This is How To Respond To Ghosting

Being ghosted sucks. Here’s how to respond when the penny’s dropped.

Ghosting, unless in the name of personal safety, is one of the most awful things you can do to someone.

It brings up feelings of self-doubt, anxiety and in some cases depression.

If you’ve been ghosted, we want you to know there’s not necessarily a right or wrong way to react. We do however have tips that’ll help keep you in check and moving forward.

Before that though, let’s find out why it happens in the first place.

Why do people ghost?

There are tons of reasons why people choose to ghost. Ultimately, it’s a cowardly thing to do. Everyone is owed common courtesy (so long as boundaries haven’t been crossed). If you were simply left in the unknown, here’s what the ghost-er may have been thinking:

  • They genuinely got busy and dating just wasn’t a priority

  • They lack emotional intelligence and empathy

  • Too much time passed by

  • Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to disappear

  • They have an avoidant attachment style

  • They were involved with someone else

  • They had no respect for the relationship

  • They weren’t in to you (and that’s okay, but not a justified reason to ghost)

TikTok creator and Relationship Coach @arrezoazim dives into this further and explains how being ghosted isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Read on to find out how to deal with being ghosted.

How to deal with being ghosted

Send a check-in

Do this if you’re not 100% sure you’ve been ghosted. Send a check-in along the lines of asking about future plans or how they’re doing.

Greeted with no answer? That’s still an answer, and unfortunately, it does mean you’ve been ghosted.

But if you do get an answer, great! See how the conversation goes. There may have been a perfectly reasonable explanation.

The only caveat to this though is whether the level of communication from the other party is something you can deal with. Plus, if someone is busy, leaving a person on read is pretty rude if you ask us.

If you need regular communication, don’t compromise your values. Make them known. And if they decide to ghost or get defensive off the back of that then it’s worth asking yourself if they’re the right person for you to begin with.

Reach out (again) if you really must

We want to advise no contact altogether (which you’re going to have to do at some point, sorry). But humans are multi-faceted. One way doesn’t always work for the other.

Do you really, really like the person? We’re all about following your heart, but you need to follow your head too. Follow up with them in the form of a check-in but make sure it’s from a place of care.

Another reason to follow up again could be to do with existing plans, getting your things back or other legitimate reasons. All in all, just make sure you’re reaching out for the right reasons and think about what the outcomes (yes, plural) could be.

It’s okay to be angry, but be careful

Anger is a normal emotion to feel when you’ve been ghosted. It’s just darn rude!

But bad decisions can be made out of anger, like sending a nasty message to them or slandering them on social media. We get it, but revenge is bittersweet and it’ll only make you feel worse in the long run.

There are other ways you can deal with the anger of being ghosted, like not sending your angry text, but just simply getting what you want to say down on paper. It’s also worth asking if the ghosting is what’s making you angry or if a past experience is flagging up for you and causing more of the pain instead.

Reach out to your support network

Your friends and family are your points of call when you’re feeling the bruise of being ghosted. Share what happened and get their reassurance.

There are tons of online forums and resources that discuss the topic of ghosting too. So you’re not alone and you’ll definitely find solace in that.

Remind yourself it’s them, not you

This isn’t supposed to sound narcissistic. But the problem really does stand with them.

People can be too chicken to send a “sorry, it’s not working out†text due to fear of hurting the other person. But whatever logic in their mind convinces them ghosting will just make you take a hint when in reality, is a form of passive-aggressive emotional abuse.

Is this someone you’d want to spend more time with? We don’t think so. @thosephoenixgirls thinks so too:

Don’t blame yourself

It’s very easy to blame yourself for being ghosted. But remind yourself of this…who did the dishonourable thing here?

Do you feel a sense of weight lift? We hope so.

There’s tons of reasons why people blame themselves for being ghosted, such as thinking they’re ‘too much’, want too much, came across a certain way or simply don’t see themselves as good enough.

This is simply not true. For whatever reason, the other party has decided to duck out in the most cowardly way possible. Yes, they may not be on the same level commitment-wise or they can’t handle someone who’s expressive, excitable or even on the quieter side.

But again, would you even consider a future with someone who won’t accept those things about yourself? Would you simply stand by if a friend was ghosted and cited the same self-deprecating reasons?

No! You’d hype them up just as much as we’re hyping you up right now.

Shift the focus back on to you

You’ve probably spent a great deal of time wondering when they’ll message you back, what they’re doing, who they’re with and why tf they’re online and left you on read.

But now is the time to shift the attention away from them and back on to you instead.

What have you neglected lately? Have you seen your friends? When was the last time you made yourself a heart-warming meal or took a nice long nap?

Do the things you’ve missed. Listen to your body and give it what it needs right now to heal. When you feel ready, it could be time to think about manfifesting your best year yet.

Don’t isolate yourself

Unless it’s due to covid, we highly recommend getting out as much as possible. Staying in the same space for a long time can make us feel boxed in with our emotions.

Find a new place to explore, go to a cafe and get your favourite brew, grab the sausage, egg and beans bake that’s finally back in Greggs walk in nature our around the city. Anything to just get you out for a bit to clear your mind.

If getting out isn’t an option right now, then get a ton of films on that actually make you feel good (re-runs of your favourite shows ideally), get some mates rounds (if you’re not isolating for COVID reasons) or play your favourite video games. Now could be a real reason to get that Amazon Prime discount too!

Check out our travel student discounts here.

Ask yourself the right questions to heal

An on-set of numbness can follow when you’re feeling hurt. Ask yourself these questions when you simply don’t know how to move forward.

  • What do I need right now?

  • Have I had enough food and water today?

  • How can I help myself feel better right now?

  • Who can I reach out to and talk about this?

  • How did I deal with this before?

@raquelolsson has some pretty good food for thought when you’re asking yourself what you need to heal.

Reflect on the red flags

This might be gut-wrenching and not a necessary step per-se, but if you’re missing them and the good times, it’s important to think back to the red flags you may have missed.

Did they constantly talk about themselves? Were they always pretty bad at communicating? Did they mock you or make you feel inferior?

Do this with caution as this isn’t about making yourself feel worse here. Yes it will feel rubbish, but it’ll help you learn for future dates and what to avoid.

Reflect on your red flags too

Did you take too long to respond? Were you unclear about plans? It still makes being ghosted a passive-aggressive thing to do to someone, but it’s worth taking notes on your side of things and being accountable for it.

You could have been told why whatever your red flags are was the reason they didn’t want to continue. At the end of the day, we all make mistakes and have feelings too

Knowing your red flags will help you communicate better on future dates and increase your chances of not getting ghosted.

Seek help if you need it

Ghosting can bring up memories from the past that can be distressing. If you’ve finding it especially difficult to deal with being ghosted, then seeking counselling or therapy can really help at a time like this.

At the end of the day, it’s a grieving process of a relationship that maybe had a future in your mind. You’re now grieving said future that won’t happen, questioning their intent to begin with and probably having thoughts about trusting your own judgement.

These are all incredibly normal things to feel. But if things get overwhelming, chat to your university counselor, find a private therapist (if you can afford to) or find a service through the NHS.

The bottom line

Ghosting is not the answer to ending a relationship unless in the event of safety. Everyone deserves to know why it’s not working out. Even if it’s not the best news, it’s better than the pondering, anxiety and heartache.

Just remember you aren’t responsible for someone else’s actions. It might take time to heal and get back out there but it’s time you can use to reflect, learn and give yourself the love you need instead.