Mosting: The Dating Trend Potentially Worse Than Ghosting (& It's Not New)

Being ghosted is always hard, no matter how it plays out, but sometimes ghosters leave few hints to let you know they're unavailable before going completely MIA. Maybe they struggle to keep commitments, or perhaps they take a while to respond before finally pulling a slow fade. While these signs don't make ghosting any easier to deal with, they can at least clue you in on what's about to come.

Sometimes, though, ghosting follows a completely different pattern. The "Casper in Disguise" kicks off a strong campaign to win you over, showering you with affection and flattery (in other words, you are being loved bombed) before suddenly disappearing. This can leave you feeling totally blindsided, and you might even question your perception: Did you imagine things? Did you misread the other person? What could you have done to make them go from zero to 100 and back to zero?

This toxic pattern is known as "mosting," and it's a dating trend that might be on the rise, though it's certainly (and unfortunately) nothing new. Mel Magazine writer Tracy Moore first coined the term in 2018, and even then it wasn't a rare concept. If you have been on the receiving end of mosting, you'll want to know how to identify the signs so you can keep your guard up next time.

Look for the signs of love bombing

If you've ever dated someone who made you feel oh-so special, only for them to ghost you later, you probably experienced mosting. As Tracy Moore elaborated to HuffPost, "Mosting is ghosting, but where before you ghost, you completely love bomb the person with praise, compliments and faux perfect soulmate-type stuff." As Moore pointed out, this iteration of ghosting is much worse than your average romantic disappearing act because "this wasn't just a 'meh' date that you could take or leave. This person really made you feel like you had a rare connection in a sea of duds."

While you likely won't know you've been mosted until it's too late (that is, until you've been left on read indefinitely), you can spot signs of love bombing before your love interest cuts you off. And really, it's always a good idea to be wary of love bombing, whether it foreshadows ghosting or not, as it's often a form of emotional abuse (via Cleveland Clinic). Watch out for grand romantic gestures, non-stop compliments, and talk of the future that feels premature or inauthentic.

It might indicate an avoidant attachment style

The reasons behind mosting can be a little complicated, but may indicate that the dating partner has an avoidant attachment style. This makes long-term emotional vulnerability appear threatening, so they escape before the relationship can get serious, per The Attachment Project. If they don't ghost, people with this attachment style may even break off the relationship for a very minor reason, whether it be a one-off mistake you made or a slightly irritating habit you may have. 

It's important to note that mosting is never about you or anything you've done wrong. However, there are steps you can take to free yourself from the emotional rollercoaster. "If you find yourself dating someone who is overly keen and exhibiting mosting behavior, then I'd recommend being upfront," managing director at engagement ring specialist Angelic Diamonds Neil Dutta shared with My Imperfect Life. "Tell them that you want to take things slow and build a real connection before getting too serious." As with most things, "setting clear boundaries" is an effective way to stop love bombing and mosting in their tracks.