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4 Despicably Dirty Daters


If you’re on the dating scene, you’ve heard incredible stories of daters being stashed, breadcrumbed, ghosted, and ghostlighted. While these stories sound dreadful, they grow more horrific when you become one of the unlucky daters who experienced one of these tactics. You quickly understand the tactics’ abusive nature and the humiliation they provoke. More often than not, due to embarrassment or feelings of culpability, when someone is hurt by one of these four tactics, they often resist confrontation or avoid discussing the events with friends. Perhaps they missed the red flags or found excuses to explain them away. Daters who use these emotionally immature, cruel tactics disregard the pain inflicted on others; therefore, the person on the receiving end of these insensitive tactics may fear calling them out in the event that their cruelty grows.


My best advice: avoid these types of dirty daters and break up with them upon your first inclination that they fit into one of these categories. The more you call them out, the more likely you’ll help someone else avoid their trap.

1. The Stasher/Bencher. Does your partner consistently avoid sharing your presence with other loved ones? Employed by selfish, immature people who lack the confidence to take responsibility for their feelings, these individuals give mixed messages. They keep you on the side, isolated from their friends and family, and only make you feel special when they’re lonely, in need of money or comfort, or bored in another relationship. This happens frequently to people in unhappy marriages seeking excitement. They stash a person on the side, lead them to believe they hold a special place in their heart, and use that person to feel better about themselves. The person stashed or sidelined always wonders if they’re truly special or simply being used.

2. The Breadcrumber. Do you feel strung along? Does your partner frequently make excuses for being unable show up or see you? Chances are you’re being breadcrumbed. People who breadcrumb have no intention of truly getting close to you. Instead, they seek someone to manipulate, which makes them feel better about themselves. They send mixed messages and flirty texts followed by days or weeks of avoidance. If your gut tells you that you’re being used, call them on it and block your contacts to beat them at their own game.

3. The Ghoster. Ending a relationship is difficult, but vanishing into thin air on someone who cares for you is absolutely cruel. Ghosters leave a trail of fewer and fewer texts and excuses, eventually totally disappearing. They don’t consider how it will affect you – that you may be left heartbroken or worried about their wellbeing. They take every action to avoid facing whatever personal issue they cannot bear to face or resolve. The best thing you can do in this situation is reassure yourself that it had nothing to do with you; the Ghoster was incapable of handling their past baggage in the present.

4. The Ghostlighter. You think ghosting is bad enough? Let’s talk about the practice of ghostlighting, a combination of ghosting and gaslighting. A Ghostlighter disappears, ceasing all communication, followed by pretending not to know you when you attempt to contact them through social media or see them out and about. They manipulate you to make you feel as if you’re going crazy. Alternatively, they may admit to knowing you but twist the failed relationship as being entirely your fault. Ghostlighting is an extremely abusive, toxic game daters use to avoid the embarrassment of ghosting you.


The one commonality of these four despicable dating types? Manipulative and abusive people play them. Narcissistic personality types typically use these tactics when dating, but you need not settle for being treated with disrespect and disdain. Apply the following tactics to avoid and/or detach from any dater who treats you in this manner.


1. Identify early warning signs. Someone genuinely interested in you will treat you with respect and think about you throughout the day. If your date texts only when the timing’s right for them, forgets to make weekend plans, or alternates between hot and cold, take notice.

2. Be direct and call them out. When someone treats you with disrespect, throw out the excuses and refuse to give them second and third chances. A caring dater wants to show you off, not bench or breadcrumb you - and they don’t disappear.

3. Be honest about your relationship goals and expectations. Tell your partner what you expect in a healthy relationship and be open about your expectations. Your honesty about the traits you desire in a partner will expedite your recognition of an unwise partner choice.

4. Respect yourself first. Practicing good self-care means not allowing someone to take advantage of you. Gain respect from others by respecting yourself. Be brave enough to walk away when someone treats you like an option rather than a priority.


No one can treat you with disrespect while dating unless you allow it. Treat others like you want to be treated, and when they don’t practice that same rule, walk away with your head held high.

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