how to respond to a guy that ghosted you
With our ever-changing dating culture continuously inventing new terms and toxic behaviors that make it harder to forge healthy personal relationships, ghosting might seem like old news to you.
However, it has turned out to be one of the most persistent dating behaviors of our generation. We use it to get out of an uncomfortable situation, without having to take responsibility.
While I have never ghosted someone, I have experienced it with a few that were too cowardly to end things in a respectful and grown way. And honestly, after a while, you start to get used to ghosting. So much so that you almost expect it from men if your last text message goes unanswered for more than 2 days.
It sucks, it hurts but it has become the norm.
And when it happens to you, you might be okay with it, because after all, it wasn’t a big deal. But it gets even worse when the ghost suddenly reemerges from the dead with a good excuse.
Suddenly, you have to decide how to respond to a guy that ghosted you without coming off as desperate or petty.
What is ghosting in dating
There is no rule for how long two people have to be dating before it is deemed ghosting.
However, when a person suddenly cuts off all communication even though things seemed fine the last time you talked, then it means you have been ghosted.
Oftentimes this controversial tactic will be executed without an explanation and oftentimes without a valid reason and all you are left with is wondering what happened.
And to make matters worse ghosting has only been around for a little more than a decade when the first-ever definition for ghosting appeared in the Urban Dictionary in 2007.
When a person cuts off all communication with the person they’re dating, without an explanation or notice beforehand.
Unfortunately, the term and the practice did not disappear but have become more common practice since 2013 when Tinder and other online dating apps further disrupted the dating landscape.
Because of the sheer amount of dating options nowadays, a lot of men and women use this tactic to get out of a situation that seems less than ideal. Rather than formally ending the relationship by admitting their non-interest they avoid, ignore or block the other person hoping that he or she will get the hint. Rude!
But how do you know if you have been ghosted?
Social Media and Ghosting
Unfortunately, social media makes things even more painful. Because you can oftentimes tell if you have been ghosted when you share mutual friends with the guy. Meaning he pops up on people’s Instagram stories or gets tagged at a certain location.
It feels like he is very alive, yet dead to you.
I know it’s cruel. But I need you to take a deep breath and remember that a guy like this is not worth your time, annoyance, or even tears. Instead, understand that the reason why men ghost is because they are trying to avoid conflict and not because you aren’t funny/ beautiful/ or smart enough.
And to avoid that from happening next time, let’s have a look at some of the ghosting red flags.
Signs you are being ghosted
1. His interest dropped drastically
The very first sign that someone is about to ghost you is if there is a very sudden drop in his interest to talk to you, see you or get to know you.
He might either have met someone else and does not want to pursue you any longer or he might have realized that the two of you are not his idea of a good match and is trying to get rid of you.
2. You initiate all conversation
Once he has reached that point and made his decision that he wants to go MIA, you will slowly notice that he is not initiating conversations and getting more distant in his texts. He might drop one-word answers or fail to return questions about how you are doing etc.
3. He is suddenly very busy
Another one of the signs that you’ve been ghosted is that he bails on plans you agreed to before.
If he mentioned taking you out on a hike or to a college football game at your first date and now suddenly has several excuses whenever you follow up, it means that he is getting ready to exit stage left. Because someone that is truly interested will make time for you.
4. He ignores your texts/ phone calls
This one is the most obvious, and that is that he goes MIA for days or weeks.
He hasn’t answered your last message, even though followed up with a question mark (the audacity). Or he rejects your phone calls saying he will call you back later, but never does.
5. He drops in and out of your life
Last but certainly not least, is the serial-ghoster. He drops in and out of your life acting as if nothing happened.
And every time he comes back he has a plausible explanation, such as he was busy, he was stressed or my favorite one, he needed time to think. All these might be good excuses for your middle school crush but not for a grown man. Because adults talk.
These are obvious signs that you are being ghosted and they suck. But once you notice this behavior it’s your move. It’s important to know how to respond to a guy that ghosted you so that you can go out as a winner.
How to respond to a guy that ghosted you
First, let me preface that how you deal with ghosting largely depends on how much time you spent with the other person before they suddenly went MIA.
Obviously, if it was a long-term relationship, then you might want to give him the benefit of the doubt and hear out what he has to say. And I get it.
However, no matter if you were ghosted before the first date and therefore find it much easier to cut your losses and move on. Or if you were involved with him for a lot of time and you consider him a close friend. You should always expect healthy communication in a romantic relationship and not make excuses for someone that doesn’t.
Below, I share how to respond to a guy that ghosted you:
1. Acknowledge you are hurt
No matter the duration of your situationship or relationship, there is no easy way to process ghosting. Because it hurts like crazy and it’s ok to admit it. For days, weeks, or months you thought that there is a real chance of a romantic connection. And now you painfully find out that the other person does not even respect or value you enough to break up properly.
So admit that you are shaken up and confused. Find a way to release your frustration that does NOT involve the other person, such as praying, journaling or venting to a friend.
2. Reject rejection
Once you got the frustration off your chest, a good way to process your feelings is to question your thoughts. If you are pissed because the other person’s lack of etiquette caught you off-guard, it’s fine. But if you find yourself depressed and hopeless because of the idea that he rejected you, then stop right now.
Understand that ghosting says nothing about you and everything about the other person. It only reveals how he deals with confrontation. And does not mean that you are not beautiful enough, are not funny enough, or are not good enough.
