What do you do when you’ve been ghosted? Ignore it and move on or force a confrontation?
Well I guess it all depends on how you want things to play out and what your perfect end goal would be. If you’re hoping for a misread of the situation you might do things differently than if you were trying to burn a bridge.
First let’s just be clear about what I mean by Ghosting. Ghosting is the sudden disappearance of a potential romantic interest. People can only ghost you if you’ve actually met before.If your Tumblecupid conversations never amounts to a date and they suddenly stop messaging you, you’re being ignored, not Ghosted. If they reject you by being direct and then cut off contact, that’s not being Ghosted, that’s just a rejection. Ghosting needs a few things to happen for it to be considered ghosting:
- A date has to have occurred
- No explicit rejection given
- The person being ghosted has to have been the last person to initiate contact/conversation
- Contact is cut off suddenly, and without warning
The biggest problem with ghosting isn’t that it’s rude, it’s the doubt it can inspire. Yes, the fact that you’ve been ghosted is easy to see if it’s been 6 months without a response to a text, but what about 6 hours? In that time, you can’t know for sure if the person is just done. 6 hours too short a time you say, that’s fair, what about within 1 day, or 2 days, or 3 days? The longer the period of time between when you were ghosted and the present makes things clear, but the doubt in those first few days is the worst kind of doubt. You play through all the ways that you could be wrong about having been ghosted:maybe their phone died, maybe their dog died, maybe they’ve just been really busy. Then you play through all the reasons why they would want to abruptly cut off contact: maybe their ex is back in the picture, or they just don’t want to date in general, or you offended them, and so on. Doubt, “Why?”, “What if?”, and “I need to prove myself” are like the 4 Horseman of the Dating Apocalypse, and Ghosting is the horse Doubt rides in on.
Enough metaphors, let’s talk about what to do when you’re ghosted. Honestly, it depends on your desired result. Let’s say it’s a friend of a friend who ghosted you. You know it, they know it, but there’s a mutual friend in the mix so maybe you don’t want to go full on confrontation mode. In that case, ignore the ghosting or call them on it and say something along the lines of “Hey, haven’t heard from you, cool if you aren’t interested, all the best”. It leaves the door open for them to save face, you come off as not a pushover but not confrontational, and you get to take the high-road when you screenshot this message to your mutual friend like “Yeah your friend is a dick, but no big deal, water under the bridge”. If you’re thinking of going full on confrontation, with humor, I’d suggest taking a tip from the New York Cliche blog, specifically the MARY LANE: GHOST HUNTER post. I kind of want to get ghosted by someone so I can use those texts verbatim. It might be the best way to confront a Ghoster I’ve ever seen if I’m being honest. If you want to reach out in a way that leaves the door open for them to come back around if they have a change of heart, you can either say nothing, or say that the door is still open. I wouldn’t normally recommend it but you know what, I’m feeling optimistic today so screw it, no need to create finality for all of your relationships. Leave that door open, yes Ghosting sucks, but what if this is the right person, but just the wrong time. Anything is possible.
With that said, I want to acknowledge something. Ghosting sucks. It really sucks. sometimes people don’t get that although you’ve met a person once, or even a few times, it feels like so much more has happened between you both. You may have gone on one date, but your conversations before, during, and after that date may have meant more to you than the last person or person you dated for a few months. I know that I come off as wholly indifferent and very much “just move on, it’s not a big deal” sort of person, and I am, but I do know that having a budding connection cut without warning is sometimes worse than just having 10 mediocre first dates. It sucks to have something promising snatched away without warning, and that’s what Ghosting is.
The bright side of Ghosting is that it frees you up to meet someone new. I can promise you that Demi Moore’s character in Ghost definitely met someone after being literally ghosted, and you probably can too. You wont even need a kiln to do it.
Good Luck Out There.