghosting is an unfortunate byproduct of the modern dating culture, and refers to the act of someone unexpectedly ceasing contact, cancelling a date or being stood up without explanation or apology.

What are the main excuses for pulling the disappearing act?

As most people who’ve had this done to them likely suspect, the main excuses boil down to lack of chemistry (36%) and cowardice. 51% do it to avoid having to handle a break-up, 29% say breaking it off in person is too awkward and 27% report stopping all contact is easier than telling the truth.

The consequences of this behaviour have a deeper effect than just a disrupted schedule. The biggest blow is to the victim’s self esteem.

For those who’ve been ghosted, 41% report being hurt or upset, 34% feel like they’re not good enough, 28% not attractive enough, 26% feel flawed, 20% feel worthless and 19% are over dating.

Interestingly, the ghosting trend is at odds with another key finding from our research: that the majority of single Aussies (74%) are dating with the intention of looking for a long-term relationship.

We asked our resident psychologist and dating expert, Melanie Schilling, what she thinks is behind the phenomenon and to share her advice for people who are looking for a real spark. Mel says that ghosting really boils down to Aussies being spoilt for choice and not adopting the right dating strategy.

Today’s swipe-happy dating culture is allowing Aussies to shirk their interpersonal responsibility by hiding behind the anonymity of an app. They’ve got less emotional skin in the game and are less likely to consider their impact on others, which shows a real lack of empathy,” says Ms Schilling.

If you want to meet someone you really click with, you’ve got to align your dating strategy to that goal. Stop with the swiping and focus on quality over quantity. Sites like eharmony exist for people who want a more meaningful connection; they dig deeper to bring compatible people together. It becomes a lot harder to flake out on someone when you’ve connected with them in a meaningful way.”

What do you think about ghosting? Does the dating scene need a healthy dose of empathy? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on InstagramFacebook or Twitter.


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