Instead, it means he is a coward and did not have the courage to tell you that he is not that into you.
3. Don’t go looking for closure
When a guy ghosts you, you must keep your dignity. The last thing you want to do is ask him for closure or an explanation of why he is a douchebag. Instead, accept his foul behavior as closure and file it under ‘thank you, next’.
A man that can’t even tell a woman that he is not interested is not ready to be in an emotionally mature relationship. In addition, itshows signs of an avoidant attachment style, which is a whole other complicated story in itself.
4. Do the inner work to raise your energy
When you are being ghosted in a relationship, it can oftentimes lower your self-esteem. It makes you wonder what is wrong with you or what you did wrong to trigger that behavior. As mentioned before, reject these thoughts, but also do the necessary work to build yourself up again.
Create a set of self-love affirmations you tell yourself every time a limiting belief creeps up on you. Treat yourself to feel-good experiences such as a bubble bath, a good meal, or time with some good friends. Do things that remind you that you are a great catch and that he is the one that is missing out, not you.
5. Celebrate! You dodged a bullet
In the end, the silver lining in all this is that the other person was not right for you. And whenever that is the case you should be happy when you find out. Especially if it is early on in the dating phase.
Because identifying one more frog on your way to the relationship you desire and deserve means you are closer to your prince.
As you can see the best way to answer the question “how to respond to a guy that ghosted you?” is by not responding at all to him.
No matter if you have been a victim before or not, we all know someone that has been ghosted before. So, you might have asked yourself “why do people ghost?”. And I’m sad to report that the psychology behind ghosting is very strange and in my opinion a sign of immaturity.
Here are a few.
It’s not ‘THAT’ serious
Unfortunately, with so many options in dating nowadays and a culture in which we don’t need to be in a committed relationship for physical and emotional intimacy anymore, people increasingly have a harder time identifying the lines.
When is it a casual relationship vs. a serious intimate relationship? What you might consider serious, he might consider casual and therefore does not see the need for a formal break-up.
Having to confront someone is uncomfortable for a lot of people. They dread having an argument or having to give exact reasons why they are not interested anymore. To avoid all that, they slowly vanish from your life. This is meant to give you a hint that they are not interested any longer.
Does not want to hurt you
As crazy as this might sound many men believe that ghosting is actually better for the other person. Given that they aren’t hurting their feelings by telling them they don’t want to date anymore.
Therefore, instead of breaking your heart by being upfront, they decide to break your heart by being sneaky.
Fear of being the ‘bad guy’
The ultimate “WTF” belief behind ghosting to me is this one. Men who do not want to be seen as the bad guy. Instead of being the one to admit that they aren’t feeling you and prefer someone else, they want you to be upset with them. So they display unacceptable behavior, thus urging you to dump them eventually.
The worst thing with this guy is that he is the most likely to come back after a while. But more on that below.
All these thought patterns are a sign of cowardice. People who think like that convince themselves that their behavior is fine. They think it’s much better than being truthful with the other person.
Why ghosting hurts so much
According to psychologists, ghosting can have a pretty serious effect on someone’s mental health.
Our brains perceive the emotional pain experienced through social rejection as the same kind as physical pain. However, because the emotional distress caused by ghosting is much harder to cure than physical pain it oftentimes leads to a more distraught impact.
Women who experience ghosting in a relationship experience greater anxiety because the sudden radio silence without explanation gives you no clue how to react because you don’t know what is going on.
On days 1 and 2 you might think the other person is simply busy, on days 3 and 4 you might get worried about his well-being and after a week you might have moved on from worry to anger.
This whirlwind of emotions is triggered by the absence of social cues that would have allowed you to find the appropriate reaction.
And the worst thing about ghosting is that it leaves you powerless. The fact that you did not get an explanation, makes you question your sanity, your behavior and if you are good enough.
Because ghosting is a form of silent treatment it is considered a form of emotional cruelty and therefore no wonder it leaves emotional scars.
What to do when a guy who ghosted you comes back
Now that you understand the psychology behind ghosting, you can see that a man that ghosts you is most likely immature and showing signs of emotional unavailability.
However, that doesn’t mean he can’t change.
So how to respond to a guy that ghosted you?
When a guy who ghosted you comes back and now wants another chance, you have to take the following into account:
He did not care ‘enough’ about you the first time.
Truth is, he disappeared without any explanation, making you wonder what went wrong and if you were at fault. In dating, I always insist that your priority is you. Therefore, if someone hurts you, you have to put your own well-being first and avoid them at all costs.
So, if his first disappearing act caused you a lot of stress and anxiety, then you need to confront him to find out if he is apologetic about his behavior and what his reason was.
If he doesn’t feel remorse or has no plausible explanation other than ‘I was busy’. Then he clearly does not deserve a second chance because he doesn’t see his fault. That type of guy is very likely to repeat the same pattern over and over again.
But if he regrets his action and honestly shares his thinking behind it, then that’s a good start and you now have to decide if the relationship is worth it.
Either way, the most important thing is to pay close attention to his behavior moving forward and allow for enough time before you get attached to him again.
What to text a guy that ghosted you?
Last but not least, I want to share with you the best ghosting response for when a man comes back:
“Hey, it’s great to hear from you and I’m glad you are doing okay. Unfortunately, I’m no longer interested in hanging out with you, because I only date guys that are consistent in their pursuit. “