Here’s How You Can Protect Yourself Against Ghosting

No one wants to get ghosted. It’s one of the most dreadful dating trends these days and it can happen in the early days of a relationship or after months of being with someone. Although ghosting can make you feel like a victim, there are ways to protect yourself and reduce your chances of it happening to you. Here are 11 to consider.

  1. Keep a keen eye on his actions rather than his words. He might be showering you with attention, but is he being genuine? Instead of getting swept up in a new romance, try to keep an eye on his actions. A guy who’s going to ghost you in future probably won’t be consistent.
  2. Watch those mixed signals. No, he’s not just “being a guy” when he doesn’t stick to his usual texting patterns. If he seems hot and cold with you (and not just when it comes to texting), the guy’s giving you an early warning sign that he’s flaky. Believe it before he disappears on you.
  3. See how he behaves about the future. If you’ve been together for a while, see how your guy behaves and what he says when you talk about the future. If he seems to become a bit worried, quiet, or he changes the subject, then beware. Maybe he doesn’t see a future with you and he doesn’t have the courage to tell you. Ghosters are cowards!
  4. Don’t rush through the milestones. Sometimes when a guy’s love-bombing you, he’ll come on really strong. He’ll tell you he loves you and wants to be with you ASAP and he’ll rush to those commitment milestones. Instead of rushing, take your time. Sometimes just after commitment, a ghoster will disappear on you. It’s like he self-destructs. You obviously don’t need to think that by slowing down you can prevent him from getting freaked by commitment — please, he’s got those issues and you can’t change him — but taking things slowly does help by giving you more time to see what he’s really about before you invest in the relationship.
  5. Ask him a lot of questions. Don’t skim over the “getting to know each other” phase. By asking the guy lots of questions early on, you can spot any red flags. For instance, does he say that he hates marriage or he’s usually not into serious relationships but you’ve changed that? Those require digging a little deeper to uncover his thoughts and reasons.
  6. Be wary of guys who believe in soulmates. While you might think someone’s your destiny and there’s something romantic about that, be wary of guys who believe in it a little too much. A study published in the Journal Of Social And Personal Relationships found that people who have stronger beliefs about destiny are 60% more likely to ghost on partners and see it as an okay way to end a relationship. Yikes.
  7. Don’t try to change him. You’ve spotted some red flags. Great. But are you using them to help you get out of a relationship that can be bad for you, or are you turning a blind eye to them? If you’re doing the latter, you might think you’ll work on changing the guy. Um, don’t. Not only is that a waste of your time, but he might still end up ghosting you. The trick is to get out before he has a chance to hurt you so badly.
  8. See the person’s flaws. It’s a good idea to see the person’s flaws as soon as possible. It’s tempting to want to fall for an idea of someone, but that can just get you into trouble. You might wake up one morning and say, “Damn, I didn’t see any signs that he was going to ghost me.” Maybe that’s because you were only trying to see what you were hoping to see. By keeping a level head and analyzing his behavior, as well as seeing what his flaws are, you’ll help to guard your heart.
  9. See how he treats others. You can learn a lot about a guy by how he treats others in his life, and not just his mama. Does he end friendships by ghosting on his friends? Does he laugh about his actions with you? Don’t laugh along. If he can treat other people in such a heartless way, what’s preventing him from doing the same thing to you in the future?
  10. Pay attention to his silly stories. If the guy told you some interesting tales early on in your relationship that you thought sounded a little OTT and unlikely, then he might end up ghosting you. How else would he deal with you confronting him about all that BS he tried to sneak past you, like that he was a professional athlete when he wasn’t even a sporty person or that he’s an entrepreneur when he’s really a lazy SOB? Sooner or later, those lies will come out.
  11. He hasn’t actually said what he wants. You might want a serious relationship but are you sure the guy wants the same thing? You might just assume so, but not being 100% sure can cause trouble. For example, if he’s thinking you’re just going to have a hookup or fling and then freaks out when he thinks you’re getting too attached. Of course, you’re not the problem because you’re not “too much” or “too clingy” – he just hasn’t made his intentions clear. But the trick is to talk about your relationship wants and goals ASAP so that if he’s going to be a man-child he can be on his merry way and leave you out of it, before ghosting you.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.