Can you predict long-term compatibility? Should you? Random weekend musings

A large part of being in a long-term relationship is growing together as a couple, as well as allowing each individual to grow and evolve separately. Lots of relationships change (or die) when that personal growth takes partners in different directions and they are no longer as compatible as they were when they first fell in love. Is there a way of knowing who’s going to be long-term compatible? After all, we can’t predict the future. But are there factors we can take into account when trying to figure out whether the person we’re in love with today will still be compatible with us in 10 years’ time?

But first, here’s another question: do we even need to see every relationship we enter into as the one and only relationship that will last us a lifetime? We already know this is usually not the case. I think it was Jung who talked about relationships as a tool for growth and about how some relationships are formed to help both partners learn a life lesson or evolve in a certain way and then cease to exist. I’m sure if you stop and think about your relationship history, you’ll be able to pinpoint some of  those in your own past (as long as you’re old enough to have had enough relationships, that is).  But surely, with the right person, growth is an ongoing process and you can help each other learn, achieve life goals and generally evolve as humans.

Speaking of Jung brings me to Myers-Briggs and the various personality types and personality tests. Could knowing more about your own personality type and your partner’s personality type make it easier to evolve as a team, rather than separately? At the very least, could it help you predict long-term compatibility with potential partners?

The above musings have been inspired by a recent article I’ve read. While looking on the Personality Perfect site, I recently found an article about the various personality types and what they each want out of life. Could knowing what you and your partner need to feel truly fulfilled help with long-term compatibility? As people’s personalities can manifest in a whole load of ways, I’m not 100% convinced that knowing your partner’s personality type and how it matches up with yours is enough to know whether you’ll be together forever. If you prescribe to the personality type theory, though, this could be a useful way of better understanding the things that make your loved ones tick.

Of course, knowing what both you and your partner need to feel happy on a daily basis and working towards making sure you both get what you need is definitely going to help any relationship last longer. Different people need different things to feel happy, valued and safe, so understanding where you’re both coming from is going to make it easier for you to provide that for each other. Plus, we all love to get insights about our personalities and how they match up. Right?

Shared life goals, compatible characters and a general interest in making sure your mutual needs are met are generally seen as the cornerstones of a successful long-term relationship. A combination of knowing what makes you and your partner happy and the desire to make that happiness happen is therefore the best thing you can do to keep the relationship alive.

Have you found that knowing your partner’s personality type helps you navigate your relationship better? Do you have any personality-based tips for long-term compatibility? Let me know below!

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Save up to 50% off Jdate Membership this weekend only!

The Jewish new year is almost here and to celebrate new beginnings, Jdate are offering up to 50% off membership this weekend only, till 4/10 (or 10/4 if you’re American).  While non-Jews have to deal with being single over Christmas, Jews have this family dinner to be mercilessly questioned about why they’re still not seeing anyone. So put some honey on that sour apple by saving a whole load of cash. You don’t need a coupon code. Just click on the image or…

Go to Jdate now via this handy link

Happy new year to you and may you find what (and who) you’re looking for.


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3 Months for 2 on eHarmony offer this weekend

From 16-20th Sept 2016, eHarmony UK has got a special deal on that lets you sign up for three months but only pay for two. If you were thinking of giving the site a go, now’s a good chance to save some money. Three months is a good amount of time to give the site a chance and see if it’s working for you. Sign up to eHarmony via this link to make use of this offer. T&C’s apply (can be found on their site).

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How not to date online – learning by (bad) example

I’ve been writing about online dating for a long time and to be perfectly honest, sometimes I get bored. After all, much of it is about the same topics, albeit rehashed and paraphrased to make things more interesting. I often wonder whether there’s still a need in today’s dating world to write about dating profiles, first message writing and other such basics. But time and time again I conclude that these are still important things to cover. After all, it seems that there are plenty of people out there for whom such information is important.

Take this article, for example. TLDR: guy goes on Tinder “to find love”, fails to secure date, gets female friend to help him with his profile, secures date with hot model, is disappointed by her flippant attitude and behaviour and concludes that LA is not suitable for finding love.

So can we take this story and learn from it about common dating mistakes? Let’s take a look at what happened here.

