Caspering dating is a new dating trend to let one down in a friendly manner. But the reality is, there is nothing friendly about caspering. Although it sounds like a completely made-up gen-Z term, you might have inadvertently indulged in caspering, or may even have become a victim of it.
After all, ghosting is hard, right? You don’t really want to completely cut contact with someone all of a sudden, but you also don’t want to lead them on. Perhaps the best of both worlds is combined in caspering, since it’s essentially soft ghosting.
The new-age dating trends have become so extensive it is hard to keep up with them. There’s ghosting, gaslighting, breadcrumbing, fishing dating, and whatnot. You cannot even blame the new generation for it, can you? With the creative ways of meeting new people and even more creative ways of breaking up with them, new dating terms are bound to be coined. Let’s guide you to the term ‘Caspering’.
What Is Caspering?
When you listen to the term “Caspering”, it reminds you of Casper the friendly ghost, doesn’t it? Well, our friendly ghost is the exact inspiration for this raging dating trend. Caspering, simply put, is a friendly way of ghosting someone. Caspering definition, according to Urban Dictionary, is “the art of ghosting someone in a friendly way. When you don’t have the heart to full-on ghost them, so you start cutting and reducing interactions until they take the hint and give up”
So what does one do while caspering? They act all polite and friendly, all the while trying to ignore the person trying to talk to them so that they don’t seem like the idiot who ghosted them. A Casper would respond to your texts 8 to 10 hours later, barely replying in 3-4 words, but in a seemingly friendly manner. This would have you believe that they are ‘nice’ until it hits you that they are not really interested in talking to you. Wondering about why he never texts you first might just make you go nuts.
The caspering definition, however, doesn’t really tell much about what goes on in both the Casper and the Caspered’ minds (we’re assuming those are the words to address them?). Even though it’s sort of like friendly ghosting, ghosting in itself isn’t really the kindest thing to do to a person.
“Is this person going on some sort of phone detoxification where they only use their phone twice a day?” you might ask yourself, if you’re an unfortunate victim of “soft ghosting”, as they call it. One minute they’re texting, answering all your “wyd” texts, the next, they decide they now need to be devoid of technology for the next 6 hours.
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Still confused about caspering definition and what it entails? Let us take the example of Ruby and Kevin. Ruby is really interested in Kevin, but Kevin is not. That makes Kevin the Casper.
Ruby: Hey Kevin! What are you doing?
*6 hours later*
Ruby: Oh, is it going to take long?
*4 hours later*
Kevin: I don’t know, the syllabus is long.
Let’s not kid ourselves. No student studies for 10 hours straight, without taking any breaks. Kevin here is obviously trying to ignore Ruby, waiting for her to take the hint that he does not want to talk to her. Here comes another example:
Ruby: Hey Kevin! Do you want to go for a movie this weekend?
Kevin: Hey! I’m busy this weekend. Maybe next week?
Ruby: Hey! Are you free this week for the movie?
Kevin: I’m so sorry, my best friend is sad and I need to console him. Maybe someday later?
The sooner Ruby realizes that “someday later” is never going to come around, the better it’ll be for her. The day she decides to ignore him for ignoring her, their dynamic will end. The only reason anybody prefers to be a Casper instead of a Ghost is that they do not want to seem rude, bad, or selfish. And they do not want to hurt the other person right on their face.
Does caspering work?
Although, one could argue that by giving false hope by responding to any texts, you’re leading the person on, making them think about you for longer than they should. Perhaps the “friendly” ghosting isn’t really so friendly after all, is it? Think about it, if you’re hitting it off with someone and they take a total of 1.5 business days to reply to you, you’d probably just end up Googling “Caspering definition”, being angry at the search result that’s now staring back at you.
Moreover, when you get that one text every six hours, all the expectations and hopes you have of meeting and hitting it off with this person will come rushing back to you, even if you try to keep them at bay. Just by seeing you screen light up with their name on it, you’ve already started daydreaming. Dreaming about how you’re going to turn this textlationship into the most wonderful relationship, and the first Instagram story you’ll upload with them is already running through your mind.
Textlationship, if you were wondering, is just modern dating lexicon that you might as well get acquainted with now that you’re already reading about things like “soft ghosting”.
Caspering someone and letting them down in a friendlier manner might make them think they’re not being a terrible person, but they still are. Therefore, ‘caspering’ is not really friendly.
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Caspering V/S Ghosting
One question often asked by people is the difference between caspering and ghosting. Caspering vs ghosting has several similarities and several differences as well. The biggest difference between the two is the presentation of behavior.
