A Quick Guide to Tactfully Closing an Online Dating Conversation

I think most of us can agree it seems that these days respectful dialogue is getting hard to find.

Whether its politics, religion, your thoughts on masks or the vaccine, we are losing our ability to have honest, respectful conversations in daily life. These days, it almost seems easier to quickly write someone off than try to engage with nuance and kindness. But when we lose our ability to engage in conversation with those we don’t agree with, we’re losing something important to daily interactions and relationships. 

Keeping all this in mind, we can a return to respectful conversation in dating relationships and navigating the world of online dating as Catholics, too. More specifically, how do we navigate a tactful, kind way to close a conversation or connecting with someone instead of mere ghosting?

I’ve been ghosted before and probably so have you. We all can agree that experience stings a bit. It’s the online equivalent of hiding in the bathroom at a party until the person you wish to avoid leaves. It feels like a virtual slap in the face.

Let’s agree that ghosting (though an easy way out!) is not the right way to tactfully end a conversation with another person.

So how do you end a conversation with grace? Here’s a quick guide that I use for myself, reflecting on both my own dating mistakes and things I have done well.

Just be honest 

What happens when you’ve been messaging with someone a few times and you’re no longer interested? Or what if you talked on the phone or FaceTimed a few times?

If you’re not feeling the connection, just be honest. I know it feels awkward, and you probably don’t love how that feels. However, it is the honest thing to do to share where you are so as not to lead the other person on.

The flip side of being honest is ghosting. While ghosting does say you are not feeling the connection, it sends a deeper message that the other person is not worth a minute of your time.

Your response does not have to be long or drawn out. It can be as simple as something like this: “I want to be honest and upfront with you. I’m not feeling a connection here, but I wish you all the best.”

Short, honest, and to the point. Always take the time to close a conversation with kindness and grace.

Commit to not ghosting anyone

Let’s commit together as men and women to act with more kindness, respect,and grace when it comes to online dating, especially when tactfully closing down a conversation.

Read more: Is It Ever Okay To Ghost Someone?

Wherever your online dating life takes you, be the one that goes one step farther in how you will treat the other person. If you have ghosted other people before, take responsibility from your actions and learn from that experience. Commit to closing out conversations in a different, more respectful way from here on out. 

Offer a reason for wrapping things up

You can offer a reason or two as to why you’re not feeling the connection. This step isn’t required, but maybe you feel inclined to do so.

Maybe all she does is talk about herself. Perhaps he comes off a little bit intense in his profile. It’s okay to say so. In fact, sometimes it can be helpful.

After a date with someone I met on Bumble, I was not feeling the connection. While a nice man, I wasn’t interested in further dates. He actually asked me if there was anything he could have done differently because he valued self-improvement. His request opened up a great conversation. Now, that may not always happen. But you just never know!

Critique is hard to hear sometimes, but if your honesty helps someone improve their dating presentation, I think they would be appreciative of that. We live in an age where ghosting has become the norm in the dating realm. Taking the time to turn someone down directly reminds the other person he or she does have value and is worth the time of a tactful goodbye.

I’ve not always done this perfectly myself, and I learned the hard way on a few occasions. But once I committed to ending conversations with kindness, it changed things in my online dating experience.

Are there any other ways you try to handle closing a conversation?