The article was written by said guy, hence an obvious bias towards blaming the girl. But let’s break down what the guy did first.

  1. Signing up to Tinder to find a serious relationship
    I personally know people who fell in love on Tinder and I’m sure many others do. But ultimately, Tinder is a hook up app. Its very nature makes it the perfect app for shallow encounters. It’s much easier to sign up to than more serious dating sites, which makes it perfect for when someone’s freshly broken up and needs to rebound. In fact, the girl this guy is slating did just that – signing up immediately after a breakup to make herself feel better. So while it’s fine to look for love on Tinder, you should also accept the fact that many people on there might not be looking for what you are.
  2. Having  a dating profile that’s an idealised representation of yourself
    I often advise men in particular to get female friends to help write their dating profile, but there is such a thing as aiming too high. If a profile sounds like someone who’s not you and you turn up to the date, expect some disappointment. As I’ve not seen either the before or after version of this guy’s profile, I can’t comment on any particular problems, but the fact that he got no action with his own profile and got a lingerie model contacting him for sex after his profile makeover (only to be quickly disappointed when she met him) makes me think there was a lot there that could be seen as unwittingly misleading or just plain wrong.
  3. Going on a date with a model and being surprised that she’s high maintenance
    I mean, seriously, are you 12? She’s a model. She’s in LA. There is no such thing as effortlessly done up. Not if you’re expect your date to look perfect. Most models obsess about their looks, because they have to – it’s what makes them a living. They are also likely to be very driven and committed to their work, which is what it takes to be a successful model in LA. If that’s not something you can deal with then date someone who’s not a model or an actress or any high profile profession.
  4. Being surprised when your date doesn’t think you match up with your idealised profile
    Many people lie in their dating profiles, but it’s a risk you take that is likely to blow up in your face. Can’t do the time…


So all in all, this guy made a few bad dating mistakes and paid the price for them. But is the woman involved completely guilt free? Of course not. Let’s see what her issues are.

  1. Going on dates immediately after a major breakup
    Was the guy so different than his profile or was she simply not really interested because she still had feelings for her ex? It’s all well and good to sign up to a dating site and start contacting people so you can get over someone, but the person on the other side has feelings too. Would this guy have replied to this girl had he known her to be so freshly broken up? I think the answer is probably no. By omitting this important fact from her profile, she was effectively lying too. It’s best to work out your own feelings about your emotional state without bouncing them off other people who could get hurt in the process.
  2. Not respecting her date’s time
    This guy drove a long way to meet her. She kept him waiting for ages beyond their agreed time, which is rude. OK, so she didn’t know he’d made a long journey, because he hadn’t told her, but you shouldn’t take the piss anyway. He might be disposable to you, but he’s a person with feelings and his time is valuable.
  3. Being flippant after having rejected the guy
    In spite of the guy taking offence, there’s actually nothing wrong with letting a date know straight away that you are not interested. I’m not going to say that you should do it every time out of respect for the person’s feelings, because as a woman I know that sometimes you just don’t feel safe rejecting someone outright, or you feel that it would create an unpleasant situation with the other person acting all offended and rude. Still, if someone is brave enough to simply say “thanks, but no thanks”, we should applaud it rather than criticise them. This girl, however, went the extra mile, if we believe the guy. First, she practically started talking about his shortcomings (why? Unless the guy is demanding to know them and you feel obliged, just leave it at “no thanks”). Then, she asked him questions about dating on Tinder. Seriously, tact is a virtue when you’ve just rejected a guy.


As you can see, both sides of this story made some bad dating choices, which you can learn to avoid in your dating life. Have you had any dating disasters you’d like other people to learn from? Feel free to comment below.




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PersonalityMatch – Compatibility Matching App Review

I’ve recently been asked to review a new app called PersonalityMatch, a free app that lets you take a short personality test based on the Myers-Briggs model, discover your personality type and then see how it compares to those of friends and partners. I figured it could potentially be a useful relationship tool for some, or at the very least a fun activity to share with others.

It’s not hard to see the appeal of such an app – could it be like a cheat sheet for learning about someone else’s personality and how compatible you are?

