#Don'tDoThis: Ghostbusters

Ghosts may be cute in coffee foam designs, but not in dating. Photo: Toa Heftiba

Ghosts may be cute in coffee foam designs, but not in dating. Photo: Toa Heftiba

It's one of the worst things to happen since online dating began. Ghosting. 

I'm here to tell you that it's an incredibly effective way to ruin your dating karma. 

Friend after friend has vented their frustration on me after getting ghosted. One date, two dates, sometimes several outings take place. Everything seems great. It feels like things are moving forward. And then...poof. 

He's gone. She never texts back. 

And it's soooooo pointless. 

Why are we so afraid to just be honest? If we spend time with someone and start getting to know them, common decency compels us to let them know if we're just not that into them anymore. 

There's no crime in losing interest. But you wade into "terrible person" territory when you resort to ghosting. 

Perhaps it's more persuasive to know how it feels to be on the receiving end of this kind of crap. 

First, it's confusing. Then the ghostee starts to feel stupid. Did they misread the signals? Were they too eager? Did they do something wrong? 

Then, anger. Here they thought they were seeing someone cool and excited to see what was coming...and then that person turns out to be a cowardly jerk. 

It just plain sucks. And it's soooooo unnecessary. 

I did a little experiment during one of my last forays into online dating. Whenever I went out with someone and I just wasn't into it, I let them know. I texted them and said, "I had a really nice time with you but the chemistry's just not there for me. I wish you well!!

In almost every instance, the man wrote me back thanking me. They said they appreciated that I made the effort and that they wished me well, also. 

The energy was so good! We'd effectively closed the door on anything romantic and released each other to pursue the right people. It was graceful and, above all, kind. 

I'm convinced that's a big reason that I ended up meeting my man soon after that experiment. I was setting myself up for a loving, respectful relationship. I was behaving like an adult. 

It feels good to close the loop. It sets you up for new opportunities. Endings make way for new beginnings. 

So the next time you find yourself feeling meh about someone you're dating, sit with it for a second. And then end it. It may feel harder at the time - to feel like you've hurt someone's feelings in rejecting them. 

But you're doing them a favor. You're releasing them from spending any more time on a dead end situation. This way, they may hurt for a little while but they'll respect the fact that you had the decency to do the right thing. 

These days, so few people do.