I don’t know when exactly it happened, but I think it’s safe to say that ghosting has become part of modern dating. The “Hey, I’m just going to go MIA” approach to ending a relationship has stopped being the exception to the rule and instead seems to have become the norm. It’s gotten to the point where I’m actually thoroughly impressed when someone takes the time to break up with me in the good old fashioned way – by, you know, actually breaking up with me.
However, just because ghosting is happening left, right and center doesn’t mean you have to let it ruin your dating life. When the person you’re dating suddenly disappears into thin air, it’s frustrating and hurtful, but you can still handle it with grace.
Remind yourself that it’s not about you.
When someone rejects you – even in a totally passive way like when they ghost – often our first impulse is to play the blame game. Ghosting usually incites reactions like, “What’s wrong with me?! Did I do something? No, really. What did I do wrong?” Here’s the simple answer: nothing. If someone decides to reject you, it’s not your fault. In fact, rejection often has more to do with the one doing the rejecting than the person on the receiving end. If someone chooses to ghost on you, that’s on them. Think about it: when you’ve ghosted on someone (come on – we’ve all done it), most of the time it isn’t because they’re this big, scary horrible person. It’s usually because we’re just not that into them and don’t really know what to say. So as much as ghosting sucks, it’s a waste of time to take it personally.
Understand that it’s all about fear.
Ghosting is all about fear. Sharing your feelings can be really, really scary – especially if it means you might hurt someone else’s in the process. People ghost on each other because they’re afraid of those moments of confrontation. No one wants to be the bad guy, so it’s easier to ghost than have an awkward conversation. Ghosting is about fear and avoidance. Theirs – not yours. Remember that.
Take the high road.
It’s natural to be pissed off when that person you were getting naked with last week has suddenly gone completely AWOL. You also might be tempted to send a passive aggressive text or 12 (“HEY JERK. THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW WE’RE BREAKING UP.”) While your anger is totally justified and you should stand up for yourself, engaging with the other person this way isn’t going to make you feel any better. I promise. Choose acceptance over creating drama. Remember: This is on them.
Be the bigger person.
If you must say something keep it short, sweet and mature. A simple, “Judging by the radio silence, it seems as though you’re not interested in dating anymore. That’s OK, however I would have appreciated you just being honest with me” text will go a lot further than unleashing your rage. Save that for a vent fest with your favourite lady friends that also includes bottomless mimosas. Trust me.
Let that stuff go.
Seriously. You’ll feel so much better if you take a cue from that toddler singing along to Frozen and just let. It. Go. What’s done is done. Dwelling on what happened will just hold you back – and you’re better than that.
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