To be perfectly honest, I have a love-hate relationship with these tests. Obviously, I love reading about myself (who doesn’t?) but I often find the choices in these tests quite limiting, as you usually have to choose between two options, whereas my honest answer is more likely to be “depends” or change depending on my mood. I’ve done quite a few Meyers-Briggs style tests before and have come out as both an Extrovert and an Introvert on different occasions, although the rest has mostly been pretty consistent across the lot.  They’re not perfect, but can be quite interesting and useful.

Compatibility matching, on the other hand, is something you usually see on dating sites where the test is generally a serious and often daunting task (hello, eHarmony!) or a neverending one (hi, OKCupid!). I’m sure there are other apps and sites that let you match your personality with your friends, but this is the first one I’ve personally tried that wasn’t part of an actual dating site.

How it works

First, you sign up with either your Facebook account or your email address. Pretty straightforward stuff.

The test itself only takes a few short minutes to complete, unless you’re the sort of person who’s going to deliberate for ages on each answer, which you’re not meant to do for these anyway. It’s definitely shorter than most compatibility based dating sites I’ve seen (apart from the crap ones).

The app gives you two tiers of information – basic (free) and paid. Surprisingly, the basic information seemed fairly insightful and reasonably accurate, especially considering the short time I’d spent actually doing the test. You get the information in the app itself and I also got an email with the results, so I could read them on a bigger screen. Handy.

There is an option to purchase more detailed information (22 page PDF), priced at $19.99 if you want to know even more about yourself.

Once I’d done that, it was time for the more exciting experiment. I wanted to use the app for what it’s actually meant for – seeing how my personality matches app with those of people I know. I found some willing victims and invited them to the app by email (you can use a whole load of other methods to invite people). They each followed the link provided in the stock email generated by the app and were automatically added as my “friends” when they joined. The app then notified me when they had finished filling out their personality tests and we were ready for a match!

This is the most fun part of the app, because your match report compares you to your friend using both a visual representation and a written report. You can click for more information about what the different parts mean or scroll down to read the text. The basic match report does a decent enough job of comparing the two personalities in terms of “energy”, “information”, “decisions” and “lifestyle” but for less than £1 you can get a more detailed report with the “strengths and weaknesses” of your match, tips on getting along and also information about their personality type. You can also pay a little more and unlock unlimited match reports, which could be handy if you want to invite lots of friends to see how you match up.



All in all, I liked this app. I’ve seen some very lengthy, detailed tests on some personality matching dating sites that delivered results that weren’t that much better than this (and sometimes, to be honest, not as good).

The fact that this app is not attached to a dating property actually works in its favour, because it can give you more honest results. Dating sites have a vested interest in sending you potential matches and getting you going on dates. A personality matching app doesn’t.

PersonalityMatch  has also got the winning combination of being fun, quick and easy to use, as well as insightful enough to make the information interesting. It really did make me want to share it with more people so that I can get a sneaky glimpse into their personality, and my own.

Even keeping in mind the limitations of these sort of personality tests, there is enough stuff here to give you insights into a relationship or a friendship or act as an ice breaker with a new partner.  While I wouldn’t advise anyone to base relationship decisions solely on an app, I would definitely recommend this app to anyone interested in learning a bit more about themselves and other people in their lives.

Where to get it

The app is free and you can get it from:

App store:

Play store:

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Want to be on a Channel 4 TV pilot? Man and woman wanted

I’ve been contacted by a TV casting company working for production company Keshet, who are producing a pilot for channel 4 about relationships and dating. They are looking for a man and a woman to be in the pilot. This will not be broadcast on TV, but could be a fun experience if you’re interested in being in front of a camera. These are their requirements:

I am looking to interview a woman in her 20’s – early 40’s (who went to University) who will only date men of a certain social standing, and has extremely high standards when it comes to choosing who to date. I’m also looking to interview a man in his 20’s – 30’s who is university educated, loves online dating and not wanting to settle down yet as having too much fun dating.
The interview is for a Channel 4 pilot so will not be for broadcast and will take up an hour of their time. Filming will be in London on a convenient date and travel expenses can be arranged etc.
Contact Victoria on: if interested.
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New dating app aims to help users have better first dates

