Ever been stood up for no reason after going on some great dates over the past few weeks? Maybe you’ve been dating for a few months, and suddenly you don’t hear anything back. Perhaps you’re hitting it off super well with a new love interest, and then they stop texting back. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in dating today.
There are some fantastic benefits of our increasingly digital world. One of these is that we can more easily connect with new people (including new love interests). But, with the newly found ease of connecting with people, it’s also way easier to disconnect. A sudden disconnect like this is often referred to as “ghosting” today, and it can happen in friendships, romantic relationships, or any other type of relationship. Ghosting can also happen in online or in-person connections, and it can happen at any point in a relationship as well.
Why Does Ghosting Hurt So Much?
All breakups hurt, but why does ghosting feel like it hurts so much? Being ghosted leaves us with so many questions and worries — which, coincidentally, is the reason why it hurts so much. We don’t know why. We don’t know if our new love interest has simply been busy at work and will get back to us when their schedule cools down. We don’t know if they’ve had a family issue come up and need to take care of themselves and their family first. We don’t know if we did something to make them upset or uncomfortable with us.
This uncertainty is what hurts so bad. Simply being ignored and cut out of a relationship like that is extremely challenging for us. In a way, being ghosted is like taking the “silent treatment” to an extreme. If you’ve ever had to suffer through being ignored by someone you know in this way, then you know that the powerlessness you feel when you are ignored can be an incredibly harsh blow to your self-esteem.
How to Get Over Being “Ghosted”
Getting over a breakup of any kind — even if you were just hitting it off — is hard. It can take time and may be painful, but there are some things you can do that can help you feel better even if you’ve been ghosted.
Don’t Blame Yourself
When we feel hurt, it is too easy to blame ourselves or feel like it was somehow our fault. Realistically, most of the time, people hurt us when they are hurt themselves. Unfortunately, we can’t control how other people act, but we can control how we react. Rather than blaming ourselves and trying to figure out what we could have done to make them not ghost us, realize that they ghosted you because of their own problems. And in reality, that just isn’t something you can control.
Don’t Waste Your Energy
We know this might sound a little mean, but if someone has ghosted you, they are not worth the energy you take trying to figure out what went wrong. If they do not know how to communicate healthily, even in the early stages of dating or being in a relationship, they aren’t going to get any better at it in a long-term relationship. Now, this is not to say that they can’t change and get better at communicating, but when it comes to a relationship with you, they had their chance, and they took the cowardly way out.
Really, this comes down to knowing your own worth and realizing that you deserve better than that. So, don’t spend your time or energy thinking about someone who doesn’t value you as much as you should be valued.
Spend Extra Time on Self-care
Need some help remembering just how awesome you are? Hello, relaxing spa day, tranquil walk through your neighborhood, cup of delicious hot chocolate, movie marathon, or night out with friends. Or, if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, why not all of them? Okay, self-care is more than just doing the things you enjoy, but let’s be honest, a little time pampering ourselves never hurts.
Take this time to focus on giving your mind and body what it needs. Maybe that means more time with friends or family, or perhaps it means a new hobby. Just check in with yourself and see what you can do to reaffirm that to yourself, you are the top priority.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Sometimes, setting boundaries can be scary. It can make us feel “needy” or “high maintenance.” But, let’s get one thing clear, boundaries are what keep us sane. Without boundaries, we would become quickly overwhelmed and unable to live our daily lives. In other words, there is nothing “needy” about setting boundaries. So, make a boundary for yourself here. Block the person who has ghosted you. Do not spend your time thinking about someone who didn’t even tell you why they left. No unwanted guests living rent-free in our heads over here!
Spend Time with Your Loved Ones
It does not feel good to be ghosted. When someone leaves without telling us why it can make us question our own value. On the other hand, spending time with loved ones can help us easily see how appreciated and valued we are. So, if you’re feeling down about being ghosted, stop by and visit your family. Call up your brother or sister. Schedule lunch with your best friend or even a group of friends.
Spend time with people who value you for who you are. Don’t spend time thinking about the people who don’t see how much you bring to your relationships and the world around you.
Let It Out
Sometimes, you just need to vent. Sometimes, you aren’t going to feel better about something until after you’ve talked about it. While family and friends can provide a great ear (and sometimes some amusing advice), if you are really having trouble getting over someone ghosting you, you may want to seek professional help. Therapists are trained mental health professionals who can provide a safe and non judgemental space and help you get back on your feet and back out in the world.