Are You Being Ghosted?

Today we’re talking about ghosting, which is essentially what this blog has done to you the past few weeks. (Note that I said “this blog” instead of “I” to deflect responsibility and “few weeks” instead of “month” to minimize wrongdoing. Also note my noting of my actions to demonstrate personal accountability even though this will likely happen again.)

I wonder why people find me discomfiting.

Anyway, ghosting. 

are you being ghosted

Most commonly used in the context of dating, “ghosting” happens when someone you’re talking to disappears or starts distancing themselves without notice or explanation. In digital communication, I mean—from experience, it’s a lot harder to physically disappear.

ghosting definition
The person who vanishes is the ghoster and the victim the ghostee.

I don’t intentionally ghost anyone, though I do do this cute thing where I avoid responding to texts when I see them because I get anxious about people responding in real time and me not being able to carry on the conversation in the moment. But I’m told functional people ghost to avoid confrontation, i.e. telling someone you don’t want to talk to them anymore.

I’ve been ghosted several times—and this is kind of sad—mostly by corporations. But I’m quite familiar with the sting of being ghosted in the dating scene. Obviously there’s the rejection and the embarrassment but the worst part is the lack of closure. You start making excuses for the other person, thinking maybe that’s just how they communicate. Maybe they got drafted into the CIA. Or maybe it’s Maybelline.

ghosting ridiculous

You try responding immediately to them but their delays between messages get longer and longer until you finally ask, “am I being ghosted?”

You don’t want to prolong this state. So what are the signs that you’ve been ghosted, and what can you do about it? We’ll think from your perspective, as you’ve got very little information from their end, and your own reactions can tell you a lot more.

Signs that you’re being ghosted

1. You start perceiving a communication shift

The most obvious sign, this can take many forms. They start taking longer to text back over an unreasonable period of time. (Second part’s important because people have lives and things do come up but not often all-consuming to the point where they can’t provide any notice.)

What constitutes an unreasonable period of time? The beauty is you get to decide, which brings us to what you can do.

What can I do?

One thing I’ve learned the hard way over the years through any kind of relationship is that you need to think a lot more about what YOU think about another person. 

Personally, I’m often stuck on whether someone dislikes me or I’m worried about whether something I’ll do might jeopardize a relationship. But when you actually consider your own opinion of your ghoster, who probably hasn’t afforded you the consideration you’ve given their opinion, you might find you’re bothered mostly because you want them to like you and not because you like them.

2. You start thinking “everything would be perfect if they only did XYZ.”

This isn’t even just ghosting advice. If you’re wishing you didn’t have to always jumpstart the conversation, or you wish they would just show up on time or stop cancelling plans, you’re in dangerous territory. Sure, you can always bring it up to them and they deserve a chance to change, but they don’t necessarily owe you that.

Daniel Sloss, comedian who prides himself on breaking up thousands of couples, says that for you to be content with a relationship, you have to accept the other person exactly as they are, even if they don’t change a thing. If something they do bothers you so much that it’s a dealbreaker, don’t wait around.

ghosting meaning

What can I do?

Visualize some scenarios. What happens if Ghoster is ghosting you, after all? How would you feel about it? Would you be okay with that, and if not, how would you react? What exactly would need to happen to make you feel better?

Studies show that visualizing scenarios not only helps you take bad news better—often it ends up not being so terrible—but also prevents you from making poor decisions since you’ve already pictured future events.

3. You find yourself seeking advice from Yahoo Answers or Quora.

ghosting desperate

In itself, that’s a form of desperation. Specifically, though, I mean searching “when a guy doesn’t respond what does that mean” or “have I been ghosted or is he just busy” or “is she into me” and continuing past several videos that say “no” until you find one that says “maybe.”

What can I do?

Find an enemy or at least someone who’s fine with casually hurting your feelings. In my case that was my mom. (Kidding. I’m KIDDING, Mom.)

A couple years ago during my first ghosting, she just point-blank told me “he’s not that into you.” And I hated hearing it—it was embarrassing—but she was right. 

You need as many objective opinions as will convince you, and understand that it’s not a reflection on you. 

I mean, maybe if you egged their house or something, but if so they could’ve also said something like “I’m not talking to you because you egged my house, dumbass” to really hit that point home, because clearly it didn’t go through the first time.

4. You don’t need more signs. You get you’re being ghosted. Now you need specific tips.

Here are a few suggestions:

Say you “took the hint” and create your own closure if they don’t explain.

ghosting closure

One time my sophomore year, my conversations with this guy on Bumble got to the point where he would respond after a week. I finally asked to return his jacket I’d borrowed. We set a time and place and he just never showed. This guy straight sacrificed his jacket just so he wouldn’t have to see me.

It was a little funny, even then.

Wait one week after the first text or two, then send one more (3 at max.) Then disengage.

Honestly, I thought by now I’d have learned to handle ghosting, but it still drains my HP despite my XP. This month, I thought I got ghosted—not in a dating context at all—by a potential housemate in the city I’m moving to. He didn’t respond for a week and I’d thought, since his preferred move-in date was days away, that he’d decided not to live with me.

I didn’t even send any more texts, just started making other arrangements. Mom and I joked that maybe he was on a road trip across the country, just like another one of my friends who’d gone off the grid a month earlier (and who I’d also thought had ghosted me.)

The next day, he texted back.

He’d, indeed, been on a road trip.

If all else fails and it’s been a long while and you’re still bothered, one option remains.

ghosting uno reverse

Simply wait until you die and haunt them. The only problem I can think of here is that if you spook them enough to finally text you back, you no longer have a phone to receive the message. A workaround is to raise a child for the sole purpose of ghosting Ghoster back, or to own a Nokia.

Especially if you’re using this advice to date, this option is a long con that requires patience. Alternatively, you could also assume the other party’s not interested by default and move on, which admittedly has been a winning strategy, seeing as I’m still successfully alone.

Please consider following this blog via email and liking its Facebook page, where I post occasional life updates and quality excuses for the lack of said life updates. Oh, and find me on my new Instagram and Twitter, too.

Last post: The Guy In Our Attic

7 thoughts on “Are You Being Ghosted?

  1. I’m wondering if I’m being ‘Ghosted’ by a small group of friends that I used to work with. None of the five of us work together anymore, but we all used to get together at least three times a year.

    I’ve reached out individually to a few to just say “Hello” and it takes a week for a text response. I think I might be overanalyzing this, but then I see that three of the original group have met up.

    I do have the habit of taking group conversations deep ( and over the last couple of years can you blame me with everything going on?!), but I can only do the superficial chit chat for so long.

    Should I move on ?
    Open for advise.


    1. Aw, Susan, sorry to hear that:( my whole personality is overanalyzing things, and I would’ve come to the same conclusion. Did you find others looking uncomfortable when you took group convos deep? Also, would you consider just asking what’s up? I used to be extremely nonconfrontational but have realized I, to an even greater extent, can’t handle the lack of closure.


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