Caspering: the new dating term for friendly ghosting

by Eharmony Editorial Team - June 20, 2018

Forget ghosting, caspering is the latest dating term you need to know – and it’s much kinder than its ghoulish predecessor. Check out our guide to the art of friendly ghosting

Ghosting, breadcrumbing, cushioning, benching, zombieing – there are so many new dating terms, it can be hard to keep up. Thankfully, the latest – coined by the International Business Times – adds some much-needed positivity to the mix. Unlike most dating trends, caspering encourages singles to treat each other as people worthy of respect and kindness, rather than something disposable.

What is caspering?

Simply put, caspering is a friendly form of ghosting. Inspired by Casper, the cartoon friendly ghost, the term encourages singles to let people down gently before they ghost them.

It’s a gentler approach to dating that recognises that while things won’t always work out, everyone deserves to be treated kindly. By caspering, you can be honest but also compassionate.

How to be a casper

Although it is kinder than ghosting, caspering is still a form of rejection. And no matter how many dates you’ve been on, or how long you’ve been exchanging messages, nobody enjoys being rejected.

If you’re considering caspering someone, try to prepare for every eventuality. The other person will probably be hurt. Their first reaction might be to lash out or ignore your message. Reassure yourself that, even if it doesn’t feel like it, you’re doing the right thing. It might be painful now, but the pain of being ghosted and left wondering is far worse.

Try to be as positive as possible but don’t give them any false hope. Remember to be respectful and don’t be afraid to give them a genuine compliment.

You could say something as simple as, ‘I’ve really enjoyed spending time with you and you’re really fun to hang out with, but I don’t feel there’s a spark between us unfortunately’ or ‘You’re such a kind and thoughtful person but I just don’t think we want the same things, I’m sorry.’

Signs you’re being caspered

If you feel that your date has been growing distant, they could be caspering you. There are a few signs to look out for. They might still be replying to your messages, but the replies will be very short; they never ask questions or attempt to further the conversation.

Or maybe they’re happy texting back and forth but whenever you bring up the idea of going on a date or making plans together, they’re hesitant to confirm anything.

The best thing to do if you believe you’re being caspered is to take a step back. Choose a time when you’re feeling calm and collected, and then communicate your position clearly. Say something like, ‘I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you, let me know if you want to grab dinner’ and then leave it at that. If they reply with another excuse – or don’t reply at all – then you know not to waste any more of your time on them. Ghost them guilt-free.