5 Steps to dealing with ghosting
You know the story: you meet, have a few wonderful dates and wind up in bed together. Everything is peachy. Cut to a week later and your phone has a conspicuous lack of activity. Two weeks go by and… tumbleweeds. Before you know it, you realise your date has disappeared and will never be seen again.
Welcome to the 21st century dating conundrum: ghosting – when someone you’re dating decides to simply fade away, disappear without any explanation at all.
Here’s what to do when you’ve been ghosted:
Make sure you’ve actually been ghosted
Although it’s usually pretty clear when you’ve been ghosted, there is the small chance they could have been dealing with an emergency. So make sure you rule this out before immediately assuming.
Call them out on it
If you’re 100% sure, call them out on it. While it might not be appropriate in every case, even a short text message can be good practice of your assertiveness. It will help them understand the impact of their actions (or lack thereof) and hopefully make them think twice before doing it again in the future.
As relationship expert and author Charles J Orlando explains: “the fact that they didn’t get back in touch after putting in the beginnings of effort is a red flag. After all, it just takes a moment to communicate if something has changed for them. This is unacceptable behaviour in the dating world and needs to be called out.”
After you’ve gained closure by expressing what you need to, close all communication with this person. As tempting as it may be to drown them in hate texts and lurk their social media pages, deleting their number and every form of contact related to them is an act of empowerment that you owe to yourself.
Remember your self-worth and move on
Once you’ve closed all business with the ghoster, it’s time to pick yourself back up and move on. As Charles puts it: “If they vanish, it isn’t a reflection on you or your own worthiness of love,” says Charles. “They could have called and/or wrapped things up in a respectful manner. Maybe they had an emergency, maybe they didn’t feel the connection… maybe a million things, but that is all about them. YOU are still worthy… and sometimes the Universe takes away what you think you want to make room for what you actually deserve.”
Manage your expectations
The good news is that there is a way to prevent being ghosted – sort of. “In today’s technology-centric world, many people think they ‘know’ someone just because they have had a few conversations (and Googled them!),” says Charles. “But the truth is: getting to really know someone takes time, as people reveal who they are over the course of dating. The best way to ‘prevent’ ghosting is to manage your own expectations. Recognise that you are both getting to know each other… and some people – while nice at the beginning – aren’t worthy of a full investment.”
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