Advice and Insights for Modern Daters

Gone Without a Trace

Why would someone ghost mid-conversation when things were going well?  Brande explores the phenomenon of “pre-ghosting.” 

Q. I recently messaged a woman on a dating app and got a lengthy and positive response back. Naturally, I was encouraged thinking this person wanted a real conversation/connection. I tried messaging back twice, but haven’t heard back from her. I know she’s been online, as this particular app shows login status. What went wrong?

Gary, 31, Philadelphia, PA

A. Although I don’t know the specifics of your message(s) to this woman or her initial response, I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that something went wrong, per say. Of course you wanted a response, but let me assure you, this is a common and frustrating experience amongst all dating app users – and daters in general. In fact, 82% of women and 70% of men report not responding to a person’s message after matching with them on a dating app.*

Here’s the thing: though dating apps have been billed as an easy path to love, using them still requires a great deal of time and diligence. And, unless you’re a superstar of some sort, it’s not likely you have hundreds of men or women vying for your attention when you walk down the street or at happy hour. In the digital space, I’d argue competition is even steeper than offline, as handfuls of men and women reach out to matches on a daily basis. With that much interaction, it’s to be expected that some matches fall through the cracks.

82% of women and 70% of men report not responding to a person’s message after matching with them on a dating app.*

What likely happened in this instance is someone else caught this lady’s eye — this possibility is discussed at length in this article, which you may want to take a look at.

That doesn’t mean something’s wrong with you, or that this woman wasn’t initially interested. She simply may have come across someone who was a better match.

While it would be great if this woman was straightforward and said, “Hey, I’m interested in someone else more than you,” many people don’t feel that level of honesty is warranted with someone they’ve only just met digitally.

Yes, that leaves you wondering “what if,” and “what went wrong,” but considering you two haven’t met in person, this woman isn’t totally wrong for pre-ghosting you, i.e. disappearing without an explanation prior to meeting.

While one ignored message can be shrugged off, if a person chooses not to respond to two messages that have been sent, that means they aren’t interested enough, and all you can do is accept that and move on. It’s not the ideal outcome, but what’s most important to know here is nothing is wrong with you and nothing is wrong with her. Don’t waste too much energy rehashing the past.

If you really think you may have said something wrong, revisit your messages and see if you committed any of the cardinal dating app sins: oversharing, being overly self-deprecating, or appearing apathetic. If you stand by your messages after this assessment, accept that this woman has chosen someone else and keep looking for your ultimate match.

*June 2017 Survey of Hinge Members

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Brande Victorian is the creator of where she chronicles tales of love in the time of weight loss along with other musings of her health and wellness journey. She also serves as Managing Editor of Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Send questions to Brande at


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