What It Really Means When You Get A Text From A Guy Who Ghosted You

You finally got over your anger and rejection over the guy who disappeared on you out of nowhere… and then he throws a curveball your way by coming back to life and texting you weeks or months after he went AWOL. The message is likely to read, “Hey” or “Been thinking of you.” WTF? Here’s what’s really going on with him and what you should do about that text from the guy who ghosted you.

  1. He’s broken up with someone. Or he got dumped. Either way, he figures that since he always got a nice ego stroke from you as well as a bit of fun, you’re the perfect candidate to boost his mood. So he’ll chat with you via text for a few hours and think nothing of it. Meanwhile, you’re wracking your brain wondering what it all means. Honestly, it means nada.
  2. He wants to make a huge commitment… with someone else. Before taking the next big step in his current relationship, the guy might have been hit by a wave of nostalgia. Perhaps you’re the big “What if?” of his relationship history and he’s missing you even though he’s getting engaged tomorrow. Missing you? Really? Of course he’s missing you — he’s the one who didn’t have the guts to ask you out and see what could happen. Any missed opportunities he’s crying crocodile tears over are his own doing. Jerk.
  3. He’s lonely. This is probably the most likely scenario for his spontaneous return. The guy is spending quality time with Netflix, perhaps down with a bad case of flu on a Saturday night when he sees your name on his contacts list. He decides to have a distraction from how crummy he’s feeling and maybe even a bit of sexting. That’s sure to perk him up. Player alert! Any guy who wants to sext after pulling a disappearing act on you needs to get blocked.
  4. He wants no-strings-attached fun. If he texts you late at night and you respond, he might want more than a sexting session. He’ll probably launch into, “Wanna come over now?” Obviously the dude thinks he can just pop in and score a booty call since you were so into him. How convenient. Tell him you’ll be there in 10 minutes and then don’t pitch and never answer his texts again.
  5. He’s clearly bored. He’s sitting at the airport waiting for his delayed flight or he’s stuck in nightmarish traffic, so he fires off a text to you in the hope that conversation will make the time go faster. You’ll see this by how his texts might quickly become one-word answers as though he’s making the minimal effort. Because he is. He doesn’t really want a full-blown convo — he just needs a casual chat with no strings before his attention is pulled elsewhere. You can bet that he’ll disappear again once his flight gets called.
  6. He’s fishing for gossip. Sometimes guys will just check in with you every now and then to see what’s happening with you. They’ll ask you lots of questions to get a bit of gossip because they haven’t chatted with you in a while and you unfriended them on Facebook so they can’t read the juicy news you’ve been posting. The funny thing is that they might not even answer their own questions. This isn’t a sharing session, so don’t be mistaken — it’s all one-sided for his own entertainment purposes, which is all the more reason not to answer that text from the guy who ghosted you.
  7. He’s keeping his options open. The fact that he disappeared shows that he wasn’t interested enough to stick around, but that doesn’t mean he’s not keen on keeping his dating options open. I mean really, if he ghosted you, why else would he still have your number? By popping in and saying hi, he’s really just testing the waters to see if you’re still interested. It’s a nice ego boost for him to know that you’re available if he really wants you, which he never does.
  8. He wants a real shot with you. OK, so there’s always the chance, however tiny, that he regrets ghosting you and wants to make something work between you. If this is the case though, his actions will show it. He’ll apologize to you and explain what had happened and why he should deserve a second chance. But come on, is there ever a good enough reason for him running off like that? You don’t need to waste any more time or texts on an emotionally-challenged man who’ll probably just do it again.

Should you respond to a text from the guy who ghosted you?

If you actually liked the guy before he walked out of your life without notice, you might be tempted to message him back in the hopes of rekindling the spark that was there all that time ago. However, doing so might not be in your best interest. Before you decide to reach out and start chatting with him again, you should probably remember a few important points so you don’t end up disappointed yet again.

  1. He’s likely to be a repeat offender. If he ghosted you once, what’s to say he won’t do it again? Generally speaking, guys who ghost women don’t do it just once and never again. He’ll be used to getting to know women and then simply disappearing when he realizes he’s not feeling it or that he’s had enough. It avoids awkwardness and means he gets to be a coward and never has to tell you honestly that he’s not into you. What happens if you start talking again and he realizes for a second time that he doesn’t want to be with you? Ghosted: Part 2.
  2. He doesn’t respect you or your time. A guy who ghosts you clearly doesn’t respect you or your time. You’re a busy woman with a lot going on, so the fact that you were investing your time and energy in this guy was a big deal. He obviously didn’t think so, which is why it was so easy for him to just walk away without a second thought. The fact that he had so little regard for you likely hasn’t changed, and that doesn’t bode well for any possible relationship.
  3. He didn’t like you enough not to disappear. If he was into you, he would have stayed. You wouldn’t be getting a text from the guy who ghosted you months down the line claiming to be interested in meeting up again. If he was sure about you and really interested in becoming invested in you and a possible relationship, he wouldn’t have gone AWOL. It really is as simple as that. Now he’s come back because what, he’s bored? He’s suddenly had an epiphany and decided you’re okay after all? No thanks, dude.
  4. You can’t trust his intentions. Again, the fact that he found it so easy to ghost you but now has no qualms coming back to you, acting like nothing ever happened, and wanting to pick up where you left off is shady as hell. What’s changed since the time he disappeared? Why is he suddenly trying to get back into your life now? You’ll never fully be able to trust that he’s talking to you because he truly likes you, and that alone is enough of a reason to not even go there.

How to deal with hearing from a guy who went AWOL

There’s really only one thing to do when you get a text from a guy who ghosted you: ignore him. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that anything will be different the second time around or that because you’re lonely and tired of being single, any attention is good attention. It won’t be and it’s not. Don’t try and tell yourself it’s rude not to respond — it’s rude to ghost someone and that didn’t stop him.

If you do decide to answer his text, start by telling him that ghosting is unacceptable and that you don’t appreciate being discarded so easily. Either he’ll be contrite if he sincerely regrets his behavior or he’ll get so annoyed at being told off, he’ll disappear all over again and you won’t have to deal with him anyway.

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.