Digital Era Dating 101: What to Do If You Get Ghosted, Zombie-d or Benched

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show Aired October 21, 2016

A recent survey found that 80 percent of millennials had been "ghosted." Don’t know what “ghosting” is? You’re in luck because relationship expert Devyn Simone is here to explain - and give straightforward step-by-step advice on how to handle ghosting and similar dating situations. (Find out if you've been a victim by taking this test.)

Dating Dilemma No. 1: Ghosting

Definition: “Ghosting is when you go on a date with someone, maybe you’ve gone on several dates with them, and suddenly they disappear without any explanation,” Simone shares.

What to do if you’ve been ghosted: Resist the urge to stalk! If they resurface later, see Zombie-ing below.

Here’s why you should reconsider ghosting as a dating strategy: “Dating etiquette really is a thing. If anyone’s ever wronged you, you know how that felt and maybe it affected your dating life in the future, and you’re doing the same thing. So you want to have good ‘date-iquette,’” Simone says.

“The next time you’re on a date with someone and you’re just not that interested, send them a quick reply like, ‘Hey, I realized I’m actually enjoying this chapter of my life right now. I’m not looking for anything serious, but thank you anyway.’”

Dilemma No. 2: Zombie-ing

Definition: “Zombie-ing is anytime you’re ever dated someone, they completely disappeared without explanation, and then six months later, a year later, they pop back into your life, like nothing ever happened,” Simone says.

What to do if you’ve been zombie’d: “You can’t control someone else’s actions but you can certainly control your reactions and how people treat you.” Simone suggests that you don’t act like you’ve been waiting around for them. She says to either tell them to call you sometime or don’t reply to them at all.

Dilemma No. 3: Benching

Definition: “Any time you’ve gone on dates with someone, and suddenly they stop hanging out with you, they stop committing to dates with you, but they keep texting or calling you. Basically, they’re putting you on the backburner,” Simone says.

What to do if you’ve been benched: The “Hail Mary Text.”

Simone explains, “First, you’re going to show your appreciation. Then you’re going to pivot, you’re going to say, ‘Thanks for texting me but I’ve committed to less time texting and more time focusing on the things I love. Then you’re going to suggest the face-to-face. You’re going to say, ‘But if you want to continue this conversation, I’d love to sit down face-to-face and take you to a nice dinner. Then you’re going to close it out with an emoji, because it takes the pressure off and makes everything happy.”

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