Ask MR: I Was Ghosted. Now What?
02.16.17

Hello and welcome to our advice column, “Ask MR,” where we answer your burning questions in the hopes of being the ointment to your life rash. Ask us questions by emailing write@manrepeller.com with the subject line “ASK MR A QUESTION,” or leave yours in the comments.

Hi MR.

It finally happened. I was ghosted.

The short story is that I was in a long-term relationship. We broke up a few months ago. I started doing the Bumble thing, going on dates, meeting people out. It was fun. I liked one guy — we can call him Al — the most. We went to drinks a few times and hooked up more than once. We talked a lot and he brought up hanging out more often. And then, poof. He just stopped texting me. Stopped answering my texts. He’s yet to like an Instagram but he’s still watching my Snap and IG stories. What the hell? It’s the first time I’ve experienced ghosting as an adult. Now what?

Hello and welcome to Dating Sucks 101!

There are three big truths to ghosting. The first is that you cannot take it personally. The second is that someone who really likes you and wants to pursue something will not ghost you. The third is that there’s no point in resurrecting the dead.

Truth #1: You Cannot Take It Personally

People ghost for a wide variety of reasons, none of which feel particularly great. People ghost because someone else came along and they don’t know how to tell you. Or forget to tell you. Sometimes people ghost because they literally forget. People ghost because they decide you’re not a match, even if, for a while there, you two were connecting. (Physically, mentally, yadda yadda.) People ghost because people are assholes, because people get scared, because people think it is the most kind — or the most chill — option*, and people ghost because it is so much easier to not deal with confrontation than to deal with confrontation.

You might find yourself ghosting someone in the future. That doesn’t make it “right,” but even as a big believer in being straight-up so as not to waste other’s time, I, too, have been like, “Yeah, I’m gonna leave that text unanswered forever or at least 10 more years.” Which brings me to that asterisk above.

*The most chill option: Sometimes people ghost because it seems dramatic to “end something” that wasn’t really…a thing. If you’re talking to someone and have hooked up with him/her once or twice but you two are not really dating, a fear exists that anything of the break up/ending it variety could seem overboard, unnecessary and self-absorbed, even. God forbid any of us blow anything out of proportion or show human emotion.

It’s so dumb. It’s all ego-related, which means little comes from overthinking it.

Truth #2: Someone Who Really Likes You and Wants to Pursue Something Will Not Ghost You

No, no — do not tell me about your friend who got ghosted only to get married to the ghost in the end, and don’t tell me about your other friend who was possessed by her ghoster so that the two of them could slow dance one final time because that sounds an awful lot like a scene from the movie Ghost starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. Someone who really likes you and wants to pursue something with you will not ghost you.

However. Sometimes ghosters do come back — typically around the holidays, always when convenient for them. It’s up to you if you want to pursue that person, though I’m inclined to advise that you ignore them. Which brings us to our last truth of ghosting.

Truth #3: There is no point in resurrecting the dead.

Don’t waste your time on someone not making time for you. There are too many people for that, and you are busy!

BUT.

If someone ghosts you, there can be a lingering “what if.” What if her phone died, what if they didn’t get my text, what if he had a family emergency, etc. Sure. It takes two to ghost, so if you feel ghosted truly out of nowhere following good momentum, first ask: “Wait, did I accidentally ghost?” Reach out and initiate more than contact (no limp-noodle “hey…”), initiate face time! Suggest bagels or drinks.

If you know you’ve been ghosted (like that text conversation is all you) but feel there has to be a mistake: throw out a Hail Mary. So what? The worst that can happen is that nothing happens, which is the same predicament you’re in.

The good news either way is that you’re alive. Put on your favorite shoes, get naked, find your apartment’s most flattering mirror and dance.

Photo by Krista Anna Lewis.

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  • kayla sweeney

    Bagel dates!! The best kind of dates

  • Maren Douglas

    I’m guilty of ghosting just because it’s easier than saying “I am no longer interested”. I don’t want to hurt feelings so I say nothing. Also waste not waist <3

    • But don’t you think that’s so selfish and self-centered to think: oh I don’t want to her their feelings? Like, that presupposes that you’re the one in a power position and calling the shots when maybe it’s not even the case. I’m trying to work on improving my communication in these situations as well because I know how bad it feels to be in the ‘ghosted’ position.

      http://www.howrufeelingtd.wordpress.com

      • Maren Douglas

        It’s totally selfish and self centered, I’m with you on that. I took the easy way out instead of bucking up and honoring that person and just saying what I feel, even if it’s not what he/she wanted to hear. I’ve been on the other side of this and I still didn’t make the right choice. I need to work on communication as well in this and many more situations in my life!

        • AMEN! Honest communication is so tough and you get stuck in a spiral of avoidance and being over-friendly and people start expecting it from you in return and it’s even harder to break out of. Has this been discussed on MR (I’m sure it has)? I would love have like a crash-course on honest communication and dealing with the consequences.

  • Madeline

    WASTE
    (sorry)

  • tmm16

    “He’s still watching my Snap and IG stories” – this. Can someone explain this? I am quite the overthinker (it’s a habit I’m trying to break) but why even bother? Like thanks for looking at me with a dog filter and getting my Snapchat story views to 75, but also why haven’t you texted me? If I’m done with someone, I unfollow them on everything, and maybe that’s a bit immature of me, and I think Samantha Jones said this, but “When I’m done with them, I’m done with them.”

    • _lauristia

      Yeah, why!?
      Also I love to tell my self, if this was meant to be, we sure still be talking to each other.

    • clare.hunny

      Sometimes I watch stories of people I don’t particularly like, or even people I’ve ghosted, simply so I don’t have anymore stories to watch. I’m the type of person who can’t have any messages unopened, or stories unwatched. Maybe a thought?