In ghosting, a person simply exits from their potential partner’s life as if they never existed. They would not respond to any of their calls or texts. This makes the other person genuinely worried about the ghost, wondering if they are alright, or if something bad has happened to them.
Caspering, on the other hand, does not mean kicking a person out of one’s life at one go. A Casper would respond to the other person, but they’ll take hours to do it. They’ll try to be nice about it, but they would also show disinterest at the same time. To put it in a nutshell, a Casper would send so many mixed signals, the other person is left wondering what is it that they really want.
The similarity between caspering vs ghosting is the manipulation of the victim’s mind. The constant feeling of, “What is going on?” and the unceasing thoughts about the intentions of the other person are rather confusing. The mental anguish remains the same in both cases, as the person who has been ‘caspered’ or ghosted borderline loses their sanity.
In the debate of caspering vs ghosting, however, there might be one clear circumstance where caspering is the better thing to do, even if it’s still not the nicest thing to do. When a person is ghosted after say, a month of knowing someone, it’s possible they might genuinely start to worry about the wellbeing of the person who ghosted them, assuming the ghoster went through some kind of accident.
Let’s face it, getting ghosted within a week or two of knowing someone is all too common in our current dating scenario. However, getting ghosted after a month of knowing someone is much harder to do. In situations where you’ve went on more than three dates with someone and you’ve been talking to them for at least a month, “soft ghosting”, aka caspering, might seem to be the only viable way out.
Who knew modern dating lexicon could give you the knowledge that helps you get out of an iffy situation? Imagine if you find out after a month of talking that this person wears crocs on the regular. Forget caspering vs ghosting, you need to pack up everything and run. We’re just kidding, obviously. There are plenty of people who wear crocs who aren’t complete psychopaths.
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What You Should Do If Someone Is Caspering?
It’s all fun and games till you’re the one being caspered. Caspering dating is detrimental to anybody who goes through the exhausting process, and it is just better to not do it instead. However, if you find yourself fitting in the caspering definition, there are ways you can deal with it. Here’s how:
1. Send a clear text asking for their intentions
The Casper might be caspering you either because they don’t want to seem like rude, or simply because they are not good with confrontations. You need to send them a text asking “What are you trying to do here, please come clean with honesty?” This may give them the space to speak their mind and come to a conclusion.
2. Create a time limit
Being busy once or twice is understandable. Always responding late and avoiding meets and canceling on you is not. Set a time limit for yourself. If they constantly take more than 3 hours to respond, or if they always have an excuse ready to serve on your plate every time you make an attempt to meet them, then simply don’t put up with that kind of nonsense.
3. Do not blame yourself
Victims of caspering often blame themselves for being clingy or too upfront. Stop that immediately. The Casper is at fault here, not you. Do not take their irresponsibility on your shoulders. You are doing nothing wrong. Put an end to self-accusations and blaming and move on.
4. Talk to your friends or family member
Intentions for caspering someone are always unclear. As mentioned earlier, it can be detrimental to your mental health. Therefore, you need to talk to a close friend or a family member that you trust and clear your head. Talking to someone out loud truly helps in sorting things out in your mind and you can then take action accordingly.
5. Seek professional help
It is hard to believe, but Caspers end up caspering even after months or years of dating someone. In such a case, dealing with it can become very difficult. If you find yourself constantly disturbed by this sudden distance that your partner is creating, make a call to a therapist. A professional can truly guide you out of the struggle of comprehending the entire situation.
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6. Leave and move on
It is easier said than done, but caspering someone is not funny. If you know you’re being caspered, send the Casper one final goodbye message and leave them. If you are feeling extremely angry and do not care about the closure in a relationship, you don’t even need to send the final message.
The Casper is anyway wishing that you would get the hint. Now that you have, give up all your hopes and stop messaging them. They do not care, you shouldn’t either.
Caspering is an undeniable form of rejection. Nobody appreciates being rejected, especially not where they are being overtly weird about it by sending such mixed signals. The best thing is to be honest and tell what one really feels.
There is no need to be friendly like a Casper or leave like a ghost if a person is mature enough to end it in a straightforward manner with sensibility. It is like pulling off a Band-Aid. But this, sadly, cannot be expected of everyone. Caspers think caspering dating does less harm, but it does more harm than they can fathom. If you are subjected to caspering, find it in yourself to let go of that person. There is no need for that form of toxicity in your life.
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