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Being ghosted is a horrible feeling.
When someone you’ve been seeing just stops answering your texts one day, with no explanation, you’re never sure what to think.
It takes a little while for you to realize you’re being ghosted.
First, you might just wonder why they’re not answering you as quickly as they usually do.
Then, you might start worrying about whether something has happened to them.
But as the days go by, you come to terms with the fact that, rather than telling you they want to end things, they’ve chosen to give you the silent treatment.
You’re left wondering what you did wrong.
Your self-esteem can take a big hit.
You don’t get the closure you’d like.
It takes you a while to accept what’s happened, and once you have, it can be hard to come to terms with, as they never gave you a reason.
Sure, they would have probably spun you a “It’s not you, it’s me” line even if they had sent you a message or ended things face to face.
But at least you’d have been able to draw a line under it and put it behind you, rather than spend weeks wondering what on earth happened.
On the whole, ghosts remain just that. They never darken your doorway again.
But some ghosts occasionally come back from the dead.
What do you do when someone you liked in the past who went radio silent on you suddenly pops back up on your screen?
If they’ve emerged from your WhatsApp archive folder (where you’d conveniently hidden them away so you didn’t have to see their name and could try to forget all about them), you’re probably wondering what your next move should be.
Once a ghoster, always a ghoster?
Is ghosting an unpardonable crime?
Or is it sometimes justifiable, and even forgivable?
Should you welcome them back to the land of the living with open arms, or should you be highly skeptical of their ghosting ways?
Could you ever have a future with some who ghosted you?
Here are some things to think about if this should ever happen to you.
1. Think about whether it’s worth responding.
If someone gets in touch with you after having ghosted you, the temptation to respond and find out what happened and why they’ve gotten back in touch can be overwhelming.
But think about whether it’s really worth it.
If you have no interest in rekindling things, have drawn a line under it and don’t feel like you need closure, or really suffered when they ghosted you, you could just leave their message unanswered and ghost them right back.
You don’t owe them anything, and you need to be kind to yourself.
So if you think that it would be better for your state of mind just to leave things, then that’s fine.
2. Consider whether you’ve ever been guilty of ghosting.
So, you really quite liked this person before they ghosted you.
But now your pride is telling you not to even give them the time of day.
Before you completely rule out having anything to do with this person again based on the way they’ve treated you, think about whether you’ve ever been guilty of ghosting someone.
Chances are you have.
Maybe you went on a date with someone you quite liked, but then got so caught up with work or personal problems and never got back to them about that second date, until you realized weeks had gone past and it was too late.
Maybe you spent quite a while messaging someone on a dating app and then just lost interest.
But you didn’t tell them you didn’t want to speak to them anymore, you just let things fizzle out instead.
Perhaps the way you’ve ghosted in the past has been less extreme than the way this person ghosted you, but you need to be careful about judging people for doing things that you might have done yourself.
If you think there might be potential for friendship or romance with this person, be prepared to hear them out.
3. Ask for a reason, and give it careful thought.
Rather than just letting this person slot back into your life, no questions asked, you need to be direct with them.
Call them out on what they did.
Don’t let them get away with it.
If you do have any interest in carrying things on with them, it’s probably best not to throw it in their face, but you can still ask the question.
Ask them why they ghosted you, and then give some consideration as to whether you think their excuse was legitimate.
Maybe they had a professional crisis, or maybe someone close to them got ill.
Maybe they were still getting over someone else or got scared at the prospect of commitment.
Or maybe they just weren’t that into you at the time and have popped up again now they’re bored or lonely.
4. Listen to your gut.
It’s for you to decide whether their reasons for ghosting you, and now their reasons for coming back, are valid ones.
Your gut will probably be able to tell you whether they’re just making excuses, or they had a genuine reason for ghosting you which you can forgive and move on from.
If something deep down inside you is screaming that you shouldn’t trust them, there’s probably a good reason for that.
Your gut will also be able to tell you whether you really like this person enough to give them another chance.
If you’re not really that bothered or think it’s just a passing fancy, it’s probably best to say no, as it’s not fair on either of you to start things up again.
But if you really liked them before they ghosted you and those feelings are resurfacing now, maybe it is worth giving things another shot.
5. Tell them how their behavior made you feel.
It’s important for them to know how their ghosting made you feel.
If you’ve ever ghosted someone, you probably justified it by telling yourself that they didn’t really care about you, or that it was kinder to just go silent on them than it was to break things off with them.
That’s probably what this person said to themselves too.
We all like to believe things that make us feel better, rather than facing up to uncomfortable truths.
So don’t be shy about telling them how it made you feel.
If you try to be all cool and standoffish and pretend it didn’t really bother you, when it did, then they might be more tempted to ghost you again further down the line or carry their ghosting ways into the future.
6. Treat them as you’d like to be treated.
In situations like these, it can be really tempting to give them a taste of their own medicine.
As mentioned above, you’re quite within your rights not to respond.
But you might be tempted to answer them, act like it’s all forgiven, but then play hard to get or get your revenge by being the one to ghost them after a while.
That’s not the way forward.
If you want people to treat you well, you need to treat them well.
Be respectful and kind, and don’t do anything to a person you’re seeing that you wouldn’t want them to do to you.
What goes around comes around, and the better you treat other people the better you’ll be treated.
Show respect for the people you date, and before long you’ll find someone who gives you all the respect you deserve too.
Still not sure what to do about the person who ghosted you and who has now returned? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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