Red alert, singles: There’s yet another dating trend for you to learn.
Soft-ghosting is the new term for misery-induing behaviour, describing yet another way for someone to reject you.
It’s the creation of the people over at Bumble. The term, we mean. The dating app isn’t responsible for this awful act.
Basically it’s a lot like normal ghosting – when someone you’re chatting to disappears without a trace – but rather than entirely vanishing into thin air, the object of your affection just likes your message.
Yep, rather than responding to your messages, a soft-ghoster just ‘likes’ whatever you sent.
It’s ‘soft’ because it’s not as sudden a departure as your usual ghosting… but that doesn’t make it any better.
While with a ghosting, you’ll figure out pretty quickly what’s going on, a soft-ghosting seems eternally baffling. Did this person mean to hit the heart on your message? Are they planning to respond any further? Did your message not invite further conversation?
And then you’re struck by the horrible to urge to message them again, perhaps with a direct question so a ‘like’ simply wouldn’t make sense.
Either they like it again or they do a full ghost. Either option comes with a nice serving of embarrassment.
Soft-ghosting appears to be an attempt at politeness, from someone who can’t really be bothered to continue the chat but doesn’t want to appear blunt by leaving the conversation entirely. But it’s actually pretty rude – a heart or a smiley face or whatever other one-tap reaction to a message isn’t adequate engagement. Can’t this person be bothered to just type out a message?
It’s important, however, to make sure you’re dealing with a genuine soft-ghosting.
If your message doesn’t really invite a response, that might explain the lack of one. Give the possible soft-ghoster some time to start the conversation up again. A day should work.
Then, if you’re really keen on this person, swallow your pride and double text – this time making sure to include a direct question that requires a response. If the conversation picks right back up and flows with ease, you’re all sorted. If the person just ignores your communication, they were clearly warming up to a full-on ghost. If they respond but the conversation still feels half-hearted, ditch it – they’re clearly just trying to be ‘nice’.
Glamour also recommends giving your match a ‘clear call to action’, giving them a specific invitation to a meeting to assess their seriousness. Again, if there’s no response, move swiftly on. If it’s a half-hearted one, they’re clearly not that keen. But if they’re immediately eager, maybe they’ve just been struggling to keep the banter going. Easily done.
Just remember above all that anyone who makes you feel rejected and confused likely isn’t worth your time.
If someone really fancies and respects you, they’ll be clear in their approach and won’t waste time playing games or faffing about with the whole ‘who should message first’ question.