First dates are meant to be exciting, but as we all know, there’s always the possibility of things going horribly wrong. Different people have different views about what makes a good first date, ranging from the location to whether or not you’re meant to split the bill. I’ve heard so many first date horror stories that I was intrigued by  a press release that landed in my emailbox from a company called TakeMeOut Dating (or TMO).  The app is apparently aimed at busy professionals who want to simplify the first date experience by specifying their first date preferences before being shown any potential matches. Once you choose stuff like who you think should pay for the bill or whether or not you want to go to a posh restaurant, the app will show you only those people who match your date choices.  The next phase of the app promises to give you the option to actually book a table at a restaurant, plus a more vigorous screening process of potential dates. While not as extensive as personality profiling, this does sound like a good way of taking some of the confusion and awkwardness out of the dreaded first dates. And as dating should really be about having fun, this can only be a good thing.  Also, to celebrate the launch, they are currently offering a free night out for you and your date for people who join and invite five friends.


The app is available on both Android and iPhone.  For those interested in more details, full press release is below, including the free date offer (at the very end). You can contact them via:


TMO (TakeMeOut) – The Dating App That Lets You Choose Your First Date Experience and Review Your Matches

Traditional dating apps leave users with many questions that often lead to incompatible dates, something busy

professionals do not have the time to endure. Will the person I meet have proper dating etiquette and similar first

date expectations? Who is paying for the date? Will we end up going to a place both of us will enjoy and feel

comfortable in?

TMO (TakeMeOut) is designed to cater to the needs of busy professionals by allowing users to control their dating

experience and set expectations upfront. By checking the matches rankings and reviews, users are able to quickly

eliminate unsuitable partners and match with only the best!

When you join TMO you have the option of choosing whether you want to take someone out, you want someone

to take you out, or whether you prefer to go Dutch and split the cost of the date.

Then you specify the desired type of dating experience expected on your first date. Whether it is going out for a

drink, to a restaurant, or something more sophisticated, TMO will offer you the different options

For example, a female user could decide she wants to be taken out to an upscale dinner on her first date. TMO

algorithm will then only show her men who like to wine and dine their dates. When both users swipe right, the

match is made and they are able to chat with one another.

A very unique feature TMO offers is by letting users rate their past dates so that others can know whether or not

they are a genuine person they want to spend their valuable time with. The rating system is one of a kind

algorithm that allows trustworthy users to stand out, and makes the anonymous dating experience safer.

TMO is the only dating app of its kind that offers these unique features. It was created for the purpose of

improving the dating app experience for busy professionals by giving them more control over the process,

increasing the quality of their matches, and ensuring they are matched with real people who they want to spend

their limited free time with. The matching system is robust as it is seamless, designed to be as simple and highly


TMO’s next phase will be to provide even more unique features, such as a booking system to book restaurants

online and a more advanced screening process to make sure that you would always meet the person shown in the

picture on your first date. Our goal is to take the work out of dating, provide perfect matches, and let our users get

the most out of life and their dating experiences!

TMO is all about giving their users the best dating experience possible, while building it’s community to become

the standard in online dating. If you join now and share the app with 5 friends, TMO will book a night out for you

and your date with 2 cocktails on us.

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The five golden rules for contacting women on dating sites

Hello All

Messaging women on a dating site is not always easy. Competition can be tough, especially if you’re aiming for an attractive woman. Also, the medium can be a bit confusing, with many men being unsure of etiquette, what women want or expect and what constitutes a good first message. Here are the five golden rules to keep in mind when you’re composing your first message to the possible woman of your dreams.


(the man in the pic is in no way connected to this piece)


1 Have a good profile in place

The first thing a woman’s going to do is read your profile, yet so many men are so eager to get on with contacting women that they don’t put any time or effort into what they write. A good photo is obviously a must, too and you can get away with quite bland messages if your profile pic is attractive enough (humans are shallow, what can I say). If you need tips about choosing a photo and writing a good profile, start here and here and here.

