Dating Apps and Ghost Dicks
Iby Kiersten Hallie Krum
Everyone who has been on a dating app/site has horror stories. In Alisha Rai’s book, Serving Pleasure (a must read), the heroine goes on a series of first dates in an attempt to meet the kind of man her traditional mother would approve and thus be the daughter she believes her mother wants. To research this book, Ms. Rai joined dating apps and went on a series of dates, some hilarious disasters she live chronicled on Twitter. So when I joined early in 2017, I was well prepped to endure many toads before finding even the hint of a potential prince.
I did not anticipate Ghost Dicks.
I’ve been on two “dating” apps since last March, though I didn’t start actively engaging until July. I went in with a healthy skepticism, shields at the ready, prepared to swipe left far more often than I would right. Over the past months, I’ve met a shocking (to me) amount of married men looking for a fling and the expected quota of boy men looking for hookups. Some engagements have been quite flattering. I’m not ashamed to admit to enjoying being called beautiful and sexy even with the foreknowledge that such compliments may be merely a line. Everyone on dating apps has an agenda. Even me.
Despite my metaphoric arched eyebrow over the whole process, I went into this with a few outright, perhaps obvious goals. But in the last few months, my goals have changed. Before I was looking for a date (among other things); now, I’m just hoping they don’t turn out to be a Ghost Dick.
Ghosting is (apparently) pop-culture parlance that all the kids are fluent in, but which was new to me. It’s when someone with whom you’ve been communicating…disappears with now warning. Poof. Gone.
It’s supremely vexing.
My best friend coined the phrase “Ghost Dicks,” because ghosting is a seriously dick move. I’ve had multiple connections with potential dates where sometimes weeks of texting and communicating ends in stunning, inexplicable silence. I’m not talking “this chick is cray cray, she’s totally getting blocked,” I’m talking about “I can’t wait to meet you” and then…absolutely nothing. There were even interactions with one or two of these men that developed into intense, intimate sharing, things I don’t lightly reveal to just anyone, so I was invested in a potential in-person meeting, which made me even more gobsmacked when instead, I was treated to more utterly asinine behavior. Just the other day, I read a Facebook post of someone whose date got too handsy on their first time out. I immediately thought, “damn, at least you got a date.”
I began to wonder if something was wrong on my end. Was I too open? Too forward? Too needy? Too pushy? Things women have been conditioned to think, to blame themselves, when something involving a man goes wonky. But then I remembered–it is so not remotely related to me. Not as a person or as a woman. Nor is it a silent commentary on my worthiness or attractiveness as a prospective date. They are just being total dicks.
Ghost Dicks aren’t limited to any specific age or profession or lifestyle or race or anything outside of them having an XY chromosome. Not for nothing, but one of the things that really cranks me up about the experience is knowing that I just have to start all over again only to risk having the same thing happen. I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve said at the start, “be a man and don’t ghost on me” and still, the bastard disappeared!
Who needs a relationship? I’m going through most of the stages of one from attraction to breakup without even meeting the wankers!
Has no one learned the basics of respect? Because I don’t think it’s naïve or silly to expect someone who’s considering being physically and emotionally intimate with me to be an actual adult and not a juvenile coward. Most wouldn’t bail on a business associate like this–not and hope to keep the business. So why is it OK to simply disappear from a romantic entanglement–even if it’s only still in the potential stages–without even the basic courtesy of “sorry babe, this isn’t working for me”?
I know high school never ends, but really?!?!
On one actual in-person date, I ask the guy what was the deal with guys ghosting. His theory was that guys did this when they moved on to a “better prospect” but didn’t want to completely sever the connection in case the new one didn’t work out. In what crazy world would a woman take a guy back after such treatment? Because we’re all, what, contestants on The Bachelor desperate for your special snowflake attention? Please.
I’ll admit, my reaction may seem a bit…extreme. But I have no patience for bullshit, especially when it involves people’s emotions, and let’s face it, if you’re on a dating site, you’re emotionally invested on some level. I’m not saying you want to marry every dude (or lady) you “like”, merely that the act of preparing to open yourself to someone new, to some picture and profile on a dating app, involves making yourself emotionally accessible. Being vulnerable. Have some bloody respect for that, damn it.
Am I expecting too much? Is my bar set too high? Can there be a “too high” setting on something like this–an attempt to emotionally (and, let’s face it, sexually) connect with someone who will respect you enough to at least say “goodbye”? Have you been on a dating app/site and experienced a Ghost Dick? Got a theory as to why such pricks are so prevalent? Let me know in the comments.
Follow Lady Smut. We won’t ghost on you. Promise.
Kiersten Hallie Krum writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. She is the award-winning author of Wild on the Rocks, and its follow-up, SEALed With a Twist. She is also a past winner of the Emily Award for unpublished novels.
A member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Long Island Romance Writers, Kiersten has been working in book publishing for more than twenty years in marketing and promotion. At other times in her career, she’s worked back stage for a regional theater, managed advertorials for a commerce newspaper in the World Trade Center, and served as senior editor for a pharmaceutical advertising agency.
Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. Born and bred in New Jersey (and accent free), Kiersten sings as easily, and as frequently, as she breathes, drives fast with the windows down and the music up, likes to randomly switch accents for kicks and giggles, and would be happy to spend all her money traveling for the rest of her life. Find out more about Kiersten and her books on her website www.kierstenkrum.com.