We all know that amazing feeling of getting to know someone we like. In those first couple of days or weeks, we have flurries of butterflies in our tummy. The anticipation of meeting and communicating with them leaves us feeling excited and renewed.
Everything seems to be going well. The connection is budding and they promise you the moon and the stars. All the positive signs are there, until one day, you stop hearing from them again.
You’re angry, confused and hurt by their disappearing act. You wonder what you did wrong and question everything you talked about with them, looking for clues as to what made it go south.
What if something terrible happened to your new love interest? Maybe you should send him a text message to check on them. But the recent updates on their social media profiles show that they’re alive and well. Soon you come to terms with the obvious and most heartbreaking reality: they don’t want to talk to you or see you anymore for reasons you may never know.
Being on the receiving end of being ghosted is never fun. In some instances, it can be soul crushing. But it happens all the time to so many people, especially in the culture of online/app dating. These are serial ghosters out there who ghost their matches left right and center, because they can. They have a ton of choices and don’t feel the need to be tied to one person.
Rosie Walsh, author of best-selling novel, “Ghosted,” who was inspired to write the book after her friend’s boyfriend vanished from her life without a trace says, “When you’re rejecting 200 people a night, it dehumanizes the dating pool in which you stand.” The fallout of this trend has made ghosting the new “calling” to break up with someone.
The truth is, ghosting is the cowards way out. Suddenly dropping contact with someone who showed interest in you and cared about you, even if it was only for a few days, is rude and evidence of a weak character. Anyone with a backbone would directly end things and give closure instead of deliberately ignoring the other person.
But many of us don’t feel this way, at least right after being ghosted. Having no closure leaves a big unanswered question about what went wrong. Having someone we longed for, suddenly vanish from our lives can take a toll on us, diminishing our sense of worth. We wonder if we were not good enough for that person and if we’ll ever be good enough for anyone else.
We can use our ghosting experience as an opportunity to become stronger by choosing to not let it disempower us. With the right perspective, you can become more confident and conscious in your dating choices, If you focus on the lessons it taught you.
Keeping these six things in mind the next time you get ghosted.
Getting ghosted by someone feels personal, but it’s not. It doesn’t mean that you’re fundamentally flawed, just that you’re not the right person for him or her. And that’s perfectly okay. But many of us backtrack and second-guess ourselves. “Is there something wrong with me?” “Could I have said or done things differently?” When you should really be asking yourself if you want to be with someone who is dodging you and can’t be bothered to call things off in a straightforward way. You deserve better. So, don’t let the ghosters' flakiness and lack of dating etiquette diminish your awesomeness.
Being ghosted is going to sting, regardless of how long you’ve been in contact with the person. Every time it happens, it chips away at your hopes for finding someone who you can be with for the long haul. It’s the breakdown of potential and hope that hurts more than the loss of the person. Acknowledge your feelings and do what you need to do to feel better—talk to someone you trust, such as a friend, family member or a therapist. Engage in acts of self-care—do yoga, meditate and practice mindfulness. Anything that makes you feel good and reminds you that you’re capable of taking care of your needs. Keep busy and stay focused on your goals.
What makes ghosting a struggle to get over is that you’re left with a big fat question mark. No explanations about what led to the untimely demise of the connection. We’re naturally prone to overthinking it and trying to fill in the blanks. Realize that you may not know the full story and that’s okay. Through the process of letting go, you can ease your grip on the situation. Not every relationship is meant to be fixed and that’s especially the case for someone who wasn’t willing to invest in you. Stop worrying and refuse to spend your mental energy on the ghoster.
Greg Behrendt, the author of “He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys,” wrote “A man who wants to make a relationship work will move mountains to keep the woman he loves.” This applies to women as well. If she’s interested she will let you know, even in subtle ways. This is a hard pill to swallow and it often triggers our insecurities. We’re tempted to reach out to them and soothe our ego that’s been bruised from rejection. We get hung up on the potential of what “could have been.” Avoid this temptation and allow it to pass with your dignity and self-respect intact. You’ll be stronger and better for it.
He or she may have checked a few or many of the boxes of your ideal partner but they didn’t check the most important one: someone who is upfront about their intentions and communicates their feelings clearly to you. The right person for you should be willing to go all in and prioritize you, and make you an integral part of their life. They will see your worth and appreciate your unique qualities. You’re worthy of someone who sees your value and is willing to invest their time and energy into creating a solid and lasting relationship with you.
A horrible ghosting experience can leave us scarred, but once we’ve allowed ourselves time to move through the emotions and learn from the experience, we need to get back on the saddle. Know there are plenty of fish in the sea of dating and many of them will be willing to open their hearts to you. Each experience is a stepping stone, moving you closer to finding the right person. It’s normal to be worried about getting ghosted again but trust that you’ll be happily dating again and your ghosters will be nothing more than, well, ghosts in your memories.