I like to think of myself as nice — not goody-two-shoes, “nice-girl” nice, but I’m not usually mean, especially to strangers. So, if someone who I haven’t actually met yet ghosts me, I tend to let it go and not look back. I tell myself I don’t have time for people who don’t have time to respond. Plus, if I haven’t yet shared a drink of cup of coffee with someone (or at least made plans to) and they change their mind about me — slightly controversial opinion alert — I don’t feel that they really owe me an explanation.

Then again, I haven’t had too much luck getting dates recently, so I decided to experiment with being a tiny bit edgier to people who have gone MIA before they’ve even had the pleasure of meeting me. To make it happen, I incorporated the lingo I rely on at work when I’m annoyed but can’t or won’t express my frustration outright. After all, sometimes you need to let someone know you’re “just following up.”

There were those I matched with but never actually spoke to:

I pretended as if this mistake was mine.

So maybe that last bit isn’t something I would say at work either, but I give myself a few snark points.



What? I’m “just following up.”


Also known as “circling back.”


I played it as if a lack of response was an innocent oversight.

The lesson? Ghost me once, shame on you, ghost me twice, shame on me.

Then there was the one who had faded after a few back-and-forths:

Granted, this conversation then ended again, but I did get somewhere.

Next, I followed up with those who I hadn’t spoken to in literal years.

A couple people didn’t respond, one guy apparently had blocked me or changed his number, but finally, I got a bite. We made a little more small talk after this, and then the conversation lulled. Alas, “Michael Tinder” wasn’t the one.


I had another similar experience with a years-old non-dez vous. We chatted for a bit and had as nice of a catch-up as you can have between two people who have never met. Turns out, we’re looking for different things. Still, it seems like the long-gone ghosts are the most likely to reemerge.


I think the real moral of the story is, when someone shows you who they are, believe them. If someone stops responding, they’re either just not that interested or not a great communicator, neither of which are qualities I’m looking for in my dates. That said, I could use a reminder that it’s okay to be a bit gutsier and more forward than I often am, and this little experiment gave me that. But going forward, I can channel that without trying to bring ghosts back to life.