Exit Surveys Are Giving Power Back To People Who Have Been Ghosted

Out of all the toxic dating trends that have come about in the last several years, the one that seems to have hit the most people is ghosting. To be ghosted, in case you just woke up out of a 100-year-long sleep à la Sleeping Beauty, is when you're dating someone or chatting with someone you met on a dating app and they just disappear. They vanish without a trace. They don't give a reason, there's no explanation, and you're forced to revisit each message and each date you had as you wonder what you did wrong — despite knowing, deep down, it wasn't about you at all.


According to a 2019 YouGov poll, 30% of U.S. adults admitted they had ghosted someone, and a 2016 survey by Plenty of Fish found that 78% of people reported having been ghosted. It seems that although ghosting is wicked and cruel, it's actually become commonplace. The decency of yesteryear has officially died and from its ashes the ghosts have risen.

But what if, instead of beating yourself up wondering why you were ghosted 24/7, you had a way to gain your power back? 

What's an exit survey?

Similar to an exit interview you might get at your job (where you can rip that evil boss to shreds, if it's warranted), an exit survey after being ghosted is when you send your ghoster a form in which they can fill out why they chose to ghost you, as well as asking them other pertinent questions. Although this dating trend has recently become popular on TikTok with over 1.6 billion views, it's actually not the first time that exit surveys have made their way into our modern dating world. 


In 2018, 21-year-old Katie Miller created an exit survey after finding herself ghosted again. "I actually made the survey on Sunday after being ghosted yet again," Miller told Insider. "I wanted to see if I could prevent that, and I wanted to ask why it happened without initiating a conversation."

Like the surveys currently making the rounds on TikTok, Miller's survey included questions such as "What is wrong with Katie?" and "What is wrong with you?," as well as "What could Katie have done to enhance this experience for you?" Then she gets into specifics that cater to each man she dated. It's a fairly genius way to handle a ghosting situation and definitely puts you back on top instead of being the victim.


How to create one

Creating an exit survey should be equal parts fun and self-aware. You can have a standardized survey with a series of questions that you'd really love to know the answers to or, like Miller, have an exit survey that's specific to the person you dated or chatted with before they pulled the ghosting stunt.


If you never made it to a first date and were ghosted after a few days of chatting, you could inquire about your texting skills. You could ask them to rate your funniness via chat from one to 10 and ask what you could do in the future to hold their attention at least long enough for a first date. If you actually dated and were ghosted — which is even worse — you could ask about the dating experience they had with you. Was it because you wouldn't let them have some of your fries on the third date? Did your feminist rant on date number five intimidate them? You can put anything in your survey that can help you get to the bottom of the ghosting.

When to use an exit survey

An exit survey can be used whenever you've been ghosted! That's the beauty of it. It doesn't matter how brief or how long someone was in your life; if they ghosted you, you can give them the survey. If a friend ghosted you, then you can hit them up with a survey, too, and ask them how you could have been a better friend. Giving people the chance to enlighten you on what their perceived shortcomings of you might be can give you the opportunity to look inward and see where you can make changes if need be (although, let's be honest, you're probably already perfect).


We live in a world where ghosting has become the norm, so if people know that following a ghosting they're going to be given a survey as to why, then maybe they'll think twice before ghosting someone. Maybe people will hold themselves accountable for their actions and, instead of disappearing into the mist, they'll end things like mature adults. Granted, this might be asking for too much, but it's still a possibility.

What to expect

If you're expecting some sort of closure, you can immediately take that off the table. Giving someone an exit survey won't do that. What it will do is reveal the ghoster's insecurities — if they fill it out honestly, but there's no guarantee they will fill it out at all — and in doing so it will reaffirm that they have some issues to work out that are unrelated to you. Something that, if you've been ghosted before, you already know. Being ghosted is never a reflection of who we are, but always a reflection of the ghoster and their inability to communicate their feelings in a healthy way or work toward having a relationship with someone. As we've all heard before, you dodged a bullet if you've been ghosted.


Ultimately, we can't change how people behave. We can't tell people what's decent and respectful, because if it's someone's nature to ghost, then that's what they're going to do. But if we could give an exit survey, for our peace of mind, that's something to consider. It would also be fun way to call the ghoster out on their ghosting. Just look at Bruce Willis in "The Sixth Sense" — he had no idea he was ghost. Sometimes in the real world, too, a ghost doesn't even know they're a ghost.