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Sex + Relationships

Getting Over Getting Ghosted

DISCLAIMER: I really did get ghosted and even though I’m still kind of mad about it, I am not going to name him or trash him. You know who you are. And if for some reason you are reading this magazine for women, please don’t do this to other girls. Unless, of course, you intend to be alone forever.

A few weeks ago, a guy I had been talking to and seeing for a while just stopped talking to me out of nowhere. The common term for this is getting ‘ghosted,’ in that they disappear without warning or explanation, like a ghost. I use these lackadaisical terms to define our relationship because neither one of us wanted to date at the moment. I had just gotten out of a relationship and wasn’t looking to get into another one. He just didn’t want to commit. I’m assuming because he wanted to leave the option of ghosting me on the table, or because he is scared of commitment, like most men.

If this hasn’t happened to you, you’re lucky to not have to experience it yet, but unfortunately, you’re likely too, especially if you’re single and dating around. If you have experienced this, then you know how it tears down your self-esteem and makes you hate all men. As you can probably tell from my tone, I’m not entirely past it, but here’s how I coped with it.

“It’s his loss, not yours”

My friends kept telling me this, and I told myself this too; that if he treats women like this then I don’t want to be with him, in a relationship or otherwise. Although this is 100% true, it’s not exactly just his loss, is it? Even though he ghosted me, he still treated me well while I was seeing him, and I liked him enough to talk to him. So this mantra didn’t really work for me. What did work was “You deserve better”, because I do. Realizing that I can’t rely on men to ensure that I get treated with respect put me in a place where I began to be mad at him rather than being sad about him leaving me. People ghost others because they lack the communication skills, respect, decency, or gusto to say to their partner that they don’t want to see them anymore. And getting ghosted hurts so bad because the ghostee is left with no closure, wondering about what they might have done to make this happen.

This is not about how you look

The first place my mind went to when I realized I wasn’t going to get a reply was, “He got tired of me”, “I’m not attractive enough to hold his attention”, “He’s gone on to a prettier girl”. I wouldn’t call myself an insecure girl. I would even venture to say I’m confident, but my self-esteem was at an all-time low after getting ghosted. Although I seem childish and potentially a little unhealthy, what made me feel more confident was thinking about all the unattractive or nasty things about him. Once I was madder at him than myself, I was ready to hype myself further by going out and having a good time.

Getting dressed and looking my most attractive made me feel more confident, enough to try to get over him. So, I went out to the Midtown bars with my best girlfriend, and I flirted hard with guys. Feeling my looks validated by others not only made me feel attractive again, but it also abated my irrational fear that I was going to be alone for the rest of my life. This goes with getting broken up with (which has also happened to me), once a person no longer wants to be with you makes you feel like you won’t be loved or wanted by anyone else ever. Breathe. Relax. You’re young and you will find someone who not only treats you right but won’t ghost you.

Perhaps having other guys hit on me isn’t the healthiest way to get over a guy, but hey, this isn’t an article about the healthiest ways to cope, it’s about how I did it.

Although I wouldn’t classify getting ghosted as “breaking up,” it definitely feels that way, therefore rebounding is a stellar way to get over him.

Lean on your female friends

No, I’m not talking about having some girl-power sleepover, estrogen fest where you eat exorbitant amounts of ice cream and cry on your bathroom floor (I say that like I don’t do exactly that). I’m talking about just talking to your female friends about this experience, because chances are they have gone through the same thing. When I got ghosted, I didn’t really want to talk about it because I felt so stupid. I knew going into this that getting ghosted was a real possibility, so I felt like an idiot for falling prey to some guy. Of course, my female friends all had experienced something similar, and they were all supportive and didn’t make me feel bad. Why should I blame myself for something that he decided to do to me?

You will need these friends for the next step, mainly to take your phone away from you and lock you in your room.

To text him, or not to text him

When I got ghosted all I wanted to do was to text him, partly because I wanted to talk to him, but mainly because I had this irrational thought that maybe he just didn’t see my text or maybe he doesn’t know that I want to see him. None of that is true, and luckily my best girlfriend was there to prevent me from doing that. All you’re going to get from texting him is either getting blocked because he’s tired of seeing your messages, or he’s going to think you are clingy and then he’s definitely not going to talk to you.

This was the hardest part for me because I am a straightforward person. If I want to see you, I will just say that and invite you over. But I can’t do that once the guy starts ghosting me cause then I’m never going to get what I want.

I don’t have a lot of social media accounts and I’m not one to stalk guys on Instagram (no shade to girls that do) but try to avoid doing this either. Seeing his face or the face of whoever he is seeing next, even over a phone screen, is more painful than wondering what he’s doing. It will also make it way harder to get over him if you keep thinking about him.

To go back to him, or not to go back to him

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) when guys tend to ghost girls they will usually show up or hit you up a few weeks of a couple months later out of the blue, wanting to hang out or talk or whatever. Usually, I find, it’s because the girl they were talking to isn’t interested or their alone and bored. You have a couple options here. You could go back to them, hang out, hook up, whatever. This is an option. I’m a fan of using men for sex. I mean they do it to girls, so why not do it to guys, right! Be careful here though. Don’t go back into that situation thinking he now has feelings for you, because he most likely doesn’t. Option number two: you could say “no, screw you, you had your chance”. This is hard when you really want to see him, or you have this glimmer of hope that he really likes you. He doesn’t, he probably just wants sex. If he really likes you, he wouldn’t have ghosted you. You deserve better.

People ghost others because they lack the communication skills, respect, decency, or gusto to say to their partner that they don’t want to see them anymore. And getting ghosted hurts so bad because the ghostee is left without closure, wondering if it was something they did. It’s not. You are just the unfortunate recipient of someone else’s problems.

Delaney is a fourth year English major at the University of Florida, with a focus on children's and young adult literature. Her favorite articles to write are book reviews and anything about women's issues, including writing about her often disastrous college dating life. When she isn't reading vampire novels or sipping tea, she can be found buying second-hand clothes or baking cookies.
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