“You should never have to look for evidence that someone loves you. True love is crystal clear.”
~ Mandy Hale
What do you do when a guy ghosts you and then comes back? Communicate.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Better yet, I’ll give you two main things to communicate about: acknowledge what happened and explore why it happened.
First, the behavior needs to be called out and acknowledged.
Not in anger or frustration but just in honesty. Essentially: you left, you gave no warning and so now we need to talk about it.
Ghosting behavior can be a sign of chronic withdraw and an unwillingness to work through the tough stuff in a relationship.
Or, worse, a sign that something better popped up and he took to exiting stage left, which is not cool. Either way, ghosting is a big no-no.
Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt…particularly in times like these. Perhaps something is happening in his family, with his phone, work related, etc.
Should these things prevent someone from communicating with you? No.
But maybe he’s still learning how to communicate healthily and effectively. BUT…
if something did happen in his personal life he should see no problem dialoging about why the sudden lack of communication.
Acknowledgment here is key.
- Can he reasonably recognize that you had a connection and he suddenly ended it?
- Can he step up and honor that in the future that behavior is not appropriate or healthy? Can he apologize?
If he can’t recognize, honor, and apologize – he’s not ready/mature enough for a thoughtful connection with you – imo.
Next, IF the ghosting was not due to some random happenstance (family, phone, sudden work issue, etc.) then the reason for the ghosting needs to be processed through.
Questions to explore:
- Were there things that popped up that made you want to stop communicating? If so, what and why?
- Were there ways that we were engaging that you didn’t enjoy? If so, let’s discuss them and see if we can better understand one another…
- Was there something uncomfortable or intense about our connection? If so, how can we be more mindful of how we relate and connect with each other?
- Did fears about our relationship/connection come up? If so, what were they and how did they impact you?
- Have you suddenly exited relationships or connections before? If so, this pattern merits digging deeper.
The answer is super simple – if he can acknowledge what happened and explore it with you, go ahead and give him another go!
If not, power up and moveeee on. There are amazingly present, consistent, and authentic men out there!
Kendra O’Hora, Ph.D., LCMFT – www.wellnessandco.org
Dating in todays virtual age has several unique benefits as well as unique challenges.
Some dating sites for example, have platforms that allow for users to more effectively determine their compatibility with someone. They do this through the questions they answer or information they provide on the site; something that may not be easily done when meeting someone at a bar.
However, because of the impersonal nature of dating online or of communicating over text, there is a way in which humans now also have a tendency to feel less guilt about dropping communication with someone and “ghosting.”
This is likely due to feeling less of a sense of obligation to maintain communication than people may have experienced in the past before the advent of texting over a phone.
People have even told me that it feels “less hurtful” to “ghost” than it does to tell a person directly that they are no longer interested.
There is also the sense that if someone “ghosts” and does not straightforwardly end an interaction, there is the potential for the door to open once again.
So, when someone does that, ghosts and then re-appears, the questions to ask yourself may be:
- What do I want and expect out of communication with a significant other?
- What kind of interest do I want displayed by a potential significant other?
- If this person did not have the integrity or sense of honesty to communicated with me directly in the past and instead “ghosted,” is this someone with whom I want to reconnect?
These questions will help you better determine if you want to reengage with someone that has ghosted in the past.
Melanie Ricaurte, PsyD, MEd – www.weareharmonyholistic.com
We have all been there at some point. We are chatting with someone , conversation is flowing, we meet up, have a great date, discuss meeting up again, and maybe even set another date. The day arrives and you hear nothing.
You then reach out and ask:
“What time are we meeting up?”
No response You reach out again:
”Hey, are we still meeting up?”
No response again
Days pass and you continue to not hear from this person. You have unfortunately been ghosted.
A few months pass and then you get a text:
“ Hey! How are you? What have you been up to?!” from that person who left you high and dry previously.
Your thoughts race.
What do you do? How do you respond?
Before you tap away and either eagerly and happily respond or unleash an angry beast, review the following:
Take a deep breath: In through the nose slowly and out through the mouth slowly repeat three times.
Recount when they ghosted:
- How did it feel when they ghosted you ?
- Were you upset or did you not care?
This is important to identify as it can correlate with how you want to proceed.
- What do you want out of the communication if you respond?
- Would you like to give the person another chance, find closure, rehash the past situation?
