You just started dating someone new, maybe somebody you met online. The first date was fine, and the second date was OK… you’re questioning your judgement by the time date #3 rolls around. You want to tell them, “I don’t think this is going to work out.” 

It should be easy, but sometimes it’s really difficult, and you just want to make a clean break. 

Welcome to ghosting 

It’s 2019, and there’s a catchy internet name for everything these days. ‘Ghosting’ means “breaking off a romantic relationship by stopping all communication.”  It sounds harsh, but it’s a reality in the world of online and app-based dating. According to a recent survey, these are the most common reasons for ghosting:

  • Avoiding confrontation — 50% of women who have ghosted did so to bypass an ugly scene, while only 38% of men can say the same.
  • Image issues — 17% of women bailed on new relationships because their date didn’t resemble their picture or social media presence, compared to 28% of men who found their matches didn’t quite match up to the Tinder profile. 
  • Clinginess — 10% of women and 16% of men admit to ghosting because their date got too needy, too soon in the relationship.

Should you ghost? 

Ghosting can be cruel. If you’ve ever been on the receiving side, it’s awkward to have someone give you the silent treatment as a break-up, particularly once you’ve spent time together in real life. But there are circumstances where it’s understandable. 

If your date has become overinvested or controlling, or if you worry about their reaction in person, then ghosting can seem like a reasonable avenue to end things. If you feel unsafe, or worry about giving them your personal information, that’s a sign you should call it quits.

When you’re trying to protect your privacy and mental health, and stay safe in the online dating world, we’re here to help.

How to ghost in three simple steps

Step 1: Get a Hushed number

For this to work, you should start with a fake number from Hushed BEFORE you start dating. A Hushed disposable phone number is essential for your privacy because it lets you keep in contact with your date without revealing any personally identifying information. Use Hushed to start texting or talking, and keep it up through the first few dates. Calls and texts will arrive on your phone through the Hushed app, so they’ll never know it’s not your real phone number.

Step 2: If you need to break it off, send a message!  

This step is optional, but we recommend it for good karma. Use your private Hushed number to send a quick text message to end things painlessly. If you’re really brave you can even try a phone call. Here are some templates for what to say:

  • Classic: “It’s not you, it’s me.”
  • Creative: “I’m spending the next six months in a submarine on the ocean floor, so don’t expect to hear from me… ever.”
  • Outlandish: “I’m actually a robot, so it’s not going to work out with us. Beep boop, boop beeeeep. Bye.”

You don’t even need to wait for a reply if you don’t want to. Alternatively, if you really can’t stand to invest another second in the relationship, skip to the next step. 

Step 3: Burn your temporary number 

It’s simple to delete your Hushed number, just select it in the app and choose “delete.” Your bad date won’t be able to call or text you again. You can get a new number for your next dating adventure. When you do, rest assured that your information is 100% private from the first meeting.

If you need to ghost, be a friendly ghost with Hushed!

We recommend sending a quick message to end things with a date gone wrong if you think it’s appropriate to do so. It’ll give your date some closure and they’ll know not to wait around for your next meetup. When you use Hushed to end things, you know there won’t be any negative consequences from a goodbye text.

If you didn’t start online dating using a Hushed number, we can’t help you much, except to advise you to get one now! Download Hushed for iOS or Android mobile devices so that next time you can use a temporary phone number.

Hopefully, you never need to ghost anyone with your real phone number, but you don’t want to take any risks with your privacy. Use a fake Hushed number to stay safe!