Anyone who has been ghosted - or had the person they are dating disappear so suddenly that they wondered if they had dropped dead - will know just much this cowardly behaviour hurts.
No one likes to be rejected, but being dumped without explanation is enough to bruise even the toughest ego. And while sometimes it is perfectly reasonable to just cut ties with a date if it they are behaving in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, most of the time a simple message saying "hey, sorry but I'm just not that into you" is the courteous thing to do.
Studies suggest that ghosting is a relatively common phenomenon among those on the dating scene. A 2014 YouGov poll of US adults showed that 10% had been ghosted. But a survey of 800 millennial daters in the US aged between 18 and 33 for Plenty of Fish showed that 80% of singles had been ghosted.
ONE Condoms ambassador and Superdrug Sex Educator Alix Fox told IBTimes UK that she wants to see people practice more compassionate dating, and hopes new terms will emerge to replace words with negative connotations like "ghosting".
"I'd like to see more positive new terms enter the linguistic landscape, to make people more mindful about behaving well towards others and themselves, help them navigate the modern dating process more joyfully, and ultimately enjoy happier experiences," she said.
"If you're going to ghost someone, be friendly about it!" she added. "If you've decided you don't want to chat to someone any longer, that's fine, but if they're simply not your cuppa and haven't been an ass, try to leave them with a compliment or some constructive feedback so they feel bolstered to keep on looking for love. For example: 'It's been really nice when you've thoughtfully asked me how my days have gone – that's such a great trait, so thank you. Good luck for the future!'"
However, she added: "recent terms include 'firedooring' – when the effort in a new relationship only seems to go in one direction, with one partner trying hard to please and stay open to romance, whilst the other remains hurtfully closed, unwilling to enter a fairer two-way exchange no matter how much they're pushed."
"Such snappy, memorable new terms can be very helpful, because they make people more aware of the undesirable ways in which some dates can act, thus more likely to clock bad behaviour when it happens and call it out or break things off before anyone gets too direly hurt."
Fox added that if single people are only aware of negative dating terms, this can give them an overly negative outlook on romance.
"Since so many of these phrases are negative, they can also encourage excessive cynicism and a constant expectation of the worst," she said. "In my opinion there's already a problem with swathes of folks feeling depressed, exhausted and pessimistic about dating apps; lots of people have already subconsciously decided that they're going to be disappointed the minute they start swiping.
She added: "They may project this negativity onto the conversations they start with potential dates as a result, which usually leads to an underwhelming chat: a self-fulfilling prophecy."
So treat fellow singles how you would like to be treated: casper, don't ghost.