Just like a real ghost (because we know those "bumps in the night" don't just happen for no reason ... right?!) the word "ghosting" can send a shiver up the spine of many a singleton.
It's a cold, brutal, gutless act, and if it has ever happened to you, you will know it leaves you scratching your head and thinking, "WTF?".
For those of you new to the game, first of all ... welcome, my name is Jana Hocking and I am a singleton. Secondly, I should explain that the term "ghosting" means "the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication". Thank you, Oxford English Dictionary.
Yes, it's so common these days in the dating world that even the Oxford Dictionary has listed it.
So why can it be the best thing to ever happen to you? Well, let me explain. Recently I was reading Samantha Wills' memoir, and she told a dating story that made me punch my little fist up in the air for her in triumph.
You see, even a legs eleven, glamazon like Samantha Wills can be ghosted and she turned it into something that netted her millions of dollars.
She tells the story so much better in her memoir Of Gold and Dust but basically, Samantha was dating a guy who one day invited her to an event then went off the grid. Wouldn't return text messages, gave no follow-up details about the event and like a poof of smoke he was gone.
Heartbroken and kinda peeved, she opened the newspaper up the following weekend to see ol' Ghost Man, pictured in the social section of the paper, with his arm around a former Home and Away actress. Yep, he had invited someone else. Brutal!
But, wait, it gets worse. A few hours later she was sitting at her small jewellery store at the Bondi markets, and up saunters Mr Ghost with his arm around the Home and Away actress. Yep, not only had the Ghost come back to life, but he had a famous starlet attached to his arm. He took one look at Samantha and her jewellery stand and exclaimed, "Oh this is that little hobby you were talking about!"
Excuse me … hobby! Ouch. So mighty was the rage that she felt about her passion project being called a "hobby" that she signed up to show her goods at the upcoming Australian Fashion Week, threw herself into turning her gorgeous jewellery into a brand and, well, spoiler alert: she went on to become a millionaire businesswoman!
I think we can all agree, that the "ghosting" turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to Samantha Wills.
There's a reason "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" is such a popular saying, because throw shade at us, and we'll rise like a phoenix in the ashes to prove you wrong!
I too have made the most of a ghosting situation. I once matched with a bloke on a dating app and turned up to a very strange date. The bloke was sweating profusely, downing the beers and constantly going out for cigarette breaks. I figured he was just super nervous so stuck it out.
He wasn't really relaxing at the busy bar we met at, so I suggested we go down the road to a smaller wine bar. He agreed and as we got settled in he excused himself to go out for another cigarette.
As I sat there with my wine, five minutes passed, and then 10 minutes passed, and then 15. Puzzled, I logged onto the dating app and there was a message waiting for me from the bloke saying he had to take off as he "was driving and had to get up early for work".
First of all, he had downed about eight beers in the space of time it took for me to drink two wines, and umm ... what?! He couldn't come back into the bar and say goodbye himself? As I paid for my wine and left the bar I could feel the tears spring to my eyes.
I was so embarrassed and mortified that someone could do that, I called my best friend in tears. After she deciphered what I was saying she suggested I write about it. As I can't be the only one this has happened to, and so I did.
Within a week it was published, and my inbox was flooded with stories from readers who had there own horrifying experiences with ghosting.
It taught me that caring is sharing, and rather then gloss over how fabulous our lives are, sometimes if you share a horrifying experience with others you can form a real bond and make others feel a little less silly and alone. Hey, it happens to the best of us.
So should you get "ghosted" by someone, have a look at how you can turn it into something that will prosper your life. After you've downed a tub of Ben and Jerry's first ... obviously. And count your blessings that you didn't end up dating a real dud. Ain't nobody got time for a ghost ... in the afterlife or this one!