If you don’t know what being ghosted is, good for you. For the people who have experienced this, it’s a little bit different for everyone. Essentially it’s being blown off by a significant other, or someone you just started dating. In my case, it was someone I had been dating for a year. As an asexual individual, being ghosted hurts even more, because asexual people rarely date or experience sexual attraction. So, dating is already a struggle, but imagine breaking up with the one person you’re attracted to. Hopefully, this puts things in perspective a little bit. I thought I’d share a few tips that have helped me, and hopefully will help others who have experienced being ghosted.
1. Listen to whatever freaking music you want to.
If you’re in the mood to hear sad songs, bring it on! If not, don’t be ashamed that you keep replaying the same song over and over. Music helps us express ourselves when words can’t. If you need immediate relief from painful feelings, you should probably build a killer playlist. Pro tip: include both sad and happy songs in the same playlist for the moments when you experience mixed emotions. Don’t worry, a time will come when empowering music will help you feel better!
2. Take a social media break.
For some of us, this suggestion may feel impossible. I’m not saying that all social media is negative, but try to decrease the time spent on your phone. It’s likely that you’ll come across a picture of your ex and that will send you into a hate spiral. The best way to avoid this is to limit social media time. Instead of scrolling through Instagram, maybe play that silly cats game on your phone instead? The cats will help.
3. Watch badass movies.
One of the things that brings me comfort is finding other people that can relate to my experiences. If you’re not ready to face the world, you can find such people in your favorite movies and TV shows! When I watch movies that feature female characters being ghosted, it makes me feel less lonely. If she can get through it, so can I! Here are a few recommendations: Marianne Dashwood and Willoughby’s relationship in Sense and Sensibility, Rory and Jess in season three episode 22 of Gilmore Girls, Carrie and Berger in season six episode seven of Sex and the City, and that one time Chandler tried to ghost Monica before their wedding in season seven episode 24 of Friends.
4. Focus on not feeling guilty.
It’s easy to blame ourselves for everything that happens. However, this is never healthy because it’s impossible to be the cause of every problem! So why blame yourself? Try and think of this logically: it’s not always your fault. You’re the one being ghosted, not the person doing the ghosting. Nothing that you’ve done makes you deserve to be ghosted.
5. Don’t make excuses for the other person.
This is paired with blaming yourself. It’s okay to take the blame for what you did wrong, but never feel obligated to apologize for your ex’s mistakes. Don’t make excuses for why you deserve to be ghosted, because you don’t. Don’t be tempted to make excuses for someone else who doesn’t deserve your kindness. Ghosting is cruel, and anyone who doesn’t realize that isn’t worth your time.
6. Have a random dance party.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a good or bad dancer because news flash: you can dance while no one’s watching! Whenever I dance by myself, I instantly feel better. Blast your favorite song (or if you’re in a quiet hall be respectful and put on headphones first) and dance until you forget why you were upset in the first place. Get lost in the lyrics and try to clear your mind. You got this!
7. Try and remember a happy time when you were previously single.
If you can’t imagine yourself single, or just the thought of being single again makes you depressed, remember that you don’t need another person to validate your happiness. I try to remember that when I was a little kid I wasn’t dating and I was perfectly happy with my own company. We all had that time. Such moments are proof that you can be happy and single.
8. Relax with your girl gang.
There’s nothing better than hanging out with girlfriends. Go out if you want, but feel free to stay in and watch a movie with lots of snacks. Who knows? You might end up using this time to create more lasting friendships. Take comfort in your friends. If you don’t want to immediately confide in your friends, that’s okay too. Just let them know that you may need their support soon so they can prepare to give lots of hugs!
9. Pet a friendly animal.
I have gone home several times to pet my dog since my breakup. It has made a world of difference. Having that unconditional love has made me doubt myself less. Pets prove to us that we are worthy of being loved no matter what. If you don’t have a pet, go visit a friend’s!
10. Just do what you need to do to get better.
Don’t be afraid to cancel plans, write short replies to texts, or answer emails a little late. Unnecessary pressure is not what you need right now. Give yourself time to heal. Being unkind to yourself is not self-care! You deserve self-respect. If eating Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream while watching Disney Plus movies is what you have to do today, then do it!