Many of us have experienced being ghosted. In the aftermath, we just want to close the loop with some sort of explanation. This could range from sending a text to going full-on FBI on their social media.
Alas, most of the time it’s going to be a pretty Sisyphean endeavor (aka futile). To learn how to move forward in a healthy way, we consulted Dr. Jess Carbino (fondly known as Dr. Jess), a relationship and online dating expert and founder of Relapy, for some don’ts after getting ghosted.
(PS: She was the sociologist for Tinder and Bumble and has conducted hundreds of focus groups—so, yeah, she definitely knows what she’s talking about.)
“Common mistakes related to ghosting are fundamentally tied to an individual’s ability to understand why the ghosting has occurred,” Dr. Jess says.
With that in mind, here’s what not to do if you get ghosted.
…Question your self-worth.
“Individuals often believe that the ghosting solely represents an indictment about them and don’t consider that the ghosting behavior is more of a reflection of the individual who has ghosted,” Dr. Jess says.
…Internalize and generalize.
“By extension, individuals can internalize ghosting in a way that has negative consequences. For example, an individual will perhaps assume that everyone will ghost them, which is adverse for their future communication prospects,” Dr. Jess says.
…Take it too personally if it was in the early stages.
Ofc, it still stings, but according to Dr. Jess, “For individuals in the earlier stages of interaction, namely those who have never met, ghosting may simply be due to the inevitable process of determining fit.”
…Forget that ghosting says more about them than you.
“When individuals ghost in later stages of a relationship, they are often unable to address conflict or end the relationship directly,” Dr. Jess says. That doesn’t make it okay, at all, so be sure to take time for self-care.
…Reach out without considering this:
If you would like to reach out for clarity, Dr. Jess recommends re-engaging in a “casual, neutral manner.” She says, “This reengagement may help resolve the ambiguity associated with ghosting that may exist.”
…Stalk their social media.
OK, this one isn’t from Dr. Jess, but we think it bears mentioning.
This isn’t National Treasure. They are not leaving you hidden clues in their social media posts. And even if they were, they’re not worth your time or energy. Block them, or at the very least, mute them. It’s amazing how not being reminded of someone every time you open up your social media can help you heal and stop ruminating.
Go deeper with: The Green Flags of Ghosting
You ask, we answer. Send your relationship questions to [email protected], and one of our experts may just answer them in an upcoming column.
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