How to respond to being ghosted
It has been six days. Six days, and on every day since Mike anxiously checked his phone anytime it vibrated, hoping it was her.
Mike and Amara met at a party 2 months ago. They connected instantly like they had known each other for years. Laughing, eating, and discussing everything from music to philosophy.
At this point, they have been out on three dates, enjoying the process of getting to know each other. Their chat history was full of memes, links to articles, links to music, and conversations about life, love, and the future.
Suddenly, Amara stopped responding to Mike’s messages. Later that day, he calls her, to make sure she is okay, but she does not answer. The next day, Mike sees Amara’s post on her Instagram story, so he knows she is okay. It is at this point that he starts to ponder all the reasons she would not be responding to him.
“She might be busy with work, people get busy,” he said to himself.
So Mike decides to text Amara again because as far as he knew, things were fine between them. Amara read his message and still didn’t respond. At this moment, Mike concluded he was being ghosted. Not knowing why she did that left Mike upset and humiliated, with his confidence in pieces.
“What did I do wrong?”
“What doesn’t she like about me?”
What is Ghosting?
Ghosting is when a person unexpectedly disappears from someone’s life without a call, email, or text. This has become a popular occurrence in the modern dating world, as well as in other social and professional environments.
Since ghosting is a form of rejection, it hurts—even when you barely know someone, or they aren’t particularly important to you. It can raise internal issues with rejection or abandonment, as well as swinging at your self-worth, which in the relationship space might already be fragile.
Ghosts are not necessarily bad people; their actions sometimes do not have an agenda—they just take the easy way out but all ghosts show operating styles based on their personal and relationship history—and their values.
When it comes to romantic interests, if you have been on a couple of dates and the person unexpectedly disappears, it could be because they didn’t feel a romantic spark, got too busy to stay in touch or just were not ready for the next move.
In the case of platonic friendships, if a friend you often hang out or talk with unexpectedly stops responding to your text or phone calls, they may be ghosting you, or they may also have something in their lives that keeps them busy. If it turns out they’ve been ghosting you, they may have decided it would be too difficult or unpleasant to justify why they don’t want to be friends anymore.
If you decide to text a person who is ghosting you to have the final word or ask them what happened, here are some examples of the texts that you should follow.
“Hey [insert name]! I haven’t heard from you in a while, I am getting the vibe that you’re not interested in this anymore, please just be up-front with me as I would rather know where I stand.”
“Hey, is everything okay? I have not heard from you in a while and thought we had a good connection. If you do not feel the same, I understand. Everyone can change their mind.”
Moving on. Do not chase ghosts.
Do not try to justify their behaviour or hand them an excuse.
Unfortunately, it does not matter what is going on for them—the simple truth is that you were not high enough on their priorities to give a call. Or a text message. So just put away your phone. If you must, hide it from yourself. Do not get in touch with them, even though you are desperate to know why.
It is not you; it is them
When we have been hurt in relationships, it is easy to judge ourselves: to ask what we have done wrong and to look at our weaknesses. The thing is that gives so much power to the individual that has ghosted you. It is not about you to be ghosted; it’s about the values of the person doing the ghosting.
That person has just given you a glimpse into their style of relating in intimate relationships.
If it gets tough, I am going to run. I am only going to do what works for me.
Is that what you want from your partner?
The brighter side
It might not seem like it right now, but if someone disappears on you without warning, they are not right for you. They are not invested enough in you and your feelings to be worth your best. Now you are free to find someone who will return the energy you give.