      • tmm16

        I get that too, but then why not just delete them? Especially if you don’t like them?

        • clare.hunny

          Hmm, probably because I’m incredibly curious as to what people are up to/on some subconscious level want them to think I’m having a fabulous time? Not particularly mature, but probably close to the truth

          • tmm16

            Interesting! Thanks for your input 🙂

    • ihaveacooch

      agreed. it’s so bizarre.

    • I don’t get this either! My annoying followed my insta, unfollowed, and followed again and ALWAYS watches my instagram stories. I blocked him on everything else lol. I don’t think he knows I can see that he’s lurking…

    • Brenda

      OMG YES!!! this is me and my recent ghosting experience! I had to delete him.. why are you still interested in what I’m doing but can’t text back?!! FU.

  • Elle

    There is such a thing, still, as right and wrong. Ghosting is no way to treat a human being. Period. It will come back around. They way you treat others, is an indication of how you’re treating yourself.

  • Jamie

    I’m all for being up front, even if you’re not official. It’s just kinder. Yeah, it feels nervewracking to ‘break up’, and yes sometimes it does feel overdramatic, but do it anyway. It honors the person, the interaction, and the natural expectation that went with it.

  • josper

    Get real – he ghosted because he is already in a relationship and was using you as a sidepiece, duh!

  • Yue

    I will say that sometimes when I get into an anxiety spiral I will kinda drop off the map and this results in my ghosting people who haven’t known me for a long time because I hide from all messages of any kind because it all seems so unbearable and like a ravening beast will burst from my phone when I open facebook messenger. Generally a nudge on a different platform will get me to respond. I’m not entirely sure how people are still friends with me.

    • Bird

      I do this too. Dropping off the map allows me to get myself in order, which is far better than half-assed answering. The immediacy of phones might not be able to avoided in the workplace, but that rule does not apply to home. People who need you/care know where you are anyway. Make a joke and it works out fine- and if not, oh well. We all know who our people are!

  • ihaveacooch

    “Sometimes people ghost because it seems dramatic to “end something” that wasn’t really…a thing.” omg so on point. i politely told this guy that i wasn’t interested in him anymore after he asked me to hang out and he goes “you don’t have to be so dramatic!” lol, what?

  • June2

    This reminds me to ask for an article on how to end friendships with women nicely. I’m ghosting someone right now who really doesn’t deserve it but I don’t know if there is any polite way to tell a person that she drains my energy…tormented about it because I know ghosting is The Worst.

    • Leslie JustLys Davis

      Its called telling them up front pussy.

  • Graciela Molina

    I kind of ghosted on a guy I was interested but he never started the convos and I invited him out I didnt got a negative answer but that wasnt a yes he wished me happybday I said thanks and then he said youre welcome and I left it on read that was a month ago but hes still watching my stories and likes some of my posts but I dont know I dont feel the crush anymore. I mean we could still be friends but I dont see him being that interested so go in peace my friend hope you find what youre looking for.

  • Noelle Smith

    I was ghosted after three months and it was terrible, it’s been a few months but still gets to me if I think about it

  • Ketty Joseph

    I truly enjoyed your article, Yes! I also was Ghost a couple of months ago😦😢😂😊. Finally I am coming around again. I have accepted and know that him disappearing had nothing to do with me. No matter what happened between us, he should have been man enough to say he is not interested anymore, since he could not, I told him I was not mad and he can enjoy his life further, even though I like him much. Still it took time to come around and feel like myself. I am happy he is able to walk away now. Even though it hurts, and not do it later on….. I think it would have been even more devastating

    Thank you again for the advise of not raising the dead back again and these article helps in the healing process 😊

  • Kevin Price

    I was recently ghosted by my bf of over a year. It took ME (after a month of worry and pain) breaking up with him by text, to get him to respond. And now I feel guilty for blocking him? WTH?

  • Monica

    I was talking to a guy that I really liked a lot and we been talking for 2 months. and he just stopped talking to me out of no where and I literally did everything to be a nice person to him and he decides to disappear. he always see my Snapchat when I message him and he open it and he still friends with me on Instagram. and one of his good friends is hitting me up now and I don’t know what to do now. Also I have tired to reach out to him by texting him and he doesn’t reply back to my text at all. the other thing is that I know he plays golf at the college he goes to and he has a job too. I just don’t know what the problem is it would be great if I could get some suggestions.

  • Planetiknow

    OKAY LOL The SUPER REAL issue with ghosting is The Disney Channel and a like stories, but also- MOST women are borderline personality and have a hard time being alone, The only way is to admit reality and creating your own strong existstance where you breeze into a mans life and seeing it for what it is. Make him earn your trust- then he might care, Don’t hand it out. Otherwise, why are you handing out your power? Real lasting healthy relationships don’t happen unless you have all parts— Financial, Self worth, Emotional, Physical, Supportive, Transparency, sacred space, Responsibility.. you must be secure in yourself before you can be with somebody else. Maybe YOU have nothing to OFFER. It’s understandable how frustrating it will be for most women to make this head change when there’s so many unhealthy relationships existing around us but be strong in what you know is right and you know the heck I’m right. Ghost him first. Don’t be stupid. Ghost him as you want and after a year or two you feel it’s the soulmate then and mean then start thinking IF you’d live with him and his dog or cat or kid or family bs etc etc

  • Jerk Chicken

    I was ghosted by a person who claimed they wanted to marry me at one point, settle down…the whole thing. I never pressured them into saying any of that then poof. I don’t understand why you would invest that time and energy then be a jerk. I wanted to confront him but I figured if you don’t even have the time to call someone you have been with over 6mos then you clearly don’t have time to talk in person.

    People make time for the people they love. So I guess they don’t love me.
    I LOVE ME!
    so

    NEXT!