The other day I was asked about a Tinder interaction and subsequent ghost when it came time to actually arrange a date and meetup in person. I was asked my thoughts on why someone would do this, whether or not there was still a chance, and what the best course of action was going forward.
The answer to the first question is “who knows?”; there are a myriad of reasons why women chat with someone on Tinder despite not having any intention of meeting up. One is good old fashioned attention and validation.
The other is a change of heart or a red flag (in this case, potentially the guy suggesting she come over).
Another still is that another guy entered the picture and she was more interested in him. Certainly, there are other reasons as well. However, none are important. She ghosted. Regardless of the reason, it’s a major sign of disinterest.
That leads us to the second question answer.
Is there still a chance? Unlikely.
If you’ve been ghosted, there’s little to no chance of recovery. We may delve into this point in greater detail, but there really isn’t that much to add: ghosting = lack of interest = little to no chance.
Similarly, the best course of action going forward, as I told him, was to forget about it and move on. It’s the response to this that prompts our article today. Paraphrasing it went: “What do i have to lose by reaching out again in a few days?”
Nothing to lose is a dating myth
On the surface, our protagonist makes a lot of sense. Sending a message takes about three seconds. If she responds, great, maybe there is a chance after all. If she doesn’t, well, you’re no worse off than you were three seconds ago. Right? Wrong!
This seemingly three second investment that might pay off is actually a much longer time investment with negative consequences if it does not pay off. The reasons are linked to the concepts of mental bandwidth and emotional capital.
Mental bandwidth as I’m using it here refers to the capacity of your mind, practically speaking, to concentrate and devote attention to tasks and goals at hand. While sending a text only takes three seconds, thinking about sending a text, keeping the woman who you plan on re-connecting with in a few days in your head all take significantly longer than three seconds!
Significant mental bandwidth is being spent on a three second action a few days from now. This mental bandwidth is likely being allocated at the expense of improving as a person, and succeeding with other women who haven’t said no. Additionally, there is further mental bandwidth expended waiting for a potential response. This anticipation is not only mental bandwidth, it’s also a drain on emotional capital.
Emotional capital, as it relates to dating, refers to the state of your emotions and how they affect your actions. I like to think of it as a ‘piggy bank’, the more emotional capital you have banked, the more positively emotions affect you, and the more capable you are to take an ’emotional hit’ and emerge unscathed. Conversely, if your piggy bank is low, you’re less equipped to handle emotional hits like rejections and ghosting.
When you launch one of these “nothing to lose” messages, you’re taking emotional capital out of the piggy bank. When she inevitably doesn’t respond, you’ll feel yet another rejection, even though it was expected. And if she does respond, it might be even worse: yet another go around the merry-go-round that ends the same way.
Suddenly, that “nothing to lose” text doesn’t seem so appealing anymore, does it?