Have you heard of R-bombing? R-bombing the latest dating trend and (in case you’re wondering), yes, it’s awful! Unfortunately a lot of terms that have come out of “dating trends” tend to describe dating behavior at its absolute worst. But don’t worry, when someone comes up with some buzzword that describes being a decent and respectful person, I will be on it and blog about it like crazy.
(In the meantime, we still have the glorious hilarity that is the Kanye West dating site to hold us over.)
The good news about R-bombing is that it’s not quite as terrible as ghosting and not nearly as sadistic as orbiting. However, being that ghosting and orbiting are both atrocious, saying that R-bombing is not “quite as terrible” is basically me setting the lowest bar possible.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the aforementioned terms:
- Ghosting is when a person you are dating or are in a relationship with ceases all contact with you abruptly and usually for no clear reason. They don’t return your calls or take your texts and they unfollow or delete you from all social media accounts. You never get an explanation for ghosting, which is what makes this ugly dating behavior so brutal.
- Orbiting is a rather repulsive dating trend that takes ghosting one step further. Orbiting is when somebody seemingly ghosts you, but then pops back up into your life via social media. This person will follow all your Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook stories; they will like and retweet your posts on Twitter; they will like your Facebook posts and may even comment on your posts and pictures.
So that brings us to R-bombing.
R-bombing is a “new dating trend,” but it’s one that you likely have experienced before. An R-bomb occurs when you send somebody a text message or a message through social media. If you have read receipts on these applications, you will notice that the person has received and read your message, but they never respond back.
And when I say never, I mean never. This isn’t one of those situations where they read your message in a meeting and responded later because they were afraid their supervisor was going to notice that you hadn’t been paying attention to his latest presentation on synergy — oh no! An R-bomb is when somebody you are dating simply never responds to a message that you have proof of them reading it.
Other than the proof that the person got your message, R-bombing differs from ghosting in that the R-bomber in question will often offer a bunch of excuses for their lack of communication when confronted. For example:
- “Sorry, I’m just so useless when it comes to technology!”
- “Oh, yeah I saw it, but I don’t really know how to respond on social media.”
- “I’ve just been really swamped lately, so I haven’t had time to respond.”
The danger in this kind of behavior is that it can cause you to check up on their social media activity in a way that is borderline obsessive. Seeing the person post pictures on Instagram with expert use of the Valencia filter (“I thought you weren’t good at technology!”), update their status on Facebook, and post tweet after tweet while also showcasing dexterous hashtag skills, is frustrating, to say the least.
You’ll end up becoming increasingly perplexed and upset by their behavior.
Other side effects of getting R-bombed can include the following:
- Running to your phone every time it dings or feeling a rush of joy every time you see a notification that you have a new message on a social media platform, only to become completely deflated when you see that the message has come from your mom, your friend, your sister, your brother, your colleague, your — well basically anyone that is NOT THE PERSON YOU’RE DATING.
- Staring at your message and re-reading it over and over again, ruminating over whether or not you offended them, came on too strong or said anything to put them off. (Note: This side effect can occur even if your message read, “Hey, how was your day?”).
- You start to enter social media stalking territory.
So what should you do at this point?
Unfollow or Hide the Person From Your Social Media Outlets
There’s really no point in tormenting yourself by watching this person continually be savvy on social media and give updates on their daily activities while they refuse to respond to any of your messages.
When you get wrapped up in checking up on them via social media, you’re basically just replaying that gut-punch feeling that comes with an R-bomb over and over again.
Don’t Turn Off Your Read Receipts
It may be extremely tempting (and even seem productive) to turn off your read receipts. What you don’t know won’t hurt you, right?
Well, not exactly.
If you never know whether or not the person received your message, it becomes much easier to rationalize their behavior. But that doesn’t make their radio silence any less upsetting.
In fact, not knowing whether or not they read your message can be even more frustrating, because you’re left completely in the dark, as is the case with ghosting.
So how exactly are you supposed to deal with R-bombing?
The Solution to R-Bombing
The truth of the matter is, when somebody R-bombs you and continually avoids you, they aren’t interested in hanging out with you anymore or continuing to date you. Remember that their behavior isn’t a reflection on you and isn’t evidence that you did anything wrong or that there is anything wrong with you — quite the opposite.
Any bad behavior that has become a brutal dating trend — whether that be R-bombing, ghosting or orbiting — is a sign of immaturity and cowardice. When someone is confident, mature and respectful, they’re not going to hide behind these bizarre behaviors or leave you confused. A person who has more maturity and compassion will be upfront and honest with you when they feel like the relationship is no longer working out.
Don’t hold out for the person to respond, assume the person is “playing hard to get,” or indulge them in any pity plays. Someone who R-bombs and uses a pity play may things like:
- “I’m just going through a really weird time personally and emotionally right now.”
- “I’ve just been feeling extremely overwhelmed. How can you expect me to respond to you when I have so much other stuff going on?”
- “I’m just extremely stressed right now, so can you please not get upset with me? If you’re mad at me for ignoring you, that’s just going to make me stress out more.”
When someone tries to play on your sympathies to excuse their bad behavior, it’s manipulative and shouldn’t be tolerated.
Luckily, there really are plenty of fish in the sea, and plenty of these fish are decent, respectful and mature adults who wouldn’t pull something like this.
Cut this person off and don’t message them again. Unfollow or block them from your social media platforms so that you’re not tempted to check up on their updates.
And once you have recovered from the blow of being R-bombed, dust yourself off and get back out there. Find someone who responds to your messages and, better yet, brings you fun and happiness instead of stress.