Once You’ve Been Ghosted, You’ll Never Date The Same Way Again

Of all the ways to break up with someone, ghosting has to be one of the worst. Being totally fine with someone one day and then disappearing without warning the next day is hurtful no matter what stage of the relationship you were at. Sometimes, it can be downright traumatizing. If you’ve been ghosted before, these are some ways it’s probably shaken you up:

  1. You don’t know if it was something you did. Probably the most frustrating thing about having a guy vanish into thin air is wondering what the hell you did wrong. Your friends will all tell you he’s just a jerk and of course it wasn’t your fault, but the doubt still lingers that you’re the one who “made” him leave. You probably have a pretty good idea if it was something you did, but you’ll never know for sure.
  2. You’re always waiting for him to text you out of the blue again. When someone ghosts you, it’s not like he told you straight up that he wasn’t interested in you. So you consider that maybe he’s just busy and wants to bench you for awhile. Part of you accepts that he’s gone for good, but another part of you wonders if he’ll text you back the second you delete his number, leaving you wrestling with whether to give him another chance or not.
  3. It becomes harder to open up. When you’ve been dropped without so much as a casual goodbye, you start to feel wary about dating. You don’t want to give it your all, only to be treated like you don’t matter. You start holding back more and have a harder time making a real connection. You’re just trying to protect yourself, but that just causes a whole new list of problems.
  4. You have a harder time trusting people. There’s no reason to expect a guy you’ve been on a couple dates with to ever contact you again. He doesn’t owe you anything, right? At least, that’s the attitude you start to have after you’ve been ghosted. After all, if a guy you DID trust could practically evaporate from your life in an instant, anyone can.
  5. You feel humiliated. You just introduced him to all your friends and then you never hear from him again. People are asking what happened, but you have no idea. There’s no reason to be embarrassed; you did nothing wrong. But that’s easier said than done.
  6. You’re scared of making a fool of yourself. How many unanswered texts should you send before you give him a call? How long should you give him the benefit of the doubt before it’s clear he’s ghosting you? There are too many rules and too many exceptions to the rules to ever know the best course of action. Worse, there are so many ways you can end up looking like a crazy person when you’re trying to figure out if you’ve been ghosted.
  7. You’re constantly on edge. The new guy you’re seeing hasn’t texted you back in three hours. This isn’t like him. He usually responds right away. Has he lost interest? Is he just really busy at work? Is he even alive?! You’ll feel overly paranoid when he eventually texts you back, but if it happens again, you know you’ll feel the exact same way. You can’t help it — you’re constantly thinking that every message he sends you could be his last.
  8. You become even more bitter about dating. As if it wasn’t hard enough to find someone you connect with, you now have to reconcile yourself to the fact that there are people out there who might treat you like a princess one day and then completely disappear the next day. You’re putting effort into giving people a chance, and it’s hurtful and frustrating when that gets thrown in your face.
  9. You feel helpless. You can’t control how someone else feels about you. You don’t get to decide how he dumps you, either. If he suddenly forgets you exist and you never hear from him again, that’s not on you. But accepting that powerlessness is always a tough pill to swallow.
  10. You consider being the ghoster next time. Before, you would have never even considered ghosting an option for breaking up with someone. Now, though, you might start to wonder if it would be the best option to protect yourself if you felt like things weren’t going to work out with a guy. At least that way you’d have control, and it would stop him from doing the same thing to you. You know from experience that it sucks to be on the receiving end, but at least it would stop you from dealing with the same crap again.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to Bolde.com, contributes regularly to AmongMen.ca, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.