Ghosting. It’s the painfully confusing disappearing act of dating that leaves you hanging. Everyone’s had that experience of dating someone and then all of the sudden, no calls, no texts. Nothing.
It might be a complete ghosting act where you have no explanation and he or she disappears completely. Or, it could be that he or she begins a strange withdrawal just when things seem to be going well between you. Either way, you’re left confused, doubting yourself, and searching for answers. There could be many answers to this disappearing act, but usually, there are a few common possibilities.
They’re just not into you (and are too afraid to admit it).
Plain and simple. Sometimes there’s just not a connection or an attraction—it doesn’t have to be personal. Trying to shift your mindset into thinking that this person just missed a great opportunity with you might help.
While it seems like it would be sensitive and respectful to just let someone know it’s not working, some people would just rather disappear than say something difficult. Yes, it hurts. It’s confusing. But, consider yourself lucky to get rid of someone who doesn’t have the sensitivity to at least tell you that they don’t want more contact. You have surely avoided some future heartbreak.
They are afraid of commitment.
As humans, we are all wired to attach and connect with others. However, we all have different styles and levels of comfort in our attachments. Our attachment styles are basically formed in the first few years of life, and set the foundation for how we will connect with others in our adult lives.
These styles usually don’t change much. This means, if someone has spent his or her whole life fearing closeness and relationships, it’s unlikely that this person will suddenly dive head first into anything that would feel intimate, no matter how amazing you might be. Many people who “ghost” or disappear fit this attachment style, and will keep any kind of relationship at a distance.
They are products of a consumer culture.
In today’s world, we are used to getting what we want when we want it. We are taught to be picky consumers of everything. The positive, and the negative of this is that this mindset is also present in our dating methods.
It’s good when it gives you more choices from the dating pool, but it can be negative when it keeps you stuck in the “grass is always greener” mentality. It’s quite possible that the person who disappears on you is unable to be satisfied with anything or anyone. Think of the unhappiness of being in relationship with a person who was never happy with you. Yep…you’ve just avoided another heartbreak.
What to do if you’ve been ghosted.
One text or phone call to say, “Hey, I haven’t heard from you and just wanted to check in. Are you still around?” is sufficient. If you don’t hear back, then LET IT GO. Don’t make excessive attempts at contacting this person. Their behavior speaks louder than words. If he or she is really into you, or wanting to pursue dating or a relationship, they will find a way to contact you. I guarantee this 99% of the time (the 1% is reserved for freak accidents, and proof of said freak accident).
Consider yourself saved, as mentioned before, from some future heartbreak. Their loss, not yours. Put your chin up, honor that you have valid needs for communication and respect, and keep that heart of yours open for the next person who will be honored to have the gift of YOU.