Write out a few different ways you would like to respond before pressing “ send” so you can feel comfortable with what you are putting out there.
Once you have those answers, be sure to respond in a way that you would be content to be on the receiving end of. Don’t shut off the emotions this has brought you but display it with respect.
For example, a potential respectful but direct response can be:
“Hey stranger, it has been a while! I have been doing well. How are you? I have to admit I’m surprised to hear from you after we set a date and you didn’t respond.”
Of course, each situation is unique.
Perhaps this ghosting was after some substantial time together, this case would take some more time to determine the best way to respond.
Another scenario might be that something serious occurred in this person’s life which caused the sudden drop in communication.
There are a lot of potential reasons but at the end of the day, doing what is comfortable for YOU is the best move.
That may be not answering at all and that is OK !
The most important piece is being able to go through the previously listed steps and feel confident with how you choose to move forward.
Lauren Fischer, M.ED, LPC, NCC – www.laurenfischercounseling.com
Getting ghosted is hurtful and unsettling.
You think the relationship is going pretty well, and then nothing. He doesn’t call, answer your texts, email—just no response whatsoever.
Ghosting is especially wounding when your own self-esteem is shaky.
If you’re someone who always wonders what you did or you tend to self-criticize, then you could spend a lot of time getting down on yourself, going over everything you’ve said and done, trying to find the thing that turned him off.
But, as I often tell my clients, the reason for another person’s decision is completely inside them.
You might have had some impact, but overall the person’s history, interpretations, emotional experiences, goals, and personal perspective are the things that really mold their decisions.
So, if he’s gone without a trace, then there is something inside of him that you don’t know or understand.
When a guy pulls away without a word, he’s obviously too embarrassed to talk with you about what he’s thinking and feeling.
Give him the space he needs. Let him miss you. Let him figure out what he really wants. Let him have the time to make a decision. Trying to pull back him in, get explanations, or asking what you did wrong won’t make anything better. Besides, it makes you look needy and desperate.
Of course, you may not know you’ve been ghosted for a little while, and you’ll be trying to reach him. But when you get no response, let it be.
Spend the time thinking about what you want in the relationship, what you like and dislike, what your goals are, etc.
Keep in mind that his behavior tells you something very important about him.
Look back on the relationship and figure out what you really know about him, and then look at how he fits into your own life direction. If you don’t hear from him, the work you’ve done assessing the relationship from your perspective will be very helpful in your mourning process and your path forward.
However, if you do hear from him again, he owes you some real truthful information about what is going on for him.
Don’t just accept that he’s back without finding out what he was thinking, feeling, and wanting. Gloss over explanations won’t do. You need to know why he backed away.
Because, if you go forward together, this could happen again when things get difficult for him, and you may be stuck trying to salvage even more serious things—bills, children, a home, and other daily stresses.
How do you ask him about what was going on for him?
Don’t start with “What did I do….?” And try to avoid the third degree using questions starting with “Why”.
Instead try these….
- I’m wondering what happened that you felt you needed to pull away.
- Without a word from you, I didn’t know what was happening. Could you tell me why you didn’t let me know what was going on with you?
- I’m thinking that there are some things that don’t work for you in this relationship. Would you be willing to share those with me?
- This was a difficult experience for me, and I don’t want to repeat it. How can you reassure me that you will talk with me about what isn’t working for you, rather than just leaving without a word?
These are discussion starters that keep the focus on figuring out the cause and solution, rather than blame.
Be sure to notice how he responds. Is he vague, giving excuses, blaming you, sullen, or defensive?
These kinds of reactions are very big red flags.
They indicate that he hasn’t thought about his behavior, can’t take responsibility, or just can’t let you into his real feelings.
- On the other hand, does he share what he’s feeling in words, facial expressions, and voice tone that tells you he’s really trying to understand his feelings and behaviors?
- Does he take responsibility and make a real apology?
- Does he have ideas about how he will behave differently in the future?
- And over the next several months, does he show you he’s willing to share his feelings and thoughts more readily with you?
You get to decide if you will take him back or not.
Tell him the behaviors and reassurances that you will need to be able to relax and trust him again. Then really pay attention to how the relationship is going for you. Don’t keep worrying about his leaving, you need to decide if he can stay.
Margalis Fjelstad, Ph.D., LMFT – www.margalistherapy.com
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