What to Do If You’ve Been Ghosted
Well it happened.
You’re hanging out with someone you like. Things are going exceptionally well. You’ve been on a few dates or have hung out a few times. You’re starting to feel a true connection.
And then… *cue the dramatic music* … they disappear and you never hear from them again.
Being ghosted is like a sucker punch to the stomach. There have been a few times where I found myself getting to know someone and felt hopeful about our connection. And just as I started to trust and be vulnerable with them, suddenly—bam—they fell off the face of the earth. Every time I’ve thought, why? What changed? Why did they suddenly decide that they don't want to talk to me anymore? What’s wrong with me?
Being ghosted hurts. And it can make you want to give up on finding genuine connections.
What is Ghosting?
Ghosting can happen in a lot of different ways, but the general gist is that one person decides to cut off all communication with another person without any explanation. A person who ghosts you is often referred to as a "ghost." The term comes from the idea of a ghost appearing out of nowhere and vanishing just as quickly without any explanation, leaving behind a lot of questions. This could happen after a few dates, during a long-term relationship, or even in a friendship.
Regardless of the length or magnitude of the relationship, getting ghosted always hurts. If someone ghosts you, it can feel like they don't think your time is valuable enough for them to even give you some kind of explanation for why they're moving on or not interested anymore.
Despite ghosting being a horrible situation to find yourself in, I think there’s an opportunity to handle it in a way that will leave you feeling empowered instead of defeated.
How to Respond to Being Ghosted
#1 Feel the Feels
First, take some time to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. Maybe it’s rage; maybe it's sadness; maybe it's numbness or even relief (if the ghosting person wasn't someone you were particularly excited about). Give yourself time to process your emotions instead of just pushing them away or ignoring them—they're valid! You’re allowed to be upset without needing to justify why to anyone else (including yourself).
#2 Recognize That Ghosting Has Nothing to Do With You
So why do people ghost? Well, there are lots of potential reasons. One reason might be that they're trying to avoid confrontation or hurting someone else's feelings because they have realized that they aren’t ready to deepen the relationship. Another reason might be because they’re dealing with something in their personal life that makes them want to withdraw from building the relationship. And sometimes people ghost because they simply don't have the emotional capacity to communicate. There are so many reasons someone might disappear without saying anything—and none of them have to do with YOU.
You deserve to rest in this knowledge. Not only that, you are also deserving of someone who has the decency to communicate their true thoughts and feelings and doesn’t just disappear. As soon as you realize this, you are able to take back your power.
#3 Find the Hidden Gift
I’m an adamant believer that everything happens for a reason. Our lives are a compilation of the choices we make and although we didn’t choose to get ghosted, we can choose how we move on going forward.
After sitting with my feelings for a short time, I always aim to turn my attention to the new opportunities and possibilities the ghoster’s choices have enabled. Perhaps anything deeper would have led to a toxic and unhealthy relationship. Maybe this person would have held me back from pursuing my goals and dreams. And because this person ghosted me, I’m that much closer to finding someone who is truly meant for me.
Finding the hidden gift in such circumstances can allow you to trek forward and get closer to where you want to be.
#4 Recognize There Are Other People Who Won’t Ghost You
As much as we wish those who ghost us would come back, apologize, and continue building the relationship, we cannot control their behaviors.
What we CAN do is recognize what we want in our relationships and focus on finding people who want the same things...and lucky for you, there are other people out there. There are people who will be honest with you and talk to you about how they feel; who will listen when you speak; and who will engage with you like they want to be around you.
All it takes is a little perspective shift to see that there are plenty of people who will treat us well. Once we start seeing those people show up in our lives more often, we can let go of the ones who don't treat us as well and make room for something better.
#5 Keep Putting Yourself Out There
Don’t let one person prevent you from exploring new connections. The best thing you can do in these circumstances is continue to be bold and daring and explore the possibilities of new relationships.
You Are Worthy, You Are Worthy, You Are Worthy
At the end of the day, you are worthy of someone who takes the time to have an honest conversation with you about how they’re feeling. You deserve someone who doesn't just vanish without any warning or explanation. If you continue to believe that you are worthy and envision what kind of relationship it is you want, eventually you will find your person. It might just take sifting through a few not-so-compatible people first.