With so many modern dating terms, it’s hard to keep up! But unfortunately, there’s one that we all know too well: ghosting. Maybe you’ve been a ghoster or ghostee, but no matter what, ghosting runs rampant in the online dating scene. The anonymity of dating apps has made it so much easier to ghost without a trace.
Not sure of the ghosting meaning? Don’t worry, we won’t ghost you. Keep reading and let us explain.
Ghosting, meaning not responding to someone’s calls or texts or just ignoring them without warning, can happen to anyone. Maybe it’s happened to you without knowing there’s an actual term for it. You could be one of the lucky ones who hasn’t been ghosted before date plans have been able to happen. Or maybe you’ve encountered the worst-case ghosting scenario: being ghosted on a date. (Like did they get lost on their way back from the bathroom or…?)
Ghosting can come in various forms and at different stages of dating or relationships. If you’ve matched with someone on an app and they suddenly stop responding to you, that’s ghosting. If you’ve gotten ghosted on first date where you’ve gone out with someone once and made plans to meet again but never heard from them after that, ghosting. If you try to contact them and they leave you without a response, you can consider yourself officially ghosted.
Sometimes you might think you’ve been ghosted, but it turns out not to be the case. Like if you text someone and they don’t respond to you until a few days later, then apologize for not getting back to you sooner. You might think someone is ghosting you if they haven’t texted or called you after a date, but maybe they’re waiting to hear from you first! These are a couple of scenarios where you might feel like you’re ghosted, but it could just be a miscommunication. Don’t be afraid to make the first move to reach out and check in.
It can be tough to deal with what just happened when you’re on the receiving end of ghosting. Maybe you made a date with someone you were super excited about, and your date doesn’t show up. No text or call to cancel, nothing! You call or text them to confirm plans, crickets. What gives? You can sit and ruminate on all the reasons why your date decided to ghost you, but that will get you absolutely nowhere.
Here’s what to do if you’ve recently experienced ghosting:
This is a “them” problem, not a “you” problem (read that again!). If they don’t have the emotional capacity to cancel a date or even send you a simple text on why they no longer want to date you, you might reconsider whether they’re someone you’d want to invest your time and energy in. Just know that you have no control over how this person feels, their circumstances, or what’s going on in their life. No matter what you do, don’t blame yourself for why they’re ghosting. The reason isn’t yours to decipher. Make your own closure and remember that ghosting is a major red flag and they might not be someone you want to date, period.
Don’t be hard on yourself about letting the ghosting get to you. When you’re into someone and they ghost out of nowhere, the reality is that it sucks! You’re trying to come to terms with the loss of all those hopeful thoughts of finally meeting someone you felt a connection with. Whether it’s only been a few dates, you haven’t met yet, or you’ve been dating for a while, your feelings are totally valid! Call a friend to vent your frustrations. Yell or cry alone in your room if you need to. Just make sure you don’t bottle up those feelings. Give yourself the room and time to accept it and move on.
Don’t try to bring this ghost back to life or demand that they explain themselves. You might feel like sending a text to teach them a lesson not to ghost anymore and air out how upset you are, but what good will that do you? In your mind, they’ll realize they messed up and reply to apologize, but this is rarely the case! Most of the time, a ghost will, yes, you guessed it, not reply to any of those messages. This will leave you hurt and confused all over again. This could also reinforce their decision to ghost if you react to them in an angry manner. If you think it will make you feel better to send one last message to get it out of your system, go for it, but prepare yourself to get no response again.
Most people get knocked down after ghosting and vow never to date again. This isn’t the answer! Instead, it can help to take a little break from dating to recharge and come back with a fresh perspective, but don’t swear off dating forever! Don’t let someone who ultimately wasn’t your match prevent you from finding someone else who won’t leave you ghosted before date night plans. This is all part of the process of dating and finding someone you connect with. This ideal person won’t leave you waiting. Instead, they’ll get a huge smile on their face every time they see your name pop up on your phone and will be thrilled to keep the conversation going. That’s the energy we’re looking for! Forget the rest.
Remember, there are great people out there who won’t leave your calls and texts unanswered! After being ghosted, take the time to rebuild your confidence and only get stronger from these dating setbacks. Your journey to find love will come with all the good and the bad of meeting new potential partners. Learn to embrace it!
If you’ve been ghosted and are looking for a way to start fresh with dating, we’re here for you! Heart Appeal is a community of other singles like you who’ve dealt with ghosting and everything else that comes with online dating. Together, along with our dating coaches, we’ll support you along the way to finding your forever love.
Hi, I’m Raghed!
Founder and lead relationship coach at HeartAppeal.
Our blog will be your new favorite place to go for advice, laughs, and comfort through all the stages of dating. We stay up-to-date on all the latest dating trends, so you don’t have to. Have a topic you’d like us to cover or a story you’d like to share with our community? Send me an email; we’d love to include it!