If you鈥檝e been active on an online dating app, chances are you鈥檝e been ghosted at least once. Maybe you start a convo with a match, it鈥檚 going great and then鈥 nothing. Total silence. If you haven鈥檛 committed a lot of time to that person, it鈥檚 a bummer for sure, but not exactly a heartbreaking scenario. However, when you鈥檝e actually gone out with someone and then abruptly receive the silent treatment, it can be kind of devastating 鈥 not to mention confusing. Unfortunately for all you millennial singles out there, the dating app Plenty of Fish (POF) has recently conducted a study that revealed 鈥済hosting鈥 is something that鈥檚 happening more and more in the modern dating scene.

POF (which has over 100 million users) surveyed 800 millennial singles aged between 18 and 33 years old, living in the US and Canada. Out of those, 78 percent of users admitted they鈥檝e been ghosted before. We鈥檒l give you a sec to let that sad, sad number sink in. In a prior study on ghosting that Elle.com conducted back in 2014, only 27 percent of women admitted to being ghosted. So in just two years鈥 time, that percentage has increased by a whopping 51 percent.

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So you guys, WTF is the deal? If users鈥 online dating intentions lived up to Tinder鈥檚 stereotype (only in it for a hookup) this would make total sense. But considering 73 percent of POF users claim they鈥檙e dating online with the hope of finding a serious relationship, it鈥檚 a bit of a perplexing scenario.

I鈥檓 no relationship expert, but as a single millennial with a semi-active online dating profile, I鈥檓 going to chalk the current ghosting crisis up to two major issues: our fear of confrontation and simply having too many options. I鈥檒l be totally honest with you guys: After swiping through Bumble (my preferred app) and seeing 20 profiles that basically look like slightly different versions of the same dude, they sometimes don鈥檛 feel like real people anymore. If someone messages me and I realize we鈥檙e not actually a great match, why should I have an awkward convo about how I don鈥檛 want to talk anymore when I can just go back to swiping and find another guy who 鈥渓oves the outdoors, traveling and wants a partner in crime?鈥 It鈥檚 not a healthy way of thinking, but it鈥檚 a mentality I think many online dating users have fallen victim to.

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Our fear of confrontation is something that can be attributed primarily to our generation鈥檚 tendency to interact primarily online. Considering phone calls tend to feel like an aggressive form of communication today, the idea of breaking things off in person almost seems unfathomable. But spoiler alert: It鈥檚 not. In fact, I鈥檝e done it (can you believe it?!) and TBH, it wasn鈥檛 all that bad. I was seeing a guy I met on Hinge for a few months and realized I wasn鈥檛 all that into it. He hadn鈥檛 done anything wrong, and we weren鈥檛 officially dating. But I decided to take the high road. I asked him for coffee, told him I have had a great time hanging out but that it didn鈥檛 feel quite right to me. He seemed bummed, but in the end we hugged and went our separate ways.

I鈥檒l admit I was very tempted to ghost him. It was the easiest way out, for sure. But I鈥檓 ultimately really glad I didn鈥檛. I have closure and (hopefully) he did too. As far as I know, he鈥檚 not hanging out on the other side of the city spiting me for never answering his texts and mysteriously disappearing. I hate confrontation as much as any other millennial (maybe even more?) but hey, if I can take the high road, you can too.

Have you ever been ghosted? Share your story with us on Twitter @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)