Being ghosted can really feel like the worst. It can be confusing, unsettling and hurtful…not to mention it can throw you off your dating game altogether.
So here are a few practical steps you can take if you’ve been ghosted:
1. Be honest with yourself
The thing that makes ghosting so confusing is that it can take a while to realize that you’ve actually been ghosted. You might be expecting to hear back from the person you thought you were dating and the days (and even weeks!) can go by without a word. Yet they were giving you all the positive signs that they liked you! At this point, it’s time to put your phone down, be honest with yourself and take steps to let go. Of course, this can feel awful at the time and is easier said than done, but it’s far better for you in the long run to be honest than hold on hope.
2. Understand why ghosting happens
The nature of dating and how we mainly communicate these days via text or social media means that it’s easier than ever for ghosting to happen. It doesn’t make it any less painful to deal with or acceptable, but it’s easy and therefore common.
Usually, people ghost because they’re too scared to be honest if they don’t want things to go any further or if they’re just not serious and committed to dating. Other times, the person simply just forgot. It doesn’t mean that you did anything ‘wrong’ or that they found someone better. It’s really just passive behavior on the other person’s part. Try and see it like a lucky escape because you’re much better off without someone who is indirect.
3. Don’t take it personally and know you’re not alone
If you’re dating, you’re probably aware of the sheer choice of people out there dating as well. For some people, it becomes about quantity, not quality. So be reassured that being on the other end of ghosting certainly doesn’t make you inadequate or undateable. Plus, ghosting happens to so many people so take comfort in the fact that you are definitely not alone. Everyone has at least one ghosting story!
4. Keep perspective and stay positive about dating
It can take a while to build yourself back up after an experience of ghosting. Your self-esteem and faith in dating altogether can take a knock. The most compassionate thing you can do for yourself is to bring the focus back to you for a little while. It’s okay to take a break if you need to. Do things you love, remind yourself of your strengths, cultivate your inner resilience and spend time around people you love.
Most importantly, just remember that for all the people who do ghost, there are so many more amazing people out there who will respect you and treat you how you deserve. Keep focused on that and know that even though it feels upsetting now, the person who ghosted you did you a huge favor.