‘Gutless’ dating act that is never ok
WHEN Louanne Ward started her career as a matchmaker, there was no such thing as online dating.
But more than 20 years later, the landscape of the dating world has changed drastically and, according to Ms Ward ghosting is now "as common as breathing".
Ms Ward told news.com.au she believes everyone is guilty of ghosting
"Sometimes ghosting someone is the kindest thing you can do for yourself if someone won't take no for an answer or is becoming abusive, or is projecting emotional instability," Ms Ward says.
"But I think ghosting is gutless and stunts emotional growth for both the ghoster and ghosted. "Does knowing the reason change the outcome? No, it doesn't. So, at the end of the day, if you've been ghosted, having answers to the questions doesn't change the outcome and can actually hurt you more if you knew."
Ms Ward has created a formula to use to exit gracefully via text message without ghosting.
"There are six stages prior to getting into a relationship which people ghost in," she says. "It's important to remember that, once you're in a relationship, it's never acceptable to end it via a text message."
Here are Ms Ward's scripts for what she refers to as the first three levels of dating:
1. Ending it when you've only just started chatting with them over text or online
"I just wanted to let you know, I feel it's rude not to reply to someone's message, but I don't see enough common ground for me to continue chatting. Thanks for connecting and I wish you all best."
2. Ending online connections when they keep messaging you or keep asking you why you don't want to continue chatting
"Your messages are sweet, and I am flattered. But I do need to let you know I won't be replying to further messages. I am not looking for any more friends right now, my focus is to date with the intention of developing a relationship not obtain a pen pal. Without wanting to sound rude I really don't have the time or energy for weeks on end of texting. Wishing you all the best."
3. Ending it when you've been asked out over text or online
"Thinking about it, I've decided to decline to get together. Nothing personal, I'm just not sensing enough alignment. I didn't want to ghost you because I believe it's disrespectful and you deserve better than that. Thank you for taking the time to chat with me. Sending you best wishes."
Ms Ward has also written longer scripts of how to:
• End things when you've been on a date but don't want to see them again.
• End things when you've had great sex but they're not relationship material.
• End things when you've been on a few dates with them.
You can listen to Ms Ward explain her "exit scripts" in our podcast Ghosted, where you'll also hear from a man who ghosted his brother, and a man who ghosted a woman because she was "annoying".
"I created the example scripts to show people how easy it is to act in accordance with compassion and take care of others," she says. "We should all be helping each other, not discarding people as though they mean nothing. Emotional intelligence and manners are lacking in modern dating and 'not ghosting' is a great place to start making positive changes."