Unless you’ve been hiding under a big rock lately, you will most likely have heard of “ghosting”. If you’re in the dating game and have only heard of the term rather than experienced it first-hand, consider yourself lucky. But in the opposite case, in the unlucky event you’ve been ghosted, there’s no reason to despair.
What To Do If You’ve Been Ghosted
There is no doubt that having someone remove themselves from your life all of a sudden and without any kind of explanation is a hurtful experience. But even for those of us who have been ghosted, there is a way to get over the bitterness and hurt that follow. These are the simple steps to take.
Step 1: Understand why you’re hurt. Most cases of ghosting happen with people we don’t know very well. Those who know us well are far less likely to pull a disappearing act, partly because they are part of our circle of friends and family and would be reluctant to do so even if they wanted to. So, one thing to consider is whether you’re unhappy because you miss the person who has ghosted you, or because your ego has taken a blow. If it’s just your ego, take comfort in the knowledge you’ll get over the pain soon – as soon as you get the attention you deserve again.
Step 2: Accept your pain. Whatever the cause, we should never deny ourselves of the right to feel pain. Even if the relationship was brief, even if it was an online relationship with someone you hadn’t had the chance to meet yet, you had probably invested in them and the potential future you could have together. Let yourself grieve for as long as you need to because to keep your suffering bottled up will only do more harm down the line.
Step 3: Discuss it with someone you trust. They say that a problem shared is a problem halved, and even though no one can feel your pain for you, putting your thoughts into words is therapeutic in itself. Moreover, a third person’s opinion is more removed and objective and could potentially help you see things from a different perspective.
Step 4: Treat yourself with love. Eating well, trying to sleep well, taking exercise and doing activities you enjoy show how much you care about yourself. Don’t let another person’s lack of respect for you make your self-esteem wane one bit. When you feel disrespected, make up for it by giving yourself even more respect than before. You may not be in the mood for much at first, but you are bound to feel a lot better in time.
Step 5: Get back on the horse. After you’ve allowed yourself the time to take stock of the situation and accept what has happened, you should not waste time moving on. Yes, you will worry it might happen again, and no, no one can rule out the possibility, but living in fear is no way to live one’s life. Every relationship involves a certain amount of risk and you will be forgiven for keeping some parts of yourself to yourself, but dating is another case of “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.
You may never understand why the person who ghosted you chose this kind of behavior, but, at the end of the day, how others treat us is not about who we are but about who they are.