But don’t worry, if a woman likes your first message, she’ll take a chance on you even if she’s not entirely sure about the pics. So…

2  Be Respectful

Different women are going to respond in different ways to different messages, but the vast majority of women prefer to be treated with respect. It’s fine to be a bit cheeky and flirty, but there’s a fine line between that and being rude, creepy and sleazy. Unless you’re on a hook up site, don’t offer sex straight away or ask about what the woman likes in bed, don’t discuss her anatomy in a direct way  and for god’s sake, don’t send any dick pics. It might seem obvious,but apparently it oh so isn’t. So basically “you have nice tits” is out, but something like “fancy a pint?” or some sort of tongue in cheek chat up line can be fine.

3 Pay attention

Look beyond the woman’s picture and have a good read of her dating profile. Apart from knowing whether you’re likely to be her type, it’s going to be a treasure trove of conversation starters. Remember though that if something in her profile stands out as an obvious conversation starter (like “I work at the circus as an aerial acrobat” for example, or “I am 6′ 2”) chances are every man and his dog will have already asked her about it and she’s fed up of talking about it. So try to go for something less obvious and you won’t be as dull as the rest of them.

4 Keep it short

She doesn’t know whether she likes you yet and really, you want her checking out your profile, so don’t write essays. A couple of paragraphs at most, if not less. If you’re finding it hard to be concise, write out a longer message, then read it over a few times critically and cut it down to size. Can’t write two paragraphs? A one liner is all you need to start a conversation.

5 Don’t try too hard to impress

I know it’s hard to stand out as a man on a dating site, but trying too hard to be cool can often reek of effort and backfire horribly. So don’t go on about your fine qualities in your message, don’t waste your time on trite pick up techniques and whatever you do, don’t go for that lame pick up artist tactic of insulting women to get them to respond. Most women I’ve come across actually hate that. You’re far better off just having a good looking, detailed profile and just saying hello than to try and look like superdate.

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Dating online? How much should you outsource?

Computer keyboard and touch pad

Back when I had the time, I used to offer some services to help people with their online dating profiles. The services I offered included helping the client choose the right photo and helping with online dating profile writing. I tried to keep things as close as possible to the client’s own words, seeing as the clients were the ones looking for dates and not me.

I see it as a way of showing people stuff about themselves that they may have missed, so that they could put this information in their profile. There’s nothing wrong with that, much in the same way someone could come in, look at your rather random employment history and make it look really good on a CV. After all, writing about yourself is not easy, even for very outgoing, eloquent people. I know I hate marketing myself, but writing about someone else is not a problem at all for me.

I’ve also seen some services offering to write some opening messages for you, which I think is borderline. On one hand, sending a first message is a daunting task for many, but once a conversation has started, they find it easier to relate. On the other hand…well, it feels a bit unethical and dishonest.

So recently, when someone showed me a wanted ad for a job involving running people’s complete online dating account for them, I was frankly quite shocked. It seems there’s actually work out there for people to not only write your dating profile for you but also to choose and message suitable women for you, flirt with them online and arrange dates for you. Once the date is set, you presumably turn up all briefed about the lady and the conversation you’ve supposedly had and take it from there. Seriously, guys? Really?

For one, any relationship starting like this would be built on a massive lie. You’re not going to tell your dream gal that the person who enchanted her online was some random student looking for some extra cash on the side, are you? Well, you might, but I doubt you’d get very far.

Also, looking at it from the lady’s point of view (I’m assuming it’s mostly guys using this service, but there’s nothing that says women can’t and aren’t using it too), if you’re too busy to bother trying to make your own connections or so bad at talking to women you need someone else to do it for you, what will you do when there’s an actual woman there?

It might seem like an efficient way of cutting through the dating numbers’ game if you’re a busy executive, but really, people don’t like being taken for a ride and if you’re not like the person who pretended to be you, it’s going to turn around and bite you in the ass.
From what I’ve seen, this is exactly what happens and such relationships don’t last. It’s easy to make a very shy, lost person look outgoing and confident online, but once you swap over to the real deal, the person on the other side is going to know something is off, or just lose interest.

“But it’s just like traditional matchmaking used to be, just updated for the digital age!” I hear some people cry. Well, actually, no it isn’t. People who go to a dating agency or a matchmaker know the score and they know someone else will be matching them with another person and arranging the dates. People on a dating site assume the person writing to them is the person they will meet later on.

