Confused and genuinely curious, I inquired after his endgame: Was he angling for me to come over, or was he just making conversation?The latter, he said, before sinking back into a silence that lasted four more months.
The lighthearted designations may help them seem less egregious, but pet names just normalize the behavior so it becomes easier to indulge, more socially acceptable.
If everyone ghosts each other all the time, then we don't have to hold ourselves too accountable to other people’s feelings. “Personally I feel like we’ve lost something, in terms of our manners, in terms of taking more time and effort to get to know a person, and I think part of that is because of the overload of the dating sites,” she says.
Gail Grace, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist in New York City, agrees that bottomless romantic options probably means more ghosting, more submarining.
The legitimate desire for human connection, she says, hasn’t changed, but dating apps make it harder to shake the feeling that the perfect person may be just another swipe away—and potentially harder to focus on whoever’s in front of you. If you’re going to train for a marathon, that takes time,” Grace says.
” until I eventually answered, explaining that I was seeing someone but wished him well. His periscope dropped down below the waves, never to resurface again. In 2016, I referred to this episode ghosting, but the internet recently furnished a more precise term: submarining, or the sudden vanishing of a romantic prospect who just as suddenly reappears at some future date, cresting huge and unannounced and without mention of the intervening silence, as if they’d never disappeared at all.
Submarining is just the latest in a series of freshly spawned dating “trends:” There’s breadcrumbing, or maintaining a person’s interest by occasionally throwing them communication scraps that suggest some kind of intention; there’s stashing, or deliberately cloistering a new partner away from friends, family, and social media, as a means of keeping the relationship informal and non-exclusive; there’s cushioning, or the low-key lining up of several alternative partners as a sort of insurance against the dissolution of a new relationship.One random spring morning, I awoke to a late-night invitation to join him and a friend at a bar down the street from my apartment.Over the next couple of weeks, he fired off a few more variations on “u up?“I’m sure that in the past, before dating sites were popular, romantic prospects stood people up, they led them on—like breadcrumbing—and they’d maybe, possibly disappear,” she continues.“But I think that was harder to do when they’d met at a place they’re going to see each other again, either in a small town, at church, in college, a fix-up.So when the subtle shifts in conversational dynamics occurred—increasingly extended pauses between texts, outlines of weekend plans left to languish as Friday loomed—I (correctly) assumed imminent ghosting.