So you've finally hit it off with that guy you've been crushing on all year. First he started sitting next to you on the bus to school and then he followed you on Instagram. You two even had a snapstreak going for a few weeks and then all of a sudden, nothing.
He stopped responding to your messages, he didn't comment on that hilarious meme you tagged him in and he may even have unfollowed you on IG. This is known as "ghosting", which is when you're hanging out with someone and then they suddenly disappear off the face of the earth.
It's typically a person's way of telling you they're not interested, without even telling you at all. Yeah, it sucks.
We asked five real guys to 'splain the reasons they decided to become IRL ghosts. Not cool, boys. Not cool at all.
Grades before dates
"I kinda just stopped talking to this girl who I actually really liked at school. It wasn't anything she did or said that made me stop talking, but at the time I just got back some of my exam results and they weren't so good. My grades were dropping and I was freaking out. I was worried having a girlfriend was going to be even more of a distraction. I feel pretty bad about it, but it would be too awkward to say anything to her now." - Christian, 18.
"I took this girl to formal and we had fun night with our friends. Nothing romantic or anything happened, but she kept messaging me afterwards. I was about to change schools and wasn't bothered to tell her that we couldn't hang out anymore, so I just stopped replying to her texts. It got even more awkward when I saw her at the station the following year. I saw her, but just pretended I didn't. I still see her sometimes too, and yeah, it's awkward." - Pete, 17.
Not me, it's you
"Me and my friends became tight with this group of girls. We'd hang out after school and I had a really big crush on one of them. Except, my mates kept pairing me off with her other friend who I wasn't into. Every time we'd spend time together, she would put her arms around me and act like we we're something more than friends. I didn't know how to tell her I wasn't interested without being mean, so I just stopped going to catch-ups." - Alec, 16.
Stage five clinger
"I ghosted a girl at school because she got a bit too clingy. We worked on a group project together and I thought she was cute. After that we started messaging each other - and that was it. A few days after I gave her my number, she went and liked every single one of my Facebook photos. She even commented on pictures I posted years ago. After that I stopped messaging her. I thought it would be nicer than telling her I found her too full on." - Daniel, 17.
I freaked out
"My friend passed on my number to this girl and we started messaging. I hadn't actually met her, but when we made plans to hang out one weekend, I panicked. I didn't know how to tell her 'I'm not looking for a girlfriend and I'm a chicken', and to make matters worse, she seemed really interested. So I blocked her number and told my friend to tell her my phone broke, and that he doesn't have my new number. Not my finest moment." - Zack, 18.
The dating dictionary...
Turns out there's a whole lot of dating lingo, and ghosting isn't even the worst of it.
DTR: An acronym for 'define the relationship'. This term is typically used when you're oh-so-casually trying to figure out what the deal is with your crush.
TEXTLATIONSHIP: This is when you and your crush never quite venture beyond the texting conversation or hang out IRL.
SLOW FADE: Not as dramatic as ghosting, but still really annoying. This is when they seem really interested at first, but over time they let the convo die and make less of an effort to keep in touch.
BREAD-CRUMBING: This is when they give you a compliment and just enough attention to keep - whatever - you two have alive, with minimal effort.
BENCHED: Just like being kept on the bench for sports games, this is when you have been chatting with someone and they keep finding ways to avoid actually hanging out in person. In other words, they're keeping you on the 'bench' until it suits them. FYI, this dude is not boyfriend material.
HAUNTING: Has the guy who ghosted you suddenly slid back into your DMs? If so, you're being haunted. If he does something completely random like follow you on Instagram or 'like' a recent picture after no contact, this is his way of reminding you that he exists. If this happens to you, follow Dua's first rule: 'One: don't pick up the phone.'