If you can’t bring yourself to do your online dating “work” yourself, maybe dating online is not for you.
Why not use an actual matchmaking service (such as Coffee and Company in the UK) where someone does look for suitable dates instead of you and arrange your dates for you, but everything is above board?

Alternatively, you can let your personality shine at a speed dating or singles’ event.

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Looking for love? Owning a pet can help you find it

With summer around the corner (we hope), the thought of sitting in front of a dating app and dating site while the sun is shining might not appeal. But recent research from has shown that owning – and walking – a dog can actually help busy professionals find love.

Puppy Love InfographicIt seems that one out of five full time workers in the UK have actually met their partner while walking their dog, while three out of Five made new friends.

Dogs get you out of the house and they tend to attract both dogs and dog lovers. If you want to get talking to someone, a dog is a great conversation starter. Unlike people, dogs make friends easily with other dogs, and while they play, you have the perfect opportunity to make conversation with their owner.

Dogs are often recommended as the perfect companions to widowers, widows and the elderly and it’s not hard to see why. 45% of widows participating in this research said they’d struck up a positive conversation with a stranger because of their dog.

But owning a pet can also improve your life in general. As a proud owner of two cats, I was not at all surprised to discover that 55% of pet owners questioned said they were extremely happy with their lives. As I’ve often said on this blog, if you are happy and content with your own life, you are in the perfect position for finding a partner.

Of those already in relationships, 55% are also said to be very happy with their love life, while 41% said it brought them closer to their partner.

Owning a pet, especially a dog, is a responsibility. But if you’re up to the challenge, you will appear more caring and responsible to those around you. In fact, the research has shown that women tend to think male pet owners would make good fathers. After all, many couples start off by getting a pet together, before having a baby.

But if you’re one of the 51% of London pet owners who happens to own a cat, rather than a dog, don’t despair!

You might not be able to parade your pet around like a badge of attraction and parental suitability, but you can certainly use information and pictures of you with your cat (or cats) in your online dating profile to attract other cat lovers. Cat ladies in particular are likely to appreciate a man who appreciates cats, so while I don’t advocate making your entire profile about cute cat pictures, I do think that letting people know you have a beloved pet that’s a big part of your life can only be a good thing.

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Stop shaming women for ghosting men

A few years back, while my father was in hospital being treated for terminal cancer, I briefly dated someone. It turned out the guy had zero interested in asking me how I was feeling (I was spending upwards of 8 hours a day in hospital with my dad at the time), but was nonetheless interested in coming over to sleep with me. After three such dates, I stopped answering his calls and calling him back. My father nearly died that time. I was a mess emotionally and physically. I simply could not bring myself to deal with anything else, especially not a selfish person who didn’t even once ask me how I was and whether I needed anything.

GhostShortly before my father’s death, when he was briefly out of hospital and assumed reasonably OK, said guy called to ask for an “exit interview” and I picked up. I then got told off for having “ghosted” him, even though I had explained that I’d been dealing with some terrible events in hospital. It would seem that while our short acquaintance wasn’t enough to warrant anything as “heavy” as the guy worrying about my feelings, it was plenty long enough for him to be entitled to have his looked after by me, regardless of what was going on in my life at the time. This is the ugly face of self-entitlement, which is sadly remarkably common.

Ghosting, the act of disappearing out of someone’s life without explanation, is also pretty common in online dating and there are heaps of articles online telling you how horrible it is and what a horrible person you are for doing it (such as this article in Psychology today). Such articles are often written by men, although I have seen some by women who claimed to be “gender blind” when it comes to dating etiquette.

Ghosting does feel horrible. I’ve been ghosted in the past by both men I’ve been on one date with and men I’ve known for a long time. I was as disappointed as confused as you’d imagine. Whether you’re a man or a woman, the longer you’ve known someone, the more emotionally invested you are and the more interaction you’ve had with them, the more disappointed and sad you’ll be when they turn out to seemingly not care about your feelings enough to tell you they’re not interested to your face. This is especially true if you’ve had sex with them, because it can make you feel really used.

But we can’t really pretend that there is no difference between men and women’s experience of dating and social interaction, no more than we can ignore the fact that while men do get raped, it’s far far less common than women getting raped.

