There’s a reason they ghosted you. It may not be a reason that you like. It may not even be a good reason at all. Most people, however, have a reason for their behavior. Seeing and understanding this reasoning can be painful, but freeing too. When we are honest about what happened to us, we are empowered to recognize deeper aspects of ourselves. That’s the key to building the life we want and recovering from the painful experiences that hold us back.
What is ghosting?
If you’re someone who is in the trenches of the modern dating world, then you will have been roughly wooed by the act of ghosting. This occurs when someone we’re dating or getting interested in disappears (Sprecher, 1994). They stop calling and texting. We never see or hear from them again. Ghosting is a cowardly act, and one that is self-centered and toxic in nature. And when it happens, it can completely undermine our sense of self-worth and our desire to connect.
All the same, we can’t allow the ill-chosen behaviors of someone else to deter us from our truth. If romantic love is important to you, then it’s crucial you remain soft and open to love in the world. Understand the reasons behind ghosting, and you empower yourself to realize that it has little to do with you and everything to do with them. And that’s the truth. You have little to do with someone’s decision to walk away in poor faith. Stay focused on your journey and the worth you bring to the table.
Why they wanted to ghost you.
Still wondering why someone would walk away from you and never look back? Questioning whether you’ll ever be able to find yourself and a love worth working for? Some people choose the route of ghosting. And when they do, it forces us to question ourselves. They don’t necessarily do it to hurt, though. More often than not, the reasons are selfish are avoidant in nature.
They found something better
Listen, humans can be really self-centered. When push comes to shove, we want the best-of-the-best for ourselves — and that includes our intimate relationships. A ghosting incident sometimes results from this desire to have the best. Partners walk away into “greener pastures” when they think that someone else has something better to offer. This can be doubly true for the narcissistic relationship.
They didn’t think you were a fit
We’re not always a good fit for the people who we fall for. We may corner them and wrangle them into a date or two, but that’s hardly a guarantee of happily ever-after. Rather than letting us down gently, though, some potential love interests simply choose to walk away and disappear. It’s not right, but in the end, these ghosting affairs end up for the best. We don’t want the wrong person in our lives.
They didn’t have the courage
It’s not easy to break someone’s heart. Have you ever done it? Letting someone down doesn’t feel nice, even if it’s only a short time fling. That’s why some people avoid the discomfort and choose to disappear. Not only do they want to spare you the pain, they want to spare themselves pain too. Why do drama when I can just disappear is often a thought here. All the same, it’s ghosting. And that’s an entirely new kind of pain.
They aren’t a good person
Frankly, a lot of ghosters just aren’t good people. There’s no real hangup or insecurity behind it. They just don’t care about the feelings of other people. They don’t move from a place of compassion or “do no evil”. Bad people exist. And we fall in love with them too. Falling head over heels in love doesn’t change who a person really is, however. True colors always come through.
They learned some bad lessons
Some people ghost because they learned along the way that it was “okay” or normal. Maybe their parents were emotionally devoid of people who walked away from problems rather than dealing with them. Or maybe it’s something they’ve watched other friends use. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t make it right. And it certainly doesn’t lessen the hurt that makes us doubt ourselves and our worth as partners.
How to handle the crush of ghosting.
Have you been emotionally crushed by someone’s inconsiderate disappearance from your life? You’re not responsible for the pain they’ve decided to saddle you with. But you are responsible for healing. Don’t chase them. Boost your self-esteem, become your own ideal partner, and discover what it means to become a better, more adept dater.
1. Stop chasing them around town
Ghosting does nothing if not trigger major insecurity. For many, that means seeking some kind of closure (or at the very least a second chance to prove yourself). People have picked up the phone and called and texted obsessively. Others can take it even further by seeking out the person in their favorite or familiar places. This obsessive behavior is unhealthy, of course, and isn’t the most effective way to react. A ghoster won’t give you closure. You’ll have to manage that yourself.
Stop chasing them. If they ghosted you — let them disappear. Don’t show up at bars you think you might be at. Don’t ask your friends about them, or social media stalk them. They cut the cord. Let it be cut. Your focus now needs to be moving on.
When you chase that closure, or you try to force a second chance, you only make yourself look bad. Outside of desperation, you put all the power in their court and devalue yourself. As if that wasn’t awful enough, you also decrease any attraction or appeal you may have had. Primarily, that’s because you display bottomed-out self-esteem and a sense of insecurity that’s unsettling. To someone who is already engaged in the non-committal act of ghosting? This is a big no-no.
2. Become your own ideal partner
We spend so much time fantasizing about our “perfect partner” and how we want to feel about them. But we don’t often spend an equal amount of time imagining (and working toward) ourselves as the ideal partner for that person. Committed relationships are a give-and-take, and they require a balance of equal partners. You have to be able to give as good as you get. You need to become the ideal partner in order to attract the ideal partner.
The ideal partner will present themselves when you figure out that you need to have the best possible version of yourself to present. Weak people attract weak people. Putting yourself out there when you’re weak is going to attract more weak partners (and predators). If you want that sparkling person who would never ghost you, then you have to reach for an elevated version of yourself. You need to find peace. You must find yourself and put yourself on the correct path to a love that’s worthwhile for you.
3. Increase your dating knowledge
Thanks to movies and televisions, we see dating as an automatic, semi-magical process. We think that if we just “find the right person” the rest will fall into our laps. Things will go smoothly; we’ll ride off into the sunset at the end. I hate to break it to you, but meet-cutes rarely happen in the real world. Becoming a good dater is a skill. Finding the right partner is a skill. And avoiding ghosting in the future requires that we hone this skill (and our senses).
Build your dating muscle and learn more about this (somewhat) elusive skill. It’s not a one-size fits all equation. Some of us thrive by connecting slowly through slow-dating. While others get more connection through the thrill of digital dating. Picking the right environment (for you) is only a first step.
Once you’ve settled on the place you feel most successful and comfortable opening up, you need to flex that dating muscle. Get out there and talk to people, but while you do, learn everything you can. Take your interactions as lessons. Read everything you can about the new world of dating, and how you can connect more mindfully with people online and in the real world. Pursuing your comfort is key here. What makes it easy to open up. Start there and seek environments that align with your ultimate dating desires.
Putting it all together…
Have you been ghosted by someone you were really getting invested in? It hurts when someone makes the choice to walk away. It hurts even more when they leave us with no closure and no reasoning. All the same, we have to look past the pain and the dismissal to find our deeper strength within. Just because one person walks away from us does not mean that the next one will. Sheath yourself in a new sense of self-confidence and get out there again. Keep your heart and your mind open. True love is still around the corner — even if this person ghosted and walked away. Don’t harden your heart into the world. Fight for your softness and hold faith in your heart.
- SPRECHER, S. (1994). Two sides to the breakup of dating relationships. Personal Relationships, 1(3), 199-222. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.1994.tb00062.x
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