What To Do If You Think You’re Getting Ghosted

The excitement of a new relationship usually has us glued to our phones, constantly awaiting that next text back or a flirty Snap. However, even if we feel excited about pursuing a new love interest, they might not always feel the same. Suddenly, texts are going unanswered for hours at a time, or just never answered at all. Snapchats go unopened, Instagram likes unreciprocated, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to nail down a time to see them next. It’s happening—you might be getting ghosted.

Getting ghosted is a frustratingly new avenue of ending a relationship. Though social media has allowed people to connect on many different platforms, it also allows people to ignore others on many different platforms. And it's incredibly common, inspiring cultural phenomenons from Halloween costumes to a relationship exit survey.  In a 2016 survey done by Plenty of Fish, 78 percent of millennials between 18 and 30 said they had been ghosted. Though people may view ghosting as an easy way to end a short relationship, it's hard to go through the end of a budding relationship when you haven't seen the warning signs. If you think you're getting ghosted, all you want is to hear back from the person you're seeing—even if that means getting rejected, because at least that would be closure. 

Follow these tips if you want to get to the bottom of whether you’re being ghosted or not, and how to cope if you think you're being ignored in your new relationship. 

1. Put down the phone for a minute.

If you think you're getting ghosted, it might be time to live life off your phone for a few days. Though scrolling through social media can be a great way to keep up with friends and share your own life, it can simultaneously be a toxic presence in our lives, especially when you first start seeing someone. We attach so much meaning to whether or not we can get a text back, that it’s easy to become engrossed in it in a bad way. Getting a text or a DM should not be the ultimate validation of your new relationship, and the lack thereof should not be the automatic deal breaker. So take a technology break, focus on hanging out with your friends, and force yourself to go out and experience the world on your own.

Related: 7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Date Someone New

2. Be transparent with them about how you’re feeling.

After taking a technology break, you may want to understand why your crush suddenly went MIA. Try to figure out how you feel about the relationship first. If you feel positive about the relationship but think there is a lack of communication, you can attempt to approach them in a straightforward manner about feeling ignored. Whether you've been on only a few dates or have been seeing each other for a few weeks, being ignored is obviously not ideal. You totally have the right to tell them that you do not have the time to be treated like this. 

But how do you approach such a sensitive subject? If you've just started seeing this person, it can be hard to confront them when you barely know them. If you don't know how to completely express your feelings, you can start by shooting them a quick text briefly describing how you've been feeling recently, and ask them if they'd be willing to meet up to discuss your thoughts more. We don't recommend having the whole conversation over text, as ghosting is a complicated topic. Texts and feelings can easily be misconstrued, and it might leave one or both parties feeling offended. 

If you have just started seeing this person and you don't necessarily know that this lack of communication is out of character for them, you don't have to broach your insecurities about the growing relationship in your first text. You can simply ask to meet up and hang out as usual, and go from there. If you're a bit farther along in your new relationship and this brake check is new for you, feel free to be more direct in your first text and mention they've been distant.

If you text your new S.O. and they don't end up reciprocating the same willingness to communicate, it might be a sign they are trying to ghost you. If they don't seem enthusiastic about trying to fix the situation, there might be an outside situation going on that is affecting their inability to be in a relationship. If they're dodging your texts to meet up, and if you feel comfortable enough, you can eventually send them a text asking them if they would like to end the relationship. In that sense, you would be getting closure rather than radio silence. 

3. Encourage them to share their perspective.

If they do agree to meet IRL or they’re being chatty over text, ask them to share how they’re feeling about the relationship, and allow them the proper time to explain their side too. Maybe they’ve been caught up in a personal issue they didn’t feel comfortable sharing with you, or they have been super busy with their work or school life. Whatever the explanation is, exercise the patience for them to tell their side – and then evaluate. It may seem like you're getting ghosted, but there could be a variety of explanations why your potential love interest isn't replying to all of your texts. 

If you believe they are telling the truth, you should make clear what the exact expectations for communication are in your relationship and try to move forward. If you have different views on the appropriate rules for communication in a new relationship, find a happy medium. Your crush may not be a good texter or active on social media, but that shouldn't stop you from pursuing a relationship. As long as you both compromise on a set of ground rules, you will feel clear on where your relationship is going.

One thing to keep in mind as you're trying to decide whether or not your crush is giving you another chance: There’s a chance they’re ghosting you because they might legitimately not be interested in pursuing a relationship with you anymore. If that’s the case, you have to accept that. While ghosting is not the best way to end a new relationship, pursuing them constantly for an explanation won't help you feel better. If you're feeling ignored and upset, know that it isn't your fault that the relationship ended the way it did. If the person you're seeing decides to ghost you, that says more about them than it does about you. 

4. Call them out on their BS (if absolutely necessary).

Unless you have an extremely high tolerance for this kind of rejection, if you are truly getting ghosted, you will probably be pissed off. It may feel good to give your crush a piece of mind, but use this tactic sparingly. Do not call someone out if you have not even given them the chance to share their side of the story yet. Do give them the respect to attempt to explain away their miscommunication, but if their explanations are lazy and they clearly do not care about you or your new relationship, you can definitely let them know how that made you feel. You shouldn't be rude, but you can be upfront in saying that their actions were disrespectful of your time and your heart. Honestly, just saying the words, "Your actions hurt my feelings and they were unacceptable," can really make you feel better and also help the person understand the weight of their actions. 

If you try to confront them and they are giving you lackluster responses or one-word answers, do not get too worked up. It's easy to give way to hurling insults when someone seems to not care, but at that point, you need to walk away from the situation to take care of yourself. If they're not giving you the time you need, you don't need to give them extra time. 

Related: 7 Things You Should Do Immediately After a Breakup

5. Give yourself time to recover. 

Whether the relationship was two weeks or two months, getting ghosted sucks no matter what phase of the relationship you were at. Give yourself some extra TLC and remember that absolutely nothing is wrong with you. It’s easy to think that you must have done something to drive your crush away. The truth is, ghosting is an immature way to end a relationship, and it reflects much more on them and how they choose to deal with conflict than it reflects on you. 

If you feel like you're alone in getting ghosted, you're not. As described by college junior Mirit, being ghosted is never satisfying. “Being ghosted is really disheartening because you have imagined that your relationship is heading somewhere that clearly isn’t reciprocated. At first, I was confused. I tried to figure out what it was I did or said that would have made him not answer me. I was direct and reached out just to prove that there wasn’t a lapse in communication on my part," she explains. "After a little while, when it became really obvious that he wasn’t going to answer, it was easy to move on. It was simple knowing that I had made an effort and he was the one who was too immature to at least answer my message." 

If you think your new crush is attempting to phase you out through unanswered texts and missed calls, don’t feel as if you have to refrain from being direct with them! Be firm and respectful when you tell them how you are feeling, but also allow them to share their side of the story. If it's simply a miscommunication, you can work on strengthening the burgeoning relationship. But if they're simply not showing their interest anymore, leave the relationship in the past—you’ll only move on to bigger and better things.