Women live in a world where complete strangers tell you to smile on the street and hurl abuse to you if you don’t. Where guys are “just being friendly, what’s your problem, bitch?” until you’re friendly back and then they ask you for your phone number and accuse you of having lead them on if you refuse to give it. We live in a world where self-proclaimed “nice guys” feel so entitled to women’s affections by virtue of simply not being openly horrible to them that they write articles whining about being in the “friend zone” (and cut you out of their lives in a huff, of course, once the potential for future sex is out the window). Guys feel entitled to our attention and affection simply because they happen to be interested in us. If we think we might be interested and then learn that we are not, all hell breaks loose.

Women have to deal with this shit ALL THE TIME, yet we are constantly judged for trying to minimise unpleasantness we never asked for. I’ve even seen articles criticising other women for rejecting men by saying they have a boyfriend even when they don’t, in spite of the fact that this is often the fastest, safest way to get a man to walk away without hurling abuse at you or even attacking you. For many woman, ghosting is not “being a coward” and “putting yourself first”. It’s dealing with real fears and real survival issues in the safest way possible.

Yes, ideally, any person you date who does not want to continue seeing you would take the time to let you know so that you’re not left hanging. Personally, I think that’s the most respectable thing to do. However, this also assumes that the person on the receiving end of rejection will be respectful enough to accept it without demanding an explanation, being rude or abusive or offloading their negative emotional state on the other person. And this almost never happens. Women can be as guilty as men of not taking rejection well and using emotional blackmail to try and get the other person to change their mind, but the chances of a woman putting a man in actual danger as a result of rejection are far slimmer than the opposite. That’s why I can understand women who ghost men more than I understand men who do it.

Let’s leave ghosting after actual relationships (a few months+) out of this discussion. A person you’ve messaged online or been on a date with once or seen on the street and fancied does not owe you an explanation as to why they are not interested in you. Yes, it would be nice to get one for your own peace of mind, closure and ego, but that’s on you, not on them. Just because a person replied to an online message you sent or agreed to date you and then decided for whatever reasons that you weren’t a good fit, doesn’t buy you the right to what could turn out to be an awkward, unpleasant experience for the other person.

We’re all used to seeing ourselves in the centre of the universe, but sometimes we have to accept the fact that, well, not everyone we happen to meet is going to share this view. Even the most heteronormative people often start off as poly on dating sites, going on a few dates with a few different people before they settle on one. Once a person has decided you’re not the one, they are not likely to want to make any sacrifices for you.

How many people would actually accept a simple rejection message without trying to make a conversation of it? Most normal people would figure out a person is ghosting them after a few days of trying and failing to get in touch. It may be bad manners, but it’s not a mortal sin. It’s just a few days of wondering, followed by the unpleasant dawning realisation. So an outright rejection message would be cleaner and give you those couple of days back, but the trade of is either a direct rejection with no explanation (again, you’re not owed one) or direct negative criticism. Most people don’t react well to negative criticism.

The truth is, most people are secretly angry at the other person for rejection them, but won’t admit it to themselves. Instead they’ll be overly angry at the person for “leaving them hanging” (ghosting), or, if they do get a rejection message, breaking up with them on the wrong medium (You’re breaking up with me on Facebook/WhatsApp/text message???), not giving a reason or ghosting them after they insist on not taking no for an answer. Yes, you might be the person who’s going to be happy with a clear “no”, but if you are, you’re pretty uncommon.

Until people, especially men, learn to accept rejection at face value without feeling entitled to an explanation, a conversation or a second chance, I refuse to judge women in particular for taking the safe, easy way out. Sometimes it’s better to let the man on the other side come to a slow realisation away from us, rather than confronting him with potentially dangerous rejection.

In the meantime, whether you are a man or a woman, if you think you are being ghosted, you can either stop trying to make contact and see if the other person reappears on their own after a while or you could simply send a polite message saying that you think you are being ignored and if so, good luck, otherwise “feel free to contact me when you are less busy”. Sometimes just being honest and disarming yourself can bring out the honesty in another person. Sometimes it doesn’t, but then at least you’ll have a reason to write the other person off.

[Ghost image by Marisali]

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